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  1. #1
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    Default Marston, Gender Identity and Casting the Modern Wonder Woman

    Noah Berlatsky looks at William Marston's views on gender roles, and why he may have championed casting transgender actress Laverne Cox as Wonder Woman.


    Full article here.

  2. #2

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    Goodness, can we stop with this nonsense? Between articles like this and threads like "Should Batman be Bi?" "Which Robin Should Be Gay?" "Is Superman Better as a Transgender?" it just seems like people are so overly obsessed with sex and sexual orientation that they lose the plot. These are FICTIONAL characters...they are nothing in and of themselves...they are nothing more than what their creators put on the page. If Kane/Finger wanted Batman to be gay they would have made him gay. If Marston wanted WW to be transgendered he would have made her transgendered. And so on. There was PLENTY of underground that would have supported the notions. The creators did not. How about we champion the Big 2 bringing new LGBT characters into the fold as opposed to trying to change classic characters into what we want them to be, but they aren't

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexanderLuthor View Post
    Goodness, can we stop with this nonsense? Between articles like this and threads like "Should Batman be Bi?" "Which Robin Should Be Gay?" "Is Superman Better as a Transgender?" it just seems like people are so overly obsessed with sex and sexual orientation that they lose the plot. These are FICTIONAL characters...they are nothing in and of themselves...they are nothing more than what their creators put on the page. If Kane/Finger wanted Batman to be gay they would have made him gay. If Marston wanted WW to be transgendered he would have made her transgendered. And so on. There was PLENTY of underground that would have supported the notions. The creators did not. How about we champion the Big 2 bringing new LGBT characters into the fold as opposed to trying to change classic characters into what we want them to be, but they aren't
    I agree to an extent. I'm all for LGBT representation, but getting a trans-woman to play WW seems like pandering to me.
    Last edited by sprior93; 08-05-2014 at 01:36 PM.

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    I had to look her up, I had no idea who she was. Looks good in the costume though. I really think Marston went as far as he could for the time, we'll never know what he would have thought of this.

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    Junior Member Noviere's Avatar
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    I love the picture, if nothing else.

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    Certainly an interesting casting choice, and I can see it. That aside, I think the costume used in that pic is pretty good too...

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    Senior Member DarkBeast's Avatar
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    She looks good as Wonder Woman. It's a cool image. But the idea that Hollywood would not make a transgendered Wonder Woman because they are trans-phobic is kind of beyond weird, to think that that's the explanation. They haven't even been able to make a regular Wonder Woman live-action project, which a greater percentage of the masses would be able to naturally identify with, in 40 years. But the fact that they're not making a black transgendered one means that they're evil and prejudiced? Suure.

    As to whether Marston would support such a project: He probably would. He was a fan of pretty much anything transgressive and subversive. He also lived in a polygamous relationship and advocated outright female domination over males. I'm not judging him one way or the other, but that's what he was about.

    Now I wonder how many feminist Marston fans have demonized Mormons for the polygamy stereotype. And I wonder how many feminist Wonder Woman fans have insisted that feminism is about "equality", not female superiority. Marston would disagree with you.

    But, again, I'd personally buy a black trans WW. I think the pic looks slightly better than the promo of Gal Gadot.
    Last edited by Jonah Weiland; 08-05-2014 at 02:14 PM.

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    Senior Member Darius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    I had to look her up, I had no idea who she was. Looks good in the costume though. I really think Marston went as far as he could for the time, we'll never know what he would have thought of this.
    the article makes it seem like no big deal, but Marston was a terrible racist ... it's clear in pretty much every depiction of any non-white character during his years writing the various WW material. He may have found the concept of a trans-gender WW interesting, but a black woman as WW would probably have been beyond his imagining.

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    Senior Member Darius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexanderLuthor View Post
    Goodness, can we stop with this nonsense? Between articles like this and threads like "Should Batman be Bi?" "Which Robin Should Be Gay?" "Is Superman Better as a Transgender?" it just seems like people are so overly obsessed with sex and sexual orientation that they lose the plot. These are FICTIONAL characters...they are nothing in and of themselves...they are nothing more than what their creators put on the page. If Kane/Finger wanted Batman to be gay they would have made him gay. If Marston wanted WW to be transgendered he would have made her transgendered. And so on. There was PLENTY of underground that would have supported the notions. The creators did not. How about we champion the Big 2 bringing new LGBT characters into the fold as opposed to trying to change classic characters into what we want them to be, but they aren't
    Well, they could have made these characters LGBT back in the WWII era, but no one would have published it in anything remotely resembling the "mainstream" media and gayBM, gaySM, transWW would have vanished into history long since. In fact the perceived "homosexual" relationship between BM and Robin and the alleged lesbianism of the Amazons and Holliday Girls were some of the main complaints that lead to the creation of the CCA ... with that said, I do agree with the basic premise that it is better to create LGBT characters rather than try and retcon it into something that already exists.

