Wonder Woman and Hierarchical Oppositions

Hey guys! For today’s post we read a bunch of essays about Wonder Woman. The one that stood out to me the most was the article titled “Wonder Woman: Bondage and Liberation” by Ben Saunders. What interested me the most about this particular article is that it used deconstructive theory to unhinge all of the various issues within Wonder Woman. Saunders lists out the various binary oppositions that exist within the text and how the governing binaries need their counterpart and both need to be evaluated in order to better understand Wonder Woman. He argues that from her very beginnings Wonder Woman challenged these hierarchical oppositions. Her creator, Charles Marston, came from a background in psychology, which is what I think allowed for Wonder Woman to be so developed as a character. This essay also talks about how Marston was a huge supporter of women’s rights, and I think that is so key to the success of Wonder Woman.

I also liked that this essay talks about Wonder Woman’s origin story. It is different from all of the other superhero origin stories of their day, which helps it to stand out. Compared to say, Superman and Batman, Wonder Woman’s story is very different. Both Superman and Batman begin in contemporary America (the America of the time of their creation), and jump into current social structures. Wonder Woman is given a mystical background and where she lives is a mythical place. Paradise Island as a secluded woman ruled land is then juxtaposed with the current day real world when she is sent with Steve to the United States to help save democracy.

Because of Wonder Woman’s mythical origins, she is best able to overcome the binary oppositions that plague other superhero comics. Her being an Amazon gives her a power and strength that no other women had in comic books during this time. She is able to convey both masculine and feminine attributes holding equal weight.

That’s all for now! Thank you for reading! Feel free to post questions or comments!

Wonder Woman and Hierarchical Oppositions

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