I’m well aware that there is not now and never has been anything truly, traditionally badass about me. But I’ve always identified with badass women on a very personal, emotional level. Wonder Woman, Buffy, Starbuck, Trinity. I didn’t merely look up to them, I felt like them. I was convinced that underneath all my anxiety and privilege and geekiness was a core of tough, capable, superhero gold. That, if the time came and I was called, I’d step up. I’d fight.
But I can’t throw a punch. I can’t shoot a gun. I’m deathly afraid of bugs, I bruise easily, and my hacking skills consist of my ability to locate any style of shoe on the Internet in mere seconds. Hell, I can’t even run more than a few blocks without getting winded.* And, more importantly, I do not like conflict.
But if we’re talking about crisis roles, I’m a caretaker. When everything goes kablooey, I may be the wrong person to send out on a revenge mission, but I can delegate tasks, calm upsets, and heal. And that might not seem as cool on the surface, but if fighters were all we had, we’d be in deep doo-doo.
I will always love dressing as badass as I possibly can without feeling ridiculous. But I’m getting comfortable with the notion that, when the zombie apocalypse arrives, I won’t be on the front lines with a shotgun. I’ll be behind the scenes tending wounds and soothing nerves.
And that, ladies and gentlefolk, is why, as a growned-up person, I have learned not to ask myself “What would Alanna the Lioness do?” or even “What would Keladry of Mindelan do?” but “What could I do that would let me me look them in the eye after this?”