Wonder Woman: kidnapped and held hostage by Hollywood! This could be the headline for a review of the current Warner Brothers film, Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. I was so looking forward to seeing this film. I was so excited to see the return of Wonder Woman, the first female superhero, in a line-up with Superman, the comic book hero Wonder Woman was created after, by Harvard psychologist and feminist, William Marston, in 1941. She would be there to fight against tyranny, just as she had teamed-up with Superman in the ‘40s to fight the Nazis.
I’m a psychologist, a life coach, a public speaker, and my current talk is on Wonder Woman as representative of the current feminine archetype of powerful, smart women who are working around the world (there are nearly one million grassroots women’s organization on the planet) for an end to violence; for social justice and equality for men, women and children.
I found no trace of the real Wonder Woman in this movie. There is no resemblance to her in the characterization written for Israeli actor, Gal Gadot. By the time she showed up (probably 2 hours into this painful, ugly drama), Superman had been reduced to a Superwimp and stripped of his superpowers. Batman is a sadistic villialante. Wonder Woman looks like a Vogue model, and when transformed, a character out of Game of Thrones, who’s dropped in, but we don’t know why. She accomplishes nothing. Gone are her gold tiara, which could be hurled at a villain to stop him in his tracks, the silver bracelets that could deflect bullets, the golden lasso which impels truth-telling. But the biggest loss for the audience is the loss of what the film purports to be about- Justice.
There is no justice in this movie. A monstrous creature, (Doomsday in the original comic story) Zod in this film, who’s infused with Lux Luthor’s DNA, succeeds in killing Superman- which was his aim all along. Although Luthor ends up babbling incoherently in prison, he is the only winner in this panoply of superheroes-gone-wrong and supervillains-getting-their-wish.
Luthor, played superbly by Jesse Eisenburg, is the only compelling character in the film. And I object. Anti-heroes are intriguing because, while they are morally ambiguous, they usually land us on the right side of things. Luthor is not morally ambiguous. He is a sadistic psychopath. So we essentially have no heroes in this film.
The corollary to Jesus’ death and resurrection is evident at the end (we even see a cross in the distance) when Lois Lane tearfully drops dirt on the coffin, turns away, and the coffin starts to move. By this time, my friend and I are just glad the film is over, and disgusted by the cheap gimmick preparing the audience for the next put-you-to-sleep-if-you-have-earplugs and can-stand-the-lack-of-morals sequel. (And I’m not interested in seeing Superman portrayed as the second coming.)
Back to Wonder Woman
Our first female superhero wasn’t created to compete with or participate in the prevailing male “fists and firepower” manner of handling crisis. She was created with the intention of bringing the feminine energies of love and fierce compassion to a world that desperately needed (and still needs) justice, equality and peace.
William Marston was dedicated to equal rights for women and he firmly believed that, “The only hope for civilization is the greater freedom, development and equality of women.” He and his brilliant wife, Elizabeth Holloway, dedicated their lives to this purpose. After his death in 1947 and with the end of the war, women were sent home from offices and factories, and Wonder Woman lost her power.
It’s been a long road back to equal rights and we still have far to go- particularly in other parts of the world. For example: Women perform 66% of the world’s work and produce 50% of the world’s food (in Africa 80%), but they earn 10 % of the income and own 1% of the property? (Women’s Global Initiative ’95; restated in 2012 and 2014, Marcia Dyson, Hillary Clinton, Melinda Gates)
So yes, we have much work to do. Male or female, we must unleash the power of our inner Wonder Woman, the powerful nurturing feminine energy we all possess, and stay true to our purpose and intentions. We must resist whoever and whatever organization, industry, cause, (or our own small selves) that might persuade, sidetrack, or hijack us from our mission, our life purpose of being a Warrior-for-Good.
At the Vancouver International Peace Summit in 2009, the Dalai Lama said:
“The world will be saved by the western woman.”
And Ernest Holmes wrote, “My Inner Light shines through the mist of human beliefs and frees me from the bondage of fear and limitation.”
And lastly, Socrates said, “The secret of change is to focus all of our energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
So let’s harness the freedoms we possess and prove the Dalai Lama right! Be a Badass Wonder Woman Goddess. The world needs your vision, your truth, and your Divine Feminine Energy!