So, this post goes out to someone special. His (I’m reasonably confident he’s a man) name is probably Alex Lynch. He goes by @TheAlexLynch97 on Twitter, and he is pretty clearly a Zak Snyder fan (a cursory glance of his profile would, uh, evidence this). Why? Well, because he asked me to.
Today, I tweeted this, before going to see The Wolf of Wall Street in Exposition Park:
“Hi there, sexist #WonderWoman costume in #BatmanvSuperman. Somewhat surprised that the comics did better http://www.themarysue.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/new-wonder-woman-costume.jpg#geekosystem”
When I returned home to my wifi network, I got this in response from @TheAlexLynch97:
“@NicdSF go back to tumblr you piece of shit [sic]”
Normally, I don’t do requests, but something about that pupil-free stare from the Doctor Manhattan picture he uses made his words like poetry, and galvanized me into following his words. So here goes, and in the spirit of Twitter, I’ll be shorter than my 3-page Boyhood writeup.
I dislike the new costume for Wonder Woman, and I think it’s sexist. There, I’ve said it. Why? Well, Alex, I’m glad you asked. Let’s start with the little details and go big from there. Let’s pick another super hero to compare her to. Since you like Snyder (banner poster, description, profile picture), let’s go with his incarnation of Superman, shall we?
Her arms, thighs, and chest are exposed to the elements, where Superman’s are not. Why is this? Well, on a practical level, Superman’s parts are covered up to protect him. Sure, the Man of Steel has some tough skin, but he still bleeds, and that suit is by no means just spandex. He doesn’t run around in a sleeveless suit, because 1) It would look ridiculous [but more on that later], and 2) because he’s just begging to get unnecessary and avoidable cuts and bruises from shrapnel, skin-grazing projectiles, stray pointy objects, etc. Notice, also, that while Supes runs/flies around in shin-high boots, which allow for proper support, freedom of movement, and dependable stability, Wonder Woman is standing there (quite badassly) in the promotional image in what look like knee-high, platform heels. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to wear any footwear that went past the knee–or platform heels, for that matter–but they would not afford the same freedom of movement, nor would they provide dependable stability, as Supes’ boots. So, yeah. It’s a pretty impractical “suit” (though they keep Edna Mode happy by keeping with Wonder Woman convention and keep out the cape).
You also Tweeted five hours before I wrote this that “If you think the Wonder Woman costume is sexist, hang yourself.” I could write a few pages on those last two words, but again, going for brief here, so I’ll just go on the presumption of the subordinate clause of your Tweet. Yes, I think her costume is sexist. Now, I think it’s sexist, because the objective of her having such a revealing costume is pretty clearly not a practical decision, but an objectifying one. Now, I grew up on DC, and it pains me to admit this, but they’re pretty well known for their misogynistic depictions of their female characters, and this new costume is no exception. There’s a reason we didn’t get to see Henry Cavill’s chiseled abs through most of the film, and that’s because he’s a man, and therefore, by the conventions of our culture an object of violence rather than one of sex. Yes, his costume emphasized his abs, but it did so while covering up all but his hands and just a hint of sub-clavicle chest hair. Our culture sees violence and action heroes as “masculine,” which is why so many of our superheroes are male, and why they tend to be written better. It’s a genre written by males putting males in positions of power and heroic action to allow their male audience to put themselves in the shoes of the male hero. While the male characters fill their need to be action heroes, the female characters fill their sexual wants and desires, typically by constantly showing as much of their bodies as the censors will allow (Starfire is quite the censor bait in some comics, and really not in a good way). As such, the women become the symbols of sex and sexuality; in this culture, females are only valued for their bodies, and their bodies are only valued for sex. I don’t know about you, Alex, but I know a lot of women who can kick my ass, and none of them are particularly happy with this sexualization that this culture puts on their bodies. They think it should change, and I’m very inclined to agree with them. But this separation of “kicks ass” and “hot ass” (and I feel really, really disgusted even typing that) is why we would never see Superman standing sexily in boots, briefs, and cape while Wonder Woman strikes a powerful pose in her full-body armor over a pile of vanquished foes. Though I really like that image. If anywhere could make that happen, it would be Tumblr (please make me proud!).
Sorry, I know I’m supposed to be keeping it brief, but I have to close it. I’m the target demographic for the upcoming Batman v. Superman movie: 18-45 year old male who lies in the lower numbers on the Kinsey Scale, and I’m going to venture a guess that you are too, Alex. You know what’s a great way to bring in that demographic? Sex and violence. That’s right, we’re being pandered to. I really don’t like being pandered to. If I go to see a film that happens to hit me in all the right spots, hey, that’s awesome, but I don’t like going to see a movie that is predicated on pleasing me by virtue of falling under a certain demographic (especially because I’m often not). I love being challenged by the films I see, not indulged. I live for films that challenge the way I think or see the world in one way or another, and I love going into a film and getting surprised by this or that (The Winter Soldier being all about NSA spying and the drone program? Iron Man 3 being all about PTSD? Snowpiercer bucking the mindless action genre conventions of summer and proving to be a traumatizing essay on the darkest depths of humanity and rationality? Fucking love it all!), and all because the filmmakers wanted to meet me toe to toe and make an intelligent point. But a film that thinks all I want to see is a male hero in whose shoes I can imagine myself and a female character…I’m not even going to finish that comparison. That’s the film whose filmmakers were content to assume I’m an idiot who demands satisfaction in the basest senses of making my fantasy world come to life; and that, frankly, is offensive.
So yes, I believe the new Wonder Woman costume is sexist. It’s a slap in the face to men and women alike, and just when the comics were making progress (pants and a jacket! A costume both stylish and functional!). Well, Alex, I’m proud of you for reading this far, but whether or not you mind, I think I’ll skip the hanging for now.
Please shut the fuck up. You SJWs make me sick. If you don’t like the costume, don’t see the movie and please stop reading comic books. It’s a comic-faithful costume and Wonder Woman has been “exposed” for years. She had pants for like three months then DC rebooted and the pants went away. There is nothing sexist about it. Go cry more.