Is It Time for Wonder Woman to Hang Up Her Bathing Suit?
On Friday, Wonder Woman turns 75, and she is getting a bang-up party. It will take place at the United Nations in the Economic and Social Council chamber, and special guests will include Diane Nelson, president of DC Entertainment (the company that owns DC Comics, which invented Wonder Woman); Lynda Carter, who embodied Wonder Woman in the 1970s television series; Gal Gadot, who has taken on the role in the forthcoming Wonder Woman film; and the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon.
星期五，神奇女侠(Wonder Woman)就满75岁了，她得到了一个绝好的生日派对，将在联合国经济及社会理事会的大厅举行，特别嘉宾包括DC娱乐公司（DC Entertainment，创作了神奇女侠的DC漫画公司即属于该公司）总裁黛安·纳尔逊(Diane Nelson)；1970年代在电视连续剧中饰演了神奇女侠的琳达·卡特(Lynda Carter)；在即将上映的神奇女侠电影中饰演这一角色的盖尔·加朵(Gal Gadot)；以及联合国秘书长潘基文(Ban Ki-moon)。
Mr. Ban, as it turns out, also has a present of sorts for the character: She is being named an honorary ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls and for gender equality, a.k.a. Goal 5 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals: 17 Goals to Transform Our World. She will appear in a social media campaign and other initiatives.
结果，潘基文也有一件算得上礼物的东西要送给这个角色：她被授予联合国女性和女孩赋权与性别平等荣誉大使称号，她的相关任务是《联合国可持续发展目标：17个改变我们世界的目标》( United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals: 17 Goals to Transform Our World)中的目标5。她将出现在一项社交网络宣传活动以及其他倡议计划中。
On one level, this makes sense. Wonder Woman is the epitome of the woman who needs a man the way a fish needs a bicycle. (She appeared twice on the cover of Ms. magazine.)
She is self-sufficient and strong and fights for equality and justice. She is not derivative of a male character the way Supergirl or Batgirl is, and she does not disguise herself as Catwoman does. In the new “Wonder Woman” movie, due for release next summer, she says to her male co-star, “What I do is not up to you.”
And certainly, she brings the organization’s cause to a whole new audience, said Maher Nasser, the Outreach Division director for the United Nations Department of Public Information.
(The organization realized the advantages of teaming up with the comic book world this year when Red from Angry Birds became its honorary ambassador for the International Day of Happiness; all honorary ambassadors are fictional characters, as opposed to, say, messengers of peace, a category that includes celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Charlize Theron and Jane Goodall, or good-will ambassadors, who include Anne Hathaway, David Beckham and Shakira.)
（今年，该组织意识到与漫画世界结盟的好处，“愤怒的小鸟”中的红鸟[Red from Angry Birds]成了联合国国际幸福日[International Day of Happiness]的荣誉大使；所有荣誉大使都是虚构人物，与和平使者[messengers of peace]或亲善大使[good-will ambassador]之类由名人担任的头衔相对，前者包括莱奥纳多·迪卡普里奥[Leonardo DiCaprio]、查理兹·塞隆[Charlize Theron]、珍·古道尔[Jane Goodall]等，后者包括安妮·海瑟薇[Anne Hathaway]、大卫·贝克汉姆[David Beckham]和夏奇拉[Shakira]等。）
It makes even more sense when you realize that in 1943, Wonder Woman ran for president. (It was “1,000 years in the future,” the ’40s comic book said, but, still.) And she was renominated by Ms. magazine in 1972. Bringing her back to speak for what she believes in, in a year when a real-live woman may be elected to the Oval Office, seems more relevant than ever.
Except for one thing.
As Mr. Nasser put it, somewhat delicately, the “outfit issue.”
Specifically, what he said was, “We are not unaware of the outfit issue,” the issue being that Wonder Woman does most of her power work, as we all know, in a star-spangled strapless bathing suit and knee-high boots, with a healthy amount of cleavage and leg on display. Her clothes have not, to put it mildly, caught up with her politics — or many other people’s, for that matter. (In the new film, she appears to wear a sort of loincloth-like skirt, too.)
In the end, the United Nations determined that, “You have to look beyond the superficial to her actions,” Mr. Nasser said. And Ms. Carter noted that the character is “so much bigger than what she wears.”
