The age of Trump has brought fear into the hearts of women across America. Never in our wildest imaginations did millions of American women believe that our country would elect a man who had admitted and joked about sexually assaulting women to the most powerful position in our government. Never did we imagine that we would be fighting to protect health care rights that were secured in 1973 — rights many of us have never lived without. Yet that is the reality we now live in, which is why Margaret Atwood’s remake of The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu, which tells the story of a dystopian future in which women’s rights are so fully suppressed that women’s reproduction has become the right of the State, not the individual woman, has resonated so fiercely with American women. It is why women in Texas, a state that has the highest infant mortality rate in the developed world, recently protested at the Texas Capitol dressed in the Handmaid’s garments of oppression to show resistance to legislation designed to further oppress women’s reproductive rights.
Atwood’s dystopian society is a reflection of the dark energy that is alive and well in American society. The Handmaid’s Tale is a tale of caution — one that seemed far-fetched in 1985 when Atwood wrote the novel and that is all too realistic in 2017. The fact that The Handmaid’s Tale is creepily realistic is precisely why Wonder Woman is the most important film you will see this year.
Wonder Woman is a reminder that just as there is a dark side to humanity, there is also light. And every day we have a choice — we can lean into our dark side or we can embrace our light. We can love, or we can hate. We can participate in the depravity of humanity, or we can be a fierce protector of human goodness. The choice is always before us.
Like many American women, I have spent the days and weeks since November 8, 2016 recovering from the trauma of the assault on our gender. I have also found inspiration in the fact that women around the world gathered in marches in more than 70 countries to resist Trump’s hate-filled and dangerous agenda. It was the largest protest in the history of the United States. And I have been inspired by the willingness of women to take on powerful organizations (e.g., Fox News) to send the message that we will no longer turn a blind eye to institutional and structural misogyny and gender-based oppression.
In the face of much oppression, women are gathering together and leveraging our collective power. Which is why I felt so inspired last night in the movie theatre when I watched the scene where Princess Diana of Themyscira (Diana Prince), emboldened with an unshakeable belief in goodness and love, took on the machine gun fire and bombs, symbols of oppression and hate, to defend humanity. Wonder Woman, the female warrior archetype, absorbed the oppression so that love had space to emerge.
Wonder Woman reminds us that love is the answer. We cannot fight hate with hate. We cannot overcome darkness with darkness. Love is the only power strong enough to create a more perfect union — a union founded in life, liberty, and the freedom to pursue happiness.
We must resist the hatred that permeates this current administration utilizing the actions and language of love. Let us shed the garments of oppression. Let’s shed society’s expectations of propriety so that we can become true women of wonder.
An international speaker, peace-building trainer and mediator, Robyn works with individuals, corporations and nonprofit organizations in discovering the root causes of their conflicts, so they may transform their relationships and create new and productive paths forward individually and as teams. She also works with community leaders and political and governmental leaders to develop grassroots efforts for building sustainable peace in areas of historic conflict. In this capacity, she has been featured in news outlets internationally.