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Wonder Woman's Inspiration on Feminists
Wonder Woman has been a model of feminism since her creation in October of 1941. "[Wonder Woman] is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world," said Braunstein, author of “Wonder Woman: Bondage and Feminism”.This character, Wonder Woman, has an interesting history and impressive history including the place where she originated as an Amazonian Princess. As Lepore said in The Origin Story, “Wonder Woman's Amazonian origins were in ancient Greece, where men had kept women in chains, until they broke free and escaped.” She continues to say, it is this history that showed women mentally and physically rising and developing to become stronger. Braunstein also said, Marston’s comic was "a great movement now under way [sic]--the growth in the power of women."
The creator William Marston was in a new state of mind for the time. By designing a hero who stood so strongly for feminism, he created something new and unique. "The only hope for civilization is the greater freedom, development and equality of women in all fields of human activity" said William Moulton Marston in 1942. Marston’s interest in women’s rights started around the age he was in college. Marston wanted to create a character who would make a different kind of impact on the world. Someone who would change people’s ways of thinking. Wonder Woman’s inspiration originated from Elizabeth Holloway Marston, William Marston’s wife. Wonder Woman also has some symbolism of feminism written into her stories. One of Wonder Woman's weapons was a lasso that forced who ever was trapped in it to speak the truth, much like the deception test the Marstons developed in their psychology practice. Wonder Woman’s stories also involved many chains and much entrapment, these represented the feminist struggle and restrictions made by society that Elizabeth Marston worked so hard to overcome. His goal in creating Wonder Woman was to set a “standard” for young women, and motivate them to succeed in jobs “monopolised” by men. In the earlier 1900’s, women rarely left the house, let alone get a full time job. While Wonder Woman fought crime in the DC universe, the women of the real world were running family farms, working in factories, and taking over the work of the men who went to war.
Wonder Woman has been and still is an inspiration after more than 70 years. As one of the first and most popular female superheroes, she created a domino effect of more female superheroes in the “chronicles” such as Mary Marvel, Supergirl, and Invisible Girl. After 75 years, she is still a popular trend due to her new movie and her memorable character. “Feminism is central to her character and brand, from her origins to her ongoing stories.” says Howell in her article entitled “Tricky’ Connotations: Wonder Woman as DC’s Brand Distributor. According to Lepore, she became a “bellwether” for feminism.
Wonder Woman has had her fair share of discrimination. Unfortunately, in 1947 when William Marston died, some of Wonder Woman’s powers died with him. By 1968 she had lost all her superpowers and solely played her role as Diana Prince (her “regular-person”). However, a feminist magazine called Ms. in 1972 demanded that Wonder Woman be restored to her full power with the headline “Wonder Woman For President.” Producers often used the word “tricky” to describe Wonder Woman, this word made her sound evil and untrustworthy and was taken as a sexist word. Eventually, the Wonder Woman fans who were offended by this word began to use it as their own “weapon” against the DC Business. However, in modern times, Wonder Woman is portrayed as an “intellectual.”
Wonder Woman has been an example of feminism for nearly 77 years now and is still such an amazing role model. Her origin was inspired by women and now she is returning the favor by motivating women to stand up for themselves and put an end to the modern oppression of women. Wonder Woman is a beautiful, strong, and intelligent character and female role model to look up to. She saved a “man's world” showing, women can be just as capable as men. As Pitock brilliantly put in his article “What Can Wonder Woman Teach Us About Feminism?”, “Wonder Woman, a comic book character created to inspire and set an example for women, was nonetheless conceived, created, and written by men.” I predict, Wonder Woman will continue to be an inspiration for women of all ages. Now, with her recent movie coming out she will inspire even more women and reach an even bigger audience to fight for equality. Wonder Woman is a symbol of feminism all throughout the United States and around the world. She represents strength and equality. Wonder Woman willingly works with other men to help save the world. She demonstrates that feminism is not about women being treated better or with more respect than men, it is about being equals it is about being treated the same.
Braunstein, L.R. "Berlatsky, Noah. Wonder Woman: Bondage and Feminism in the
Marston/Peter Comics, 1941-1948." CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, June 2015, p. 1646. Academic OneFile. Accessed 23 Jan. 2018.
Howell, Charlotte E. "'Tricky' Connotations: Wonder Woman as DC's Brand Disruptor."
Cinema Journal, vol. 55, no. 1, 2015, p. 141+. Academic OneFile. Accessed 23 Jan. 2018.
Lepore, Jill. "The Origin Story of Wonder Woman: the Surprising Tale of America's Favorite
Female Superhero Ties Her to the Birth of Feminism--and the Unconventional Life of Her Creator." Smithsonian, Oct. 2014, p. 56+. Academic OneFile. Accessed 22 Jan. 2018.