Finally, a (modern) female superhero who genuinely captures the imagination.
She was sensitive, she was undeniably feminine and she had a subtle charm about her. As a father of a ten-year-old girl, I would have been happier if she was fighting the baddies with a few more clothes on, but as the father of a future little businessperson, I was delighted that she was fighting the baddies in the first place.
There will be plenty who will stand in the way of my little girl (both male and female), and I have no doubt that she will deal with them in much the same style. Wonder Woman even vanquished Ares, the God of War – with a simple Gandalf-style “you shall not pass” crossing of her arms “x” gesture. No one is going to mess with her after that.
After two hours of spellbinding action, we were in no doubt that Wonder Woman posters will be going up on the walls of little girls (and boys) the world over. I have promised to buy my daughter one this weekend.
What interested me most was my daughter’s immediate reaction after the film.
It was far from a simplistic “I want to be like her Daddy” comment. She asked why there weren’t any women in the trenches in the First World War and why the only other significant female character was a plump (and stereotypically cheery) secretary. Wonder Woman was a fearsome Amazon warrior, but she found herself in a role leading men. Why weren’t there other women to lead and therefore follow in her footsteps?
I mumbled some answer about it not being historically accurate and mentioned that things were improving and left it at that. I want to shield my daughter from the realities of corporate life for a little longer. Inequality is still very real and while “Wonder Women” such as Sheryl Sandberg are shining lights, they are still leading predominantly male teams. There are countless potential Wonder Women out there, but for so many reasons they do not fulfil that potential. They are bullied, intimidated, out-manoeuvred and ignored.
Wonder Women wouldn’t take that sh*t, and hopefully nor will my little girl.
We all need heroes in life. Gender isn’t a key consideration (J.K. Rowling is one of mine), but for little girls I believe that it does help to see the sort of person that you could become when you get older. Life is tough sometimes and you do have to fight for your place in this world – for those born with an extra X chromosome it is that little bit tougher. In hindsight, this biological fact makes Wonder Woman’s “x” gesture that little bit more poignant.
After watching that film yesterday, I felt the inner steel within my daughter grow that little bit stronger. She will fight (and win) when she needs to, of that I am sure.
Maybe she will lead some of her female colleagues and friends into battle with her.
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