Yeah, it’s from 1975, and, yeah, we can’t be all too surprised that it’s horribly sexist, but wow. Just wow.
The group of us have recently begun watching the original Wonder Woman series. And the lines in it make all of us groan and shake our heads. In the first episode, Woman Woman is hired as a secretary to replace the evil Nazi secretary for the “Air Force” Major Steve Trevor after she is ousted and found out. They hire her because they need to find an ugly woman who won’t distract them with their looks – so they hire her because, while she’s good at typing, she’s a dog. (Okay, maybe they didn’t call her a dog…wait, no, I think they did!)
And, shockingly, the episode was written by William Marsten and Stanley Ralph Ross.
We’re only on episode four, but each episode has at least a few lines that seem to be completely against the point of Wonder Woman – there is no female empowerment. While she may have to save Steve (who seems awfully incompetent…which might explain how he managed to become a Major) in just about every episode, Woman Wonder does such classic things as lose her lasso and enter a beauty contest.
Out of these four episodes, only one – Wonder Woman Meets Baroness Von Gunther – includes a woman in the writing credits: Margaret Armen.
They recently tried to do a reboot, which, sadly, was not even as good as the original series.
So will we keep watching? Yeah. And will we keep being shocked and horrified by the view of women in 1975? Definitely.
And that’s probably a very good thing. If nothing else, it lets us know quite how far we’ve come.