I watched Wonder Woman for the second time a couple of weeks ago, and I had the same thought as I did the first time I watched it – ‘I need to blog about this character.’ Also, ‘I wish I were as cool as Gal Gadot.’ First of all, my usual disclaimer, I’m not an expert on superhero movies, and don’t typically know the entire back story and character arc of every superhero. Still, I love these movies. And I loved Wonder Woman for so many reasons.
The whole initial part about the island Princess Diana grew up on was so aesthetically pleasing, strength and beauty and grace and courage effortlessly interwoven in these Amazons. I loved Gal Gadot as the choice of actress to play Wonder Woman. Man, she’s gorgeous, but also not at all the typical face you see in Hollywood movies.
But mostly I loved her character. Here was a woman who was the protagonist of her own story, not just a sidekick or a love interest or a prop for the male character. I think many women need to learn that their story is important, that they are worthy and valuable and that God has a plan for their life specifically. They are not just valuable in relation to other people, they don’t gain value by becoming a girlfriend or a wife, neither do they lose value if a man leaves them or rejects them or chooses someone else over them. Women, you are valuable and your life is important! Your story matters.
Princess Diana was a strong woman. Physically, yes... and it kind of makes me want to get fit and stop leading such a sedentary life. But she also had strength of conviction, and wasn’t embarrassed or hesitant to speak up for the truth. My favourite scene is when she overhears the British leaders talking about peace at any cost, without being willing to protect their soldiers, and she just can’t be silent.
Steve: Diana, I know this confusing... '
Diana: It is not confusing! It's unthinkable!
Some general: Who is this woman?
Steve: She is with me, she is with us.
Diana: I'm not.. I am not with you! You would knowingly sacrifice all those lives....as if they mean less than yours.
Steve: Diana, let's talk about it outside.
Diana: As if they mean nothing? Where I come from, generals don't hide in their offices like cowards. They fight alongside their soldiers.They die with them on the battlefield!
Steve: That's enough! My apologies.
Diana: You should be ashamed.
Steve: My apologies.
Diana: You should be ashamed. All of you should be ashamed!
She just goes in there and calls them out. Man! She reminds me of Saint Catherine and Saint Teresa of Avila and even Saint Teresa of Kolkata boldly and confidently calling out the powers that be. They weren’t arrogant or brash or full of themselves, but full of the Holy Spirit moving them to speak, whether or not it would be received well.
Women, don’t be afraid to use your voice – not in anger, or bitterness, or accusation, or harshness, or nagging. But with conviction and holiness and truth, speak up for those who have no voice, speak up for the things that are counter-cultural but TRUE. You have something to say! Ask God to purify your motives, then SPEAK UP. Sometimes people feel threatened by strong women, but this an opportunity to change that.
What I loved about Diana's strength was that it was purified by her innocence and her softness. It was not a self-serving strength. It was not manipulative or sly or controlling. It was at the service of the good. Like Captain America, here is a superhero who is not focussed on his or her own issues or dealing with personal demons. Instead for both of them, they believed in the good and just wanted to do what was right! How much like the lives of the saints we know about. Of course, we ARE human and do have personal demons, and yet in Christ, hearts and motives can be purified, our perspective changes to see the world as God sees it, and our heart longs to join in His saving work. It’s not just being idealistic, but believing that the world CAN be better.
Diana: It is our sacred duty to defend the world. And I wish to go…
Steve: My father told me once he said... ‘If you see something wrong happening in the world, you can either do nothing, or you can do something.’ And I already tried nothing.
Diana (as her mother tries to stop her): I am going, mother. I cannot stand by while innocent lives are lost. If no one else will defend the world from Ares, then I must. I have to go.
Diana’s strength did not detract from her softness and tenderness at all. I LOVE the tiny scene where she arrives in London for the first time, and is looking at everything with surprise and some amount of disgust (grimy London was ugly compared to her beautiful home island). But then she sees a woman with a stroller, and she runs toward her with excitement, “A BABY!” You could see how filled with compassion she was when she heard or saw different people’s sufferings. Her strength and idealism didn’t blind her to the person in front of her.
Women, don’t be afraid to be soft and gentle either. You have both strength AND tenderness. Your gentleness does not detract from your strength. The world needs your strength AND your tenderness. And to the rest of the world, don’t be afraid of strong women. Help them find their strength and their voice, because God has a unique role for them in the healing and salvation of this broken, messed up world.
Disclaimers: There were certain parts of Diana’s story that didn’t really fit into her character, and I don’t think they rang true. Like the conversation she and Steve had on the boat about not needing men and marriage being an unfamiliar concept. With her idealism and value for the human person, it seems obvious she would have believed in lifelong marriage and sex only in that context. Come on, Hollywood.
Steven Greydanus reviews Wonder Woman at Decent Films
How Bad Sexual Ethics Ruin Good Superhero Movies
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