A co-worker loaned me this Wonder Woman movie this past weekend. I’m a little bit of a Wonder Woman fan, but I didn’t know as much about her as I thought. My Wonder Woman recollections are (reruns) of the Lynda Carter series. She was gorgeous and got lots of attention; she was strong and a hero. I liked her and wanted to be her for all of those reasons.
However I didn’t know her origins in Greek mythology, or that apparently she was created as a “feminist icon.” She is part of an all-woman tribe that hates men. The feminist part bugs me because anytime anyone tries to make a statement that women are just as capable, equal or superior to men but do so by using a woman’s feminity, body, attractiveness, etc., all they’re doing is just keeping a woman in that role.
The Wonder Woman movie very much functioned in that way, from the skimpy outfit, to the sexual innuendos, to the ending, where Wonder Woman is sad and lost without a man. The messages contradict themselves. Here is this strong woman who can do anything but who also has a perfect body and prances around in what is essentially a strapless swimsuit. The Amazons get mad when men whistle at them or make comments about their beauty, but then they’re the ones putting their bodies on display.
One of my favorite parts, for it’s message, was when the Queen of the Amazons (Wonder Woman’s mother) is about to kill the woman who was a traitor and started the whole conflict, and she says something like, “How could you have betrayed your people?” And the traitor responds that while Amazons are great warriors they are also women who long to love and have children. That, for me, rung true, that yeah, feminism has its cost. Nothing is free.