I am freshly returned from the movie theater where I took in Wonder Woman. No jokes, please. I don’t often go to the movies. There are lots of reasons. Mostly, the movies that are made these days are less than interesting. Watching stories written, produced, and about white men is not so appealing and that is mostly what exists… (Read this: ACLU Article, side note, this article did not entice me to go to see the Wonder Woman, I was literally in the theater, 30 minutes in, when my wife emailed it to me.)
Spoiler alert, Wonder Woman is a strong, powerful, thoughtful woman and the message of the movie is one of the power of love, good vs. evil, and women kick ass. As the movie starts out, you see a lush island, Themyscira, full of partially (scantily, shall I say) clothed women sparring with weapons. If you’re like me, you’ll swoon, and that is before you realize that Claire, I mean Robin Wright, is among them…
And that is just the beginning. Sure, the heroine falls in love with the male co-star, and there is lots of fighting, exploding, and several male ‘helpers’ in her journey to save the world (there is a message about teamwork and everyone having value somewhere in there). But, ultimately, she is a woman in a world surrounded by men, men in power, men telling her what to do and what not to do, and she gives zero fucks. At one point, there is outrage as she slips into a room filled with men discussing uber important things and the simple point is made, “what do you mean women cannot go into the Parliament?” Unacceptable. Then she’s walking through the front line bunkers and encounters a woman and baby that no one is helping, she stops, shrugs off the men around her telling her to focus, climbs out of the bunker, walks across the field, and takes the other side. Seriously, no fucks.
There are elements of feminism throughout and moments where even now I’m left replaying the scenes and connecting the feminist dots. There are moments where she questions herself and her abilities (I guess it’s not just me, female superheros are not immune to impostor syndrome either). Moments where she folds to her emotions, and moments where she outwits, outfights, and out-everythings the men around her.
No, this movie does not fix all of our problems. It does not make women equal in the workplace, narrow the pay gap, or change the attitudes of the many people that perpetuate gender stereotypes and notions that women are somehow less valuable or capable than men. Nothing will fix these problems overnight, certainly not one motion picture. However, Wonder Woman, a big budget film directed by an actual woman, provides an image and a story line of a strong female lead saving the world. And more than that, she sets off to save the world without sacrificing her femininity, emotions, morals or her sense of self. This is the message that we all need to hear. Now and always.
Did you see the movie yet? What did you think?