Tagged: Princess Diana

Mike Gold: Wonder Woman – Fox News Loses Its Shit!

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Our planet is being strangled to death by morons, at least one-quarter of all Americans think Vlad Putin’s interference with our elections and our economy is absolutely swell, comedians are being persecuted for making errors in judgment, people can’t afford even basic health care, an increasing percentage of our citizens depend upon neighborhood gas stations and “convenience” stores for their food supplies… and what is Fox News screaming about?

Last Friday, the official opening date of a movie called Wonder Woman, Fox News puppet Neil Cavuto got into a serious hissy-fit about the eponymous character’s wardrobe. Evidently, he thinks moving past the vague red, white and blue of her original comic book costume, designed back when this nation was just about to append the word “World” onto World War II, has been abandoned for colors he considered to be somehow unpatriotic.

Right. In other words, Fox News is pissed because a Greek goddess, the princess of Themyscira, an Amazon warrior trained to defend her homeland and not Cavuto’s, declined to envelope herself in colors that he could run up a flagpole in his own American front yard.

Please, do not tell Neil that our American warriors do not wear red, white and blue costumes in combat either. If they did, that would be a mistake. The last thing a soldier without superpowers would do is wrap himself up in an outfit of bright colors. That really doesn’t go along with the whole trench warfare thing.

According to Media Matters For America, the dialog went something like this:

Gal Gadot, from a Russian fashion shoot.

NEIL CAVUTO: Wonder Woman is out in theaters right now. Some are calling it less American, Dion, because her outfit isn’t red, white, and blue, and, in order to appeal for foreign audiences, very little reference to America at all.

DION BAIA (guest): I think, nowadays, sadly, money trumps patriotism. Especially, recently, I personally feel like we’re not really very patriotic, the country, in a certain sense.

MIKE GUNZELMAN (guest): I think the Hollywood aspect, we see this time and time again, it’s cool to hit America these days.

It’s a shame neither Baia nor Gunzelman were aware that, by definition, the United States was not the only nation fighting the bad guys in World War I. You know, the war to end all wars that didn’t end all wars. Or any. Perhaps they didn’t notice that (very minor spoiler alert) the villain of the piece was a lot more British than Princess Diana was American.

Cavuto and company ascribe the motivation for the costume change to the desire for greater international sales. In a free market economy, one might think your basic rabid capitalist would consider that to be admirable. But, according to that same “logic”, the bad guys would not have been German. There are a lot of movie theaters in Germany. I suspect Wonder Woman will do as well there as just about anyplace else.

Come to think of it, Princess Diana hadn’t been to America before or during World War I. Prior to leaving Themyscira to risk her life in order to aid American Steve Trevor in his battle to save us all, it wasn’t established that she had even heard of the United States of America. Or Great Britain, for that matter. Hell, she had just heard about Germany. I guess they don’t get Fox News in Themyscira.

Or, more likely, Amazons are too heavily vested in that “truth” thing.

Mindy Newell: Daughters of Hippolyta


On Friday, October 21, 2016, something remarkable happened.

Princess Diana of Themiscrya was appointed an Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls everywhere around the globe by the United Nations in a ceremony led by Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information Christina Gallach. It was attended by the actors Lynda Carter and Gal Gadot. Remarkably, the Princess herself did not appear.

Why is this remarkable?

Princess Diana of Themiscrya is a fictional comic book character co-created 75 years ago by writers William Moulton Marston, his wife Elizabeth Holloway Marston, and artist H.G. Peter. She first appeared to the public in All Star Comics #8 (December 1941) and then was given the cover to Sensation Comics #1 (January, 1942). The very first issue of her eponymous book showed up on the newsstands in the summer of that same year.

Don’t recognize the name? Then how about this one…

Wonder Woman.

While DC Entertainment – a.k.a. DC Comics – and its parent company (hmm, is that Time Warner or AT&T or Apple or…?) must be plotzing. Not everybody is happy. Started by fifty United Nations staff members and women’s rights advocates around the world, a petition by “Concerned Members of the United Nations Staff” is now circulating on the Care2 Petitions website asking the U.N. to “reconsider.” As of yesterday (Sunday, October 23) 2,284 people have added their names; the goal is 5,000 signatures. Part of the petition reads as follows:

Although the original creators may have intended Wonder Woman to represent a strong and independent ‘warrior’ woman with a feminist message, the reality is that the character’s current iteration is that of a large breasted, white woman of impossible proportions, scantily clad in a shimmery, thigh-baring body suit with an American flag motif and knee high boots – the epitome of a ‘pin-up’ girl…

“… At a time when issues such as gender parity in senior roles and the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse of women and girls is at the top of the United Nation’s agenda…[I]t is alarming that the United Nations would consider using a character with an overtly sexualized image at a time when the headline news in [sic] United States and the world is the objectification of women and girls…”

As a former writer of Wonder Woman, and as a fan of the magnificent work by so many others, including George Pérez, Trina Robbins, Gail Simone, Greg Rucka, Cat Staggs, Liam Sharp, and Nicola Scott – and that’s just a quick list off the top of my head as I write this – I totally and absolutely disagree with the petitioners’ assessment of the character as a woman of “epitome of a pin-up girl.”

