Asking celebrities if they consider themselves feminists has been all the rage for a few years now. Sure, it may just be a trend, and it may be unfair to force every public figure, no matter how young or out-of-touch, to weigh in on these issues. But on the other hand, celebrity culture has played a huge role in bringing feminism to the forefront of everyday conversation. Also, given the surprising stars and entities who most fans would clearly identify as feminist icons who have tried to distance themselves from the word, I guess the question still needs to be asked, and I still find myself immensely relieved at any affirmative response.
Still, if there was ever a property less in need of clarification on this particular issue, Wonder Woman has to be it. Gal Gadot, Patty Jenkins, and Chris Pine gave an interview to EW, and the question came up. Kudos to Gadot for jumping in with no equivocation whatsoever, saying “Wonder Woman is a feminist, of course.“
Because when it comes to Wonder Woman and feminism, “of course” is the only appropriate response.
She continued, “I think people have a misconception about what feminism is. People think hairy armpits and women who burn bras and hate men. That’s not it. For me, feminism is all about equality and freedom and [women] choosing what we want to do. If it’s salaries, then we get paid equal to men. It’s not men vs. women or women vs. men.”
Thank you! Feminism is not intrinsically “vs. men.” It is vs. a system that refuses to acknowledge and respect women as equal players, and that can have a ton of different implications. If, to you, it means burning your bra, go for it. If it means making enough money to make sure you can always buy whatever bras you damn well choose, awesome. If it means FFS, men don’t have to talk about their undergarments in every other interview, yup, that’s also feminism.
Gadot goes on to talk about the movie raising questions rather than giving lectures. Not that questions can’t come with a strong prescriptive opinion. “It was important to me that my character would never come and preach about how men should treat women. Or how women should perceive themselves,” she explained. “ It was more about playing oblivious to society’s rules. ‘What do you mean women can’t go into the Parliament? Why?'”
She also describes Diana’s relationship with Steve Trevor, and the thinking that went into keeping Diana’s ferocity intact without turning Steve into an emasculated caricature. (Because you know how we feminists can’t have a love story without emasculating someone. /sarcasm.)
“We didn’t want to make Steve the damsel in distress,” she says. “And we wanted them to have a very equal relationship. If she falls in love with him, then he should be someone that every woman falls in love with.”
Patty Jenkins added, “Steven Trevor is the perfect fantasy for any modern woman. ‘I want to have the job I’ve always wanted. I want to be strong and powerful and all those things, but I want a really hot boyfriend that thinks that’s great and has a sense of humor about the whole thing.'”
I think Patty Jenkins has been reading our diaries.
(via EW, image: trailer screengrab)
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