🔍 BEHIND THE MASK 🔎 Wonder Woman Edition

Welcome to this week’s discussion of BEHIND THE MASK, in which we welcome our resident armchair psychologists to ponder and muse, our literary detectives to theorize and question.

We invite you all to join the discussion below to explore the never-needed mask of WONDER WOMAN.


Wonder Woman has long held the torch for not just being the most powerful female superhero in the DC universe, but one of the most powerful heroes of any gender or comic realm.

Wonder Woman, both on the page and behind the scenes, stand out from nearly every other character in any comic book universe. From the complex romantic lifestyle of her creator, to her origins from the female utopia on the island of Themyscira, Wonder Woman’s purpose has always been to embody power, dominance, inducement, and diplomacy. And without question, she remains symbol for women’s equality throughout the decade.


Let’s pull up a chair and dig deeper into the eras of change that have defined Wonder Woman through the lens of “Female Empowerment”.

:mag_right: Which of Wonder Woman’s powers speak the loudest on “fema le empowerment” and why?

:mag_right: What unique contribution does Wonder Woman make to the Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman collective of the DC Trinity?

:mag_right: What are the traits of Wonder Woman that helped to create an unwavering icon for females around the globe for decades?

:mag_right: Is “paradise” only possible for women, with men out of the picture?

Share all your thoughts, theories, and additional questions below! :point_down:


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I’ll take on Diana and the Trinity. To me, Superman represents their moral center and conscience, with Batman being the mastermind, the resilience, while Diana is heart & soul of the group. Her passion runs deep, from her passion for the ones she loves to her passion for the work that they do. It’s been said one of her greatest powers is her godlike empathy for all living things.
On the other hand, she brings fire to the Trinity. She’s the “warrior” among the three. In an all out war, she’s the one you want leading your troops on the battlefield, with Batman planning and Superman the ultimate weapon.
Finally…as far as symbolism goes…if Superman is Hope, hope in the innate goodness in all of us, and Batman is Justice, protecting the innocent against evil…Diana is Truth…she can bring any man to his knees get the truth out of 'em on any given day.


I love this, @moro! Beautifully said.


Agreed. Love that @moro!
I’ll have to pop back on a little later to add my two cents. :smile:


No words were spoken more truthfully!! Loved it!!


Alright, I’ll take a swing at this.

Female empowerment: I’d say her courage, determination, and compassion. Yeah, that’s not a superpower, but superpowers are (usually) just gimmicks. Diana’s empowering because she’s a hero and heroism is built on moral character.

Trinity: Wonder Woman has, if we’re being honest, often (unfortunately) been written as decidedly the third member of the the Big Three. Part of that’s because Batman and Superman are the big sellers, but I think in some ways it opens up a unique role for Wonder Woman to play. Not that it’s good for her to play second fiddle, mind you, but rather there’s a way of avoiding that being the case. Specifically, Superman and Batman can get a little… self-absorbed, I guess I’d say? Not in terms of their own personalities, but Superman has to be the big idealistic figurehead of the superhero community all the time and Batman has to be the genius ninja mastermind all the time, and they just take up a lot of space. Wonder Woman works as the heart of the trinity. She’s less unapproachable than the other two, while still being on even footing with them, and is in many ways a balance for them.

Icon: That’s a hard question to answer. I’m no sociologist. I’d say she’s just one of several great early characters who just struck a chord with people. I think I’ll defer to those with a better sense of this than I have.

Paradise: I think if Wonder Woman believed that, she’d never have left Themyscira, and I’m inclined to trust Wonder Woman’s judgment. If half the population were actively causing the world to be worse, that’d be a pretty dismal state of affairs.


I think Wonder Woman is a great role model for girls like Superman is for the guys. What I like about her is the magic Lasso where she can make you tell the truth. Lynda Carter and Gal Gadot does a great job playing her. :slightly_smiling_face:


Trinity: I think most would agree that playing “second fiddle” isn’t first choice for most. But I have been known to choose second fiddle in many situations because you’re absolutely right. It gives you a unique position that requires less of you, leaving more room for flexibility and room for oneself.

People often say that women can’t be THE leader due to being too emotional or given to fancy. But you can’t deny that emotion does have its place in just about everything, making emotional intellect a valuable quality in a leader.

Due to the nature of their agenda (crime stopping and whatnot), perhaps compassion isn’t something you want spearheading the mission. But crimes are often driven by passion, so it would be smart to at least have it on your team.

