Approximately three billion women exist on our planet. Many of them show strength and wisdom while simultaneously demonstrating kindness, though some mistake this as weakness. Wonder Woman, superhero and symbolic female liberator, existed simply to contradict the beliefs of the ignorant and to assist in transforming America. She does more than fight fictional foes; she fights those still clinging to antiquated ideas of female inferiority.
When created, Wonder Woman’s mission involved giving millions of women the power to step outside the comfortable realm of domestic bliss.
As the first major super-heroine, she offered refreshing ideas to the comic book world. After time passed, Wonder Woman seemed to have an identity crisis. She even gave up her powers and morphed into a semi-proactive business owner, until protested against by the women of America. Now fully restored, Wonder Woman’s character and spirit have the potential to make a significant impact in modern society.
In the Middle East, Wonder Woman could inspire all women to defend their human rights, and in a very real sense, Wonder Woman Day raises money for domestic violence victims.
Though some consider superheroes as simply entertaining, Wonder Woman helped changed American perception of females and still serves as an inspiration for countless young girls. In an era of masculine superiority, Wonder Woman had a gradual impact on the female population of the time and transformed into the ultimate feminist icon. William Moulten Martsen, the psychologist who created Wonder Woman, made her to empower the women of America. Women’s strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman. ” This statement, spoken by Martsen, shows his purpose in forming the legendary lady. When Martsen invented Wonder Woman, the time period reflected women’s inferiority to men. He concluded that they needed to be enabled (Tartakovsky). His character could possibly serve as a cure for an issue that held the potential to damage society.
As a man of the mind, Martsen would create things intended to impact the mind. Combining a psychologist with comic books resulted in an extremely contemplated character; her depth eventually contributing to her popularity. In creating the character, Martsen endowed her with a feminist foundation allowing her to develop into a heroine of her present stature. Illustrated in her birth, Wonder Woman entered the world on Paradise Island and rose into childhood in the all-female Amazonian race (“Wonder Woman [American Comic-book Character]”).
Five goddesses from Olympia assembled the pedigree with intentions to bring elements of “equality, justice, and peaceful harmony” to humanity (Wallace). Though the characteristics listed do not necessarily describe a warrior, these women took action when needed. Wonder Woman’s Amazonian background assists her in revealing aggressive, superhero-like qualities while remaining a symbol of goodness. Even with superhuman strength, Wonder Woman appeals to her audience of women. For instance, her costume manages to balance function and fashion.
On her hips hangs the Lasso of Truth, an indestructible rope that forces honesty out of those bound by it. Perched on her head, lies a “razor sharp” tiara which doubles as a boomerang. Her metallic bracelets redirect any incoming projectiles and her starry leotard solidifies her image as an American emblem (Lynda Carter). When conflict ceases, Wonder Woman’s alter ego, Diana Prince, works as a nurse to preserve a “masquerade of normalcy” (“Wonder Woman [American Comic-book Character]”). Many women of the time had occupations as nurses, giving them an undeniable connection to the suave superhero.
Simply speaking, Wonder Woman expressed a novelty that has yet to be matched. One can easily understand how the mother of three who would not dare to apply for a job, or young girl whose ambitions seemed confined to cooking for her husband, would read of Wonder Woman in rapture. Having said this, Wonder Woman bestowed womanhood with a sense of purpose and pride. She operated with the United States government to defeat the Axis powers in the midst of World War II. Representing truth, justice, and patriotism, she strutted around without any shame of her gender (“Wonder Woman [American Comic-book Character]”).
