Wonder Woman What?

I considered posting this on Superversive SF, but it’s probably too political and too controversial. So here it goes.

After having a discussion on Facebook yesterday I woke up today baffled – absolutely baffled – that conservatives could possible defend “Wonder Woman”. It boggles my mind.

And I mean, we’re talking real conservatives here. Christians who have been publicly attacked and slandered by SJW’s, who take issue with writers like Neil Gaiman, who are devout fans of Chesterton and Lewis. These are the folks who are totally committed to defending “Wonder Woman”.

And again – maybe I’m just being a jerk here, or arrogant, or condescending, but to me it’s just s obvious that “Wonder Woman” is inherently anti-civilization. The trailers are structured to make “Wonder Woman” look like the feminist answer to “Captain America” – “See, women can lead bands of brothers too!”. She is given a shield and dressed in vaguely patriotic colors, and is shown in every trailer going into battle with her men. The movie knocks the natural and respectable order of things; in one trailer a woman who describes herself as a helpmeet to a man, and a paid one at that, is immediately classed as a slave by Wonder Woman; lest you think we’re supposed to be uncomfortable with Wonder Woman’s faux pas, the secretary immediately takes a shine to Wondie’s feminist bona fides. Ha, see, she gets it! Women don’t need to be stuck in no office! They can be leaders just like the menfolk!

But no, what are you talking about, the movie isn’t being marketed as a feminist movie! It was only one trailer, and they didn’t air it much! And okay, maybe it was being marketed as feminist Cap early on, but it’s really not! It’s just you! Just watch the film! The kick-ass Amazon warrior who rushes into battle and classes helpmeets as slaves isn’t feminist at all! She’s awesome!

And she’s an Amazon, so you know, we already know we can’t be like Wonder Woman! Never mind Gal Godot going on the Conan show and literally attempting to prove that women can kick ass just as well as the men can – nay, better. All as part of the marketing spree for “Wonder Woman”.

Here’s the thing: Those feminists who cry when Wonder Woman goes into battle? Those feminists who see her as a shining icon for her cause? Who interpret liberal and progressive themes into the film? They’re the ones who are right. They’re not crazy, they’re reacting exactly how the director *wanted* them to react. This whole thing reminds me of similar discussions I’ve had with fans of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, who tried to claim that people who read feminist themes into the show were just reading what they wanted into it – this despite the fact that Joss Whedon has gone on the record explicitly stating that yes, “Buffy” is intentionally designed as feminist propaganda. It’s the feminists who get it. We’re the ones reading what we want into it, because “Buffy” is a fun and well-written show that we don’t want to feel guilty watching.

So it is with “Wonder Woman”. I never doubted the movie would be great. It looked great in trailers. Gal Godot is an excellent casting choice. Chris Pine is a great actor. The dialogue seemed sharp enough. What wasn’t to like about it? That’s why the movie is a propaganda masterpiece, because it has managed to trick conservatives into seeing “just” a fun superhero film about a character who was created by a polygamist who thought women were literally superior to men, while simultaneously catering to progressives and feminists promoting a liberal agenda.

That other conservatives don’t see this – that they don’t recognize something being waved in their faces so obviously – genuinely upsets me. I like these people. And am I any better?

On certain things, probably not. And that scares me. What’s going on here?

I think I know the answer, but I don’ like it.

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22 Responses to Wonder Woman What?

  1. Crude says:

    On certain things, probably not. And that scares me. What’s going on here?

    I’ve got an alternate answer.

    For practical purposes, interpretation is truth – not intention.

    Conservatives sometimes, consciously or not, try to construct narratives and counternarratives of movies. If WW is feminist propaganda, but the counternarrative reads it in a different way – whoever accepts the counternarrative isn’t getting much propaganda (or is, in fact, getting propaganda of a different kind). Depending on how well it’s constructed.

    Sometimes, this is self-bullshitting. Other times, it’s wildly effective.

    Here, it doesn’t sound too effective. But the alternative is bitching about a popular movie, which doesn’t read well.

    • The answer is far simpler than bitching about it.

      We should not be going to see obvious feminist propaganda, that is being marketed as feminist propaganda, advertised as feminist propaganda, and seen by feminists as feminist propaganda.

  2. John says:

    When you can’t get a politically neutral form of entertainment, sometimes the best thing to do is reinterpret it in a way that makes it as neutral as best as you can.

