Wonder Woman Review – Why is this Film Making Women Cry?

It arrived.

The day I had longed for since childhood. I laughed with knowing wonder at the child version of Diana as she impatiently mirrored the Amazon’s training, (much to her mother’s disapproval) and constantly asking about battling and fighting.

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But I grew up in the South. In a man’s man kind of world. I was constantly told as a little girl that fighting was for boys. I was handed dolls when I asked for hot wheels and tracks. You know the ones, the really neat colorful plastic tracks that broke like after 3 runs with the cars? I was given an easybake oven when I asked for legos, and transformers─ barbies when I asked for action figures, and finally  sparkly wands when I asked for play swords and guns.

Well, you get the rest without harping. My stepfather (much to my mother’s disapproval) would encourage me to read comics and allow me to sit and watch films like Aeon Flux, Spawn, and Logan’s Run. He understood my need for not buying into the idea of what a woman was supposed to be. Though, in retrospect, a 10 year old riding on a motorcycle probably wasn’t the safest approach to parenting, but eh, I survived.

By that age, I was out bicycling up ramps and climbing trees with the guys. And I can neither confirm, nor deny that we may have caught a few things on fire. I would constantly get yelled at for coming home scuffed up and my clothes covered in dirt. Why couldn’t I just be normal? My family wondered.

The day that I found her, she was already 60 years old and more beautiful than any super hero I’d seen. Not only because she was a woman (because, duh, XMen and Rogue, and Jean Grey) but she was a strong woman. One with her own origins, badass fighting skills, and the main star of the show.

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For years, I’d pined for a movie with Diana. I wanted to see the Amazon’s battling. What would that look like? An entire camp of like-minded women, in the thrill of it, in their element much like myself. Fighting for a cause.

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Because, after all, my own life sort of mirrored that. Do I consider myself the strongest woman and that all of my traumatic experiences somehow add up to trump everyone’s life experiences? Hell to the No. Have you seen Syria? I’m not that naive, nor a special snowflake. But I love physical training. I secretly wish, maybe in some masochistic way, that someone would try to jump me.

I am not a bright woman.

But the thrill of the hunt, the quest to ever be this honed, badass human being that fights for justice has always been high on my list. If I had to guess, probably stems from way too many superhero stories as a kid. The call of battle comes from both sides of my family. I come from a long line of Army men and Marines. I guess some might say, warrior is in my blood.

Every morning finds me awake, running and lifting weights. It’s no secret that I don’t have a small frame. My grandmother used to jokingly call it a Valkyrie build and that I was born with a shield in one hand, and a sword in the other.

My grandmother, was one of my favorite people. Not because of that, but that she was one of two people that treated me like a human being. (my own grandfather once calling me a useless sack of shit.)

Which is why this scene, in the film was everything to me.

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Look.

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At

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These

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Women.

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They’re hard, they’re ready. And they’re in their element. They are proud, and seasoned warriors.

There was no place, I would have rather been than there─ in that theater last night. My eyes were glued to the screen, I couldn’t take them away. I soaked in every battle scene, fully immersing myself in this culture of strong women.

They were me, I was them.

The training, the teasing banter, the honor.

Patty Jenkins is quickly becoming one of my favorite directors. Loved The Killing, Monster, Arrested Development (04), and though I haven’t seen Monster, it’s on my list. She told the actresses to ‘Not be angry, and to be in their element.’ And boy, did she do it right.

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But I was not prepared for what happened next. On top of all the chills, and goosebumps and thinking─ this, this is it

I was shocked to find that wetness had gathered around my eyes. And as I looked around, I wasn’t the only one. All the women in the audience had the same hopeful, awe-inspired expression. And what surprised me more, the men were crying too.

For the first time in my life, someone had accurately displayed what I had always felt in my heart. The love, the strength, and the compassion. The fiery need to go do something with my life that was worth fighting for. To show that love is strength, not just fighting.

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Gal Gadot’s performance was spot-on, and I knowingly laughed at the scene’s when she entered, ‘mans-world’ to find that her sisters were basically slaves, or pretty dress-up dolls.

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“How do women fight in these?”

I’ve never been a fan of many women’s clothing. If you really want to get my fired up, ask me about non-functioning pockets. I don’t do purses, they are a waste of money and too clunky. Why would I give my attacker a way to grab me and steal all of my shit?

Don’t even get me started on heels.

Though William Marston, WW’s creator, was a bit of an odd fellow (dying and leaving behind two wives, and had a part in creating the lie detector by measuring blood pressure), his creation is something that continues to inspire generations of women.

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This film was everything to me this year, and I’ve a strong feeling that it will continue to be something I will always cherish. Not just myself, but generations of women that have looked at society and thought, ‘why can’t women be strong?’

The real point in all of my banter─ is that Wonder Woman? I feel you. I’ve been you my whole life.

 

Thank you, DC and thank you, Patty Jenkins.

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Do yourself a favor, go see this movie─ today.

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