She could fly through the skies in her invisible plane while simultaneously fighting Nazis (Wallace). In a woman’s shoes, would one derive the most pride from household life, or fearless living on a battlefield? Wonder Woman made the answer obvious: USA ladies wanted to play a part in the war effort and she simply embodied that desire. In conclusion, Wonder Woman symbolized a fish that thrived out of water; she entered a world of men without disgrace or hesitation and jumpstarted the entire feminist movement. Although Wonder Woman suffered a period where she really lacked the spirit and message intended by her creator, she has volved over time and grown in depth. By the early 1970s, the feminine fighter seemed obsolete. In need of attention, a new team emerged with brand new ideas of Wonder Woman’s image. As the main man behind the comic, Mike Sekowsky wrote, drew, and edited the transformation from Wonder Woman to Diana. (“Diana’s Memory Album”). During World War II, Wonder Woman liberated and empowered American women while in cahoots with the Allied Powers. This said, one can understand how a character might seem out of date thirty years later.
Men had reclaimed the role in society that seemed comfortable and normal to everyone, and Wonder Woman needed to comply. She seemed to go through Extreme Makeover: Superhero Edition as she lost all magical powers and opened up a chic clothing line. Steve Trevor died and Diana Prince turned into “globe-trotting, white jumpsuit-wearing, Diana Rigg-like adventurer. ” She showed much more romantic interest and seemed to always turn into the damsel in distress (“Diana’s Memory Album”). Wonder Woman slowly faded next to the new Diana Prince.
The Amazon warrior, patriotic soldier, and feminine fighter seemed to dissipate, soon replaced by a small business owner with a deep desire to marry Superman. Sales might have risen, but with the feminists trying to gain momentum, many would soon express extreme distaste in the new Diana Prince. Gloria Steinem, leader of the feminist movement and lifetime fan of Wonder Woman, refused to accept the recently changed superhero who no longer inspired the ladies of the day. She took it into her hands to convince DC comics to restore the old Wonder Woman to her former glory. (“Wonder Women!
The Untold Story of American Superheroines”). For so many girls, finding a heroine to respect and look up to presents itself as a huge challenge. Now, as women started to fight back and stand up for themselves, they came to realize that their inspiration died at the hands of a corporation. “I remember the person in charge of Wonder Woman calling me up from DC Comics, he was so annoyed, and he said okay, she has her magical powers back, her lasso, her bracelets, she has Paradise Island Back, and she has a Black, African Amazon sister named Nubia-now will you leave me alone? Gloria Steinem recalled (“Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines”). Steinem’s role in Wonder Woman’s development shows significance because it expressed how Wonder Woman acted as a tool in the hands of powerful women. She affected and inspired them, so when Wonder Woman needed rescue, many answered her call for help. After Steinem’s victory in changing the minds at DC Comics, Wonder Woman emerged resurgent. Steve Trevor came back to life and Wonder Woman slipped into her red, white and blue uniform.
Ching, the man serving as her mentor when she owned the clothing boutique, died when shot by a sniper. Comic book covers no longer depicted a sobbing, dependent character but a powerful superhero once again (“Diana Prince – Forgotten Classic”). This immediate change resulting from the labors of women surely boosted morale. Though men ran DC Comics, wrote all the comic books, drew the graphics, and distributed the product, when women worked together, people took them seriously. One must also look back into history to see the feminist movement in the context of the early 1970s.
People viewed them as simply some housewives holding signs, but making a difference, even in something as trivial as comic books, changed that perception. Additionally, Wonder Woman underwent major development as her creators plumbed her many mythological roots. She battled characters like Circe, an evil sorceress who inherited the soul of a goddess and took advantage of sailors (Deeds). Writers also expressed mythological ties when Wonder Woman needed to perform twelve tasks in order to rejoin the Justice League of America.
This mimicked the story of when Hercules performed twelve labors as punishment for murdering his wife and children (“Wonder Woman: Greek mythology – Inspired – Superheroine”). Everyone who kept up with Wonder Woman comics knew she originated from the Amazonian race, yet the creators of the comic elaborated little on that aspect of her character. She visited Paradise Island a couple times, but as Wonder Woman got her costume and powers back, she also received much more depth in her character as the ancient tales of Greek mythology integrated into her comic books.
