Hi there, and welcome to Thunderfems! If this is your first time listening, I’m Dana, and in this podcast I dig deep into gender issues of my favorite childhood cartoon, Thundercats. I also talk about my relationship with Greg, and sometimes I get a little emotional. Last week I told you how he was getting even more distant, and how things seemed to be building to a crisis. Well, I’m glad to say that’s all over now. Greg is… gone. Sorry, I’m… okay, just a sniffle. Anyway, I’m single these days, so an empowered woman like Cheetara is such a significant role model for me.

Today we’re talking about the Season 2 episode “The Telepathy Beam.” The story begins with Vultureman building a device that fucks with Cheetara’s sixth sense, creating false visions of danger that lead the Thundercats on various wild goose chases; meanwhile, the Luna-Taks capture Panthro and force him to make modifications to the Sky-Tomb.

So basically the episode is about gaslighting. And believe me, I know all about gaslighting. Greg was constantly running me down, trying to control me by saying things like, “Don’t you think you should look for a job instead of podcasting about cartoons all the time?” and “You should definitely talk to your doctor before you decide to go off your meds.”

Can you believe it? I mean, he was so abusive. Just like Vultureman. I’m tearing up a little bit here, but really, I’m so glad he’s gone.

Have you tried Blue Apron? Let me tell you, it’s changed my life. I used to work hard creating gourmet meals for me and Greg, but he would use that as another opportunity to make me doubt myself, saying things like, “Are you sure this is kale from the garden, because it looks like pigweed” and “This chicken is raw.” He was negging me, trying to gain power over me. But now he’s gone and I use Blue Apron and I’m finally free, even if I do get a little sad sometimes. But then I just visit the cellar for a while, and when I feel better, my box from Blue Apron is ready and waiting!

Vultureman is also manipulating Cheetara by exploiting her inherent nurturing qualities. The first false vision he sends depicts the Ro-Bear Berbil village, a locus of domestic harmony, as under attack. Naturally, Cheetara’s instinct is to protect the little robot teddy bear-things, asexual beings that are also othered in the male-dominated society of Third Earth. The second false vision, depicting the Warrior Maidens being victimized, is even more on the nose. Of course Cheetara is going to defend her sisters, as Vultureman knows all too well.

Just like Greg knew I wouldn’t accept a breakup, not on his terms. I keep the house and we split everything fifty-fifty? I don’t think so, mister. You’re not going to take away my power. You hear me, Greg? Are you listening down there? I own my truth, no one’s going to tell me what to do! Not you, and not the voices!

I could spend a whole episode on the oppressive phallic imagery of Vultureman’s beak, but we’ll get into that another time.

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In the end, of course, Cheetara learns to trust herself and reclaims her power, just like I did when I solved the Greg problem. She reaches deep inside herself and gathers her strength into an energy beam, with which she destroys the telepathy beam. Vultureman probably didn’t know what was happening at first, but then, the screams… It must have been messy there in Castle Plun-darr. Lots of cleanup. Carrying the broken machine downstairs. Hiding it away.

But still, it’s what she had to do to get her agency back, and in the end, she was stronger than ever. She still has visions… voices… but they make her more powerful. Did you feel how powerful I am, Greg? Did you feel it, over and OVER AND OVER?

Um, I think that’s it for today’s show. Please rate, review, and subscribe.