Sometimes small details make a big splash, even in 2015—this era’s arguable epicenter of trans* civil rights.
To make the big screen, we’ve no doubt witnessed countless politically correct (albeit controversial) tweaks to our comic icons’ most steadfast facets (race, age, body/face type). Yet last week’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice announcement via director Zack Snyder’s Twitter has confirmed rumors and swiftly polarized the comic book community.
“Yes, it’s true: Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman is written transsexual #unitetheseven”
Snyder did not elaborate, however, on whether Prince was written as a post-op or pre-op transsexual. Though we’re left to assume—barring the notion of some serious post-prod pre-op CGI work—that Prince’s portrayer, Israeli supermodel and apparently actress Gal Gadot, would not be double-reverse sex-changed.
Responding to quite a vitriolic backlash from fans, Gadot re-tweeted.
“Girl Power is blind to the body. What is more wondrous than a woman who chooses to be a proud woman instead of a woman who was born with the privilege of being a proud woman? #lgtvrights”
To be clear: a transsexual individual is someone who identifies with the opposite sex and undergoes medical, physical augmentations to aesthetically simulate that sex. This can be as simple as taking daily hormone supplements or as complex as watching all seven seasons of True Blood in one sitting. A transsexual woman may not ultimately decide to augment her genitalia, which leads one to speculate if Gadot’s character will pack more than the traditional lasso & bracers to her arsenal of tools.
I, for one, sympathize with both stances on the issue. After all, could Diana Prince’s biology be any worse than casting Jason Momoa as Aquaman? In some sense, I believe there are bigger issues at hand here than a mystery-box Wonder Woman. Take, for example, the fact that Snyder is still allowed to make movies, or Batman’s HGH gut.
On the other hand, yes, this is a comic-to-cinema adaption deviation like no other. Some reaction is not only expected but, to a degree, warranted. A penis, to many fans of the character, may seem outright antithetical to everything Wonder Woman represents and stands for. However, this disposition necessarily presupposes that a transsexual woman lacks essential “femaleness”. One fan, @chailatte1997, tweeted concordantly.
“@Zack Snyder: If we have ‘Man of Steel’ we should have ‘Ovaries of Steel’ as well.”
Critically acclaimed director and transsexual woman, Lana Wachowski, was posed the issue during an interview for her upcoming film, Cloud Atlas 2.
“My brother and I have done comic book adaptations. They’re not easy: from both a creative and receptive standpoint. Naturally, you’re going to alienate some margin of every source’s fan base. Take Snyder’s Watchmen for example: even a hundred penises on Wonder Woman couldn’t outdo that freak of nature.”
So where does this leave our first cinematic, biologically-male super-heroine? Will Batman and Superman welcome Prince’s parts as they have each other’s for so many generations? We’ll just have to wait for opening day.
In the meantime, we can only subsist on Warner Brothers’ newly released teaser poster of Diana Prince, clad in full, alter-ego business suit and high-heels.