Let’s Talk About… the Triumph Of 2017’s Wonder Woman

Gal Gadot in "Wonder Woman"

Wonder Woman is important. And not just because it’s the first female-led, female-directed superhero movie ever (although that is something to be celebrated too). It’s important because it was such a huge success.

Growing up, I remember jealously watching my brother get driven off to Scout’s camp where he got to do archery, rockclimbing and abseiling. These were all things I longed to do. I, on the other hand, was to spend a weekend at the girl equivalent, Brownie camp, where I would get to do fun activities including sewing and learning how to make a quiche.

Since then, things have changed. Little girls are being encouraged to speak out more and more and are being given the message that they too are strong. Women around the world are joining forces and it is becoming an accepted fact in the West that girls and boys are equals and can excel at any activity or career they choose. I remember feeling this first as a teen when I watched through the entire series of Buffy The Vampire Slayer in a few short weeks. Buffy was strong. Buffy was clever. Buffy could save the world and Buffy was a 5ft blond teenage girl.

But watching Buffy in 2013 was niche and there weren’t all that many people I could talk to about how cool and inspiring she was. Now, as a strong and confident woman, I can be assured that my younger teenage cousins will not share this particular struggle of lacking a strong mainstream female figure. Why? Because they have Wonder Woman.

Before DC fans furiously tell me that Wonder Woman has been around far longer than 2017, I am aware of this. But she never got her own movie. When she existed only in comic books, girls who found herself inspired by her were part of a niche community. Now, the titular hero is the singular reason that DC’s hit and miss movies over the last few years are not just a sad attempt to rival Marvel. Among many things, the film is a triumph for DC.

Wonder Woman grossed an impressive $412,563,408 at the box office making it the third highest-grossing DC movie of all time. Of course, it did not top The Dark Knight films but at the end of the day, they were better films. But so what? What is impressive about Wonder Woman‘s success is that it is proof that we are collectively ready for a female superhero. She wasn’t a sexy supporting character like Cat Woman or Storm, she was the driving force and the saver of the day. Best of all, we believed in her.

And yet what strikes me as most remarkable about Wonder Woman is that as strong and super as she is, her strength does not come at the expense of her femininity. Gal Godot portrays a character who is deeply in touch with her empathetic nature in a very feminine way and this does not detract from her power, it adds to it. In fact, without Wonder Woman‘s empathy and love, she would just be another superhero but with a woman’s body. It turns out that strength doesn’t come from being a man, it can come from anyone.

And so, even though it has been almost two years since Wonder Woman hit theaters, here’s a toast to my new favorite superhero. Captain Marvel‘s release is just around the corner and while we are literally shaking with excitement, Gal Godot’s Wonder Woman made history first.