Patty Jenkins Shared A Must-Read Response To James Cameron's 'Wonder Woman' Criticism

"There is no right and wrong kind of powerful woman."

The film Wonder Woman debuted earlier this year to a hugely positive response. Not only did it smash box office records, but it provided much-needed, valuable on-screen representation for women and girls in the superhero genre.

Unfortunately, not everyone was as impressed with director Patty Jenkins' take on the classic comic book heroine. Avatar director James Cameron criticized the film's portrayal of its female protagonist in a new interview with the Guardian, causing a backlash on social media.


"All of the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood's been doing over Wonder Woman has been so misguided," Cameron said. "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." 

Cameron went on to contrast Wonder Woman with Sarah Connor, the heroine of his own Terminator movies, saying she was "not a beauty icon" and adding, "She was strong, she was troubled, she was a terrible mother, and she earned the respect of the audience through pure grit."

Many on social media were annoyed by Cameron's narrow take on a character and film that has meant so much to so many female viewers. And it wasn't long until director Patty Jenkins herself weighed in on Twitter.

Jenkins posted a note Thursday night in which she challenged Cameron's judgment of the film, and made an important and eloquent point about female characters. "James Cameron's inability to understand what Wonder Woman is, or stands for, to women all over the world is unsurprising as, though he is a great filmmaker, he is not a woman," she began the response.

She thanked Cameron for praising her previous film Monster, about serial killer Aileen Wuornos. "But if women have to always be hard, tough and troubled to be strong, and we aren't free to be multidimensional or celebrate an icon of women everywhere because she is attractive and loving, then we haven't come very far have we."

The director went on to emphasize that strong women can take many forms (just like strong men), and comparing them to a specific ideal isn't helpful in the pursuit of better representation. She also pointed out that it's not really Cameron's place as a man to decide who is and isn't someone female moviegoers should admire.

"I believe women can and should be EVERYTHING just like male lead characters should be," Jenkins wrote. "There is no right and wrong kind of powerful woman. And the massive female audience who made the film a hit it is, can surely choose and judge their own icons of progress." 

The tweet has since received thousands of retweets, so it's safe to say much of that same female audience (and others) agree with Jenkins' stance. 

(H/T: Variety)


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