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Friday, July 04, 2014 

David Finch attacked for allegedly not wanting to portray Wonder Woman as a feminist

A few days ago, artist David Finch and his wife Meredith, who are going to take up writing and art assignments on Wonder Woman, were interviewed by CBR, and at the end, Finch said:
Is there a favorite part of the mythology you're getting to play with in your first couple of issues or any part you're really excited to touch on with this book?

Meredith: For me, it's just being able to write Wonder Woman. She's really a female icon from way back in the '70s when females were stepping up and taking such powerful roles. Being able to take on that quintessential female superhero who represents so much for myself and for millions of people out there -- especially at a time where comics are coming more into the mainstream -- I feel like it's really special, and that's really where I'm coming from when I'm writing this. I want to always keep who she is and what I believe her core is central to what I'm doing.

David: And for my part, I'm excited to be drawing Meredith's story and to be drawing such an icon. That's something -- since I've been at DC, it's been an incredible privilege to be able to draw characters like Batman, and to the limited degree I've had, to draw Superman, and now to get into Wonder Woman. I think she's a beautiful, strong character. Really, from where I come from, and we've talked about this a lot, we want to make sure it's a book that treats her as a human being first and foremost, but is also respectful of the fact that she represents something more. We want her to be a strong -- I don't want to say feminist, but a strong character. Beautiful, but strong.
Now I don't know what his personal politics are, but he's apparently been lambasted for saying that, no doubt by leftists who can't comprehend that "feminist" from a left-wing standing, has long been seen as a galling word, today considered associated with people who abhor marriage, child-raising and support homosexuality, and the early tales certainly didn't denigrate marriage, recalling one of the first from Sensation Comics that told how WW met an army nurse whose identity credentials she took up as the real Diana Prince traveled to South America to marry her fiance. The only fault I'd see is if Finch suggested a beautiful woman can't be strong too.

Finch later said on Twitter:


Make what you will of that, but Mother Jones wasn't helping much when they said:
Finch's apology seems sincere, and he seems to understand that feminism is about equality. But his words suggest that being "human" and "real" means you can't be a feminist. Wonder Woman would probably disagree.
WW is not a real person, so truly, how can she disagree or not? And "equality"? If you look at what kind of propaganda was spread in the 1960s, you know that hardly the case. It was more like a disdain for marriage and support for LGBT beliefs than an effort to promote women's rights. Maybe Finch should've said he'd find it better if WW were depicted as a women's rights promoter, but instead, he had to remain vague. The only thing he truly needed to apologize for was not showing the courage to be more specific.

Vanity Fair (via CBC) said that:
Finch’s reaction is still somewhat problematic. He gets the gist of the problem, that feminism is about equality, not female superiority. But being a feminist and being a “human and fallible” aren’t at all mutually exclusive. And as long as people continue to shy away from calling someone a feminist for fear that it dehumanizes them somehow, young people, men and women alike, will continue to misunderstand its meaning and purpose.
No, the problem is that VF's writer won't admit what the 60s take on the word led to, which did cause a lot of insanity. If they'd be more precise, and argue people like them are at least trying to improve upon the MO of past users of the label, then they'd be getting somewhere.

Whatever the Finch couple have in store, however, I doubt they'll manage to make WW convincingly humanized because of the forced changes post-New 52, including the transformation of the Amazons into savages. Also, in the same interview, this comes up:
To that end, we've seen Wonder Woman showing up in a lot of the Superman and Superman-related books. Are you guys planning on having Superman popping into "Wonder Woman," or highlighting her relationship with these other Justice League heroes by having them pop in?

Meredith: Definitely, it's going to be a factor as we're going through our story, because again, like David said, we can't ignore it. Brian [Azzarello] really did concentrate a lot of what he did on her life as Diana, God of War, and part of that Greek mythology. She does have a relationship with Superman, and it's a relationship-driven book -- I think we can't help but touch on it in some degree. It's not going to be the main focus of the book, because that's what that "Wonder Woman/Superman" book is for, but in the same way that she probably comes and goes in his books, he may come and go in an arc or two.
And here's where a problem comes in: are they going to continue with Geoff Johns' obvious fanfiction pairing of Supes and WW, instead of creating a new boyfriend for Diana? In that case, how is the book's direction going to be convincingly organic? What's the point of making it relation driven when the only actual paramour will be the Man of Steel himself? In fact, do they plan to go along with DiDio/Harras' plans for another crossover that could see all that rebooted yet again? If anything, a crossover will only prove they have little or no creative freedom regardless, and make their whole discussion a joke.

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Feminism should take back it's old definition. As of late, it's come to mean female nationalism led by manly women.

"I want Diana to come across as a real person, not a tired stereotype like she's often been portrayed."

"SEXIST PIG!"

quick quick everybody go to gail simone and ask DC's very own Mom from Mom's Friendly Robot Company what SHE thinks!

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