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.