December 13, 2016

"Although the original creators may have intended Wonder Woman to represent a strong and independent 'warrior' woman with a feminist message..."

"... the reality is that the character’s current iteration is that of a large breasted, white woman of impossible proportions, scantily clad in a shimmery, thigh-baring body suit with an American flag motif and knee high boots –the epitome of a 'pin-up' girl."

Said the petition to reconsider the decision by the Secretary-General of the United Nations on October 21, 2016, to make Wonder Woman the new Honorary Ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls.

Today comes the announcement:
The United Nations has ended a campaign featuring Wonder Woman as an ambassador for women and girls, two months after the announcement was met with protests and a petition complaining that the fictional superhero was an inappropriate choice to represent female empowerment....

Jeffrey Brez, a spokesman for the U.N., disputed that the campaign had ended early or as a result of the protest, as some reports have suggested, citing other honorary ambassadorships with much shorter tenures.
So what is the correct feminist position on Wonder Woman? I've never liked her, but I just don't give a damn about super-heroes. She's scantily clad and has an idealized physique, but that's true of male super-heroes as well. It's a good idea, within super-herodom, to have female characters. Is that inspiring from a feminist perspective? Ms. Magazine has always liked the fictional lady. She was on the cover of the first issue:



I remember seeing that first issue bandied about in 1972 and dismissing it out of hand as old-fashioned and middle class. We had advanced beyond the boundaries of gender, I thought, so this was retrograde — embarrassing.

But Gloria Steinem has long promoted the buxom, hot-pantsed woman:
Wonder Woman's family of Amazons on Paradise Island, her band of college girls in America, and her efforts to save individual women are all welcome examples of women working together and caring about each other's welfare. The idea of such cooperation may not seem particularly revolutionary to the male reader. Men are routinely depicted as working well together, but women know how rare and therefore exhilarating the idea of sisterhood really is.... Wonder Woman symbolizes many of the values of the women's culture that feminists are now trying to introduce into the mainstream: strength and self-reliance for women; sisterhood and mutual support among women; peacefulness and esteem for human life; a diminishment both of "masculine" aggression and of the belief that violence is the only way of solving conflicts.
Wonder Woman has a band of American college girls? Seriously, I do not know the story of Wonder Woman. It really doesn't sound U.N.-appropriate. 

78 comments:

campy said...

the reality is that the character’s current iteration is that of a large breasted, white woman of impossible proportions, scantily clad in a shimmery, thigh-baring body suit with an American flag motif and knee high boots –the epitome of a 'pin-up' girl."

They make that sound like a bad thing.

rehajm said...

There's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other doesn't apply if a woman is a superhero?

rehajm said...

Also, white woman is now a pejorative, I see.

Balfegor said...

""Although the original creators may have intended Wonder Woman to represent a strong and independent 'warrior' woman with a feminist message...""

Wasn't she a vehicle for the original creator to express his bondage fetish?

Expat(ish) said...

They should read a book - Hanley's Wonder Woman pretty clearly covers the BSD/Lesbianism behind the coterie of weirdos responsible for the comic.

Terrific read. And a good reminder that the current generation didn't invent weird/kinky sex.

And perfect for the UN in so many ways.

-XC

https://www.amazon.com/Wonder-Woman-Unbound-Curious-History/dp/1613749090

n.n said...

I never envied the superheros nor dismissed their good fortune. It's alien what class diversity has wrought in modern societies.

That said, the fit, attractive, independent woman is a pariah of political progress. At least for purposes of spinning public yarns.

mockturtle said...

When I was young there was apparently a TV series called Wonder Woman. I never saw it but a number of people told me I looked like the actress who played her [Lynda Carter]. Super-heroes [except for real-life ones] hold no attraction for me. My favorite comic books as a child were Little Lulu.

clint said...

"Impossible proportions" will be news to Lynda Carter and Gal Gadot.

Could it be that the U.N. was more worried that Gal Gadot is Israeli? I know Israel isn't exactly the U.N.'s favorite country...

rhhardin said...

I'd go the burka route.

pdug said...

Self-reliance AND mutual support.

Pick one, ladies.

sheesh.

rhhardin said...

Any female body parts are going to interest males.

rhhardin said...

Mutual lift and support.

tcrosse said...

What would they make of Sheena, Queen of the Jungle ?

rhhardin said...

Thigh gap seems to be important in the wonder world.

Real American said...

the problem is that Wonder Woman isn't a victim who looks like Pajama Boy. While Wonder Woman represents the idea that she doesn't need men, she also represents the idea that she doesn't need government and certainly doesn't need these whiny feminists.

rhhardin said...

Barbara Feldon punched out a bad guy in one episode of Get Smart, a blow that she described in commentary as being hit by a feather, the material of a sight-joke.

rhhardin said...

Wonder mood swings.

pdug said...

