Thursday, January 07, 2010

I won't even come CLOSE to everything that's wrong with this picture...

Edit 8 JAN 10 1720 CET: I've promised to tell everyone know that Chris wrote his very astute Blackest Night: Wonder Woman review before I wrote this, and note that he is very handsome. At least one of these statements is objectively true.

Blackest Night spoilers ahead, but you can't really be much further behind that I am.

I'm sure I've written about it before, but I absolutely despise the Wonder Woman bondage origin claims. Whatever creepy personal ideas Marston had that were leaking (or being leaked) into his creative life (and probably not coincidentally, the creative lives of just about everyone writing and drawing comics back then because it sure as hell wasn't just Diana getting tied up in that period), it is a documented fact that he pitched the character as a comic for girls. That he wanted to bring female readers to the superhero genre. He wanted to give girls a story they could read and enjoy.

So Wonder Woman counts among one of the very few superhero genre characters that are legitimately a gift to young women. She is not a character to be marketed to young men. Marston assured the company the boys would read as well, but she's custom designed for young women. For god's sake, she's a princess who talks to animals. Her entire supporting cast, with the exception of one blockheaded love interest, was women. She is a character made with little girls in mind.

The bondage urban legend always struck me as a mean-spirited attempt to rob us of that. To strip her of all innocent and generous beginnings in favor of something uber-sexualized. To say that we weren't worth our own superhero princess, she had to be secretly aimed at young men. That she was really meant for boys. It's a way to steal Wonder Woman, and claim she wasn't ever stolen.

To be honest, that's why I've always felt they had trouble with her. She is a female-oriented character that they keep marketing to a widely male audience. They fill her with T&A and hire writers who figure she should either be a complete bore or the "woman you wish you could date" in the hopes that men are biting. Then they further ward off women by spreading the story of bondage in her origins and skimp up the outfit even more than possible (No one's seen her in shorts in how many decades?), and wonder why no one is buying the world's preeminent superheroine.

In the past five years, though, I'd gotten the feeling that maybe this had changed, that maybe letters and postcards about other female characters had suggested to them that there was an opportunity to market characters made for female readers to female readers. They started hiring female positive writers and female positive artists for the character, treating her as an equal to Batman and Superman, propelling her to a more prominent place in-story, and just pushing her more greatly than they had been for decades. She even got an animated movie! There were stumbles, but I figured maybe they were giving it a shot.

Then I clicked a link on Twitter and saw this monstrosity.



Wonder Woman in a fucking Star Sapphire outfit.

Let me make this clear, as I have complained about her lack of romance as relative to having Aphrodite as a patron extensively. In the Golden Age, this would work. She followed Steve off the island for love. But Steve's not the love interest in the modern age. They made him too old, wrote him out and married him off. He's been replaced by Superman--No... Hermes--No... Guy Gardner--No... Trevor Barnes--No... Io--No... Batman--No... Nemesis... Oh wait, we can't decide on a major love interest because every writer has to make their own or pair her off with their favorite! (Funny, this never happens to Superman who still has his Golden-Age Love Interest.) And since she has been decreed by DC to be an eternal virgin, none of these relationships ever deepen to the point that she would be especially attached to this person over anyone else. They tend to be flirtations and infatuations. So Aphrodite is shuffled to the background in favor of virgin goddesses Artemis and Athena (both greener than a pine tree in the middle of December) as her primary patroness.

So even though with the character's current chastity (brought specifically about by them aging her boyfriend and marrying him off to the comic relief in the CoIE reboot) Love no longer suits her nearly as well as Compassion (or Hope, or Willpower), they stuck her in the all-girl Corps (WHY THE FUCK IS IT ALL WOMEN IN SLUTTY OUTFITS YOU FUCKING ASSHOLES?! ARE MEN UNABLE TO FALL IN LOVE AND ACT IRRATIONAL OR WEAR SKIMPY CLOTHES?!!) because hey, that's just a bunch of Space-Amazons, right?

They see nothing wrong with tying Wonder Woman to some smartass writer's abysmal joke about how women go CRAZY in relationships.

They see nothing wrong with taking a character who's concept is the person girls should all aspire to be and placing her with the group of women who are DEFINED BY THEIR ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS!!!!!

!!

!!!!!

!!!

Motherfuckers.

You can't just ignore Aphrodite's influence since the 80s and then suddenly decide her realm is the primary motivator in the character's life just because the character is the girl. Not without laying years of groundwork suggesting she's been fighting her need for love, which just hasn't been laid. She's been fulfilled the whole time without a man.