Just like a real person, Wonder Woman suffers bad periods as well as thrives in good times. When Wonder Woman lost her best traits, a community of women willingly worked to reestablish the super-heroine and their efforts paid off when the true Wonder Woman returned better than ever. Though women in America now maintain the same rights as men, Wonder Woman continues to make a difference in the modern era. Wonder Woman Day raises money that contributes to end domestic violence and help the victims.
The event usually takes place in Flemington, New Jersey or Portland, Oregon (Aaron Albert). It happens in late October, a time also serving as National Domestic Violence Awareness month (“Wonder Woman Day V to Benefit Domestic Violence Programs”). As the general target of domestic abuse, women still benefit from Wonder Woman. Females in a struggling situation at home need the strength and power that the superhero represents. An event in only two cities may seem insignificant, but the issue of domestic violence affects many and deserves the help of a prestigious superhero. Domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. ” From name-calling to physical assault, one fourth of the women in America have experienced domestic violence before (“Domestic Violence Statistics”). Approximately three women die each day when murdered by a partner. In 2000, domestic violence compensated for thirty percent of female homicides (“Domestic Violence Statistics”). This issue has major significance in today’s society.
Wonder Woman taught girls to grow up and express the power and vitality that send the world a message of strength. The reality of abuse that so many women face every single day would shock and disgust Wonder Woman. She would also show repugnance at the treatment of women in the Middle East. The Muslim Brotherhood publicly declared the views it maintains on women’s rights. Men in this culture often consider their wives as property, so they make all of the important decisions for them (“The State of Women’s Rights in the Middle East”).
Keep in mind that the Brotherhood reflects traditional Islamic views, pervasive in the Middle East. From the eyes of an average American, the overall treatment of women in those countries seems discriminatory and despicable. In addition, the women who try to defend their rights suffer severe consequences. “Women of all ages and from all countries in the region risked their lives to call for change, and suffered harassment, arrest and torture as a result” (“International Women’s Day”). Countries like Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Iran uphold extremely sexist laws.
In Saudi Arabia, a woman cannot get an education or even work for money. One woman, inspired by her inner-Wonder Woman spoke out and received ten lashings (“International Women’s Day”). Though many activists have attempted, this discriminatory culture has not yet changed. Now imagine Wonder Woman, leaving familiar American soil, and giving every woman in those countries the hope and courage that finally forces leaders to listen. To summarize it all, Wonder Woman lives outside of the realm of comics: she stays with the omen of the world who need help. When Wonder Woman came into the spotlight, she carried the task of reminding the world that men cannot overlook women any longer. Over time, she developed as a character and although she suffered periods of incompetence, Wonder Woman returned to her original message. If she could force the world to understand her plea, women in countless countries might finally receive the rights that they deserve. Every single girl, whether they have heard of comic books or not, carry Wonder Woman within them.
In America, where females already retain equal rights as men, the spirit of Wonder Woman allows girls to dream infinitely. In places like the Middle East, the spirit of Wonder Woman inspires a fight for fairness. The underlying theme never wavers with Wonder Woman: though women may hold reputations of showing more love or expressing more compassion, they can pair those characteristics with strength, determination, hard work and aspiration. America needed to hear this message in the late 1900s, and Wonder Woman still fights for the rest of the world to listen.
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Encyclopedia Britannica. Web. 14 Mar. 2013. “Wonder Woman Day V to Benefit Domestic Violence Programs at Comic Book News, Reviews, and Previews – The Blog From Another World. ” Comic Book News Reviews and Previews The Blog From Another World RSS. Web. 20 Apr. 2013. “Wonder Woman: Greek Mythology – Inspired – Superheroine. ” Arne Naess Was Right. 10 May 2006. Web. 18 Apr. 2013. “Wonder Woman in Comics | DC Comics. ” DC Comics. Web. 14 Mar. 2013. “Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines. ” Independent Lens. PBS. 15 Apr. 2013. Television.
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