A peace-loving warrior who was born to the Greek god Zeus fights in World War I with an army of futuristic weapons, despite having grown up far from the human race. Welcome to Wonder Woman’s wacky world. The cinema adaptation of the DC Comics series may have a crazy plot, but it uses it to make some sharp points about gender, violence and the nature of truth. The film received glowing reviews and made almost a billion at the global box office. What makes it such a winner?
As the first female-led superhero film in over a decade, Wonder Woman was inevitably going to be a feminist talking point. More importantly, however, its protagonist is a genuinely badass hero who sets out to save the world from the stupidity of men. How has feminism changed since the character was invented in 1941?
Quiet authority that made this woman a star
Are women better leaders than men? As the world celebrates International Women’s Day today, one very modern feminist icon hopes her new dance song will promote a message of diversity.
How sexism is ‘built-in’ to most languages
Could many languages be holding women back? A growing movement argues that changes to grammar and vocabulary are an essential step towards ending the tradition of male dominance.
‘Feminism is dead.’ Oh no it isn’t.
Hundreds of feminists will gather at a conference in London this weekend just days after the launch of the new Women’s Equality Party. Feminism is big news. But will it ever be ‘done’?
Mrs. Carter shocks women with marriage tour
She is one of the world’s most successful female stars, admired for her empowering musical messages. But Beyonce’s latest tour is named after her husband. A step back for feminism?
Emma, nudity, and the meaning of feminism
She is an actress, a feminist activist for the UN, and now a semi-nude model in Vanity Fair magazine. Her photoshoot has sparked a fierce feminist row: does baring your breasts betray women?
Woman wins pay for five years of housework
Should housework be paid work? A Chinese woman has been granted compensation in her divorce for care work. The ruling has sparked a discussion that echoes a longstanding feminist demand.
Wonder Woman — or Diana of Themyscira, as she is known in this film — has been raised a pacifist by a tribe of warrior women. She is keen to use her fighting skills to end all wars; in fact, her nemesis is Ares, the god of war himself. Since time immemorial, people have debated what can be achieved through warfare…
The nun who became a symbol of resistance
Is moral courage stronger than physical force? A photograph of a nun pleading with police in Myanmar not to use violence against demonstrators reminds us of the power of peaceful protest.
Britain faces international war crimes trial
Is Britain’s military a force for good or evil in the world? A year-long probe has uncovered evidence that the British Government covered up atrocities by troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
‘A strong-man world threatens global peace’
Has the world forgotten the lessons of VE Day? The “long peace” of the post-war era has given way to a new age of nationalism. We urgently need international co-operation, says Theresa May.
World War I
Having grown up on a remote island, Wonder Woman suddenly finds herself thrust into “The War to End All Wars”. Of his decision to set the film in this period, screenwriter Allan Heinberg has said that “we are in a very WWI world today” due to growing nationalism. Is this parallel fair?
The unknown soldier remembered 100 years on
Should we embrace the unknown? Memorials to unnamed soldiers affect us on a deep psychological level, but there are also philosophical reasons to accept the unknown and welcome uncertainty.
‘Apartheid in death’ for Black and Asian troops
Is it too late to apologise for World War One racism? Yesterday, the British government said it deeply regrets the failure to properly commemorate thousands of Black and Asian conscripts.
Battle rages over meaning of first world war
As Europe prepares to commemorate the ‘Great War’, disputes have grown about how to interpret the conflict: is the row unseemly, or a valuable debate about history’s meaning?
One of Wonder Woman’s many awesome weapons is the Lasso of Truth, which forces anyone who gets caught up in it to tell the truth. Fittingly enough, her creator William Moulton Marston helped invent the lie detector. In an age often described by the term “post-truth”, the themes of reality and honesty are more important than ever…
Expert casts doubt on ‘post-truth’ claims
Does democracy REALLY depend on truth? Many people claim democratic systems only work when everyone agrees on basic truths – but others think this is a recipe for dictatorship.
Liars beware: new truth test unveiled
Scientists claim to have developed the most accurate lie detector yet, by analysing body movements for signs of guilt. But do the ethical pitfalls of truth tests outweigh their benefits?
‘Truth decay’ ripping us apart warns Obama
Is truth REALLY decaying? Barack Obama argues that without a universal idea of truth, society cannot function. Others argue that truth is simply getting more complex – and more interesting!
Growing ‘assault on truth’ poses world threat
Can journalism ever claim to be the truth? Yesterday, on World Press Freedom Day, the BBC’s head issued a ringing defence of impartiality – but many believe that it is impossible to achieve.
Over the past decade and a half, the rebirth of the superhero movie genre has reignited interest in the comic books that spawned them. While they may seem like pure entertainment, politics is never far away — in this respect, Wonder Woman is no exception. What do we expect from our comics?
Superhero mania as Avengers: Endgame released
After 11 years and 22 films in the Marvel universe, Avengers: Endgame is finally here. It could be one of the most successful films ever. Why do we love superhero movies so much?
Black Panther’s legacy will ‘live on forever’
Is the future African? Black Panther fans are grieving the death of the actor who brought the superhero to life. For some, Wakanda was just a fantasy, but for others, it is the future.
Marvel’s first black superhero fights bigotry
Will the Black Panther help smash racism? The reviews are brilliant, but can the film really herald a new era for black superheroes and go deeper than mere thrills and box office records?