And you know what? She should be, as she's WONDER WOMAN. I'm all for bringing Steve back in some form--retcon, reboot, long-lost nephew... Something to give her the equivalent of Lois Lane again. But there's a reason they don't and never should (even with Steve in the equation) portray her as feeling like only half a person and desiring a soulmate above all else. Because she's WONDER WOMAN and that would send a really fucking bad message.

And that fucking costume. That godawful costume. Like someone vomited pink all over one of Solomon's concubines. They took one of the aspects of the character that is CONSTANTLY picked on--her skimpy costume (which is considerably skimpier than the skirt she debuted in and the shorts she wore after or even the tasteful bathing suit of the Silver Age)--and went and made it even skimpier, and even MORE sexualized, and then SHOVED her into a group full of women who thus far have been characterized as ALL ABOUT SEX.

It's the Ultimate Reminder that Wonder Woman is no longer for girls. She's been re-purposed for the lowest common denominator or men who refuse to grow up and deal with women on equal terms. She's not going to be given back to us, even though she was conceived as a gift for us. Too many people have managed to convince themselves she was always for boys to begin with, and if they can just hit the right shade of sexualization and male fantasy--the magic balance that Marston had somehow--they can make her popular again.

And it never seems to occur to them that she is not and never was meant to be a male fantasy. She's meant to be everything a girl would fantasize about being. I know, you're saying she's beautiful and sexy but guess what? That's not the kind of beautiful and sexy meant for the boys. It's not the sort of sexy that's there to be desired by the reader, it's the sort of sexy that's there because the person reading her wants to be desirable and POWERFUL in that way, as well as strong and intelligent and POWERFUL in those ways too. The reader is supposed to want to BE her, not just want her.

51 comments:

  1. Excellent post. Not being a DC reader to a great extent, I've never followed Wonder Woman all that closely, but I can completely see how this is problematic on a million different levels.

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  2. Not to derail this, but I seriously doubt you've read many Golden Age Wonder Woman comics if you doubt the bondage origins.

    There's a vast difference between the "other" Golden Age heroines who found themselves bound and the astonishing variety of ways in which WW found herself bound and/or gagged, in virtually every single story.

    If Wonder Woman was a creation for young girls, the primary lesson being taught was that men will seek to hogtie and fetishize you to get their way, but that you'll be okay in the end.

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  3. Wow. Completely agree. How is not an Indigo Lantern? Because, really:

    Batman -- Green
    Superman -- Blue
    Wonder Woman -- Indigo

    In the picture, you could make Mera a Star Sapphire. Make Hawkman the Red Lantern. Or make Green Arrow a Star Sapphire. Or Wally. Wally runs on love. Linda is his anchor. It's how he comes back to the present.

    To say nothing of the art of WW's physique itself. I mean, seriously. Seriously. Ivan, dude, you're not even trying to get it right.

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  4. Um, the point about Wonder Woman wasn't "you'll be okay in the end", if you actually read any Golden Age issues, bclaymoore.

    I mean, hell, even if you DO think Marston was pulling in his sexual ideals into his writing, Marston was all about WILLING submission as an ideal, and the inner strength of women.

    Wonder Woman didn't end up tied up all the time for some sexual kink (though I don't doubt that Marston enjoyed it on a fan service level, as the man is human), the reason she got tied up was so she could BREAK FREE. AND WIN.

    The POINT is that men may seek to hogtie and fetishize you to get their way, but if you have the strength and wits, you will ALWAYS break free and kick their asses.

    And you'll never need some doofus in tights to do it for you.

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  5. Ryan: I actually think Batman's more yellow or red than green. What with the whole "scaring criminals" element of the bat suit, and the vengeance theme. Anger and fear seem to be at the root of his concept.

    Otherwise I agree with you. :-)

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  6. I seriously love Wonder Woman as a Super Hero. She is one of my favorites. I am STILL confused why she hasn't seen the love Supes and Bats have in the way of an animated series. Alas, that's another gripe for another day.

    Peter Pixie
    Co-Host Hour42

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  7. Kalinara: I don't disagree but I was trying to put each of the Trinity into a "positive" ring. But, the fact that a yellow ring showed up and asked him to be in the Sinestro Corps proves your point, indeed :)

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  8. Without agreeing or disagreeing with your post here, I am curious as to whether or not you read the second issue of the "Blackest Night: Wonder Woman" series. It focuses on her acceptance of the ring, and it manifests as Aphrodite, and Aphrodite makes the statement that Diana is suited for for it because she has Love for all of creation.

    Now, I haven't really read GL and don't follow what the Star Sapphires mean exactly, but I like Greg Rucka's examination of it here.

