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Feminist Wonder Woman View

It is evident through the article on Gail Simone and the introduction by Gloria Steinem that it is possible to put a different interpretation on things than were originally intended. Feminists Gail Simone and Gloria Steinem both see Wonder Women as a female role model, appealing to a female audience. Gloria Steinem indicates that the creator William Marston “had seen straight into [her] heart and understood the fears of violence and humiliation hidden there.” This is interesting because they don’t seem to realize that William Marston was actually trying to appeal to a young male audience. Gloria Steinem also suggests William Marston “tried to get an egalitarian world view into comic book form” contradicting what was written the Wonder Woman book which indicates Marston was trying to promote a future where women dominated. Gail Simone also gives a view of Wonder Woman as very strong and powerful, as a "princess who didn't need someone to rescue her". Obviously she is discounting the period when Wonder Woman was depowered and remade into a sort of damsel in distress, depending on the support of males.

Gloria Steinem used Queen Hippolyte as an example of a strong female character, “a rare example of a mother who is good, powerful, and a mentor to her daughter.” However, this character could be seen as strong because she takes on traditionally male roles- like founding a nation, fighting to protect said nation, and as a supporting role to the heir.

I also found it interesting when Gloria Steinem pointed out that “some of her adversaries were suspiciously short, ugly, fat, or ethnic as a symbol of “un-American” status”. It seems rather ironic that the foreign adversaries were depicted ethnically as America is considered a “melting pot”, embracing foreign peoples. Also, currently, Americans are typically associated as being over weight, so the weight of the fat adversaries could be seen as an American characteristic.

Something else Gloria Steinem mentioned was that villains are marked “by their prejudice and lust for money”. She then goes on to describe the example of when Thomas Tighe refused Wonder Woman the promised reward for his rescue. Looking at this situation from a somewhat different angle, I wonder if this makes Wonder Woman less of a heroine because she is doing her heroics for a million dollar reward. Wouldn’t this make her more of a mercenary? Assuming this situation was written by William Marston and knowing he liked to incorporate mythology into his comics, I wonder if he knew the Greek myth of Aeschylus and how he was punished for asking payment for saving lives.


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