[Discussion] Men talking to men about Feminism

This thread is for people who believe that when it comes to feminism it's important for men to listen to women and to talk to men.

In this thread we assume Feminism is something you wholeheartedly support or want to support. Questions about the validity of Feminism are for somewhere else.

Something has been bothering me about the Wonder Woman 84 movie.

The writers committed on old worn out pathetic fallacy. So WW inadvertently used the wishing stone to bring her one true love back to life. Later she realizes that in order to save the world she has to renounce her wish. But WW struggles with this and decides NOT to renounce her wish because she just can’t go on living without her Man. WW happens to be an Amazonian Princess Warrior Goddess who has dedicated her life to saving humanity from itself, but struggles with sending her undead doppelgänger Man back to the grave because she needs Him in order to be happy?

What a crock of sh*t. And it’s a shame to push this crappy outdated trope on young girls who might be looking to this character as a role model.

RawkGWJ wrote:

Something has been bothering me about the Wonder Woman 84 movie.

The writers committed on old worn out pathetic fallacy. So WW inadvertently used the wishing stone to bring her one true love back to life. Later she realizes that in order to save the world she has to renounce her wish. But WW struggles with this and decides NOT to renounce her wish because she just can’t go on living without her Man. WW happens to be an Amazonian Princess Warrior Goddess who has dedicated her life to saving humanity from itself, but struggles with sending her undead doppelgänger Man back to the grave because she needs Him in order to be happy?

What a crock of sh*t.

I mean it is totally tropey as hell, but what's wrong with the true love thing? Do you not have someone (spouse, child, parent, etc) that you wouldn't consider telling the world to f*ck off for?
One of things I think was done ok in the WW movies is that once they get past the initial stuff, Steve seems fine with her being the superhero to his mere mortal.

lunchbox12682 wrote:
RawkGWJ wrote:

Something has been bothering me about the Wonder Woman 84 movie.

The writers committed on old worn out pathetic fallacy. So WW inadvertently used the wishing stone to bring her one true love back to life. Later she realizes that in order to save the world she has to renounce her wish. But WW struggles with this and decides NOT to renounce her wish because she just can’t go on living without her Man. WW happens to be an Amazonian Princess Warrior Goddess who has dedicated her life to saving humanity from itself, but struggles with sending her undead doppelgänger Man back to the grave because she needs Him in order to be happy?

What a crock of sh*t.

I mean it is totally tropey as hell, but what's wrong with the true love thing? Do you not have someone (spouse, child, parent, etc) that you wouldn't consider telling the world to f*ck off for?
One of things I think was done ok in the WW movies is that once they get past the initial stuff, Steve seems fine with her being the superhero to his mere mortal.

How old is Wonder Woman? And how dedicated to her cause? “No, no, this guy is worth letting the world burn!” Uh-huh.

But WW struggles with this and decides NOT to renounce her wish because she just can’t go on living without her Man.

I don't know if this is a different angle or not, but to me it feels she does not want to renounce it initially because she feels she deserves to be selfish this one time. She gives and gives and gives and lost a special person. She continued to give afterwards and now she is asked to give in this big way AGAIN.

I haven't watched the film, but I'm thinking it'd be worth assessing whether the perspective is that she needs this man in order to be worth anything or do anything. A lot of male protagonists will straight up burn the world for their love interest, but this is portrayed as a flaw and weakness.

LarryC wrote:

I haven't watched the film, but I'm thinking it'd be worth assessing whether the perspective is that she needs this man in order to be worth anything or do anything.

The movie was a mess on multiple levels, but I'll give it this. At least she doesn't do this. She simply loves and misses Steve and would have sacrificed herself for him. But when the price gets too high she still does the heroic thing.

MrDeVil909 wrote:
LarryC wrote:

I haven't watched the film, but I'm thinking it'd be worth assessing whether the perspective is that she needs this man in order to be worth anything or do anything.

The movie was a mess on multiple levels, but I'll give it this. At least she doesn't do this. She simply loves and misses Steve and would have sacrificed herself for him. But when the price gets too high she still does the heroic thing.

This. For me, it's one thing that isn't a flaw in the movie.

Right. I had no issue with it.

I’m not convinced. Agree to disagree I guess.

RawkGWJ wrote:

I’m not convinced. Agree to disagree I guess.

Thought experiment. Flip the genders. Put Superman in there and it's Lois Lane. Does that still make sense? In Superman 2, he was willing to abandon his guardianship of the Earth, against the advice of his parents, to pursue a normal life with Lois. Feels similar.

Once again, I haven't seen the movie, but going by what you've described, that story could be about Superman and Lois Lane (or Spiderman and Mary Jane) and it'd still work.

RawkGWJ wrote:

I’m not convinced. Agree to disagree I guess.

