Patty Jenkins’s Wonder Woman premiered just over there weeks ago, shattering box office records and glass ceilings alike. A female-led superhero film directed by a female director, I went to see it opening weekend with high hopes.
I was not disappointed. What I found was feminism as it was meant to be, as I believe it should be. It was so goddamn beautiful, I nearly cried.
Diverse female characters and body types
We have wrinkled women, skinny women, muscular women, white women, and melanin goddesses. (I almost screamed when Niobe came on screen. She’s a perfect example of the amazing, refreshing representation and that’s on Themyscira alone.)
And for female roles, there are women as generals, mothers, warriors, caretakers, victims, oppressors mad scientists, secretaries, YOU NAME IT. Women are finally shown in a variety of roles besides the overdone femme fatale, waif, and man-hater.
This film has two messages: women are badasses and war is bad. Though Diana is a boss in every sense of the word, she never dehumanizes her opponents.
She tries to save anyone she can, fighting for her enemies as much as her allies. She truly stands for the human rights of EVERYONE.
Acknowledgement of female sexuality, but not defined by it
Diana is not shy talking about “pleasures of the flesh” as she puts it. Nor is there denial of men’s attraction to her. But rather than fall into the trap of low-cut breastplates and lingering shots of widespread legs, Diana’s sexuality is her own.
It’s portrayed as something in her control, not something flaunted while she remains seemingly oblivious or convinced it’s tactically advantageous, like Black Widow.
Stand up for yourself without tearing others down
Diana and the Amazons stand up for themselves, do what they think is right, and don’t let being female limit them. You’re probably thinking “they had better,” but it doesn’t stop there.
Even in the rigid, openly sexist world of pre-suffrage Europe, we see Diana inspire women and men alike to do the right thing and damn the consequences. Soldiers, civilians, secretaries, and refugees, she empowers everyone, female and male. She’s perfect.
Not only do we have Diana speaking “hundreds of languages” with a highly diverse Amazonian homeland, her sidekicks include a Scotsman with PTSD, a Native American (yes, it’s in Europe, but trust me, it works), and Middle Eastern man. (Three heavily marginalized groups, even more so in WWI.)
Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins are my new #LifeGoals and I am so grateful for this film. Not just the experience itself, but also the conversations it’s started. I’m seeing self-professed anti-feminists support the film’s message and it gives me hope. We’ll turn them yet, folks!
In short, I believe we have achieved peak feminism.
Have you seen Wonder Woman yet? What did you think?