Cyborg report: Wonder Woman

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About the time I had the surgery for my cochlear implant, I saw some of the first ads for Wonder Woman. After my surgery, my audiologist told me that somewhere around six months post-activation, I should see a big improvement in my speech discrimination, although quite frankly, when you're starting at zero, anything's good, so needless to say, I kept my expectations low. Since we activated the implant in January and Wonder Woman had a release date in June, I decided that Woman Woman would be my six month celebration movie.

Going to see a movie in the theater is a big deal for me, because I used to love going to the movies. I practically lived in the theater during my teens and twenties, and I truly mourned the day when I could no longer enjoy a theatrical release due to my hearing loss.

Nothing excited me more than the thought of seeing Wonder Woman on the big screen. As a girl, I loved comics and Wonder Woman was my favorite. When Wonder Woman came to TV, I never missed an episode, and Lynda Carter was my hero. Naturally, I decided that if I ever had a child, I'd take them to a Wonder Woman movie. Being a good mother, I strong-armed my adult daughter into going to see Wonder Woman with me. I promised she would love it. She was less than enthusiastic over the whole thing until I got so overwhelmed by being able to hear again that I started crying, and then she promised she would be there for me ... with tissues.

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At the theater the young woman, who took our tickets, thought my excitement was cute. I asked her if they had posters for sale. She said they had two different ones. I couldn't decide so I bought both.

I loved the previews and marked a couple more movies that I might attend if everything went well at Wonder Woman. Then the movie started and I cried a little, and then a little more, and then--like when I was young and entranced by everything on the big screen--the story took me away.

Wonder Woman is an origin story about Diana Prince's youth and entry into the world of men. If you haven't seen it, I don't want to spoil it for you, but I will tell you this: Wonder Woman is not just a superhero movie, it's a film that reminds us what truly makes a superhero, and it's not all about the ability to deflect bullets.

The message comes early in the film when Diana leaves Themyscria. She tells her mother, "I am willing to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves."

That is what makes a superhero. The willingness to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. This is the Diana Prince I remember from my youth: a woman full of humor and empathy for others, determined to champion those who are helpless against tyranny.

During the scene in no man's land, the scene that was almost cut, I broke out in chills as Diana climbed out of the trench. The entire passage was so beautifully symbolic of her birth into the hard cruel world of men. And like so many of the vibrant women I have known, no matter how much destruction Diana encountered, she still believed in love and justice, and she kept fighting for those who couldn't defend themselves.

The men in this movie were magnificent too. I don't want to shortchange their presence at all. All of the characters treated one another with mutual respect, whether given or earned. So while we tell people to take their daughters to see Wonder Woman, take your sons too.* They need to see a movie with men who are secure enough in their masculinity that they treat women with equality and respect.

And while I didn't catch every word, I heard enough of the dialogue to follow the plot and thoroughly enjoy the film. Wonder Woman reminds us what a superhero movie should be--not gadgets or the ability to toss tanks, although those things are fun and cool--but about superheroes who advocate justice and protecting the weak. They are our better natures made manifest, and they remind us that sometimes empathy for others can be the greatest superpower of all.

Oh, and the cyborg report: I saw my audiologist last week. I now have 50% speech discrimination. Just in time to go see Wonder Woman again.

*The film is set during World War I and is much too intense/violent for the very young.