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Sunday, May 9, 2021

Women of Western: Wonder Woman woes

After rejecting seven female candidates to lead the global organization, the United Nations appointed Wonder Woman as an honorary ambassador in the hopes of “empower[ing] women and girls.”

The original idea was to promote gender equality while recognizing the comic’s 75th anniversary. But it brought about an onslaught of criticism, online and from UN members themselves. More than 600 members have signed an online petition to remove the superhero’s status.  

The petitions states, “Wonder Woman was created 75 years ago. Although the original creators may have intended Wonder Woman to represent a strong and independent ‘warrior’ woman with a feminist message, the reality is that the character’s current iteration is that of a large breasted, white woman of impossible proportions, scantily clad in a shimmery, thigh-baring bodysuit with an American flag motif and knee-high boots – the epitome of a ‘pin-up’ girl.”

This isn’t the first time that the UN has named fictional characters with honorary titles, however. In 1998, Winnie the Pooh was chosen and Ambassador of Friendship, and even Tinker Bell was Ambassador of Green in 2009.

At the official appointment ceremony in New York, about 100 members stood with their backs turned and fists raised in protest of the honor.  Some of the members held signs that read, “For something that is this important you need a woman or a man who can speak.”

There hasn’t been a woman president in the UN’s history.  Protesters urge the UN to appoint a real life female figure.

Alexandrea Moore, Western senior, is frustrated with the reaction.

“I think it’s a cute idea for the UN, I think it’s a cute fun 75th anniversary thing. People always look for things to overreact about and people are like, ‘Oh, cool, another small issue that we can focus on instead of addressing some of the bigger issues.’”

Moore knows that although there is an issue with the way comic books portray woman it isn’t an issue that the UN should be dealing with.

“I wouldn’t say [it’s a matter of feminism.] It’s just people looking for a problem to avoid big problems that are at the forefront and they don’t want to dive into. This is an easy ‘problem’ that has a quick fix.”

She thinks that this isn’t a matter that will get out of hand.

“This is an issue that will blow over,” Moore said. “I don’t think that people should think twice about it. I think it’s weird that they’re even batting an eye.”

Wonder Woman was named the official honorary ambassador of the UN Friday, Oct. 21.


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