Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Things I'm Digging: Wonder Woman as (Enlightened) Disney Princess

Friend Ruth posted to my Facebook page this awesome cartoon by Bill Walko.  Love.  It.  I was never a Disney princess girl - certainly, not back in the Cinderella/Snow White/Sleeping Beauty day.  They annoyed me.  Still do.

What I love about Disney Princess Diana, as imagined by Mr.Walko - she is empowered and capable, but she isn't strident about it.  She is polite and appreciative:  she truly does think it's "splendid" that the others offered to help.  Her ability to kick butt doesn't prevent her from being feminine, and vice-versa.

A few years ago, I got into a war of words (via e-mail) with an editorial columnist.  Said editorial columnist derided an event for female attorneys and their female staff members that incorporated a pampering component, including pedicures, facials and - Lord forbid! - Botox shots.  Apparently, it was "offensive" to take note of the fact that female legal professionals are - among other characteristics - FEMALE.  To suggest that we cared about superficial things like appearance was demeaning and, somehow, at odds with the many brainy things that we did during the course of the day.

In my initial response (I say "initial," because the challenging person on the other side, rather than accepting that I had a different - and, might I say, more relevant - perspective, attempted to convince me that my perspective, as an actual practicing female attorney, was incorrect - inspring a bit more back-and-forth), I took ownership of my own brainy-ness, and I also took ownership of my girly-ness. Fact:  I do like to look pretty.  Unmanicured nails drive me to distraction.  Another fact:  some days, the biggest challenge that I face is figuring out how to fit in a damned manicure.  If I have to postpone a manicure due to a last-minute client conference, the part of the conference that involves offering advice and counsel to  high-level business types with millions of dollars in play is easy; remembering not to gesture too much with my broken, grown-out and otherwise gnarly nails is hard.
This is not a comment on my social utility.  It is a comment on my competence.  Because, here's the subtext: I am so good at my job, and what I do comes so easily to me at this point, that negotiating the deal is simple.  Far simpler than working out the logistics of sandwiching a mani-pedi between conference calls and meetings.

If Wonder Woman was a lady corporate lawyer, she would rock the conference call. And then she would totally book a spa afternoon, as a reward for her efforts - without feeling conflicted in the least.

And this is why I wish that all Disney princesses were more like the Princess of Themyscira.

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