In May, Time released their 100: Most Influential People of 2018. To the pleasant surprise of many comic book fans, Gal Gadot, who stars in Wonder Woman and the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984, made the list.
Former Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter wrote a short piece praising Gal for her accomplishments, “She and I are lucky to be members of this small sisterhood, living and breathing this uniquely strong, smart and charming superhero. I know that as a person, Gal embodies all of these traits. She is a wife and mother; she has served her country, traveled the world, and is hardworking, loving, wise, goofy and full of humanity.”
She would add, “Gal understood and captured the spirit of this complex, independent, fully feminine persona.”
It didn’t take long though for certain factions online to find a problem with her inclusion in the list. Comicsverse writer Molly Barnewitz penned a piece detailing the problem with Gal Gadot’s inclusion on the list.
Her first gripe is that Gadot’s roles in Wonder Woman and Justice League occurred in 2017. She writes, “The inclusion is perplexing, not because Gadot isn’t influential, but rather because WONDER WOMAN is so 2017.”
She would even go on to minimize Gadot’s role in Wonder Woman.
“Moreover, Gadot deserves only partial credit for bringing DC’s most recognizable female superhero to life. Director Patty Jenkins is largely to thank for the overwhelmingly female-centric focus of the film.”
It wouldn’t take long for Barnewitz to continue her criticism of Gadot’s inclusion pointing to her service in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and calling her support of “Israeli nationalism” as controversial.
This isn’t a new criticism of Gadot, who served during the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War. After Gadot posted she was sending prayers to her fellow citizens who were defending the country from terrorist attacks from Hamas, a number of people likened her actions in the IDF to crimes.
Tharushi Hetti wrote in Affinity Magazine:
“How can you praise the new Wonder Woman movie when she is being played by someone who condones the horrible crimes committed by Israel for years? How can the new Wonder Woman be someone who dedicated a portion of her life to serving in that military, which goes against the character’s values and beliefs?”
Amal Matan on Medium would even compare Gadot’s service as “resulting in a complicity in criminal acts. It’s erasure of how grave the occupation of Palestine really is.”
But should her national pride and military service exclude Gadot from Time’s 100 Most Influential list?
Gadot’s not the first person to serve her country who has made Time’s list. Major General H.R. McMaster made Time’s list back in 2014 when he was the commanding general of the Army’s Manuever Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, GA. Gadot’s service shouldn’t and obviously wasn’t a disqualifier.
However, Barnewitz intimates that it is, and that if you support Israel and the IDF you shouldn’t be included on the list. It looks like Barnewitz is pushing a toxic form of gatekeeping where you have to have a certain set of beliefs and opinions about subjects unrelated to film and entertainment in order to be recognized by Time.
And Barnewitz would make it very clear that’s what she was doing. She would write:
“Next to the numerous radical, queer, and/or people of color who made the list, the former Israeli Defense Forces member is a conservative choice. Next to the conservative, however, Gadot is a highly palatable icon of female strength.”
But she wasn’t done with her criticism of Gadot. She would point out that Gal Gadot isn’t the “right” kind of feminist hero claiming she “espous[es] moderately (white) feminist values.” In fact, she refers to Gadot as a token to fill in the “white feminist sized gap.”
The insinuation of her “whiteness” is a blatant attack on a woman solely based on features no person can help. Last time I checked people in the Middle East had very diverse looks. Some have olive skin, others have much darker tones, while still others are even lighter skinned. However, it’s more than likely Barenwitz is using the term “white” to attack Gadot’s lifestyle.
The fact that Gadot is a married mother with children doesn’t exactly push out the progressive agenda enough for Molly Barnewitz. For decades women have been told that valuing child rearing, husbands, and marriage was silly and wrong. Gal Gadot turns that view on its head. Not only that but she expresses nationalist support for her homeland. Two sins that are unforgivable in the minds of the left.
The idea that girls are allowed to have a choice and a hero who is able to express and live out traditional values is a problem for the left who currently is facing levels of unhappiness for females not seen since record keeping started.
On all sides, they’re seeing that their ideology not only does not work, but more and more people are embracing a more neo-traditional view on life. Gal Gadot also embodies this. She’s a working woman, movie star, veteran, wife, and mother. All of which doesn’t fit the mold the left is looking for. The fact that she is able to do all of this, succeed, and do good work around the world flies in the face of radical feminists.
Does Gal Gadot deserve to be on the Time 100: Most Influential List in 2018? As a fan and a father yes. Her ability to bring to life a positive hero that girls can look up to is enormous. Not only that but, she’s taking over the comic book movie world as filming for Wonder Woman 1984 has begun. Her influence has grown significantly since Wonder Woman.
Just looking at her Instagram account you can see that influence. In May of 2017, Gadot would promote Wonder Woman with a new poster. It received 295,102 likes.
Now compare that to Gadot’s recent Wonder Woman 1984 reveal from a couple days ago. It has over 3.6 million likes.
I think it’s safe to say 2018 is Gal Gadot’s year.