Director James Cameron continued this debate, through his critique of the representation of female power in Jenkins's film. In an August 2017 interview with The Guardian, Cameron qualifies Jenkins's vision of Wonder Woman as "an objectified icon" and called the film "a step backwards". In contrast, he states, his character Sarah Connor (from his Terminator films) "was not a beauty icon. She was strong, she was troubled, she was a terrible mother, and she earned the respect of the audience through pure grit." Jenkins stated in response that Cameron's "inability to understand what 'Wonder Woman' is, or stands for, to women all over the world is unsurprising as, though he is a great filmmaker, he is not a woman". She further argued "there is no right and wrong kind of powerful woman" because "if women have to always be hard, tough and troubled to be strong, and we aren't free to be multidimensional or celebrate an icon of women everywhere because she is attractive and loving, then we haven't come very far have we." Reaction to this debate was mixed. Julie Miller sided with Cameron, whom she states refers to himself as "a pretty hardcore feminist" and who told Vulture that "I have no problem writing a script in which the males become subservient to the females, which is what happens in Aliens ... It's up to Ripley to win the day." In contrast, Miller argues that Jenkins and Gadot envisioned Wonder Woman as "a woman who exuded both femininity and strength, along with genuine confusion as to why men would treat women differently than they do other men". Susannah Breslin also agreed with Cameron, describing Jenkins's Wonder Woman as "a Playmate with a lasso" and "female power with no balls". Others were more critical of Cameron's critique. An article in Newsweek suggests that in contrast to his criticism of Jenkins, Cameron's own films include "lot of objectification" and quotes a few Hollywood celebrities who echoed this view. One of the quotes came from Jesse McLaren who states that "James Cameron's just confused there's a female hero whose motivations aren't centered around motherhood." Noah Berlatsky found areas of agreement between both Cameron and Jenkins, stating that while Cameron's objection is "an old point that's been made over and over for decades", Jenkins's film is not "solely focused on objectifying Gal Gadot for a male audience".
Born as the second daughter of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, Drusilla grew up on Paradise Island along with her older sister, Princess Diana. After her sister left the island, she quickly became the finest archer and rider of the Amazons. When Hippolyta felt it was time for her elder daughter to return to the island, Drusilla was sent to America to urge her return. Reluctant to leave, Diana decided to show her younger sister of the need for Wonder Woman in the outside world. As part of this she convinced Drusilla to pose as Diana Prince's teenage sister for a few days. During this time she accompanied General Blankenship on a car trip. They were attacked by Nazi spies who abducted the general and left her behind. Unable to contact her sister, she decided to go after the spies herself and transformed into Wonder Girl.
Pallas Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war, granted Diana great wisdom, intelligence, and military prowess. Athena's gift has enabled Diana to master over a dozen languages (including those of alien origin), multiple complex crafts, sciences and philosophies, as well as leadership, military strategy, and armed and unarmed combat. More recently, Athena bound her own eyesight to Diana's, granting her increased empathy.
The series began at a time when violence on television was under intense scrutiny. As a result, Wonder Woman was less frequently seen punching or kicking people the way she did in the early episodes. She would usually be shown pushing and throwing enemies or using creativity to get them to somehow knock themselves out (such as jumping high into the air to cause pursuers to collide). Despite the wartime setting, she almost never resorted to deadly force. The only exception occurs in the pilot episode when she sinks a German U-boat by crashing an airplane into it, presumably killing everyone aboard. Wonder Woman herself was occasionally overpowered by chloroform and poison gas, but she always came back in the second half of the show to save the day. In some episodes, her enemies learn the secret of her superhuman strength – her magic belt – and temporarily steal it, leaving her with average human strength. Her indestructible lasso and bracelets were stolen or taken away in one episode (leaving her defenseless against gunfire), but Wonder Woman recovered them by the end of the episode. (In the comics, Wonder Woman would lose most of her strength if bound by a man.)
The New 52 version of the character has been portrayed to be a younger, more headstrong, loving, fierce and willful person. Brian Azzarello stated in a video interview with DC Comics that they're building a very "confident", "impulsive" and "good-hearted" character in her. He referred to her trait of feeling compassion as both her strength and weakness.
