Article Aug 7, 2017

Why I appreciate the differences of Wonder Woman

For the first time, I watched a live-action superhero movie, and the main character was a woman.

“Wonder Woman” has seen major box office success. The film has surpassed “Deadpool” in its earnings, making it the second highest grossing comic book superhero movie ever without Batman, Iron Man or Spider Man. “Wonder Woman” has also become the highest grossing film to be directed by a woman, surpassing “Mama Mia.” And it surpassed the final “Harry Potter” installment to become Warner Bro.’s third biggest release of all time. Impressive.

The typical superhero

This film comes at just the right time in our culture. The voices of feminism have been adding to the cacophony of talking points and noise for decades. Having made even more “progress” in more modern times, I am surprised it took this long to see a great film with a female superhero.

In my reflections about this movie, I’ve incorporated some of what I’ve been reading lately from Evangelical Feminism by Wayne Grudem. There is a lot of debate around the topic of women and feminism in our culture, but there is still a lot of room for Christian women to speak into the topic, providing a positive perspective on the value of women through the lens of what Scripture teaches.

The Bible teaches that men and women are created equal and yet different. Through these differences, men and women complement each other. Yet in those differences, I’ve often felt that culture pins stereotype qualities on women, and those qualities are seen as weaknesses.

Male superhero characters like Superman are depicted as strong and willing to make the difficult sacrifice. They are calculated, not allowing emotion to get in the way, like we see from Tony Stark. Batman is focused on the journey ahead and willing to charge through a brick wall alone to make changes to Gotham.

A different type of superhero

Women have a unique ability to make an impact that will last for generations.

Diana is different. First, despite the name of the movie being “Wonder Woman,” she is not called that once in the film. She is Diana. As a superhero, she brings with her some of the characteristics that are typically unique to women, but in a positive light. She is nurturing, and yet incredibly strong. She’s not afraid to realize her emotions—feeling the pain and anguish of the ravages of war. And she’s not afraid to bring others along with her in her journey, valuing the relationships.

“We’ll do this together!” -Diana

These characteristics, which can sometimes be viewed as “weaknesses” by our culture, were used in a way that brought great strength to Diana. These characteristics were a part of what motivated her toward making a difference. Diana was willing to be a team player, giving recognition to the others that were in the battle with her, because she was not concerned about her own recognition but was confident in her convictions.

“I am willing to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. Who will, if I don’t?” –Diana

Diana recognized that with ability comes responsibility. This is a valuable lesson that we can all use. Even if we aren’t a “superhero”, we have all been given different roles, opportunities, and responsibilities. The way we function in those roles will affect the lives of others. How are we going to steward our opportunities to lead? We each have the opportunity to impact eternity when we keep our focus on things that last: people’s souls and God’s Word.

Women have a unique ability to make an impact that will last for generations. We each get an opportunity to leave a legacy with our families, friends, and the relationships we build. Women are often relational, ready to step in and connect–ready to care. This gives us great power to connect on a heart level and live out the gospel in word and deed.  Whether in motherhood, the boardroom, or any other role, how are we shaping the legacy that we want to leave behind?

Wonder Woman’s character realized her power, and used it for good. Let’s do the same with our abilities today—even the ones that might be seen as “weaknesses” by our culture.