    Yes, I agree that they stuck her with it pink because it "kinda" fit this definition, and probably so that they could give the Atom "compassion" which probably would have been a better fit for Diana. But I don't think that Love is irrelevant to Diana when you consider it in this fashion, rather that the love between two people, which seems to be the crux of a lot of your resentment here.

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  9. I think this partially feeds into why I never "got" Wonder Woman. I always saw her like you said, as a role model for girls. But I've never read any WW books, so I guess I didn't know how much her character's decayed (other than the sexualized nature of her newer costumes).

    But really, how sweet is that new Luthor Armor?

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  10. "Love for all creation" my orange butt. Diana got the girl ring. "Love for all creation" isn't even consistent with the other Star Sapphires. One had her husband murdered before her eyes, one had her world and family blown up, and one is hopelessly in love with a jerk. Love for the Star Sapphires seems to be defined by a potentially reciprocated feeling for a particular person; "all creation" makes no sense.

    Not than an Indigo Tribe outfit would be less slutty-looking.

    -- Jack of Spades

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  11. @Jack of Spades --

    Again, I only know how it was treated by Rucka in the particular issue I mentioned. If this is inconsistent with the Sapphires, that's a larger systemic problem. Keep in mind: the whole concept of the Sapphires being part of a "ring spectrum" is a retcon to begin with. Any inconsistency has a lot to do with Johns shoehorning an existing concept into another concept to begin with. Though, certainly there have been plenty of Green Lanterns with problems. Just as Will doesn't take one form, perhaps neither does Love.

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  12. Also note: I'm not defending the choice by Johns/DC here. I'm simply pointing out that someone has done some work to explain/justify the choice -- which is often more than most characters get in these "event" comics.

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  13. Wonder Woman was originally created by Marston to be a hero who triumphed with love rather than violence. She was only a woman because his wife insisted.

    While I can understand you being pissed about how she gets treated in comics these days, and even agree with you, the whole "love" thing isn't that out of left field as you make.

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  14. I'm confused here. Is it just that you don't feel that Wonder Woman was intentionally created to be a fetish object (in which case I would agree), or are you also going so far as to say that the amount and degree of bondage in her stories was no different from that of other Golden Age comics?

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  15. I'm new to Green Lantern, and I'm slowly been working through the Green Lantern Corps TPBs. I've recently read "Sins of the Star Sapphire" and I don't think that Wonder Woman qualifies to be a Star Sapphire at all. I don't recall Wonder Woman as having tragic love in her background. Ray Palmer has plenty. He should be the Star Sapphire and Wonder Woman should be a member of the Indigo Tribe.

    Did I miss something? Are the Star Sapphires women-only? That doesn't make sense.

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  16. @Dave Accampo I read the two Blackest Night Wonder Woman issues that have come out so far, and I agree that Greg Rucka is going to a lot of trouble to make this concept as true to the character as possible. Unfortunately, I couldn't help feeling like he was trying desperately to make something work that he didn't necessarily agree with, and was forced to write for the sake of the crossover that he doesn't control. Rucka's doing great stuff, but he can only work so much magic under his constraints, and the constraints are the problem.

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  17. @Jennifer I think that is absolutely the best description of the scenario, right there.

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  18. I love this post. I love it.

    Someone else (and I can't remember who, maybe Karen Healey?) talked about superheroes as an adolescent boy's power fantasy and asked: where's MY adolescent power fantasy?

    Well, here she is, and there she goes, straight over to the boys' toys. If you want someone who runs on love, why not use Superman? "Love" has very different connotations for a female hero, both derogatory and de-powering.

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  19. I was 9 years old in 1949, and I devoured each Wonder Woman issue as soon as it appeared on Mr. Wellman's candy store shelves. She was created for girls like me. Villains constantly tried to capture and subdue her, but she triumphed every time. That origial Wonder Woman is probably resposible for a lot of who I became as a woman. When male fantasies took her over, she lost her power as a female archetype -- too much T&A and not enough true female energy. I'm almost 70 years old, and I don't read comics any more, although I might if the solid and steadfast Wonder Woman spirit still filled the pulp pages.

