By RazzaTazz 20 Comments
A lot of people have been asking me recently about the new appearance of Wonder Woman following the DC reboot. I don’t mind the question as much, I guess as I am regarded as something of a Wonder Woman expert around here I should expect a few questions on this subject. As a Wonder Woman fan I can say and have said that I like the present costume more than the original and for a variety of reasons. What is more relevant though is that the question does not really have any relevance to the character (CV’s multitalented headmistress already wrote an in-depth article on this, check it out!)
To approach this issue from a separate viewpoint, I will highlight something which has been reported on frequently in the news as of late. The self-titled slut walks sprang up as a reaction in to a police officer insinuating that the responsibility for sexual abuse (including rape) lies partially on a woman and how she chooses to represent herself to the world. This is a common rallying point of those with more conservative viewpoints, as though the women were asking for abuse by choosing to wear a miniskirt or show some cleavage. Specifically a police officer stated that if women want to remain safe they should “avoid dressing like sluts.” This implies some absolution for the perpetrators of these crimes as the women were partially asking for it because of the way they were dressed. Women’s groups were obviously somewhat bothered by the obfuscation of the issue as it resorted once again to the standard one of blaming the victim. A march of protest was organized in in which women took to the streets dressed in clothing that would be considered slutty. The response? Well some of course decried them for their actions, but others around the world took an interest in the cause and organized their own versions, spreading as far recently after having previously shown up in a few American cities.
To tie this back into Wonder Woman, it essentially doesn’t matter what she is wearing. The character is based on principles such as pacifism, open-mindedness and non-discrimination. By focusing too much on the outer clothing, the message is lost in the medium. Just as so many people look at a scantily clad woman and think only of sex while not thinking she is free to dress how she wants without being judged, the same applies to Wonder Woman. In terms of comic book heroines she stands above them all for the reason that she was designed in a time when discrimination and double standards were the norm, and has remained an icon against these practices now for about seven decades. Whether she wears pants or shorts is mostly pointless to the message she represents, and I advise comic book fans to look beyond the surface to the woman and the message underneath.