Tears of Wonder

I bawled my way through Wonder Woman on Saturday. I'll try to avoid spoilers, but read at your own peril.

Let me back up. As a child, there were two superheroes that I was obsessed with: She-Ra and Wonder Woman. Oh and Princess Leia, but I didn't consider her a superhero. I loved these badass babes. I had the toys! I have the Wonder Woman Underoos, which I didn't understand why I couldn't wear out of the house. They were my costume, dammit.

Boys grow up with multitudes of superheroes and strong, tough men to look up to. To recount them would take years.

I had three. Three tough women that lived on the TV that I had to look up to and pretend to be.

I even channeled Wonder Woman into my therapy sessions a few years ago. I was dealing with a particularly difficult woman who would send me into panic attacks, so my therapist encouraged me to channel a superhero. I chose Wonder Woman and I'd mentally wear her magic bracelets and deflect any stress or barbs that came my way. It worked too!

I think a lot of women feel the same way. I'm reading articles and tweets about women who bawled their way through Wonder Woman this past weekend. And, sure, we cried at the sweet and sad parts, but the parts where we all really lost it were the fight scenes. 

Meredith Woerner wrote in the LA Times:
"It started on the beach, when Gen. Antiope (Robin Wright) rode into battle with a smile and Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) leaped off her horse, spinning into the air to wipe out two armed men with her sword. As the battle raged on, it became clear that the scene was not window-dressing, 10 seconds of Amazon showtime before the real movie started. This was the movie — female warriors kicking ass. 
They were fierce and powerful, highly trained soldiers who knew what they were doing, and the film took that, and them, seriously. It was overwhelming."
I couldn't agree more. It started with all these amazing, strong, fierce as fuck women kicking the asses out of men. The tears came because I'd never seen anything like it.

Then Diana, Wonder Woman, she dominated. She was this ferocious, multifaceted woman! And no one could tell her what to do. Men tried to tell her no, but she did what she thought was right and she knew what she had to do and trusted and believed in herself and she fucking dominated! And the men? They were there to support her. She saved the fucking day and they were there to help.

And I just bawled. I was just SO HAPPY! I'd never seen anything like it.

It wasn't just her sense of self and her headstrong nature and her kicking of the ass; it was her emotions. This was an emotional woman! She loved and she cared and she was sad and angry and joyous and blunt. She sought pleasure and she embraced her sadness too. And her emotions weren't a detriment; in fact, they made her stronger! This woman's full range of emotions were what made her so successful. Imagine that. A woman, the lead in an action movie, kicking ass because of her feelings!

How incredible is that? We've never seen anything like it.

It's so antithetical to every message women are given from birth. The next time some asshole tries to gaslight you and make you feel crazy for having emotions, just channel your Diana and deflect that shit!

Diana isn't here for any of your bullshit and neither am I.

And you bet your ass this woman was portrayed as she was because a woman directed this film. It takes a woman to understand womanhood. I just know Patty Jenkins felt in making it as I did watching it, that we NEED this strong, emotional woman to show all women and girls that the key to our strength is to trust our hearts and our instincts. We need her so badly.

Needless to say, I cried my way out of the movie theater and I've cried every time I talk about it and I'm crying now. Men aren't going to understand that, aren't going to understand why, because they can't. There's just no possible way for them to understand what it's like.

Most men I've talked to that liked the movie are pleased with the tight storylines and the great action sequences and the great acting. Then I go on this tear about seeing this powerful woman on screen finally and they look at me like, "well yeah, duh, she's a superhero."

There's no way to explain it, not to someone who has been represented his whole life on screen.

Next we need Hollywood to really get it: better representation for GLBTQ people and PoC and disabled people. Strong ass people who are kicking ass because of who they are!

Make it so.


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