Final 12 months, Surprise Lady was dropped because the United Nations honorary ambassador for the empowerment of ladies and women, simply two months after her controversial designation. A petition citing the character’s massive breasts, “unimaginable proportions,” and overtly sexualized “thigh-baring physique go well with,” along with the will for a real-life girl to take the put up, led to Surprise Lady’s swift demotion.
However limiting Surprise Lady to her picture demonstrates a elementary misunderstanding of the long-lasting DC Comics heroine. In spite of everything, she’s been a beacon of feminine empowerment since her creation in 1941. Simply ask the solid of Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, director Angela Robinson’s story of Surprise Lady’s unconventional origins.
“I used to be blown away character that I assumed was simply one other comedian guide character has really this root in feminist idea and was conceived of as this peace-keeping icon that might change the world,” Rebecca Hall informed MTV Information. “I discovered myself all of the comedian books all through time and out of the blue seeing Surprise Lady as this metaphor for feminist historical past.”
The brainchild of psychologist and polyamorist William Moulton Marston (performed by Luke Evans), Surprise Lady was a controversial determine within the comedian guide trade because of Martson’s overtly feminist ideology. “It is very important me that younger women of immediately understand that they’ve the facility inside themselves to create their very own future,” Marston says in the film, “to be President of the USA if they need.”
It was a radical thought within the early 1940s. (In some methods, greater than 76 years later, it still is.) Surprise Lady was simply as robust as Superman, however she by no means relied on brute power. She was as simply as Batman, however as an alternative of the incarceration of criminals, she preached rehabilitation. Her compassion was her best power.
But, critics nonetheless proceed to call the character’s feminism into query due to her choice for armored bustiers and thigh-high boots.
“You could possibly say that it is a totally different form of misogyny to counsel that there can solely be one option to be a feminist,” Corridor mentioned. “Or just one option to be a lady. That is very restrictive and oppressive.”
Apart from, have you ever seen what male superheroes can get away with? “Superman’s received pecs!” Corridor mentioned. “He is in a skin-tight, latex onesie the place all the things’s on show,” Evans added. (Literally everything.)
And probably the most damning of all of them: “Batman’s received nipples!”
Professor Marston and the Surprise Girls is out in theaters now.