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Wonder Woman’s Core Theme…
October 13, 2017 By Brett Jett
One of Dr. William Moulton Marston’s core philosophies in life was that one should always adapt one’s Earthly needs to the better parts of our souls…..ie. wealth adapted to happiness, dominance adapted to submission, etc…..with the Earthly stuff being the servant and the higher self elements being the master, and never the reverse. It’s a philosophy that he advised to his clients and society and applied to his work…including the design of Wonder Woman.
Every true WW fan should know by now—either from my “Who Is WW?” manuscript or even the movie—that Wonder Woman’s core theme is that of the proper balance of might and humanity…or, strength adapted to love. Granted, her backstory must have involved her going through a growth process to completely live up to that theme. Depending on the incarnation, that process may’ve been in her early childhood, or her young adulthood. But in the end product, she would always be the altruistic superhero with all the strength of a Superman and all the allure & tenderness of a peaceloving woman that we know her to be. But this theme of diametrics also permeates WW’s entire universe, as one can perceive it in the rival gods, male & female, martialism & seduction, Paradise & Man’s World, etc, even WW’s personality…She was ferociously dominant and eager at a young age and remained that way throughout, yet she also had that playful, almost child-like innocence & tenderness…while her DISC personality is a Dominance/Inducement type symbolized by their corresponding colors blue/red, which also happen to be the main colors of her outfit!
If you didn’t already know all this, then get yourself a FREE copy of that manuscript by going to my Marstonian Portal (link below), which is revised monthly.
Why super strength?
Of all the other possible super powers to choose from, why did Dr. Marston give his neo superhero the masculine power of physical might in particular? Well, there were a few different reasons that providentially lined up perfectly as if by fate. To start with, it was the only way to get people to accept a female superhero at the time. You see…at some point in Western history, society stopped believing (if they really believed it at all) that one merely needed to be good to have a happy ending. Replacing that belief was the idea that one must overcome obstacles in order to create happy endings, both in real life and fiction. That often involves battle in some form. With the desire to overcome obstacles (including evil), kids naturally had the healthy wish to be strong. Strength is what increases one’s chances of advancing in the world. Strength and battling, or martialism, are masculine ideas. Therefore, the masculine qualities were the most sought after by society, both men & women. Not to say that patriarchy is bad, but this mentality resulted in an OVERLY patriarchal atmosphere.
Meanwhile, certain qualities usually regarded as the best ones in women (ie. tenderness, maternity, etc) had become despised in our overly-patriarchal society as sissy, even by women, because they’re unconsciously ascribed to women…the feminine archetype that lacks physical strength and is not conducive to combat, both of which are necessary to overcome real world obstacles. That’s why previous superheroines—like Fantomah— failed to attract most readers. Although, they had fantastic superpowers, they were still of the sissified feminine archetype, because none of them had the revered masculine attribute of dominant might that people could more readily relate to. Having a character—male or female—with super strength (& martial ability) was the only way to satisfy that wish-fulfillment and garner respect from such an audience, albeit in slightly different ways for each gender. A female character with might psychologically allowed men to submit to her, respect her, while also psychologically charging up women to tap their inner Diana, giving them a sense of liberation.
The archetype of the martial in a female form (woman warrior) had already existed in human history, and was a reflection of women’s real capacity to possess masculine qualities. However, none of the fictional or mythological female warriors of yore ever had super strength…meanwhile, male warriors such as Hercules certainly did. So, WW was an archetypal revolution. Additionally, he made it so WW’s initial super strength came from the feminine allure power of the Magic Girdle, which was basically him saying that women’s best qualities of tenderness & maternity have potentially valuable conquering power.
So why bother having love in Dr. Marston’s superhero recipe? He said: “It’s as essential to a normal child as the breath of life.” When he spoke of love, he meant it in all its forms, as symbolized by Aphrodite, but the crux of what he was getting at was agape, universal love. And on some deep level, all human beings—even evil ones— naturally understand love (agape) to be the most vital element in the universe. It is the original universal force and one that does all-encompassing good, physiologically, psychologically, sociologically, etc. And it was/is seriously lacking not only in comics, but the world, while the ways of Ares were—and still are—dominating, what with society’s preoccupation with aggression & power (all due to Ego). And so, injecting the element of love as the master was/is the only way to bring a healthy balance to this current state. This is also why I believe that it very well might’ve been Dr. Marston himself who dropped the “Suprema” name from his own first WW script after he realized that what the name suggests goes against what he was promoting…healthy magical wonder & submission to love, rather than dominance-dominance-dominance. Although she does use force in the heat of battle, his neo superhero wasn’t out to conquer by dominance like Batman does. She was designed to conquer with love.