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  20. At Comic Con last year, Geoff Johns said the Sapphires do accept men but very few meet their criteria. I imagine it's a minefield, though. I mean, the other Lantern Corps seem to have a more or less unisex uniform. But in the case of the Sapphires, that would look a bit like this: http://img3.ak.crunchyroll.com/i/spire1/48b688322ebba73f8bc748a3f950a3d21230786823_full.jpg

    On the other hand, it's not quite fair if the Sapphires' female default is skimpy and the male one isn't. I just hope a male Star Sapphire appears in the main continuity, rather than only in the gender-flipped world of Earth-11:
    http://blog.newsarama.com/2007/12/28/just-past-the-horizon-earth-11/

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  21. i'll be honest:
    1) i thought Wonder Woman would be a GREEN lantern if anything
    2) don't mean to sound sexist, but i'm just relieved that Flash got a ring
    3) i'll admit, i kind of see Wonder Woman in BOTH ways, like she's hot, but she's one of the more powerful forces in the DCU so keep respect of her to a MAX!! it is possible to think someone's hot w/o lusting after them, which i personally feel with Wonder Woman
    4) all that being said, women should reserve the right to be pissed about it.

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  22. Thank you!!! EXCELLENT BLOG!!! I thought I was crazy in the portrayal of women in comics, I was wrong.

    Maybe we need to own our OWN comic books, make our own comics and sell them!

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  23. Very well said, Ragnell.

    Re: the conversation between Dave Accampo and Jennifer -- unfortunately, I feel like I read a lot of stories which are written by well-meaning writers desperately trying to find a character-driven explanation for something a person above them in the chain of command wanted to slap on the cover of a comic. It's within the realm of possibility that Greg Rucka badly wanted to tell a story about Diana's compassion, and having her end up on the cover of a comic in a pink costume with a boob window. But that's not my go-to explanation.

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  24. David -- Chris says it better in the ETA link at the beginning of the post, but I can tell you as someone who's been reading Green Lantern for quite some time, and a fan who best preferred the original Star Sapphire concept (as written by John Broome before they made her insane), Rucka's plot point is a glaze.

    My proof? The Star Sapphire concept as pushed by Tomasi and Johns since Rebirth is deep personal affection between two people (they can see a tether between people who deeply love each other, and Miri's ring specifically states "Two Hearts Attuned" when seeking out love in GLC) and the love for all that you describe falls best under "Compassion." Compassion is indeed Aphrodite's realm in the DCU, but it's certainly not covered by violet in the emotional spectrum. It's under Indigo. (An interesting thing is the first time Sinestro sees an Indigo Lantern he mistakes her for a Star Sapphire) This suggests that Rucka is in agreement that the character is best described as compassionate, but he's under an edict from DC that she be a Star Sapphire.

    It's pretty obvious that she was shoved into that--the GIRL group--because she's the most prominent female hero in the DCU, and not because the editors and the writer of the Blackest Night mainbook put any thought whatsoever into what best suited her personality as written or into what she represents to readers. THAT is the cause of what you so mildly describe as resentment on my part, but which may more accurately be described as disgust and outrage.
    R. Nav -- Male Star Sapphires may have popped up in BN #6, I just got that in the mail today. I find it unlikely given statements made by Ethan Van Sciver and Geoff Johns in interviews and at conventions. I'm two weeks behind where I am and these promo images and early reviews have me in no mood to catch up at the moment. But up through Blackest Night #5, there were no male members at all. All crowd shots are not only all-female, but overwhelmingly humanoid female. Check wikipedia, it's pretty much the all-girl corps, which makes many of the traits assigned to it absolutely sickening.

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  25. Oh, and lilacsigil -- I think I know which one you mean.
    http://ragnell.blogspot.com/2006/03/wheres-my-adolescent-power-fantasy.html

    Everyone else -- I am loving this comment section.

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  26. It seems even stranger in light of the fact that the compassion ring, which would have been an obvious choice, instead had to go to Ray Palmer...
    whose most noticable act lately has been to torture some guy by jumping around in his brain.

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  27. @Jennifer, MadMarvelGirl, Ragnell, et al -- Don't get me wrong here... if you read what I wrote, I'm never suggesting that Rucka wasn't handed "pink" and told "make it work," but I also don't think the man would take on the assignment if he didn't think he could. I simply thought he found a decent way to explain the choice of ring for her, REGARDLESS of how it was decided by Johns and/or editorial.

    My other point earlier was that the Sapphires are always going to be a group that doesn't seem a clean as, say, the Orange Lantern, because it was a pre-existing concept that Johns is trying desperately to bring into line with his larger idea. So maybe some "stretching" of the Love concept is called for as it goes along. Is it shoehorning? Certainly.

    Personally, I don't disagree with the main points: I do think WW has been shoehorned into the pink ring, and I think it's largely due to the fact that he wanted to use a set group of characters and WW could be "fit" into the concept, rather than the concept fitting her.

