Why Wonder Woman is Important to Modern Feminist Culture

By Gillian King

The Crown (Wilmette, Illinois)

Let me begin by defining feminism, according to Merriam-Webster.

Feminism is: 

  1. The theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.
  2. Organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.

Feminism is not hatred of men, nor the ideology that women should take men out of power. Feminism is equality among the genders, and it stands for all.

Thus, the ideal female leader would be one that strives for the justice and the common good for all, not only women. Additionally, the ideal successful female leader would not be coined a successful female leader, but simply a leader in and of itself. There is perhaps no greater modern example of this ideal than in the 2017 movie, “Wonder Woman.”

With the release of the movie in June of 2017, many discussions opened up about the portrayal of the female hero, and whether or not Gal Gadot, the leading actress, was overly sexualized, or portrayed in unnecessary perfection.

Though it is true that Gadot is undeniably perfect, her ability to portray a multitude of characteristics is what sets her apart from most attempts to depict a strong female hero. Patty Jenkins, the film’s director stated, “The thing about ‘Wonder Woman,’ which is very feminine and definitely different, is that her objective is to bring love and truth to mankind.”

Ultimately, Princess Diana (Wonder Woman) brings peace to the world through kindness and incessant determination. She stays true to the ideals of the strong women who raised her by maintaining an overriding sense of independence. Additionally, her nature is the ultimate paradox between unbreakable strength and sensitivity to the suffering of humanity.

Throughout the film, Diana attracts many followers, both male and female, to her cause. This proves that her message is not only attractive to females but the general population seeking goodness. Because of this, she represents the equality of those working toward a common goal, and the belief that a strong leader is not representative of his/her gender, but rather a movement as a whole.

Many of opponents of the film argue that due to Wonder Woman’s isolated origins in the realm of the Amazons, she has been raised in an “anti-man” microcosm. However, people who support this argument are failing to take into account the true origins of the Amazons themselves, as they had escaped from imprisonment to strengthen themselves in order to defeat evil in the world once and for all.

In short, “Wonder Woman” is a model for the “correct” depiction of a feminist leader in modern film. Her physique makes a strong, unbreakable forerunner, while her desire for justice and peace makes her a determined visionary.

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