The Culture Current: Professional Feminists Attack…Wonder Woman?!?
There was a time when feminists hailed Wonder Woman as an icon of women’s empowerment.
I know, I know—“Eric, what are you talking about? Of course she’s a feminist icon! She’s Superman’s equal, in so many ways—and in some cases, she’s arguably superior! She hails from a culture of women, and therefore clearly doesn’t ‘need’ a man, though she’ll willingly have relationships with Steve Trevor and Bruce Wayne. Of course she’s pro-women, Eric. For goodness sake, who’s saying otherwise?”
Well…self-proclaimed spokeswomen for feminism. They say otherwise.
Bear with me.
There was a time when such pseudo-feminists would’ve been laughed out of the movement. You know…back when all the “objectification” guilt-tripping was barely even a whisper; back when “sexual liberation” was a feminist ideal. That was back in the 1960s and early 1970s—the era of the “bra-burners”. That was before the self-appointed matriarchy of Steinem and Co. politicized the movement and aligned itself with the permanent-victim mentality of the cultural Marxists.
And so, radicalism came in. Laura Mulvey wrote her treatise on the Male Gaze. For those of you not up on Film Studies, Male Gaze Theory goes like this:
Most directors and cinematographers are straight men, right? Okay…no contest there.
Being straight guys, with natural urges…when a beautiful actress takes center stage in the scene, you can sometimes expect the camera to end up ogling her a bit—taking in her beauty, emphasizing just how appealing she is. That’s “the male gaze” in a nutshell.
Okay…so far, pretty much common sense. But Mulvey argued that Male Gaze was the Hollywood patriarchy’s way of “objectifying” women, by making them “things to be looked at”—putting them down.
That’s the problem. See, before Male Gaze Theory got accepted in the academic community, it was pretty much understood—especially in the golden years of Film Noir, with the femme fatales and all—that the “beauty” thing was a weapon—an expression of the woman’s power, not any weird notions of “the patriarchal gaze”. Men reduced to being caught off guard by her—one simply can’t argue with a straight face that they’re the ones in control.
Well…the idea got accepted, regardless. Marxist Critical Theory, understand—it’s convenient to believe, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.
And so, unsurprisingly, the misandrists gained power in the feminist movement, bit by bit, working their way into the institutions, gaining credibility…until they started openly spewing nonsense about all heterosexual sex being rape—and that a woman couldn’t be a “true” feminist unless she was a lesbian.
Yes, some of them actually said that. Such, of course, became the roots of the false “rape culture” stats—and with it, the widespread overuse of the term “sexual harassment”. Teaching women to view men with inherent suspicion—and eventually…malice.
Fortunately, there soon arose true feminists—those who understood that building women up does not mean tearing men down. These ladies stood up to the nonsense and bucked the trend. In particular: Christina Hoff Sommers (called “Based Mom” by the gamer community—SEE: GamerGate), and the great Camille Paglia. Those gals redeemed Second-Wave Feminism, and in the 1990s it seemed as if rationality could indeed exist in the movement, after all.
Alas, it didn’t last too long. The self-appointed matriarchy defended Bill Clinton and allowed Hillary to destroy the lives of the women Bill actually did harass and assault. And in the meantime, the Nineties also saw the rise of Third-Wave Feminism—those who to this very day trash the very ideas of “masculinity” and “femininity” as “social constructs” of the evil “patriarchy”, somehow designed to keep women down. From this comes the animosity we’ve seen towards “normative standards” of beauty.
For women, of course. It’s okay to “objectify” men, you see. Yeah…some of these types actually believe it means “weakening”.
And of course, it’s only gotten worse, with all the guilt-tripping over “sexual harassment” (which doesn’t really mean anything, anymore) and “rape culture”. And of course, “objectification”. Poor Emma Watson recently found herself driven to confused tears when these Third-Wavers trashed her en masse, for daring to think “sexual liberation” was still an ideal for feminism. Alas…apparently not. Apparently, she was just “encouraging objectification”.