    But I'm perhaps a bit jaded, as it doesn't bother me as much as it does Ragnell (be it resentment or outrage -- I wasn't trying to put words in anyone's mouth). I've just seen this happen over and over in corporate super-hero comics, and I thought Rucka did a decent job of putting a spin on it that had a ring of truth to it (no pun intended), so I felt like that was at least a band-aid over an otherwise "odd" choice. I think you could have as easily made the argument that Superman loves all creation and is willing to fight for it, and thus could have easily been a Sapphire. But perhaps Johns has a story reason for wanting Supes to remain undead a bit longer... or (more likely) no one ever thought Superman could rock the pink outfit. And at the same time, I try to see the positives here, in that we're talking about Love, dammit, and I actually LIKE the idea of super-heroes filled with love for humanity, love for the world, as the M.O. for doing what they do. In a world of vengeance-driven characters like Batman, I WANT someone to say "love must triumph," so I admit -- I can't get too outraged at the continuity/treatment/event/momentary-lapse-that-won't-affect-her-solo-title-four-months-from-now.

    Also keep in mind, I'm not finding Blackest Night to be as enthralling as most of the comics community. I don't put a lot of weight on these event comics.

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  28. You know, it's too bad that in that assemblage, there isn't a character whose heart was broken by the love of his life and decided to hide from the world, literally and figuratively. I mean, that character would make a perfect Star Sapphire, right?

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  29. When I first looked at that picture, I had no idea that was Diana. Upon closer examination I can see bits of her iconography, but initially I couldn't conceive of it, and of course it doesn't help that she doesn't look all that different from Carol in the picture.

    I also wouldn't have known that was Luthor if people hadn't said it. I just thought it was another unfortunate J'onn redesign.

    So that makes it Ray, Ryan, Mera, Luthor, Scarecrow, Hal and (sigh) Diana?

    And yeah, though any hero's got to have will power, I'd have pegged WW as Indigo more than anything. She's maybe the LEAST likely founding JLA member to be a Star Sapphire, aside from Batman.

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  30. Oh wait, I just saw the lighting bolt. That's supposed to be a Flash??? Yeah, no. You can't turn that outfit blue without it just looking like Atom. Heck, I'd have guessed Air Wave before ... what, Barry? Wally? I give up.

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  31. David -- Dude, we're not misunderstanding you. We KNOW you like Rucka and are telling us you think he wrote an okay story. I'm trying to tell you that it still doesn't make up for undermining the character by sticking her with the Star Sapphires.

    Rucka's trying his best but this idea doesn't effectively change the Green Lantern mythos as established, because the description of "love" there falls under compassion. A color which was given to a character that--as noted by other comments here--far better fit the violets, but who hadn't been placed with them because he's male. Meanwhile, a character who had SPECIFICALLY been distanced from love and romantic concepts is placed in the Violets because she is female. The only way to twist it to work is to say Violet in Diana's case is Indigo. No amount of narrative gymnastics on Rucka's part can change the inherent sexism here.

    And sexism bothers me. And sexism when it comes to Wonder Woman is especially enraging given the symbolic nature of the character.

    And my answer to your note about love conquering all warrants a post on its own.

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  32. Hey Ragnell,
    You are on point in your analysis of this Star Sapphire ring thing. It doesn't feel like an easy fit cause on one hand they are saying that she is full of love for humanity and all creation, which is fine. Then they link her with the Star Sapphires which is largely more a romantic type of love. Consider the way that love (with the help of a Star Sapphire) was strong enough to bring Kyle back from the dead in the Corps books. Their inclusion of Wonder Woman is with Star Sapphires and the abysmal BN WW #2 suggests that they are reaching for a way to make the story of her wearing the violet ring fit. For me it feels forced and jars with how I understand the character.

    Also, think about what happened the first time a black lantern saw Clarke; it saw all of colours of the spectrum, which would explain why no single ring could latch on to him. But Wonder Woman obviously doesn't have that type of range.

    Finally you said that "it's not the sort of sexy that's there to be desired by the reader, it's the sort of sexy that's there because the person reading her wants to be desirable and POWERFUL in that way, as well as strong and intelligent and POWERFUL in those ways too. The reader is supposed to want to BE her, not just want her."
    That is precisely how I feel and have felt about her.

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  33. @Ragnell - I'm simply clarifying my own thoughts, so there is no misunderstanding. No "dudes" necessary. ;) I haven't really disagreed with you. All I'm attempting to do here is just follow up on my initial question with a few comments about my own feelings, as a way of expanding the conversation, not an attempt to argue it. I'm not really that worked up by it because I'm seeing it more as a mediocre "event" filled with a lot of concepts shoehorned into other concepts. I agree with you that there's a base sexism at play , in that I seriously DOUBT that Johns/Editorial ever thought "who is the best person for the violet ring?" I doubt that Superman or Barry or Ray or whoever was ever considered to be given a pink outfit. So, yes, it is by definition sexist. If that's your only point -- okay, fine. Rage-worthy.

