I’m going to say right off the bat that this post is not about Sarah Palin, even though it does begin with Lynda Carter’s opinion of her.
Philadelphia Magazine asked earlier this week what Carter thought of Palin being branded “the new Wonder Woman”:
Don’t get me started. She’s the anti-Wonder Woman. She’s judgmental and dictatorial, telling people how they’ve got to live their lives. And a superior religious self-righteousness … that’s just not what Wonder Woman is about. Hillary Clinton is a lot more like Wonder Woman than Mrs. Palin. She did it all, didn’t she?
No one has the right to dictate, particularly in this country, to force your own personal views upon the populace — religious views. I think that is suppressive, oppressive, and anti-American. We are the loyal opposition. That’s the whole point of this country: freedom of speech, personal rights, personal freedom. Nor would Wonder Woman be the person to tell people how to live their lives. Worry about your own life! Worry about your own family! Don’t be telling me what I want to do with mine.
I smiled when I saw that. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that I’m not happy with Palin. My exact thoughts on her policies are not appropriate for this website, or really fit for print anywhere.
I admit I’m annoyed to hear her compared to Diana, and I understand that’s the limitation of having just one such notable female hero in the culture. Every notable woman gets referred to as a “Wonder Woman” when being praised. It’s not like everyone who gets told they’re Batman or a Superman matches the personality of Clark or Bruce, so I know this is just a figure of speech. My annoyance is just a side effect of being a rabid comic book fan.
But there are people who do feel the comparison is accurate and take offense to Lynda Carter sharing her political views. Like blogger Michael Hutchinson:
Sure, Lynda Carter got to portray Wonder Woman once because she had a stunning smile and a fantastic rack, but she’s not William Moulton Marston nor is she the legal owner of the character. DC Comics may be a bunch of left-wingers but how much leeway are they going to give an actress to go out using their licensed character to defame a political figure?
Lynda does not own Wonder Woman and she doesn’t really know the character that well.
Mr. Hutchinson then proceeds to give a list of reasons Lynda Carter is wrong about Wonder Woman and he’s right, even though he doesn’t own the character. (But does he have a nice rack?)
Now I’m just barely keeping myself from going through the list he gave in my comic book fan obsession and telling him that he is wrong wrong wrong in his assessment of my favorite character, so I feel I should be commended on my restraint there. (I mean, she’s a diplomat not a huntress or a proselytizing priestess. And Marston’s philosophy of open love and female dominance probably wouldn’t have played well with churchgoing crowd.)
*Ahem* I’m digressing, though. I wasn’t bringing this up to get into a fan-dick-waving contest. I’m bringing this up because I find it so interesting that two people with such different politics as Lynda Carter and Michael Hutchinson have latched onto this character. That two politicians with such different views as Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin are identified with her.
And to show you how fascinating I find this, I’m going to do something crazy and throw the question to the internet: Why is this?
Is it because Wonder Woman is so poorly defined that we’re filling in the blanks with our own viewpoints? If so, is that because she’s female, pagan, or just too damned contradictory?
Is she as a character so politically neutral that we can’t tell where she stands? Has DC just been too chickenshit when it comes to writing politics?
Are we as readers just bringing that much to the table? Do we project too much of ourselves on these characters that even when they aren’t ciphers they serve as such?
Or is the person who disagrees with you just wrong wrong wrong because of [character trait; please include issue citation]?
Show your work.