Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Wonder Woman and the UN

In case you haven't heard it yet - Wonder Woman was named a UN Ambassador for women recently. And some people aren't happy about it.

Now, I totally get why this is an issue for a lot of people. I also get why some people are happy about this announcement.












But - and this is the radical bit - this occurrence is neither the end of the world nor the saviour of humanity.






Let me sum-up a bit for you dearest nerdlets, and show you that all sides have some pretty impressive, and equally valid, points:





Not a 'real' woman


The evidence for the prosecution, m'lady, is as follows:



  • Wonder Woman is fictional - she's not 'real.' There are plenty of non-fictional women who deserve the recognition of this role.

  • She is often over-sexualised. Do we really want little girls looking up to a sex symbol as their role model?







  • The creator of Wonder Woman was a man; her writers and artists are usually men. She is controlled by men.

  • She has no voice of her own - only what people give her. She is a puppet with no agency of her own.

  • Wonder Woman is commercial property - she is owned by DC comics. The UN currently has a women's ambassador who is beholden to commercial interests.

  • Wonder Woman is too American to be a global ambassador.







Seems like there's a real case to be answered against her, doesn't it?






Women are warriors


The defence presents it's case m'lady:




  • Wonder Woman is undeniably an icon with global recognition potential that needs little to no explanation.

  • To many, she seems more real than the 'real' women - your average little girl is more likely to recognise - and relate to - Wonder Woman, than to Angela Merkel; so let's use that recognition for good.

  • Wonder Woman was invented as a feminist icon - someone girls could look up to. This is a reclamation of her original identity - an undoing of the subversion of her original character; she wore a mini-skirt and knew it said nothing about her as a person. It was others who judged her for it.









  • She saves the dude-in-distress constantly. Seriously, that's what she spent the first lord-knows-how-many years of her career doing - saving the useless dude's a*s, so that he didn't get his butt killed.


  • She shows girls that women can be whatever they want to be. A boob-tube and a mini-skirt doesn't make you stupid, weak, or ineffective.






So, valued members of the jury, what do you think? Is the case for or against Wonder Woman strong enough to make a valid judgement?




Here's my take: let's do something really radical, and assume that appointing one UN Women's Ambassador isn't enough! Let's appoint, oh, I don't know - 2 women? 3 women? 5 women? A whole team of women? Lord knows there's enough work for them.




The question shouldn't be: should we appoint a fictional character to this position?

It should be: Can we appoint this fictional character and this activist and this neuroscientist and this CEO and this charity worker and...?

Because Wonder Woman is going to a great job, regardless of who's for her, and who's against her - but why the hell should she have to do this alone?






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8 comments:

  1. I do love the idea of having Wonder Woman as a ambassador, as I think a fictional icon is something that everyone will recognize. However I do think that we should add more actual women in there as well! There are some remarkable women out there doing remarkable things that we don't even know about.

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    1. Exactly! Well put Em (as always ;P )

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  2. We do need more women ! But I like that she's an ambassador. I mean, feminism is about equal rights and perception (if that makes sense) so men "controlling" her isn't relevant as long as they follow those principles, at least that's my opinion ~

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    1. Again, I see the reasons for and against, but either way: isn't it best to appoint more than one woman, if only to show that women cannot be reduced to one figure?

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    2. Yeah definitely ! I don't understand why there's only one, it seems unfair

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  3. I actually didn't know this... and I find it pretty interested that they elected a fictional character as a UN ambassador. I didn't know they could even do that! But yeah, pretty intriguing. I also found out some new facts about her character too. I didn't know she was created and her role appointed by men solely. I'm not going to state my own opinion because I have to be honest, I don't know much about Wonder Woman, but it does sound like she is someone a lot of younger kids could admire and relate to. You're definitely right about that.

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    1. Her creator was indeed a man - but there was some input from his wife. And yes, she's usually drawn and written by men.

      I guess they're allowed to do what they want - they're the UN! ;)

      Honestly, I think there are points for and against - but the case here isn't simply black-and-white, and we need to realise that.

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