Wonder Woman Hates Prudery

At least, Marston’s original Wonder Woman did. She rocked a bustier and boots like nobody’s business.

Wonder Woman has undergone many changes since her inception as female-in-power propaganda in the 1930s. The most recent change is a complete makeover that tosses overt sexuality out the window.

Some people are applauding the move by D.C. Comics. Katy Kelleher at Jezebel says the new jeans and a jacket style is better than “being forced to fight crime in a glorified swimsuit” while Troy Patterson at Salon thinks the new style merely reflects modern times.

I won’t lie: I like it and I would rock that outfit. But I’m not a superhero from an Amazonian Paradise.

Female comic book characters fascinated me as a child because they dressed sexy and kicked ass. To be sure, that sexiness devolved into a tired sex-sells marketing scheme with scantily clad female characters playing supporting roles with lame powers. But at the outset, with Wonder Woman especially, there was something awesome about a woman expressing sexuality just to express it.

Sexual modesty does not equal empowerment for women; in fact, quite the opposite. Controlling female sexuality is a hallmark of gender inequality.

Shelby Knox wrote an excellent piece for Women’s Media Center that provides a great historical background as well as a solid argument for the original Wonder Woman character.

I found my own argument in a graduation present from my amazing friend Lydia W.

via Les Daniels "Wonder Woman: The Golden Age."

Breaking the chains of Man’s Superiority, Prejudice and Prudery. In hot pants. My hero.

2 thoughts on “Wonder Woman Hates Prudery”

  1. I think it’s about time that a pop culture icon proved that female sexuality isn’t dependent on how much skin one shows. Most of us don’t walk around in hot pants and that certainly doesn’t suppress our sexuality one bit 😉

  2. What most people are forgetting about the new outfit is that it comes with a new backstory. Wonder Woman is no longer the Diana exiled from Paradise Island. She is now a 20-something raised in New York who has had to live a dual life. The other half, her Amazonian ancestry, has been withheld. Wonder Woman’s new outfit reflects a street smart woman that bust some chops, but knows little about her heritage.

    My opinion… The new outfit makes sense in all aspects.

    And, yes – I think you could rock that outfit.

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