We discussed before the themes and ideas going into World War 1 with Wonder Woman in regarding the film coming this summer. To sum it up WW1 represented a collective effort to defeat an enemy for a common good meanwhile it was a clash of generations as this was the end of the 19th century. For more, read here.
As stated before part of the reasoning for joining WWI as stated by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson is “the world must be made safe for democracy.” Granted, much like Diana, democracy has Greek roots. Democracy basically means “rule of the commoners.” The idea that nobility, royalty nor priests control the government, but instead regular people. Though what is interesting is Steve Trevor comes from a democratic nation, technically a federal constitutional republic yet uses forms of democracy. Whereas Diana does not, technically. Her mother is the queen, a monarch though a gentle one at least who heeds the council of her people and advisors. But nations such as the United Kingdom and Russia who faced against these threats to common rule were hardly democratic either. The U.K. still with a monarch and Russia being controlled by the despotic and absolute autocratic Tsar Nicholas II.
The other thing we have to keep in mind to the roots and history of democracy is that it hasn’t always been one person, one vote. Slaveholders to some degree got more votes in the U.S., at one point only men who own property could vote, only people of certain religion could vote. However, the vote for women was a rather small history. Here arrives Diana to make the world safe for democracy, who hails from a less than so democratic nation yet women are in government. Though now she is here in a world with several democracies and little to absolutely no women in power or with no ballot in hand to vote. Again, a clash of civilizations. Some nations like the United Kingdom won’t give women the vote until near the end of war, the U.S. won’t give women the vote until after the war and France won’t given women the right the vote until after WWII! It is certainly puzzling and makes you ponder. What is democracy really? Is democracy inherently good? Is she truly fighting for a just cause then? Understand, the push for female suffrage was huge during WW1. Suffragists in America chained themselves to the fence outside the White House, went on hunger strikes and referred to the president as “Kaiser Wilson”, the title for the German monarch we were facing. In 1917 after the February Revolution in Russia which caused the Tsar to abdicate there is a march later on to give women the right to vote.
It is interesting to note how women are arriving on the scene more than ever to demand the right to vote while Wonder Woman is being introduced for the first time to man’s world. Check back with us again and we discuss women’s roles during WWI in conjunction with Wonder Woman.
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