I have never cried in a superhero movie before.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a total cryer in movies: indie, family dramas, romances, etc. But not action, not movies like this. And yet, last night, about halfway through the movie, Diana (Gal Gadot) is putting on her crown and embracing her destiny, and I am totally tearing up. She was about to kick ass and save a lot of people, but that’s not why.
I’m sitting there crying because in about the first 20 to 30 minutes of the film, there’s a fight sequence where the whole battleground is filled with WOMEN. Like Lord of the Rings-style epic battle. Except every one of the “good guys” is NOT. A. GUY. (Apart from cutie pie Chris Pine, of course.)
I’m crying because the movie passed the Bechdel test in about the first five seconds.
Because I didn’t realize until I saw hundreds of women kicking ass on a beach that I had never seen anything like that before. And how much that informs my feelings about myself and womanhood and my own power.
I was crying because on the way into the theater, I saw two girls around five and eight in Wonder Woman outfits running around and kicking and yelling and starring in battles in their own heads. Or because I saw little boys realizing that girls can kick ass, too.
And mostly, I was crying because I couldn’t help but wonder if we lived in a world where one of the most compelling superheroes of all time didn’t take this freaking long to get her own franchise (while we explore male characters pretty much to death), would we be more comfortable with seeing women in positions of power?
Would we be less obsessed about emails?
We’re in a geopolitical place right now where the worst elements of patriarchal masculinity–ego, pissing contests, thirst for power and wealth for power’s sake–are actually informing our domestic and foreign policies. Of course, Diana and the Amazons, who were created to spread peace and not war, an antithesis to that energy, are the heroes we need.
Wonder Woman is a great movie. It’s one of the best origin stories I’ve ever seen. It’s funny. It’s heartfelt. It embraces femininity and female power without making light of it. It delves into sexuality without making Diana an object. It shows that a love of peace can be a badass, POWERFUL stance.
Go see it. Show the Hollywood bigwigs who have likely been saying for years, “but will enough people see an action movie if it’s only got a woman?” how very wrong they are.
Show the industry that we need more Patty Jenkins’s, because we already have tons of Michael Bays.
Vote with your wallet, and hopefully we’ll be seeing a lot more movies like Wonder Woman and Hidden Figures.
Or go see it just because it’s a damn good movie.