Why we need Wonder Woman now

To celebrate the superhero turning 75-years-old, the United Nations decided to honour Wonder Woman by naming her as the United Nations ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls. Unfortunately, the older Wonder Woman has gotten, the more criticism she has received. Before the movie was even released, a petition asking the U.N to reconsider earned nearly 45,000 signatures. And less than two months later, the international organization revoked Wonder Woman from the campaign after constant backlash over her sexualised appearance that represent women.
This isn’t the first time the U.N joined forces with pop culture. Honorary ambassadors in the past also included fictional characters such as Winnie the Pooh, Tinker Bell, and Angry Birds.

As a society that is connected through technology, there will always be major implication for social progress and global justice. Therefore as a culture that understands itself as post-feminist, it’s clear to see that Wonder Woman was one of the very first superhero’s to have begun the continued legacy of sexism. This problem of gender equality in Hollywood explains why the movement to classify Wonder Woman as the ambassador created a lot of speculation, not only throughout society, but amongst the United Nation employees.

Wonder Woman actress, Gal Gadot commented on the issue: “They say, ‘If she’s smart and strong, she can’t also be sexy.’ That’s not fair. Why can’t she be all of the above?”

The representation of Wonder woman is a crucial part of a wider ideological field of gendered understandings of power that portray why gender should have mattered in the past, and in the years to come.

Although Wonder Woman received a lot backlash over her ‘sexist’ costume…again, Box Office just released that the Wonder Woman movie ended the Summer by topping $800M worldwide. Now making it the biggest superhero origin movie EVER. According to Forbes, Wonder Woman becomes only the eleventh superhero movie in history to pass $800 million at the global box office, the eighth in history to pass $400 million domestically, only the second 2017 film domestically to pass $400 million, and the fifth 2017 film to top $800 million worldwide.

Not only has she received support from her makers, DC comics, but also from her fans.

Untitled.png

After the controversial issue of her title being revoked, Twitter did it’s job and created a new hashtag for her fans. #WithWonderWoman gave different society’s a way to share their achievements and goals. Both men and women have been using the tag to showcase their strength since.

Untitled.png

As an organisation who’s foundations are based on the ideas of peace and equality, the discrepancies of gender inequalities throughout Hollywood and society has been made clear and as members of the global media, we will all be effected by the effects of the inequality issues through the marketing of these characters. So when does it stop? When another fictional character with no pants and fur is accepted as an ambassador? Or when we stand to fight for what empowerment means rather than judge the appearance of another female?


  1. ABC News. 2017. Wonder Woman scrapped as honorary UN ambassador for empowerment after protests – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-13/wonder-woman-loses-united-nations-ambassador-job/8114832. [Accessed 23 August 2017].
  2. Stabile, C.S, 2009. Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies. 1st ed. University of Oregon: National Communication Association.
  3. Wonder Woman – Movie Reviews – Rotten Tomatoes. 2017. Wonder Woman – Movie Reviews – Rotten Tomatoes. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/wonder_woman_2017/reviews/. [Accessed 20 August 2017].

Advertisements

Wonder woman living in a man’s world.

From Cinderella to Elsa, girls have had a wide range of princesses they could grow up to admire. From Harry Potter to Spider-Man, boys were dared to test their limits and rule the world. But these slight differences are what have caused a divide between an equal society. The entertainment industry for years have taught children that they’re heroes are different – A woman will grow up to clean the house, whilst her husband will be off fighting crime. This has caused a lot of controversy over the years, especially over the topic of pay, merchandise, and the portrayal of women. But what happens when the roles are reversed and the woman is given the credit for being a hero?

th.jpg

In 2017, DC Comics and Warner Bros Studios introduced Wonder Woman to the big screen. The character not only gave guidance to young girls, she portrayed the strength of every woman and mother. She has helped bring a change in society and was even credited by the United Nations in October 2016. The UN decided to appoint Wonder Woman as an honorary ambassador to promote the empowerment of women and gender-based violence in October last year. Her strength depicted the way in which women stood up for themselves and tackled life struggles.

“Wonder Woman is already an ambassador from the Amazons to Man’s world, with the goal of uniting men and women to achieve equality for everyone. But what makes Wonder Woman powerful isn’t that she represents, ‘look what girls can do.’ It’s that she represents, ‘look what girls can already do.’” – DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson.

