Hoo Boy — Let’s Unpack This American Conservative Review Of Wonder Woman.
Jennifer Wright

This guy’s point about Gravity, and WW, is actually LESS savory than “wow, I wish they’d have boned.” His point is NOT that they should have had sex. His point is that there was NO fraught sexual episode between the main characters. (At least I think that is his point — I’ve not seen Gravity — but he seems to be implying the same lack in that film).

His point is that it is untruthful to the nature of humanity to show two attractive people who COULD be sexually interested in each other NOT being sexually interested in each other. This jibes perfectly with Christian fundamentalism which suggests that ANY contact between a heterosexual man and an anywhere near adult woman (sometimes including little girls)= sexual arousal (potentially) for the man. That a man and woman, both amazingly hot, could be in the same private space, alone, and NOT have the requisite desire for sex cause problems is literally unthinkable for this reviewer. Sexual desire is inevitable and universal. And that desire is always dangerous and sinful. Such fraught desire MUST come out for a film (or any art, really) to be “realistic.”

So his point is that the film doesn’t work because Diana and Steve are NOT how people work. Real world men and women CANNOT have the reactions and experiences these people have, so the film is a falsehood. Women are the source of all (or almost all) moral danger for men. Diana’s refusal to be that figure — to use beauty and sex against men — means that she must be a child. Only (girl) children don’t understand they are desirable (even though they are by definition by being female).

So basically, TLDR, it runs like this: All beautiful, sexy women are morally dangerous to men. All men will be tempted by sexy women, and are not responsible for this temptation (it’s the woman’s fault). Therefore, the idea that Steve could reject this temptation at all times — only engaging in emotionally connected, fully consensual sex — is a impossibility in the world. Diana never becomes the sex kitten (guilty of seduction) that all women MUST be, so the film is about the rejection of self-knowledge.

Again, TLDR: Wonder Woman doesn’t work because NO man is morally capable of escaping the temptation of a beautiful woman. All (beautiful) women both understand their beauty is temptation AND use it as such. To fail to do so is to be “not a woman” and therefore, to this critic, be a child. (The other option would be to be non-human.) In this critic’s mind, Diana suffers from arrested development, because the only other option would be women are NOT responsible for men’s temptation, and that’s a WORLD SHATTERING truth for this man.

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