Why Wonder Woman is Leading the Charge for Female Empowerment on the Big Screen

Wonder Woman has recently being given the honour of being a United Nations ambassador, with Lynda Carter and Gal Gadot, actresses of the role, attending the celebrations. #WithWonderWoman was trending on twitter and looked to inspire women and girls across the globe, yet controversy surrounded the UN’s decision. Many believe that a fictional character in “a playboy bunny outfit” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-37739017) should not, and does not, represent real women on Earth. I would argue that an icon like Wonder Woman has more widespread recognition across the United Nations than a lot of real world females. This may be a harsh fact, but in a similar sense, more people will recognise Superman and what he stands for than the honourable Dalai Lama across the globe. So aside from appealing to the geek in every woman, Wonder Woman is arguably the trendsetter for empowering women, especially in the money-spinning Hollywood blockbusters that Warner Brothers and Marvel Studios are pumping out every year.

The character of Wonder Woman belongs to DC Comics, which is owned by Warner Bros., whereas Marvel and Marvel Studios own characters like Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson. Studios sadly tend not to risk giving female comic characters their own films or TV shows due to a general belief that they do not make as much money as their male counterparts. Gal Gadot, the new Wonder Woman, is getting her own dedicated film in June next year and fans are overjoyed as the complex character is given time to shine and show why super-women can be empowering in films.

Wonder Woman stands for justice, strength and truth to name but three traits. So to reject her as an honorary ambassador (after the fictional Winnie the Pooh and The Angry Birds) is somewhat insulting to what she stands for. It is rare that a woman who has reached peak physical condition, which Gal Gadot had to achieve for the role, is glorified in mainstream media in a way that highlights her physical prowess and strength over others. In fact, Superman, embodying the alpha male, is known to be inferior to Wonder Woman in physical fights as well as intelligence. By bringing this character to life in the recent movie Batman V Superman, Warner Bros. represented women as more than support characters or domestic warriors.

In 75 years Wonder Woman has shifted from being a minor character to bossing Batman and Superman around and becoming a UN ambassador - a perfect personification for feminine empowerment, surely?

Edited by Jess Shelton