The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Beginning of the book is a little slow, but it is fascinating how Margaret Sanger (the woman most known for fighting for birth control rights) and her lesser known sister influence the creator of Wonder Woman. While Wonder Woman is often seen as the creation of the women's rights campaign, she was created by a man who pretty much failed at everything he tried to originally do in the world of psychology, and used his psychologic background to try to defend the comic against it's critics. He married one woman, unofficially married another (who had almost completed her PhD, but dropped out to be the nanny of his legal wife) slept and lived with a third on and off. He had children by the first two, the children of the mistress never knew he was their father. He took credit for the scholarly work both women did, hired male artists when there were more than enough experienced women who could have taken the job, and although he was a verbal proponent of women actually being superior to men, and predicted a female president (albeit in 500 years) he treated the women in his life as subordinates not equals. He had a bondage fetish, which showed up in Wonder Woman being captured and fettered in every story usually by page 3. And even though Wonder Woman is a super hero and has these amazing powers, she always seems to get herself overpowered by men.
Her truth lasso was inspired by the lie detector test proven inaccurate that Moulton proposed, her bracelets by the bracelets his mistress wore.
While I think I'm going to bury my head in the Lynda Carter and forward versions of Wonder Woman - it is kind of sad to realize that woman haven't really come that far since the 40's. Sigh.
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