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.
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.
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?
- 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].
- Stabile, C.S, 2009. Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies. 1st ed. University of Oregon: National Communication Association.
- 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].