Wonder Woman Made Me Cry

July 14, 2017

Photo via Freestockphotos.com

A few weeks ago, a good friend and I indulged in the deliciously decadent simple pleasure of going to see Wonder Woman on a Friday afternoon. Our intention was nothing more than being together and having fun while most of the rest of the world was at work.

As we watched the movie, sharing popcorn and sipping from our water bottles, something surprising happened. We both teared up.


We walked out of the theater, both a little stunned by how entertaining and empowering the movie felt, and by our own reactions to it. Since then, I’ve pondered my (our) teary response to the movie. What affected us so much?

And then to my surprise, I found we were not alone in our tears. Many, many women were being affected this way. I found the No Man’s Land scene the most moving, but other women were moved to tears by the scenes of the Amazons training or fighting on their home island, Themiscyra. Each story I’ve read about a woman crying during Wonder Woman has been a little different, but mainly they’ve focused on the concept of representation—having a role model up on screen who is unabashedly feminine and powerful.

The character of Diana Prince/Wonder Woman is not a damsel in distress, a sidekick, an afterthought, or a love interest. She’s the main event, and she is inspiring. She’s strong, brave, loving, and purposeful. She doesn’t wait, she acts. She doesn’t waffle, she decides, and when she acts, she does so in the service of others. That’s a pretty darn good role model, and one that is larger than life. One I wish I’d had when I was growing up.

I’m not what I think of as brave, or even assertive. I grew up in a culture that didn’t encourage those qualities in women, and I’m shy by nature. Even though I knew strong and capable women, they tended to stay in the background, not lead the way. Would I have been a more courageous, outgoing person with an example like Diana Prince to emulate? I don’t know, but I agree with the woman who said, “I wish I could go back in time and watch it with 8-year-old me.” Sometimes you have to see the example—to be made aware of the possibility—before you can emulate it.

Now I realize this is all in the context of a fictional superhero movie. I realize our decisions and actions in real life can be more emotionally fraught and tricky to navigate than No Man’s Land, especially when we’re not Amazons equipped with magical shields. Even so, I’ve found myself thinking of Diana more than once when I face problems in my day-to-day life. Would Wonder Woman be fazed by the challenges of redesigning my blog, or by not placing (again) in an essay contest? Somehow I doubt it.

So much to my surprise, I’m adding Wonder Woman to my list of role models. I could do worse.

Do you have any unusual role models you look up to? 

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  1. Dear Kathy reading your thoughts on Wonder Woman makes me think I need to see this movie. Sounds like you and your friend both enjoyed it. Take care and have a delightful weekend. Hugs!

  2. Brava! You are more Wonder Woman than you know.

  3. Debbie--I really enjoyed it, and hope you do too, if you go see it. Have a great weekend!

  4. Mary--awww, what a nice thing to say! Thanks for inviting me to go in the first place ;).

  5. I have to agree with Mary from up above...I think the "I'm not brave, I'm not assertive" mantra you have probably needs to be kicked to the curb. You and Diana have a lot in common. Great post!

  6. Thanks, Laure! Brave does have more than one definition--and even though I don't see myself charging into battle, I know I do things that require courage. It's just not one of primary words I'd use to describe myself.