First fiddle, first chair, or whatever you want to call that first position, often gets a more superior rap than it should, in many situations, as occasionally second and third position are not so much inferior as they are ancillary.


Nice write-up there @BatJamags :slight_smile: I find your point regarding Diana being more approachable than Clark and Bruce interesting. I think Clark & Diana are probably equally approachable. I mean farm boy from Kansas…couldn’t get much more approachable than that, right? Diana on the other hand was raised on hidden island of warrior women…yet she exudes that kindness and compassion that we both mentioned…which makes her approachable but in a different way.
Regarding her playing second fiddle to the other 2, you might want to check out the 2016 Trinity series. First arc was written and drawn by Francis Manapul; great stuff.

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“Is paradise only possible for women, with men out of the picture?”

Really liked this question so will take a go at it. I think in this exact moment in time, honestly I do think women would have it better. And that has nothing to do with women, this falls on the men. I won’t go too much into this but there is just so much (imo) that set women back…forces that they’re constantly fighting against that men don’t have to experience (at least to their degree). There are the obvious double standards, salary inequalities still, rape culture, slut shaming, etc etc etc. Not to mention just the lack of general respect nowadays FOR women. I think the day we start looking at others as an equal is the day we get closer to paradise. And obviously I’m not speaking for all women or men…moreso just bringing up current societal factors that really do impact certain demographics.

I think this is what makes Wonder Woman so powerful. One of her key features, is her confidence and “take charge, let’s get stuff done and stop sitting around…oh and btw I’m not taking sh!t from anyone” attitude. It’s perfect and so…empowering. Some would say she’s too aggressive or bitchy (more unnecessary social constructs) but that’s not the case. Because if it was Batman or Superman portraying some of those qualities, they’d be accepted. Truly, I think WW makes certain men simply, “quake in their boots”. I think she threatens their long reign of power throughout history and keeps them on their toes. And it’s a perfect comparison to what’s happening in the real world when you have women sharing the qualities of Diana which is again why she is soooooo important to have around!!!

All in all, yes I do think women would have more of a paradise if men vanished lol But this is just speaking for right now in history…things have just gotten so bad as of late imo. Luckily, things are starting to change with more inclusive language, these types of conversations, and more guided political correctness lol And it’s awesome we have WW back on the big screen with her live action movies setting great examples for others. Sorry this wasn’t organized better, I always respond on my phone and end up ranting in a way lol


rereading my response…hopefully that didn’t come across as negative or attacking a certain “population”. Definitely was not my intention. Sometimes I get caught up in my rambles and forget to keep it forum appropriate and organized lol.


Insightful. While I respect your opinion, if we’re talking flat out equality, I don’t believe women are any more better off without men than men are without women. I believe any race, gender, religion…you name it…will have good eggs and bad eggs. I also believe the good far outnumbers that bad. To say that women would have more of a paradise if men vanished, I believe is very cruel and unfair to the vast majority of men. Paradise, in my opinion is more of an ideal, it’s unattainable (and I won’t get into the religious aspect of that here). We strive as humans to be better, to improve. We take inspiration from great historical figures and events…we learn from our mistakes. I think that is the whole point of Diana leaving Themiscyra…to actually live in the world and fight the good fight…which is all anyone can do. I’m not saying the issues that you mentioned are not real, nor do I mean to discount them. But there are real world (not comic book) heroes out there trying to make the world a better place everyday, both men and women…


“Which of her powers speak the loudest on ‘female empowerment’ and why?”

I think @BatJamags has a point when they say that powers are gimmicks, but gimmicks that often are a metaphor for the character, so with that in mind, I would say it’s her super-strength, because it symbolizes the weight on her shoulders and her absolute resolve.

“What unique contribution does Wonder Woman make to … the DC Trinity?”

Her sense of diplomacy. Clark was raised as a regular kid in the mid-west, Bruce kind of grew up in a state of arrested development on his own crusade, but Diana was raised as a princess, and while princess has this cutesy, pretty air about it, what the title really means is one who is trained to be a queen, a ruler of a nation. She was raised by Hippolyta to be the next Queen of Themiskira, and is more capable in being involved in the affairs of state than just about any other hero in the DCU with the possible exception of Aquaman.

I’ll get to the other questions later, but I gotta get going for work. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


That diplomacy point is a very good one @Jay_Kay…never thought of that…makes me look at her a bit differently.


