5 Refreshingly Feminist Qualities in Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman
Long heralded as a feminist icon, Wonder Woman embodies strength, justice, and power. In the new film, Wonder Woman, directed by Patty Jenkins, we are given the origin story of the heroine set against the back drop of the first World War. Led by Gal Gadot’s brilliant portrayal of Diana Prince, the film offers many refreshingly feminist moments and presents a very balanced character as our protagonist. Diana does not approach the world of mankind as an angry ball-buster hell bent on rebelling against social norms, but simply takes the world on as she is; strong, confident, and capable. Some of the best portrayals of these qualities in the film include the fact that:
Diana Doesn’t Recognize Her “Place”
One of the most powerful scenes in the film is when Diana walks in to a room full of authoritative men and never questions her right to be there. Diana comes from a world in which her right to be seen and heard was never questioned, but taken for granted. The flustered men, angrily ruffled at the presence of a woman in their midst, and Diana’s bafflement at their ire, sharply throws in to relief how ridiculous gender disparity is and how right it is to be affronted by such insulting condescension.
She is Not Ashamed of Sex
In a delightful conversation Diana has with Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) on their first night away from Themyscira, Diana frankly discusses sex, it’s reproductive purposes and its ability to produce pleasure. She does not speak about it demurely, with blushes and feigned maidenhood, nor coarsely, like a storybook “fallen” woman. Sex is a matter-of-fact part of life, spoken about factually, devoid of shame and tropes that haunt nearly any other story imaginable involving male/female interaction.
She Does Not Assume Passivity
Diana does not waver in the strength of her convictions nor the belief in her own abilities, even in the face of daunting odds, and even when she is told ‘no’. She does not assume a passive role, but an active one, purposefully seeking out her end goal and pursuing it relentlessly.
She Does Not Take Abuse Silently
When receiving push-back from men in the form of sexual or physical advances, Diana stands up for herself, holds her ground, and fights back. Understanding her worth and rightful place in the world enables her to do so boldly, not sitting silently under a rain of abuse.
Her Vulnerability is Also Her Strength
Diana is charming and warm, has a wonderful sense of humor and a heart full of compassion. She is also strong, brave, and aggressive. Her softer, more feminine qualities only add to the arsenal of her strengths, they do not subtract from them. Together they form a well-rounded superhero that anyone; man, woman, old or young, can find themselves identifying with.