To celebrate her 75th(!) birthday, Wonder Woman was named an honorary UN Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women, as a way to engage younger women in the cause, although it has not been well received by all.
Sadly, as with all female superheroes, Wonder Woman is scantily clad, impractically dressed for fighting crime (or the patriarchy) and very sexualised. Some feel that this is reason enough for her not to be a good role model, or represent women across the world, but surely just because someone is sexualized by others, that doesn’t mean that she can’t be a good ambassador for female empowerment.
Interestingly, a lot of the protest about the comic book character being honored is coming from inside the UN, with around 50 staffers turning their back to the stage in silent protest during the ceremony – ouch! There is also a petition online that currently has over 1000 signatures and calls for the accolade to be given to someone “real and less sexualised”.
That said, Honorary Ambassadors are always given to fictional characters (Winnie the Pooh is the Ambassador of Friendship and has been since 1998!), whereas real life people are made Goodwill Ambassadors, which currently include Anne Hathaway and Nicole Kidman.
Not everyone is against it of course, with the ceremony being attended by a lot of very excited Girl Scouts wearing Wonder Women t-shirts, and the accolade was received by Lynda Carter, who played the hero on the 1970s TV show, and Gal Gadot who will be playing her in the upcoming film.
Interestingly, the UN has partnered with media companies before, with the leader of the Angry Birds, Red being appointed to help tackle climate change earlier this year, as part of a promotional partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Whether or not Women Woman is the “right” choice to empower women, it’s certainly caused a bit of a stir and caught some headlines, so at least she is playing her part in raising awareness!