United Nations Takes a Step For Female Empowerment


Lauren Howell

The United Nations flag from Ms. Jackson’s room E210

Madi Feenstra, Staff Writer

The well-known heroine Wonder Woman from DC comics is being appointed the honorary ambassador for female empowerment in the United Nations. The purpose of the famous comic book character representing the UN is to promote feminism and to vouch for gender equality.

The president of DC Entertainment, Diane Nelson, will be formally accepting the role for her company at a ceremony on Oct. 21. The company even hinted that the actresses that have played the role of Wonder Woman will show up at the ceremony.

Even though this movement has gained the United Nations some good reputation and most people are supportive, some think choosing a fictional character to support women is a bad idea.

“There’s obviously a ton of women out there who are really powerful, and Wonder Woman is honestly kind of a sex symbol since she’s from comic books,” said junior Sophie Moore, who is the president of the feminist club at Vista del Lago. “Those [sex symbols] are targeted mostly to males, so I think they probably could’ve chosen someone like … Michelle Obama that would’ve better represented that to young girls.”

However, others say that Wonder Woman is a good pick for this role since she is easily recognizable and a strong female influence.

“I would like to [consider myself as a feminist] but there’s been a lot of crazy feminist girls who kind of give feminism a bad name,” said Vista junior Maddie Haskell. There’s a lot of controversy involving the modern-day feminist. A feminist is a person (not just a woman) who supports the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

The United Nations has a lack of female appearance in their senior roles. According to New York Times, an analysis shows that since 2015, nine of ten high position jobs went to men.

This is not the first time that the UN has appointed a fictional character as an honorary ambassador. Some others include Winnie the Pooh serving as the honorary Ambassador of Friendship in 1998, and Tinker Bell as the honorary Ambassador of Green in 2009.

Wonder Woman isn’t the only strong female that can be seen in the film industry, although she was one of the first. You can also see female-based roles in “The Help”, a movie based off a book that originated in 2009. The story line bases its characters off the early 1960’s where discrimination between race and gender was still profoundly seen.

Another more recent example of a movie with a powerful female lead would be the series “The Hunger Games”. This book-based series includes a woman named Katniss Everdeen who overcomes the pressure of a government system who wants to bring her down.

The 2003 movie “Holes” also represents an able-bodied independent female lead. This film has Sigourney Weaver play the character “Warden Walker” who means business all the time. Having to run an all-boys summer camp, this protagonist definitely shows some serious girl-power.

June 2, 2017, could potentially be a big step for Wonder Woman because DC Entertainment will be releasing a movie with her as the title. The actress Gal Gadot will be starring as the lead character Wonder Woman in the of World War I.

“[As an actress playing a strong female lead] I would put myself in the character’s shoes,” said sophomore Taegan Beeson, an involved actress at Vista. “Instead of trying to act like the character, [I would] try and be the character.”  

Actresses such as Emma Watson and Jennifer Lawrence have spoken out against sexism, and have both played powerful female leads in movies. There’s an increasing amount of power-roles for women in the film industry. A more recent title includes “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”, which was released earlier this year in January.

“I would like to see girls looked at more than just being a feminist and wanting women’s rights,” Taegan said. “We’re more than just wanting those rights, we deserve those rights.”

Some think Wonder Woman is a good pick for female empowerment since so many people know who she is and what she stands for, but it might’ve been a better option to appoint a real woman. Regardless, this is a positive step for the United Nations to have more strong females working in their higher positions.