Friday, August 30, 2013

HOMAGE TO WONDER WOMAN


A woman reader of these posts sent me this compliment on the previous post: “I love that you used a photograph of Wonder Woman. I absolutely adored her growing up!”

Well, I love being complimented—especially by women readers, and in this case by one who is herself the head of a female-led family. But I have to confess that I am a recent convert. I avoided Wonder Woman comics growing up, in favor of Batman, Superman, Captain Marvel and, inevitably, MAD.

I even dialed away from Lynda Carter’s TV incarnation as Diana Prince in the late ‘70s. Until, by great good fortune, I encountered this larger-than-life Hollywood superheroine in person.
 
My then-girlfriend, a sometime studio photographer, invited me to the taping of a TV variety show, which headlined Steve and Eydie, Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey (from Cabaret) and Lynda Carter. Okay, I said, trying to be cool.

I loitered and kibitzed on the cavernous soundstage, tried not to look starstruck, which wasn’t too hard, as there was a great deal of waiting and setting up shots compared to a few moments of “Action!” I really wasn’t starstruck until I found myself standing directly in the path of Ms. Carter as she emerged from her dressing room. She was caparisoned in some kind of dazzling, spangled outfit, striding right toward me to begin rehearsing her musical number.

I estimate that she passed within a foot of me, at perigee. I can’t recall if I merited even a
peripheral glance. Probably not. Was I starstruck? “Blinded by luminescence” is a better description. By sheer overpowering female pulchritude, puissance, sizzle, dazzle, and size. A Big Girl, Lynda Carter—of English, Mexican, Irish, and Spanish descent,” according to Wikipedia. Miss World USA.

For those few moments, my girlfriend ceased to exist. And I went into total eclipse. I believe I felt my soul vacuumed right out of me by the electromagnetic force of her near planetary passage.

The most appropriate response on my part, it occurred to me, would be to fall to my knees in dumb, worshipful obeisance. I resisted that impulse, but only just.

Now, all these decades later, I recall my magical moment with Wonder Woman. And here, for the edification of all her admirers, is a scatter page of Wondrous Women from the web, featuring Lynda Carter and other raven-haired goddesses (can you name them all?), including some favorite renderings by comic artist par excellence AdamHughes.


All hail, WW!

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else watch the show and wish they were one of the guys Wonder Woman would pick up and toss around before tying up with her magic lasso?? That and Dabney Coleman being tied up by Dolly Parton in 9 to 5 kept me going for many years.

alpha_by_day said...

I haven't thought about that TV show in years. I was in elementary school when that show aired in the 70s but I do recall loving it.

I'm quite sure I wasn't aware at the time of why...but it is wonderful to look back at an empowered female archetype that was ahead of her time.

Really fascinating history behind the development of the character too!

Obedient husband said...

Gee, I hope this doesn't mean that I'm not a "true" submissive, but as a boy, I thought the WW show was kinda goofy.
Steve Austin and the Six Million Dollar Man was my "not to be missed" show.
He Rocked!
Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na (sound effect)
My partiality had to stem from my very patriarchal upbringing!
No worries though, my true character was quickly recognized by an amazing young woman who made me her husband. Now I'm happily locked in chastity and daily on my knees.
Steve Austin may have Rocked, but this modern day Wonder Woman Rules! :)

Alex said...

Amazing post!
We need more Female commentators, ore Female Dominant show like Wonderwoman and Power Puff Girls, and Superwoman, more Females in politics, more estrogen in the air! We want estrogen!

Power Puff Girls is a great show that plants the seed of rebellion against the patriarchy on watchers of both sexes. I'm not sure if they still make new chapters, but the ethos of the show is absolutely in tune with modern Feminism, to my non-expert opinion. The Girls are superheroines and they keep rebelling against the patriarchy. However, their problem is that their father, a "smart professor" (who is really not a very central character and you wouldn't think he is especially very smart except that he's a professor who "created" the Girls) doesn't really see them for what they are and is always treating them like little "sweet" girls (which they are) instead of also seeing the Power in them. He sees the Puff in them, not the Power so much.

