Messenger When the film Wonder Woman is released in early June, it will surely join the blockbuster ranks of other recent comic book-inspired film franchises, including Batman, Superman, Spiderman, and X-Men. Wonder Woman has long been a bestselling creation, originally imagined in by the psychologist William Moulton Marston , and the film follows some of the main plot lines developed in the comic books.
Wonder Woman is a superheroine known as Diana, princess of the Amazons, who is trained to be an unconquerable warrior. When an American pilot, Steve Trevor, crashes on the shores of her sheltered island paradise and tells tales of a massive conflict raging elsewhere, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Though Wonder Woman was portrayed as a feminist icon in the s , she is also a highly sexual character.
The original Wonder Woman was a feminist icon. As a sexy but fierce lady warrior, Wonder Woman is hardly alone. Throughout history, cultures across the globe have envisioned and revered the femme fatale, from feline killers to sensual goddesses to sassy spelunkers.
Ishtar, naked on a vase. It was said that she fought like an unleashed lioness protecting her young — in this case, the Sumerian people. She could also be sensual. For the king, receiving sexual and military favours from a goddess served his political agenda, legitimised his reign and made him into an exceptional hero for his people.
In the Wonder Woman film, this role is filled by the American pilot. Cat girls from Sekhmet Bastet as a lion. Taming her, of course. In ancient Egypt, the most fearsome goddess was named Sekhmet. Like Ishtar, she had two sides — fierce beast and loving companion. At times, though, she would transform into an adorable cat named Bastet. Today, the feline is still symbolic of female sexuality. Catwoman, another comic book heroine, was born a few months before Wonder Woman not that a lady reveals her age and is the most contemporary avatar of a feline woman.
With her curves and her bondage fetish, Catwoman has always been hypersexual, though some critics regret that her sexuality — not her intelligence — has become her greatest asset these days.
Their myth of the Amazons tells of a Mediteranean kingdom in which it was women who fought and governed , while the men were relegated to domestic duties. According to the Greek story, the women of Lemnos had revolted and massacred all the men on the island, young and old. Living in a forced sexual abstinence, the ladies were delighted when sailors unexpectedly landed on a local beach.
They immediately set upon the Argonauts, a team of beautiful and famous mythological heroes that included Hercules and Theseus, compelling them into long orgiastic intercourse. The sex-starved but unattached women theme is another favourite male fantasy, offering imaginary satisfaction of sexual scenarios that may be difficult to realise in real life.
Croft, an English archeologist-adventurer who started life as a character in the s video game Tomb Raider, was the ultimate virtual-reality dream girl: Plus, she always leaves the guys wanting more. Reincarnated on the big screen in by actress Angelina Jolie , Croft often gave the cold shoulder to her male counterparts. Later sequels featuring Alicia Vikander continued to pitch Croft as a sex symbol while bolstering her feminist credentials. Women and weapons, the ultimate fantasy?
The new Wonder Woman film seems to have made a careful choice of actress, looking beyond just a pretty face and a remarkable body. Voted Miss Israel in , Gadot was also a sports coach in the Israeli army. In a August interview with Fashion magazine the actress, who was then 30, affirmed that her military experience prepared her well for a Hollywood career. Reddit On screen and off, the ancient link between femininity, sexual attraction and the military, seems to still be going strong today.
Everything from Wonder Woman and the Instagram account of Israeli soldier-cum-amateur model Maria Domark to the rise of a new sub-genre of lady warriors in Asian cinema and, of course, American weapons catalogues , confirms the old masculine fantasy associating pretty faces with guns.
The new Wonder Woman film channels all this history. Pop culture attempts to showcase the heroine as a feminist cannot counteract thousands of years of global sexual fantasy. This article was originally published in French.