Way back in April of 2016, we celebrated the emergence of Wonder Woman on the big screen. At that time, we were merely looking forward to what amounted to an extended cameo in the movie Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice. As is common in superhero cinema, DC and Warner Bros. used this property to offer us a brief introduction to Wonder Woman before actually releasing the film Wonder Woman – which came out in the spring of 2017, and pretty much knocked everyone’s socks off.
Some 18 months after Batman v Superman, it’s like we live in a different superhero universe altogether. Before Batman v Superman, the Wonder Woman/Diana Prince character was more or less a stranger to all but avid comics fans. People know the name, but interpretations were few and far between. There were a couple of failed cinematic projects over the years. An internet slot reel laid out in the style of a comic book included Wonder Woman as a Justice League character. The reel and background art gave her more or less equal time to Batman and Superman, but it’s still a sort of vague, comic-like impression. Similarly, the Injustice gaming series has long included Wonder Woman, though she’s a very generic character in those instances, and just one of many.
But now? Now Wonder Woman is a star on a level with any other cinematic superhero. Gal Gadot was simply wonderful in the Patty Jenkins-directed solo film, and critics and fans alike responded with delight. Few would question that Wonder Woman has become the best part of the DC film universe – the closest thing Warner Bros. has to a Captain America or Iron Man counterpart. And as a result, Gadot has become something of a feminist icon – the first woman to give girls everywhere a film-carrying female superhero to root for and emulate.
Gadot has gone above and beyond with this role, however, and has also established herself as a wonderful real life role model. She seems fully aware that she is now looked up to, and appears to be equal to the task. So we wanted to single out some of the lessons she’s conveyed, directly or otherwise, for young girls and women everywhere.
Motherhood & Careers Can Go Hand-in-Hand
It’s arguably one of the most harmful aspects of our society that too many girls grow up believing they’ll need to choose between being mothers or having careers. It’s a narrative that’s reinforced constantly and one that leads to unbalanced family structures, women who are unsatisfied professionally, and of course, an unbalanced workplace. But Gadot is a spectacular example of why this narrative is false. As an article at Inc. put it, Gadot went for both at the same time, and was actually pregnant while filming the Wonder Woman movie.
Women Can Stand Up To Powerful Men
This is a lesson that all of society is learning, and learning fast in the latter half of 2017. But Gadot was as strong an example as any in this process, reportedly indicating that she would refuse to work on more Wonder Woman films if producer Brett Ratner – who was accused of inappropriate activity – were attached. Gadot has stressed that the whole cast and crew was involved, but it was important for her to personally get involved, as the star of the film. Ratner has been removed from the Wonder Woman sequel.
Following Your Heart Can Work
This is more of a general lesson to young people everywhere, but it’s still a very important one. In an interview with Collider, Gadot had a very interesting line: “Somehow, I think that I always wished to play Wonder Woman, without even knowing it myself.” It conveys the idea of following a gut feeling or instinct – in this case of wanting to take on a large, meaningful, inspiring role. It’s non-specific, but Gadot’s story should inspire us all to trust our instincts and follow our deepest desires, lest they come to fruition.
Gender Equality Is Real
In the same Collider interview, Gadot was asked to name what makes Wonder Woman such a feministic hero, aside from her general strength and power. Immediately, Gadot responded that Wonder Woman doesn’t see the difference between genders. It’s a simple statement, but an incredibly powerful one to young girls who have for so long seen only male superheroes, or who have been taught, even subconsciously, to be supportive of men above themselves. Gadot seems to be doing her best to transfer this powerful principle of Wonder Woman’s to the real world.