Before seeing the movie Wonder Woman, I saw some headlines like, “Why I Cried During Wonder Woman.” I saw the movie. I didn’t cry, but afterward, I did read one of those articles. The gist is that seeing kickass women, women who aren’t slut-shamed even while being kickass, or who aren’t confident and kickass as an aberration, but because that’s what they and every other woman around them truly are, is so amazing to see up there on that big, beautiful silver screen, that it brings tears to the eyes. Tears of liberation.
I’ve been told no my whole life, just like every other woman on the face of the earth. And it was good to see Diana encounter that and not understand it. You can see the confusion on Diana’s face when the men around her are telling her no. Every woman understands that confusion. Every girl has grown up and come to that moment when she is about to do something, but the people around her tell her no. To know that you are capable, and yet you are not allowed, either because others assume you aren’t capable, or simply because of your gender, not just once, but repeatedly – daily – can wear a person down. When Diana does it anyway, that’s what brings people to tears. She shows everyone that this is what women are, this is what we’ve always been – what we always could have been if only we had been told yes, every time we’d been told no.
It’s refreshing to see Diana do her thing and to speak up – not in a whispered voice, but really speak up and state the truth of things, to speak her mind like most other male superheroes do without it being an unusual occurrence – without everyone in the audience thinking someone is going to shut him up any moment now.
It’s ridiculous to think that the world wouldn’t want half of its population to be this kickass. Why wouldn’t we want every single person to use their capabilities? Why wouldn’t we want every single person to have a voice? Why would we want to quash girls’ abilities so often that as women, our kickassedness is hidden deep within on our own inner islands, like the Amazons in the movie are hidden on Themiscyra.
Well, Diana has left that island and broken out into the world. This has brought some women to tears, but we’ve all known about her. Every woman is her. Cry or don’t cry, but remember this, she isn’t going back.