  10. #10
    Member Muramasa's Avatar
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    Because to be a credible superhero, you have to be born a man. There was a superhero in the 40s whose Modus operandi was dressing up as an old lady though.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexanderLuthor View Post
    Goodness, can we stop with this nonsense? Between articles like this and threads like "Should Batman be Bi?" "Which Robin Should Be Gay?" "Is Superman Better as a Transgender?" it just seems like people are so overly obsessed with sex and sexual orientation that they lose the plot. These are FICTIONAL characters...they are nothing in and of themselves...they are nothing more than what their creators put on the page. If Kane/Finger wanted Batman to be gay they would have made him gay. If Marston wanted WW to be transgendered he would have made her transgendered. And so on. There was PLENTY of underground that would have supported the notions. The creators did not. How about we champion the Big 2 bringing new LGBT characters into the fold as opposed to trying to change classic characters into what we want them to be, but they aren't
    Yeah even I have to say that there has to be a LIMIT to certian topics like this one.

    I mean yeah, I'm all for LGBT characters getting their shot into comics, but article this and even the overall "Batman and Robin are Gay" rumors of the past, makes me think that we may have been taking the characters a bit too far beyond their fictional roots.

  12. #12

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    I'm kindof a stickler for continuity, and for the record, I'm a transwoman.

    I think I'd be ok with Laverne Cox in the role, but I honestly don't think I'd want them to say that Diana is supposed to also be trans in the story. You cast a transwoman but she'd be playing a cisgendered woman, and I think Laverne Cox has the acting chops to pull it off.
    She's supposed to be an Amazon from an island of Women, so you'd need to REALLY retool her origin to explain how someone assigned male at birth would not only survive on the island, but become Wonder Woman.

    Would make a very interesting Elseworlds story that I think I'd love to see.

    Also, I want there to be a trans hero in either of the Big Two's main universes. I don't care how you do it, whether you make a new character or whether you have an existing character pass their mantle onto a trans person, but it'd be extremely nice to have one. If it happens too, I'd like them to actually be real-world Trans too. Not one of those things where Magic or Sci-fi has caused a situation where a man for example is literally "Trapped in a woman's body" like they did with Shining Knight at one Point, or a genderswapped clone of someone with all their memories from their previous gender (A-la Ultimate Spiderwoman).

    But, we're at least 20 years away from anything like that ever happening, so, urg.

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    Senior Member Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius View Post
    the article makes it seem like no big deal, but Marston was a terrible racist ... it's clear in pretty much every depiction of any non-white character during his years writing the various WW material. He may have found the concept of a trans-gender WW interesting, but a black woman as WW would probably have been beyond his imagining.
    I don't doubt it. I find it strange to assume someone I have never met from a different era has flawless logic.

    I like the article and idea, but the cinema isn't so packed with Mediterranean female heroes that we might as well swap out the biggest.

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    I think the writer of this article is missing some other, far more obvious, interpretations of why these villains crossdressed; maybe Marston found it sexy. It's no secret that a lot of the content in Wonder Woman appealed to some sexual fantasies he had (some more than others).

    Also ...

    Marston's been dead for six decades, so he can't speak for himself on this
    Correct. So why speak for him?

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    Moderator / Bounty Hunter ABH-1979's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DemonRin View Post
    I think I'd be ok with Laverne Cox in the role, but I honestly don't think I'd want them to say that Diana is supposed to also be trans in the story. You cast a transwoman but she'd be playing a cisgendered woman, and I think Laverne Cox has the acting chops to pull it off.
    She's supposed to be an Amazon from an island of Women, so you'd need to REALLY retool her origin to explain how someone assigned male at birth would not only survive on the island, but become Wonder Woman.
    That's a good point, and something I can see happening sooner than making the WW character trans. I mean, we have straight people playing gay people, and gay people playing straight people, so it's not really beyond the realm that a transgendered woman would play Diana as a (Demigoddess) woman.

    Quote Originally Posted by DemonRin View Post
    But, we're at least 20 years away from anything like that ever happening, so, urg.
    I think in general, we're pretty far off for this happening, but in time, certainly.

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