We didn’t get a female president and our birth control might be snatched away but at least we got a comic book consolation prize.
Wonder Woman is relentless. The movie keeps breaking records. It’s the highest grossing movie directed by a woman (though admittedly, there’s not a ton of competition there—the previous record holder was 2008’s Mamma Mia). Moreover, the sight of Wonder Woman easily besting hordes of men is welcome catharsis for women who didn’t realize they needed it.
It came at the perfect time. Our country may hate women but at least we can watch Diana Prince slam her muscled fist down on the patriarchy.
While Wonder Woman kills Nazis and rescues babies, our government tries its darnedest to force women back into the kitchen, pregnant and barefoot. The Senate’s Better Care and Reconciliation Act does everything short of sending Mitch McConnell into your OB/GYN appointment and yanking the speculum of your vaginal canal. The bill is Republican’s way of telling American women that our bodies belong to them.
Bonus, our president is a sexual predator. He never pretends to be anything else, yet he sits in the highest office in the country with one hand hovering over the nuclear launch codes and the other over a woman just rushing through her job so she can get the hell away from him.
If the titular demigoddess was real, she would take Senator Mitch McConnell’s turtle head and shove it right back into his shell, all while lecturing him on men’s irrelevance to sexual pleasure. She would grab Trump by the micro-penis (turnabout being fair play and all) and mansplain his body to him.
But Wonder Woman isn’t real. Neither one of those will ever happen. But that doesn’t change the feeling of sitting in the theater and pretending it will. In one of the movie’s (in)famous women-only screenings, the female audience erupted at the news that the evening’s box office would go to Planned Parenthood.
The line between fiction and reality is blurrier with Wonder Woman than with any other recent superhero movie, Marvel or DC. This movie and this superhero is necessarily political because we need it to be. We can’t force Trump to atone for his decades of misogyny, nor can we force Republicans to consider women as humans and not baby breeding machines that operate on their schedules.
But we’ve got a fictional Amazonian who can deflect bullets with her wrists, so. There’s that.