I'm not going to defend it as a story telling choice. I thought it was one of the few humanising touches in the movie, but I don't blame you for not liking it.

But I don't think it's sexist as such. I'm also open to correction.

I mean, of all the possible stories to tell around Wonder Woman, to choose one that inches away from the "needs her man" trope just enough to not be explicitly sexist?

*Legion* wrote:

I mean, of all the possible stories to tell around Wonder Woman, to choose one that moves away from the "needs her man" trope just enough to not be explicitly sexist?

Isn't it entirely on-brand for WW? Her superpower, in addition to super strength and wotnot, is love and empathy, no?

Which, let's face it, is explicitly sexist from the ground up.

This is like complaining that Batman wears too much latex.

Jonman wrote:

This is like complaining that Batman wears too much latex.

Hey, when they put nipples on the Batsuit, it was a bridge too far.

So I’m only halfway through the movie (got tired and went to bed) but I’d also like to call out the even bigger issue with the Steve romance:

Spoiler:

It would have been easy enough for Steve just to show up out of the mists but instead he inhabits someone else’s body. That’s some serious non-consensual BS that would cause a firestorm if the genders were reversed. And it pushes a dangerous narrative that real men would be happy to be possessed if they could bang Gal Gadot.

And with that spoiler out of the way, I wanted to say WW has some real rapport and sexy chemistry going with Kristen Wiig in the beginning of the movie. It’s the 21st Century - why can’t Diana be bi? (For the record I’m not into forced diversity changes but it would make sense for an Amazon and I think the cast could have pulled it off while still keeping everything PG 13).

jdzappa wrote:

So I’m only halfway through the movie (got tired and went to bed) but I’d also like to call out the even bigger issue with the Steve romance:

Spoiler:

It would have been easy enough for Steve just to show up out of the mists but instead he inhabits someone else’s body. That’s some serious non-consensual BS that would cause a firestorm if the genders were reversed. And it pushes a dangerous narrative that real men would be happy to be possessed if they could bang Gal Gadot.

And with that spoiler out of the way, I wanted to say WW has some real rapport and sexy chemistry going with Kristen Wiig in the beginning of the movie. It’s the 21st Century - why can’t Diana be bi? (For the record I’m not into forced diversity changes but it would make sense for an Amazon and I think the cast could have pulled it off while still keeping everything PG 13).

She does and could be, but that's just not this story.
Of course, that also gets into the power dynamics of that potential relationship (i.e. a goddess and at the beginning a starry eyed person who doesn't seem to have a history of happy interpersonal relationships).

lunchbox12682 wrote:
jdzappa wrote:

So I’m only halfway through the movie (got tired and went to bed) but I’d also like to call out the even bigger issue with the Steve romance:

Spoiler:

It would have been easy enough for Steve just to show up out of the mists but instead he inhabits someone else’s body. That’s some serious non-consensual BS that would cause a firestorm if the genders were reversed. And it pushes a dangerous narrative that real men would be happy to be possessed if they could bang Gal Gadot.

And with that spoiler out of the way, I wanted to say WW has some real rapport and sexy chemistry going with Kristen Wiig in the beginning of the movie. It’s the 21st Century - why can’t Diana be bi? (For the record I’m not into forced diversity changes but it would make sense for an Amazon and I think the cast could have pulled it off while still keeping everything PG 13).

She does and could be, but that's just not this story.
Of course, that also gets into the power dynamics of that potential relationship (i.e. a goddess and at the beginning a starry eyed person who doesn't seem to have a history of happy interpersonal relationships).

Good point and if they were to go that route it would have needed to have been a different story. But I think it could have been well done with the actors involved if they had a better script.

LarryC wrote:
RawkGWJ wrote:

I’m not convinced. Agree to disagree I guess.

Thought experiment. Flip the genders. Put Superman in there and it's Lois Lane. Does that still make sense? In Superman 2, he was willing to abandon his guardianship of the Earth, against the advice of his parents, to pursue a normal life with Lois. Feels similar.

Once again, I haven't seen the movie, but going by what you've described, that story could be about Superman and Lois Lane (or Spiderman and Mary Jane) and it'd still work.

I’m going off of memory here so forgive me if I’m wrong. In Superman 1 Supes’ WAS put in that predicament by Lex. Supes’ made the difficult and painful choice to save the world over saving Lois. But then Supes’ cheated by breaking the laws of physics and doing some completely implausible time travel crap so he could save Lois.

That said, if Supes’ took longer than a few moments to choose saving the world over saving his special lady, then yes, I would call bullsh*t on that as well. And if Lois was a reanimated undead doppelgänger possession abomination, then I would call even bigger bullsh*t.

