What comes to mind when you hear that word?
Its meaning has seemed to morph over the years. There was the suffragette movement, “Rosie the Riveter,” and often confusing conversations about “choice.” Now, there are dialogues concerning the essence of femininity, masculinity, gender, biological sex and whether or not one wants to identify as an androgynous unicorn.
There are numerous little rabbit holes one could jump down on this subject, but I would like to focus on the one that came to my attention when I recently went to see DC’s Wonder Woman.
So, Diana (Wonder Woman) grows up on this island where only women live, and she is raised on tales of how men went to the dark side under the influence of this wicked god named Ares. Under his influence, the outside world has had a good share of issues. Supposedly, this Ares was defeated, but suspicions are that he’ll be back.
Enter STEVE TREVOR, pursued by GERMAN SOLDIERS.
Apparently, the god of war is back, à la World War I!
Now . . . Diana has this quite unique understanding of the world that you see flushed out more and more as the film continues and her character’s true identity is revealed. Hers is not so much an “us vs. them” perspective. It’s not about the Allies vs. the Central Powers. It’s about a manipulative, conniving war god who must be taken down so that humanity is given the opportunity to be its best.
One such human who desperately needs a chance at redemption is a woman known as Isabel Maru, a. k. a. “Dr. Poison.”
When I looked at the character of Isabel Maru, I was struck by how much pain and bitterness the woman carried inside and how that internal pain came out and manifested itself as self-harm and mass murder. I was also struck by how her character paralleled an alarming trend I see in “feminism” today.
“He hit me first.”
How often do we hear that excuse come out of the mouth of little kids? “You hurt me, so I hurt you,” essentially. But, as adults, we don’t like to admit that this is actually what we are doing to each other at times; we are supposedly beyond our childish ways.
It might come out as “You hurt me, so I am going to hurt this child we made together—because this child reminds me of you.” It might come out as “You made me feel small and worthless as a I am woman; I am going to make you feel small and worthless as a man.” It might come out as “You abused me, so I am going to abuse you.” (Not so sweet a dream, eh?) However it comes out, it is what it is. Trying to come up with pretty sounding theoretical names for this hurt-induced behavior is nothing less than deceiving ourselves and making ourselves smaller than we actually are.
If we truly want to learn how to be powerful as women and heal, we must learn how to forgive. Forgiveness says, “I am not going to let what you did to me torture me any more.” Forgiveness says, “You are not allowed to do that to me anymore; you are better than that.” Forgiveness says “I want you to be healthy, too, and to heal from what hurt you and drove you to this.” Forgiveness says, “I want to empower you to be the person I know you truly are!” Forgiveness is also willing to admit when it messes up and forgive itself.
Forgiveness chooses love. Forgiveness believes the best about people.
Forgiveness recognizes that there is more at play here than flesh and blood. There are spiritual forces of good and evil at work. Forgiveness goes after the puppeteer, not the one being yanked on the string.
Forgiveness chooses love.
Even when forced to do battle, it will still carry honor in its heart for its enemies.