A Tender Movie about Bondage, Polyamory, and Wonder Woman


#1

Some very light spoilers for Professor Marston and the Wonder Women ahead, but nothing you couldn’t have gleaned from the film’s trailer.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/a37p45/bondage-polyamory-wonder-woman

#2

This seems like a cool movie! I think Susana Polo over at Polygon covered some of the origins on Wonder Woman on Issue at Hand a little while a go, and was surprised to hear about it. I’ll have to Professor Marston and the Wonder Woman a shot.

Also, whoever picked the music for that trailer… Well, the less said the better.


#3

I learned about Prof. Marston back in when I was starting to get into comics, sometime around highschool. His story, is one of the most important influences on my outlook and ideas around sexuality and love. I’m fairly “traditional” being a cis-white-male and mostly straight on the sexuality spectrum. But the genuine love and sexual expression that Prof. Marston had help me in accepting that there are many ways to love and be loved. I don’t really know where I’m going with this, only that I’m glad others get to see the story of this amazing man and the women that inspired him.


#4

I assume the movie is based on The Secret Life of Wonder Woman? Read it earlier this year, and not knowing anything about WW but the basics it was very interesting. Marston was somewhat of an old timey snake oil salesman in his personality. He invented a lie detector (not very reliable) and marketed the shit out of it, sold himself as the champion of lie detecting all over the place. Eventually when he started writing comics, that’s the origin of Wonder Woman’s lasso of truth. If I understand it right, while being a feminist he also believed all woman subconsiously wanted to be controlled, which is where the constant theme of bondage comes from in the comics. Wonder Woman’s one weakness used to be being tied up, and this happened a lot.

Of course you could also argue that breaking her bonds was an allegory for women’s lib, and this imagery was actually directly used by different organizations, but I don’t think that was his original intent.

Anyway the book is cool, has a lot of panels from the original comic as well which are fun to look at.


#5

Eeesh. I’ve heard the snake oil / submission things about Marston, too, and they make me all kinds of dubious. I also just got away from a very…exploitative?..poly relationship. So I’ll have to wait a bit before checking this out, but three cheers for the diversity!


#6

Marston was, like everyone, a flawed person. I don’t know much about the snake oil stuff, but by all accounts his poly relationship was fully consenting and healthy. His relationship with and observations of the relationship of Elizabeth and Olive greatly influenced his ideas about women for good and ill. In fact, I’d argue that his entire view of women is narrowly defined by them. This accounts for his view that all women secretly wish to be bound, but are simultaneously should be dominating of society. Personally, I think this philosophy and views of female psychology are mostly BS because of this. However, I would still consider him a feminist (in intent at the least) and the poly relationship is a good example of a how to successfully participate while not being exploitative.