That's Superman 1. In Superman 2, he made a very conscious and considered decision to abandon his role as guardian of the Earth.

LarryC wrote:

That's Superman 1. In Superman 2, he made a very conscious and considered decision to abandon his role as guardian of the Earth.

Even as a kid I never understood that decision to stop being the man of steel, and become a squishy mortal humanoid. As an adult, I don’t find that choice to be romantic or endearing. I believe that even Lois was like, wtf did you do that for? Lois was clearly appalled by that reckless and irresponsible choice.

RawkGWJ wrote:
LarryC wrote:

That's Superman 1. In Superman 2, he made a very conscious and considered decision to abandon his role as guardian of the Earth.

Even as a kid I never understood that decision to stop being the man of steel, and become a squishy mortal humanoid. As an adult, I don’t find that choice to be romantic or endearing. I believe that even Lois was like, wtf did you do that for? Lois was clearly appalled by that reckless and irresponsible choice.

But if that case he makes the conscious decision to be selfish, where as Diana doesn't. She delays but that's human. We expect as adults to make difficult decisions, but they're still difficult and it can be ok to show that.

I mean, yes? My point isn't to defend that characterization of Superman, only that that kind of character flaw isn't female-specific. If anything, it's usually a male hero flaw. The reason for that is because female heroes aren't usually given world-changing power or agency.

lunchbox12682 wrote:
RawkGWJ wrote:
LarryC wrote:

That's Superman 1. In Superman 2, he made a very conscious and considered decision to abandon his role as guardian of the Earth.

Even as a kid I never understood that decision to stop being the man of steel, and become a squishy mortal humanoid. As an adult, I don’t find that choice to be romantic or endearing. I believe that even Lois was like, wtf did you do that for? Lois was clearly appalled by that reckless and irresponsible choice.

But if that case he makes the conscious decision to be selfish, where as Diana doesn't. She delays but that's human. We expect as adults to make difficult decisions, but they're still difficult and it can be ok to show that.

To underline the point further, this is a sacrifice we always expect women to make as a society (greater good of all vs the desires of the self) as well, so her even considering hesitation in the first place is often damning, and I appreciate your recognition of the normalcy of that hesitation. So was there really any question that she is going to sacrifice her desires since that's the shape of the space that was created for her as a female character and framed as a redemption arc from her own hesitation?

Diana also didn't quit being a superhero like Supes or Spiderman, she kept fighting and risking her life despite her waning powers.

muttonchop wrote:

Diana also didn't quit being a superhero like Supes or Spiderman, she kept fighting and risking her life despite her waning powers.

Good point.

I’m still hung up on what I perceive as an anti feminist trope in entertainment fiction. But now that I’ve mulled it over a bit, the fallacious trope I’m thinking of has more to do with a narrative where great women could not have achieved their great deeds without their Man to back them up or help them. In the case of WW84 that might not have been the narrative that was presented. I didn’t like the movie enough to watch it again, so I’m just going to have to be more conscious about the specifics of that trope moving forward.

RawkGWJ wrote:
muttonchop wrote:

Diana also didn't quit being a superhero like Supes or Spiderman, she kept fighting and risking her life despite her waning powers.

Good point.

I’m still hung up on what I perceive as an anti feminist trope in entertainment fiction. But now that I’ve mulled it over a bit, the fallacious trope I’m thinking of has more to do with a narrative where great women could not have achieved their great deeds without their Man to back them up or help them. In the case of WW84 that might not have been the narrative that was presented. I didn’t like the movie enough to watch it again, so I’m just going to have to be more conscious about the specifics of that trope moving forward.

I'm glad we can have these conversations. NGL. When you brought it up, I didn't consider that it was adjacent to a problem trope and had to think about it all for a hot second. Whether we end up agreeing or not, it's good for us to think and talk about these things and exchange ideas. Thank you for that bit of reflection!

LarryC wrote:
RawkGWJ wrote:
muttonchop wrote:

Diana also didn't quit being a superhero like Supes or Spiderman, she kept fighting and risking her life despite her waning powers.

Good point.

I’m still hung up on what I perceive as an anti feminist trope in entertainment fiction. But now that I’ve mulled it over a bit, the fallacious trope I’m thinking of has more to do with a narrative where great women could not have achieved their great deeds without their Man to back them up or help them. In the case of WW84 that might not have been the narrative that was presented. I didn’t like the movie enough to watch it again, so I’m just going to have to be more conscious about the specifics of that trope moving forward.

I'm glad we can have these conversations. NGL. When you brought it up, I didn't consider that it was adjacent to a problem trope and had to think about it all for a hot second. Whether we end up agreeing or not, it's good for us to think and talk about these things and exchange ideas. Thank you for that bit of reflection! :)

And thanks to all of you as well. It was a good back and forth.