My friends and I would watch the Batman t.v. show–already in reruns–after school. We’d wear make-shift capes made from towels pinned around our necks with clothespins and we’d scramble in and out of the canyons behind our houses or ride our bikes (they were probably Big Wheels or tricycles) through the neighborhood solving imaginary crimes.
Tony Pellegrino was Batman (it should be noted that he is now a police officer) and Timmy, whose last name I don’t remember, was younger and smaller, so he played Robin.
As the only girl, I was Batgirl.
The actor who played Batgirl in that campy television series, Yvonne Craig, passed away yesterday and when I saw a post about it on Facebook, the first thing that came to mind was my memory of those times playing with Tony and Timmy and believing that anything was possible.
Was Batgirl a symbol of female power? I don’t know–she was certainly captured a lot more often than Batman… and why wasn’t she named Batwoman? At age six I didn’t care. To my child self, Batgirl wore a pretty, shiny purple cape, ran around with a couple of boys fighting crime, and rode her own motorcycle. Batgirl was smart and stronger than most of the other women on television…. she may not have been a superhero in real life, but she did advocate for equal pay for women. My adult self appreciates that: