In October, the United Nations did something that I found sort of cool. The UN appointed “Wonder Woman” an honorary ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls. Gal Gadot – the new Wonder Woman – and Lynda Carter (former Wonder Woman, on TV) were both on hand at the United Nations to represent Wonder Woman. This was not the first time the UN ever gave a fictional character an honorary title, and in this particular case, my general feeling was “that’s so inspirational for little girls.” I mean, regardless of whatever “thinkpieces” the adults might write about WW, there are still thousands (if not millions) of little girls who grow up admiring WW and dressing up like WW and wanting to be WW. So why not place WW in a position of standing up for women overall? But it’s not happening anymore. Because Wonder Woman is sexy.
It’s just under two months since the United Nations gave Wonder Woman the role of Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls, but the superhero is already out of a job. Or, she’s at least not a part of any future gender-equality campaign for the U.N., according to NBC. The much-hyped and much-contested appointment has come to an unceremonious end.
In October, the Amazonian woman with the golden Lasso of Truth was granted an “honorary ambassador” role, which is reserved for fictional characters championing particular causes. (In case you were wondering, Winnie the Pooh and Tinker Bell have earned the title before.) The trouble this time around, though, was that Wonder Woman’s selection was challenged from the very beginning by much of the U.N.’s own staff. Many called the selection of Wonder Woman — an arguably sexual depiction of a busty woman in thigh-high boots — as a tone-deaf selection for an organization that works to combat the sexual exploitation and abuse of women and girls worldwide.
Things were so heated from day one, in fact, that around 50 U.N. staffers turned their backs in a silent protest during an October ceremony when the role was announced. Their protest didn’t go unnoticed, since the announcement of Wonder Woman’s role as an Honorary Ambassador was performed with much fanfare. Actresses Lynda Carter and Gal Gadot, who’ve both played the role of Wonder Woman on TV and film, were in attendance, and many young girls showed up to the event dressed as the iconic superhero, according to NBC. An online petition by “Concerned United Nations staff members” soon went up, asking the secretary-general to reconsider the choice. The petition, now with almost 45,000 signatures, calls out the “overtly sexualized” and “pin-up” image of Wonder Woman that would then be promoted as part of the U.N. Sexual politics aside, though, the petition’s writers also call out the cultural insensitivity of presenting Wonder Woman as the global face of a campaign for gender equality. “The bottom line appears to be that the United Nations was unable to find a real life woman that would be able to champion the rights of ALL women on the issue of gender equality and the fight for their empowerment,” the petition reads, adding that they would be happy to offer other suggestions.
Lest we forget, a fictional adult woman who defeats bad guys while being sexy and beautiful is completely different than the sexual exploitation of women and girls. All “sex stuff” is not equal, despite the equivalency that UN personnel seem to want to make. Isn’t it an important message to send to girls and women that they control how they dress, how they look, how sexy they want to be and that they have ownership over their own bodies? I feel like the UN just sexy-shamed Wonder Woman. Like, how dare a sexy woman (a fictional character!) want to stand up for girls and women around the world? Get thee to a nunnery, Wonder Woman! You cannot have cleavage AND fight for women’s rights, don’t you know?
Photos courtesy of Getty.
I was reading people saying this is a lot because of her outfit?
That an international audience doesn’t want an American flag bathing suit clad woman on the UN.
I don’t know what to say about that, because part of it seemed to roll in cultural issues with exposing skin. Thoughts?
I think her beauty is fine, the pin up proportions not so good, bathing suit I could take or leave, but removing her is worse than never appointing her.
Don’t be too sexy girls, people don’t like that. That’s the message I got? I dunno this may be a blind spot for me because I grew up on WW.
I thought it was more because of other reasons. If I understand correctly, Wonder Woman’s appointment was very soon after António Guterres got elected UN secretary general. So it seems like many UN staffers were disappointed because they were hoping for a female secretary general, so then having a fictional character be named as an Honorary Ambassador seemed like an insult.
That being said, I thought the whole thing about Wonder Woman’s outfit was deep-sigh-inducing, as it hits on a lot of problems regarding women and respectability, at least in the US. But as you said there may be cultural issues and whatnot.
Interesting, I could totally get behind being upset about choosing a fictional character over a real woman. You are basically saying, well none of you REAL girls are good enough, but here’s a man’s idea of a woman. She’s real neat.
There is definitely a difficult intersection between respectability politics and women’s sexuality versus pinups and hypersexualization.
From what I have read online many people seemed to be most offended by the fact that she is white and American. The skimpy clothing seemed to come somewhere further down the list of complaints.
Detritus, that’s kind of how I feel about it. It’s not that she’s a poor choice because sexy is bad, it’s more that you can be strong and couragous, but only if you’re sexy, and btw sexy means busty with a small waist and firm thighs.
They’ve had fictional characters as ambassadors before, including Tinkerbell and Pooh.
“That an international audience doesn’t want an American flag bathing suit clad woman on the UN.”
Her costume’s changed over the years but if _that__ was the reason, I’d understand more than with the one given.
Meanwhile Aleppo is crumbling and all the UN can do is issue “stern” statements of worry. Oh yeah, what Wonder Woman wears is clearly the issue here.
The chances Wonder Woman can show up in Syria and stop that war are higher than the UN doing something other than worry.
As a UN staff member, I feel I have to defend my employer here – the UN’s hands are tied while certain members of the Security Council continue to actively block every effort to take action on Aleppo. The UN cannot simply go in there without Security Council approval, which is not coming any time soon as long as Russia and friends continue with their current line of thought. The UN definitely has a lot for which it can be accused, but inaction due to member states completely lacking any empathy for civilians (and ignoring international law) is not its fault. I agree that “stern statements” are completely useless at the end of the day but, legally, there’s nothing else it can do at this stage, sadly.
Thanks for the clarification. (It still sucks.)
@Amy Thanks for your input. Full disclosure – i have high hopes of wanting to work with the UN in the future. I’m far from the most UN-cynic around but i do have to say i have been disappointed in the UN over what’s going on in Aleppo. And again, to clarify, i am not completely blaming the UN for lack or action but because i personally believe in the good of the UN, i chose to focus on them (also relevant to the article).
I take your point about vetoing members of the UNSC and i understand. But unfortunately, many many lives are at stake here and sometimes – or maybe it’s about time – we put systems in place to override these veto powers in grave conditions such as what is happening in Aleppo right now. Otherwise, whatever the world said about “never again” post-WWII and post-Holocaust is utterly useless and weak.
You’re completely right of course. But then my question is, what the f*ck do we need the UN for? Because this will be an issue as long as Russia and China are permanent members of the SC. At this point, Putin is just wrecking sh*t all over the world and the UN just stares at him in horror. They have done absolutely nothing to stop that war and won’t be able to do anything any time soon. In about 10-20 years we will, again, look back in absolute shame.
Yes, this. No SC country should have veto power. This needs to end.
@Donna The permanent members of the Security Council (the big five) are USA, France, Russia, China, and the UK. China and Russia are the ones vetoing any ceasefire/stance against Assad in Syria. China votes with Russia though they don’t really have skin in the game.
Then there are ten countries elected by the General Assembly to serve two year terms. Their impact on security council decisions is not all that important when you’ve got Russia and China vetoing everything the US and the west want and vice versa.
This is all in reference to the United Nations, btw.
Littlemissnaughty: If only this war was about Assad and not about oil. If only Russia was the bogeyman of western fantasy. Solutions to the region’s problems would be much easier and simpler to put formulate and to implement.
The Permanent Five are:
China (who backs Russia on Syrian issues, so by extension back Assad)
Russia (who backs Assad)
the United Kingdom
the United States
Those two votes are enough to hinder any real progress.
Then there are 10 countries are elected for two year terms, right now it is:
New Zealand (2016)
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) (2016)
With five of those ending the positions at the end of the year
@ LAK: I don’t think anyone disagrees that over half a century of US intelligence agencies playing dictator chess all over the world has been the best idea. And I doubt they’ve stopped. I also don’t think that the West in general has ANY moral high ground to stand on whatsoever. The US has been wreaking havoc particularly in the Middle East and South America and European countries have given countless African countries the gift that keeps on giving: colonialism. Let’s not pretend its consequences are dealt with.
Putin is a dictator. There are no two ways about it. He is one of the most openly power hungry problems we have. My point is, he has put a face on the fact that the UN is an outdated concept that needs to be overhauled. Mostly because we still look to the UN to fix things and refuse to see reality. Politicians don’t run the world, corporations do. And they don’t give a flying f*ck about the UN.
Putin hasn’t put a face on the ineffectual UN. Their uselessness has been evident for decades. Even now, Syria is one of many other global catastrophes that could use their intervention, but crickets.
LAK, yes he has. Do you think the majority of people in Western countries realized the scope of it before? I don’t. Even now, highly educated people around me yell “Why aren’t they doing anything?”
I completely agree with you. I understand Amy’s point of view and let’s face it, a lot of UN’s employees started working there from a desire to do something for a common, greater good. But the UN is a useless organization. Aleppo is just the last example of their utter ineffectiveness. I don’t see the point of the UN right now. Are they doing anything truly relevant for the multiple humanitarian crises around the world? Because He for She and appointing Wonder Woman as a honorary ambassador are pointless initiatives meant to justify their supposed relevancy.
You speak the truth. While the world watches active genocide in progress, I’m so happy the UN focuses on real issues like a fictional character’s outfit in an effort of slut shaming.
The UN tackling the real problems
The women in these areas are not taking the atrocities against them lying down.
If we are going to give honorary ambassodorships to warrior women, why not these women?!
Thank you for linking those stories. Those women give me life! So incredibly strong and brave.
KB: me too. I literally did a jig when i first heard about them. Sod being victimised any longer. And begging the west to help them. These women know that death isn’t the worst thing that will happen to them should they be captured by ISIS and all the other anti-women groups in the area.
BBC had a recent documentary about one such fighting unit…….
The documentary starts with an interesting explanation that culturally these women are raised not to be fighters. They are raised to be pacificists which made training them into fighting units so much harder, but the motivator was the atrocities against them and the knowledge that no one was going to rescue them.
Thank you for the links, LAK. Kind of makes you feel ashamed to go Christmas shopping. As it should.
I would also nominate Sister Rachel Fassera for rescuing 109 abducted girls from a deranged guerilla group in 1996.
Meanwhile the abducted Nigerian girls get a social media meme.
Thanks for the links, LAK! Inspiring bravery by women who are often targeted first and with utmost brutality during wartime situations such as what we see in Syria today.
On the flipside, I’ve also read reports on the women who chose to commit suicide over the possibility of being raped by pro-Assad forces. That absolutely broke my heart and I pray that they find peace wherever they are now.
How strange that none of those incredible women are saving the world in a sexy bustier, panties and a blow out. However will preteen boys and adult comic geeks sexualise them?
For the love of God and all that’s Holy let’s not dedicate any more time to the pablum that is ” wonder woman fictional character didnt get a fictional post and instead Grow THIS PARTICULAR ASS THREAD with stories of bad ass real life women
such as noted above or http://www.refinery29.com/2015/10/95759/dalit-untouchable-women-india-sexual-violence
or Jamilah Lemieux ( My bae long time from Blogging days!) and Amber Phillips elegantly peeling back Charlemagne wig on all the issues https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcF8Pbmz1bQ
Make this a post of True Queens … instead of a Wonder Woman flimsy-nothingburger of a situation
QQ: Let the choir sing.
Here are a few more
Wangari Mathaai. Sadly dead, but at least the Nobel prize people recognised her activism and
Aung San Suu Kyi. Enough said.
Thank you LAK and QQ downthread for those links! I can’t even being to describe my feelings as I read. I needed to read and educate myself more on this topic and this is a good start.
A rethink on Aung San Suu Kyi please, @LAK. What’s going on in Burma with the genocide of the Rohingya and her silence all this while is simply inexcusable and disappointing for a Nobel Peace Prize Winner.
Littlemissnaughty: without intending to be rude, it really shows what a bubble you live in if it took Putin in 2016 ( or whenever he started bombing Syria) for you to open your eyes to the uselessness of the UN.
There have been many global catastrophies/ wars that have taken place in my lifetime and before where the UN might have stepped in, but did not and or simply left the catastrophy to unfold as they held multiple meetings in NY that led to nothing. ‘Why isn’t the UN doing anything?’ Is a refrain i heard often in my childhood in the 80s and every decade since. And i’m sure was heard in the decades prior. By educated and uneducated alike.
I’m sure the people who work there think they are doing great work, and no one has come up with a way to reform or replace, but it’s a global joke how ineffectual and useless the UN is, and how often it kowtows to the security council rather do the job of it’s mandate.
You’re not rude, you just misunderstood what I was saying.
I’m not talking about myself, I’m talking about the realization by the public at large (and I can only speak to what’s discussed around me and in the German media). It’s always easy to accuse people of living in a bubble but the world is a complicated mess and you can’t be informed about the details of everything everywhere. Granted, the UN is a big issue. But so was/is Greece for example. Nobody around me knew anything about the country beyond sirtaki and feta before the crisis hit. And when it hit I told people that it was only the beginning. That we need Greece if only because of the endless number of refugees they had already taken in. That these people would come to us. None of that was a secret but people have blindspots and it’s a coincidence that it’s a topic I’m very familiar with. So on that I always look like I’m the Greece whisperer or something. Ask me about Africa and I look like I never went to school.
Once your image of something is established, it’s incredibly hard to revise it and there are certain realizations that people simply don’t want to deal with. And you can’t. You can’t deal with everything. And if the media narrative supports your “bubble”, you sometimes don’t even know you should be looking for something else.
You can accuse those people of living in a bubble but with the right topic, so are you.
Nope, changed my mind. That was super rude and condescending.
And there you have it. Resort to name calling because you can’t explain living in a bubble that kept you ignorant about the UN until Putin started bombing Syria.
Nevermind all the different wars and catastrophies that have been going on in the world that the UN didn’t stop/help.
As for Greece, i could give you an essay about it, but that’s not the topic on hand. Ditto the situation in Germany. And i don’t have to live in those countries or be personally affected by them to realise or educate myself on what is happening there.
As for Africa, well it’s your loss if you remain proudly ignorant and yet Germany onde had African colonies.
Are you joking? Where did I call anyone names? I didn’t even disagree with you on the issue, not really. I made ONE point you thought was oh-so idiotic and uninformed. Which was a misunderstanding on your part. Yet you decide to double down and jump in my face because I try to explain why there are people who might only now have woken up to certain facts yet?
I mean good for you that you’re informed about every event in human history. That’s fantastic. I don’t believe it for a second but hey, if you say so.
Not everyone, not even you, can be on top of everything that goes on in the world. Maybe your day is longer than mine, maybe you’ve just had a few decades more time to absorb information, maybe you don’t work, who knows. But I guess I know the answer you’d give me. You’re just more interested, more invested, you care more.
Your last sentence is lovely btw. Twisted my words beautifully.
Given the UN’s track record with other bloody civil wars, do we even want their crack team on it?
Sometimes, my inner idealist tells me to stop detesting the UN. Then some UN official says or does something that I overhear.
THISSSSS…. i read the article was like….well thats a waste of new or whatever….meanwhile human trafficking and sexual violence against women is at a ALL TIME HIGH…. we have to combat that…..and that’s more important then a superhero cartoon in the UN…IMO
What a shame. I found the concept of a fictional female ambassador really cool, and as you said it’s possible to be sexy and fight for justice at the same time.
It is possible. But does she has to be ?
You have a great point. I suppose I would try to answer your question by asking why she is dressed sexily, or what purpose does it serve? If it is solely for male gratification, then she would be the opposite of a feminist symbol. I believe that her outfit actually originated in the period where women dressed provocatively as a sign that they are in control of their bodies. Which several UN member states would disagree with.
However, I suspect that her detractors aren’t entirely honest about why they object to her. I am assuming that the countries that objected take offense at the notion of a strong woman fighting among and leading men, but they know enough not to state it explicitly.
Sexiness is almost certainly a red herring issue here.
@ Jane Fr: The message they seem to be sending here is the opposite extreme: not that a woman has to be sexy in order to fight for justice, but that she CAN’T be sexy and fight for justice at the same time. That women have to first say yes to ‘modesty/purity/chastity’ if they want to be able to say no to inequality, exploitation, and abuse. That message isn’t better than the one they think Wonder Woman is promoting by not wearing pants.
IDK, I can see both sides. Wonder Woman is a kick ass superhero, but she didn’t dress herself. She was dressed by her creator who was inspired by erotic pin ups. http://www.npr.org/2014/10/27/359078315/the-man-behind-wonder-woman-was-inspired-by-both-suffragists-and-centerfolds
Ah ok, forgot about that! That I can understand. But it sounded like the staffers’ protest didn’t address that particular point and focused only on the sexiness part?
Yeah, I’m not too bothered by this. An appropriate icon/ figurehead for the U.S., sure, but seems quite culturally insensitive for an international organization.
I mean if you look back to the comic books, she was turned into a sex object. Her boobs overflowing her costume and her perfect long legs mostly bare. I’m not offended by them taking her out just like I’m not offended when people criticized Bryce Dallas Howard fighting dinosaurs in heels. It was ridiculous and it wasn’t a good representation of the women who are fighting for gender equity.
The world is now operating at peak stupid. Shelter in place. Or go out and wrestle bad guys in a tube top. Either one.
We can’t win, fictional or otherwise. Hillary Clinton wasn’t f*ckable enough, so she made her husband cheat on her, and then she stayed with him so she’s weak.
Wonder Woman kicks ass while daring to be feminine and sexy, and she’s TOO sexy.
You’re a madonna or a whore. There’s no in-between.
And hmmmm. I wonder about all of those who turned their backs and protested this. I have a gut feeling they weren’t women, I’ll say that.
Many (most?) were actually: http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/26a42850470f88ac56d5ab9e97ef0b9ac16a6935/c=275-0-2620-1763&r=x408&c=540×405/local/-/media/2016/10/21/USATODAY/USATODAY/636126719100445524-AP-UNITED-NATIONS—WONDER-WOMAN-86147402.JPG
I think the issue was that it just reinforces the idea of feminine perfection and role as a sexual object. It’s the women who were offended by it. How does Wonder Woman as an honorary member of the UN help them to actually deal with the problems they face everyday trying to help women? It doesn’t. It’s a farce. A pat on the head.
Lois Lane would have been a better choice if they had to have a cartoon woman.
Maybe Wonder Woman and her honorary UN Status don’t actually tackle the issues facing women today. But she’s a kick-ass woman, a rare female superhero in a world of Batman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Super Man, Aqua Man, the list goes on. I think, in our pop-culture world, that matters. I don’t think it would hurt anyone for a little girl to be able to say, hey, Wonder Woman is a UN Ambassador! She can kick evil butt and be a humanitarian AND be sexy!
@KB, they referenced Lois Lane in their speech which I thought was cool. I’ve always thought of Wonder Woman and Lois Lane as two sides of the same coin. Both created 75 years ago when things for women were tough. Both trailblazers in their own way. Wonder Woman was the first female superhero. Lois was a woman in a man’s job fighting for what was hers on the ground. Wonder Woman was the “dream” of what women could achieve if we weren’t subjected to institutionalized patriarchy. Lois Lane, subjected to sexism in a job she loved and was the best at, was often our reality but she thrived and tried anyway in a business suit.
Well I don’t see Winnie the Pooh or Tinker Bell being much help either but no one took issues with a bear and a fairy getting that fictional award. Damn but let a woman who happens to be beautiful and what some would say sexy get that title then all hell breaks loose. And I’m not surprised that a lot of them who protested against it are women. Women are women worst enemies at times.
Exactly. Their statement is way more problematic than Wonder Woman could ever be, especially the little victim-blaming statement about a woman in a revealing outfit as “a tone-deaf selection for an organization that works to combat the sexual exploitation and abuse of women and girls worldwide,” as if there’s some kind of contradiction between women dressing in ways that aren’t always ‘sexually modest’ and fighting against exploitation and abuse of women and girls, What a counterproductive message. If anything, the choice of a powerful woman character who isn’t forced into the “How can I dress and present myself so I don’t get disrespected/harassed/raped” game that women and girls are all taught to play could have sent a progressive message.
I didnt like the choice. I think she (like most successful female superheroes) is drawn to capture the male gaze. And the white male gaze at that and that means she is proportioned in an exclusionary and totally not functional way. Her male counterparts are all muscled, even the ones with supernatural powers and she looks like a runway model. Totally conceived for the white male gaze. Remember this is the UN and even if you are a fan of the “gaze”, white people are actually a racial minority and they shouldnt get to impose their cultural icon (as messed up as she is) on everybody else. The world can do better than Wonder Woman.
If it has to be a comic book superhero, there are more interesting choices if obscure in the comic world. The only reason they are not as succesful as WW is because they arent drawn to stimulate guys. And it doesnt need to be a superhero, it can be a folk legend or a real historical figure. We can do better than WW and I couldnt be happier that others saw it too.
“Her male counterparts are all muscled, even the ones with supernatural powers and she looks like a runway model. Totally conceived for the white male gaze.”
And most of the male superhero’s are all very handsome. That could be for the female gaze. And it can send a message to all little boys that this is how a man should look, full of muscles and handsome, that’s not reality though is it.
Firstly, most male super heroes are masked. Guess why? Hint, it doesnt really matter what they look like. Deadpool for instance is severly scarred under the mask, female equivalent?! There are plenty of other very successful mainstreamed superheroes who are hardly heartthrobs. Hulk, The Thing etc. Secondly super hero muscles are NOT for the female gaze. Comic book creators are on the record as saying that they did not create for female readers. The few women who did read were not targeted, they were a happy happenstance.
Thirdly and this gets its own paragraph because clearly even the obvious isnt obvious to some. Muscles are necessary to achieve feats of strength. Ronda Roussey gave a fantastic speach on this. A muscled body is a functional body for hand to hand combat. Women should be encouraged to build their bodies for function. If you want to catwalk then look like WW but if you want to convincingky kick ass then grow some damn muscle. And fgs stop giving a flying eff whether some boy will still think you are hot. Thank God this is an abstract discussion and the UN tossed this WW mess where it belongs, in the trash. And I thank the heavens for the Serena Williams and Ronda Rousseys who teach little girls what a body made for asskicking looks like.
I grew up with the comic books and Wonder Woman didn’t come across as “sexy” to me, although I knew she was drawn the way she was by a man who couldn’t conceive of giving her a more functional outfit… she wasn’t flirty or anything, all business basically.
WW came from an Amazon culture and the other women there on the island didn’t dress like that, especially on government business. They could easily have come up with a suitable outfit for her UN work if they wanted. Just keep the bullet-deflecting bracelets and that wonderful lasso that forces anybody caught in it to tell the truth …. I would love to let WW loose in Trump Tower and Congress with that lasso.
About all those muscle-bound allegedly handsome male heroes – no, they weren’t really for the female gaze. These characters were created for superhero comic books and the readers were overwhelmingly boys. The male heroes were drawn that way to attract the boys, not the girls. This is what the boys were supposed to hope to look like as grown men.
Besides, even though today women feel obliged to swoon over male actors in the films, luckily for men when we are actually looking for a mate we typically look for other traits than conventional handsomeness or muscles. The big muscles are for show in bodybuilding competitions, and bodybuilders (both male and female) say that when they are preparing for a competition, they are actually at their weakest as far as physical strength is concerned. If you want strength, look at the wiry little guy who does a lot of heavy physical labor. The same is true for women. Although our biochemistry requires more use it or lose it compared to men, big muscles don’t mean big physical strength.
To be fair, is Wonder Woman really the best representation of female empowerment? Do little girls in say Somalia, Sudan or Afghanistan look up to her as a model of strength? It is important that a UN figure head , even a fictitious one, pay attention to the cultures and customs of all its members, and not only the western ones.
The countries that need female empowerment the most are the least likely to embrace a scantily clad American action heroine, because without knowledge of her back story, this is all she represents and also because world wide opinion about the US is pretty low due to its catastrophic foreign policy but also due to the recent election of Trump.
So Wonder Woman as UN ambassador defeats its purpose, no ones wants to learn about female empowerment from an American cartoon character.
The intention is good but the execution is sloppy.
I don’t really have an opinion on this particular matter but shouldn’t the embassadors be real people not comic characters? I think it’s nice to say WW stands for all the women but let’s focus on the real ones, right?
Real women have independent wants and needs. Cartoons are so much easier to deal with. 😉
boom! sussed right there…
Urgh. I read this story when this was first announced. I love the fact that youre all yay kick-asssuperherofeminism, but i agree with the UN. There are many more REAL women who would have been deserving of this role, as opposed to a fictional character with costume issues. Is that the best we can find to represent women, really? Its feels very retrograde that a boobtastic comic book heroine was chosen in the first place.
Yes, I agree. That’s what I didn’t like about it. Not the costume or the flag, but the fact that they chose a fictional woman when in fact so many REAL women, amazing women, are out there that could fit that role
Maybe you have to think that:
1. Promoting a fictional character as Ambassador for women when real women exist is misogynistic,
2. Tons of countries are not as liberal as the US when it comes to clothing (for men and women), so Wonder Woman can barely be a global model.
UNO is not America’s annex.
#1 yes, yes, yes!
I am happy they were forced to change their minds. Empowerment of women and girls in a global context did not need a WW represented by a hypersexualised comic as its ambassador. The issues at stake are more serious than superhero antics. Also, I don’t see how African and Asian girls and women are supposed to relate to her. Wonder Woman means more to Americans than it does to the rest of the world. None of it made sense.
“I don’t see how African and Asian girls and women are supposed to relate to her. Wonder Woman means more to Americans than it does to the rest of the world. None of it made sense.”
Are you saying African and Asians girl can’t relate to her because she’s a fictional character and they don’t know who she is? A lot of Asians girls are fully aware of WW. Or are you saying they won’t relate to her because she’s White.
I’m not saying that they shouldn’t have gave the honor to a real life person but even if someone like Angelina Jolie got the title it doesn’t mean every female would relate to her. How would African girls relate to AJ?
Didn’t Tinkerbelle get the honorary title of green. And look at the outfit Tinkerbelle wears. She’s a blonde White fairy dressed in very little. Can people relate to that? If they needed a representation for Green perhaps they should have went with The Hulk.
At least in Asia, WW is not that well-known and recognizable. And “feminism” is not a social hot button as it is in the U.S. Hence rhe equation of her not being relatable. Plus all of our female comic characters don’t look physically like a strong grown woman with sexuality, more like young girls. The concept and association does not translate internationally.
What the eff?!?!?! Are you kidding me. The UN just slut shamed wonder woman. This is like suspending girls from school for wearing a tank top. We can wear what we want, be sexy or not, and no one has the right to shame us or judge us. Men go eff yourselves, and woman, stop hating on other woman! We need your support!
@Margo….I think this is more complex than that. I agree with you that the body shaming is terrible and I don’t agree with it. But we need to not be blind to the reality that women ARE pressured to maintain a certain physical beauty in order to be ALLOWED to be powerful in this world. The language they used is wrong but I do ::get:: the backlash towards the idea that the only way a woman can be acceptable as a savior is if she’s wearing a bathing suit.
“But we need to not be blind to the reality that women ARE pressured to maintain a certain physical beauty in order to be ALLOWED to be powerful in this world.”
Yet most of the powerful women in the world are not considered beautiful by the standards that society has set. It’s like a double standard. WW is too beautiful to represent a powerful woman and she dresses too sexy. It’s like saying if a woman is beautiful and sexy they need not apply. If they are less than average looking then the title of female empowerment is for them.
Please V4Real. It doesnt matter whether or not they are considered beautiful by your subjective standards of beauty. I guarantee you that Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Ang Sang Suu Kyi and Angela Merkel are losing NO sleep over who thinks they are beautiful. THATS what little girls should be learning. You dont need to spend your time trying to look one way just focus on accomplishing what needs to be done. And if that means you need to kick butt then work some muscle, if that means salvaging a collapsing continental federation then sharpen your negotiating and diolomatic skills. Do what needs to be done and discard the lie that a woman must please the male eyeball to have power.
That lie btw, IS what many of us take from WW, whether you acknowledge it or not. We dont want it passed on to our kids via the UN of all places.
Damn Ramona why you riding me so hard. I didn’t say it was my opinion or not of what is beautiful now did I. I said by society standards. Why are you making this so personal.
Also on my post further up I never said anything about male muscles, I said they are handsome. You started naming male hero’s that have scars. I’m talking about people such as Tony Stark, Thor, CA, Superman who are all handsome. And I know the comics were not intended for females when they first came out but that was years and years ago. Things have changed and now they cater to the women just as much as they do the men. You sound like one of those women Madonna was talking about.
Amen, Margo. They’re sending the message that a woman’s ‘modesty’ is her value as a role model, and without that she has no place in the fight against inequality, oppression, and abuse. It’s just another example of respectability politics within the feminist movement (although, we don’t know if all of the people making the modesty argument identify as feminists. Some of them could have just been conservative women with the ‘1 million moms’ mentality.
So I’m torn on this. I really am. Let me be clear, I’m a HUGE fan of Wonder Woman. I believe she’s a feminist icon and she inspires me. I also believe she’s a property own by a corporation who has, many times over, done things with the character that completely betray what she was supposed to represent. I also think Lois Lane (the other female character that they mentioned during the UN speech) is a feminist icon for working women (Trivia: Noel Neill was one of the first women girls ever saw WORKING in a career on television in the 1950’s) but DC has also treated her badly in the past. So it’s complex because as icons, I think these characters are AMAZING and I love them so much and they inspire me but I also can’t forget that DC Comics and WB have contributed so much to the betrayal of them over the years. For example, Wonder Woman’s outfit is SUPPOSED to be about sexual freedom. She’s also designed to be bisexual or pansexual. However, DC Comics has often drawn her in cheesecake sexualized ways, pushed her heterosexuality and forced her to confined beauty norms that really do limit women. I like Gal Gadot and I respect her right to do what she chooses to do but it’s hard to reconcile that she’s made most of her money in her career out of posing sexily with her mouth open for the male gaze. Does it mean she’s not strong? Not smart? No. It doesn’t. But we can’t deny that there is enormous pressure on women and girls to succeed but only succeed in a way that is “attractive” to men. When I look at Gadot and Wonder Woman….I can’t help but see that at times even though I LOVE LOVE the character and believe in her. So I’m super torn on this,
“we can’t deny that there is enormous pressure on women and girls to succeed but only succeed in a way that is “attractive” to men.”
I wish I had written this. Truth
Mixed feelings about this but overall agree that Wonder Woman was battling villains in a bathing suit because the intent was to make her appeal sexually to men. It’s okay to be beautiful or not, it’s okay to be strong, it’s okay to wear whatever you want but to pretend she needed a scant outfit to do her job seems a little disingenuous. Her scant outfit could also be an affront to some populations of the world so why go out of the way to turn them off. You don’t need to be a Trump 10 to send out a healthy message about women to the world.
Would you want Superman as a UN ambassador role model for boys?
Both S and WW are somewhat sexualised and as they are fictional characters anyway perhaps they might not be the best ideal to aspire to?
