I came into this weekend with a long to-do list, and that list included going to the movies. As I am a diligent person *cough* I dutifully went to see Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice yesterday afternoon.
I know this movie has taken a lot of flack, and I’ll admit to not having read any of it. I wanted to see it for one reason, and one reason only: Wonder Woman. Ever since I was old enough for Underoos, she’s been my hero, and I have wanted to be her. And let’s face it, female superheroes are few and far between and the fact that she’s getting her own movie is amazing and I can hardly wait and…well, you get the point. So perhaps I was easy to please, or my lack of expectations staved off disappointment, but I. loved. this. movie. I very nearly went to see it again before writing this. In the interest of journalistic integrity, of course. I’ll tread carefully to avoid spoiling the movie for you.
The thing I loved most? BvS features women prominently. Six of them, in fact! This is practically unheard of in a movie of this genre. More importantly, these women are not treated as accessories for the male characters (with one exception), nor do they have to use seduction as a strategy. They are also diverse in character and motivation, and at no point did I want to scream ‘stop whimpering in the corner and DO something!’, because they are strong women. Motherhood, and a son’s love for his mother, are also a theme, and it’s nice to see the power of motherhood recognized in this way (especially as it includes motherhood-by-adoption here).
Now, no movie is perfect, of course. This one, for instance, has a serious lack of ethnic diversity. But go watch this movie! I hope you love it, too.
As a kid, my favorite TV moment was when the HBO behind the scenes features would air. We didn’t have DVDs with special features back then, and we certainly didn’t have IMDb. I love IMDb, and I look up pretty much everything I watch and read through the trivia. So of course, that’s what I was doing yesterday afternoon, and I found these:
Men are supposed to be big. Congratulated for being big–so long as it’s muscle, of course. Have you ever seen a woman congratulated for taking up more space, even due to muscle? Me, either. (Do we encourage little girls to ‘grow up big and strong’ like we do little boys?) In contrast, the trivia relating to Gal Gadot’s body was this:
Hey, Wonder Woman, the world is concerned that your boobs aren’t big enough! What are you going to do to fix that? (Gal, I love your answer, btw)
In our society, women are not encouraged to take up space. In fact, taking up space is bad, except for boobs, and sometimes butts, depending on what the man in your life wants. But the rest of you? Should be as tiny as possible. Women internalize this, and our body language and movements show it. So does the prevalence of dieting in our culture, Pinterest’s entire ‘Health and Fitness’ section, nearly every movie and television show ever made, the clothing industry, and so on. Have you ever wondered why that is? Because this is not an okay thing.