Patty Jenkins Tells James Cameron That There Is No 'Right Or Wrong' Kind of Powerful Woman

Image via Getty.
Image via Getty.

James Cameron took a break from making the four most unnecessary sequels the world of cinema has ever known to comment on Wonder Woman. He doesn’t like how much women like it, because Wonder Woman is too hot to be strong, I guess? Director Patty Jenkins has weighed in and, shockingly, her take is much better than Cameron’s.


In a classic screenshot note on Twitter, Jenkins thanked Cameron for his support of her Charlize Theron-led film, Monster, but points out that not all strong women characters have to be suffering to be taken seriously:

James Cameron’s inability to understand what Wonder Woman is, or stands for, to women all over the world is unsurprising as, though he is a great film-maker, he is not a woman. Strong women are great. His praise of my film Monster, and our portrayal of a strong yet damaged woman was so appreciated. But if women have to always be hard, tough and troubled to be strong, and we aren’t free to be multidimensional or celebrate an icon of women everywhere because she is attractive and loving, then we haven’t come very far have we. I believe women can and should be EVERYTHING, just like male lead characters should be. There is no right and wrong kind of powerful woman. And the massive female audience who made the film a hit it is, can surely choose and judge their own icons of progress.

Yes, Wonder Woman is super hot, but her domination at the box office hints at a future with far more diversity in media representation. A successful film led by a woman can lead to more, presenting us with even more complicated, nuanced, hot and not hot women to admire, which seems like a cause for celebration. Though Wonder Woman may not be everyone’s personal icon of a powerful woman, as Jenkins points out, it’s not really for men to decide.

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin



I made a kind of similar point in the other thread. Cameron’s perception of what it means to be a strong woman is paper thin. His female leads are almost always at least superficially “strong,” but their heroic feminist tendencies fall into two camps:

1. Damaged maternal figure (Ellen Ripley in Aliens and Sarah Connor in T2)

2. Fierce romantic companion of the male lead; a character whose internal and external strength does not mean she won’t need saving by the story’s true hero, who is a man (Sarah Connor in Terminator, Lindsey Brigman in Abyss, Helen Tasker in True Lies, Rose in Titanic and Neytiri in Avatar).

Lindsey Brigman is probably his most interesting female lead of the bunch, but her strength in the end is largely revealed to be tied to her role as the wife of Ed Harris’ character—her faith in him, etc.