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Wonder Woman and Philosophy: The Amazonian Mystique


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Wonder Woman and Philosophy: The Amazonian Mystique

Jacob M. Held (Editor), William Irwin (Series Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-119-28075-0 May 2017 Wiley-Blackwell 240 Pages


Wonder Woman and Philosophy: The Amazonian Mystique explores a wide range of philosophical questions surrounding the most popular female superhero of all time, from her creation as feminist propaganda during World War II up to the first female lead in the blockbuster DC movie-franchise.

  • The first book dedicated to the philosophical questions raised by the complex and enduringly iconic super-heroine 
  • Fighting fascism with feminism since 1941, considers the power of Wonder Woman as an exploration of gender identity and also that of the human condition – what limits us and what we can overcome
  • Confronts the ambiguities of Wonder Woman, from her roles as a feminist cause and fully empowered woman, to her objectification as sexual fantasy
  • Topics explored include origin stories and identity, propaganda and art, altruism and the ethics of care, Amazonians as transhumanists, eroticism and graphic novels, the crafting of a heroine, domination, relationships, the ethics of killing and torture, and many more.
Contributors: The Myndi Mayer Foundation xi

Acknowledgments xvii

Editor’s Note xix

Introduction: In and For a World of Ordinary Mortals 1
Jacob M. Held

Part I You Are a Wonder Woman 3

1 Becoming a (Wonder) Woman: Feminism, Nationalism, and the Ambiguity of Female Identity 5
J. Lenore Wright

2 The God of War is Wearing What? Gender in the New 52 19
Sarah K. Donovan

3 Wonder Woman vs. Harley Quinn: The Paradox of the Moral Hero 31
Jill Hernandez and Allie Hernandez

4 Great Hera! Considering Wonder Woman’s Super Heroism 44
Trip McCrossin

Part II Dispatches from Man’s World 55

5 Wonder Woman: Feminist Faux Pas? 57
Andrea Zanin

6 Feminist Symbol or Fetish? Zîzëk, Wonder Woman, and Final Crisis 72
Matthew William Brake

7 When Clark Met Diana: Friendship and Romance in Comics 81
Matthew A. Hoffman and Sara Kolmes

Part III When I Deal with Them, I Deal with Them 91

8 Bound to Face the Truth: The Ethics of Using Wonder Woman’s Lasso 93
Melanie Johnson-Moxley

9 “What I Had to Do”: The Ethics of Wonder Woman’s Execution of Maxwell Lord 104
Mark D. White

10 Can a Warrior Care? Wonder Woman and the Improbable Intersection of Care Ethics and Bushido 115
Steve Bein

11 Wonder Woman: Saving Lives through Just Torture? 126
Adam Barkman and Sabina Tokbergenova

12 Wonder Woman Winning with Words: A Paragon of Wisdom, Disarming Threats One at a Time... 133
Francis Tobienne Jr.

Part IV God(s), Country, Sorority 141

13 Wonder Woman, Worship, and Gods Almighty: Purpose in Submission to Loving Authority 143
Jacob M. Held

14 Merciful Minerva in a Modern Metropolis 151
Dennis Knepp

15 Wonder Woman and Patriarchy: From Themyscira’s Amazons to Wittig’s Guérrillères 162
Mónica Cano Abadía

Part V Tying Up Loose Ends 171

16 The Lasso of Truth? 173
James Edwin Mahon

17 Loving Lassos: Wonder Woman, Kink, and Care 188
Maria Chavez, Chris Gavaler, and Nathaniel Goldberg

18 Golden Lassos and Logical Paradoxes 198
Roy T. Cook and Nathan Kellen

Index 209