Unfortunately, her appearance and attire was one that didn’t depict all women and was not approved by everyone. Two months later, Wonder Woman was sacked from her role and some of her fans had turned their back on her. Campaigns sparked an outcry from people believing the fictional character was sexualising women, which resulted in 45,000 petition signatures to remove the character.
U.N. staff protested at headquarters with signs that read “I am not a mascot” and “Let’s get real.” The protest tried to explain that society deserved a human ambassador that young people could look up to rather than a “bodice, and short skirt fictional character.”

Untitled.png

Wonder Woman stands for peace, justice and equality, and for 75 years she has been a motivating force for many and will continue to be long after the conclusion of her UN honorary ambassadorship.” – DC Entertainment spokesperson, Courtney Simmons.

It is obvious to see that women have contributed less to the highly male dominated world of Hollywood. But with the increase of women in lead roles, Warner Bros’ and DC comics have confronted the very real truth of inequality gap in the entertainment industry. Alongside Katniss from the Hunger Games trilogy, these characters have threatened the gap and empowered women to take a step forward in the industry.

#WithWonderWoman

 


  1. BBC News. 2017. Wonder Woman dropped as UN equality champion – BBC News. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38300727. [Accessed 09 August 2017].
  2. Screen Rant. 2017. Wonder Woman Dropped By UN as Equality Champion. [ONLINE] Available at: http://screenrant.com/wonder-woman-un-equality-champion-no-more/. [Accessed 09 August 2017].
  3. The Guardian. 2017. Wonder Woman announced as UN ambassador amid staff protest | Books | The Guardian. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/oct/21/wonder-woman-un-ambassador-staff-protest. [Accessed 01 August 2017].

Freedom of Information

Having the access to hidden information is an important part in society. In Australia, under the Freedom of Information Act 1982, individuals have the right, with limited exceptions, to access to government documents.

This is important for many reasons, including:

1.      FOI allows individuals to see what information government holds about them, and to seek correction of that information if they consider it wrong or misleading.

2.      FOI enhances the transparency of policy making, administrative decision making and government service delivery.

3.      A community that is better informed can participate more effectively in the nation’s democratic processes.

In 2012 the Trio Hedge fund was caught out for being responsible for Australia’s largest superannuation theft, affecting more than 6000 investors. Incidents such as the collapse of the Trio Capital Group raises issues concerning regulators like ASIC and APRA, and had people questioning as to why the largest financial frauds in Australian history had not been investigated.

Because this issue has been so hidden, a group called Victims of Financial Fraud, has helped investigate issues with the government and tax frauds. VOFF executive, John Telford, has helped explain the issues and what VOFF does.

Here is a podcast that goes further in depth to the Victims of Financial Group:

 

If you would live to request document access, here is a link that will help you understand how to apply: https://www.righttoknow.org.au/

 

Animal rights

Last week my mum took me to the Sydney Aquarium. That day out made me rethink of all the wonderful memories I had there as a child; How could I have been allowed to have watched these animals live and suffer in such conditions? Why did the trainers lie to me when they would say the dolphins were sleeping? Why had I been so naïve?
At 21-years-old, I was heart broken to watch a dugong slam into the clear wall of his confinement. At 21-years-old, I was left standing there shocked as I saw the penguins fur dismantled with scratches. At 21-years-old, I knew that these animals weren’t healthy. And at 21-years-old, I know I wont ever return.

Yesterday was more evidence as to why I wouldn’t return, as the local Manly Sea Life Sanctuary, announced the closing of the centre after 50 years. The attraction will be closing after the ageing building has been recorded to be “too expensive to replenish.” They will now be looking for new homes for 107 sharks and rays, 2000 fish, 500 invertebrates, 19 penguins and 11 reptiles…a good option would be setting them free, but hey, they haven’t suffered enough and most will be located to Sydney Harbour Aquarium.


As a child, I fell in love with animals like ‘Babe’ the pig, and deer like ‘Bambi’ ; as an adolescent my admiration for animals grew more as I watched ‘Marley and Me’ and cried for the death of the dog; and as an adult, it has changed to cooing at any chance to see a child terrorise a small kitten. In the end, half of us have owned, held, and loved an animal; and half of us have watched them devastatingly leave.
But still, as kids, as teenagers, and as an adult; we will take any chance to visit the zoo and watch wild animals conform to new environments and suffer in solitude; just for our own entertainment. So what is the difference between keeping a domestic animal in the captivity of our home, and keeping a wild animal in the confinement of four walls? Why is keeping a dog locked in a house, different from keeping a lion in a cage? Both have a different nature, but both need to experience freedom.

