Is Wonder Woman a symbol of empowerment or simply a “pin-up girl”?
On Friday, the United Nations named the DC superhero Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls. But not everyone is convinced that the 75-year-old heroine is an appropriate example.
In fact, as of Friday afternoon more than 1,100 people had signed a petition — initiated by Concerned United Nations staff members — to repeal the decision.
“Although the original creators may have intended Wonder Woman to represent a strong and independent ‘warrior’ woman with a feminist message, the reality is that the character’s current iteration is that of a large breasted, white woman of impossible proportions, scantily clad in a shimmery, thigh-baring body suit with an American flag motif and knee high boots –the epitome of a ‘pin-up’ girl,” the petition says.
“It is alarming that the United Nations would consider using a character with an overtly sexualized image at a time when the headline news in United States and the world is the objectification of women and girls.”
The announcement of the honorary ambassador was made in New York with Lynda Carter, star of the 1970s televisions series Wonder Woman, and Gal Gadot, who plays the the iconic comic book heroine in DC Extended Universe films. Several people silently protested, turning their backs during the event.
Some others took to Twitter to protest the announcement, including Anne Marie Goetz, a former chief advisor for UN Women (Peace and Security).
Wonder Woman made her comic book debut in All Star Comics #8 in December 1941 and her cover debut with Sensation Comics #1 in January 1942.
American psychologist William Moulton Marston who created the character has said he believed women were superior to men and supported the women’s suffragette movement. Over time, Wonder Woman became an icon for feminism. When she lost her powers in the comic books, famed feminist Gloria Steinem fought to get them restored. She even chose an image of Wonder Woman for the first cover of Ms. magazine in July 1972.