    The only reason I mentioned Rucka's story is because I felt like given that set-up, is there a way to make the power of Love work for Diana. Much of your post is about how it might have worked in the Golden Age, but the modern age WW has been treated quite differently. However, with that particular issue in mind, there's an aspect of love that works. So, I'm not denying the original choice involves sexism (a sort of blanket sexism that probably started with Johns' thinking "what woman in my group could best exemplify Love, and then squeezing WW into the role), I'm simply looking at what's out there now and whether or not the original choice is offset by how it's handled.

    I apologize if it appears as though I'm either blind to or defending sexism. I'm neither. I'm just offering an expanded commentary on all aspects of it, particularly because I felt the original assertion in your post was that because Diana's relationship status meant she didn't fit the Violet qualifications. However, if you change the nature of Love involved (which apparently is what was done in the BN:WW issue), then I wondered if that changed your argument. But you've made it clear that your argument is really over the initial selection of a woman to the the position (and, in fact, the pre-defined version of the position, rather than anything anyone's shifting after-the-fact).

    Fair enough?

    PS - Funny to watch your Twitter as you read through my post and react (although I think 'dummy' is a little harsh). Coming at things from a different angle is not necessarily being obtuse (not that I need to defend myself). I mean, I just thought it was an interesting post, and wanted to bring various thoughts to the discussion.

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  34. And just to be VERY clear. When I say "I don't get worked up by it" this does NOT mean "You shouldn't take it seriously. For those who know me, I talk about my OWN feelings on such matters, and do not preach what others should feel. So I was never telling anyone "ah, take it easy, it's no big deal." I was only expanding on MY read of the situation.

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  35. I would like to mention they do show WW making out with Bruce Wayne Batman before getting the ring. I think they could have done a better job of shoehorning if they had said her Love for Bruce made her a Star Sapphire. Which I kinda thought they were going to do. Although I'm not saying that it's better at all.

    I agree that WW hasn't been treated as well as she could be. I used to like reading her stuff when I was younger and I like the relaunch a few years ago, but the delays killed that book.

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  36. Alright, last thing I'll say. I don't usually do this on other people's blogs (hell, I rarely post on other's blogs unless the conversation moves me), but as I have appeared to have rubbed you the wrong way, I figure I might as well vent a bit as well and offer up a more direct argument.

    1. Your claim of sexism comes from a base decision to automatically use a woman in the Sapphire outfit. While I find that to be an entirely probable case, it is also an ASSUMPTION. We don't know what went into the creative decision-making process. What if WW was a second choice after another male character was cast out for some reason? Is it still sexist if she wasn't automatically selected by her gender? Now, I wholeheartedly agree that this unlikely. The only reason I'm countering this is because it IS an assumption, and I *personally* have to factor that in when considering my outrage.

    2. So, for me, before I get too outraged by the decision-making process, I next look to the written material and see how Diana is depicted in final form. In my read of BN:WW, she came off as a strong character, and the story shows us her decisions from her own perspective. I don't think her character is harmed, at least in my read of THAT issue. I think she still works as a role model for women (and men). She is a woman who broke free of a black ring and accepted a violet ring in order to harness a power needed to fight a threat. That's not a bad story.

    3. Further, I'd just like to add that many of my previous comments are directed back at what you actually WROTE in your blog post. You made the case that the modern WW is NOT an apt choice for the violet ring because she is now depicted as a chaste character. Fine. But your argument here depends upon the definition of the Sapphires and the nature of love. If we include BN:WW as part of that canon, then they are changing that definition. If we now accept, as Apphrodite tells us, that Love includes the love of all things, then even "virginal" WW is still in the running, making this argument moot.

    4. Well, you're right about the outfit. It's awful no matter what you do.

    Apologies again if this is too redundant. I'm just trying to take one more stab at clearly hitting the counter points, rather than holding a rambling discussion, which is usually more my style. ;)

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  37. It's not an assumption when it's based on in-story evidence that these very writers have spent the greater half of a decade laying out about Green Lantern, Star Sapphire, and Wonder Woman. It's a deduction.

    And you're rubbing me the wrong way because you continue to miss the point--which is that we are mad at sexism and sick of all the little band-aids writers put on things to EXCUSE the googametric FUCKTON of sexism that is dumped on Wonder Woman.

    You don't seem to understand that what you're saying here is essentially the same thing as saying on a Starfire thread "She doesn't wear much clothing because her society is more accepting of nudity" which is just plain irritating as fuck because we hear it all the time to excuse sexism. I wrote an entire post to elaborate on WHY this sounds pretty much the same so you can go talk over there.

    And we don't need another "I'm not a troll" post here because then we get dangerously close to making the entire conversation all about you.

    I'm not chasing you off, of course, because you DID inspire a long elaboration on a point that people seem to miss and that's helpful. But you're going to need to stop beating the living shit out of the Black Lantern horsie over here if you'd like to stay. That horsie hasn't done anything to you and if we keep this up it's going to try and eat my neon red heart.

    Which will probably pop back in, thanks Atrocitus, but by then I'll be in all-out Destroy Commenters mode and you don't want that.

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  38. It bugs me that while Miri in GLC is well-written (and even gets a good costume, one that properly references the golden age costume, too!) once you hit any other book they waste everything interesting (Kryb as a sapphire) with this lustful objectification crap. Why can't Diana have a sapphire costume that, say, references Aphrodite? Flowy Greek robes with the pink, maybe? DC doesn't understand love. You know who should be a sapphire? Mogo :)

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  39. Thank you for writing this post. I was horrified by Diana's new costume but didn't have the energy to write something up. I'm fucking sick and tired of this sexist crap that gets shoved down our throats. Thank you for explaining why it's a load of sexist crap.

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  40. God, thank you. That whole 'she was made for bondage' thing has been driving me up a wall for years. It'd be disingenuous to claim that there wasn't a bondage element in early Wonder Woman comics - it's pretty blatant - but Kalinara has it right. Wonder Woman got tied up so she could SAVE HERSELF. Even if Wonder Woman's frequent restraints were there in part to titillate Marston and others, that was the little adult/creator subtext snuck in for fun, not the main point.

    As for your take on what's happened to her since then . . . you're so right, and I find it infuriating.

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  41. Well, perhaps it's just that I hang out with a lot of kinky people, but I don't find the 'made for bondage' thing to be an insult. :) My feeling was that Marston was trying to portray sex as a positive and empowering thing, and not a source of shame or guilt. Wonder Woman can tie people up and enjoy it; Wonder Woman can get tied up, enjoy it while it's happening, and it doesn't mean she has to be helpless forever. I think that a Wonder Woman who isn't a prude, or stuck in the virgin/whore dichotomy, would be a good thing.

    Unfortunately, it would also be slapped with a mature readers label, which is kind of missing the point. :)

    But my views on Wonder Woman's wholeness as a sexual being aside, I agree completely; Wonder Woman as a Violet Lantern is inexcusably sexist, almost lazily sexist, and she should have been Indigo. Or better still, she should have just been Wonder Woman. "Thanks, but I don't need someone else's powers to help me out. I've been chosen by the gods. They must believe I'm the right person for the job."

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  42. I hadn't seen the full WW Saphire outfit until your post.

    Sweet Jesus.

    I was willing to roll with the whole love thing, but I have to tell you I can't decide what's worse, that outfit or the fact that she lost out on the "Compassion" gig to the Incredible Shrinking Jack Bauer.

    O wait, I know: It's that the thought of killing her own mother isn't enough to snap her out of her Black Lanternness but the thought of making out with Batman is. Nice fucking priorities!

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  44. Returning to this old thread because Google Alerts notified me of it again.

    The notion that Wonder Woman was created as a symbol for little girls to look up to is just absurd. She was created primarily as an outlet for a sexual adventurer named William Marston to explore his sexual hang-ups (female domination and bondage) under cover of children's entertainment.

    To quote Marston:

    "Boys, young and old, satisfy their wish thoughts by reading comics. If they go crazy over Wonder Woman, it means they're longing for a beautiful, exciting girl who's stronger than they are. By their comic tastes shall ye know them!...These simple, highly imaginative picture stories satisfy longings that ordinary daily life thwarts and denies. Superman and the army of male comics characters who resemble him satisfy the simple desire to be stronger and more powerful than anybody else. Wonder Woman satisfies the subconscious, elaborately disguised desire of males to be mastered by a woman who loves them."

    I'm not trying to sound condescending, but you really need to do some research on Marston before you make declarations about the true intent of Wonder Woman and her intended target audience.

    None of this needs to be taken into account when developing contemporary Wonder Woman stories, but to pretend the original concept has somehow been corrupted is to completely misunderstand the original concept.

    It really was about sexual kinks. And if you're read the original Wonder Woman stories, you'd be embarrassed to claim anything otherwise.