But in the era of Donald J. Trump, when the issue of objectifying women because of how they look is foremost in every conversation, the outfit issue — and the related body image issue — cannot be so easily dismissed.
但是在唐纳德·J·特朗普(Donald J. Trump)的时代，基于相貌而物化女性这个问题在每次谈话中都是头等重要的大事，服装问题——以及相关的身体形象问题——是不能被轻易忽视的。
Indeed, Wonder Woman’s workwear is a look straight from the Miss Universe stage — as it used to be when Mr. Trump owned the pageant. (He sold it last year to WME-IMG, the entertainment and sports giant.) After all, even Miss Teen USA ended its swimsuit competition this year, transforming it into a gymwear segment, the better to celebrate strength as opposed to va-va-voom. Paula Shugart, the president of the Miss Universe Organization, wrote in a letter to state directors that was later quoted in The New York Times, “This decision reflects an important cultural shift we’re all celebrating.”
其实，神奇女侠的工作服看上去简直是直接从环球小姐(Miss Universe)舞台上拿来的——特朗普还是这个选美活动的老板时就是这样的。（去年他把这项活动卖给了娱乐与体育巨擘WME-IMG公司。）毕竟，就连美国妙龄小姐(Miss Teen USA)今年都停止了泳装竞赛单元，改为运动服环节，这才是更好的赞美力量，抵制对女人以貌取人的方式。环球小姐组织的总裁宝拉·舒加特(Paula Shugart)一封写给各州选美指导们的信后来被《纽约时报》引用，“这个决定反映了我们都为之欢欣鼓舞的文化变迁。”
Except Wonder Woman is not.
This matters because, like most superheroes, she is inseparable from her clothing: It is her immediate signifier, the representation of all about her that is special and unique (and kick-butt). And that clothing unavoidably indicates to everyone that part of the source of her power is her babeliciousness, as defined in a particularly retrograde way.
The reason Steve Trevor, her original love interest, falls for her is not just that she can defend herself and him, gallop into battle and choose not to kill her enemies. It’s because, let’s be honest, of her looks — when she takes off her glasses, stops being that dowdy Diana Prince in a buttoned-up shirt and blossoms into her barely clad self.
她最初的暧昧对象史蒂夫·特雷弗(Steve Trevor)喜欢她，不是因为她能保护自己，也能保护他，能奔赴战场，还选择不杀死自己的敌人。诚实地说，是因为她的长相——那一刻她摘掉眼镜，不再做那个衣着过时、总是系着衬衫领扣的戴安娜·普林斯(Diana Prince)，而是绽放出一个衣不蔽体的自我。
She may not be using her sexuality as a weapon (she has bracelets and a gold lasso for that), but it’s nonetheless making a statement.
Which raises the question, even accepting that she is an exaggerated character in an exaggerated world: Is that really the message we want to send about female empowerment to our daughters in an era when there are a number of fully clothed, notably powerful female role models?
On the one hand, allowing girls to revel in their physicality and femininity is a good thing. I am not saying they should dress like nuns or adopt a pantsuits “r” us mentality. They should own their womanhood and all that is special and different about it. You can argue that refusing to apologize for or hide your body under a sackcloth is a feminist act.
But most women, I would guess, would not choose to display their allure while wearing a star-spangled maillot and cape, which is to say an outfit that no one could actually wear to work, unless she were working as the impersonator of a comic book character.
Ms. Carter is unapologetic about the look (“I never felt objectified as Wonder Woman, though I have as Lynda Carter,” she said in a recent phone call), but she acknowledges that, though she owns two classic costumes, she has not put one on since she hung up her cape in 1979.
Pointedly, when she appears as the president on “Supergirl” this season (she will make her debut next week), Ms. Carter wears a long baby-blue jacket, skinny black trousers and pumps. “Smart, strong, easy, comfortable,” she said of the look, adding that she based it on Hillary Clinton and the House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi.
当她饰演总统，在本季的《女超人》中亮相时（下周她的角色就要初次登场了），卡特穿了一件粉蓝色长西装外套，黑色瘦腿裤和高跟鞋。“聪明、强悍、轻松，自如”，她这样形容这个造型，并说这是按照希拉里·克林顿(Hillary Clinton)和众议院少数党领袖南希·佩洛西(Nancy Pelosi)的样子来设计的。