Wonder Woman: A Few Words

feministUnless you’ve been vacationing on one of the moons of Jupiter for the last year, you know that the movie Wonder Woman is being released today.  In fact, if you’re at all interested, you’ve probably seen most of the good bits on YouTube already.  However, Wonder Woman is a significant film: it made the BBC’s list of What to Watch in June.  (That’s right! The list that’s normally reserved for thoughtful, dark  tragedies, lit only by the glow of their English subtitles.) So, why is Wonder Woman such a biggie?  I can think of a couple of reasons.

1 — It’s the latest offensive in the Great Franchise Wars.  DC and Marvel Comics have been battling it out for the hearts and minds of post-pubescent spenders since the 1960s, kinda like Coke and Pepsi.  DC had an early advantage with name recognition characters like Superman, Batman and — yes — Wonder Woman, but since most superheroes have now made the leap from comic page to blockbuster film, Marvel has the upper hand.  Their Infinity Stone story line, with Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chris Pratt and now Benedict Cumberbatch  leading the way, is totally better than anything DC has to offer.  Despite the spin, the truth is DC’s one bright light, Batman, burned out when Christian Bale — bailed.  They wanted to go serious badass with Suicide Squad (Will Smith, Jared Leto and Margot Robbie in short shorts) but that sucked.  Now they’re stuck with Ben Affleck and an assortment of oh-yeah-that-guy personalities.  Wonder Woman is the candle in the wind  that DC needs to reignite their brand, and they’re burning tons of promo money to make sure it doesn’t go out.

2 — Wonder Woman is the poster child of post feminist Hollywood.  This is 2017, and, in the movies, the “damsel in distress” motif is no longer in vogue.  These days, it’s strong female role models that capture the big bucks.  (I’m looking at you, Hunger Games.)  So, along comes Wonder Woman — she’s a smart, capable, physically strong, out of the closet bisexual, with no visible signs of PMS.  Not bad!  Unfortunately, gender equality in action films is — uh — still a little tricky.  Yeah, the girls get to saddle up and go to war alongside the guys, but even a quick glance will tell you they don’t get quite as many clothes.  Batman and Superman are suited and booted, tonsils to toes, whereas Wonder Woman has to fight evil in what amounts to a pimped-out, French-cut leather bathing suit.  Fortunately, despite the obvious disadvantages of going half naked into that murderous night, she seems more than happy to do it.  So, in a world dominated by the faux-feminism of celebrities like the Kardashian sisters, Wonder Woman ticks all the boxes.

And finally:

3 — Social media, the cyber-guardian of all that is weird and wonderful in our world, has already given its blessing.  There was a minor hiccup when nobody could decide whether Wonder Woman should shave her armpits or not, but that kinda Twittered out.  Now, it’s back on the awesome train, and it looks as if Wonder Woman will set the table for the DC boys to come back and make a meal out of Justice League in November.

 

Fake News — Not!

I really don’t understand the fascination with “fake” news.  Why would anybody take the time and trouble to fake it when the “real’ news is so hilarious?  For example:

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There’s been an outbreak of theft at The Temple of Heaven Park (a UNESCO Heritage site) in Beijing.  People are stealing — wait for it — toilet paper.  Apparently, this isn’t just a few college sophomores trying to make ends meet; it’s an epidemic.  To combat the problem, the powers-that-be have installed facial recognition software on the toilet paper dispensers.  Everybody gets 60 centimetres per — uh — face, and if you want more, you have to wait 9 minutes or bring a friend.  Fortunately, there’s also an attendant who has a secret stash to help out should the Kung Pao Chicken disagree with you.  I don’t quite understand why you need sophisticated software if you already have an attendant hovering in the background, but … what the hell … cool technology is always fun.

Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, the latest trailer for the movie Wonder Woman débuted last week and it is not without controversy.  Wonder Woman is out there kicking ass, but at the 1:47 mark, she lifts her arms and — OMG! — her armpits are clean-shaven.  Twitter, the guardian of all that is good and decent on this planet, went nuts.  The debate was on — with arguments on both sides.  On one hand, Wonder Woman is an Amazon, raised on a secluded island of women.  Therefore, she couldn’t possibly know anything  about female grooming habits which (according to some) are a patriarchal invention.  (Apparently, women who lack male supervision are hairy.)  On the other hand, Wonder Woman is an Amazon, part of Greek mythology, a building block of western civilization, and the Ancient Greeks were fastidious about body hair.  Therefore, it’s not a stretch to assume that a mythical future Queen of the Amazons would pay attention to her pits.  Like equal pay for equal work and abortion rights, this war of words isn’t going to go away any time soon.  Oddly enough, though, nobody seems too worried that Wonder Woman is actually a comic book character, created by William Moulton Marston in the 1940s.  She’s not real, folks, and what she does in the shower every morning isn’t real either.  Think about it!

My point is, seriously, who in their right mind would even attempt to make up stuff like this?