The Birth of a Superwoman

Long before "The Hunger Games" movie's Katniss Everdeen became a warrior role model, there was the lady in the red bustier. "Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines" (debuting April 15 on PBS) looks at the impact of the Amazon princess known as Wonder Woman. Director Kristy Guevara-Flanagan weighs in

by Alison Bailes
wonder woman superheroine image
Photograph: Courtesy Everett Collection

Wonder Woman is over 70. Why has she endured?
She’s a unique character who still feels revolutionary to us in terms of being a clearly defined female hero who didn’t die or lose at the end. She always came out on top. Being on the cover of Ms. magazine in 1972 solidified her as a feminist icon as well.

Is it sexist that she’s been drawn as an exaggerated ideal of womanhood?
She does carry this contradiction with her, and I think women are used to taking the good with the bad. Fans have come to love [what she wears] and get offended when there’s a costume change. One thing I do appreciate: Even in the early days, she was drawn with some muscle.

What should Wonder Woman tackle next?
Her lasso of truth could come in handy. We need somebody who can get people to tell the truth, particularly in government. She’s invested in politics, she’s invested in global justice, and those are issues that are still topical in our times.

Next: Three Big Changes Since Friedan Wrote Her Book

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First published in the April 2013 issue of More

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