James Cameron Throws Shade at ‘Wonder Woman’ and Patty Jenkins Shuts Him Down

Wonder Woman smashed into blockbuster territory and our hearts this summer, showing that not only are women capable of directing and starring in formulaic superhero movies, but also that DC has the ability to make a good movie after all. And little girls took notice, making the Amazonian princess a hero to a new generation of young women.

Famed director James Cameron has a different take on the summer blockbuster, however, saying this in an interview with The Guardian:

“All of the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood’s been doing over Wonder Woman has been so misguided. She’s an objectified icon, and it’s just male Hollywood doing the same old thing! I’m not saying I didn’t like the movie but, to me, it’s a step backwards. Sarah Connor 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. And to me, [the benefit of characters like Sarah] is so obvious. I mean, half the audience is female!”

Let’s set aside that he just gave a seriously backhanded compliment to his ex-wife Linda Hamilton and ask if James Cameron is actually right. Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston, who said at the time that “Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don’t want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women’s strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.” Marston doesn’t sound like he’s in Cameron’s corner here.

But it’s not 1943 and the new Wonder Woman film was made by Patty Jenkins, not Marston.

Jenkins gave the following reply on Twitter.

So who is right and who is wrong here? I’m inclined to side with Jenkins. Just because Wonder Woman is attractive doesn’t mean she can’t be a positive role model for women and girls. Women shouldn’t need to hide their femininity to be taken seriously. Nearly 70 years after Wonder Woman hit the pages of comic books for the first time, the theme Marston was pushing, that of a strong woman the equal of any man who retained her femininity and shows the power women have to change the world through love rather than brute force, is more relevant than ever.

Ripley and Sarah Connor were great characters who showed that women don’t need to be perfectly quaffed beauty queens to be competent and strong. Wonder Woman says women need not sacrifice the things that make them women in order to be equal to men. This might be controversial to the men who were mad about women-only screenings of Wonder Woman, but I say we let women decide for themselves what kind of women they want to be.

James Cameron advanced the representation of women in cinema more than most of his contemporaries. The comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For that the famous Bechdel Test comes from actually lauds Alien as passing said test.  But James Cameron doesn’t have a monopoly on how women should be portrayed and what makes a woman a positive role model. I don’t think the little girl who cried because she was so happy to meet Gal Godot is lacking a positive role model, I think she’s found the perfect role model for her.

  • babablowfish

    What a disgusting, slanderous headline! The Palestinians are the ones who have been murdering innocents for decades. The Israelis simply want to live in peace. Shame on you!

    • HerrinSchadenfreude

      That cocaine is a hell of a drug. Get help.

  • Kelsonus

    WTF is wrong with you and that headline!?!

  • tonylocke

    The Palestinians are fine with murdering their own children, why should anyone else have a problem with it?

  • neveragin

    It’s nice when anti-semites show their true cards. Thanks Eric for letting us know

  • TJC62

    Palestinians used their own kids to murder Israelis

    • Patricia

      What kind of parents allow their children to become abusers and murderers in a brutal occupying military? And this is factual, unlike your hatefu racist commnet.

  • Dave R

    Wow. If only I could be an edgy edgelord like… er, Erik Karnes.

  • nathan

    Israeli settlements in Palestinian land have no legal validity with the UN and Netanyahu is a war criminal aided by the U.S. and its allies #freepalestine

    • babablowfish

      When the UN established the State of Israel, the Arab States invaded with the intent of wiping Israel out. The Grand Mufti urged Arabs living in Israeli territory to flee to Arab land with the promise that, once Israel was conquered, they would be given the Israelis that survived as slaves. Israel successfully defended itself and their Arab would-be slave-masters wound up as refugees. The Israelis have the right to continue to defend themselves against the Arabs who have sworn that they have a sacred duty to enslave or annihilate them.

  • Patricia

    Anyone like her, who support the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the resultant war crimes of ” Israel” have no conscience . It is a waste of time looking for any shame in her.

    • babablowfish

      Muslim Arabs live peacefully and feely in Israel. Can you name any Muslim countries where Jews live peacefully and freely? Also, there was never a country called Palestine; it just never has existed. There was The Roman Empire, the Muslim Caliphate, the Ottoman Empire, the British Mandate and Trans Jordan, but never a country Palestine.

      • Patricia
        • babablowfish

          That map is of the British Mandate of Palestine – not of an independent state called Palestine. Such an independent state never existed. The British Empire ruled the area after they took it from the Ottoman Empire who took it from the Byzantine Empire who took it from the Arab Caliphate who retook it from the Crusaders who took it from the Caliphate who took it from the Byzantines who took it over after the Western Roman Empire fell. The Romans conquered the Israelites who lived there. The Arabs who now call themselves Palestinians are relative newcomers and are really Jordanians who are native to the country called TransJordan, (now called just Jordan) which was a creation of the British as a reward to their Hashemite allies.

  • Patricia

    The Israeli legal system is based fundamentally on the determination of at least two classes of citizenship: Class “A” citizenship for such citizens as are classified in law as “Jews”, and, as such are allocated in law a privileged access to the material resources of the State and the social as well as the welfare services of the State only because they are classified in law as “Jews” versus Class “B” citizenship for such citizens as are classified in law as “non-Jews”, namely, as “Arabs”, and, as such, are discriminated against in law with regard to their right to equal access to the material resources of the State as well as the social and welfare services of the State, first and foremost their right to equal access to land and water only because they are classified in law as “non-Jews”.

    But subject to Class “B” citizenship above, there exists in the State of Israel by force of the Absentees Property Law of 1950 also Class “C” citizenship for such Arab citizens of the State of Israel who are present inside the state, yet classified in law as “absent”. These Arab citizens are indeed present inside Israel as taxpayers and voters who cast (or refrain from casting) their vote in the election ballot – but, being classified under the said obscene law as “absentees” – they have been denied all their rights to their properties (e.g., lands, houses, corporations, shares, bank accounts, bank safes, etc.) such as were valid until 1948. Some 20 per cent of the constituency of the Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, approximately 200,000 persons, are classified in Israeli law as Class “C” citizens, namely, as “present-absentees”.

    Also, subject to the said Absentees Property law of 1950, the Israeli legislator (the Knesset) determined in law a Class “D” citizenship, namely, the denied citizenship of some 750,000 1948 Palestine refugees and their descendants currently numbering according to UNRWA figures over 4 million persons.

  • Patricia
  • Tartanthistle

    You do know that Arabs can vote in Israel, right? Unlike ANYWHERE ELSE in the Arab world. Bottom class Asshat.

  • Vronsky

    Obama supported Netanyahu? Ummmm…your dumb is showing.

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