Sexualized Saturdays: “Is Themyscira Even a UN Member Anymore?” A Retrospective Examination of Wonder Woman’s Ambassadorship

With Wonder Woman’s tenure as the United Nations Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls coming to a somewhat unceremonious end, I can’t help wanting to do a postmortem on her appointment and the controversy surrounding it. In addition to finding the whole affair oddly fascinating, I found it revealingnot only about global attitudes towards feminism but on how the most recognizable symbols of pop culture feminism are often inherently polarizing.

While I do not question that all parties involved genuinely had nothing but good intentions, there were some serious objections raised almost immediately (after the collective online shout of “cool!” dissipated, anyways) and they bear further examination, especially in light of the apparent success of said objections.

The three things that were most controversial about this “appointment” are all significant. The primary objections were that Wonder Woman is overtly sexualized, that a fictional rather than a real woman was unacceptable for such a role, and that giving “Wonder Woman” that voice for women was effectively just handing it to the DC Comics marketing department. While there were a few objections related to her history of violence and some that simply being a comic book character delegitimized her, the former was not really unique to this case in any particularly interesting way and the latter is something I won’t dignify with a response.

ww-un-social-media-image

No matter your thoughts on the politics of the campaign, this is an ad you’d probably want to stop and look at.

Before I jump into the fallout over all this, it’s probably a good idea to recap what exactly happened. While this was a big deal in geek and/or feminist circles, it was quick and a lot of us may have missed most of it. In October of 2016, the UN announced that Wonder Woman would be named an honorary ambassador. The press release mentioned that as part of a campaign with DC and Warner Bros, Wonder Woman would be connected to everything from fighting abuse to promoting examples of women making a difference. What would WW actually do though? Primarily, be featured in various social media campaigns to promote gender equality as part of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.

Continue reading

Trailer Tuesdays: Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice Revisited

Oh my God! So guess what, guys? I’m not as nervous about the Batman vs Superman movie anymore! Though as always, I still have some concerns.

Continue reading

When the Roles Are Reversed: Steve Trevor & the Wonder Woman Movie

Wonder Woman & Steve Trevor Wonder Woman MovieHey, gang! We just wanted to let everyone know that we’re going on a long break for Labor Day Weekend—but don’t worry, we’ll be back on the 10th! Before we go on break, though, let’s talk about Steve Trevor.

Every time another superhero movie is released in theaters, we at Lady Geek Girl and Friends start to worry a little bit. Often the only female characters involved in superhero movies are the love interest to the hero, and while today those characters are usually given more to do, they still end up falling into the role of damsel in distress or are just portrayed as a simple love interest with not much else going on for them. Heck, even female superheroes are not safe from this treatment, considering what the last Avengers movie did to Black Widow. But now DC Comics is attempting to step up to the plate and really build their own universe to rival Marvel’s. Understanding how that’s gone in the past, many people are skeptical. But some upcoming movies look like they have a lot of potential, especially when it comes to female characters. Other than maybe Suicide Squad, the one DC movie I am most looking forward to is Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman is the female superhero. Yeah, you may personally like other female superheroes better, but there is no denying Wonder Woman’s cultural impact, both in the world of comics and feminism.

For the upcoming movie, there has been some speculation to how Wonder Woman’s romantic life will play out on the big screen. Because, you know, she is a woman, and so she has to have some sort of romantic entanglement. I suppose to be fair, if a Superman movie came out and didn’t feature Lois Lane, people would think it was weird. So, Wonder Woman has had several lovers over the years. In the current run of DC Comics, Wonder Woman and Superman are dating. In previous versions, Wonder Woman and Batman have hooked up, and then of course, there is her original love interest, Steve Trevor. Well, the news is finally out; Chris Pine has been cast to play none other than Steve Trevor. But I have noticed that when the script is flipped and we have a female superhero and a normal male love interest, then The Powers That Be tend to talk about things very differently.

Continue reading

Trailer Tuesdays: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Oh boy, okay, here we go. This trailer is… longer than the original teaser trailer, and we, um, get a look at some more characters, like Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor. So yeah, that’s exciting… but I’m gonna be honest. I’m beyond disappointed in how this is developing. I want to be excited for this movie, but it looks so boring.

Spoilers after the cut!

Continue reading

Throwback Thursdays: The Justice League Animated Series, Wonder Woman, & Sexism

Other than my father (who raised me on a steady diet of superheroes), I can probably credit my geek status to the shows that got me hooked on superheroes in the first place. Luckily for me, a number of superhero animated shows aired in the 80s and 90s, and two of my favorites were Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. I adored seeing the heroes team up, but the the reason I liked watching them was these TV shows were the first place that I watched Wonder Woman kicking ass.

wonder_womanNaturally, then, when I saw that both series were on Netflix, I was extremely excited to rewatch them. And while much of the show is just as funny and interesting as I remember it, there was one thing that really struck me as an adult: Wonder Woman was not written very well. Not to say that her character wasn’t well-developed or complex, but as an adult, I noticed Wonder Woman upholding really problematic and sexist ideals about women almost any time she commented on gender. I was weirdly shocked to find myself watching a Wonder Woman who was written from what seemed to be a patriarchal point of view. Wonder Woman seems to more often identify with the men of our world and only critiques women.

Continue reading

Lady Geek Girl’s Top 10 Feminist Geek Moments of 2014

Wonder woman new yearThis year has been filled with some highs and lows for feminist geeks everywhere, but as we enter into 2015, I would rather dwell on all the great feminist geek moments we got this year. So without further ado, and in no particular order, here is Lady Geek Girl’s Top Ten Feminist Geek moments of 2014!

Continue reading

Wonder Woman and Transphobia

If you have been spending any time on Tumblr recently, you have probably seen this page of a Wonder Woman comic that not only implies that the Amazons accept trans women, but that Wonder Woman herself is a trans woman. It’s beautiful and makes you happy to be alive just reading it, but, sadly, it’s not real (here is the real picture). As of right now, DC Comics only has one trans character, Alysia Yeoh, Barbara Gordon’s roommate in Batgirl. DC has never really been great when it comes to minority representation. For a while they did have more female-led comics than Marvel, but it was debatable whether those comics actually portrayed their female characters with respect. DC did, however, beat out Marvel when it came to trans representation, and though Alysia is not a trans superhero it is nice to finally see a well done and respectful portrayal of a trans character in a comic book. The inclusion of one character is not enough to really be authentic representation, though, and with transgender rights finally gaining more visibility, fans are now turning critical eyes on to Wonder Woman and the often transphobic portrayal of the Amazons.

Continue reading