Wonder Woman ain’t no Bettie Page; when I look at her or think about her or write about her, I don’t see “fantasy sex kitten.” I see “strong” and “proud” and “educated” and “independent” and “smart” and “real.”

As real as any of us.

In some magical and mystical way, there lies within each of us a Wonder Woman. She is real. She lives and she breathes. I know this because she lives in me, and she lives in stories that these women tell me, day in and day out. I see it in the letters and in the stories. I read it on social media. I see it in the tears that fall from the eyes of the women who say it saved them from some awful thing that they endured – because they saw that they could do something great… She brings out the strength every woman has. We are stronger together. We are half the world. We have a voice. We are the mothers of mankind.”

Lynda Carter, The United Nations, October 21, 2016

Mindy Newell’s Coming Attractions

hillary wonder womanIn the spring of 1971, I met a girl. The first time I saw her, we were, appropriately enough, in a class on political and civil rights. She had thick blond hair, big glasses. Wore no makeup. And she exuded this strength of self-possession I found magnetic. –President Bill Clinton, 2016 Democratic National Convention, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Lock Her Up!!!Rallying Cry at 2016 Republican National Convention

In my not so humble opinion, the Wonder Woman trailer definitely shows a lot of promise.

But I’m not talking about Princess Diana of Themiscrya. I mean that other Wonder Woman – Hillary Rodham Clinton.

You may be thinking “What trailer? I mean the one starring Mrs. Clinton for the last 50 or so years of her life, during much of which she has been in the public eye – or bull’s-eye – and not just as FLOTUS, New York Senator, and Secretary of State. Hillary’s extensive involvement in politics goes back to 1960, when, as a 13-year old, she helped canvass for Richard Nixon, and then, four years later, she worked for the Goldwater campaign.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Hillary Rodham started her political life as a Republican.

Wonder Woman InaugerationI have never understood the incredibly vicious vitriol directed towards Hillary, or her husband, for that matter. And so much of it is not political; it’s personal. The other day a woman at work said to me that she hated her. I asked her why. She said it was (and I’m paraphrasing) “because she stayed with her husband despite his many adulteries. What woman would do that? I wouldn’t. Would you?” For the record, well, no, I wouldn’t, but, I said, “It’s her marriage, not mine, and not yours.” (And also for the record, this woman did not say anything about Hillary staying with her husband for her own personal political ambitions.) I’ve heard variations of this theme for just about forever.

Sometimes I think television itself, as a media form, just doesn’t like her, the way it didn’t like Richard Nixon when he debated John F. Kennedy back in 1960. It’s just one of the mysteries of the modern media age that some people just don’t come across well on the screen. Hillary, despite being a baby boomer – so that you would think that she would be very comfortable with the television camera – always looks, well, not nervous, but tense; and yet I have never seen a better display of pure aplomb than that 13-hour grueling Benghazi kangaroo court trial that Mrs. Clinton was forced to endure. And even then, Hillary haters, including Fox News and other right-wing media, boldly declared that the reason she was so relaxed was because she was on Valium. This claim was quickly ignored by the next news cycle.

Before I sat down to write this column, I did a bit of research and found a great article over at the webzine Slate. In “The Hillary Haters” (July 24 2016), writer Michelle Goldberg went out and actually asked some “common” folk just exactly what they have against her. Here are some of their answers:

“She strikes me as programmed and robotic.”

“She is disingenuous and lies blatantly.”

“If I could make her a profit she’d be my best friend.”

“She’s a sociopath.”

There were lies upon lies upon lies, and misquotes piled on misquotes piled on misquotes and misconceptions following misconception. But when Ms. Goldberg answered with facts, the subjects just didn’t want to listen, discounting them and/or shrugging their shoulders.

Look, I feel it too. There is “Something About Hillary” that annoys me. I know she capable, I know she’s brilliant, and I know she’s been demonized. But she lacks that something that stops me from being crazy about her. I don’t know what it is. I’ve never met her, not even to shake her hand, but there is a but there….well, let me tell you a story.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, in an enclave out on Eastern Long Island called the Hamptons, my mother’s friend noticed a big brouhaha across the street from her. She looked, and she saw Bill Clinton surrounded by people and press and, of course, secret service agents. Mom’s friend said that she never felt such a wave of pure charisma in her life, it could have knocked her over with a feather, and not only was he in a crush, a mob, but he was also at least 100 feet away from her.

She was telling this to my mother over a cup of coffee in our kitchen. I was there as well.

“Was he with Hillary?” asked my mother, who was (and is) a big fan of the lady.

“Yeah, I think so. Who cares?” said her friend.

So is it a lack of charisma or her gender that is hurting “Hill?” Many a feminist writer has argued that the two are related, that a woman cannot have that charisma-bias because of her sex, but I don’t agree. There are plenty of women with it, from Sophia Loren to Senator Elizabeth Warner, so it’s not about looks. But here’s a thought…

Sophia Loren, Senator Warren, Rachel Maddow, Princess Diana, Melissa McCarthy… all these women and many more just have that natural élan, that certain something, that charisma which draws people in, makes us like them without knowing them, makes people pay attention –

Hillary doesn’t have that inborn gift. But the woman makes us pay attention, demands us to see her, to hear her, to listen to her…


Maybe it’s that which so many people resent.