Being the first female-led superhero film (which is really sad given that it’s the 21st century), a lot of the talk surrounding Wonder Woman is, unsurprisingly and unfortunately about her being female.
Speaking with Total Film, director Patty Jenkins and Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot discussed gender. Jenkins surmised that people have focused too much on how the character can be perceived as attractive while being able to fight at the same time. And isn’t that ridiculous? She goes on to say that Wonder Woman is very much a “universal character.”
“I think there’s been a lag in catching up to where feminism has gone. It’s taken a long time before a woman who can fight can actually be treated like a universal character. I think there was a lot of fear associated with Wonder Woman. People were like, ‘How can a woman fight? How can a woman be sexy and be violent at the same time?’ I think it’s finally time we can just stop talking about that aspect of it and she can just be a universal character. Many other universal female protagonists are showing up on screen where they’re the main character, not a ‘woman’ main character.”
Gal Gadot believes that “it’s about time” that a superhero film with a woman headlining is happening. In a genre that’s primarily male-dominated, it’s important. Gadot goes on to talk about how Diana, who comes from an entirely different world, believes that “gender is a non-issue.” And it’s clear by the trailers that she’s taken aback by the treatment between genders and can’t quite wrap her head around the big deal.
“It’s about time we showed the story of a female superhero. It’s not pushing for feminism. And what I mean by that is, no one comes and preaches about equality and how come women are not allowed to vote or be in a congress room…it’s not about that. It’s about the perspective of Diana, coming from an island where everybody has the same rights. When she comes to this ‘man’s world’ she finds it very odd that women don’t get treated the same way. Because for her, gender is a non-issue.”
Women are often discredited in within the superhero genre and many partake in the discussion of strength being simply physical. Diana, in this case, does have physical strength, but also a deep sense of fairness and other great attributes to her character. Hopefully, Wonder Woman will open the door to even more films that put women at the forefront.
Wonder Woman is out June 2, 2017.