    The reason why that is done is because, as you stated above, people sometimes really really really like a TV show or movie because of the objectively good and well-done aspects it really does have and which are enjoyable, but they don’t want to feel guilty about enjoying it if it has a left-wing narrative and a left wing bias in it, which is why they try to neutralise it as much as they can both for themselves and for other people who share their views.

    However, seeing as how there were actually gender segregated viewings of the movie made by feminists, it doesn’t seem to be very effective. (Unless you self-identifiy as female that is)

    But that’s not just with Wonder Woman though; Steven Universe is an excellent example of a show with objectively good, well-written and enjoyable elements where people can construct at least semi-effective and semi-acceptable interpretations of, say, the infamous gay symbolism in the show.

    In fact, it was a show that everyone could have watched and easily enjoyed without guilt just before it’s defining moment of subversion in March of 2015.

    Case in point; Ruby and Sapphire.The gems are objectively speaking genderless, but only take on the appearance of femininity which is generally universal for their kind, so it’s not an ”actual” representation of a gay relationship, only symbolically so and only if you yourself want to interpret it in exactly that way.

    At least that’s how the conservative viewpoint and interpretation I’ve read goes

    Now, whether it’s the liberals or conservatives who are reading stuff into the show, I don’t know. But I do know that this (re)interpretation is indeed at least semi-effective, at least judging by how other conservative Christian and Catholic reviewers neutralised the progressive poison therein.

    And now it only remains to be seen whether or not the counterspin of Wonder Woman will be effective enough to make conservatives enjoy it without noticing anything fishy.

    • Look, there are shows with subversive elements, and then there are shows specifically created to be subversive to western civilization, and are designed that way by their creators and interpreted that way – correctly – by fans.

      Both Stephen Universe and WW represent the latter.

      • John says:

        Malcolm: ”Both Stephen Universe and WW represent the latter.”

        Which is exactly why I compared them. They’re BOTH equally subversive, yet there are people, who I might add are actually conservative Christians, who oppose gay marriage and believe it is wrong to show gay relationships in children’s shows and reject plenty of other shows where such stuff is much more explicit, and are even Trump supporters (!), who either reinterpret them and/or downplay the negative elements.

        Malcolm: ”Also, that reinterpretation is frankly preposterous, and hasn’t worked at all.”

        I agree that it’s obviously counter-intuitive and and an obvious attempt at trying to salvage something, which is why I mentioned in the beginning:

        ”which is why they try to neutralise it as much as they can both FOR THEMSELVES and for other people who share their views”

        And I am not trying to justify it, I was just pointing out that this isn’t an uncommon thing that is hapenning when it comes to reinterpretation.

      • Fair enough. You’re correct. This is an ongoing problem.

    • Also, that reinterpretation is frankly preposterous, and hasn’t worked at all. It helps nobody but subversives and progressives.

      If you watch Stephen Universe, you are watching a show designed to subvert western civilization at its core. Justify it how you want to; that’s what you’re doing.

    • In other words, it’s the old “death of the author” debate on interpreting art. 😉

  3. Chad says:

    Reinterpretation, as discussed here with regards to shows and art, is lying to yourself.

    It should not surprise one that a person who habitually lies to themselves, especially for mere entertainment, has large issues with recognition of truth in any form. Especially with regards to the subjects they lie to themselves about.

  4. Hrodgar says:

    I think Dalrock had this one pegged more than a week ago:

    “Modern audiences love feminist heroines, but both men and women want their feminist heroine to be hot. This was the real problem with Ghostbusters. No one, neither men nor women, wanted to go watch four butch women in dumpy jumpsuits and combat boots save the world.

    The makers of the upcoming Wonder Woman movie seem to understand this, and have so far avoided running into the ditch ugly feminists keep demanding they aim for.”

  5. Jakeithus says:

    Question for you Malcolm, but have you seen the movie before offering your thoughts here? You mention trailers and public response, but discuss very little about the film itself so I am curious.

    I’m one of those conservatives who would defend Wonder Woman, it truly was a fantastic film and falls firmly in the top tier of superhero films in my rankings. While I went into it with high hopes after how great WW’s introduction was in Batman v Superman, I firmly expected to be taken out of the film with feminist messaging, and to my surprise I wasn’t. Outside of the secretary/slave comparison, that we had already known because of the trailer, it was refreshingly free of overt messaging. The idea that women are superior to men doesn’t pop up within the film itself, and in fact for being a superpowered greek goddess, the movie does a remarkably good job of presenting Diana as an equal and complementary partner with Steve Trevor, with her own flaws and struggles. Given the reality that the story is dealing with a warrior, the film also does a great job of showing Wonder Woman as distinctly and clearly feminine, more so than almost any other superheroine I can think of.

