UN-der Woman

invisiblejetLast month the high-flying poobas of the world donned their UNGA-wear and boarded private jets to attend the United Nations General Assembly. Oh! How they did clog the streets of Gotham in pursuit of… What exactly is it they pursued beyond a display of wealth and power?

And now the UN—it’s very name suggestive of nothingness, the opposite of accomplishment—has surpassed even itself in vacuous heraldry:

The United Nations has named a fictional female superhero to be its Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls. Wonder Woman, that scantily clad tart with bullet-defying wrist bands and classic Big Hair Syndrome, is now to apply her “Lasso of Truth” to the UN’s efforts at female equality. One wonders: are the efforts themselves also to be a fiction?

Will “Ambassador Woman” carry out her labors aboard an invisible jet, that silly conceit of a flying machine which, while invisible itself, does nothing to shield her from sight? Nice legs!

Will she team up with the UN’s other great Honorary Ambassadors like—this is true—Tinkerbell (Ambassador of Green) and Winnie the Pooh (Ambassador of Friendship)? What commercial venture will the UN turn to next in pursuit of its own aimless self-justification? Will we have Aquaman shilling fictional efforts to save our poisoned oceans?

It looks like staff-level types at the UN, at least, have their compasses pointed right. Read a few bullets from their well-reasoned petition against this nomination below. And though it may have proven unsuccessful, can’t we all use the episode as a reminder that equality—gender, racial, economic, social equality in general—remains elusive here at home and around the world, thanks in large part to big shows by the rich and powerful that amount to absolutely nothing.


Petition outtakes. Sign here.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations has recently announced that the new Honorary Ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls will be Wonder Woman, a fictional character, the rights to which are owned by DC Comics, a for-profit entertainment corporation.

Wonder Woman was created 75 years ago. Although the original creators may have intended Wonder Woman to represent a strong and independent “warrior” woman with a feminist message, the reality is that the character’s current iteration is that of a large breasted, white woman of impossible proportions, scantily clad in a shimmery, thigh-baring body suit with an American flag motif and knee high boots –the epitome of a “pin-up” girl.

It is alarming that the United Nations would consider using a character with an overtly sexualized image at a time when the headline news in United States and the world is the objectification of women and girls.

The image that Wonder Woman projects (life-size cut outs of which have already appeared at UNHQ) is not culturally encompassing or sensitive –attributes the United Nations expects all its staff members to embody in the core value of respect for diversity.

The bottom line appears to be that the United Nations was unable to find a real life woman that would be able to champion the rights of ALL women on the issue of gender equality and the fight for their empowerment.

The United Nations cannot on the one hand claim that “providing women and girls with equal access to education, healthcare, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large,” and on the other, award this key ambassadorial role to Wonder Woman, relegating the importance of the issue of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls to the previous appointment of fictional characters for ambassadorial positions, such as Tinkerbell (Ambassador of Green) and Winnie the Pooh (Ambassador of Friendship).

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