Nerdgerhl: Year One

Thesis statement: I think New2 52 Wonder Woman is a good superhero book, but I would find certain moments in it less teeth gratingly annoying if it was starring any other superheroine. 

Brief explanation: Because the series seems oddly, militantly adverse to adding any whiff of feminism beyond the fact that it has a female lead. And if this were literally any other superheroine I’d be fine with that, but this is Wonder Woman. Sorry that ’70s feminists reappropriated her from you, DC, but you’ve had like forty years to get used to it by now. 

Current example: Last week’s issue saw Ares raising an army of ghosts in Westminster abbey to fight the First Born. It’s clearly meant to be from across the globe and across history. We’ve got Native American Indians, Spanish Conquistadors, British Redcoats, Vietcong, Romans and Vikings and Samurai. Wonder Woman takes one look at the ghost army as says to Ares “They remind me of my sisters.”

You know who would remind you even more of your sisters, Diana? The women who have waged war for thousands of years and yet don’t appear here.

The Wikipedia article “Women in warfare and the Ancient World" begins more than 3,500 years ago in the 1600s BC. And it doesn’t just mention "exemplary" women who were the one female head of armies, but stuff like women being buried with weapons for three centuries along the Kazakhstan-Russia border and other examples of female fighting forces. This particular article’s See Also section links to Women in Medieval Warfare, and two separate articles on women in modern warfare. 

Ares is the god of fucking war, if he's not going to call up the female warriors of history, who is?  The whole exchange just seems like it’s trying to imply that the Amazons are cool and exemplary because they are women who fight wars, like OMG THAT’S THEIR SUPER POWER, THEY’RE WOMEN WHO FIGHT. Because women who fight are just as fantastical as a real Atlantis or hidden African cities where intelligent apes rule, rather than an oft ignored or dismissed historical fact. I’ll stop before I get even more shouty, but jesus, New 52 Wonder Woman, could you like, try to be aware of things beyond the most basic of feminist ideas like “guys who slap women’s asses are bad and eventually that woman is going to call them on it but not until a few issues later because we have other things to talk about in the meantime.” 

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    These are goddamn good points, unfortunately. And that Wikipedia link is gold.
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