Saturday, July 3, 2010

Gloria Steinem on the new Wonder Woman


Gloria Steinem sent me an email yesterday containing her comments to the Associated Press regarding the new Wonder Woman. Gloria, as previously mentioned, has a very long history with the WW character that you can read about in "Wonder Woman: The Complete History." She is one of the world's experts and has worked hard for decades to keep her character authentic. Here are her comments...


"There are at least two things about the Wonder Woman change that are in the Olympics of blunders.

First, the guys doing this -- and they seem to be all guys -- cite no research from the generations of girls and women who've loved Wonder Woman ever since she was invented during World War II; an alternative to the sadism and gore in boys' comic books that were so extreme, they inspired a Congressional hearing. Instead, Wonder Woman converted her adversaries, compelled them to tell the truth with her magic lasso, and otherwise made the world safe for girls, women and democracy.

I don't have a big issue with jeans versus skirt -- though jeans give us the idea that only pants can be powerful -- tell that to Greek warriors and sumo wrestlers -- and though in fact, they're so tight that they've just painted her legs blue; hardly a cover-up. I have an issue with changing her clothes and destroying home and family on what seems to be the brainstorming of a very limited group pf brains.

Second, the new Wonder Woman birth myth has her arriving as a baby after her Amazon home of Paradise Island is destroyed; an exact copy of Superman who came as a baby from the exploding planet Crypton. This destroys her home, her Amazon mother and sisters, and gives her no place to go to gain strength and create an inspiring story line; something the original Wonder Woman often did.

As in the late '60s when Wonder Woman creators took away all her magical powers -- and would have perished along with them, had not Ms. magazine come to the rescue with a lobbying campaign to restore them -- I wouldn't be surprised if it happens again.

The original Wonder Woman was changing the world to fit women. This one seems changed to fit the world."

Gloria Steinem

If you want to read a little about the history of WW online check out the entry in Wikipedia. She was created in 1944 by"Marston as a distinctly feminist role model whose mission was to bring the Amazon ideals of love, peace and sexual equality to a world torn by the hatred of men."

The campaign has started - Reclaim Wonder Woman!!!!!!!

A message to you Gloria - I cannot imagine anything more spectacular then YOU getting involved in creating the screenplay for the new WW movie. The screenplay that has been in the works for over a decade. They can't seem to find a good story line despite repeated tries by a variety of writers. Perhaps it is meant to be? I so believe in fate, in destiny, in all that. You are the expert. You love the character of Wonder Woman. You will keep the character honest and authentic and and..... I just got chills. Gloria. You must do this and if you need an assistant, I am right there with ya!

(Pictured right - Gloria and me and my recent going away party in NYC - the cuffs I am wearing were a gift from Gloria - gold cuffs to add to my WW collection ... read yesterday's post for more.)

Jan 2009 post on WW - link at the bottom to some other WW posts. This has been a theme!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, thankyou for giving me the opportunity to speak after such a beautiful written article and comments from Gloria.

As a child I was sexually abused by the man my Mother was going to marry.

There were many dark days, and still are. But one thing kept me going and that was Wonder Woman. She isn't just some cartoon drawn on a piece of paper. She's real to me. And she helps me exist in a world that sometimes feel too dark to live anymore. But there Diana is. Always trying. Reaching out her hand in friendship and being compassionate.

Like many I was appalled at what DC did to her. Not only robbing her of her costume which is modelled after the American flag and of liberty but also her rich diverse history and identity.

I find myself wondering how could such a thing have happened and why these men do this to her and her fans?

For a stunt? For publicity? For money?

And what drives men like that? Men who are entrusted to the rich diversity of a woman who has empowered countless people throughout the past seventy years?

What right do they have to rob her and us, her friends and fans of her identity?

It just makes no sense to me.

Preston said...

From DC Comics --

"Starting with their story in WONDER WOMAN #600, which is in comic shops today, Straczynski and Kramer will begin a run that is both forward-looking and true to the legendary character, planting her firmly in the modern era."

What is a comic shop? None on the Upper Eastside. Do children still read comics?

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU! Brilliant, I am a hardcore Wonder Woman fan and am so disappointed with the "makeover" the BOYS at DC have decided to give her. Excellent post.

Jacki Zehner said...

Thank you for such lovely comments. I will keep tracking WW... blessings to all.

Darren J Hudak said...

Some children still do read comic books, but the majority of the readership is older these days. Wonder Woman, as currently published would be a book for teens and above. There are books of reprints available from the 40's though the 60's, (some costly, some less so), that are fine for younger children although you might have to explain the topical references, (such as WWII for instance).

As to where to find a comic book shop, You can use the comic book locator service, 1-888-comic-book, just enter your zip code and they will tell you the closest place to find comics. There's also a free Iphone/Ipod app that does the same.

Hope that helps.

Timothy said...

After DC's decision to revamp Wonder Woman yet aging for their reboot/relaunch (this time giving Wonder Woman a genetic father instead of her created only by women story) I decided to look up quotes by Gloria Steinam during the 1970s changes to Wonder Woman.

What I found was this great piece on why Wonder Woman shouldn't be changed for the 2010 world.

A piece that still holds up for critiquing the newest unnecessary changes to Wonder Woman.

So, thank you for posting this.

Anonymous said...

I'd really be interested in hearing what Ms. Steinem has to say about the Wonder Woman relaunch. Her origin has been changed so that she's no longer sculpted from clay by a mother longing for a child and blessed by the gods with life. Now she's the product of an affair her mother Hippolyta had with Zeus. The clay origin was a lie made up by Hippolyta and the Amazons to protect the young Diana from Hera's wrath.