Skip to main content

Wonder Woman Story


As a kid, I wanted to be Wonder Woman.

This isn't a confession of some sort of sexuality (not more than what regular readers and friends already know). I simply liked the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman TV series (1975-1979) and, like most fantasy characters that kids enjoy (Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, etc.) I wanted to dress-up and role play as them. In the case of Wonder Woman, it would have meant wearing a more feminine-defined garb.

Such childhood thoughts came back to me recently, no doubt spurred by the Wonder Woman movie released in theaters this week. That movie may be good, but it will never be the show that first introduced me to the character, in all its '70s glory. When I watch it now its corniness bleeds through, but as a kid, it was pure gold. Lots of fun and adventure.

Lynda Carter, who portrayed the titular character, was beautiful. But beauty isn't the sole requirement to inhabit such a role. She carried herself well. She brought a certain gravitas, not only to Wonder Woman, but to her alter-ego, Diana Prince. Season One was set during World War II but, due to budget constraints that period pieces often incur, the remaining seasons were brought forward to the present day (in this case the 1970s). Truthfully, I prefer the WWII setting, but understand the need to leave it behind.

So, dear reader, about that desire to be Wonder Woman.

Obviously, we're looking at the standard Wonder Woman costume. Like most other female super heroes who are created by heterosexual men, she was dressed rather scantily. Male super heroes simply aren't costumed in such a manner. Robin, the Boy Wonder, is an exception that comes to mind, but when he is realized for movies or TV, they either make him fully clothed or, in the case of the 1960's TV show, make him wear some sort of leggings, lest his bare legs be exposed.

I remember wanting to ask my parents if I could have a Wonder Woman costume, so I could look and act just like her! The golden crown, the high boots and the Lasso of Truth. Oh, and that twirl! Of course, the rest of the outfit would have accompanied. I was still young enough to not give any thought that there were gender roles (and attire) in this world, and so I innocently asked my parents. They weren't having it, my dad especially. It was not unlike the reaction provided when I asked for a Strawberry Shortcake play set. "Boys don't play with those," dad had said.

And that was that. No Wonder Woman costume, no Strawberry Shortcake play set. Granted, my life wasn't ruined by the withholding of those things, but they were moments of clarity about how the world worked, moments that helped impress upon me how gender roles were established. Nowadays we are (refreshingly) seeing some gender bending going on, some of it without raising an eyebrow. Back in the day, it simply wasn't the case.

Hopefully, in 2017, we can pick our favorite super heroes without worrying about what sex or gender they are, and just have fun. It's clothing, costumes, etc. It's all a social construct. We have far more pressing matters to concern ourselves with than a kid who wants to dress-up as his favorite super hero. Whomever she may be.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Third Death

My father has had three funerals. The third (though perhaps not final) one, was last night.
In reality, Lewis died in 1997. Cancer. Aged 52. He had a real funeral. I was there. The next two funerals occurred only in my dreams, yet they seemed real at the time, and their impact during the waking hours was keenly felt.
You see, during the intervening nineteen years, Lewis has come back to life in my dreams, many times. It is more than simply having a dream about him. During these nighttime images, it is noted that Lewis shouldn't be there, that he died of cancer and is resting six feet under. How, then, could he be alive and, seemingly, healthy?

If You Could Read My Mind

Dance clubs are a funny thing. They contain within their walls a life force and vibrancy sometimes unmatched anywhere else. When dusk settles and the lights come on, people will flood the dance floors to gyrate to music with hypnotic beats and songs about love, lust and fun at the disco. At gay bars, this sort of scenario usually increases ten-fold. It isn't for everyone, but for many it is a respite from the harsh realities of the real word. It is a place that isn't just a structure, but a sanctuary where folks -- minorities in their own communities -- can take shelter and unwind with abandon, at least for a few nighttime hours.
As someone who benefited greatly from such an aforementioned gay dance club, you can imagine my dismay at news of the closing of Chester Street Bar. In business for over three decades, gay-owned and operated, there was a time when C-Street (as it was known by most) was the only haven for those in the LGBT community, near and far, to enjoy themselves …

Thoughts on an Election

Before I get started on the ruminations of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, I'll begin by saying I really have no clue as to who our next president will be. I've always fretted over the outcome of elections, regardless of the polls, and this year is no different. Especially this year. A good case can be made as to why Hillary Clinton will become our 45th president. All one has to do is look at the polls. Clinton has a comfortable lead in many states, enough to make one think that she will win handily on November 8th.
Of course, polls can be wrong. 538 gives Clinton's changes of winning in the low-mid 80 percent range. Several polls would seem to agree. Many Republicans are jumping ship from Trump. The race looks over. But of course, humanity isn't as easily predictable as polling would have us believe. Things happen. People can surprise us. And, for better or worse, I think that Donald Trump may very well become our next president.