She-Ra and the Power of Lesbianism


Yes, I know the actual title is She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, but this is AfterEllen. What were you expecting? And if you watched the last season of this show, you know damn well how accurate I am. But, let’s start from the beginning. The Netflix show, a reboot of the original 1980’s show, tells the story of Adora, the new She-Ra and her journey to become the hero Etheria needs. But she has a steep learning curve as the very planet itself holds a weapon that catches the eye of Horde Prime, the galaxy’s big bad.

In this last season, Adora and crew must figure out how to keep Horde Prime from activating the planetary weapon that would destroy Etheria and give him enough power to make the Death Star look like your cat’s laser toy. And up until this point, we were only given little nuggets of lesbianism. Subtext between Adora and Catra, little moments between Netossa and Spinerella, and Scorpia’s crush on Catra. Season five didn’t just give us nuggets, we got the whole chicken.

Caution, there will be spoilers ahead.

Magic Wives

Netossa and Spinnerella were introduced in the first season. Netossa has the power to, well, toss nets. Very self-explanatory. Spinnerella uses the wind to spin us right round, baby right round, like a record. Anyway, we had bits and pieces — enough to know they were definitely a couple. But this season confirmed they’re married. And more than that, gives us a compelling storyline that echoes Captain America: The Winter Soldier. What do you do when the one you love most cannot remember you, attacks you, and is being controlled by someone else? Netossa had to deal with just that when her wife was chipped, effectively becoming mind controlled.

Watching the lover fight tugs at the heart strings. It’s hard not to get emotional when Netossa pleads with her wife to remember her.

And that’s enough for her to breakthrough the mind control. Despite it all, Netossa never gives up on her wife. And it pays off. Spinnerella is able to break through long enough for her wife and her friends to remove the chip. 

The couple end up fighting side by side, complete with a romantic end-of-battle kiss. But Spinnerella wasn’t the only who suffered mind control… 

Till the End of the Line

Now that you’re warmed, let’s get to the main event: Adora and Catra. These two have been friends since childhood, but Adora’s decision to leave the Horde dealt an emotional blow to Catra. This theme of abandonment and being left behind is huge in the final season and plays a big role in Catra’s redemption arc. Now, on a scale of one to Prince Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender, Catra’s redemption ranks at about a five. It could have started earlier in the series. Her decision to redeem herself could have been done not because her plan started to go sour, but because she truly felt the need to. But, we’ll take it! It all begins when Catra decides to sacrifice herself to save Glimmer.

She even goes out of her way to tell Adora not to come for her. But of course she doesn’t listen. And when Adora finds her, it is truly reminiscent of The Winter Solider. Catra’s been chipped. But Adora won’t give up on her. And eventually, Catra breaks through. It was her honesty with Adora that helped her become She-Ra again after a what could only be described as a sword-block. No, not like that, you little nasties. The She-Ra sword was broken and without it, Adora is unable to transform. That is until seeing Catra in trouble pulled her out of the belly of the whale. We were blessed with this image of Adora’s new She-Ra. Is it a coincidence that her new headpiece mirrors that of Catra’s old one? I think not. 

But no one, not even the toughest cat on the planet, can recover from something so invasive right away. That isn’t something Adora really understands. And with Catra struggling to communicate how she really feels, it didn’t make for a perfect reunion. Slowly, but surely Catra came out of her shell. Even going so far as to apologize, something she said she’d never do and asking Adora to stay when she’s scared. She was on her way to healing.

The Power of Lesbianism

As the season progressed, so did Catra’s ability to openly express her feelings. And work with with a team. It’s like the old saying, “if you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends.”

We saw them joking around, being cute, and most importantly being honest. It was smooth sailing from there. Just kidding! Shadow Weaver planted a seed of doubt, and by the goddess did that seedling sprout.

But, there was an ounce in truth in her words. Adora is distracted by Catra. Her feelings for her were confusing because of their complicated past. Meanwhile, our kitten is still struggling with her trauma. The last thing she needs is someone even suggesting Adora doesn’t want her around.

How many of us have been in that position? How many of us have had our hearts broken this way? How many of us are currently writing this and have had their heart broken again because this happened to them in February and they’re not entirely over it yet… Anyway, Catra was wrong. And the entire planet is grateful for that. Why? During the final episode’s climax, Adora is grievously injured. The Horde is overwhelming their friends. The planet is collapsing. Things are not ideal. Catra does her best to keep our hero awake, but it almost wasn’t enough. Almost. That is until Catra finally tells Adora she loves her.

Those three words were enough to pull her out of unconsciousness. She reciprocates. And what happens next was astounding. They share a kiss. And that kiss was enough to heal Adora. It was enough to stop the planet from collapsing. It was enough to give Adora the strength to transform into She-Ra and save the world.

Ladies, lesbian love saved the day.

Pure of Heart, Dumb of Ass

We mentioned the wives and the heroes of this story, but one person deserves a shout out. Scorpia. She has grown so much since the beginning of the show, and that type of growth deserves praise. She learned to to stand up for herself, to recognize her own worth, and what it means to be a good friend. Yes, it would have been great for her to have a girlfriend after all that, considering how long she spent pining over Catra. For a minute it seemed like maybe there was something there between her and Scorpia. Despite this, she had a happy ending because she got exactly what she’s always wanted, friends she can openly love and support, who openly love and support her.

She may have a hard body, but she has a soft heart. And even the group’s muscle deserves some love.

For the Honor… of Lesbians

I’ll admit, I had my doubts with She-Ra. I thought it would be something I watch for the subtext. I would have been okay with that. But the final season said to hell with subtext. Sure, they pulled a Bubbline and waited until the last possible episode. But today, I’m okay with that. Why? During this final season, the main objective was to reach the “heart” so so that “magic” could be set free to save the world from an army of hive-minded clones. A kiss between two young women saved the world. Maybe the whole point was to reach our own hearts, so we could be free as lesbians, in a world that wants so much for us to be hive-minded clones.

When I spoke to an older lesbian friend of mine who watched the original She-Ra cartoon from the ’80s, she said to me, “if I had seen that, I probably would have accepted myself sooner.” Imagine the power this show has to help younger lesbians today. But there was so much more to it than that. Sure, this show give us all types of lesbians, including a lesbian hero. But it also taught a lesson that I still struggle with in all my twenty-nine years of being alive. You are more than what you can do for others.

It is a powerful lesson for female viewers of all ages. Pair that with the the fact that a kiss and the love between two young women saved the day, it makes for one hell of a show. And that my babes, is the power of lesbianism.

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