MBTI: Wonder Woman and the ENFJ- Vague Perfection
It seems that any time a female character is presented as friendly, supporting, emotive yet strong- ENFJ is the type.
What would be more appropriate to say is that writers that don’t seem to know how to put a finger on what they really want as a female character tend to write them with those traits to avoid actually having to write anything specific for them.
Writer- “So the husband is going through some stuff and he’s like, got demons possessing him and he’s just fighting them off with the magic sword as he runs down the hallway and falls down the stairs…”
Producer- “Where’s the wife in all this?”
Producer- “Where’s the wife, you said they were married. And he’s in the house, so where’s his wife?”
Writer- “Oh. Well, she’s there and she’s like, NOT happy with what’s going on but she loves him so she’s gonna stick it out.”
What can you get out of this? It’s definitely not a knock on the ENFJ, and to a point, these writers don’t know they’re doing it; it’s not like they’re using MBTI as a guide. But it seems that if a woman character doesn’t have any specific stand-out traits with the exception of being a “strong, loyal woman” she’s ENFJ.
Wonder Woman was the topic of choice I was going to do, for the sake of completing the “DC Trinity” but the more you read about her character, it seems the less there is. She was created in 1942 and is currently seen as a symbol of equality, among other things. The reason for mentioning the date of creation was that no one cared about the logistics or practicality of characters and their powers back then. You created a character for money and entertainment and you didn’t need to worry about much else.
If they had cared about much else, issues like this would never have been printed.
I’m not saying comics weren’t good, don’t get me wrong, I’m just saying that past being rich, being an alien, there didn’t need to be an explanation for why characters put on these costumes and do what they do in the forties. And such is the case of Wonder Woman.
Strong though she may be, no one ever seems to really be able to get a bead on her personality. She can be typed as ENFJ, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to define her. Catwoman is headstrong, tricky, lives in the gray area of morality. Mary Jane is fun, exciting, loyal- but will only put up with so much.
Wonder Woman is…is…
I can only describe her in adjectives that could fit almost anybody depending on who you ask. Joss Whedon, director of The Avengers, creator of shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, attempted to begin a Wonder Woman film at one point. It didn’t happen, but in his description for how she would be characterized, she was described as an extremely powerful, lost soul type, naive in many ways but still with a healthy view on life that we could learn from.
Her love-interest, an average human would learn from her while showing her that life isn’t as simple as she thinks it is.
…to which many people saw the help of a man unnecessary and damning to her character. The point of Wonder Woman is that she doesn’t need a man’s help.
I remember reading an article a couple years ago about Whedon not being able to know how to write a film for her without doing an injustice to her character because of all her rich history, I remember thinking “Even a feminist can’t nail her character because nobody knows what she is. Female Superman, that’s the best they can do.” But let’s all pretend that’s a dream I had because I can’t find that article now.
The point remains that while Whedon saw the character as one way, many fans saw her in another. The studio, whose opinion matters because they’re funding it, saw things in a different way. While this in itself isn’t uncommon, read a little further.
“While many writers have depicted Diana in different personalities, what has remained constant is her ability to feel compassion and give love without discrimination.”
I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to take from this. So she could be ESFJ? INFJ? Type is the foundation where we begin, not end; so I’m just wondering what we’re supposed to actually take away from her character. SHE DOES STUFF. COOL STUFF. AND SHE’S A WOMAN. Evidently people are fine with this, the character has been around long enough.
You could say that Wonder Woman is an feminist icon and interestingly so because I can’t understand what the character is, past being strong, loyal, and a fighter. Yet she also shows signs of humanity and vulnerability toward those she loves and the human race as a whole, working as it’s protector.
Is this how to view the ENFJ woman? Obviously, everyone has their own individual traits and ideas as a person, but as a whole, is the ENFJ regarded as the perfect mate? It seems that way since Wonder Woman comes off more as an idea than a fully fleshed-out character.
A stereotype is easier to point out, or write for that matter, than an entire personality. It’s just funny that the stereotype of a “perfect woman” is an ENFJ.