The Powerpuff Girls was never just a show for kids. Instead, the series functioned as a guidebook for feminism, encouraging women and girls around the world to be strong and stick up for themselves in the face of criticism or threat. Not bad for a cartoon, right? This is just one of the reasons that the fact that The Powerpuff Girls has been rebooted by Cartoon Network and is due to air in 2016 is so freaking awesome. I, for one, can't wait to see new episodes of the series, especially as roles for women in TV and film are still often in such short supply. The first clip from The Powerpuff Girls reboot has been released, and the accompanying blurb says,"Slated to premiere this spring, the reimagined series from Cartoon Network Studios is about three girls juggling school and saving the world before bedtime." A pretty impressive premise, I think you'll agree.
The show originally ran from 1998-2005, but all these years later, The Powerpuff Girls are still feminist icons. But what exactly makes the characters so accessible, and why are their feminist attitudes important right now? In the first clip from The Powerpuff Girls reimagining, Buttercup is infuriated when a man, dressed in a lumberjack shirt, challenges anyone in the vicinity to a fight. The Powerpuff Girls are always up for a challenge, and she announces, "Old Buttercup can satisfy your need for a beat down." The man laughs at her, and replies, "Why don't you go play with your dollies, princess?" Obviously, this is the exact wrong thing for him to say in this situation — he clearly has no idea who he is talking to.
While violence is most certainly not always the answer, scenes like this are incredibly important on television, because they attempt to deconstruct the patriarchal narrative that women and girls are often force fed. Told to wear pink, to play with appropriate toys like dolls, and to not attempt so-called manly sports, women are often raised to think that they can't be as strong as men are. Obviously, this is a load of rubbish, but it's great to see a mainstream TV show like The Powerpuff Girls unafraid to tackle a topic as huge as feminism.
This clip is only a hint of what Cartoon Network has in store for us with their new version of The Powerpuff Girls , but it's already so promising, and proves that these characters are feminist icons — always have been and always will be. I'm psyched to see new episodes of The Powerpuff Girls, as these are female characters we can all get excited about. Watch the clip in full below.
Images: Cartoon Network Studios; Giphy