We need female heroes. We need to see ourselves portrayed as confident, powerful and skilled.
We need media to reflect our real lives more than it has.
A box-office hit, “Wonder Woman” is storytelling about a worthy leader, who just happens to be female. Like it’s normal, right? (wink)
Of course it is, to women everywhere that study, work, raise families, and contribute value.
Too bad it’s been rare: females are usually stereotyped as videogame sexpots, props to male leads, or … are missing entirely.
Gender inequity in media
- Females don’t get speaking parts, if any (2016 report)
- 81% of characters with jobs are male
- Male point of view (HuffPost on Wonder Woman’s male lens)
Media tells us what is possible
- We are either “inspired or limited by what we see”
- Strong AND graceful (“Fighting does not make you a hero”)
- Representation affects self-image and treatment
“Wonder Woman” pluses
- Female director, bulk of cast, star
- No male-bashing, just full expectation of equality “Fresh Feminism”
- Wonder Woman is fierce AND compassionate (Guardian OpEd)
“Wonder Woman” conventions to conquer
- Scantily clad (thankfully though, not spilling out of her top)
- Wedge-heeled warriors (as if Amazon women aren’t tall enough) Sexy or stupid?
Apparently the Amazons switched to flats for combat, and the actor herself wore flats on her press tour “for comfort.” OBVIOUSLY.
- A beautiful star (The director called this wish fulfillment. Should looks always matter for women?)
Wonder Woman named United Nations Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls; actors Gal Gadot and Lynda Carter. 10/21/16 Reuters
The UN ended Wonder Woman’s ambassadorship early, after a petition complained about the white character’s buxom bod, showcased in a tight revealing outfit. Note this happened 6 months before the movie opened, with the current depiction missing the impossible proportions or expected pinup objectifying.
On a long road toward gender equality, this film was still a step forward for females.
Entertainment can change expectations.
My favorite line was when the fretful male spy cautioned Wonder Woman: “I can’t let you do that.”
She replied matter-of-factly, “You don’t have a say in what I do.” Now that is progress.
More reviews: CNN argues empowerment issue ♦ USA Today- 5 feminist moments ♦ Popsugar thumbs-up