Wonder Woman Wednesday: The Rise of ‘Wonder Woman’ and the Fall of Harvey Weinstein

Hi, readers! First of all, I’d like to give thanks to Jessica Tseang for inviting me to be on her Wonder Woman panel at Stan Lee’s Comic Con in Los Angeles this past weekend. And a shout-out to my fellow panelists for intelligent and engaging conversation on our favorite Amazon. Some of which I’ll be discussing in this week’s column.

Speaking of this week’s column, we’ll be discussing some sensitive issues below, and I want to be thoughtful of readers who may be negatively affected by discussion of Harvey Weinstein.

It’s no secret for anyone that reads my column that I like to touch upon a lot of feminist issues which, of course, makes perfect sense, since Wonder Woman was essentially born from pre-feminist roots. Wonder Woman was created to give little girls a strong, positive, female role model during a time of glaring blight on the subject matter.

I won’t venture to get too political; however, as someone on my panel last weekend pointed out, Wonder Woman is political. Comics are political. We live in a political world and comics are reflective of that. We’ve had superheroes fight in wars, run for president, and kick Adolph Hitler’s butt since their inception. I think it’s fair to say comics were, are, and always will be political.

I’ve never understood female oppression. Women are amazing. Women are equal and in many ways superior. I’ve often felt that misogyny is born from fear, jealousy, and the need to control and keep that male ego properly stroked. Get over yourself, dudes!

I think it’s very sad that it seems the more progress we make in technology as a society, the more we regress on the social front. I may be old fashioned or paranoid (probably both), but I always used to say Facebook and the iPhone would be the end of humanity. I won’t get into that right now, but if you really think about it, the notes that ring true are terrifying.

So, what does this have to do with Harvey Weinstein? Well, I’ll tell you.

Over 50 women have come forward accusing Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexually harassing or assaulting them over the past few decades. Deplorable. Disgusting. Disheartening.

I moved to Hollywood to be an actor, and I still have my thumb in the pie. I think I would have been further in my career if I hadn’t had the wind taken out of my sails. When you’re a starry eyed little boy in Toledo, OH, dreaming of future fame and fortune in Hollywood, you are unaware of the dark, seedy side of Tinsel Town.

When they say the magic of Hollywood, they aren’t kidding. Mind you, I was never sexually harassed or assaulted- but mistreated for sure. Degraded, dismissed, humiliated - all too common experiences for anyone who has taken their chance on a wing and a prayer in LaLa Land. Hollywood is one of those industries where it is just commonly accepted that if you want it bad enough, there are certain things you must accept, put up with, and turn a blind eye to. And when the dust settles, it’s just icky.

I should point out that there are plenty of wonderful and amazing people and experiences in Hollywood. You take the good, you take the bad.

So now, what does this have to do with Wonder Woman? Let’s go back to the election. One of the candidates was called out for saying horribly misogynistic things and several accusations of harassment and assault against women. To the horror of many, this candidate went on to become the president. How could, anyone with a mother, daughter, wife, or gynecologist possibly elect someone with such obvious disrespect for women?

I felt sad and forlorn. I though what an awful blow for the female race. How hard it’s going to be to bounce back from this. How disheartening for so many people who have worked so hard for so long to make things better.

And then along came Wonder Woman. The movie everyone knew they wanted, but didn’t necessarily know they needed. It went on to be the biggest movie of the summer - kicking butt, taking names, and breaking records. It was a movie about women. And not just a movie about women, but a movie about heart and soul, a film of passion and compassion, a film about wonder and discovery, a film about humanity and love. And oh, sweet Jesus! It’s about a woman, starring a woman, and directed by a woman.

The sexist Hollywood machine really scrambles when something like this happens. I think it’s less a willingness to comprehend that women can be just as, if not more, successful than men in Hollywood, and more a fear of said threat disrupting the boys' club and having women usurp the patriarchal strangle hold men seem to have on the industry.

I’m not saying Wonder Woman was literally responsible for the fall of the house of Weinstein, but perhaps this film has ushered in a resurgence of a feminist movement. Perhaps it gave women hope and strength - a desire to know your worth as a woman and knowing the worth in standing up for that.

It seems like when something important is happening with women in society, Wonder Woman is right there. As long as there are men, there will always be women. And as long as there are women, there will always be Wonder Women... hear them roar!


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