    For every feminist talking about crying with joy during Wonder Woman’s fight scenes, there’s another feminist complaining about how problematic this film is. Gal Gadot is too attractive, Steve Trevor is too competent, the film lacks the sufficient misandry and male tears that the ugliest feminists live off of, etc. The takeaway from this movie is far from black and white like you’re implying, so to say the feminists are right and the rest of us are wrong is a nonsensical statement, considering the feminists can’t even agree on their own reaction to it.

    John Wright and I have differing opinions on a lot of superhero films, but on Wonder Woman it appears we strongly agree. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend that you do; there is a lot of depth to the film beyond the ideas about the sexes. I think the response to the film would not be nearly as strong if it was the feminist propaganda laden movie you’re implying. Wonder Woman’s success has actually smashed one of the big feminist talking points that our society is too sexist to support a female led comic blockbuster, when in actuality if you create something with a story and characters as strong as we see here most people truly don’t care.

    I’ll end with this hot take; rather than just being the feminist answer to Captain America, Wonder Woman actually does a better job showing traditional interaction between the sexes than Captain America, since WW lacks walking feminist cliche Peggy Carter, or her equally grrlpower niece.

    • Question for you Malcolm, but have you seen the movie before offering your thoughts here? You mention trailers and public response, but discuss very little about the film itself so I am curious.

      No, because I don’t think it matters. It’s about what is being sold to us; if conservatives watch the movie and don’t see the feminism, then they are playing into the hands of the feminists, who are clearly pushing the movie for exactly those reasons.

      I have absolutely no doubt that it’s a great film, and I also absolutely refuse to pay money to see it.

    • I’ve heard feminists argue over “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” as well, this despite the fact that Whedon has gone on the record *explicitly stating* that “Buffy” is feminist propaganda.

      If you believe the reaction to this movie is somehow anti-feminist, I submit that you’re “ostriching”; you are sticking your head in the sand and avoiding the very obvious messages shoved directly in front of your nose.

      Like this:

      The idea that women are superior to men doesn’t pop up within the film itself, and in fact for being a superpowered greek goddess, the movie does a remarkably good job of presenting Diana as an equal and complementary partner with Steve Trevor, with her own flaws and struggles.

      …Is exactly the problem. Women are *not* equal to men on the battlefield, they are not partners, they are *inferior*. But Wondie is being held up as a role model for women everywhere because she can kick ass like the menfolk.

      It is a lie.

      • Hrodgar says:

        An especially pernicious lie because people are actually pushing that stuff in the real world. Our society is at this very moment in the process of putting female into spec ops. Feminism kills, and not just babies.

  6. GJ says:

    I woke up today baffled – absolutely baffled – that conservatives could possible defend “Wonder Woman”. It boggles my mind.

    I am baffled you defended Jessica Jones.

    The reason conservatives don’t see feminist propaganda in this movie, despite the fact that it is being marketed and promoted as feminist propaganda, is that they genuinly don’t see the concept of female warriors as “feminist”.

    And the reason why you didn’t see Jessica Jones as feminist two years ago, was because you didn’t see the concept of her character as feminist.

    It’s not at all difficult; this has been gone into ad nauseaum: conservatives are liberals that are just one generation slower, therefore feminism is absolutely baked into the worldview of the average conservative.

  7. GJ says:

    Elsewhere, you wrote that
    I think you know the answer to this. WW is made specifically as feminist peopaganda. She is not just super-fighting, she is literally leading men at arms into battle, and is the main character

    From descriptions of Jessica Jones, and from the knowledge of how the liberal slippery slope works, it seems obvious that that movie was feminist propaganda. As you were steeped to some degree into feminism, it didn’t seem feminist to you.

    On the other hand, Wonder Woman was too blatant for you. And maybe a movie involving a female superhero killing all males might be too blatant for some conservatives who see nothing wrong with Wonder Woman, and they’ll go ‘how can other conservatives not see it?’

    • You are absolutely, 100% correct. If you go through the comments, you will note that I admit this and reject that defense as a mistake.

      • GJ says:

        I saw that. It is good.

        Another way to put it is that ‘conservatives’ are utterly cucked. They send their conservatively-ish brought up children to be converted to left-liberalism in college, don’t see anything wrong or risky in exposing themselves to such films, and so forth.

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