Wonder Woman. The movie. Finally. People have been talking about it and the politics of it production for many months and then some.
This is a case where the movies marry feminism, and the 2010s feminist zeitgeist has a role; Katniss Everdeen became a heroic movie icon (although not on-purpose), Sheryl Sandberg exhorted career women to Lean In, and Emma Watson, as a Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women, launched the He For She initiative with a memorable speech.
That’s not all; if you paid attention to C-Span (yeah, that’s probably a stretch) then you saw the book discussion in November about Wonder Woman, called The Secret History of Wonder Woman, and the man who created her, William M. Marston! Yep. A woman didn’t birth her. But one, Jill Lepore, wrote that book.
Got your attention? Without reporting on or monitoring the following the news of the film’s production, and the inevitable politics, it’s hard to avoid comment when the bias and even misogyny are clear, and clearly backward in this era.
According to Scott Mendelsohn’s piece in Forbes magazine, Move Over Katniss, Wonder Women Can be the Feminist Superhero We Crave, as exemplary and charismatic as Katniss Everdeen is, girls and women deserve an iconic hero who is one because she chooses to be one. Girls and women deserve an on-purpose-hero. He makes valid and provocative points.
And Wonder Woman is that action hero. It’s strange though that, Lynda Carter is the lone woman to have brought her to live-action life. Unless Millennial women dig vintage TV shows, they may have heard of her Wonder Woman, but not yet watched her. Clearly she belongs on a big screen!
Men run Hollywood. For some reason there’s been no Wonder Woman on-screen since Lynda Carter’s left in 1979. Men don’t want to see her? Are female production chiefs afraid to explicitly support female-led films? The politics and machinations behind gender equity are often complex and confusing.
It’s hard to understand why they would say no. But sometimes its easy to forget how fragile men’s often large egos can be. Are the men who run Hollywood timid or insecure about or afraid to see self-sufficient women leading their own lives? You have to deduce that the answer is “yes”.
From the point of view of a male feminist, who believes that stories about full-faceted females are welcome, and too few and far between, the image of Wonder Woman vs. Hollywood connotes a dissonance.
A great story is a great story. If it provides girls and women with or reminds them of a high-profile superhero and a mentality and framework where they see themselves as being equally as capable as boys and men, that’s good. If they don’t need to shrink from or hide their wits or other virtues in order to comfort men then what, then it’s a success. Yes?
Comic books and the movies about them seem to be littered with kick-ass and bad-ass heros. They are overwhelmingly male. What about the idea of women having female role models on a big screen threatens men’s senses of self; the idea that women mustn’t have one candidly feminist superhero to themselves; one that’s known nation-wide and even world-wide?
Well, Patty Jenkins, who directed a disparate and indelible film, Monster, will bring Wonder Woman to a cineplex, soon…