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Sunday, July 9, 2017

FEARLESS LITTLE WHITE GIRL AS WONDER WOMAN

PART II

continued from 

DID I JUST SEE A WONDER WOMAN MOVIE 





A lot of people said this movie wasn't created for the male gaze. I beg to differ. 

Despite there being a female director, white men wrote this movie. And it was movie reviewers, mostly men, that loved this movie into being a hit. The three-fourths male Rotten Tomato Reviewers gave this movie a 92%. 

  • MERYL STREEP INTERVIEW ON ROTTEN TOMATOES MALE BIAS:  "So I went deep, deep, deep into Rotten Tomatoes...I counted how many contributors to Rotten Tomatoes. There’s a very strict criteria that allows you to be a blogger or critic. Of those people who are allowed to rate on the tomato meter, there are 168 women. And I thought that’s absolutely fantastic.....[but] there are 760 men who weigh in on the Tomatometer."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JYzgPPoQf
I have to wonder what rating women would have given this movie if white male tastes hadn't been dictating what we watch and enjoy for decades.

What was even worse for me is than how Gadot's body may be received was the way she acted. Her behavior was Fearless Little White Girl through and through.
Luckily, I was able to stop this from punching through my suspended disbelief until after the movie was done. Otherwise, I'd have been itching to leave.



SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT

There is a way to play innocence without it being little girlish. Gadot missed the mark but white men like that so....
The other way you could tell men, likely white, had a lot of input into how this movie was constructed was by listening to some of the dialogue.


A number of times, Wonder Woman was outraged that war was being waged in such a way that "women and children!" were being killed. 
She's just come from an island of all women where they are all warriors. She's just been in a dress shop to get normal clothes where she can't figure out how a woman fights in such long restrictive clothing.
So why is she outraged that women are being killed as an outcome of war in the same way she is outraged that children are being killed?  "What about the women and children!" is a man's line.

Again, there were plenty of good things in the movie. The story hit all the appropriate plot points. And I glad it was implied Wonder Woman is not a virgin and also knew something about physical pleasure before she met Steve Trevor.

But WONDER WOMAN served up as much bad as it did good as far as subliminal societal messages go


Since I have long thought that there should be a movie about a superhero woman where the female superhero's motivation was love, I liked that about Wonder Woman too.

In real life, women are violent on behalf of love in some way. They don't go to jail to prove they are tougher than the next guy or to prove they are truly women because they are a good provider. Women get violent for reasons having to do with relationships and sometimes love. 
And lets face it, superhero movies are violent. 
So a female superhero movie should have a relationship base or love motivation some of the time or most of the time. One of my favorite feminist authors, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie thinks most worthwhile stories are about love at the root. And I think I agree.  

Since women are the ones not afraid of their emotions, I think a woman's access to her emotions should be shown as large part of her super power. And this was attempted in Wonder Woman. 

But this too was done in a little FEARLESS GIRL way instead of a womanish way.

There was nothing wrong with constructing Wonder Woman becoming enraged when her love interest is killed. But I had  problem with the preparation for that scene. 



Unlike most movie goers, I need to see something compelling to make me think two people fell in love inside two hours. I don't know how some movie writers get it done, but I wasn't feeling it. I absolutely did not believe it when Steve Trevor said, "I love you." 
I got the very same feeling of total disbelief in 2002, when I first saw a woman cry over some dude they just met on THE BACHELOR when each woman on that show knew THE BACHELOR was dating 1000 other chicks at the exactly the same damn time.     
Steve Trevor said, "I love you." 
And in stereotypical black fashion I yelled at the screen, "Get Outta Here!"  
(yes. I'm lying for effect here.  I only screamed this in my head.)

But it's not that I think love is corny or expressing it is corny. I just thought love was badly done the two times it came up (back to back) in the movie. 

I so wish Wonder Woman would have said she believes in the power of love when she was talking to Steve Trevor at some point earlier in the movie instead of screaming "I believe in love" at the super villain, while laying on the ground, like she's in some melodramatic teenage soap opera.


 In one scene she wears
an evening gown with the sword hidden down the back
like the hilt is an ornament on the dress' back. 
Sword goes straight down past a non-existent ass. 
Either the cups of the costume are empty
or she had the surgery.

France bans extremely thin models


Again, I think white people, especially white men, got what they wanted out of Wonder Woman. I think little girls, of all shades, will get what they want too. But everything they've been taught to want within this patriarchal system we're bathing in is not good for them. 

In our future, I see  



- girls with eating disorders reinforced by a Wonder Woman movie 
- girls continuing to die from anorexia reinforced by a Wonder Woman movie

Worst of all, I see some of the same ole expectations of falling in love with some dude you've only known for 10 minutes reinforced by a Wonder Woman movie. 

(As if the Bachelor and Bachelorette isn't reinforcing this in our society even more effectively than a single movie ever will. While entertaining, I hate the idea behind both of these shows with a purple passion burnt to a crisp.) 

What probably irritates me more than anything else though is that I see the idolization of little girl behavior in grown ass women continuing in our future --especially little white girls who always looking to see FEARLESS GIRL inside themselves until they are freaking 70 years of age.


The good new is that this character (and hopefully the writers and producers) can mature.

The buckets full of money this movie made ensures that there will be a next Wonder Woman movie. I think it can only get better since the next Wonder Woman movie will be set in a time period 75 to 100 years later. 
I have to think all the white girlishness the reviewers loved in this movie will be gone.

If women of color are added in front of camera ( the Nubia character) and behind the camera as well, that FEARLESS GIRL element of Wonder Woman's femininity may be reduced or erased.

Even more important may be removing white men from the writing process.





Here's to hoping. Cheers.

...because if white men write the next script too? I might have to pass.

Fearless Little White Girl tends to annoy the hell out of me even if she's in a decent movie. 

I'm hoping for another kind of super hero now.  Of course, I' d love to see a Storm movie. But I think a totally new black woman hero, one who is a mother or a woman that's lost her children, who's main motivation is love, would be awesome.

More than one scholar, male and female, has written about radical love being one of the critical cures for what ails our real world.  So maybe it would be more than kinda great to create a vision of radical love in our children's superhero fiction first, as a way of idealizing our way forward.

Maybe?


Wonder Woman kinda left me flat in a few areas. Even though I WAS entertained, I'm still waiting to see love and femininity explored a little more thoroughly inside a superhero movie. 


Maybe one day?

Misha Green has a project she's putting together called, "Mother"  Maybe this has already been written and we haven't seen it yet?  
Though I don't think this WONDER WOMAN "blockbuster" movie is going to stand the test of time, it deserves its time in the sun as a summer hit  --especially since it got almost zero advertising ahead of time. So, I'm going to give Wonder Woman 3.5 out of 5 stars. 

And, I should probably give it 4 stars just because it's the first big budget superhero movie with  female lead and a female director. 

This makes Wonder Woman a part of movie history, flawed or not.

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