What must now be months ago I was speaking with a friend and I got asked a question – “Why do you like Wonder Woman so much” while at the time I couldn’t think of much I thought seeing I am trying to do a post a week on this blog I figured this question would be a nice one to answer.
For those that do not know, or don’t care enough, Wonder Woman is my favourite superhero and if I was to sum it up in a couple of words it is her strength, courage and intelligence are the major qualities I like but the thing I always admired with Wonder Woman fighting isn’t her first choice of defeating someone but rather diplomacy and negotiation. I am sure most people reading this knows who Wonder Woman is but if not let me catch you up.
The character was created by William Moulton Marston in 1941 and goes by Wonder Woman or Diana Prince. She is a member of the Amazons which is an all-female tribe of warriors and was raised in the country of Themsyscira. She left the island and went on to fight for peace and justice while joining the Justice League at one point.
Wonder Woman’s major main powers are her superhuman strength that at times rivals Superman, her speed and her durability. She is also skilled with various weapons but is known for using a lasso and her indestructible bracelets. She has appeared in a range of media such as comics, television, and movies but sadly not many games which I will go over later.
With the introduction out of the way, I imagine you are now wondering why I like Wonder Woman and that is due to how she handy things – diplomacy and negotiations. You see rather than jumping right into a battle she tries to understand what is happening and then find a peaceful solution that works best for everyone involved but is not afraid to fight when needed. You will often find in the comics Wonder Woman will act as the voice of reason and help mediate conflicts that occur more so within the Justice League. Another example is in Gad Goddot’s Wonder Woman where the plot is her trying to understand why the war has started and why it carries on and tries to find a peaceful solution to end it.
So why do I care so much about diplomacy and negotiation? I think the main reason I like it is that it shows just because you are insanely powerful, strong and intelligent it doesn’t mean you have to be aggressive and violent in life. It is from this I think Wonder Woman is a good role model to show people that you can be a strong and independent person by showing empathy and reasoning but also it is okay if that fails. While originally I was going to comment on how Wonder Woman is a good role model for young girls and women I ended up disagreeing – she is a good role model for everyone to emulate and learn from but it is still important to say that young girls and women don’t need to be assertive and aggressive to be taken seriously.
Carrying on from her usage of diplomacy and negotiation, I think this makes her more human and thus more relatable compared to the likes of Superman. She is an insanely powerful person who could, in theory, do what she wishes but she is someone that struggles and makes mistakes and she is someone that has feelings and emotions with a sense of purpose. Wonder Woman knows she isn’t a person that can fix everyone’s problem but she will try to understand their viewpoint and do what she can.
As much as I like Wonder Woman there are a few problems with her and while I am sure many reading this will either not see it as a problem or will of some degrading term for me but she is insanely sexualised and comes across as a sexual object rather than a capable, powerful and beautiful superhero. I do understand sex appeal and I am not saying you can’t have someone like that and still be a superhero but I think it is due to this she often doesn’t appear in their video games and such due to the image she has and I don’t think it is fair for her to be viewed like that.
I don’t think I have to comment on how some of her designs easily create an unrealistic image of a feminine body for young girls who worry they may not fit into her design and have feelings of inadequacy and body shaming although with some poses she does in the comic I’m surprised her back hasn’t snapped in half.
It is worth saying that this sexual design of her has started to be addressed within some of the series where they focus much more on her courage, leadership and intelligence rather than her physical appearance. This is now also starting to reflect on her design where they are now focusing on making her costume much more practical rather than focusing on her sex appeal. You can see this in the movie although in some films she appears in you can see how the camera is positioned to try and get upskirt shots.
In summary, why is Wonder Woman my favourite superhero? It is her usage of diplomacy and negotiation and it is her intelligent and empathetic self that makes her a unique and powerful role model I would like to see future designs be less sexualised although it would be unfair to say I don’t like those designs.
It is this that makes her a strong, brave and inspiring character which is why I will carry on being a fan.
Need to reference?
Ellis, M. (2023). The Diplomat in Heels. [online] Snat's Narratives & Tales. Available at: https://snat.co.uk/reviews/comics/the-diplomat-in-heels.html [Accessed 06 Dec 2023].
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