WARNING: Contains Spoilers
She was “sculpted from clay” or the daughter of the gods, so her unbelievably small waistline and perfect face may seem slightly unattainable by mere mortals.
But despite this unrealistic version of a woman, the Wonder Woman movie successfully hits practical issues that affect real women in this modern world. Issues that even Gal Gadot’s character herself, wasn’t able to escape – sexism and misogyny.
Set in the World War I era, Wonder Woman AKA Diana of Themyscira, daughter of Hippolyta, portrays a naïve yet passionate personality attempting to help the victims of war by ending the source of war, Ares.
Unfortunately for her, despite the pure intent to help humankind, she later realizes that even the very group of people she wanted to save isn’t entirely out of flaw.
Here are some scenes that prove that even Wonder Woman experiences societal prejudice:
1. Belittlement. Stereotyping. in a room full of men
As a female, this begins with the condescending remarks made towards her when she and Chris Pine’s character Steve Trevor were soliciting help to get to the war.
Meeting men for the first time, she was reduced to a mere pretty face, discounting the fact that she’s adept in science and is multi-lingual. The perfect definition of a beauty and brains persona who can carry on deeper conversations with anyone.
In present day Philippines, this remains a problem, which, sad to say; even the media exploits by creating programs that portray ‘pretty and sexy’ women as dull or for display only. Luckily, some TV programs are gradually taking steps to change this.
2. Doubt. Mistrust. in a situation that needed saving
Getting to the “center of war” proved to be tough for Wonder Woman as well, because even on the trail she already sees wounded soldiers and children crying for help. Finally, at the bridge, an impasse dubbed as the “no man’s land,” Diana sees a woman crying for her small village held captive by armed Germans. Naturally, she wanted to help.
But right then and there, she was shut down by Steve who said that there’s nothing she can do about that small village. “We can’t help everyone,” he says. “Our goal is to cross this bridge” (non-verbatim) “This barricade has been here for a long time, there’s nothing we can do. YOU can’t help them.”
Hearing this was too much for Diana. So she proved him wrong, complete with costume and skillz! Leading to one of the best scenes in the movie where she experiences war up close for the first time and reveals she’s Wonder Woman.
This scene is so important because it says that when it comes to war and saving people, she will save whoever she can. There’s no such thing as a group worth saving more or less than the others. And in the real world, this is how women in general think. It’s always for the good of the whole family – no one gets left behind.
Today, some women are told “there’s nothing you can do about it” despite having done so much. How long will they keep proving themselves before all doubts about them be dispelled finally? Saying a woman (or a man) cannot do anything belittles that person’s values and beliefs.
Will they have to put on a complete costume (aka show their best efforts) first before they get backup support? Until when?
3. Judgment and blame. For what she wore.
At General Erich Ludendorff’s party, Diana was instructed by Steve and his team to stay put because she is not dressed up for the occasion; implying that her clothes couldn’t even defend herself or worse, are not good enough for her to come with them.
A reflection also of today. Many, many times women get blamed and judged for what they wear. To some extent, I agree – especially when I see women wearing close to nothing in public places. I mean the book of Genesis did show us how malice came into the minds of people, so we have to adjust. But often, even when women dress up well enough and appropriately, they still receive blame – for harassment, for rape, for incompetence.
In the end, it’s truly not about what we wear but how you were brought up. In a popular tweet, I quote “Kung kabastos bastos yung suot nung babae kailangan mo bang harassin? Ibig bang sabihin na kung kasuntok suntok yang mukha mo pwede ka nilang suntukin?”
4. Disbelief as a form of betrayal.
Even after everything that she has done as Wonder Woman, and everything that she and Steve have been to, Steve still didn’t believe that an Ares existed. Bringing hurt on the part of Diana, who thought all along that this guy supports her and believes in her.
Sometimes in life, even with our partners, this remains an issue. Knowing that someone doesn’t believe you, especially when that person is a boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife doubles the hurt because we expect that out of the millions of people in the planet, they are our backup support. It hurts to find out that they are not 100% onboard after all.
And why is complete trust vital? It’s because some things in life may sound as absurd as a god of war responsible for the earth’s destruction. Other times, it may mean that the Lord Jesus Christ is alive and is at work in us. But when our husband or wife doesn’t believe us, it hurts our commitment, our idea of the truth, which will eventually affect important life decisions.
5. Finally, the “love mentality.”
A child psychology professor in U.P. once asked each student in our class, “What is your reason for having sex?”. She started with the males who all answered in different ways but point only to one common denominator, to prove their manliness. Every girl in that room, on the other hand, had only one answer: “love.”
And even in the end of this film, the real wonder of a woman revolves around the extent of her love. She may not entirely understand why humans are evil, and despite being hurt and doubted many times by his ka-M.U. Steve, she still rose above the trouble because of her love for him. For humankind.
It wasn’t even clear if Steve sacrificed himself for Diana or if he just wants to leave earth for his personal desire to be a hero. But it was clear that Diana won over Ares because of her love for Steve and the people.
And now that I’ve written it this way I am not so sure now if that’s a good thing.
A lot of women these days choose to stay within an ugly relationship despite receiving physical or mental hurt from their partners because they “love” them. And then we wonder why women are strong!
This brings me back to one line that Diana’s mother Hippolyta tells her before she goes: “They don’t deserve you.”
And it’s true; some people don’t deserve our love. But we love them anyway.
*All photos from the Internet.