Little Ears warning: Parents may want to preview this episode, we discuss several adult themes including suicide, alternative lifestyles, and…” adult play.”
We step back from reality (sorta) to talk about the many lives of Wonder Woman, her original creator William Moulton Marston, the women who originally inspired the superhero, and the creators who recrafted her to suit their own visions. It’s a heck of a ride. And there is a Little Ears warning–you know how cartoons often have adult themes and jokes that go right over the heads of little kids? We talk about some of Wonder Woman’s in these two episodes–oh yeah, two! There’s A LOT to talk about, her story begins in the early 1900s and hasn’t ended yet!
Wonder Woman made her debut in 1941, but her roots go back to the early years of her creator, William Moulton Marston. He was raised in an extended family full of women, influenced by both early 1900’s suffragists, and a childhood friend turned girlfriend and, eventually, wife: Elizabeth Holloway (who preferred the nickname “Sadie” to the one her husband used, “Betty.” You know we called her “Sadie all the way through.)
William went to Harvard, Sadie went to Mount Holyoke, and the third partner in their family, Olive Byrne, went to Tufts…and to make the story even more interesting–William was her professor. Sadie, a HIGHLY educated woman, was an editor for several publications; William– that’s Dr. Marston, psychologist– bounced from academia to trying to find acceptance for his invention- the lie detector and tests. And Olive? She dropped out of her advanced degree program to raise the four children of the Marston-Byrne family.
In 1941 William finally hit his big time with a creation that combined his feminist beliefs, his love practices, his psychological training, and some inspiration from Sadie and Olive: Wonder Woman. (Yeah, we said, “love practices.”)
We talk suffragists, Amazons, free-thinking, comic history, and end this episode as Wonder Woman was becoming one of the most popular superheroes of all time but her adventures were just beginning.
Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of –dah dah dah- Wonder Woman!
Time Travel With The History Chicks
All media recommendations will be on the shownotes for Part Two, coming next week, but we’ve released the Pinterest board for her if you’re itching to tumble down some rabbit holes! PINTEREST WONDER WOMAN
Break music: Very Prepared, by Emma Wallace; End music: Superhero, by My Washin Mashin