Was Wonder Woman Ever An Appropriate U.N Ambassador?

Was Wonder Woman

Ever An Appropriate U.N Ambassador?

Growing up, my idea of wonder woman was that she was an annoying upstart to the more heroic and infinitely more capable superman, a clumsy and scantily clad woman who cared more about how much of her bosom she showed than how much saving was to be done.

But that’s just me, right?


When the U.N made the decision to appoint honorary brand ambassadorship to one of the first female superheroes back in late October, the reaction was muddied, and the hope for overwhelming support for the appointment was dashed, quickly. Not only were women confused by the imaginary nature of her character – but befuddled also by the fact that here was the U.N, aiming to reach its gender equality goal by 2030, but splaying the message across the world that to attain that goal, one of your #idols would of course be corset donning and airbrushed miss-look-at-my-bum Diana Prince. Hoorah!

The lack of imagination this exemplified at the time astonished many academics and indeed U.N workers alike who couldn’t believe the very thought of this poster pin-up as an aspirational standard set by one of the globe’s foremost governing bodies. Where was the thought, the examination? One look into the archives would have told you that Wonder Woman lost her feministic furor once her creator, Charles Marston died. For the next few decades she petered in and out of jobs decidedly womanly and never dominated nor inspired; as secretary, advice columnist and child minder.

Gal Gadot’s recent cameo as Wonder Woman came as a welcome opposition to the feministic deterrent the character had become after Marston’s death, it was still however, not enough to detract from the simple fact that there were many better choices for the U.N in the first place. What does it say about the state of the gender divide that another more suitable – real symbol could not have been bequeathed the role? And were that the case – would she have lasted longer? It’s been less than two months, and Wonder Woman has already disappeared into the annals of honorary ambassadors, to be replaced, one hopes, with an infinitely more worthy figure.

Courtesy of Warner Brothers

Perhaps had the U.N waited for after Gadot’s forthcoming movie dedicated entirely to the character — a showcase of what many believe will be 21st century feminism at its finest — the decision would have been greeted with a more positive attitude. Instead they chose the character at a time when the world is begging for a female superhero in reality.

The thought is there- the action however is missing, and indeed begs the question – who would have been better? What woman would have stood up to the condemners, the haute-feminists, me? Hilary, Merkel, Beyonce, Adele, Michelle? The comic world is certainly not chock-full of engaging women but surely there was someone more qualified for the role – Captain Marvel or Elektra? Even at that – the list of potentials is sparse, so why not have chosen a real-life character –  a CEO; or an Olympian that defied every definition of gravity we know this year like, for instance, Simone Biles;  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie or Shonda Rhimes from the writer’s corner?

The list is endless, and the names would roll off anyone’s tongue who has been paying the least bit of attention to the changing pace of feminism in the last 10 years.

It is no joke, nor is it in our imaginations. It is about time those real people who are furthering the cause are recognized for their work – for pushing the boundaries of sexism and paving the way for a future that is no less real than was the suffrage movement in the last century.

Amy Corcoran

Head of Content at SWAAY: Amy is an Irish writer, avid foodie and feminist with an insatiable appetite for novels and empowering women's writing. She has enjoyed calling Dublin, Paris and now New York her home.

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