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.
I noticed this morning in my blog stats that someone found my blog by Googling, “Wonder Woman Family Friendly Reviews 2017”. So I guess that obligates me do actually do a parental review of the new Wonder Woman movie. Yes, the free market has demonstrated there is a demand for this!
So… here ya go America!
My answer is ultimately no. No, the new Wonder Woman movie is not “kid-friendly”. If it were, it wouldn’t be the great movie that it is. The fact that it’s not juvenile gives it credibility and makes Diana Prince a believable protagonist with a healthy character arc.
Wonder Woman is ultimately a PG-13 rated World War II movie containing strong elements of Greek mythology.
Let’s break it down by issues parents might be concerned in regards to their children watching this movie…
Language: There is noticeably very little profanity. Other than the word “hell”, and a few uses of the word “bloody” (which I understand is a curse word in the United Kingdom), I didn’t notice any other language that parents would deem as inappropriate for a child to be exposed to.
Sexuality/Nudity: Depending on your level of conservatism, some parents might feel somewhat concerned about Wonder Woman’s outfit, though I personally do not feel it is overly revealing. The closest thing to nudity is actually a male character who is taking a bath in a cave. Wonder Woman walks in on him and he covers himself with his hands, as she naively sees no taboo in discovering a naked man. Lastly, there is an implied sexual relationship later, though nothing is shown beyond a “fully clothed” kiss.
Violence: Since this is indeed a World War II movie, there is obviously consistent violence. Of course, like most PG-13 rated movies these days, there is hardly any blood shown at all. There are multiple on -screen deaths shown, however.
That’s all you need to know. Would you feel comfortable taking your child to see this movie, knowing what I have revealed? It’s your call. I don’t judge you either way.
I know the exact science behind why Wonder Woman is an amazing movie…
Imagine if someone finally released the top secret recipe for Coca-Cola or for the Colonel’s KFC chicken… Well, I’m that guy, but for releasing Marvel’s secret movie formula.
For those of us who have kept up with all comic book movies for the past decade, we know that Marvel seems to always just easily crank out really good super hero movies. Meanwhile, DC hadn’t figured out how to really get it right. Think about their superhero movies last year:
Batman V. Superman? It was entertaining, but ultimately problematic.
Suicide Squad? Eh… kind of a mess.
So did DC just luck out with their wild success of Wonder Woman? Nope.
They simply (and maybe even accidentally) used the same proven yet secret formula that Marvel’s been using all these years:
1) Character Arc of the Super Hero: It’s fundamentally important for the audience to see a flawed protagonist who evolves over the course of the story. Remember how in Batman V. Superman, Batman was the same brooding, disgruntled billionaire while Superman was the same perfect alien? Neither characters individually evolved. We instead want to see an imperfect character who is forced to positively evolve. We want to see character growth.
2) Engaging Arch Nemesis. The superhero is only as interesting as the bad guy. Just as an imperfect superhero is crucial in order to engage an audience in the protagonist, that superhero relies on a villain who spiritually contrasts and compliments their struggles. Being evil isn’t enough. We need to see a memorable arch nemesis who is the perfect foil for our imperfect hero.
3) Genre Hybrid: Marvel knows that their super hero movies aren’t simply super hero movies. Instead, each one is ultimately a different genre, disguised as a superhero movie. Ant-Man is a heist movie. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a government conspiracy movie. Using that same concept, Wonder Woman is a World War II movie, which also contains strong elements of Greek mythology.
This secret formula is the reason Marvel’s movies do well. And finally, DC has figured it out.
Seriously, who isn’t excited by the new Justice League trailer? It looks like they will be applying the Marvel formula to all their movies from now on. I’m happy that DC is back on track.
This week Mommy and I went to Vanderbilt for another sonogram appointment. We just wanted the assurance of knowing you’re still doing okay in the there. I’ll cut to the chase:
You are. Thank God.
We were informed that everything is great; your heartbeat, your fluids, and your movement. There is no reason for concern. You are simply going to be a small baby.
You currently weigh 5 pounds, 9 ounces; with just about 4 weeks left before you’re born. They told us that if you were in the 10th percentile or lower, then it might be an issue; but instead, you’re in the 23rd.
Knowing that you “have been measuring a couple of weeks behind” for a while now had caused us to worry that something was wrong. It’s good to have some relief on that.
This is the opposite of what we experienced with your brother Jack. It seemed he was always in the 90th percentile. He was a big baby with a big head, which made his birth very difficult for Mommy. Granted, that doesn’t mean he’s a big boy now; he’s average.
They told us this week that in addition to being a small baby, you “don’t have a big head.” I’m happy because that hopefully means an easier labor for Mommy when you are being born.
If I haven’t said it already, Mommy is ready for you to come out. And I’m ready too.
This is the “misery” part of the pregnancy where Mommy just can’t get comfortable to stay asleep or even just sit comfortably. I think it’s funny that her favorite t-shirt to wear at night is the Wonder Woman nighty I got her for Christmas.
Plus, it will be nice having you outside of the womb so we can see for ourselves that you really are doing just fine in there, just like the doctors say.
We’re now less than a month away from your due date. I keep reminding myself that when you’re finally born… we’ll actually have a little baby girl!
I know that part seems kind of obvious, but it’s how my mind works right now.