"Men are routinely depicted as working well together, but women know how rare and therefore exhilarating the idea of sisterhood really is"

What does THIS EVEN MEAN?

Is that because women DON'T work well together? Is it because they aren't *depicted* working together enough?

rhhardin said...

Wonder woman builds strong bodies eight ways.

Rob said...

Of course a large-breasted white woman is offensive. What should be lionized is a large-assed black woman.

walter said...

They're 3d scanning Lena Dunham for the updated version...

Hagar said...

Re-runs of "Wonder Woman" are still on TV.

Bay Area Guy said...

... the reality is that the character’s current iteration is that of a large breasted, white woman of impossible proportions, scantily clad in a shimmery, thigh-baring body suit with an American flag motif and knee high boots...

I don't really need to read any more, I'm sold:)

And, I was pretty sold on Linda Carter as Wonder Woman in the 70s, too.

Brando said...

What, Lazlo isn't here yet? Outrage!

That Lynda Carter did a great Wonder Woman. No other iteration has come close. A couple times they tried putting WW in pants, and that's total BS. Then they wonder why it flopped!

Subtract pants and you improve almost everything. Try this--pizza. Now imagine pizza with pants on. Much worse, right?

n.n said...

The reimagined fitness function rejects moral, physical, and emotional striving. It tolerates... nay, normalizes a perpetual state of equilibrium or stability. A utopia of sorts managed by mortal gods and goddesses from their political perches.

Wonder Woman never made the Choice, never conceived, and never aborted. Her character was defined by a different concept of justice. She is the anathema of progressive female chauvinism. Mothers, interns, and superheros will be sacrificed for the Left's political progress.

I wonder if she claimed any deductions from revenues paid to the State.

n.n said...

Did Steinem have a father? A grandfather? Her chauvinism must have been informed by either an active or negligent influence. People are conceived with a bias, but does not birth prejudice without intervention.

Enlighten-NewJersey said...

What a waste of money by the UN no matter the choice of honorary ambassador.

khematite said...

http://comicvine.gamespot.com/holliday-girls/4060-57231/

"When she first came to the United States, Wonder Woman realized she would need help in her adventures. She recruited Etta Candy at the Holliday College for Women, who in turn recruited 99 of her classmates to aid Wonder Woman. However, after their first adventure, the number of Holliday Girls seen were most often three or less, not including Etta Candy."

By the way, the best book on Wonder Woman is just a couple of years old--Jill Lepore's "Secret History of Wonder Woman." And there's even a Margaret Sanger connection in the story.

Curious George said...

Saw Lynda Carter at Morton's in DC. Sadly Larry King was with her. He actually made her less hot. Which says a lot because she was in some tight Levi's and a white silk blouse. Yowzer.

Quaestor said...

What ever the U.N. deems inappropriate is ipso facto seemly and relevant.

Wilbur said...

Those high-waisted bloomers she has on look like your grandma's underwear. UGH.

Michael K said...

They're 3d scanning Lena Dunham for the updated version...

Beat me to it. Maybe a burkha would add something.

campy said...

What a waste of money by the UN no matter the choice of honorary ambassador.

It's the UN. They exist to waste money on stupid crap.

JAORE said...

I am left with two thought:

What idiot thought that a fictional character would really serve to empower women? Especially women around the world where Wonder Woman may not even be recognized. Is this really the level of thinking at the UN?

and

What idiots thought that protesting the selection of a comic book character for this meaningless bilge water position was needed or necessary.

Get us out of the U.N.? Maybe the Birchers were onto something.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Wonder Woman has a band of American college girls? Seriously, I do not know the story of Wonder Woman. It really doesn't sound U.N.-appropriate.

Yes, the Golden Age (1940's era) Wonder Woman had a gang of college girls she ran around with. Once the war got going I think they all joined the WACs, as did Wonder Woman's alter ego Diana Prince.

If memory serves; one of the was a fat, weepy girl named Etta Candy.

Susan said...

I'm so old I remember when you weren't encouraged to look to comic books for role models.

If everyone is a role model, no one is.

John Nowak said...

I'm pretty sure that Wonder Woman hasn't worn the American flag since 2010 or so. She's supposed to be from Paradise Island, right?

David said...

Of course, the comic representations of Superman, Batman etc are like normal males and entirely unexaggerated.

Are contemporary women really so confused and vulnerable that they can not discern between a cartoon and reality?

walter said...

Blogger Michael K said...
Beat me to it. Maybe a burkha would add something.
--
In that case I'm all for it..

Mark said...

Of course, the comic representations of Superman, Batman etc are like normal males and entirely unexaggerated.

It is highly presumptuous and offensive that you would assign "male" to Superman and Batman. In fact, Super"man" and Bat"man" were actually the very first women superheroes, long before the patriarchy created the wholly sexually-objectified Wonder Woman. It sickens me that just because they had bulges indicating a certain type of genitalia that you would automatically impose your own ideas of sex and gender on them.

Fernandinande said...

I used to share an office with a woman who looked about 98% like Xena: Warrior Princess. (Ex)wife was not happy.

Gahrie said...

We had advanced beyond the boundaries of gender,

I am genuinely curious...what did this mean in 1972? I was only 7 so I didn't even understand what gender was then.

I recall a period of androgyny around that time...

exhelodrvr1 said...

Maybe they could make her a single mother, who still manages to work in an important role on the White House staff.

Darrell said...

Wow. White women were doing the happy dance about the coming extinction of straight white men and now they've come for them. Who knew? You'd think the celebration would be longer.

Tarrou said...

Feminists became Methodists so quickly......

PB said...

Yes. Linda Carter's body was impossible.

Darcy said...

Oh my God. I hate women. I really don't like rhhardin's posts re women, but I see still see his repetitive points. I have had a few friends quit speaking to me over feminism discussions. Which just proves this awful point: MOST women are emotional, rather than logical, decision-makers.

UGH.

eric said...

Blogger Darcy said...
Oh my God. I hate women.


We men hate women too. But then you all go looking and smelling so good, we lose our minds.

I wonder if lust is considered to be an emotional response. It sure as heck isn't logical.

boycat said...

Michael K said: Maybe a burkha would add something.

I'm thinking Lena Dunkam is the one woman who ought to be encouraged to burkha up.

mccullough said...

The UN should make Hillary the new Honorary Ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls

walter said...

The solution..

Paul Snively said...

Lynda Carter worked as Wonder Woman because she managed to come across as if she had no idea she was ridiculously hot. Her innocence obviated whatever danger her sexuality might otherwise have signaled. I think that's not only important for a prime-time TV show, but actually important to the character, who, let's face it, goes around lassoing men and tying them up to "compel them to tell the truth."

Sigivald said...

End the UN yesterday.

(Not because of Wonder Woman, either.)

Thorley Winston said...

Also, white woman is now a pejorative, I see.
It probably started when our betters realized that most white women who voted for president in the last election voted for Trump.

FTR though, Lynda Carter did not and has been having a meltdown on social media over the last several weeks because of the election results. Apparently casting her as a female president on Supergirl didn’t do enough to get people to vote for Hillary Clinton. I’m not sure but I think it may have had something to do with the reveal that her character was actually an evil shapeshifting alien who tried to grant citizenship to untold numbers of illegal aliens (the extraterrestrial kind) via executive order.

Yes, that was actually a storyline and the writers who have been in full SJW this season apparently thought it was a good idea.

YoungHegelian said...

As an avid comic book reader as a kid, the only sorta flat-chested super-heroine I remember was the "Silver Age" (which was when I was reading comics) Supergirl.

Now, who I had the hots for was Saturn Girl. Saturn's moon Titan clearly turned out to be the Sweden of the solar system in terms of its female inhabitants.

YoungHegelian said...

Oops! The Supergirl cover is about 2/3 down the page. I thought it would come up as a url itself, but it didn't.

William said...

Thanks to Balfegor at 1:42 for the link to the Wonder Woman origin story. I did not know that if a man put her in chains, she lost all her superpowers while so enchained. What a fascinating and interesting detail about her superpowers. So much more intriguing to dwell upon than that kryptonite crap. I look forward to the movie......,. If she and her fellow Amazons are the sole inhabitants of this tropical island, why would they need any garments at all, at least while on the island. I suppose for the PG rating they would have to wear some kind of clothes, but for the director's cut they might want to throw in a few scenes of naked girls practicing karate on the beach. This would lend verisimilitude to the movie and make it more credible.

Ron said...

#StackedLivesMatter

Roughcoat said...

Frank Frazetta's girl-warriors ... holy smokes.

Talk about your large breasted, white woman of impossible proportions ...

YoungHegelian said...

@Williams,

I suppose for the PG rating they would have to wear some kind of clothes, but for the director's cut they might want to throw in a few scenes of naked girls practicing karate on the beach.

In the "Martian" novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs, no one on Mars wears any clothes (except the evil & white skinned Holy Therns in the third book). ERB discusses how the only clothes that were worn were harnesses for weapons. In the first book, John Carter describes his ogling amazement when Dejah Thoris is first captured by the Tharks, at seeing this gorgeous human-like Martian naked.

Needless to say, in the movie, everybody wears clothes.

Paul Snively said...

Roughcoat: Frank Frazetta's girl-warriors ... holy smokes.

Talk about your large breasted, white woman of impossible proportions ...


Frank Frazetta: putting the "fantasy" in "sword-and-sorcery fantasy" since about 1980.

mockturtle said...

I much prefer Beatrix Kiddo.

Alexander said...

The large-breasted isn't the problem, it's being a white woman.

Santa Clause. Barbie. Alexander Hamilton. Hermione Granger. Any symbol that stands on the historical record showing white achievement or culture must either be destroyed or rewritten, so that the very concept of white people as a distinct entity can be abolished, and with it white communities and nations.

holdfast said...

Blogger Rob said...
"Of course a large-breasted white woman is offensive. What should be lionized is a large-assed black woman."

Dude - DC's got you covered - see Amanda Waller. Speaking of which, has anyone ever seen Amanda Waller and Loretta Lynch together? Just sayin'

http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Amanda_Waller?file=Amanda_Waller_DCAU_001.jpg

holdfast said...

@Thorley Winston

Also, White Martians are evil. Seriously, they're Nazi Martians. Only Green Martians are good Martians. And now it turns out that the White Martians had a bio weapon which would turn Green Martians into White Martians. Which is probably better than what the White Martians were doing before, which was exterminating Green Martians in camps. Really.

It makes as much sense as if 2/3 of the way through the Holocaust the Nazis had suddenly decided that the Jews would actually be ok with just some nose-jobs and blond hair dye.

That said, I still watch because I am in love with Chyler Leigh. Who's character is now a frustrated lesbian.

FullMoon said...

Wonder Woman had an Amazonian Lasso. Anyone lassoed was forced to truthfully answer any questions. Easy to see why politicians would reject her.

Static Ping said...

Yeah, Wonder Woman started out as wish fulfillment of a bondage fetish. There's also the obvious implication that the Amazons are lesbians, virgins, or a mix of both, given that there are no men on the island. There is porn more subtle than this.

walter said...

I'm surprised the enforcers haven't descended upon the buxom shapely be-butted gal depicted in the self serve checkouts around Madison.
Laslo knows of what I speak..

William said...

The cartoon wasn't drawn all that well. Wonder Woman wasn't hot, at least not compared to to the girls in L'il Abner. She gets some bonus points for a bondage play, but I don't think all that many kids had a bondage thing back in the fifties. There was no internet porn in that primitive era and most people back then never even heard of these things. Imagine living in a world where bukkake had not yet been invented........I did see John Carter on Mars. I thought it was pretty good, but, as Young Hegelian points out, it could have been great. Just as the Hawaiian missionaries dressed Polynesian princesses in mumus,, so did Hollywood prudes impose their absurd fashions on the verdant women of Mars.

Joe said...

Feminism has largely descended into a weapon of female jealousy.

Fen said...

all welcome examples of women working together and caring about each other's welfare. The idea of such cooperation may not seem particularly revolutionary to the male reader. Men are routinely depicted as working well together, but women know how rare and therefore exhilarating the idea of sisterhood really is.

Not the usual male experience around groups of women. More often than not, the women descend into petty rivalries and nasty gossip, each trying to undermine the other.

mockturtle said...

Had women really wanted freedom and equality, they could have had it by now. Were they waiting for men to grant it to them by some paternalistic gesture, like passing some kind of token legislation? You could say the same thing for many black people. One isn't given equality. One takes it and owns it.

Phil 3:14 said...

Large boobs AND thunder thighs.

Ahead of her time; Kanye West would approve.

Brando said...

I agree with some of the above commenters that Wonder Woman's outfit could stand to be a bit skimpier (and I think at one point it was, in the late '80s? I didn't read the comics but recall the covers). Not "thong" style, but from the '70s Lynda Carter episodes (which I did watch via Netflix discs) featured oversized "granny panties" which was unfortunate, especially considering how great Carter otherwise looked (and judging from relatively recent photos, she has held up well).

Not sure why modern feminists would have a problem with her "revealing" outfit--isn't the point of feminism that we don't judge either way how a woman chooses to dress? It's not like a swimsuit and boots are necessarily demeaning or uncomfortable in the superhero realm--all of them wear revealing and tight outfits to show off muscles and curves. (I'm sure in real life a superhero would prefer wearing some loose outfit to obscure their real physical strength, but apparently in superhero lore the idea is to intimidate others with your bodily attributes, or tits).

What any of this has to do with the U.N. though, beats me.

campy said...

What any of this has to do with the U.N. though, beats me.

The UN wishes to be seen as a group of superheroes (or—even better—gods & goddesses) ruling over us lesser mortals.

Brando said...

"The UN wishes to be seen as a group of superheroes (or—even better—gods & goddesses) ruling over us lesser mortals."

Talk about a group that's obsolete. Maybe it's time the U.S. created a competitor organization.

Aaron Csicseri said...

The current iteration of WW (Gal Gadot) is NOT big-breasted. I know because I'm a guy and I have functional vision.

mikee said...

What does Wonder Woman have to say about this action by the UN?
Oh, wait. Imaginary character. Never mind.