“Frankly, Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world.” Dr. William Moulton Marston, original creator of the Wonder Woman character.
During Women’s Month, we consider the role of women in all areas of modern life. One of the most iconic women of our time must be the original Wonder Woman. This fearless female superhero has been fighting battles and serving as an icon of empowerment since 1941.
We know that all children need role models, but inspirational role models are sometimes hard to come by, and those that are available are often unsuitable. Who wants young girls ‘twerking’ on the playground? But here comes Wonder Woman to the rescue! A fast-talking, strong and fearless woman, she took on male superheroes on their own turf, and kept them in line with her whip, her lasso of truth and her equally sharp one liners.
Her history is interesting, and is often seen as parallel to the history of the feminist movement, reflecting the changing role of women through the decades. The character first appeared in All Star Comics #8 in December 1941, and has been a presence in popular culture ever since. The Wonder Woman title has been published by DC Comics almost continuously since then except for a brief break in 1986. In 1944, Wonder Woman became the only superhero, aside from Superman and Batman, to make the jump from the pages of a comic book to daily newspaper syndication as a comic strip.
In addition to being a regular feature in comics, she’s also appeared in other media; most notably, the 1975–1979 Wonder Woman TV series as well as in animated series such as the Super Friends and Justice League. She has most certainly left an impression on our collective imagination, and was named the 20th greatest comic book character by Empire magazine in its online ranking system.
Through the character of Wonder Woman, her creator Dr. William Moulton Marston, sought to change the gender stereotyping of his day. Writing in The American Scholar, in 1938 he discussed the negative effects of gender stereotyping in popular culture: “Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power…. Women’s strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.”
Luckily Wonder Woman is all of these things; a strong, beautiful woman of action, who has often reflected and supported the fight for female empowerment and civil rights during her long career. With strong female role models often in short supply in the media, we are happy to announce that Wonder Woman will be gracing the Silver Screen again in the near future, with an appearance in the new Batman vs Superman Movie, as well as a movie of her very own in 2016.
We can’t wait to introduce a new generation of girls to this inspirational woman.