Sensitivity, in general, has never been Turtle Bay’s strong suit. That’s abundantly evident of late in the United Nations’ treatment of women.
The wounds have not yet healed over failed efforts within the world body to appoint its first female secretary-general to replace lame-duck Ban Ki-moon, whose second term ends this year. Although more than half the candidates were women, the job went to socialist Antonio Guterres, the former prime minister of Portugal. The disappointment was tangible.
Yet just a few weeks later, the U.N. named comic book heroine Wonder Woman as its new Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls. It is, after all, the superhero’s 75th anniversary. And honorary ambassadors, unlike goodwill ambassadors, are fictional characters, such as Winnie the Pooh.
But given a designation that underscores the empowerment, if not the accomplishments, of women, the powers that be at One World United couldn’t find a real-life standard-bearer?
To no one’s surprise, the Wonder Woman roll-out was met by protesters inside and outside the U.N. A comic book character “wearing basically what looks like a Playboy-type bunny outfit” isn’t “the right message we need to send to girls,” said one protester.
If the intellectuals at the U.N. drop the ball on what should have been a slam-dunk, what makes anyone presume they can handle far more intricate, and pressing, world crises?
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