You guys – Geek Emma had some excitement yesterday in the form of… Squeeeeee…. The new Wonder Woman movie!
To be honest I’ve never watched the old show with Lynda Carter and I haven’t read most of her comics (though I do have an anthology of the war-time comics that I plan to sit and read through in the near future.) But I have always loved her symbolism. I have steadily collected Wonder Woman memorabilia over the years – I have several WW Jammies, slippers… She is represented on our bedspread, I have WW Scrub tops, among, I’m sure, other small items around the house and of course, in my daughter’s room. Now that I have also watched this movie I have new Wonder Woman #fitnessgoals HAHA
Anyway, back to the topic at hand: Wonder Woman was created by a man that not only believed in the power of women – a “radical feminist” as I’ve heard him referred to as, but also was a “sexual deviant” as he and his wife were considered at the time – as they engaged in the BDSM lifestyle and as such he put a lot of that symbolism into the original comics – especially in the case of bondage (as Wonder Woman is often bound by her adversaries by ropes and chains… I would expect as well that the Lasso of truth and her arm cuffs were also purposeful.) He was a psychologist and used his understanding of the human psyche to put these images of a strong matriarchal hero as propaganda as an attempt to change our society. You know what? I find this all fascinating, I really do. (If you are further interested, a google search will bring up several articles on these topics in addition to the one below.)
Not only do I like the symbolism in the way that I want my daughter growing up with strong female characters to look up to, but I also connect with the idealism that comes with this character. “I will fight, for those who can not fight for themselves.” – This is a quote from the movie that just came out, and a virtue that I hope to instill in both my children (not just my daughter) and as is quoted in this article about William Marston and the origins of Wonder Woman: “In many of the early Wonder Woman comic books, Wonder Woman encourages women to stand up for themselves, learn to fight and be strong enough that they won’t have to either be scared of or depend on men.”
It’s a scary thing to stand up for others, let alone yourself. Even if I met my Wonder Woman fitness goals, it wouldn’t take away the inability to cross a battle field with no fear. Hell, it doesn’t take away the risk of some psychopath slitting your throat when you stand up for a couple of girls of a train as had happened in Portland just recently.
Yet I have always striven to stand up for the little guy. I don’t always succeed, and fear sometimes still gets to me and causes me to be unable to act in time. But I have stood in front of strangers berating children who don’t even speak their language, I have nipped teenagers bullying others in the bud, and I have asked women if they are OK when they seem to be in a precarious situation.
I have striven to stand up for myself more in recent years as well. My long time followers would likely be able to make those connections to the past me in abusive relationships and circumstances to more recent years of taking up martial arts and speaking out more about the perils of toxic relationships…
I am not Wonder Woman, and I know I never truly will be. I try to stand for justice, but I sometimes still let fear overtake me…. And that’s OK too. Fear is there for a reason in most cases.
But even knowing I can never be a true Wonder Woman doesn’t mean I can’t strive to be, or hope my daughter will be as close to Wonder Woman as she can be someday.