“Cool”, I thought. “Zulily has a sale of Wonder Woman stuff”.*
Honestly, I wasn’t expecting quite so much stuff done by men, for men (and women who like looking at cheesecake images of heavily sexualized women) (not as many of those as guys, because, feminism). I wanted more “Super/Divine Power/Goddess”, and not so much “Boobs/Boobs/Men don’t understand that women’s bodies don’t actually bend like that/Boobs”.
In a genre where a lot of men think women don’t belong (sci-fi, comics, the internet), we suddenly have a superheroine that doesn’t make us think “oh, yeah, that character exists only for men to drool over and be rescued by the menz”. Even though there’s a lot more unpacking that can be done with Gal Gidot’s portrayal of WW, she, and the women who were Amazons, finally became inhabitants in a space that was created by women, played by women, and appealing to women. It hurts to know how seldom women get that.
And as a woman who has loved sci-fi, comics, and the internet since I was a kid, who went to Cons and made costumes, and wanted a female hero that was as good as, or better than, the male heroes around her, this WW is precious. I want girls to grow up loving the genre and not be forced to cosplay male characters because men still assume that women “just aren’t into that sort of thing”.
I love Lovecraft-genre short stories, too, and I have a number of anthologies and collected stories. And there’s nothing I hate more than reading that a man thinks that there are no good female writers in the genre.**
I remember how much I was into all the same things the boys were into. I also remember the sexism, the harassment, the creeps, and the men who just dismissed my point of view because I was a girl, and “girls don’t get this stuff”. I cut my eyeteeth on John Wyndham (look him up), Arthur C. Clarke, Heinlein, and Lovecraft. As soon as I knew how to read, I was drawn to horror and sci-fi. I still am. I love a good Charles Stross novel, or John Scalzi. Hell, I even think Larry Correia’s Monster Hunters International series is fun. I re-read books over and over, savouring the good bits, picking up anthologies just to read a particular short story again (Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette’s Mongoose, The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward, and Boojum are among my favourites, found in various Lovecraft-themed anthologies). But every time I think we have moved on from this nonsense, it just comes back around again.
Wonder Woman is not a fucking Pin-up.
*I’m not linking. I refuse. There’s some good stuff, if you want to find it, you can do it.
**I’m looking at you, S.T. Joshi. Twenty-one stories and only four by women? Weak.