Wonder Woman Banned in Tunisia (and the West Gets It Wrong Again)

Published July 23rd, 2017 - 02:00 GMT
Go away. (Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.)
Go away. (Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.)


Wonder Woman is not a feminist movie.

It doesn’t matter that it stars a woman kicking ass. It doesn’t matter that the film’s (highly-talented) director is a woman. It doesn’t matter that the woman at the centre of the movie is her own independent self.

None of it matters when Wonder Woman, a movie about unity and love, is being played by Gal Gadot, a former Israeli soldier and tank instructor who has expressed her support for the continued, illegal Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and the indiscriminate murder of Gazans.

None of it matters when the lives of some women are less valuable than the lives of other women, especially when that value is determined by ethnicity.

None of it matters when Tunisia, Lebanon, and Qatar all ban the film, state their reasons, and Western mainstream media only decides to say that the ban occurred because Gal Gadot is Israeli, or because the Arab world is regressive. Look at this shameful headline from The Independent: “Wonder Woman banned in Tunisia where 70% of the female population suffers from gender-based violence.”

None of it matters, in other words, when feminism is white.

Over on Al Jazeera, writer Susan Abulhawa has presented a well-considered case as to why Wonder Woman isn’t a feminist film. It's a highly recommended read.

The news here is that Tunisia has now banned Wonder Woman. But maybe the bigger news is that “the West” should really start listening to the voices they claim need hearing.

Gal Gadot is not that voice.

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