Wonder Women: We Were Not Made to be Subtle
Last week I felt prompted and guided to see the movie Wonder Woman. I didn’t understand why I was being asked to see a superhero action movie when I dislike violence in movies and television and would much prefer to watch a soulful John Carney musical than listen to a noisy adrenaline packed feature. However, I surrendered to the guidance, trusting my intuition. To my pleasant surprise there were relatively few violent scenes and much to celebrate about feminine strength as Diana (Wonder Woman) leads the way to peace in the world during the tumultuous years of World War 1.
Having grown up on an island devoid of men, Diana is reticent to doubt her own strength, determination, value and purpose in the world. She is confident in her authority as a woman, and her divine mission. She believes she has come to defeat Ares, the god of war, and is determined that her mission will prevail. It isn’t until she leaves Amazon and enters Earth during WW1 that she is subjected to a male dominated view of the world drowning in patriarchal structure and principles. As she enters the scene, she is incredulous about women’s roles to remain silent and subtle, dress restrictively and serve in the shadow of all her male counterparts. She is passionately disobedient and insistent things go her way.
She continues to meet resistance until one encounter with horrific suffering that she decides she is no longer playing by the rules, no longer agreeing to be a subtle addition to the team. Conventionally, the men tell her that they have a greater purpose at hand and trying to save a hurting village that’s been captured for years is futile. It’s there where she says, “That’s not what I came here for.” She tears off the layers of clothing that have been weighing her down and says no more. The “costume” is off, all that’s left is Diana in her full glory and strength, ready to help hurting people. She stood there full of formidable compassion ready to take on the world. No man, weapon or force of evil was going to get in her way. Her divine strength and calling had been tapped; there was no stopping her. This was always her true identity and destiny.
How invigorating to watch a woman rise up in her power. The protective mother-force springing forth to life in pursuit of justice and peace. To watch women who have repeatedly played small due to cultural and societal upbringings that tell them they are “less than” for being female. As they throw away the illusion that compassion, empathy, and kindness are weaknesses and step into something magnificent to behold.
It was not Diana’s compassion that made her weak. It actually empowered her to be more effective in combating the evil and injustice surrounding her. It was the super power that her male counterparts could not understand, until they saw it action. That was when the power of love was actualized. The enlightened moment when there might be a better way shined through.
We will not bring peace to the world by insisting on more violence. Feminine strength knows that only love and forgiveness can salvage and repair the wounds of humanity. Only a divine solution that is rooted in love can cast out the fear that continues to lie about the need for war and defenses. It will be compassion, empathy and wisdom that can see past transgressions and witness the light buried in each of us.
In the film, the climactic battle of good versus evil is when Diana is finally forced to fight Ares. He tempts her with the lie that humans are incapable of being righteous and the world would be better off without them. There is a moment when this feels like ultimate reality as war, pain and death surround her in frightening measures. She, however, is determined to see past the present circumstances and believe in the good of humanity. In one redemptive moment, she spares the life of someone who has committed egregious crimes in the name of evil and declares that “she believes in Love, not what we deserve.” She understands the cycle of attack and retribution is a lose-lose for everyone.
I do not feel there could be a more timely message than a woman bringing her strength of compassion and love to fight violence, war and injustice in the world. Today when we have male leaders at home and abroad championing boisterous voices of fear and anger, we need strong feminine voices countering with “only Love will save the world.”
Love sees no limits. Her wisdom sees no mountain that cannot be moved. She is calling us to rise into the mighty gifts and talents birthed into us to serve the greater good of humanity. We need women to understand their calling has never been subtle. They have never been relegated to a mislabeled role of “helper” to men. No. Their destiny is much greater than that. They have called to be Love warriors in world dominated by fear and hatred; and there is nothing subtle about that.