As of this Friday, December 16, Wonder Woman will no longer be an official UN Ambassador and all I can feel is a profound disappointment. However, this announcement does not come as a surprise to me due to the sheer amount of drama that had surrounded the original announcement declaring her as an ambassador and the general drama behind-the-scenes at the UN.
The decision to make Wonder Woman an honorary UN Ambassador was met with a lot of controversy, some of which was warranted and some of which wasn’t. As I mentioned in my original article detailing her appointment and the backlash that was received, a good amount of criticism focused on how attractive and sexualized Wonder Woman was, which was used to create the argument that she could not be considered a good role model to young girls because her appearance perpetuated unattainable beauty standards for women to achieve.
This focus on appearance clearly helped us Wonder Woman fans realize how little the people protesting Wonder Woman knew her, narrowing down her whole being to just her appearance. If feminist icon Gloria Steinem liked her and approved of her as a feminist icon, how the heck couldn’t they?
Another argument that was brought up that actually made sense was the focus on there being a real woman as an ambassador versus the fictional Wonder Woman. In the same petition that so graphically pointed out her sexualized appearance, there was a statement made 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.” This is a fair point. There is already a horrible lack of representation of women in leadership roles in these types of organizations, so I can understand how the appointment of a fictional character would piss people off.
Originally, Wonder Woman’s campaign was supposed to go into 2017 and possibly last for the entirety of that year. However, as was revealed by NPR today, when they called UN official Jeffrey Brez to check up on the campaign, he had this to say:
“We always knew it would end in December,” Brez said. “Soon after the launch [on October 21] we said, what day should it actually end on? And we decided on December 16 because after that, the holidays were coming up, and it didn’t make sense to continue the campaign into the holiday season.”
Here in lies where my brain has gone with the announcement that Wonder Woman’s ambassadorship has ended. Backing out of a campaign like this when public statements were made confirming the life expectancy of the campaign makes me think that the UN, when confronted with neverending controversy in public and behind-the-scenes, decided it wasn’t worth it to continue to have Wonder Woman as an ambassador. The criticism concerning her appointment was too much, so they decided to pull the plug.
I may be completely wrong, but it just seems they are trying to save face by ending her ambassadorship early to appease the loudest people in the bunch. And all this does is train the loudest voices that they can get whatever they want if they just keep being loud and obnoxious.
It’s a disappointing decision. Unfortunately, we’ll just have to resign ourselves to live with it.