How the New Wonder Woman Movie is a Healthy Example of What Feminism Looks Like

America’s new Wonder Woman movie, featuring Israeli (and Jewish) actress Gal Gadot as the legendary female superhero, is a major win for not only DC Comics, but also… feminism.

I don’t say this tongue-in-cheek, as I am indeed a daddy blogger, but I definitely consider myself a feminist.

If a feminist can be known as a person who shares the common goal to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social rights for women, and to establish educational and professional opportunities for women that are equal to such opportunities for men, then please, count me in.

That makes me a feminist.

With that being said, I feel that there are two opposing extreme versions of feminism that I do not identify with.

The first are feminists who seem to treat all men who have any authority as the enemy. For example, I recently heard about a bumper sticker that reads, “KILL ALL YOUR ALPHA MALES”. That version of feminism seems to imply that men are inferior to women, in that all men are ultimately evil, while women are pure goddesses.

And the other kind of feminists I disagree with are the ones who seem to solely depend on their sexuality reach their agenda. I think that often the attempt to represent “women power” ironically ends up coming across as  degrading to women; that a woman can kick butt just as much as a man can, but she is required to depend on her sexiness in order accomplish her goal.

I liken this concept to waitresses at places like Hooters and Twin Peaks. I see that as degrading to women, as it objectifies a woman by reducing her down to her sexuality. To me, that defeats the concept of what feminism is all about. To me, that’s hypocritical.

So if those are the two extremes of feminism I disassociate myself from, what does a healthy version of feminism actually look like?

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.

She is proof a female can be a protagonist in a successful superhero movie (which would typically cater to a more male audience), while demonstrating her intelligence, leadership, strength, skills, compassion, and power; without ever having to depend on her sexuality to accomplish any of this.

Is she a physically attractive woman, according to the general consensus of what modern beauty looks like?

Of course- Gal Gadot is also a model for Gucci. So yes, she is.

But her physical beauty is not the basis of her charm or success; nor does it distract from it.

Wonder Woman, played by Gal Godot, personifies the common goal to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social rights for women, and to establish educational and professional opportunities for women that are equal to such opportunities for men.

I could argue that this version of Wonder Woman is like the female version of Chris Evans as Marvel’s Captain America.

Both of these superhero protagonists find their heroic beginning during World War II and experience a similar character arc as they resolve their ability to help defend justice, while also realizing the world is ultimately more corrupt and self-destructive than they realized, before they officially assumed their heroic roles.

If feminism can be understood by a woman doing a job that would traditionally be done by a man, yet that woman’s feminine attributes are positively highlighted instead of exploited…

Then I would say, simply turn to Gal Gadot’s incarnation of Wonder Woman.

-Nick Shell

 

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Can A Heterosexual Dad Legitimately Be A Feminist?

January 23, 2012 at 11:14 pm , by 

14 months.

It was a sort of liberating experience a few weeks ago at the Nashville Zoo, to realize A) that in addition to carrying around my son’s diaper bag, sort of like a purse, I was also actually toting my wife’s purse and B) I was strangely okay with that.

If you know me in the least little bit, you know how it’s simply my nature to ask deep, random questions both in real life and on Facebook, like “What is the male equivalent of a feminist?

The first answer I received confirmed my own preconceived answer: “Wouldn’t that be a male chauvinist?” (It was a female who said that.)

The second response I got confirmed my own understanding of what feminism simply is:

“Good feminism: a movement to eliminate gender-based discrimination against females; promote fairness and equality previously not experienced by females in society; and expand the gender roles of females beyond traditionally accepted roles which previously limited their contributions, productivity, and value to society.”

By the way, it was a guy, Mike Zeigler, who gave that answer. He went on to further explain my frustrations with the kind of feminism that annoys me:

“Bad feminism: a movement to revolt against the male gender and usurp their position of dominance to the extent that women achieve complete dominance and precedence over men, thereby emasculating and feminizing men in the process.”

Meanwhile in the land of Twitter, fellow daddy blogger Zach Rosenberg of 8-Bit Dad gave an answer that caught me by surprise. I never thought of this, but I think he’s on to something:

“A feminist. Men, especially fathers, make the best feminists.”

What if the answer to my question is that simple? The male equivalent of a feminist is a man who himself is a feminist.

Look back to that paragraph defining “good feminism.” That’s what I believe in, support, and depend on. How can I not back feminism like that? I’m married to a woman and we have a son together.

If that’s not the kind of movement I am a fan of, then I am simply irrelevant as a modern dad. Therefore, in all seriousness, I consider myself a feminist.

Let’s back up again, though- all the way to the title. Why was it necessary for me to specify “heterosexual” dad?

The main reason is that as a heterosexual man, I can not relate to the social injustices that women, as well as homosexuals, have encountered throughout history.

To make matters worse, I happen to be middle class and white. Clearly, I do not represent a minority in any traditional sense: not for my gender, race, income level, nor sexual orientation.

Quite possibly, I am demographically the most unpitied stereotype in America. So for me to claim to be a feminist, it’s natural to assume I’m joking or making light of the subject; attempting to be ironic for a canned laugh. But I’m not.

It may not count for much, but for the simple fact that corporately sponsored daddy bloggers are extremely rare and I just happen to be one of them, representing the many dedicated dads out there who truly aren’t male chauvinists, maybe I actually do know a thing or two about being part of a minority.

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