As the mother of a smart, intelligent teenage daughter, I try to instill in her an independence that I did not have at her age. I always say that my IQ dropped 90 points the day that I discovered boys. I wanted some pubescent teen hunk to rescue me from the woes of my horribly boring teen-girl life. And boys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses, right?
Actually, there weren't too many females in the media NOT in need of rescuing in the 80s when I was a preteen and teen. Princess Leia, my favorite movie heroine (hey, I even dressed up like her for Halloween when I was like 10--cinnamin bun hairdo and all), was a strong woman. Ok, so she had Daddy issues and needed to be rescued by Obi Wan, Luke (who had that creepy infatuation for her but we'll forgive him since he didn't know she was his sister--ew!), and Han Solo. But of course, as soon as they released her from her cell, she promptly took over the rescue operation and went on to become the leader that was tough as nails but had a little space in her heart for love (awww!) in the next two movies. Hey, she even rescued Han Solo in that third movie. Sure, she ended up in one of the most humiliating dancing girl costumes ever shown in a movie, complete with a neck chain controlled by a blobby, smelly, disgusting alien, but hey, I'd KILL to look like that in a bikini (I'd probably look closer to Jabba the Hutt in that costume) and she did end up getting herself out of that mess by choking the SOB with his stupid chain. Princess Leia kicked butt and took names.
Contrast that with the later movies, prequels. Leia's mother, Padme Amidala started out strong but by the third movie, she was a sniveling mess, pretty much dying of a broken heart because her insecure, anger-prone husband became Darth Vader. Ug! Is THIS the message I want to show my little girl? Love turns you into a soppy, weak mess. Nope. I'd like to see her get married someday.
My point is, I want a daughter like Princess Leia, able to ask for help when she needs it but with the leadership skills to take charge when she needs to. And maybe she can find love (although not for a few years--Mom is not ready for THAT) without sacrificing her IQ.