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Wonder Woman: Fetish or Feminist?

“A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of both women and men.”
     -Gloria Steinem

And, really, is there anyone more qualified to define “feminism” than Gloria Steinem? After all, she was (and is) the poster person for feminism in modern HERstory. By that definition, I would give a resounding “Hell yeah!” to the question of whether Wonder Woman is a feminist or not.

In recent Wonder Woman news, it was announced that fan favorite artist David Finch would follow the epic tenure of Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang on the monthly Wonder Woman series. It’s arguable whether they added cement to the former clay pigeon’s legend – less arguable is the fact that they spun one hell of a yarn that got people more excited about the actual Wonder Woman comic than have been in a long time. Finch is a great artist and a reluctant writer, as he struggled through a run on a Dark Knight Batman monthly that was tailored to showcase his talents. It was announced that he would be the new WW artist and co-writer alongside his wife Meredith, starting with Issue #36 of the series. Although Finch has fandom appeal, his wife has one prior professional credit for Zenescope, a company not really known for much other than female exploitation. I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt until Finch waffled in an interview when asked if Wonder Woman was a feminist and said he wasn’t very comfortable with the word.

Say what?

Charles Moulton Marston created Wonder Woman so that little girls would have a strong female role model to look up to the way boys did with Batman and Superman. That alone makes her a feminist before burning bras was en vogue. Granted, she was not the most PC version of what a modern feminist would envision, given her skimpy outfit and her weakness of being powerless to men if her wrists were bound . . . however, one small step for little girls was one “Giganta” step for womankind! Not only was WW a new, strong role model for females, she wasn’t just a cheap knock off of her male counterparts. (No offense, She-Hulk and Bargirl!) That said, with respect for Wonder Woman’s ability to inspire greatness, I will give the Finches a fair shake.

Lynda Carter put her stamp on WW by embodying her in the titular role of the campy ’70s television series that made the world fall in love with the Amazon princess. While credit should be given to legendary designer Bob Mackie for his spin on a costume that was faithful to the character and appealing without being slutty, Lynda Carter deserves endless accolades for bringing truth, heart, and integrity to a role that could have been lost in absolute cheesiness.

In modern times, we look to mega stars, like pseudo-feminist Beyoncé, to answer the question, “Who runs the world?” No disrespect to girls, but make mine Wonder Woman.


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