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Wonder Woman the Non-American: How Soon Will She Be Wearing A Burqa?

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Posted on July 5 2010 8:00 pm
Phyllis Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies at City University of New York. For extended biography visit The Phyllis Chesler Organization.

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Wonder Woman, before and after DC Comics made her more palatable to "global audiences"

Once, back in the 1960s and 1970s, multiculturalism and globalization seemed like the best way forward. How could one culture, one country, speak for the entire world?  Why not absorb and embrace all cultures, many cultures?

Or so we thought back in the day.

But back in the 1940s, no one challenged the fact that the amazing Amazon comic book figure, Wonder Woman, (Diana Prince), was an American girl. Wonder Woman’s costume was red, white, and blue, the colors of the American flag. America’s golden eagle was emblazoned on her bodice. William Moulton-Marston, her creator, was a psychologist who portrayed his female action figure as royal, strong, fearless, sisterly, and in possession of special weapons such as invisible flying planes, telepathy, and magic lassos. At a time when mainly male warriors were fighting World War II, Wonder Woman fought evil in fabulous female form.

Indeed, she was half-naked, dressed in a low cut bodice, high, sexy boots, and a short ice-skater’s skirt. There was, as yet, no feminist movement to critique this.

Wonder Woman stops bullets with magic bracelets. She lifts evil men, who are twice her size right off the ground, ties them up, and escorts them to jail and justice; she saves Planet America many times over, and in any number of centuries. (She time-travels too).

Fear not: This Amazon is no man-hater. In fact, she’s in love with Steve, an earthling America soldier, with whom she works and whom she repeatedly rescues.

Some of the lines in the strip include:

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