kati and is

Women Empowering Women: The Opportunity The CW Missed

Somebody pointed out the parallels between Lena Luthor and Mon-El’s stories. Both come from backgrounds where they’re inherently at odds against Kara. Mon-El because he’s from Daxam, and Lena because she’s a Luthor. Both come from backgrounds where their morals are warped and distorted because of the environment they were brought up in. Mon-El and his views towards women and Lena with her morally ambiguous views on aliens. Both are someone that, logically, Kara shouldn’t get along with.

The Luthor name is renowned in pop culture as something that is so intrinsically the opposite of the House of El. This didn’t even have to be established in the show because it’s just that ingrained in the audience already. Hell, you don’t even need to have read a comic book to know what a Luthor and a Super means. Mon-El’s storyline almost exactly parallels Lena’s but because his character isn’t as well known as a Luthor they had to spend several episodes explaining that. Which in part infuriated me because we already had a character set up with the same type of flaws that didn’t even need establishing. There’s so much rich history that could be explored between Kara and Lena and what it means to be two powerful women who want to break free from the shadows of their male relatives. But unfortunately this was side swiped to bring in a white male character that brings the exact same struggles to the table, but takes triple the effort to explain because no one outside of the die hard fans has a fucking clue who he is.

I digress. This got me thinking. The storyline they are trying to apply to Mon-El with Kara just makes so much more sense with Lena. It’s the classic trope of the protagonist teaching the secondary how to be a better person. So when you think about it, not only does it make more sense to apply this to Lena, applying it to Lena opens so many new avenues of social issues to discuss.

When Mon-El arrives on Earth, Kara has to get around her own prejudices about daxamites. This is mirrored, but not developed enough, with Lena. You bet my bottom dollar that Kara had some prejudices about Lena because of Kal-El, and while she overcomes them, it’s done offscreen for the most part. It goes without saying that Lena too held some prejudice against Supergirl because she’s an alien. Society consistently oversees a feud between women of different groups because the patriarchy thrives on that. If Supergirl had focused on this storyline they could have done so much to dispel this stereotype. Female characters are constantly at odds with one another, engaged in some form of competition, so it would have been incredible too see these two powerful women putting their prejudices aside to build up a rapport. Women supporting women y'know. That’s such an important message to send to all of the young girls watching.

Instead of Kara training Mon-El and teaching him how to control his powers we could have had Kara teaching Lena how to use her economic power and political influence for good. We could have seen Kara guide Lena on how to help the alien community by throwing galas in support of charities/political campaigns that work with aliens or by helping her develop technology that could help integrate aliens with humans. The potential in this plot line for exploring social issues that are currently so prominent in the western world is mind boggling. With the recent US election, Brexit, and the forthcoming French, Dutch and German elections it’s been highlighted time and time again how individuals in positions like Lena Luthor can influence the outcome for society and shape the social and political environment we live in. Supergirl had the perfect opportunity to lay out the situation and explore what that means in such a easy and accessible way. Yet they chose to teach the straight white boy how to fight instead, ultimately falling into the sexist trope that it’s a woman’s job to make a man better.

Instead of Kara teaching Mon-El about Earth customs and morals, we could have seen Kara and Lena navigating the morally grey values she holds as a result of her upbringing. Lena is an inherently good person. She’s proved that time and time again, even sacrificing her own mother for the sake of others. And while her intentions are good, there’s no way she could have come out of a childhood with the Luthors without being indoctrinated and corrupted at least a little bit. Her morally grey views on aliens would need to be unlearned and this is the perfect place for Kara to step in. Instead of Kara teaching Mon-El about earth, a planet not even Kara truly understands, Kara could educate Lena on aliens in order to help her unlearn her internalised bigotry. Kara could tell Lena all about the planets she used to visit with Zor-El and Alura and Astra and all the different cultures she’s seen. She could teach Lena about Krypton and its language and it’s traditions and holidays. And you know what? Lena will fuck up sometimes. It’s hard to unlearn the hatred that’s been drilled into you since you were a kid. The alien detection device would have been an amazing plot point to explore how much Lena has learned and how much she’s willing to change. Kara could have explained to her in more detail than she did in canon why it’s such a bad idea and all the problems it will cause. And because Lena knows now about all these different aliens and their planets and their cultures, she’ll understand what it means to out that in jeopardy with her device. She’ll struggle and slip up but her heart is in the right place and Kara can guide her there. And it’s not just Lena who would get something out of that. Kara has been bottling up so much since krypton died. The weight of her whole world. Her whole people. Her culture. Her language. She’s never been able to properly share that with someone. But teaching Lena to unlearn her hatred involves telling Lena about Krypton. And for Kara that’s so cathartic and a great form of therapy almost. She finally gets to share her world with someone who wants to understand. Who knows to a certain degree what it’s like. Kara needs this in season 2 but she hasn’t been given it. Mon-El doesn’t need to be taught about Krypton so with this Mon-El storyline the brunt of the trauma remains with Kara. But if it were Lena who she was guiding, well then Kara could have found her release. Which is something she’s been struggling with in season 2.

The latter of the two points has so much potential to delve into the issues of unlearning racism and how to deal with internalised racism. As well exploring the concept of cultural integration, cultural mixing and and cultural appropriation. On Kara’s side there’s a lot for young people watching to take away on dealing with trauma and coping with PTSD. There’s so many things that could be explored between the two characters if it were Kara guiding Lena.

Kara and Lena are two powerful female characters with complex and intertwined histories that propose many obstacles in character development. We could have had a story line in which Kara teaches Lena how to be a better person, and in the process of guiding Lena out of her morally grey values, Lena teaches Kara how to be a better person too. Instead of a bitch fight we have two strong women empowering one another and encouraging each other to be better. We could have had women supporting women. AKA what Supergirl was meant to be about in the first place. Lena and Kara play off of each other’s strengths so well, and they can use those strengths to work on each other’s flaws and weaknesses. We could have had that. Instead we’ve had Kara’s character development cast aside so she can prop up a generic straight white boy who ultimately becomes her love interest because heteronormativity and sexism are the CW’s best friends.

TL;DR: If Kara is meant to be making anyone a better person this season, then it should have been Lena Luthor because that way we could have seen the two women grow as characters and seen their dynamic shift into something that so desperately needs to be represented in the media.

anonymous asked:

i totally forgot that Pidge's birth name is Katie so during my rewatch of season 1 today, Shiro called her Katie and i immediately thought of you. my brain was like YOOOOOO and i just thought i'd share this with you, have a good day

Shiro: Your family would be proud of you, Katie.

Me: