Did you know that the comic book character, Wonder Woman was created by a disgraced Harvard professor, who most likely had a polyamorous relationship with his wife and a former student? The two women, Elizabeth Marston and Olive Byrne were probably the inspiration for the famous comic book heroine. On close inspection, sexual fantasies and sadomasochism were subversively featured in the comics. I didn’t realize this until I watched the unauthorized biopic, “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women“. The beautiful actors portrayed them as glamorous ménage a tois lovers, but the real life photos reveal average-looking people. Marston family relatives contest the accuracy of the film and deny any S & M, polyamory or polygamy in the family but the clues are retrospectively apparent in the original comics.
Wonder Woman created in 1941, represented feminism to generations of both kids and adults, but there’s an undercurrent of misogyny, (female objectification, fetish/fantasy/wish fulfillment of a heterosexual male having sex with lesbians) within it’s message of female liberation. All super heroes classically wore tight, form fitting athletic costumes (with the spandex underwear displayed on the outside), but Wonder Woman’s outfit was a pornographer’s dream. Her cleavage showcasing bodice, shaped like a golden phoenix, with blue starry short skirt (updated to underwear without tights) paired with racy scarlet knee length boots, all tell the story! She doesn’t even wear a mask. Instead she hides behind nerdy glasses, as her alter ego, Diana Prince. She comes from a tribe of militant Amazons on a hidden island away from men, is that why she calls herself Prince? Women who wore glasses were considered ugly, not worth noticing. They were the intelligent, plain Jane, spinsters: librarians, teachers, nurses and secretaries that machismo men didn’t desire. The ridiculous idea that Wonder Woman couldn’t be recognized when she wore glasses, shows how Marston viewed females. In order to be noticeably beautiful you had to present cleavage, long bare legs, have loose waving hair, and wear a swimsuit with knee high boots, right Professor Marston?
(Superman and Batman are dressed head to toe they even have capes, but poor half-naked Wonder Woman has to show her ass-ets)
Marston was obsessed with the subject of dominance and submission. He believed that people categorically belonged in one of four personality types. His theory was wasn’t original or new, ancient cultures often believed in personality types, but he called his theory, DISC which stood for: Dominance, Inducement, Submission, Compliance, (Inducement and Submission was relabeled, Influence and Steadiness), which sounds much less offensive doesn’t it? Sadomasochism involves power, control, dominance, obedience. In S & M, pain, humiliation and torture are relabeled as pleasure, excitement and sexual liberation. Why do people buy into this? Easy access to and submersion of pornography in our daily lives has a desensitizing effect. We live in a nihilistic, jaded society. Look at the barrage of commercials, advertisements, media; provocative sex is constantly sold to us, ingrained in us during childhood. Have we been brainwashed to think regular, non-kinky sex is unimaginative? I think so. I’ve been called a prude by an ex-lover for not wanting a polyamorous relationship. He convinced himself that “normal” was following the popular trend but I’ve always questioned group mentality and coercion. Sadly it seems that one-on-one sex is considered old fashioned now: boring, vanilla, routine.
Wonder Woman was a dominant personality, a princess warrior. Since Amazons lived in hidden seclusion on the island of Lesbos, she never met a man before Steve Trevor. When I was a child I never considered why Amazons would live away from men, but the (especially male), adult reader was probably tantalized to imagine Steve surrounded on an island full of beautiful, Goddess-like women. His presence changed the course of their perfect society, they even competed over him (ha!) and the best alpha amazon, Wonder Woman left her paradise world to escort him back home. We the audience already guess that she’s fallen in love with, or eventually will fall for him. But why? Steve Trevor is both a helpless victim and a savior to her normalcy as a newly established heterosexual woman. She leaves Lesbos in preference for him, but whenever she’s upset she still calls out, “Suffering Sappho!” her repeated exclamation of frustration. Sappho was a famous lesbian poet from ancient history, this was a very intentional mention by Marston.
As a dominant personality, Wonder Woman wielded mystical power with her golden lasso of truth and her bullet deflecting bracelets. The golden lasso was used both as a lie detector and as a rope to confine the villains, (Marston in real life helped to develop the unreliable device, which is still inadmissible in court). He had her character bind and hog tie females and males with expert bondage flair. In the same guise of innocence, much like female mud wrestling, Wonder Woman could catfight, grab, wrestle, man-handle the evil doers while displaying her physical prowess. It’s female objectification without the overt sexuality. The audience notices her strength, while we’re also programmed to find her sexually desirable. Marston’s seemingly liberated, Wonder Woman hides her power behind a facade of nerdy glasses but underneath the demur front, is a hyper sexualized, dominatrix vixen.
S & M bondage, sexual role playing, having group sex or multiple partners was seen as an avant-garde movement of actualized liberation; but it’s now a commonplace variation of sex within mainstream, westernized cultures. I think it’s a shame that radical feminism advocates objectification as self expression and prostitution as a socially advanced right for young women, to promote and sell their bodies for money. How is that liberation? The human body is gorgeous, but it doesn’t have to be constantly sexualized and prominently displayed as a sign of worth. William Moulton Marston, go roll in your grave and leave lesbians alone, you’re not their spokesman or savior. Yes he supported birth control and voting rights for women but his Wonder Woman is a double standard fantasy. Fetishism is not Feminism.
Professor Marston & The Wonder Women Trailer REACTION – YouTube
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