Feminism In Wonder Woman

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4.3 Feminist Heroine or Sexualized “Hussy”?: Criticism on Marston’s Wonder Woman

While Wonder Woman is one of the most revolutionary character, there is also a lot of criticism regarding her appearance, different motifs in the comics and the message the character might send. Primarily Marston’s many depictions of bondage, as previously discussed, and Wonder Woman’s choice of weaponry are often considered inappropriate, especially since Wonder Woman was initial marketed as a children’s comic. The character “carried whips, bracelets and chains, which responded in a less-than-subtle way to male desires” (Gray 75). Another aspect that found criticism early on was Wonder Woman’s costume. In order to sell as many comics as possible, the creators
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In “William Marston’s Feminist Agenda” Michelle Finn claims that Wonder Woman is not, as Marston might have intended, a superhero free of gender stereotypes and typical feminine ideals. On the contrary, she argues that he ultimately imposes his own beliefs on gender roles onto the character: “Although Marston aimed to elevate women, arguments that base women’s right to power on a set of assumptions about ‘the female character’ ultimately reinforce the idea that women must adhere to the standards identified by the dominant culture as appropriately feminine” (Finn 15). In addition to that Marston continues to picture the dominant feminine ideal as a white middle- or upper-class woman. The comics often disregard women of color, women with a lesser social status, or women with a different sexual identity. The character still adheres to traditional concepts of femininity imposed by her male creator. This can be shown, again, in Wonder Woman’s overly sexual appearance. Apart from its unsuitability for children, Wonder Woman’s sexuality also highlighted her traditional femininity, which balances out her strength, a traditionally male characteristic, in order for Wonder Woman to remain desirable (Finn 16). In addition, his idea of the powerful woman as guided by love is inherently a concept based on gender stereotypes…show more content…
This place was far away from any occupation considered “manly” and masculine, as Wonder Woman should be representing traditional notions of femininity. The first step towards domesticating Wonder Woman was taken by Gardner Fox, who was working as a writer for DC Comics. In All-Star Comics #12 Wonder Woman joins the Justice Society of America. Marston’s Wonder Woman was portrayed as equally as strong, if not stronger than her male counterparts, Fox’s Wonder Woman, however, merely joins her male colleagues as their secretary. While the remaining members of the Justice Society leave to fight in the war, Wonder Woman is left behind, as “a wistful look enters [her] eyes” (Fox D), wishing she could join them in battle. She stays behind, no longer actively participating or exerting power, but faithfully fulfilling her duty as secretary. While the Wonder Woman that Marston had created “was a Progressive Era feminist, charged with fighting evil, intolerance, destruction, injustice, suffering, and even sorrow, on behalf of democracy,
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