chapter  3
38 Pages

Genesis Departing from Paradise

In the beginning there was Wonder Woman. And, in the beginning of Wonder Woman, there was feminism. In 1941, the Amazon hero’s originator, Charles Moulton, pseudonym of psychologist William Moulton Marston, was determined to create an alternative to the violence that characterized the male-dominated and naively masculinist adventure comic books that were then popular (Edgar 1972, 52-55; Steinem 1995, 8-10). Taking the position that women were by nature less combative, inclined toward peace and nurturance instead of war and domination-a version of feminism that we would now characterize as “essentialist”—Moulton invented Paradise Island, where the future Wonder Woman grew into an athletically and militarily able Amazon princess, and enlisted his female superhero on the Allied side in World War II.