Posts Tagged ‘Family Circle’

69 Days of Wonder Woman, Day 4: Tools of the trade

October 28, 2010


“Wonder Woman is actually a dramatized symbol of her sex. She’s true to life — true to the universal characteristics of women everywhere. Her magic lasso is merely a symbol of feminine charm, allure, ‘oomph,’ attraction. Every woman uses that power on people of both sexes whom she wants to influence or control in any way. Instead of tossing a rope, the average woman tosses words, glances, gestures, laughter, and vivacious behavior. If her aim is accurate, she snares the attention of her would-be victim, man or woman, and proceeds to bind him or her with her charm.”


“Lasso of Truth” by Samurai Pet.

“Woman’s charm is the one bond that can be made strong enough to hold a man against all logic, common sense, or counterattack. The fact that many women fail to make strong enough lassos for themselves doesn’t deprive the lasso material of its native magic. The only thing is, you have to use enough charm to overcome your captive’s resistance.”

(William Moulton Marston, creator, qtd. in girlfriend Olive Richard’s Family Circle article “Our Women Are Our Future,” August 14, 1942.)


Michael Turner.

Disagree. Dislike. First of all, if I think someone is not as in to me as I am to them, I soundly give up: I really never expected them to be reciprocally interested in me to begin with and I hate admitting to having feelings, let alone letting those feelings make a fool of me. Nothing I hate more. I am supposed to be impervious and deflect all attention. Upping my game and maybe getting shot down again is the absolute last thing I would ever do. So the idea that I need to re-aim and throw my lasso again is round bullshit to me. No way am I going to tip my hand like that and risk that people know I Feel Ways About Things.

But, my sad and complicated shit aside, secondly and more widely applied, I also dislike the idea of telling chicks that you have all the charm you need, you just need to work harder because it sets up false expectations in women, who probably have enough going already without further blaming themselves for what they perceive to be failures in romance, and redoubling an effort that may be toward a pointless cause to boot. I believe the expression is “He’s just not that in to you,” yes? So what? Glance down the bar and see if someone is looking at you and quickly looks away. Oh, no, his collar isn’t popped and he does not know the cool jam on the jukebox? Talk to him anyway. You will be surprised.


“Old School Wonder Woman” by Lauren Montgomery.

I also don’t like the idea that I got to use some elusive yam-fried set of feminine tricks to get my way. What’s wrong with walking up and honestly asking for what I want from a man or woman? Why does it have to be couched in some charmy little game where I snare someone with an invisible rope? Why can’t I be like a man and straightforwardly address my needs in business and in social settings?


By quasilucid, via fyeahww.

Now how about this: “Woman’s charm is the one bond that can be made strong enough to hold a man against all logic.” Whoa, so even if my idea, the thing for which I’m campaigning and slinging my golden wily lasso, is crazy and illogical and against “common sense,” as long as I’m feminine enough, it’ll still work because by god and the grace of my “charm” I’ve roped that guy? Hell, no. No. Why would I a) want to do something illogical; b) decide to dishonestly employ a feminine wile instead of forthrightly putting a plan in motion; and b) use this imaginary “power” for evil, in a dishonest way that does wrong by some poor dude and the laws of logic? I don’t like any of that. I highly resist and even resent that.

The weird thing is, I don’t think, from the comics I’ve read, that Wonder Woman is like that at all. Marston says she’s the dramatized symbol of this binding feminine charm that he perceives, but I think he’s wrong. She’s straight-up, in the main, and an almost always equal player on a male-dominated planet. Wonder Woman is not walking around this world with a water bra and a bunch of batty-lashy tricks up her sleeve. And if by some shady necessity she is going about her business sidewise or in disguise, she is a bit by the seat of her pants and obviously unaccustomed to artifice. And the Lasso of Truth seems to run counter to the tricky charm lasso to which Marston analogizes non-wonder-women’s apparent powers. Truth, not some murky invisible binding charm that stickily works despite logic and sense. So, no. I realize that Marston was Wonder Woman’s creator, but it doesn’t make him right in my eyes. He said a lot of bullshit: why should I accept his interpretation of anything?

Seems I’m in the surprising position of defending Wonder Woman, from her own father.

Done for today.

69 Days of Wonder Woman: Day 2

October 15, 2010


via fyeahww on the tumblr

“Wonder Woman — and the trend toward male acceptance of female love power which she represents — indicates that the first psychological step has actually been taken. Boys, young and old, satisfy their wish thoughts by reading comics. If they go crazy over Wonder Woman, it means they’re longing for a beautiful, exciting girl who’s stronger than they are. By their comics tastes ye shall know them! … Wonder Woman satisfies the subconscious, elaborately disguised desire of males to be mastered by a woman who loves them.

… Normal men retain their childish longing for a woman to mother them. At adolescence a new desire is added. They want a girl to allure them. When you put these two together, you have the typical male yearning that Wonder Woman satisfies.”

(Marston, William Moulton qtd. in “Our Women Are Our Future.” Richard, Olive.* The Family Circle. August 14, 1942.


Art by Phil Noto.

Marston was Wonder Woman’s creator, but that’s a story for another day. Also he lived in a polyamorous relationship with his wife and the author of this article, Ms. Richard, but that is also a story for another day. I’m pleased that this brief dive into psychology has already uncovered an aspect of Wonder Woman that leaves me cold, or that I feel I do not share. I don’t mind taking initiative (especially in certain aspects of the relationship), but I hate being the stronger one.


Denise Milani.

I dislike getting pushed in to the corner and forced to make decisions and ask repeatedly for a thing to be done that has to be done and can only be done by my partner. It makes me feel like a nagging bitch, which I fear and hate, and it’s not fair. I want to be equals, I want to feel like we can rely on one another. I don’t even necessarily want to be total equals; I don’t know that I’d want to completely submit to a partner, but it would be nice to relax and feel taken care of. Not to always worry, not to be the only one tuned in to the big picture — not to feel alone.


Art by quasilucid via fyeahww on the tumblr

And it starts out all nice-guy like, “No, you pick a restaurant. I don’t care where we go,” or, “Let’s get something you want to see,” but it builds in to this passive-aggressive thing where it turns to this slow-simmering resentment on both sides. Mine because I don’t want to be in charge, at all, ever, I hate feeling that way and I hate being forced to lose respect for someone I love; the other person’s because even though they have put me in this position of power it was really to avoid responsibility and now they’re feeling mutinous, the immaturity of which makes me see that they really are, in fact, weaker than me and makes me lose even more respect. When I can’t respect someone, then I don’t feel like I have a partner, and when I don’t feel like I have a partner, I don’t feel safe, and when I don’t feel safe, I am out of love.

I hate, hate, hate that aspect of a relationship. I hate being more powerful. There might actually be literally nothing that I hate more than that when it comes to love.

Cheese blintzes, looks like Day 2 was pretty damned educational for me. I’m going let that make up for the week and some odd days in between Days 1 and 2.