“Our power and ingenuity entitles us to violate the natural order by tearing animals from the fabric of their ecosystems and displaying them in an “order” of our own making.”

Randy Malamud continues to argue that:

“Zoos not only contribute to the rapid disintegration of our ecosystems, but also deaden our very sensibilities to constraint, spatial disruption, and physical pain.”

Last week for example, Dubbo zoo marked the end of an era for the African Elephant species in Australia. ‘Cuddles’ had arrived in 1977 from the United Kingdom and had already been estimated to be 46 years old, and has been within the walls of the zoo since. It has taken this devastating death for the zoo to now say that they have no plans to replenish its African elephant population…instead, now focusing on its Asian elephant program……….

60175520


The way we used to worship animals has turned into a way we entertain, describe, and word ourselves. From naming footballs teams to punny sentences, we have not only disrupted human nature, but borrowed an animals identity and essence, just to give an inaccurate regard of what they’re really like.

A great example of humans ruining the identity of an animal is the documentary, ‘Black Fish’. The movie tells the story of the sea orcas, one in particular called Tilikum, that have been held within the walls of Sea World. Along the way, the completion of footage of the orcas killings and the trainer’s interviews, explores the creatures true nature and the cruel treatment in captivity.

“It’s time to stop the shows. It’s time to stop forcing the animals to perform in basically a circus environment, and they should release the animals that are young enough and healthy enough to be released,” Berg says in the movie. “And the animals like Tilikum, who are old and sick and have put in 25 years in the industry, should be released to an open ocean pen.”

So when does it all end? when the last animal in captivity dies? Because just like humans, animals feel emotion, and just like humans; they need to be set free.

Poverty Porn

The objectification and exploitation of a human beings suffering is something that the media is often portraying. The use of images and videos are often used to prove a point and achieve an emotional response out of viewers. The reason? Is it to showcase the deteriorating wellbeing of humans in developing countries? or is it used to generate profit? Maybe it’s both; or maybe as viewers we are so blind sided by caring for our own, we turn our head the other way, lacking emotion, and continue on with our sad life.

lolsclub.com-meme-maker,meme,first-world-problems-meme1389389803409tweets-first-world-problems-4

So what really is poverty porn?
“Also known as development porn or even famine porn, is any type of media, be it written, photographed or filmed, which exploits the poor’s condition in order to generate the necessary sympathy for selling newspapers or increasing charitable donations or support for a given cause.”

It’s the pleading face and emaciated images of human suffering; it’s the images that use personalising stories connected to unknown people, often children, who don’t even know their image is being used. It’s the helplessness that these people are going through, shown to the public eye just to reach a financial goal.

Below is a link that I advice you to watch. It’s of celebrity, Jack Black, videoing his time with a small child in Uganda. This video is a clear example of how foundations use ‘white privilege’ to evoke a sympathetic reaction out of viewers.

“You’re welcome, Jack” You’re welcome for leaving that child knowing you could have done more; You’re welcome, Jack, for crying even though you said you wouldn’t. This video was shown to us in a class. Nothing angered me more than to watch a ‘white privileged’ man saying he couldn’t do more to help.

Now watch the video below.

Showing the reality of the devastating affects on ones life to promote something positive, is more of an ethical conflict than a ‘fundraising’ opportunity. The second video portrays a humorous side of the truthful views of the videos and images we are often forced to see on a daily basis. We don’t know these people. We don’t know them; and they don’t know us.

Daniel Ramirez-Raftree, a sociology student at the University of Chicago, says: “Poverty porn is effective as a means for raising funds because it elicits strong emotional responses”.

Therefore people tend to feel pity, sympathy, and a sense of guilt; rather than feeling necessarily driven to help a cause.
But the reason poverty porn is so pervasive is that is promotes the popular stereotype that was often created in Western literature about Africa, for example: the way the natives in ‘The Tempest’ were portrayed as lacking humanity and decency.
And so for centuries we have been forced to think a certain way, and there is no doubt that these photographs and video’s do hold truth, but at what cost?

