James Cameron (“Avatar”) continues to miss the feminist themes in Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman.” For the “Titanic” director, Gal Gadot’s beauty renders her portrayal of the Amazonian princess sexist. Cameron misses the irony of his own words while lecturing about feminism, focusing only on Wonder Woman’s looks and costume instead of her personal journey. In a new interview with THR, Cameron doubled down on previous comments he made about the film, saying:
I mean, she was Miss Israel, and she was wearing a kind of bustier costume that was very form-fitting. She’s absolutely drop-dead gorgeous. To me, that’s not breaking ground. They had Raquel Welch doing stuff like that in the ’60s. It was all in a context of talking about why Sarah Connor — what Linda created in 1991 — was, if not ahead of its time, at least a breakthrough in its time.
Just to put it out there, what a female character wears or how she looks has nothing to do with whether or not she’s a feminist character. Her story arc, amount of dialogue, and her part in driving the film’s plot are much better markers of a story’s gender equality.
The director also responded to Jenkins’ previous response to him about “Wonder Woman,” in which she said his “inability to understand what Wonder Woman is, or stands for, to women all over the world is unsurprising…women can and should be EVERYTHING just like male leads…” (Read her full takedown here.) Cameron continued to tout his own Sarah Connor character, portrayed by Linda Hamilton. He also said he was “shocked” his previous comments were deemed controversial, but refused to “walk it back.” However, he did leave us with this crowning gem:
I will add a little detail to [my previous comments], which is: I like the fact that, sexually, she had the upper hand with the male character, which I thought was fun.
While Cameron worded his response pretty poorly, it’s true that “Wonder Woman” did change up the superhero’s previous views on premarital sex. Wonder Woman was previously portrayed as a staunch second-wave feminist, and often spoke about the power of her virginity. The new film significantly updated her views in a scene between Gadot and Chris Pine (“Star Trek Beyond”) as her future lover Steve Trevor, pointing out that sex does not take away a woman’s strength.
Jenkins has already signed on to direct the sequel to “Wonder Woman.” Warner Bros. is also reportedly planning an Oscar campaign for Jenkins as Best Director and “Wonder Woman” as Best Picture.