And so, it was frankly inevitable that the quintessential female superhero, Wonder Woman, would find herself abandoned by the matriarchy. No longer a symbol of empowerment and inspiration—no, she’s a “sexualized object”, a “fetishized fantasy of men”. It was only a matter of time.
By the way…ever notice just how all over the place these Third-Wavers are? One moment, they’re trashing The Evil Patriarchy for “blaming the victim” over wearing sexy clothing while walking down the street at night…and the next, how dare female characters in movies, TV, comic books, and video games dress sexily for audiences to look at! Don’t you know it encourages diminishing women, or…something?
Yep. And of course, as Deadpool said, “This is confusing—is it sexist to hit you? Is—is it more sexist to not hit you?”
All right…back to Wonder Woman. Leaving aside Diana’s immensely attractive attire (which actually has roots in real Greco-Roman armor—free legs and everything), this particular incarnation—played by Israeli actress/model Gal Gadot (triggering all anti-Semites!)…has hairless armpits.
Cue the pseudo-feminists: “Is this seriously still happening in 2017?”
Yes…it is, seriously. And while we’re at it, let’s talk about what’s happening to women in several Middle Eastern countries, seriously, in 2017—shall we? Or is that somehow irrelevant?
Okay…okay. Now, let’s put all that aside, and let’s talk about what’s happened this month. You know what’s grinding their gears, now, about Wonder Woman?
Well…seems she’s promoting “Think Thin”—a company that makes protein bars and other weight-loss products.
Oh…the horror. The horror. Promoting being physically fit—as, well, a crime fighter and warrior princess probably would be. Geez, as an empowered and confident person period probably would be—let alone woman!
But no. This is “fat-shaming”—it’s imposing “unrealistic standards” on women.
Mm-hmm. Way to give credit to women, feminists.
“But it encourages anorexia—”
Uh…isn’t anorexia a disorder? It’s when someone sees themselves as fat, when they’re not. It’s a psychological distortion of reality. I somehow doubt Wonder Woman encouraging fitness has anything to do with that mental state.
Incidentally, if feminists actually believed that, why don’t you see them speaking out against weight-loss advertisements, period?
And by the way…I seem to recall a certain First Lady, a few years ago, leading a constant years-long campaign to impose health standards on all of American society. As in, trying to replace French Fries with apple wedges.
But of course, it’s not “fat-shaming” when Michelle Obama does it. Is it?
Seriously, does the Left ever look at itself, anymore? Do any of them notice how much they’re embarrassing their causes with all this? For goodness sake, think of how many girls look up to Wonder Woman as an inspiration—a role model. I’m reminded of an episode of Frasier, where Roz explains to Frasier how much the character’s meant to her—her confidence, motivation, independence, and beauty. It’s the kind of character to inspire people to be better than they are—
“THERE YOU GO!!! You’re trying to shame women out of being what they currently are—!”
Oh, grow up.
The point is, if these pseudo-feminists want to pick a fight with Wonder Woman, they’re in for a surprise. After all, Diana Prince is charismatic, charming, strong, independent, beautiful, empowered, capable, and confident.
In other words, everything they’re not.
Image Source: Wikimedia / Gage Skidmore
License: CC Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic
Eric was raised by Conservative Christian parents, but first became especially passionate about politics in high school, through reading up on economic theory. He also first read The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged around this time, for the ARI's essay contests. He now owns a great deal of Ayn Rand's work. Also included in his library are the collected works of Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Ann Coulter, etc.
Eric is no stranger to writing commentary, as the writer of the Conservative Considerations column on CampCampaign.com, and as a film critic and commentator on FlickRev.com. He has also carried on the Conservative tradition of talk radio commentary, as the host of "Avengers of America" for the USF student radio station, Bulls Radio. In the meantime, he is practicing what he preaches: Striving to enter the professional realm of Hollywood, he has already written and directed short films for the Campus MovieFest, which can be found on his YouTube channel, Hard Boiled Entertainment.