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Starr Striker Should Remain Capitol City's Resident Superhero, by Keisha Cole, 10th Grade Student

Amanda Helms writes stuff, generally of the science fictional and fantasy variety. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Cast of Wonders, Intergalactic Medicine Show, and the Cackle of Cthulhu anthology. She lives in her home state of Colorado with (depending on time of publication) her fiance/husband and rescue Boxer mix. She enjoys reading, quality tea, and serial commas. Visit her online via her neglected website at amandahelms.com or her somewhat less neglected Twitter account, @amandaghelms.
***Editor's Note: Deceptively Adult Story. Mature Subject and Language***
Argument
Despite the call to ban Starr Striker from Capitol City for "attacking" Captain Thunder, she should remain our resident superhero.
Supports, Including a Minimum of Three Citations
She tweets cute baby octopus pictures every Thursday.
She loves dim sum and cardamom ice cream.
She's kept her hair natural.
Even though shooting balls of plasma from your fingertips has to be hella painful, she fights for us anyway.
It's important for young Black women such as myself to have positive Black female role models.
It's important for all people to have positive Black female role models.
Starr doesn't care that she's been the most popular Halloween costume for Capitol City girls aged five to nine--plus some boys--for three years running, and each year she posts pictures of herself with mini Starr Strikers on Facebook and Twitter.
She has a reason for wearing those black stiletto boots that goes beyond looking hot, as when she pinned Magma Master's hand to the ground with one ("These boots are made for stompin'," www.superherovids.com).
She insisted on changing the name Doctor Corona gave her from Starr Struck to Starr Striker, saying she's someone who acts, not someone who is acted upon ("About Starr," www.starrstriker.com).
She resists the media's demand that she remain beautiful at all times, as demonstrated in her interview with Capitol City Action News: When the cameraman offered her some powder, she said, "Dude, I've spent the last thirty minutes flying into a burning building, saving people. Yes, I'm going to have a shiny forehead" ("Starr Striker interview." Capitol City Action News!).
After her fight with Wyld Woman, she apologized about the destruction of the Capitol City Humane Society, promised to pay for its reconstruction, and adopted one of the displaced cats ("Episode 1093." Capitol City News Hour).
Even that destruction is still just one-tenth the average of what Magma Master, Wyld Woman, and Starr's former mentor Doctor Corona have caused ("Scourges or Saviors: Statistics on the Destruction Caused by Superpowered Individuals." Capitol City Monthly).
When female staffers spoke up about being sexually harassed by Mayor White ("Women Accuse Mayor White of Sexual Harassment." Capitol City Times), there wasn't the same amount of uproar to impeach him as there is to ban Starr ("Polls Say Mayor Should Remain in Office." Capitol City Times).
The reason why Starr blasted Captain Thunder into the wall at the Governor's Inaugural Ball was because he tried to kiss her without her consent. She'd already made it clear his advances weren't welcome (Security footage, Governor's Inaugural Ball 11.01.2036) so people saying she attacked him unprovoked is bullshit. If I'd been able to see that video when I was eleven, maybe I would've known how to say no to my uncle.
Maybe I would've known saying no was an option in the first place.
Conclusion
Starr has zero fucks to give about people who call her an animal or subhuman or nonhuman, who shout about her "failures" but keep silent about Steel Son's embezzlement and Magma Master's heroin addiction and Captain Thunder's entitlement to female bodies, and she has zero fucks to give people like you, Mr. Thorn, who think that Starr's "attack" on Captain Thunder--especially when he accosted her first--and the resulting debate about banning her from Capitol City makes "an interesting topical civics assignment requiring a minimum of three sources," but whether Mayor White should be impeached warrants only a five minute discussion during which you said we shouldn't speculate based on only a single resource, "no matter how prestigious" (Thorn, Randall. Civics 111).
Watching her means now I have zero fucks to give about this assignment and how my "failure to adhere to the proper format will result in a nonpassing grade."
Even if bigots get their way and she's banned from the city, she's still my hero.
--Keisha Cole
The End
This story was first published on Monday, September 4th, 2017


This story originated from a Codex Writer's Group contest, based on the prompt "Give us a hero." I essentially shifted that to "take away a hero"--then simmering rage set in, and that became Keisha's voice. While the contest feedback was overall positive, "Starr Striker" is the most political story I've written, and some people commented that it's perhaps too on-the-nose. I considered that, but decided that sometimes, on-the-nose is necessary. Sometimes, like Keisha, like Starr, we need to be finished with politeness and finished softening our words. Sometimes, we need rage.

- Amanda Henderson

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