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.

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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.

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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].

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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?

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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.”

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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].