A few cast changes were made between the specials and the series. Former Happy Days recurring actress Beatrice Colen joined the cast as Corporal Etta Candy WAAC, General Blankenship's secretary, thereby providing YN1 Prince with a subordinate. Three episodes featured Debra Winger as Diana's younger sister, Drusilla, a.k.a. Wonder Girl, in one of her earliest acting roles.
Jenkins disagrees with this line of critique. She has stated that she was raised by a second-wave "feminist mother", who taught her to be "both super aware that there had been sexism but also: 'Congratulations—thank you, now I get to do whatever I want, Mom!'" Jenkins thus notes that it is this upbringing which has led her to question a feminist critique of Wonder Woman's costume. When she was working on her own version of Wonder Woman's "Gladiator" re-design of the outfit (in the 2016 film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) Jenkins decided that Wonder Woman (as well as the other Amazons) "shouldn't be dressed in armor like men ... It should be different ... I, as a woman, want Wonder Woman to be hot as hell, fight badass, and look great at the same time—the same way men want Superman to have huge pecs and an impractically big body." Jenkins also notes that she is "frustrated" by the critique of Wonder Woman's appearance, stating "when people get super critical about her outfit, who's the one getting crazy about what a woman wears? That's who she is; that's Wonder Woman." Gal Gadot concurred with Jenkins, arguing that the character "is a feminist" as "feminism is about equality and choice and freedom. And the writers, Patty and myself all figured that the best way to show that is to show Diana as having no awareness of social roles. She has no gender boundaries. To her, everyone is equal."
Despite the muted ratings of the earlier Cathy Lee Crosby television pilot, ABC still felt a Wonder Woman series had potential, and within a year another pilot was in production. Keen to make a distinction from the last pilot, producers gave the pilot the rather paradoxical title The New Original Wonder Woman. Scripting duties were given to Stanley Ralph Ross, who was instructed to be more faithful to the comic book and to create a subtle "high comedy." Ross set the pilot in World War II, the era in which the original comic book began.
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Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot reacted positively to Diana's rebooted orientation, and agreed her sexuality was impacted by growing up in the women-only Themyscira. Gadot stated that Wonder Woman feels she need not be "labelled sexually", and is "just herself". "She's a woman who loves people for who they are. She can be bisexual. She loves people for their hearts." Coming from a society that was only populated by women, "'lesbian' in [the world's] eyes may have been 'straight' for them." "Her culture is completely free from the shackles of heteronormativity in the first place so she wouldn't even have any 'concept' of gender roles in sex."
Although created to be a positive role-model and a strong female character for girls and boys, Wonder Woman has had to deal with the misogyny that was commonplace in comic book industry for decades. For example, Wonder Woman was a founding member of the Justice Society of America. This roster included the original Flash and Green Lantern. Wonder Woman was an experienced leader and easily the most powerful of them all, yet was rendered a secretary. This would also be accompanied with her losing her powers or getting captured on most Justice League adventures. During the '50s and '60s, comic writers regularly made Wonder Woman lovesick over Steve Trevor, a Major in the United States Army. Stories frequently featured Wonder Woman hoping or imagining what it would be like to marry Steve Trevor.
Thus although by the modern depiction her accomplishments at the time seem ordinary, in that era they were more so. Diana Prince was originally an army nurse, but quickly attained the rank of lieutenant in Army Intelligence. This was partially a creative convenience so that she could be close to both Steve Trevor and received information which she needed to pursue her superheroics. In the real world though, this role in Army intelligence, even as the secretary to General Darnell, was still a rare position for a woman to hold in society. At this time as well, the character had her only real sidekicks in her history in the form of Etta Candy and the Holliday Girls. These characters gave the Wonder Woman a degree more of levity while also allowing the writers to focus on some issues which were more related to women. When Marston left the character, the strong driving force of the character to act as a strong moral guide and role model for female readers left as well and the character became more sensitive to the forces driving the industry as whole. Thus Wonder Woman changed somewhat to a more stereotypical woman. Her main interest was not always fighting crime, but for a time it became all in the interest of keeping Steve Trevor happy and interested in her for marriage. Also the backup stories featuring the Wonder Women of History were slowly phased out and replaced with features on marriage customs from around the world and trivial facts on random household objects.