Your whole life you’ve heard of this super hero they call Wonder Woman; a mysterious female with a strong character who fights for justice, peace and the good of humanity. The perfect role model is based off of her characteristics, and whether you know nothing about her or you’re her number one fan, Wonder Woman is a cherished American figure that has helped spark hope in the lives of women everywhere.
Recently, Wonder Woman’s writer took on a new face, and gender. The ever so popular heroine was written by a male and had always been written by one until now. While reading about this well awaited change in Wonder Woman’s makeup, Kathy Guevara-Flanagan, Director and Producer of various films and documentaries such as El Corrido de Cecilia Rios and Going on 13, decided to research further into the history of the courageous action hero. Guevara-Flanagan directed the documentary Wonder Women! The Untold Story of Superheroines, and found that Wonder Woman’s influences spanned beyond the comic book page.
Wonder Woman: Justice and Equality
Guevara-Flanagan wanted “to touch on how women’s roles have changed through women’s movements by representation.” While researching Wonder Woman, Guevara-Flanagan realized her most important values are beneficial to today’s society.
“Wonder Woman was really interested in justice and equality, she can be a good symbol for that… part of her mythology was that she was sent here to help us be better people,” said Guevara-Flanagan.
Guevara-Flanagan also described Wonder Woman as an intellectual who was interested in diplomacy and not brute force. Guevara-Flanagan states how Wonder Woman was “Interested in the fact that villains in the superhero world can be reformed or changed.” Wonder Woman’s values are what persevered throughout the years, even though they might have been lost in the background once in a blue moon
Wonder Woman is originally Princess Diana of Themyscira, a planet and home to peaceful and logical women. When humans crash and land on Themyscira, the survivors inform the women of war and suffering on the planet earth. This is where princess Wonder Woman decides to help the humans and fight for justice and peace. The creator of Wonder Woman, psychologist William Moulton Marston, created Wonder Woman with the intentions of creating an awareness for working women during the war. Without knowing it, Wonder Woman became a feminist icon as she fought for women equality and strength.
In the documentary, Wonder Woman is described as a contradiction and an idealistic concept, Guevara-Flanagan states. Wonder Woman is made up of feminine commodities that most girls would have wanted as their own, and in the 1940s this was a breakthrough for girls everywhere.
Wonder Woman is originally dressed in hardly anything, a corset and booty shorts, but she is equipped with powerful accessories that mean business. There is the Lasso of Truth, a pair of indestructible bracelets, a tiara that serves as a projectile weapon, and in some cases she has an invisible airplane.
“She is dressed pretty provocatively, wore very little, and there are ways in which her powers are compromised …. men created her and don’t see them (women) as equal … The TV shows, cartoons and comics largely created by men don’t exactly know what to do with her,” shares Guevara-Flanagan.
Wonder Woman as a Role Model
Guevara-Flanagan commented how wonder woman is a role model to hit TV series characters, and would not be what they are if it weren’t for her values brought from planet Themyscira.
“Female action heroes take from her … Buffy and Xena wouldn’t exist without her…. They (women) need to be seen outside the domestic sphere,” she adds.
Wonder Woman was the first female superhero to emerge in the United States and not only did she influence comic book history, but she transformed literature and television characters.
“Wonder Woman is a trailblazer … there weren’t that many women (even in literature) until that point. Stepping outside that point and being seen as a hero, she’s a precedent in that sense,” said Guevara-Flanagan.
Once women saw that they could work and survive on their own, outside of the house, they were able to apply that to their own lives and change. Today, the comic book world has many heroines and female villains that the female readership has grown immensely.
“Now females are more interested in comics. Women are going to more comic conventions and asking for more… there’s an audience there and creators need to speak to that audience,” said Guevara-Flanagan.
An awareness of and for women is being spread and interests are expanding; girls are becoming aware of their own story.
Future Latina Filmmakers
For girls who want a future in film, documentaries or the type of media, to want to create and share their own story, Guevara-Flanagan has some suggestions for Latina readers.
“Don’t be afraid of technology. A lot of women, girls, or people of color are afraid of picking up a camera… You have to be passionate and motivated and still put in the hard work. Commit to collaborate with others. I like working closely with producers because they can support me… Reach out to any mentors … a lot of Latina directors will be willing to lend a hand,” she adds.
Guevara-Flanagan wanted to send a message through he work describing how the media influences all of our society, and how girls need to be seen as an important audience with opinions, ideas, and comments of their own to expand on and learn from. Wonder Woman was a personal exploration that turned into something more, a message to fellow women.
Guevara-Flanagan grew up Latina and wanted to represent and make changes happen in the female and Hispanic arena. Guevara-Flanagan states how she wanted to “Highlight the great discrepancies that still exist out there but also comment on the great potential out there.” She also urges viewers to “Watch the media critically there are some great organizations that tract the disparity that the females are being subjected to.”
Girls have been calling out to their sister audience and attempting to inform them of the female potential. Although the journey has been a roller coaster of support, ever since the creation of Wonder Woman there is still a need for the presence of a strong female role.