Hot Take Roundup: Wonder Woman
For media that makes a lot of noise, it’s hard to keep up with all the discussion–so I’m starting a new segment on this blog called the Hot Take Roundup. (Kind of a silly name, I know, but you are reading a blog called Femmedia.)
For the Hot Take Roundup I’ll catalog the funny, unique, cute, and/or unnecessary takes on the internet surrounding the latest hot-button show or movie. This is meant to provide insight on the discussion of said show or movie, in all it’s facets, because the Internet’s vast opinions can be hard to keep track of… and what’s actually worth paying attention to might get lost in the shuffle.
Anyways, this segment is a work in process, but generally, the articles presented here will be less review-oriented and more context-oriented. Hoping it gives some good information for how pieces of media land on the zeitgeist and how the zeitgeist responds.
So what does a woman-led and woman-directed superhero movie mean in the context of the industry’s history? What added pressure does it have to do well?
Turns out a lot of people have a lot of opinions about Wonder Woman, good and bad. This tweet from a friend of mine about sums it up:
You can find out someone’s politics exclusively off of the reason they are boycotting Wonder Woman
— enelaich (@enelaich) June 2, 2017
Or, I’d like to note, not boycotting Wonder Woman.
From men not understanding that a woman’s presence in the movie wasn’t for them to people boycotting because the lead actress was an Israeli fighter, people really, really, really, really have opinions about this movie.
First up: Is it really a feminist dream?
Well, sorta. These takes will discuss the movie’s merits as a feminist power dream (even if nobody really liked the ultra-CGI ending):
- “Darkness Outshines Diana: A Review of Wonder Woman” from Kendra James at Bitch Media
- “I expected to like Wonder Woman. I didn’t expect it to be such a relief” from Caroline Framke at Vox
- “Why Wonder Woman is a masterpiece of subversive feminism” from Zoe Williams at the Guardian
- “Why I cried through the fight scenes in Wonder Woman” from Meredith Woerner at the Los Angeles Times
- Counter point: “I Wish Wonder Woman Were as Feminist as it Thinks it is” from Christina Cauterucci at Slate
OK, so why does it matter that Gal Gadot is Israeli?
This is a little harder to parse through, and most of these articles are less hot takes and more reporting based, but there’s a worthwhile discussion somewhere in here. For both positive and negative reasons, GG’s nationality outshined WW’s feminist film status in some people’s eyes:
- “Why so many people care that Wonder Woman is Israeli” from Ruth Graham at Slate
- “How the breakout of ‘Wonder Woman’ did–and didn’t–play in Gal Gadot’s native Israel” from Steven Zeitchik at the Los Angeles Times
- “Gal Gadot’s nationality is why ‘Wonder Woman’ is being boycotted” from Dory Jackson originally at International Business Times
- And, which I’ll post here because it has to do with nationality: Fox News contributors had a lot to say about WW’s “patriotism” (ugh)
More on the ethnicity/nationality/where-the-heck-are-the-women-of-color front:
- “Imagining a Black Wonder Woman” from Maya Rupert at The Atlantic
- “Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is White–Let’s Not Pretend Otherwise” from Noah Berlatsky at Forward
Men Don’t Get Why Women Hate Sexism, Wonder Woman Edition
- “‘Wonder Woman’ is a Star Turn for Gal Gadot But The Rest Is Pretty Clunky” from David Edelstein at Vulture
- David Edelstein’s totally tone-deaf response to all of the criticism of his review
- “What Does Wonder Womanchild Want?” from Armond White at The National Review
- To be fair, sometimes women don’t even don’t get why women hate sexism. Take it from Heather Wilhelm, also at The National Review: “Run, Wonder Woman! The Feminists Are after You!“
Bonus, because I can’t not bring Feminist Film Twitter’s epic response into this nonsense:
Pro tip: if your defense of a poorly written review is “I didn’t realize how much you ladies would care,” don’t bother
— Caroline Framke (@carolineframke) June 6, 2017
I don’t care whether David Edelstein liked WW or not. I do care that his review &followup are jammed with unexamined assumptions & arrogance
— Mo Ryan (@moryan) June 6, 2017
Male critic says something sexist > women criticize him > male critic: “well maybe if you girls could READ or were SMART you would GET IT” pic.twitter.com/PcY1ZmJhqN
— rachelle✿ (@rachellephant) June 6, 2017
I am honestly astonished at how many men are willing to admit, in print, that they’ve never heard of masturbation, oral sex, or lesbians https://t.co/RSETPz6o5i
— thefourthvine (@thefourthvine) June 6, 2017
And Kayleigh Donaldson’s “The War Crime of Reviewing: On David Edelstein and Women in Criticism” to make you sleep a little easier.
Any other hot takes I should add to the list? Let me know in the comments.