Childhood Heroine #3: The Sorceress
In retrospect, the Sorceress in Masters of the Universe didn’t do a whole lot except hang out in Castle Grayskull, make mysterious pronouncements, and turn into a giant bird. But if you were seven in the early ’80s and looking for female role models, you could a whole lot worse. The best thing about the Sorceress was that she allowed me to adopt a dual role when playing He-Man with Joshua Wigley in Orange, Texas: I was She-Ra when we visited Etheria and the Sorceress when we went to Eternia. Joshua was, of course, always He-Man. In my private version of the story, She-Ra and the Sorceress were the same person, concealing her true nature from He-Man for secret reasons of her own.
She-Ra had a complex inner life in my mind.
It never occurred to me to be Teela. Teela looked pretty tough with her armor and butch haircut, but when it came down to it she spent all her time getting kidnapped and teaching Orko not to eat the drug berries. Even as a kid, her version of strong womanhood seemed false, a pose adopted to score points with the men of her rough-and-tumble planet without doing anything genuinely heroic. In her own way, Teela taught me to understand Sarah Palin.
This does not, of course, apply to the considerably more badass version of Teela in the Masters of the Universe movie. Speaking of which, that movie is surprisingly entertaining, especially any time Dolph Lundgren tries to say words.