I finally saw Black Panther and YES! YAAAAASS! This is the revolution I was looking for in Wonder Woman and didn’t get. This movie Is It.
I am not a person of color so I can only imagine what it meant from that perspective but from mine, from that of a woman, it was transgressive! And the most radical concept from a female perspective happened toward the end, during the civil war of sorts between the tribes of Wakanda over whether or not to accept the new king.
W’Kabi asks his lover, Okoye if she would chose her country over him and she says yes.
She’s a patriot, yes, but not in the same way any American woman could ever be. Any American woman can love and serve and support her country–as a politician, public servant, member of the military, diplomat, public school teacher, first responder, you name it–but her country historically, demonstrably, undeniably does not love her back.
Wakanda values its women. It places them in positions of power and authority and respect and influence. Women aren’t special interest groups to be catered to when those in power want something and manipulated or oppressed or regulated when they don’t. Wakandan women are just… people.
Themyscira was a magical wonderland of woman power too, of course, but most of the Wonder Woman movie took place in Europe, amongst the men who couldn’t handle seeing Diana’s bare ankles or focus on work when she was in the room. She went to war with a group of men and yeah, she crossed No Man’s Land like a boss, but she didn’t bring any other women with her. She served as a role model to the girls and women in the audience but not the ones in the story. She was the odd woman out. The special one. One IN a million who deserves recognition and respect because she’s actually better and stronger than the men not one OF a million who deserve respect because they just freaking do.
What I saw in Wonder Woman was a woman taking the traditionally male role in the Hero’s Journey. She showed that she can do what a man can do. Um, yes, hello, some of us were already aware of that. What I wanted to see in that movie was a story of woman’s strength.
That’s what I got in Black Panther.
Okoye, Nakia, Shuri, Ramonda, the Doras. Not one special woman but a country full of them. Not one woman rising above to disprove the stereotypes but an entire culture!
This is the crowd Wonder Woman should be chilling with. That is the peer group she deserves. Batman? Pfft. Superman? No. Give me a movie where all the female superhero characters band together and fix the damn world and I will give you ALL MY MONEY AND ALLEGIANCE.
I’m serious. I’ll buy the extended version with digital download and I won’t even use a coupon.