Love is a feminine concept, as aptly allegorized by Aphrodite’s gender, which makes it symbolically appropriate that this neo superhero is a female, in addition to being physio-psychologically fitting, as Dr. Marston reported that women have greater potential to rule with love. (NOTE: Whether or not Dr. Marston’s gender notion is true is not the point, but to merely state a fact about the ideas behind how & why he designed WW the way he did.)
The gift that keeps giving…
His balanced diametric formula drew upon two of people’s overt & latent desires: strength & love. In a highly patriarchal, masculine-minded society where people’s over-appreciation of force & power smothers up their latent love desire, the formula’s effectiveness was in its synergy to restore diametric balance. The masculine elements of might & warriorhood drew people to the character, which then made it possible for the rest of the formula to inject its feminine love values back into their psyches. This formula not only balanced the dominant force aspect, making it all healthy, but KEPT people hooked on her.
In-story-wise, WW’s loving quality tempered her might, as power can corrupt if made the master rather than the servant. Real-world-wise, the new archetype (an Amazon with super strength) that is composed of this formula happens to be the perfect allegory in Dr. Marston’s theory of a new type of woman that could run society for a better future…the love leader. Such a woman would need to—in addition to maintaining her natural love emotions—develop and possess: great appetitive drive to amass independent wealth, the resulting momentum of that success, knowledge & wisdom of human emotions, and allure. WW’s super strength is an allegory for that first love leader attribute.
BTW, do these love leader attributes sound familiar?……Perhaps in allegorical form, they would be?……Strength of Hercules, swift as Mercury, wise as Athena, alluring as Aphrodite……Hmmmmmmmm. 😉
The reason why this formula of diametric balance is a gift that providentially keeps giving on multiple levels & realms is due to the fact that it originated from real world spiritual wisdom preached by ancient ascetics…and also by modern day near death experiencers (NDE’ers…people who’ve temporarily died and whose consciousness were given revelations about reality by angels, then came back to share their learned wisdom), who even specifically advise that the human Ego must be controlled by the Higher Self, not the other way around. After studying many ancient philosophies and spiritual disciplines, Dr. Marston merely took all of their wisdom and gave it a physio-psychological basis and adopted it to his own life and his work (ie. WW).
However, the fact is: Its not always easy to produce a favorable manifestation from this formula. Even if your Higher Self is in the driver’s seat, the end result may not always be favorable for certain situations, real life or fictional. Therefore realistically, WW would also have troubles coming to a favorable solution for certain difficult scenarios. She may even make mistakes and hard sacrifices. But she learns from them. Just like we all should be doing.
When the “We are the Warriors” WW movie trailer came out, I was a bit frustrated with it sending the wrong message to audiences (fans & newbies alike) by promoting WW’s masculine, warrior side. In my experience, that song is indicative of a mentality held by all the bloodcurdling masculine MMA gladiators whom I know to be all about dominance, which is not healthy or righteous! And to falsely associate that with WW?! I was so pissed at DC/Warner!
But then after seeing the movie, I realized something: DC/Warner may have been attempting what Dr. Marston had done, which is to first draw people to this character by using the masculine element that they so worship…and then to gradually guide their psyches toward balance by injecting the feminine (love) element. If so, that was a smart advertising stunt…and true to the Marston tradition! I whole heartedly hope that ALL audiences learned the lesson of the movie’s message of love in the end. But realistically, I know the femi-nazi and overly egotistic among them have NOT absorbed that vital lesson, as they make up their own artificial ideologies.
BTW, this is the same song (by rock band Imagine Dragons) Hollywood used in the most recent movie of another female champion character, Tris Prior.
￼￼For a more detailed explanation of WW’s design core or any other her aspects, download the FREE “Who Is Wonder Woman?” manuscript and get access to regular updates & edits…
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