In the early-1930’s, superheroes were introduced as a sense of support for those fresh out of the great depression. The heroes in comic books was the fantasy that someone would come, out of nowhere, to help the needy and the poor. Wonder Woman was the only prominent, female character in comic books that was portrayed as a heroine. She was a major symbol of feminism, especially during the feminist movement in the 60’s-70’s. Wonder Woman became the starting point of female characters being depicted as a brave, strong lead.
Personally, before I watched the documentary, “Wonder Woman: The Untold Story of American Superheroines” I did not think much of Wonder Woman being a symbol of feminism. That was mainly because she was illustrated as a sexual, stereotypical woman in the media today. I would never have imagined all of the substance and history and politics behind the character. Wonder Woman started off as this character who left her home where women thrive to fight the evil of the world and to help people. When she was turned into a wife, a homemaker and a stereotypical woman, all I saw was the latter. This movie made me realize that no, Wonder Woman is not one person, because the people behind her, the people who were writing her stories were different. They were very different in the beliefs that they held. The origin of Wonder Woman was so different, and defined, and I believe that that is why she was so successful and so famous in times when most leading female characters were not. Because she shows us the idea that women can be powerful, and women can fight. That women don’t have to be the traditional, quiet, unambitious characters and that they can be loud, dignified, and honest. Because the traditional stereotypical women are so one-dimensional and boring, I believe that people like seeing these rare, strong characters.
The idea of “girl power” being a bad thing was certainly news to me. I thought that girl power was a phrase that promoted unity, and leadership amongst women. However, it does make sense that it is not a gender-equal world out there. And if it is not, we shouldn’t say it is. It is a good thing, it just hasn’t happened yet. Therefore, girl power just yet, would be a lie. and if people believe the lie that “girls rule” and that girls are indeed, in power, then people wouldn’t notice the problems and if they don’t notice the problems, we will never be able to fix the problems. We have to keep the debate alive, and keep talking about our problems instead of ignoring them to fully fix them.
Overall, the movie was very entertaining. It created a discussion for me. It showed me what a big influence the media has in our brains. It can tell you that it is okay to do this, and it can tell you that it is not okay to be this. Even though Wonder Woman has been through many different stories and many different authors, I believe that the important thing is to remember what the authentic early Wonder Woman looked like, and remember her as that character. As the symbol that brings women and girls together and lift each other up.
Kyung Ju is an 8th grader at 'Iolani school. She enjoys making films and is passionate about empowering women. She wrote this reflection and review as part of her school community service project.