Wonder Women is a fantastic documentary that truly shows how women can be depicted in the media. This film shares the good and the bad within media depictions of women; however, it also has the capability of empowering women by teaching them that they are strong individuals who can achieve their dreams without the help of a man. In this post, I would like to share my thoughts on several key points this film contained.
First, Wonder Women explained exactly how women are objectified in the media more so than men. Often times, women are wearing tight, short, provocative clothing. They are skinny, attractive, and have large breasts. Some women are portrayed as helpless beings, always in need of a man. Others are portrayed as strong women who can conquer anything that stands in their way…as long as they look beautiful and are showing plenty of skin. Whenever I see these images, it frustrates me. Why do women usually seem to be portrayed as sexual objects for desire? Then I started thinking…men are usually portrayed that way too. Many of our favorite male characters in movies, video games, and other types of media are the attractive men with a good smile and a fit body. I have caught myself gawking at “hot” celebrities cast in the main roles of films, but then I get frustrated when men are in awe over a half-dressed woman on the screen. I want the women to be respected and covered-up, but the man can show his muscles if he pleases. That is definitely a double standard. For those who believe women are more objectified through the media than men, I feel we should reevaluate our argument. If we want media companies to incorporate real-looking, respectable women on the big screen, then we should also demand real-looking, respectable men as well.
On another note, Wonder Women describes that women in the media have it worse than men because more violence is thrown upon a woman. I do agree with that. Although men are in most battle scenes and they do face plenty of violence within the media, women usually have more harm done to them. In various forms of media, women are beaten, raped, and killed. They are held hostage and tortured. They face brutal treatment and are made to look inferior to men in some forms of media. Chains hold them back and a man has to rescue them from harm. This section of the documentary made me think of Disney. I grew up watching Disney’s princess movies and, honestly, I still find them entertaining today. However, think of how they depict women. Snow White can only be awakened from her sleep if her true love kisses her. Jasmine is held in chains inside of Jafar’s sand hourglass until Aladdin rescues her. Cinderella is oppressed from the beginning and spends her time focusing on the prince, who eventually has to return her glass slipper to her. Ariel gives up her voice to meet Eric and remains mute through most of The Little Mermaid. She relies on the man to care for her. Little girls see these images and they want to imitate these Disney princesses. Yes, these princesses have good qualities, but they never can seem to do much without a man. They are not independent and they rely on men to take care of them. What messages do little girls get from watching these films? What messages does humanity in general receive while engaging in media that portrays women as fragile creatures that need men as their saving grace? My young cousins love to dress up as princesses. They walk around the house in their dresses and high heels. They want me to do their hair and make-up. Then they say, “Help! The beautiful Princess (enter name here) needs her prince to come save her!” Do they realize they are capable of saving themselves?
Finally, Wonder Women mentions how important it is for girls and women to have strong female role models. This can be any woman, from a mother or grandmother, best friend, Hermione from Harry Potter, or even Mother Teresa. It’s important for females to have role models who teach them that they are intelligent and capable. They are strong and important. They deserve respect and can achieve whatever they want in life. Women need role models who teach them the importance of independence. It is fine for a man to be present in a woman’s life and, every now and then, women need the help or presence of their man. However, women and men should be equal. A woman does not always need a prince or a knight in shining armor to come rescue her.
The documentary’s conclusion showed young girls choosing a superpower. Some wanted to fly, some wanted to help others, and some wanted to be “Recycle Girl”. Think of how beautiful the world would be if men and women alike never gave up on their superpower. They made their dreams happen and really made an impact in the world, whether it be in their own lives or the lives of others. Strength, hope, and perseverance are important things. Wonder Women‘s ending gave me chills. Pictures of woman after woman crossed the screen-women from ancient history up through today, women that made a difference and kept their dreams and voices alive. As the film said, “Strong women leave legacies. They leave us with the thought that if she can do it, I can do it too.”