Ms. Magazine, which was founded by feminist activists Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes in 1971, published an online blog post by author Stephanie Abraham this week, lamenting the new Wonder Woman movie on the grounds that the title character is an attractive, white woman, much like the character in the popular comic books that inspired the film.
The post, which is titled, “When Will Wonder Woman Be a Fat, Femme Woman of Color?” laments the fact that the movie chose to portray the character as she was portrayed in the source material, rather than as an overweight black gay woman (femme is defined as “a queer person who presents and acts in a traditionally feminine manner.”) She claims that had a black actress been cast to play Wonder Woman, “white supremacists” would have emerged to condemn the decision.
Abraham specifically condemns the movie for the way that the lead character conducts herself, specifically a pivotal battle scene in which Wonder Woman “struts across the battlefield as if on a catwalk.” Abraham claims that this served to reinforce the cultural stereotype that a woman’s “physical strength plays second fiddle to their beauty, upholding the notion that in order to access power women must be beautiful in a traditional way.”
Abraham expresses her desire that the film could have spotlighted female characters with “fat, thick, and short body types,” citing the example of large NFL linebackers, who are seen by society as warriors.
Especially with the body positivity movement gaining steam, the film could have spotlighted female warriors with fat, thick and short body types. While people have said that warriors can’t be fat, some of our best paid male athletes are, particularly linebackers on the football field, and no one doubts their physical strength.
The post concludes by lamenting the fact that the movie furthered the stereotype that women are the more compassionate gender. “Why couldn’t Wonder Woman fight for justice and eliminate bad guys without having to in the end make it about love?” Abraham asks. “Perhaps a more interesting question is: Why don’t male superheroes do the same?”
In fact, neurobiological research reveals that women not only process emotion differently than men but also have hardwired maternal instincts that might increase their capacity for compassion. Research published in the New York Times revealed that the maternal instinct is wired into the brain. Research conducted at UCLA revealed that men and women exhibited opposite responses in the right front of the insular cortex, which is responsible for emotion. A 1995 study from the Scandinavian Journal of Science that was referenced in research at UC Berkeley revealed that “women involuntarily imitate other peoples’ emotional expressions more than men—a behavior thought to reflect increased activity of “mirror neurons.”
Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about economics and higher education for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org