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Is Wonder Woman Really the Best We Can Do?

BY MAGGIE WHITMORE                                                                                                                                                   ONLINE CONTRIBUTOR

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Image courtesy of Warner Bros.

*SPOILERS*

Did I miss something? Did I go into the wrong movie theatre? Because the Wonder Woman movie that I watched was anything but a “feminist masterpiece” or “a movie of female empowerment.”

When countless articles began filling my timeline about it being the feminist masterpiece of the century, I went into the movie with high hopes for a film worthy of its praise.

But from the start, I wanted jump out of seat and tell the waiter that they got my order wrong.

Her sex appeal becomes a main focus of the movie, with men drooling over her throughout as she’s clad in the classic (but unsuitable for a warrior) Wonder Woman costume. Where is the armor? Where’s the appropriate get-up for a super hero who is fighting to restore peace on earth?

The idea of a sexy and competent woman quickly becomes the entire point of the movie and even gets old even quicker. While many claim that the movie is empowering because “her thighs touch”, that simply is not good enough anymore- especially not when she’s half naked for the whole movie. 

Like most Hollywood movies, romance is central to the plot. At the end of Wonder Woman, she is only able to muster up enough strength to save the world because she thinks of the man she loves(who she had only just met). She couldn’t think of the women and children dying during the war or world peace- she had to think about love, because that’s the only way a woman can be strong right?  

At some points she might as well have been brushing her hair with a fork and been named Ariel. She had no common sense and it got to the point where I found myself rolling my eyes, more than once. More than that, the movie barely passed the Bechdel test.

Something else that I can’t go too in depth about because that’s for a whole other article, is the fact that this movie was not even close to intersectional. The people of colour in the movie were simply thrown into the background, having one or two lines. Most likely so the director could say, “look, I did it, I made it more diverse.” But if a movie is going to be empowering, it needs to be empowering for everyone watching. The same thing goes for having a powerful female protagonist. The mere existence of Diana is not good enough- she needs to give young women the feeling that they are confident and strong, not just desirable to the men around them.

I know it’s a lot to ask from one movie, but is it really that difficult to do? Will withholding more skin for a more realistic costume cost the box office that much?

The movie itself was enjoyable to watch, once you realize that it’s just like every other super hero movie out there with half-naked women who can’t live without love.