Controversial movies are nothing new. Usually, however, they’re controversial because they’re trying to poke at something. The Day After Tomorrow seemed to want to push back against President George W. Bush’s position on climate change, for example.
Wonder Woman, however, seems to have created controversy over and over completely by accident. The latest bit seems to be from a Pakistani writer who believes that the character being played by Gal Gadot is apparently a massive affront to all that is good and decent in the world.
As a person, Gadot supported the acts of a military responsible for the brutal murder of hundreds of innocent civilians. This lady is now being presented as the role model for female empowerment and liberation. That, in essence, is flawed. A person who has such utter disregard for the suffering of humans cannot possibly be the face of a superhero that fights for justice and equality. It is a slap on the face of Palestinian girls in Gaza who are being told that those who support their oppression and murder can, in fact and virtue, be the harbinger for female liberty.
What is most ironic in this situation, I think, is that when the children in Gaza endured what they went through in 2014, they must have been hoping for a miracle. In the world of comic books and superhero movies, the miracle often arrives in the form of a superhero there to allay the fears of the many and give them hope for a better tomorrow. Well, it seems that there is hope for many and justice for a few, just not for the Palestinians, if you please.
Of course, writer Malik Ahmed Khan is referring to the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict, which he refers to as a “massacre.” Khan conveniently leaves out that the conflict arose directly in response to Palestinian acts such as the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers. The IDF launched a raid to arrest militant leaders, and the oh-so-peaceful Palestinians responded by launching rockets into Israel.
It was a prime example of the phrase, “Don’t start nothing, there won’t be nothing.”
It was a shame so many civilians were killed, but not surprising. After all, Hamas was reportedly hiding among civilians, making it almost impossible for the IDF to not hit civilians in their response.
Again, Khan leaves that tidbit out.
Of course, whether this was due to maliciousness or simple incompetence is less clear than I would normally assume due to the final paragraph.
We cannot forget that female empowerment cannot exclude women who are being oppressed by structures of power that go beyond their gender. We must strive to fight patriarchy in all forms and shapes. However, we can also not let the message of female empowerment in our countries be hijacked by images that can further hurt those who are oppressed. Our fight against patriarchal structures cannot exclude members of communities that are also disenfranchised.
I’m sorry, but the idea of a Pakistani writer talking about “fighting patriarchy” is laughable. After all, his own nation has women in a constant state of subjugation, much like the rest of the Muslim world.
Either Khan is a complete moron, or he is using the language of intersectionality to hide his religiously inspired partisanship. Right now, I’m thinking this might be a time to embrace the power of the word, “and” rather than “or.”