Otherwise I would like to nominate Hercules, Jason (of Jason and Medea fame), Xena, Kitty Pryde (X-men, Ellen Paige), Professor X, Hank, Spiderman and a few more.
Lynda is ageless. She looks great.
Yes she does.
Shouldn’t they fire Angelina Jolie too with her huge fake boobs and insanely big lips? Isn’t she too sexy, being a wet dream of many and been posing naked and all that sort? How’s she fit to represent UN standards according to this?
Did she go half naked there ? Were her beauty/sexiness, and half naked body her main argument ?
To be fair the two women who played WW didn’t go there half naked either. They were fully dressed and not in costume.
I honeslty have lost all respect for the UN. Aleppo is being destroyed, civilians are being killed, Venezuela is imploding with clear violations to Human Rights and THIS is what they deal with?
Now they’re trying to interfere in my country without bothering to get all the facts. Meanwhile the world is on fire. God, they really are the League of Nations 2.0
I lost respect for the UN over the South Sudan issue. It wasn’t that the UN ignored and refused to label it genocide. It wasn’t that it even legitimized it. No, the UN actually EXTOLLED the perpetrators of an act that met every single one of its own criteria for the definition of genocide by allowing them on the HRC. And, at the same time, Mugabe’s Zimbabwe also had a seat on the HRC (as Ndembele were being ethnically cleansed from Matabeland). I think there were a ton of other facepalmers on the HRC as well.
And, like you stated, these vermin were using the HRC to issue blistering condemnations of legitimate, though imperfect democracies that were a fraction of a percentage as loathsome as an average HRC state.
Yes, the HRC was retouched. I can’t imagine it was to make it less of a hypocritisy, just less of a public embarrassment.
My opinion of the UN couldn’t possibly be lower. It is a vile , shamelessly self-aggrandizing organization. Humanity would be best served if we burned it to the ground.
There is just too much corruption going on in the UN. It would be interesting to find out what exactly was behind the UN’s position on South Sudan, Ndembele and more. Who pulled the strings?
From my own experience I know that politics are highly corrupt. Those who make it to the top are often very active spitlickers and no good. No good intentions. But merely serve those who pay them (sorry, DONATE to them) and otherwise not get caught in the corrupt affairs they start.
China and Russia shamelessly supported Omar al Bashir because they were selling him weapons. Weapons that the Arab janjaweed used to bomb obvious civilian targets while obvious military targets proximate to the civilians were left untouched. Weapons used to rape Dinka women who were then told that they would give birth to Arab babies. Weapons used to enslave and traffic people. Weapons forced into the hands of little boys. It’s a matter of public record.
Do you recall how disgustingly opulent the 2008 Olympics were?
I share your cynicism regarding politicians. However, some political systems are more/less corrupt than others. A political system that acknowledges bloodstained dictators as equals to democracies where people do get to select a government is just bonkers corrupt.
I’m still at Rwanda and Sierra Leone in the 90s.
Meanwhile highlevel meetings for months at UN Hq to decide what to do as people are dying.
South Sudan demonstrated once again how little the UN cares for Africa.
These amazing posts just made me so sad. What will it take? Putin pulling a Hitler and removing Russia from the fold? Because we all know how trigger-happy some countries really are.
Good. Wonder Woman as ambassador? Completely asinine.
To be honest: Wonder Woman is awfully sexualised. Superman too. In his case it is the tightpants.
And I am not sure they are the best to inspire girls / boys. Lately Superman seems to appear more dark an not so shining-light good.
Both figures are fictional and hardly roles you can aspire to in real life. I don’t think that either WW or S are good role models in UN ambassadorships.
Why not chose women with some merits? There are probably enough retired female university professors or retired female officers or retired female doctors or … who could do a marvellous job there. And that UN honorary ambassador role could get them some publicity and they could give some publicity to the UN honorary ambassador role. They would have merits that are to some degree achieveable (and even if you don’t make it to university professor… then at least some university studies seem achievable and are worthy to aspire to!)
Is Wonder Woman even popular outside of US? Never heard of her before I started to read more fanboy stuff on Internet, I am from Europe. Seemed like embarrasing movie marketing for me than some kind of icon in UN.
Captain America is insanely popular in Asia, at least. If D.C. plays its cards right (NB, DC hasn’t played cards right in a while), Eonder Woman could very well be.
When i first heard about this, i genuinely thought it was a studio promotion for the WW movie.
It was. I’m trying to remember where I saw that. DC saw an opening that coincided with their first standalone female superhero film and went for it. The embarassing part for the UN is that whoever they wined and dined for it, didnt think it through.