Monday, March 22, 2010

Gloria Steinem on Wonder Woman (Pt. 3)

"How could Wonder Woman be interested in Steve, who seemed so weak and so boring? Did women really have to live in a community by themselves—a separate country like Paradise Island—in order to be both happy and courageous? The very fact that the ideal was an island—insular, isolated, self-contained, cut-off—both pleased and bothered me. And why, when she chose an earthly disguise, did Wonder Woman have to pick such a loser? How could she bear to be like Diana Prince? Did that mean that all women really had to disguise their true selves in weak feminine stereotypes in order to survive?

"But all these doubts paled beside the relief, the sweet vengeance, the toe-wriggling pleasure of reading about a woman who was strong, beautiful, courageous, and a fighter for social justice. A woman who strode forth, stopping wars and killing with one hand, distributing largesse and compassionate aid with the other."

—Gloria Steinem, from her introduction to Wonder Woman (Bonanza Books; 1972)


Unknown said...

I´m liking a lot this posts, but sometimes I just can´t bear that some issues she atacks from WW are of course product of the chauvinistic society of the 30´s-50´s or whatever decade it was originally written

Hdefined said...

Wonder Woman is such a boring concept. It boils down to, "She's like Superman, but she's a woman! And instead of standing for abstract ideals like truth and justice, she fights for them in a literal sense!"

Superman is boring because he stands for ideals and has very little personality of his own, but Wonder Woman is more boring because she's all of that, except that she's representing the fact that women can do that too.

I have nothing against female characters who stand for something, but I have no interest in female characters who stand for something just to show that female characters can stand for something.