The Icon that is Wonder Woman
[Movie still from Wonder Women, Warner Bros.]
Almost seventy-six years after she was introduced in All Star Comics #8, Diana Prince, Princess of Themyscira, badass superhero Wonder Woman, is finally getting her first live-action solo appearance on the silver screen. The long overdue recognition has been met with some skepticism but a ton of joy and excitement from Wonder Woman fans around the world. Diana is more than just a princess for many: she’s a fierce heroine, a feminist and gay rights icon, everyone’s favorite female superhero, and the hero that we need.
During World War II, while men were away fighting a war, women, for the first time, were taking up roles and opportunities not usually given to them. They proved that women were capable of more than what was then socially accepted as what a women could do. Wonder Woman, created by psychologist William Moulton Marston, originated as a way to show what women could and should be allowed to do in the years following the war. Marston had advocated for a female superhero after being approached by DC publisher Max Gaines for help in proving that comics were not becoming too violent.
One of the reasons that Wonder Woman is held in such high regard by many women around the world is because she represents the strength in women. Not only can she defeat evil villains in a comic book, but she can (as cheesy as it sounds) do anything that a man can do. She’s strong, smart, and proficient, and she shows what women are capable of should they be given the opportunity – socially and politically – to do what they want.
Diana comes from a place where women don’t depend on men for anything. They are as strong (or stronger) than men. They can stand up for, fight for, and take care of themselves. Despite growing up being a bit suspicious of men, Diana quickly becomes an advocate for equality between men and women once she joins our world. For many, she’s also a symbol for LGBTQIAP+ rights, especially after 2016, when Greg Rucka (comic book writer) announced that she is bisexual canonically, meaning part of her official character.
It’s not a new idea that Wonder Woman is one of the biggest feminist icons that exists. She represents the strength and self-reliance that many women strive for. She and the other women on Themyscira epitomize the mutual support and sisterhood that the feminist movement embodies. She encourages the need for less violence and more peace and love to solve problems and fight hate. She refuses to societal norms for women. She proves that you can be sexy and a badass.
WHAT WE NEED
Many people around the world are pumped about this Wonder Woman film. For the reasons above and for many more. This film is needed. It’s such an important time for a Wonder Woman movie to come out. We needed her in the 1940s and we still need her now. We need her still because she was created seventy-five years ago to fight for equal rights for women, to fight for women to have the freedom to choose who they are, what they want to do, and how they represent themselves. Those were the reasons we needed her during World War II and those are, sadly, the reasons we still need her now. We are still fighting for these rights and freedoms, and the inspiration that Wonder Woman gives us will help us fight.
To all the little girls who’ve been watching the abundance of superhero movies in recent years, this film will tell them that they can be heroes too. And isn’t that what Wonder Woman’s been about the whole time?