You might have noticed the new Wonder Woman is currently dominating a lot of the articles on your newsfeed.
Most recently blaring headlines have been disputing leading lady Gal Gadot’s salary and the gender pay gap (more on this later), but, all in all, it’s dominating your newsfeed simply because it’s great.
A great film about a great woman that's played by a great woman AND directed by a great woman. Is that great enough?!
But what’s been SO refreshingly great about the onslaught of coverage is that it’s making us talk about feminism. Here’s why:
1. It’s the first female-led superhero film in more than a decade
I’ll go ahead and start with the obvious fact that we’ve been seriously starved of a female-led superhero movie in recent years. Yes, there have been female superheroes but none have managed to get their own film in over a decade so Wonder Woman was a long time coming to say the least.
2. Wonder Woman SMASHED it at the box office
It also exceeded expectations. It was the biggest opening by a woman director ever. Patty Jenkins directed the smash hit which raked in an estimated $101.4 million in its opening weekend.
Considering how grossly outnumbered female directors are to men - 24 male directors for every one woman director according to a U.S.C. Annenberg study - success should taste even sweeter for Jenkins. It shines a clear spotlight on the disparity.
Side note: The Hollywood Reporter even called Warner Bros’ decision to hire a female director a “gamble”.
We guess the “gamble” paid off…
3. Gal Gadot perceived as strong instead of overly-sexualised
Bear with me on this one. I’m not saying Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman wasn’t kickass. Or that Gal Gadot’s outfit wasn’t just as skimpy. But there’s no Baywatch-style slow-mo running or pervy close-ups on Gal’s breasts.
Case in point:
Sex symbol or super-heroine?
4. Female celebrities were vocal in their support of Gal
And a bit of female camaraderie goes a long away! Lupita Nyong'o, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, and Mindy Kaling were among the numerous celebs congratulating Gadot on her performance.
Critics were blown away too. Of course the fact they were so blindsided by how blown away they were shows there’s still work to be done!
5. EVERYTHING about this post from director Patty Jenkins
Patty's producer sent her some responses from kindergarten students about the film. They're not only adorable but also a stark reminder to encourage our own girls to be little wonder women themselves!
6. It got us talking about the gender pay gap
In a now-deleted tweet, a Teen Vogue journalist tweeted a jaw-dropping stat that Henry Cavill, who played Superman in Man of Steel got paid $14m to Gadot’s $300,000.
It promptly went viral and unfortunately for the Teen Vogue journo, the information was incorrect. Because it was wrong information, many pay gap sceptics decided to use it as an opportunity to proclaim things like: “See, the gender pay gap doesn’t exist and it's all feminist nonsense”, basing this on the salaries of two Hollywood movie stars (incidentally, there is an enormous pay gap in Hollywood, just ask Jennifer Lawrence).
For us mere mortals, it currently stands at 17.7% in Australia. But at least we’re talking about the gender pay gap… even if it’s tiresome having to continually point out that yes, it’s still there.