Wonder Woman is No Longer a UN Ambassador

first_img 11 Groundbreaking Female Comic Book ArtistsToy Tuesday: 11 Coolest Toys of 2018 Stay on target Despite being sworn in as a United Nations Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls in October, Wonder Woman will soon step down from her post.The appointment, which would have the iconic comic book character be the symbol of an empowerment campaign launched in accordance with her 75th anniversary, will end on Friday. This comes after a public backlash in the weeks since the announcement.Multiple people had been critical of the decision. At the time of this writing, nearly 45,000 people had signed a petition calling on Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the UN, to reconsider the decision.The petition, organized by “Concerned United Nations staff members,” said that the institution should focus on electing a real person as an ambassador, instead of a fictional character with, as they put it, “an overtly sexualized image.”“Although the original creators may have intended Wonder Woman to represent a strong and independent ‘warrior’ woman with a feminist message, the reality is that the character’s current iteration is that of a large breasted, white woman of impossible proportions, scantily clad in a shimmery, thigh-baring body suit,” the petition read.The petition echoes a point that was made by others, saying that its decision to appoint a fictional character as an ambassador instead of a real person who’s championed for gender equality undermined the point the UN was trying to make. On Oct. 21, which was Wonder Woman Day at the UN, protesters lined the lobby with signs that said “I’m not a mascot” and “Let’s get real.”“The bottom line appears to be that the United Nations was unable to find a real life woman that would be able to champion the rights of ALL women on the issue of gender equality and the fight for their empowerment,” the petition continued.Some of the points made here are valid. The UN chose gender equality as one of its Millennium Development Goals, and the plan includes expanding education options for women and girls. If we want a symbol of female empowerment to lead a campaign to promote this, it could be a real flesh and blood human. There are many to choose from.Plus, having a woman or other champion spearheading any UN campaigns would be more universal than a Western comic book character.However, to focus on her appearance and her clothing is the opposite of empowerment. Wonder Woman’s outfits have been varied throughout the years, all depending on who is drawing her. It has nothing to do with how the character itself has inspired girls and diminishes the acts that made her a symbol.Jeffrey Brez, the UN’s chief of NGO relations and advocacy, said that Wonder Woman’s role was never meant to be permanent.“From the UN’s side, there was no plan for it to be much longer than this,” he said.It’s also the longest amount of time a fictional character has been an ambassador. Remember the time that Winnie the Pooh was an honorary ambassador for friendship? Or when one red bird from Angry Birds was one for climate change? How did that workout?last_img read more