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