“Wonder Woman” is shattering box office records, but the effect the movie is having on one kindergarten class might be an even bigger victory.
On Sunday, “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins tweeted a note her producer received from an elementary school teacher detailing 11 ways the movie has already created a new culture in the classroom.
It. Is. Glorious.
Some of the highlights include:
- “On Monday, a boy who was obsessed with Iron Man told me he had asked his parents for a new Wonder Woman lunchbox.”
- “A little girl said ‘When I grow up I want to speak hundreds of languages like Diana.'”
- “Seven girls playing together during recess … [said] that since they all wanted to be Wonder Woman, they had agreed to be Amazons and not fight but work together to defeat evil.”
- “On Wednesday, a girl came with a printed list of every single female superhero and her powers, to avoid any trouble when deciding roles at recess.”
- “A boy threw his candy wrapping [on] the floor and a 5-year-old girl screamed, ‘DON’T POLLUTE YOU IDIOT, THAT IS WHY THERE ARE NO MEN IN TEMYSCIRA.'”
And this is just from one kindergarten classroom.
Predictably, people on Twitter were pretty charmed and inspired by the kindergarten classroom’s adoration of the movie.
This is great! Heroes seen through a nurturing lens influence in amazing ways.
— Rob (@RobCabrera) June 11, 2017
The note put many in touch with their inner superhero-loving child.
Others confirmed that the movie has been a smash — with children of all genders.
“Wonder Woman” gave the kindergarten girls a crash course in collaborative leadership — and that’s not an accident.
While some studies have shown that superhero movies increase aggression among children, other experts have found that creative superhero play can teach kids to handle adversity without resorting to violence as well as critical negotiation skills.
Meanwhile, the film teaches boys a critical lesson about empathy.
Various studies have shown that consuming media that encourages viewers to identify with members of groups unlike themselves can lead viewers to develop empathy for those groups.
The movie’s incredible symbolic value is becoming clear — and not to just young children.
Earlier this month, the Legion of Women Writers launched a fundraising campaign to send 70 high school-age girls to see the film.
In May, Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse announced it would be holding women-only screenings of “Wonder Woman,” and after backlash — and backlash to the backlash that was joined by Austin’s mayor, among others — they decided to expand the screenings nationwide.
“Wonder Woman” is already changing the way American kids think about the types of heroes women can be and the spaces women can take up — and that’s a good thing.
It might only be evident in one classroom for now, but there are classrooms just like it across the country and around the world.
And when the generation raised on Patty Jenkins’ film grow up, what started out as a trickle could become a wave.
Like the Amazon warrior herself, there might be no stopping it.