Preface: Wonder Woman is among the greatest films I have EVER seen. THANK YOU to all of the women and men involved in that movie. Below are some thoughts I’ve been mulling over since Diana Prince became my favorite superhero of all time.
I saw Wonder Woman with my sister the other night. I had been hesitant to, and I’ll do my best to try to explain why. I am not a feminist. You might want to write me off or start throwing rocks as I know this is not seen as educated or progressive, but I have to be honest in saying that there is much about what the feminist movement has become today that does not jive with what I believe. Maybe that’s more of a personal preference than a moral assessment, but I have often been acutely unsettled by the method and the madness. For those of you that do identify as feminist, I am not lumping all of you into one category. That would be naive, un-kind, narrow-minded, and impossible. But I do feel like much of the goodness about the concept of feminism–all encompassing femininity and womanhood, as I define it–is drowned out under the perverted noise and never-ending volley between what seems to have become a cultural game of who can be the most abrasive or cutting, as if that shows power. I’m old-fashioned through and through, because I think something beautiful and special about woman-kind has been almost erased from existence. The very real oppression women have experienced over the years is not unique to our sex, and is a symptom of the same evil that caused The Crusades, The Holocaust, the near wiping out of North American Indians, slavery, The Inquisition, racism (a tragedy that women were and are just as responsible for as men), the sex-trade, child abuse, spousal abuse, emotional abuse, and the list goes on and on for nearly as long as humanity has walked the earth.
Diana Prince gave me hope for the first time in years.
In one fell swoop, Wonder Woman 2017 separated being a strong woman from being a feminist.
Hear me out.
Diana Prince was not a feminist.
She just wasn’t, because her fight was never for mere equality.
It hardly seemed on her radar.
Diana was a woman.
A good woman.
A kind woman.
A principled woman.
A fearless woman.
A loving woman.
A supportive woman.
She knew how to be the supporter and the leader.
The protector and the defender.
It was never “one or the other.”
Her sense of identity defeated any chance of even fearing the concept of being in another’s shadow.
Diana Prince never demanded anything because she was a woman.
Anything she did demand was on track with her fight to eradicate evil.
The courtroom scene stands out to me:
The men were appalled at the presence of a woman in their place of politics.
She never flinched at their prejudice.
Never even reacted.
It was almost as if she didn’t even notice,
As if she was blind to the very existence of prejudice.
She just “was.”
And because of who she was, she just “did.”
She never tried to be a man.
It was never a competition.
Not even once.
There was only purpose.
Any notion of a fight for equality evaporated under her sense of justice.
Justice for others.
Not for herself.
She never picketed.
She stood for goodness.
The kind of goodness that is real and rare.
She managed to be idealistic in a dark situation that demanded she make difficult decisions.
She learned to separate the goodness in man from the darkness they often succumbed to.
She battled, struggled and grappled with what love really means.
She knew that it was not something that could be earned or deserved.
It was simply given.
Her strength and independence never emasculated the one she loved.
Instead, it highlighted the beauty of their need for each other.
Oh, that women today would be like Diana Prince.
We are not called to be feminist.
We are called to be women.
Women not bound by entitlement.
Or filled with rage and an obsession for revenge.
Women who’s strength grows in direct correlation to our understanding of love.
Love, like respect or forgiveness,
Is simply given.
True womanhood is selflessness.
True love is selflessness. (Also see: Steve Trevor)
It’s not about what is deserved. (See: Dr. Poison, a female antagonist)
It’s about what is believed.
Thank you, Princess Diana of Themyscira.
I want to be a Wonder Woman.
“Only love can save this world. So I stay. I fight, and I give, for the world I know can be. This is my mission. Now, forever.” Diana Prince, Wonder Woman 2017
P.S. AND THIS IS AN IMPORTANT “P.S.” I could go on and on about my love for this movie, but a lot of it has already been said. I love all of the jiggly thighs, wrinkle lines, and stretch marks. I love that she didn’t have a perfect blowout in every action scene (but who am I kidding, Gal Gadot is one of the most breathtaking women I’ve ever seen). I’m in awe of the nod they gave to the dimensions of not only strength and love, but also of pain, that comes with being a woman who fights for good in an evil world. I was reminded of Biblical women like Rahab, Deborah, Jael, and Abigail, all warriors in their own right… some with the weight of blood on their hands, as did Diana. Even more incredible is that this movie did not have a God-complex. The Greek mythology mirrored Biblical accounts of the origin of evil, and the concept of God was not skewed into being seen as anything but good. I also deeply admire the way they chose to depict the women on Themyscira: honorable, fierce, tender, selfless, brave–and yet not afraid to show fear (for example, Diana’s mother, Hippolyta, wanted to keep her safe… with pure love being her motivation)–filled with purpose, and without a trace of conniving, manipulation, jealousy, or distain for each other (or for men, I might add). May this be what womanhood comes to mean, and let it begin with me.
P.S.S. I just read through a bit of a comment thread discussing the scrutiny Gal Gadot’s body received due to being cast as Wonder Woman. Almost every comment was from a male complaining that a “shapeless woman” had been cast for Wonder Woman. SAY WHAT. I mean…. WHAT?! According to them, she didn’t have big enough hips, was too skinny, and her boobs weren’t big enough. Cue my own battle with rage, God help me. This aspect of the feminist movement I do agree with. But objectification of women stems from the same evil mentioned above. It comes from a complete lack of respect for women, largely coddled and encouraged by the unhealthy expectations that come from the pornography industry, which caters directly to the heart of human selfishness. I don’t have anything further to say about this, and I have no idea as to a solution beyond the eradication of evil and the sure hope of Heaven. If the child inside of me is a boy, I pray that I raise him to be a good man that chooses to funnel his desires into the woman he loves with everything he has to give.
It’s all a battle, folks. All of life is a war.