Saturday, March 10, 2012

Wonder Woman and Feminism

            While researching  articles relating to super heroines, I came across an article delving into the history of Wonder Woman and its feminism roots. The article stated that before the creation of Wonder Woman, the only female super hero to grace the pages of comic books was Red Tornado – a house wife who turned into a tornado to get her housework done. William Marston, a self proclaimed feminist, created Wonder Woman to better represent women as heroes and to decrease the already abundance display of violence in comic books.
            Marston’s beliefs on feminism held that it was not about gender equality, rather it was more about women’s superiority over men – or more so that women were the rightful performing gender. When thought in context, his view point corresponded very accurately with his depictions of Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman, or Diana Prince was a princess of the all female Amazons where the women ruled successfully by employing notions men stereotypically do not – love, justice, and compassion. The only reasons for earth’s corruption (as depicted in the comic) and Amazonia’s success were the leadership and dominance of women. It was because of this dominance and compassion that Wonder Woman chose to leave and save Earth of it injustices, leading readers to believe the only way to be successful is to be strong without the help of men.
            Marston’s comics also depicted many scenes of bondages where Wonder Woman bound other women with ropes and chains. This, however, was heavily fired by a Dr. Fredric Wertham who saw Wonder Woman’s act of supremacy as Lesbionic and “cruel and phallic”. He said:
The Lesbian counterpart of Batman may be found in...Wonder Woman. The homosexual connotation of the Wonder Woman type of story is psychologically unmistakable. The Psychiatric Quarterly deplored in an editorial the “appearance of an eminent child therapist as the implied endorser of a series…which portrays extremely sadistic hatred of all males in a framework which is plainly Lesbian.”
It’s interesting to see how any women displaying self sufficiency and power over men is considered sadistic and lesbian. Why is embracing womanhood considered a crime and socially unacceptable? What do you think about Marston and his beliefs of feminism? Were they too much and deserve all the fire that it received?

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