Playboy's Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman Appears On the Cover of Playboy! Millions riot!!!!

OK, I'm only kidding. It's the usual tempest in a teapot, a few anti-sex feminist bloggers grousing online, except that since outfits like MSNBC are online now, the mainstream media is actually covering it, so by Intarweb standards, it looks like millions are rioting.

Here's what has happened. Tiffany Fallon, a huge Wonder Woman fan who wouldn't mind being star of a Wonder Woman movie/tv show/webcom/whatever if the opportunity came along, appears on the February issue of Playboy in a form-fitting Wonder Woman outfit that's particularly form-fitting because it consists entirely of latex paint.

I think it looks great and entirely like many of the outfits Wonder Woman has worn in the comic. Heck, Wonder Woman has appeared practically naked and in chains in the comic. Heck, Wonder Woman's MOM has appeared in naked and chained (definitely a MILF)! Playboy was taking a mild approach to the character compared with what they might have done without breaking Wonder Woman canon at all.

But the anti-sex types apparently have this vision of Wonder Woman as a middle-aged bull dyke bodybuilder with a mustache and a unibrow who should wear either a suit of armor or business attire on the job (OK I might be mildly exaggerating here) and the sight of a Playboy cutie hotting things up in a latex suit just doesn't work for them.

I have no idea what their problem is.

DC Comics, which owns the Wonder Woman franchise, has been staying out of the fight, which is probably the smart move. So long as the fight is perceived as being between horny folks as symbolized by Playboy and anti-sex feminists as seen in the blogosphere, mostly, DC can only win, as all the ensuing publicity (MSNBC, etc.) has created tons of free publicity for any Wonder Woman-related projects that are floating about, such as the upcoming Justice League movie.

The anti-sex feminists of the blogosphere are so worked up that one of them, a former Wonder Woman writer named Greg Rucka, went through the roof and somehow reached the conclusion that the Wonder Woman Playboy cover was intended to discredit Hillary Clinton's Presidential candidacy.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that Karl Rove is such a sneaky, underhanded little bastard that he has sometimes had me spooked. So many pieces of apparently unrelated bits of chicanery issuing from the Bush Administration have turned out to be his doing, and many others that have been denied are OBVIOUSLY his doing, that it's easy to see Republican plotting behind events that may be mere coincidences. But at least I have always had a trail of dots to connect, however tenuous. Rucka doesn't even have that. The idea just sprang, full-blown from his mind, and even though he can't support it with any facts data or even reasonably good suppositions, he sticks with it. (And I'm thinking, "So THAT'S how retconning works.")

Rucka's opinion is just an outlier, though, most of the feminists are just pissed that Wonder Woman has been all sexed up. What next, they wonder, Golden lasso of truth-bound and ballgagged Wonder Woman being taken doggie style while looking suggestively at the viewer? (Yes. It's been done, though strictly on the Internet. Warning: link is COMPLETELY NSFW.)

To be fair, there is a sense in which Wonder Woman does "belong" to feminists. As I noted in my article on Wonder Woman's Bondage Secrets, way back in 1972 Gloria Steinem more or less rescued Wonder Woman from incompetent writers and editors at DC Comics, who had more or less done away with the rich mythos Marston had created for Wonder Woman. They sent the Amazons off to some distant paradise and took away all of her super powers, leaving her a mere mortal boutique owner who almost as skilled at karate as Emma Peel.

Steinem established Wonder Woman as a feminist icon and was UNDOUBTEDLY responsible for lining DC's pockets with lots of ancillary sales thanks to all those women who liked the idea of empowering their daughters through consumerism, leading them to purchase Wonder Woman Underoos and such.

DC, smelling a shift in the wind (finally!) put the Amazons back on Earth and gave Wonder Woman's powers back, and in a vaguely sickening excess of sucking up, made her an actual Greek goddess.

That does give the feminists (all feminists, not just anti-sex feminists) a definite claim to Wonder Woman, though it's based on something that occurred 30 years ago. So I guess there are in fact competing claims to Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman wouldn't exist at all, probably, if it weren't for the straight, male fanboys who buy her comics. And she wouldn't be who she is if it weren't for the feminists who saw her as an iconic character for female empowerment (which is what Marston intended all along, by the way) and got DC to re-power her and give her some of the respect she deserved.

I guess we'll all just have to share. Sexy AND powerful, maybe? Likes the boys, likes to have the boys look at her, but takes absolutely no guff from them or anyone else, and kicks butt and takes names where appropriate, without hesitation or apology.

Works for me. Sexy shouldn't be SOLELY the domain of the bad guys. And gals. Specifically, gals like Wonder Woman.

Finally, does this have anything to do with bondage? It's just a tangential thing, a confluence of interests if you will. The anti-sex feminists who are so exercised over Playboy Wonder Woman are the exact same anti-sex feminists who have fought bondage imagery wherever it appears (on a woman, anyway). These are the same anti-sex feminists that got explicit sexual bondage imagery censored back in the late 70s/early 80s. These are the same anti-sex feminists that got Dark Horse to back down from reissuing an omnibus collection of the first three Gor novels. These are the same anti-sex feminists who fight against sexy costuming for female superheroes and complain that male superheroes' costumes don't display their bulging packages (well, most of the time) though no female superhero's costumes have ever displayed any camel toe.

We have to keep an eye on these anti-sex feminists. Right now they don't have all that much power and influence, but what influence they have is growing, considering that just a couple of years ago their power and influence outside feminist circles could accurately be described as "absolutely none."

The anti-sex feminists of the blogosphere are VERY vocal and VERY assertive. If we ignore them, it will be to our peril.

Comment on this article

Return to Bondagerotica Articles Index