The end result is that these images are implicitly:

“acting to further the idea of underdevelopment and suggesting the idea of the superiority of Western society.” (Dolinar, 2013)

 

But first, let’s take a selfie.

The explosively popular photography style of selfies is now bigger than ever, and the phenomenon of branding ourselves all over social media platforms has become a way individuals and groups sell their image to become a household name. Not only has the selfie been described as a way to feed our own ego, in 2013 The Oxford English Dictionary called “selfie” as the word of the year…because apparently the English vocabulary has nothing more intellectual to award.

Since the growing phenomena, selfies have been linked to narcissism and mental health issues, in fact there have been studies constructed to reflect on how researchers found that posting more photos was correlated with both narcissism and psychopathy. But this makes me think; why has painting self portraits never been seen as narcissistic or shallow? Is it because painting is seen as a form of art? or because it has created some of the most amazing pieces? Why should we be criticised for believing that we are our own pieces of art?

Jesse Fox, assistant professor of communication at the Ohio State University in the United States, conducted a study of 800 men who were asked to fill in a questionnaire on the basis of selfies. Results showed that posting more photos was related to narcissism and psychopathy, but psychopathy was not related to editing photos. Fox continues to say that the although women were not included, they show higher levels of narcissism and psychopathy; which also means that there are more women also editing their photos. Therefore, those who score higher on self-objectification post more selfies, which means people will be expecting positive feedback and comments from friends.

Self-objectification involves valuing yourself mainly for your appearance, rather than for other positive traits.

“We know that self-objectification leads to a lot of terrible things, like depression and eating disorders in women,” Fox said.

“With the growing use of social networks, everyone is more concerned with their appearance. That means self-objectification may become a bigger problem for men, as well as for women.”

More studies on the topic of the selfie have authors linking the examination of self-objectification with three traits, known as the “Dark Triad”: narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. To get an idea of where you sit on the spectrum, take the personality test.

The test is a good way to reveal what your really like when you act and how you feel towards certain situations. Untitled.pngI will be one who can openly say that selfies are something that feed my confidence when I feel great about myself. In fact it has become a regular routine, when I’m all dressed up and my second layer of face is on, that my friends and I take multiple selfies on a night out. This isn’t because I’m obnoxious or narcissistic, but because I should be able to feel comfortable around people and showcase that confidence that I radiate to the online world. Why should I be judged for how I look and dress?


On another spectrum, social media platforms are becoming a way celebrities showcase their lifestyle. Their photographs have become a way for them to brand their lifestyle and themselves; for example the Kardashian name and brand as increased in popularity and income, with all the sisters constantly documenting their luxurious lifestyle on Instagram and Snapchat.

But with all these luxurious selfies that they’re taking, society has become obsessed and begun following in the same footsteps; and as a result moral panic tends to occur with the uprising of the branding. Because hey, when I feel like Kimmy K all I do is selfie. And let’s be honest, she has become so well branded and so many people aspire to have the same.

Untitled.png

And even when you’re not feeling the most attractive, most of us are using Snapchat’s newest features to hide the blemishes with dog filters and sunglasses. The ultimate selfie photos have now changed with the variety of changes; but with the change, brings further moral panic, as the features hide away the true meaning of one’s natural beauty. So if editing your photos is linked to psychopathy, what would changing your face to look like an animal be labelled?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public profile, private: Conclusion

So after interviewing the two students from the University of Wollongong, I learnt more on the life of being a Tumblr blogger as well as the lengths people go to keep their “Public blog private.”

Through further research I can conclude that spaces like Tumblr become the dark place –

They are the virtual rabbit holes and seedy undergrounds of the amusement parks and bright cartoon movie premieres – where users play hide and seek with their confessions, simultaneously seeking readership while at the same time hiding their real life identities from scrutiny.

So I guess you could describe Tumblr as “seedy.” It’s a place where people go but don’t want to be known or recognised. Where their thoughts and desires are met – like a shady strip club where you avoid making eye contact in case people know who you are.


This all links to the idea of the ‘Public Sphere’ as Habermas’s concept describes confusions that have plagued progressive social movements. In this instance, the social movement is how hidden we are behind the screen and yet are expected to allow the public to know our absolute self. Because we are all connected through media profiles, it would be obscene to not know who your ‘liking’ or re-blogging from, but within Tumblr, what you post is who the Tumblr sphere see’s you as.