Karate Kid and Mr. Miyagi, Rick and Morty, J Cole and Kanye. The story of the false prophet and the lost boy is a story that has been retold and relived for centuries. The notion that it is ok for young boys to follow the guidance of an unqualified older male in order to fulfill some great destiny is troubling.
The idolization of false prophets by boys in an attempt to become men makes me wonder if it is Art imitating life, life imitating art or a little bit of both. The examples above are not the first time that we see boys attempting to become men or men attempting to become gods. In fact this is a prevalent theme in western stories. Also, where do the girls stand in all this?
As a pre-teen I would watch Sailor Moon, the story of a young dumb girl in search of her destiny. As a girl this was one of the only shows where a girl actually had a destiny larger than herself. However, like many stories where girls attempt to become women or goddesses, they are not supplied with an older, wiser woman to guide them through it all. Why would they do that when all of the older women are being portrayed as witches? No, what they are supplied with is a man. This man becomes their help, their torture and their goal all at once.
The notion of a girl having a destiny to begin with was so important to us that the fact that Sailor Moon was too young for Tuxedo Mask, the fact that he treated her horribly and did nothing to really help in battles but throw roses at her, and the fact that her ultimate destiny was to eventually become a wife and mother completely went over our little heads. What mattered to us most was that Sailor Moon had a destiny greater than herself. What mattered to us was that Sailor Moon had room to grow, that there was a difference between being a girl and a woman and it went beyond the changes our bodies go through at an age where we barely know what it means to be a person, much less a woman.
Boys and men have always had the luxury of having destinies to fulfill. Their bodies do not dictate whether they are boys or men, their actions do. For us females it has always been different. Even now as we see a growing trend of strong female leads in the media, we still have a long way to go.
We have reached a point where females are being seen as tough and independent without the help of a man. This is great and exciting, however regardless of how ridiculous a false prophet may seem, females need to have this luxury. And not in the way that the fairy godmother helps Cinderella get pretty for a man. But in the way that we are able to see other women as worthy enough to follow. In order for a girl to be able to look up to a woman, that woman has to be beautiful, smart, wise and kind. In order for a boy to be able to look up to a man, all that man has to be is a male with similar interests.
The fact is that all prophets are false prophets. We are all following our own paths and when our paths do coincide, we arrive there by completely different means. But to grow up in a world where the older women are witches, while the older men are prophets says a lot about the way we perceive our reality as women.
As we unlock the chains set for us, we begin to see how many more restraints we are currently living with. Every human being is secretly fighting to control the world, regardless of whether we stay in it or die for it. We are fighting to mold the world closer to our vision of what it should be. Whether our intentions are pure or not is another story. It would be not an honor, but a right for women to be portrayed as having a destiny. To then give our gender the importance it deserves, we must understand that we are not just capable of being destined for greatness, but also of leading each other through womanhood.
We are born in one world, live in another and die in the one we’ve created. It is only fair that we have equal share in the creation of the world that we as a gender give birth to.