Not long after James “Let’s make sure the Na’vi have tits” Cameron called Wonder Woman a step backwards for women’s representation in film, Patty Jenkins judiciously responded to his claims that Gal Gadot’s Diana is an “objectified icon.” The director deflected Cameron’s woefully misdirected feminist critique with a brief but powerful statement on Twitter, in which she reminds him that just as there are all kinds of women in the world and media, there’s no one way to depict a strong female character.
Although Cameron willfully ignored that Wonder Woman’s characterization as strong, kind, wise, and beautiful comes from William Moulton Marston’s source material, Jenkins doesn’t so much call him out for that oversight as demonstrate the same patience and diplomacy that so many women have to when men think to tell them how to do their jobs. She graciously acknowledges his support of her 2003 film Monster, which centered on the kind of “damaged but tough” woman character Cameron seems to think he invented with the Terminator franchise. But unlike Cameron, she knows that there are—gasp—different ways to create multidimensional women characters, so sticking to one blueprint for any and all badass-types is not only shortsighted, but would actually represent the regression Cameron claims he saw in the best received DC film so far. Also, in case he wasn’t aware, women will decide for themselves what has a strong feminist message and what doesn’t. It’s as close to a “cool story, bro” as we’re likely to get.