You, along with everyone else in the world, went to see Wonder Woman this weekend. It was powerful. It was magical. It was feminist AF. Maybe you even left the theater thinking that the tide had finally turned. If women can feel this kind of empowerment leaving a superhero movie, what can’t women do? As you drove home you thought about how Steve crashed into the ocean and Diana saved him, flipping the standard “damsel in distress” trope on its head. And just when you thought you couldn’t feel more pride, you remembered how Diana told Steve that men we’re necessary for procreation but not adept at pleasing a woman. You finally understood why internet trolls have so much confidence despite their mediocre intelligence and looks they hide behind a Twitter egg: They have white, male superhero movies. But nothing lasts forever, and what goes up must come down. So here are some helpful tips to calm your ego so your coworkers won’t think you’re too radical, outspoken or, Patty Jenkins forbid... feminist.
1. Hop on Twitter and see what men are saying about Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse all-women screenings of the movie. Reading enough tweets about how unfair it is to men that they will have to drive to a different theater to see a movie that will insult their masculinity is sure to poke a few holes in your over-inflated sense of self-confidence. If nothing else, it will remind you that men’s version of discrimination is having to go to a different showing of a movie, while women’s is a lack of sufficient health care, pay-equity and a general sense of safety while walking home at night.
2. Watch interviews with Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot, where male interviewers ask her about her breast size or poke fun at her for mispronouncing English words. Never mind that she is an intelligent, successful, strong actress, mother and former member of the Israeli Defense Forces. Remember that what’s important to the men of the world is whether her breasts are big enough to play Wonder Woman, and if they can infantilize her because English isn’t her first language and she doesn’t know who Spongebob is. That oughta do it.
3. Remember that if you want to watch Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in any other movies, you’ll have to put up with Ben Affleck as Batman. You can see her in Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, or the upcoming Justice League, but those each star professional fuckboi Ben Affleck doing some sort of off-brand Christian Bale Batman voice and serving as a constant reminder of what he did to Jennifer Garner.
4. Read any of a number of reviews that lament the fact that Patty Jenkin’s Wonder Woman is not as “S&M kinky” as I guess some men would have hoped. That’s right, men whose job it is to professionally critique movies are upset that a female character makes choices, has agency and demonstrates facets of her personality that do not simply exist so they can masturbate later. One reviewer so eloquently noted that, “it’s not until she strips down to her superheroine bodice and shorts, pulls out her sword, and leaps into the fray, that she comes into her own.” So remember ladies, even when the woman is the superhero, unless she’s scantily clad and can please men sexually, she is not her own person. There’s that crippling self-doubt you’ve come to cherish so.
5. Find articles and tweets proudly reporting that this movie has proved women can direct big budget movies that men and women alike will go see. Just in case you thought that should have been obvious, or that the success of all women should not rest on one female director and one movie. Be gently reminded that movies directed by and starring women have to break every record on the books to be considered successful, and women will still direct just seven percent of the top 250 films. Now you’re back to apologizing before speaking up in meetings and nodding politely as Ted from marketing makes the same point you made three minutes ago but louder and with more coffee breath.
If you want to take a private moment in the women’s bathroom to feel some of that ego-inflating power once again, here’s a picture of Gal Gadot and OG Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter bowing to each other like the fierce, Amazonian queens they are.