@moro. ughh I had a whole reply drafted on my phone and it got deleted -_- So I’ll keep it short lol But I completely agree! My post was more biased from the minority’s point of view. I love what you said about Diana coming from Themyscira to fight the good fight. Couldn’t of said it better! I personally don’t like all the division and the “this vs. that” when we’re all human and need to learn to coesxist…and definitely more love to spread around. Like you said, we should be working towards unity.


That’s a perspective I hadn’t considered, @deku_; due to personal experience, I’ve always imagined that the absence or removal of any group would just result in the remaining group dividing itself for whatever other reasons it found (by extension, to me, I think paradise would have to do less with the removal of external forces or groups, and more with the removal of internal issues, for instance).

I really like how you move through your conclusion, and how it relates to Wonder Woman on the whole, though, and completely agree with you on what makes her powerful, both as a character, and as a symbol, with regard to her confidence and ability to take charge. They’re certainly traits that are positives for getting things done, regardless of the person they belong to, so criticizing some for it but not others is a no-go. Really enjoyed how thorough you were in answering that :slight_smile:


“…more with the removal of internal issues” yes yes yes!!! You said it perfectly. And thanks, I rushed through it, definitely could’ve of gone with some better word choice lol

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“Is “paradise” only possible for women, with men out of the picture?”

I almost feel like this question steers itself in the wrong direction. Generically, our society has been a patriarchical one. One that constantly demands females to “walk” a few steps behind males, regardless of their age. Realistically, our society will never be in short supply of males insisting their necessity in a females life, rather than walking with them, beside them in equality.

Themyscira, is more of a Galapogos Island construct in that their society has been allowed to develop as a matriarchical one (fyi, I had to correct the auto-correct when spelling matriarchical as it kept insisting that patriarchical was the correct usage, which almost proves it’s own point).

In Themyscira, females are Heads of State, they are Chief Executive Officers, they are Fleet Admirals, Astro-Physicists, Doctors, Computer Scientists, Nurses, Fire Fighters, Para-Medics, Teachers, Care-givers, Professors and Philosophers all without sacrificing their femininity and what makes being a woman awesome in the first place.

In Themyscira women don’t walk a few steps behind another, they walk alongside each other.

In answer to the original question? If we, as a collective society, can learn to walk alongside each other rather than demanding another walk a few steps behind, then that would be a step in the right direction.

We all still have to deal with The Legion of Doom though weather we can get our collective **** together or not so there’s that too. No pressure though :wink:


Haha I love how you expressed your take on it all, @johnnyb807.65286.
I hear where you’re coming from with your initial response to the question. Though, given WW and the Amazonian island of Themyscira were both created as a commentary on or perhaps in response to women’s position in society at the time, the question seems to really just bounce off of what was.

And I for one do think the question and conversation are both still relevant today, considering there are still notable inequalities in today’s society (as your auto-correct so aptly demonstrated lol).

What Themyscira offers its inhabitants was so fantastical at its origins.

And while we may have made great strides since the island’s creation, allowing for many of those “fantastical Themyscirian offers” to actually exist in our society today, our society is still not without its flaws of inequality regarding women.

I mean, without going too deeply into defining my idea of “paradise” within this context or how it might be represented in society then or now, I think I would venture to say that it, in the least , includes the idea of “freedom and equality”.

Freedom to be/do whatever may be desired, in whatever way it may be desired and equal treatmant in doing so.

Speaking only gender here, I might also venture to say that, for the most part, men have it & women don’t.

So “if” paradise = freedom and equality" then my answer would be, “perhaps”.

Somewhere down the line in time, I imagine we will have made more strides that eliminate all of these inequalities, but (and I’m trying so hard to not open another huge can of worms right here) until we evolve beyond what really might just be “natural/primal” catalysts in perspective… I’ll continue boarding my flights of fancy to Themyscira. :airplane::desert_island:

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such a beautiful way to put it. I like what you were saying about freedom because in this exact moment in time, freedom is not easily accessible to everyone. And you’re right, it’s like we’re trailing so close to opening up such a big topic lol So many inequalities and injustices are currently occuring and it seems like we always look somewhere else to place blame. But like everyone has been consistently saying, these problems stem more from within the individual. If we lack the compassion, love, and overall respect for others…we create this world full of stereotypes and injustices.

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