Fine girl. Fine boy. Lots of reviews hailing it as a feminist revolution. And lots of reviews calling it a feminist flop. So why wasn’t I impressed? I’ve been looking forward to this movie since last year.
Apparently I’m not the only one. Christina Cauterucci at Slate wrote:
I wondered why I’d come into the movie expecting some energizing woke-feminist manifesto instead of a film that stars one sexy woman surrounded by throngs of horny men
Pretty much how I felt.
I was hoping Wonder woman would bring some extraordinary insight into our notions of masculinity – I mean seeing as she had never seen a man before meeting Steven but all she had to say was ‘Are you typical of men?’ and apparently referring to his penis. Seriously? And then she falls in love with him. Why? Other than his pretty eyes and ‘above average’ penis?
The most feminist thing about the movie maybe its female lead, its female director and its female only screenings. It’s full of sexist comments by male actors while featuring no sex at all, very ladylike fight scenes and apparently it’s fuelling Jewish/Arab conflict because the Gal Gadot is Jewish even if Wonder Woman isn’t.
Diana herself is so naive I’m not even sure that she should be a role model for young girls. It plays to the female saintly but strong trope I find rather questionable and I find it hard to reconcile with the very overt sexualization of her image. Its still the old Madonna versus the Whore narrative, just slightly tweaked.
I read Zoe Williams’ review in the Guardian which promised me ‘a gloriously badass breath of fresh air’ before seeing the movie and I swear I will never read another review BEFORE watching a movie again. I think she set my expectations even higher than they were before.
Nevertheless, the fact I found the movie intellectually disappointing does not change the impact ‘Wonder Woman’ had on me growing up and creating my own female identity. I would have just told the story different.