by John Ellis
I have yet to watch the new Wonder Woman movie. Not because I’m opposed to a movie about Wonder Woman, nor am I necessarily opposed to this current iteration of the DC heroine. I just don’t watch many movies. However, the amount of noise and cultural tug-of-war surrounding Wonder Woman makes me occasionally wonder if I should carve out some time to watch the Gal Gadot vehicle.
Feminists and anti-feminists(?) have been at each other’s throats over the movie. In fact, and amusingly, feminists angry that Gal Gadot has shaved armpits in the movie have been at the throats of other feminists over Wonder Woman. This summer, it’s been difficult to escape the movie whether one has seen it or not.
For me, the ubiquitousness of Wonder Woman speaks to larger issues of how our culture is far too dependent on pop culture to shape our thoughts/worldview. I mean, to be frank and to further out myself as a fundamentalist curmudgeon, the vast majority of movies do not matter, or, rather should not matter. As a whole, the movie industry’s sole function is to provide people a brief respite of entertainment that distracts them from their problems and, worse, their continued rebellion against their Creator. At best, movies entertain us for a bit. At worst, movies preach to us false doctrines that allow us to feel good in our rebellion while encouraging the lusts of our flesh. Sadly, secularists and heathens aren’t the only ones looking for life’s meaning in triteness and vulgarity.
It’s much easier for me to ignore the obeisance to Hollywood from unbelievers than it is for me to ignore the seemingly increasing examples of professing Christians justifying their almost wholesale embrace of Hollywood. Even The Gospel Coalition has gotten in on the action. Followers of King Jesus do not need more excuses to engage pop culture; we need to be reminded of our call to holiness and obedience to our Creator. At times, more times than many of us are willing to admit, this call means less engagement with pop culture. This is why I was saddened when I saw the tweet using the words “The Gospel and Proverbs 31 in DC’s Own Martial Maiden” from New City Times this morning promoting an article about Wonder Woman.
I don’t know a whole lot about New City Times (a friend is a contributor), but I’ve enjoyed and been edified by many of their articles. I clicked on their link expecting to be frustrated and saddened. Except, I found the article’s arguments compelling and, well, important. Having not watched Wonder Woman, I can’t speak to Suzannah Rowntree’s comments about the movie (although, I do appreciate the line, “And I still think that if you really want to make a film about respecting women, putting them in exploitatively skimpy costumes is a weird way to do it.”), but I can speak with gratitude to her overall point. A point that you can discover for yourself by clicking on the link provided below. And I highly urge you to click that link.