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I’ve been thinking about this for a couple of days.

I wrote a play this year with Wonder Woman in it.  And, a large part of her struggle is her clothing.  In fact, in my play, her costume has become part of her skin so not only is she robbed of any real sexual sensation but she no longer “makes water”.  So, when I heard the news that Wonder Woman had a change of clothing I was pretty excited.  I mean, it’s been over sixty years, can’t a sister get a pair of new threads?  Look at Barbie for heavens sake!  But, my brain immediately brought up Rosie the Rivetor and her headscarf.  Created at about the same time.

What is it about these World World II era characters that make them so iconic?

My Spouse explained to me his feelings on the costume change with a characteristically brief statement:  “They’re robbing me of my boyhood dream”. And, this got me thinking.  Young boys fixated on her body before they knew what they were thinking or feeling.  It’s true.  Today the internet flings the subjected female image around so much they can create their own avatars.  But, this was not always so.  And, for those of us yearning for positive women, it was okay to be Amazonian.  It was okay to have a curvacious bod and feel the power in that.  To know it was a powerful thing that would be desired and there was absolutely nothing to hide or to be ashamed of.  There was a place in mythology for powerful, sensual woman, and a slow terrestrial integration was underway.  Wonder Woman wore the golden eagle on her chest proudly.  She was an American dream.  I remember spending afternoons practicing her spin as a kid.  When completed, no one could hurt me.  It was important.

So many people were so upset about this costume change that I wanted to just step back and take it in.  As I awoke this morning it was very clear to me.

They’ve changed her story.  You can’t do that.  Create a new character but, for God’s sake haven’t the history’s of women been erased enough!  Now it’s going to this level?!?!!?  Oh, the amnesia we so anxiously embrace!  WRITE A NEW CHARACTER, but DO NOT make our Wonder Woman a motherless, orphan.  Did we do this with Superman?  Was he no longer from the planet Crypton?

They’ve killed the pop culture sacred Mother.  They’ve killed her with ink.  Those bastards!

No more Paradise Island.  Here’s the outrage.  At least for me.  No Hippolyta to teach, no island full of sacred women.  It’s been destroyed.  Well, ain’t that a pisser!

I’ve noticed in conversations lately small phrases where people denounce story.  It’s not about the story, it’s about the character.  It’s about the human connection.  None of this exists without story. In fact, NOTHING exists without story.  And, as storytellers we have the ability to shape our own reality.  Not as much as we may like sometimes, but the choices we make in the stories we tell shape things. They do.

In our story there was a League of Justice.  The world was threatened by an out of control dictator committing atrocities to populations and there was no promise anyone could stop him.  But, we had superheroes.  They knew darkness and so understood the value of fighting for good.  They were heightened.  They were brighter and larger than life.  When B-52 bombers dropped bombs from the sky and women and children grew victory gardens Wonder Woman flew overhead. Maybe you couldn’t see her, but that’s because she flew an invisible plane.  So, when they tucked kids into bed at night they could dream about that instead of darker adult atrocities.  The characters believed in country in a way that had nothing to do with votes in the Senate or which Chief Justice was to be elected.  When they saw a human in trouble, they came together to put an end to it.  Period.  The American way.  Period.

The loss of Wonder Woman’s costume feels not like a wardrobe change at all.  It feels like loss.  Loss of innocence.  Loss of hope.

It feels like the pop-culture Archetypal death of the sacred Mother.

Sorry Hyppolita.  I know you’ve been around since the Greeks.  But, they’ve erased the great war between the Athenians and the Amazons.  They’ve destroyed you, Queen of the Amazons, without letting you fight for your cause.

I hope you find a way to come back and kick their asses.

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