A Short Review of Wonder Woman with an Evolutionary Slant.

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Despite all the feminist/SJW chatter around Wonder Woman, a marketing strategy which is far more likely to turn me off any product attached to it, I enjoyed the film.  The character embodies femininity unhitched from biology and evolution. In the real world, we know women are just as competitive as men, but employ more covert, less aggressive strategies to get what they want. We know women are more risk averse and attuned to possible danger than men, on average, because this is adaptive. Every one of our female ancestors successfully out reproduced women who were not so risk averse. Competition is a blast, but losing (for women) especially in our evolutionary past, would have had serious reproductive consequences for their (and their male partners) evolutionary fitness. And contrary to what many people think about evolution, differential reproductive success trumps differential survival success. Which is why men are more ‘disposable’ in evolution than women. Globally, men are overwhelmingly represented as victims of violence as they are in risky dangerous jobs, defence and policing; everywhere you see high risks you see more men than women. This is an evolutionary injunction, not a cultural one.

The evolutionary reason most cultures are gynocentric is that women are the key to the next generation. They are mothers and carers. Men are disposable protectors in comparison. And here’s the rub for feminists: Women can’t simply reject their evolutionary role and expect men to maintain theirs. It’s a two-way street.

Diana Prince is an immortal who need not worry about the risks of open aggression on her reproductive fitness. She can let her aggression run free and enjoy the thrill of fierce competition. I wonder if the frustration women express about the damsel trope stems from the aggression many women do feel but must suppress?

Wonder Woman’s theme is the perfect embodiment of this release of suppressed energy. The full force and thrill of female aggression which most women dare not fully manifest for deep evolutionary reasons.

 

For further reading on the mechanisms of female aggression see the lifetime of research by Professor Anne Campbell of Durham University (one of my mentors).

For further reading on the anatomy of female competition see The development of human female competition: allies and adversaries by Joyce Benenson and follow the refs.

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One thought on “A Short Review of Wonder Woman with an Evolutionary Slant.

  1. Good article, I wish I had read it when you first published it. It’s an enlightening look at how I generally see things and you expanded on it, thank you for that. I believe that women have developed effective methods to get what they want, without risking life or limb. You’re so right about Diana, as a goddess, was able to show the competitive aggressiveness without having to worry about the risk we mere mortals would encounter. She reminded me of the hulk when she got pissed, unstoppable. The main thing about the movie that I loved, was the fact that Diana was not deterred by the men’s attempt to dismiss her presence. She had no preconceived notion of what we had a knee-jerk reaction to. It was just awesome to see her take no notice and continue with what she wanted to say. As far as finally making a moral decision, I didn’t think of it that way a first, I think she slowly came to grips with the reality of this world. I feel that It started to sink in with the village. Seeing the village she saved be destroyed anyway… Well, It would make me rethink things.

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