The professor, like the patriarchy, "created" the girls in their own "lab", in which they were trying to make these fantastic, to their opinion, little obedient Girls but they must "not have been paying too much attention" because they actually mistakenly threw in "Ingredient X", a mysterious ingredient who made the Girls be very powerful. Like the Women of today, there too the Genie is out of Her bottle and there is no putting Her back, but guess what... it's for good! She uses her amazing power to SAVE THE CITY from all the monsters, all of them male by the way, who are also stupid little creatures who have nothing better to do than, well, destroy the city for no reason at all (or some stupid reason I can't remember).

The only caveat though is that the Girls are very passive in their rebellion agains the professor's authority; they are "sweet" to him (because he is the father of the Girls) and maximum "nag" him a little bit but don't really assert that "HEY! We are Superheroines and We have superpowers because WE ARE GIRLS and GIRLS ARE NOT JUST SWEET, THEY ARE ALSO POWERFUL!" However, the message that Girls can choose to balance sweetness and power as They feel They want to is central to the show. Unlike old Feminism, in which being sweet and "doll like" was seen as giving into the patriarchy, here it is seen as an option that doesn't contradict power and that Girls also have. The girls are also beautiful. I like they have 3 different hair colors but I think they should go further with this pluralist message and include different races of Girls too. Throughout the show Girl and Female superiority is obvious! That's why I love it most!

Anonymous said...

If you're going to talk about the Six Million Dollar Man lets not forget about his feminist counterpart The Bionic Woman! She embodied matriarchal principles because not only was she a superhero who was totally capable and never relied on men but she was also maternal. When she wasn't on secret missions, she was a school teacher who was always loving but strict with her students. I recall one episode where the kids weren't minding her and she scared the daylights out of them by calmly tearing a phone book in half while soothingly talking about how she prefers a gentle approach when teaching but she's not about using stricter means. Instant role model for every young girl.

Obedient husband said...

That's Right!! I had forgotten about the amazing Jamie Somers (aka The Bionic Woman).
For some reason I didn't see that show as much I did the $6M man. I think there were probably some dark patriarchal forces at work trying to "save" me from my true submissive self by tuning in more to "macho" shows.
Either way, Jamie Somers was awesome!!

I am by no means a TV or movie "buff", but I remember seeing a more modern version of a "super girl" movie. Angelina Jolie played the part.
It's pretty cool how it is now common to find very positive depictions of girls in charge.
Is art, I wonder, imitating life, or is life imitating art?

Anonymous said...

I've heard of Power Puff Girls but never knew what it was beyond a children's cartoon. I know need to check it out. What you described is the absolute definition of female superiority to me. Powerful yet feminine. Wonderful for little girls and little boys to watch.

lovetosubmit said...

I was a little young for wonder woman, but I sometimes wonder if I would be submissive at all if it weren't for Catwoman.

Mark Remond said...

Those superheroine TV shows live on in the lives of impressionable young boys grown up... but not quite

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember Isis? Too, they might not have had super powers but honorable mention to Charlies Angels.

Anonymous said...

SOCCERDAD:
Yeah, Anonymous, definitely check out Power Puff Girls. Look for the episode titled Meet The Beat-Alls. The entire dialogue is made up of titles to Beatles songs.

I loved Wonder Woman and also often fantasize that I could be tied up by her.

Gringito said...

Wonder Woman was my first crush as a boy and I still enjoy who she is and what she stands for. Beautiful, smart, strong willed yet just. Plus, she possesses quite a knock out punch. A powerful punch for Women! Check it out! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTD2Rw-oDCk

Gringito said...


Wonder Woman was my first crush as a boy. She taught me early on to respect Women. Wonder Woman is beautiful, smart, strong willed and just. Plus, she packs quite a knockout punch! A powerful punch for Women. Check it out...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTD2Rw-oDCk

Mark Remond said...

Gringito, thanks for the video treat!