Today in facepalm, James Cameron made some very *misguided* comments about Wonder Woman.
In an interview with The Guardian, Cameron called the title character an “objectified icon” and the film “a step back backwards.”
Speaking of self-congratulatory, he went on to talk about how Sarah Connor — the female protagonist of his Terminator films — is an example of a strong, female character.
“Sarah Connor was not a beauty icon. She was strong, she was troubled, she was a terrible mother, and she earned the respect of the audience through pure grit. And to me, [the benefit of characters like Sarah] is so obvious. I mean, half the audience is female!”
Now, this is nothing against Sarah Connor. She certainly is a strong, female character, a standout in the male-dominated genre that is action film. But a strong, female character isn’t only defined by the above, nor should she be.
Oh, and by the way James, female characters can be strong and beautiful.
Insert Wonder Woman director and IRL superhero Patty Jenkins, who had the perfect response for an ignorant Cameron.
And what she taps into that’s so, so important is that you can’t fully understand the female experience unless you, yourself, are female. That’s not to say that others shouldn’t try to understand, but maybe take that into account before ripping apart a feminist icon.
She went on to thank him for his praise of Monster, her 2003 film starring Charlize Theron as serial killer Aileen Wuornos. And aptly noted that yes, Aileen is strong. But Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) is too, even if she isn’t like Aileen — and women have the right to decide that for themselves.
“Strong women are great. His praise of my film Monster, and our portrayal of a strong yet damaged woman was so appreciated. But if women have to always be hard, tough, and troubled to be strong, and we aren’t free to be multidimensional and celebrate an icon of women everywhere because she is attractive and loving, then we haven’t come very far have we.”
Then, Queen Patty 👑 said that a powerful female character can be whatever a male character can be (and that extends to women and men IRL too).
Feel free to bow down now, everyone. Here’s her statement in full:
Comments like Cameron’s prove that, unfortunately, there’s still a ways to go before strong women are celebrated — not criticized — for their differences. But with empowered women like Jenkins, Gadot, and many others taking the industry by storm, we’re hopeful that perspectives like Cameron’s can and will be changed for the better.