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  45. Dude, you really need to read beyond an elementary level. Do on search on how Marston described the symbolism of restraint as it applies to society's restrictions on women before you think the lasso was all about sex and all about men. Do some research on his views on violence before you jump to your conclusions about why he chose to depict danger as he did.

    Or better yet, just go fuck off physically in private and don't subject us to your pathetic pseudointellectual masturbation. It's downright indecent.

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  46. @bclaymoore

    "The notion that Wonder Woman was created as a symbol for little girls to look up to is just absurd."

    Oh please.

    "Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don't want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. 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." -- W.M.Marston, "The American Spectator"

    Whatever you may think of Marston's gender politics here, he is plainly viewing his character as a role model for young women- or rather, a fantasy archetype for them. Little girls are, by design, supposed to want to be Wonder Woman- a "feminine archetype" of "force, strength, and power."

    It took me two minutes on Google to find that. It's from an interview in "The American Spectator." So before you start talking down your nose (and out your ass) to people about needing to read the source material more closely, take your own advice. Learn to read.

    "It really was about sexual kinks. And if you're read the original Wonder Woman stories, you'd be embarrassed to claim anything otherwise."

    You know what "projection" is, right? I know you're hopeless about close reading skills.

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  47. And, the Marston quote above is from a 1943 issue of The American *Scholar*. That'll larn me to provide sources for assertions I make on a blog. :)

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  48. Ragnell "But Steve's not the love interest in the modern age. They made him too old, wrote him out and married him off. He's been replaced by Superman--No... Hermes--No... Guy Gardner--No... Trevor Barnes--No... Io--No... Batman--No... Nemesis... Oh wait, we can't decide on a major love interest because every writer has to make their own or pair her off with their favorite! (Funny, this never happens to Superman who still has his Golden-Age Love Interest.)"

    Yeah, and how creepy is that? Superman has only been with two women (Lana, Lori) prior to Lois. Does anyone find it strange that Clark Kent lives in the city and has a great job and is in shape and has no social life? That he has NO male or female friends.That he made NO effort to test the social scene?

    Nope, can't have that. Can't have Clark going out and trying to meet some women. I always thought that it was cool that Wonder Woman was allowed to have a social life while her male counterparts weren't. And if a male hero did have an active social life they were looked upon as cads (Green Arrow, Star Fox, Gambit, Herc)

    Does anyone find it strange that no matter how long a male hero is dead,once someone brings him back to life he will be put back into his old relationship no matter how long he was dead? But if your a female hero and die for a hour or so I guarantee you that the male will have moved on.

    I don't even know what point I'm trying to make now. Sigh, just ignore me Ragnell I wasted your time.

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  49. "Dude, you really need to read beyond an elementary level. Do on search on how Marston described the symbolism of restraint as it applies to society's restrictions on women before you think the lasso was all about sex and all about men. "

    Wow, so THAT's how you respond to someone who proves you wrong?

    You've really fallen off, Ragnell. You've gone off the deep end into this militant feminazi persona you've adopted. (Seriously, you're not being possessed by the Predator yourself, are you?)

    It's a shame; you used to be a lot more balanced, and a very capable writer with interesting insights. Now it's just, "I want my womins treated like the evil mins", 24/7.

    I n your recent rails against all the evil shadows you see, a growing frustration appears that amounts to - "I can't believe the world still hasn't changed to suit MY worldview!"

    But that's the thing, it never will. The world won't march to your clock anymoreso than it will to mine. Our ability to shape the reality around us, and the world-view of those around us, is minimal. At least in comparison to our ability to shape our own worldview and perspective.

    And going by your progressively devolving rants, that's what you're in desperate need of - a more balanced perspective. For your own sake.

    I've been guilty of the same thing; taking a hobby or crusade past the point of obsession to fanaticism. But time + distance is the great equalizer. Giving yourself these might bring back the old Ragnell. And definitely, the world needs people like the old Ragnell.

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  50. Clegane -- Well, I'm sorry I'm too busy with my real life to hold someone's hand through arguments I've written about in forty previous posts and countless comments when they come in with a giant chip on their shoulder, but yeah, sometimes all a jerk gets is his own attitude tossed back in his face. If you really knew the "old Ragnell" you'd know he hadn't offered any proof that hasn't already been addressed during a less hectic time in my life, and you'd know that I have a long history of chewing out people for the slightest bit of disrespect. Your "You used to be cool, man" argument rings hollow in light of that history. Really, it just seems like an attempt to manipulate by flattery and that sort of thing REALLY pisses me off.

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  51. Aw, Ragnell! How dare you have opinions of your own and express them in ways that make this guy who used to like you (but not enough to open up a conversation long before this, apparently) not like you anymore!

    For shame!

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