Won­der Woman choice draws back­lash from fem­i­nists

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse -

THE United Na­tions has des­ig­nated Won­der Woman to head a women’s rights cam­paign, draw­ing an­gry protests over the week­end from fem­i­nist groups and some UN em­ploy­ees who de­nounced the ap­point­ment of a comic-book char­ac­ter as “ridicu­lous”. The UN tabbed the fic­tional su­per­heroine to lead a year­long cam­paign for the “em­pow­er­ment of women and girls”.

But a web­site cre­ated by pro­test­ers slammed Won­der Woman as “the epit­ome of a ‘pin-up’ girl” – “a large­breasted white woman of im­pos­si­ble pro­por­tions, scant­ily clad in a shim­mer­ing thigh-bar­ing body suit with an Amer­i­can flag mo­tif”.

UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Ban Ki-moon, who was orig­i­nally sched­uled to at­tend, was not present. Nei­ther was An­to­nio Guter­res of Por­tu­gal, who was re­cently named as the next UN chief de­spite protests that it was time – af­ter eight men in a row – for a woman to hold the top UN po­si­tion.

Ban’s un­der­sec­re­tary gen­eral for com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Cristina Gal­lach, de­scribed Won­der Woman as “an icon for her com­mit­ment to jus­tice, peace and equal­ity”.

In the back of the room sev­eral dozen pro­test­ers, both women and men, turned their back to the podium, some of them hold­ing up clenched fists.

The cam­paign launch co­in­cides with the 75th an­niver­sary of Won­der Woman’s first ap­pear­ance in a comic book, and ahead of Warner Bros’s re­lease of a film cen­tred on the stat­uesque char­ac­ter next year.

Shazia Rafi, a leader of the She4SG move­ment, which pushed for a woman to suc­ceed Ban as UN sec­re­tary gen­eral, said it was “ridicu­lous” to have a cam­paign for women’s em­pow­er­ment be “rep­re­sented by a car­toon when there are so many real-life women who could have been cho­sen”. Some 350 UN em­ploy­ees had signed a pe­ti­tion urg­ing Ban to drop the Won­der Woman plan.

At a hastily con­vened news con­fer­ence Gal­lach said that the United Na­tions has also ap­pointed sev­eral prom­i­nent women as “flesh and blood am­bas­sadors”. in­clud­ing the Bri­tish ac­tress Emma Wat­son, the No­bel Peace Prize lau­re­ate Leymah Gbowee of Liberia, and Queen Mathilde of Bel­gium. –

Photo: AFP

Demon­stra­tors stand up in protest dur­ing a cer­e­mony as the UN names the comic char­ac­ter Won­der Woman its Honorary Am­bas­sador for the Em­pow­er­ment of Women and Girls dur­ing a cer­e­mony on Oc­to­ber 21 in New York.

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