A lot has been written about Wonder Woman, comics, and feminism in light of an interview with David and Meredith Finch, the new creative team taking over the comic bearing the title of the same name. Articles such as, “Wonder Woman’s feminism matters. So why would the comic industry reject it?” and “The F-Word: Wonder Woman’s Feminism Shouldn’t Be Covered Up” have been popping up all week. As they should! It’s kind of ridiculous this discussion needs to be had, not about Wonder Woman, but about society and its view of feminism. Why? The perceptions of feminism by some, and this applies to men and women, is exactly why these conversations keep cropping up.
So, let’s start with the basics. A definition:
Nowhere in there does it say women are superior to men, or imply, as one author put it, “conjures up visions of man-hating womyn who’d love nothing better than to castrate the baby men who live in their mom’s basements.” (No, really, feminists do NOT want that.) Yet, feminism is treated like a leper, pushed aside for term likes “humanist” or “equalist” because apparently identifying as a feminist, especially in geek culture, is a black mark. At what point did feminism become bad? I’m biased, as a feminist, and I cannot for the life of me understand where this negativity is coming from. Part of it is a deep set sexism engrained society, I get that, but it seems baffling in this day and age, with so much information literally at our fingers tips, the misconception seems to be so widespread; confusion which lead to interviews like the above. A creator, not wanting to alienate fans by using a polarizing word, still manages to alienate people with misinformed, or not well-thought out, commentary.
I don’t know much about David Finch, nor am I going to attempt to psycholanalyze him. However, I do think it’s time to remind fandoms as a whole, be it comics, video games, etc., to take a step back and think about how they view feminism. It is the continued demonization of feminists which shape people’s mindsets, and lead to interviews like the above, and will continue to do so, unless people educate themselves. So, keep the above definition in mind next time one is browsing Tumblr, or any website; correct people who try and twist the above words into something else. Don’t let yourself be bullied into not using the term “feminist.” Only when we, as fans, can address the problem of accepting, and ideally, embracing, feminism at its roots can we expect to see its values truly reflected in our media and those who create it.