The appointment of comic book superhero Wonder Woman as a United Nations (UN) ambassador for women’s empowerment has not been well received by UN staff.
Workers have launched a petition – ‘Reconsider the Choice of Wonder Woman as the UN's Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls – pressuring for a reconsideration. So far it has over 2,500 signatures.
The petition reads: “Although the original creators may have intended Wonder Woman to represent a strong and independent ‘warrior’ woman with a feminist message, the reality is that the character’s current iteration is that of a large breasted, white woman of impossible proportions, scantily clad in a shimmery, thigh-baring body suit with an American flag motif and knee high boots – the epitome of a ‘pin-up’ girl. This is the character that the UN has decided to represent a globally important issue – that of gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.
“It is alarming that the United Nations would consider using a character with an overtly sexualised image at a time when the headline news in United States and the world is the objectification of women and girls. The image that Wonder Woman projects (life-size cut outs of which have already appeared at UN HQ) is not culturally encompassing or sensitive – attributes the United Nations expects all its staff members to embody in the core value of respect for diversity.
“The message the UN is sending to the world with this appointment is extremely disappointing.”
Staff subsequently conducted a “silent but non-disruptive” protest inside the UN Economic and Social Council chamber – The Guardian reports.
They entered at the beginning of the event, and stood with their backs turned and fists raised.
More protesters – approximately 100 - gathered in the lobby, according to CBS News, holding signs that read “I am not a mascot” and “Let’s get real”.
The UN’s response can be seen on the next page.