The United Nations has named comic-book superhero Wonder Woman as an honorary ambassador to fight for gender equality, amid criticism that the scantily clad fictional character is an inappropriate choice.
UN officials at a ceremony formalising the appointment said Wonder Woman is known for her commitment to justice, peace and equality.
“Wonder Woman is an icon,” said UN Under-Secretary-General Cristina Gallach. “We are very pleased that this character will help us reach new audiences with essential messages of our empowerment and equality.”
UN officials have said they hoped the selection of a comic-book hero and movie character would appeal to younger women in its campaign for women’s empowerment, and the slogan of the campaign says: “Think of all the wonders we can do.”
Unfortunately, Wonder Woman is likely to be preaching to the already converted. She is unlikely to appeal to â€“ or even appear â€“ where she is needed the most; in conservative, often Islamic, developing world societies. Firstly, because she is an American; secondly, because she is immodestly dressed; and thirdly, because in her latest big screen incarnation she is played by the patriotic Israeli actress Gal Gadot. We couldnâ€™t possibly have a Jewish-American whore trying to mess with young womenâ€™s minds with concepts like gender equality in places like Pakistan, where the said young women should instead be getting ready to marry their cousins at 14, could we?
In case you think countries like Pakistan might be outliers, just remember a few months ago how section of the leftâ€™s Social Justice Warriors crowd went berserk when they realised that Gal Gadot was not a mere Jew but a proud Israeli who has served in the IDF and is a staunch defender of Israelâ€™s right to exist and defend itself against Palestinian terrorism.
Clearly you canâ€™t have a Zionist being a Wonder Woman. Which is ironic, because Zionism has historically been one of the most progressive social and political movements as far as gender equality is concerned, and Israel still stands today as a lonely island of equality amidst the sea of discrimination, if not the outright oppression and repression, throughout the region.
But Wonder Woman is not Gal Gadot. The United Nations wonâ€™t be sending the actress on good-will missions throughout the world. They will be sending insteadâ€¦ what?… presumably a cartoon.
Several dozen UN employees, one holding a sign saying “Women deserve a real ambassador,” staged a silent protest in the UN’s visitor’s lobby as the ceremony was held.
“Why do we need to use a sexualised cartoon character?” said employee Elizabeth Leff.
You might or might not agree that, as the anti-Wonder Woman online petition put it, â€œa large breasted, white woman of impossible proportions, scantily clad in a shimmery, thigh-baring body suitâ€ cannot at the same time really be â€œa strong and independent ‘warrior’ woman with a feminist messageâ€ (perhaps only small breasted, size-16 black women, wearing loose-fitting clothes can fulfil that role). But perhaps the protesters have a point â€“ why not appoint a real, high-profile woman? For all the giggling and sneering, Angelina Jolie has taken very seriously her public role as the United Nations special envoy for refugees and undoubtedly brought much-needed extra spotlight these complex issues deserve. If Lara Croft can do it, why not another high-profile female? I would suggest Natalie Portman, who also happens to have a Harvard degree, but she is another Israeli. We couldnâ€™t have too many strong, intelligent and successful Jewish women running around the world showing what women can achieve in free liberal societies.