I want to make it clear that I’m not really responding to anyone specifically so much as trying to explain myself here. I’m not sure how well I’m getting my thought process through.
How well “Wonder Woman” works as feminist propaganda *in a vacuum* is besides the point to me, because we don’t live in a vacuum. It might be (I haven’t seen it, though multiple people have told me this who I generally trust) true that the movie itself, taken *completely* on its own, is poor propaganda. Which is good, I suppose.
But the movie was not made in a societal vacuum. It was made in a society where men are emasculated more and more by the day and female eunuchs are being declared praiseworthy. That we don’t see this in the movie proper isn’t really the point, because that is what people are going to read into it – what they *want* people to read into it, and – and this is critical – *what people are in fact reading into it*.
The marketing and advertising and framing of the movie is a big deal here. If “Wonder Woman” were marketed as a superhero movie celebrating femininity qua femininity, masculinity qua masculinity, how traditional sexual roles are important for a healthy society, and how feminine virtues can be utilized for their proper – or if it were made in an environment where such a thing wasn’t really questioned at all, like “Nausicaa” – we would be having an entirely different conversation. Ditto if we were in a society that understood implicitly that such a thing was an exception, not the rule, and should remain one.
But we don’t live in that society. We live in a society where Wondie the eunuch is being celebrated as a role model for women to aspire to, and the helpmeet role of women is being continually denigrated. Then there’s a movie out with a message that’s ambiguous enough that feminists, SJW’s, and even neutral non-conservative-but-not-radical mainstream folks watch and see exactly that, because they are being told – when the message isn’t explicitly stated otherwise – that it *is exactly what they’re supposed to see*. Hence you get Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins staring in awe at burly man-women rushing into battle as feminists burst into tears, walk out of the theater with strange feelings of ferociousness, and girly men cry over it with their girlfriend. It’s another case of weaponized ambiguity.
How do I know it’s ambiguous without watching it? Because I know people who see it as promoting conservative values AND people who see it promoting leftist values, each of them absolutely convinced they’re looking at it exactly the right way. The execution is flawless. “Wonder Woman” in that sense is one of the great feminist propaganda achievements of the modern age.
There is another way “Wonder Woman” could work. That would be if the feminist marketing and advertising was so poorly done that nobody took it seriously anyway – but that’s not the case now, in the real world, either. And we have to deal with reality.