Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Why I Do Not Feel Feminist Outrage Over Sexed-Up Wonder Woman, in 60 Words.

Wonder Woman runs around fighting crime in what is essentially a bustier and panties with go-go boots.

I simply cannot conceive of the level of naiveté it would require for someone to think Gloria Steinem picking that character as a symbol of empowered womanhood would somehow make Wonder Woman, so attired, immune from being sexualized by the male gaze.


philippos42 said...

Well, yeah, but there are levels of sexed-up-ness.

I tend to look at Diana as a character who wears as little clothing as possible--for superheroing action--because she sweats like a horse when engaged in strenuous physical activity.

That doesn't necessarily mean she needs to be played as a tart.

Anon, A Mouse said...

Someone finally said something!

Let me ask you this: I will concede and grant you that Wonder Woman doesn't "need" to be played like a tart. Nobody NEEDS, say, Wonder Woman-style bodypainted model on the cover of Playboy.

But is there something wrong with WANTING a Wonder Woman-style bodypainted model on the cover of Playboy? Someone wanted to take those pictures, I assume the model wanted to get painted and pose (and paid, if you're cynical), Playboy wanted to publish them, some folks wanted to go out and buy the magazine. There's been erotic art made of Wonder Woman starting with the original artist on up to Adam Hughes and other contemporary artists. People want to produce and buy that kind of thing.

What, if anything, outweighs those wants?

James Meeley said...

What, if anything, outweighs those wants?

The good health, safety and well-being of real people, if such product is harmful to society. And, of course, those who have issues with these things (like the Playboy WW cover) would have you believe that is exactly what is at stake here.

Sadly, though, there is hardly anything in the way of factual or scientific evidence to back that theory up. In fact, there is plenty of studies that often suggest the opposite is true (that allowing those wants to be fulfilled actually benefits society). So, a morality card, based solely on the person's own emotional feelings about such products must be brought into play, if they are to make the case for denying those "wants." And that pretty much brings us to where we always end up in these discussions.

It's about being the thought police, without actively acting like you are the thought police. Throw in some overdeveloped fan entitlement issues, as well as personal emotions that are more over-wrought than a Micheal Bolton love ballad, and you pretty much get why those who feel those "wants" should never be fulfilled.