By Quentin Langley
The UN has decided to end its controversial partnership with Wonder Woman in which she was an honorary ambassador promoting the UN's sustainable development goal of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls by 2030. Wonder Woman was actually the senior partner in this relationship. She has been defending the Earth for more than a century, and her exploits have been chronicled by DC comics for 75 years, whereas the UN is a mere 71 years old.
There seem to be two different and contradictory reasons for sacking Wonder Woman: she was always a controversial choice with two groups of people. UN staff have complained that Wonder Woman is "not culturally encompassing or sensitive" and is inappropriate "when the headline news in United States and the world is the objectification of women and girls."
These are very different issues. The suggestion is that Wonder Woman is "culturally insensitive" in developing countries where women are not free to dress as scantily as an Amazon princess and that she is an inappropriate role model in Western countries where women and girls may feel pressured to dress in scanty attire.
The more pressing of these issues is very much the laws which require women to cover up. This is prevalent in countries which oppress women in all sorts of other ways, such as genital mutilation and denial of schooling. (Most of these countries oppress men, too, though in slightly lesser degree). Providing a role model who is powerful and dresses as she pleases is positive.
In the West, too, women should be able to dress as they please. If a man attacks a scantily clad woman, he is the criminal and she is victim or, in Wonder Woman's case, the person who beats him up and delivers him to the police station. Women should not be pressured into wearing clothing they find inappropriate, but, even more importantly, they should be free to make their own choices and not feel that their choices "provoke" men into attacking them.