Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, co-founder and executive director of the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN), is the latest woke feminist to see the danger in the message Wonder Women sends to little girls around the world.
“In the age of Trumpism,” Anderlini began, “just weeks after women’s rights activists globally were disappointed to learn that a woman was not selected to head the UN, hard on the heels of a year when the outgoing UN Secretary General appointed men to 96% of the senior jobs in the system, some folks at the UN thought having Wonder Woman as the icon for gender equality for the global organization was a good idea.”
How dare they promote Wonder Woman, Anderlini argues, as she “was a product of the World War II propaganda of superheroes that fight ‘evil,’ using violence in the name of ‘good.’” She continues: “Today, from Afghanistan to the DRC, from Syria to Colombia, despite all the risks and violence they face, the most courageous women are leading non-violent struggles.” (She obviously hasn’t seen Vice’s three-part feature on women soldiers fighting ISIS.)
Anderlini goes on to talk about how she and her allies “did not fight for women’s equal rights to fight, die and kill alongside men.” Instead, she says, they “fought so that neither women nor men had to live through the horrors of war” and “that women peacemakers could have equal space with the militias and politicians at the tables where the future of peace and security in their countries is determined.”
Anderlini says that “the choice of Wonder Woman kicking, punching and lassoing her opponents is downright offensive and simplistic,” and that instead the UN should highlight Shehrzad of the 1001 Nights or just not use fictional characters at all (she goes on to list some “oft-forgotten” real-life women that she would prefer the UN uses).
Anderlini is angry that a committee that has barely made a splash in its 16 years of existence is using a badass female fictional character to bring some relevance to what they do.