By Joe Glass
After just two months, Wonder Woman has lost her position at the UN as an Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls. And frankly, that is an utter shame.
What seem to be the main reasons for those protesting, petitioning and ultimately seeing the fictional character removed from the position is an unhappiness with the fact that such a position is held by a fictional character (despite the fact that the position of Honorary Ambassador is typically filled by fictitious characters), that this particular role is too important for a fictitious character to be the face of, and finally, that a character that they claim is highly sexualized is an unacceptable role model for young girls and women in the name of empowerment.
This of course is patently incorrect. And ignores the work of numerous artists to focus on the work of a few. Look at the art shown here and tell me that the character is purely a character or titillation and not more than that, I dare you.
But also, Wonder Woman is a fictional character. She has no agency over her actions or wardrobe. That is down to writers and artists. So in an image where Wonder Woman is drawn as sexual for purely titillating reasons, it is not her choice to do so.
And even if it was, so what? Are we saying a woman, fictional or otherwise, has no worth based on her choice of clothing?
Is this not, in a bizarre way, a kind of victim blaming? Wonder Woman has been drawn in manner to appeal to men, so we don’t blame the artist, we blame the character.
Wonder Woman, as a character, an idea, has the power to reach out in a way that no Ambassador or Goodwill Ambassador ever could. She’s culturally recognisable and adaptable in a way that no real person can be. And the core message of the character of Wonder Woman; that of compassion, empathy, strength and equality for women is something that should be shared to all and spread far and wide.
Instead, some folks have decided to look at a relative handful of artwork from the 75 year history of the icon and damned her for it, not those actually responsible.
Personally, I think THAT is a much more dangerous message to be sending out to young girls.
Joe Glass is a Bleeding Cool contributor and comics creator. He is the creator and writer of LGBTQ superhero series, The Pride.