Was it an interesting week.
Besides Beyoncé’s Gemini twins being born, the internet was initially ablaze for an entirely different reason…that reason mainly being Joss Whedon’s longtime (and alleged) Wonder Woman script finally hitting the internet in its entirety.
I debated whether or not I would jump in on this topic. Mainly because Whedon stans are painfully annoying and have been in my face all goddamn week with this bullshit. However, the more I thought about it, the more I actually felt compelled to explain why Whedon’s Wonder Woman script made me want to shoot myself into space with my roadies, land on Earth-7 and never come back.
Which, you know, wouldn’t be a terrible idea considering who we have in office.
So, without further ado, here are exactly five things about Joss Whedon’s Wonder Woman script that make doves cry (RIP Prince):
1. I am pretty confident that Joss Whedon literally wrote this script with his dick.
You may think that I’m joking but I am completely deadass. There’s no way you can convince me that Whedon did not plop his phallic member on some variation of a keyboard, typewriter, or notebook and bring this nonsense script into existence.
From his description of Diana when we first see her to his description of her apparently elderly mother “who is still very much in her prime”, Whedon does jackshit to hide his potent attraction to these women…or his rumored foot fetish, for that matter. In fact, I’d wager to say that while these descriptions make it painfully obvious that he penned this script with one thing on his mind and one thing only, nothing makes it more obvious than his rendition of Steve Trevor.
And to be quite frank, Steve is what I’d call a gross, poorly-written fan-fiction insert.
Which brings me to my next point:
2. Steve is a fucking asshole. And one who talks too much.
Recently, I have seen a fair share of comments saying that there was too much Steve Trevor in Wonder Woman.
I disagreed with that for many reasons, mostly because while Pine is not my favorite Chris, I personally enjoyed his (and Patty Jenkins’) interpretation of Steve and thought he served as the perfect audience guide and/or stand-in (I don’t think I would have been as interested if he was missing).
That said, I did see where the criticism was coming from. However, I’m starting to think we had it way too good with him now that I got a chance to peek at Whedon’s script.
It could have been much, much worse, y’all.
Not only is this godforsaken, hypothetical movie told entirely from Earth-39 Steve Trevor’s shitty ass “me man, you woman” perspective (so we never get any real input from Diana EVEN THOUGH THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE HER MOVIE) but boy, does he make Jenkins’ Steve Trevor look like a “feminist” saint.
While that Steve knew how AND when to stay in his lane, and properly convinced us that he was a person who was truly worthy of Diana’s affection, the only thing Earth-39 Steve convinces us of is that he needs his ass beat.
Truly. Steve spends most of this alternative movie berating Diana, belittling Diana, and condescending to Diana by believing her to be “dangerous” and erroneously reducing her to a simple “warmonger”. Hell, it’s to the point that it isn’t even limited to Diana. He does this shit to the other Amazons by pretending he is God’s gift to them by merely being a straight, cis man.
And the icing on the cake here is that fan-fiction insert I mentioned. Because while Earth-39 Steve is enough to deal with by himself, we also have to deal with the fact that he thinks Diana is no good for Man’s World but is apparently still attracted to her. And wants to bone her. And really wants her to know this. And by extension, really wants us to know this.
For some reason.
But wait! There’s more:
3. The Amazon’s are reduced to super athletic, men-obsessed fangirls.
Nothing says “I am clearly a man and have overestimated my contribution to society” quite like Joss Whedon turning some of THE premier warrior women in fiction into super buff and super cut fangirls.
And who do they stan for? Why, men of course!
It has to be the most self-serving, “pat yourself on the dick” thing I’ve seen thus far. For we see an island of women who have pretty much functioned without men since their inception turn into mush and get all weak in the knees the minute Earth-39 Steve Trevor sets foot on Themiscyra. The grossest examples of this are tied between Diana meeting Steve, literally touching his face, and going “YOU’RE A MAN” (cheesing all big with her ditzy ass smile); AND Aethra mentioning to Diana that she isn’t the only one who has apparently been praying to Hera (still don’t know why you would do that since she’s an asshole) for men to fall out of the sky even though I’m pretty sure there are better things to pray about.
….And y’all say women are too cocky. HAVE YOU READ THIS SCRIPT?
4. Diana is nerfed at some point and this is why I don’t trust men to write women correctly.
This has to be the thing that truly blew me about this script.
Aside from having her POV trampled and everything she stands for and strives for being mocked and ridiculed, Whedon wraps it all up and seals it with a giant red bow by taking away Diana’s powers at one point in the movie and having her basically sexually assaulted by some baddie.
You see, at one point, Steve gets captured (of course) by the baddie and said baddie threatens to end his life unless Diana…submits to him. Which, you know, would strip her of her powers.
If I was Earth-39 Diana, I would have chucked a deuces at Steve and walked off since he is a flaming hot taki asshole anyhow and I have a bad ass bitch waiting for me back on Paradise Island. However, since I am not Earth-39 Diana and since she is a Joss Whedon invention, Diana actually submits, loses her powers, and wins the amazing prize of getting touched on and violated by said baddie in her weakened state. And Whedon doesn’t make it any better by how he describes the baddie’s invasive touch:
Here’s the issue I had with that left turn: while this whole “submission” shtick is not exactly alien to Wonder Woman canon (i.e the history of those wrist cuffs/bracelets), it was pretty much agreed on that that fell under the category of her more unsavory source material and that if a movie were ever to be made about her, we would cast that dumpster fire to the wayside.
Well, apparently this “we” did not include Whedon, as it turns it he was a-okay with slapping this in here with the rest of this dumpster fire of a script.
And it doesn’t really get better from there. She eventually pulls a Mufasa (in this case Hippolyta) and *remembers who she is* and the power within (I guess) and saves the day. She and Steve confess their love for each other (I don’t know why or how) and Steve pulls his final asshole move by doubting this heaux can fly—despite seeing all the other supernatural shit she’s done—and Diana REALLY STICKS IT TO HIM by flying off into the sunset.
It was all very, very vomit-inducing. And I’m wondering what kind of drugs Whedon was on when he wrote this mostly because I need to know what to stay away from as well as how people can still believe ol’ dude to be a Feminist Nerd God™ when they read something like this.
And before you “well, actually” buttfaces come at me with “well actually, this was a long time ago”, I don’t know how much weight that really carries when this is the same dude who turned the super cool, super badass Black Widow into “a monster” for having the nerve to be rendered infertile.
But maybe all of us should have expected some version of this abomination from him. I mean, his brand of feminism can be summed up as “base White girl punches and kicks things a lot.” Annnd that’s pretty much it. He doesn’t take the time to grant these “strong female characters” the emotional depth or nuance that they deserve. Which is why his treatment of Diana in this script was so appalling.
Diana is at her very best when these things are used to craft her as a character. Her empathy, her kindness, her tenacity, her courage. None of that happens if she lacks that emotional depth and nuance. Without it, she becomes a shell of herself: Bright-eyed and hopeful, but with no substance. And possessing all the naïveté in the world for the sole purpose of deferring to a more “worldly” male counterpart.
This is not unlike what we saw in Whedon’s script and this is ultimately why the Wonder Woman film that we did get (while still flawed) is that much more important.
Because while folx wanna argue that men can totally write female characters as well as women/femmes can, I’d argue that Joss Whedon himself (and his Wonder Woman script) makes an interesting case for why they should not.
In any case, for the poor souls who had to read this abomination and relive that experience here, I am truly sorry.
But not as sorry as I am for Batgirl, because oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, guess who Whedon gets to take a “feminist” swing at next?
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