TIME viral

A Woman Recreated That Viral Catcalling Video in New Zealand and Got Very Different Results

For starters, nobody catcalled her

Remember that video of a woman getting catcalled more than 100 times? The one that took over the entire Internet and launched approximately 87 million think pieces, tweets and blog posts? Well, the New Zealand Herald decided to test out a similar experiment, but in Auckland instead of New York City. The newspaper sent model Nicola Simpson on a walk around the city, with a hidden camera tracking her movements and her interactions with fellow pedestrians.

Spoiler alert: the results are drastically different. Sure, a few men do double-takes to check her out, but only two people said anything to her — and one was simply asking for directions.

TIME Business

France Investigates Higher Prices for Women’s Products

Petition notes that women's products are priced unfairly compared to men's

The French Finance Ministry has promised to investigate why certain women’s razors, shaving creams, and deodorants are more expensive than men’s, even though the products are practically identical.

The inquiry comes after a French women’s group launched a petition against what they called an “invisible tax” on products marked as “feminine.” Secretary of State for women’s rights, Pascale Boistard, even tweeted (in french) “Is pink a luxury color?”

A Change.org petition aimed at getting Monoprix, a major French retail brand, to change its pricing has gained almost 40,000 signatures. The petition notes that a packet of 10 males razors costs less than a packet of 5 female razors, even though the products are basically the same. Monoprix denies the price discrimination, saying that the different pricing comes from the fact that men buy more razors than women do.

The “invisible tax” isn’t just in France– American products marketed towards women are also more expensive than regular products. Bustle broke down how nearly identical products at CVS are priced differently depending on whether they’re being sold to men or women. For example, a men’s dandruff shampoo costs $7.99, while a women’s dandruff shampoo costs $10.99, even though they’re made by the same company (Head & Shoulders) and promise the same thing.

In 1995, California passed a law to ban gender-based price discrimination, citing analysis that women were spending an extra $1,350 a year because of the bias. But that only applies to service pricing– car washes, dry cleaning, etc. — not products in stores.

TIME feminism

Street Harassment Isn’t About Sexism—It’s About Privilege

Woman walking in street
Getty Images

Kay S. Hymowitz is the William E. Simon Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. She is the author of four books, including Marriage and Caste in America: Separate and Unequal Families in a Post-Marital Age and Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Is Turning Men Into Boys.

There's not much to do about catcalling, unless you’re willing to see a lot more minority men hassled by the police

Americans would rather talk about almost anything other than class. Even today as income inequality and racial and gender disparities dominate the headlines, even among the tell-all Millennials, class is quarantined from the arena of respectable conversation.

The latest example of this stubborn truism emerged after a video showing the catcalling torment young women face on city streets was posted on YouTube. Many viewers noticed that in the two-minute video by the activist group Hollaback!, condensed from a single woman’s 10 hour walk around New York City, all of the offending men were black and Hispanic. They chastised the creators for creating the appearance that white men don’t do this sort of thing, which led ultimately to an apology from Rob Bliss the video producer.

To say that Bliss was being disingenuous is putting it mildly. In a little noticed item on the website of the alternative magazine Mass Appeal Chris Moore did a little sleuthing and found that more than half of the shots used in the film appeared to be shot on 125th Street in Harlem, a predominately poor, black neighborhood. Much of the rest were shot near Times Square and Canal Street, neither area what anyone would call genteel. You have to give Bliss this much credit: He knew what he and very few other people are willing to admit. Street harassment is largely a class thing. In New York, at any rate, that means it’s also a race thing.

Now before anyone tweets about the pasty skinned guys from Morgan Stanley who whisper nasty somethings in her ear when she’s on line at the Financial District Starbucks, let’s get the obvious on the table: Street harassers can come in all colors and sport all kinds of pedigrees. Without a doubt, there are white guys in Brooks Brothers or Zegna who will ruin a girl’s morning with an unwelcome suggestion for where on her body he would like to deposit his bodily fluids.

Still. These bespoke brutes may not be a rare breed, but they’re just not common enough to spoil a good 10 hour walk along the Upper East Side. Young women who tense up as they approach a construction site know full well that walking past the guys who drive the fork lift will almost surely result in some unwanted attention; walking past the architects who are pouring over the blueprints probably won’t.

The catcalling gap will make sense to anyone who has noticed that middle class men and women tend to have a different physical and sexual presentation than their less privileged peers. Psychologists have long known that there are marked class differences in child rearing that can explain this. Preparing their children for office and stable domestic life, middle class parents have always nudged their children to display what was once known as “bourgeois propriety.” The term doesn’t seem to fit an America where, as the “Advice Goddess” Amy Alkon has said, even “nice people say f–k.” But middle class homes continue to encourage their children to use their “inside voices,” to demonstrate bodily self-discipline (one reason obesity has become a class marker), to play nice, and to soften the rough edges of male physicality. They ban toy guns from their homes and petition schools to prohibit dodgeball and other “human target” games.

Lower income parents tend to be less “proper” in their childrearing, dispensing more physical punishment and shrugging off rough and tumble play. The difference shows up in school where lower income kids, particularly boys, have more trouble sitting still, paying attention, and keeping quiet; educators consistently report they have more behavior problems. It should come as no surprise that these same boys grow up to become men who are more blatantly, and for middle class women especially, more obnoxiously, interested in every passing young thing. In rare but important instances this goes well beyond obnoxious; lower income men (and women) are also more likely than middle class to be involved in domestic violence disputes.

The catcalling gap creates some cognitive dissonance for promoters of the idea of “white male privilege.” If men of color and working class dudes are the biggest offenders, then middle class (mostly white) are the good — or at least the less bad — guys. Middle class men may no longer open doors for women or help them carry heavy suitcases, but most of them would be mortified to hear a friend shout “Hey baby; shake that thing!” to passing strangers as they rush to take their poli-sci class or make their 10 a.m. project meeting.

That raises the question of how the disproportionately white campus has become the site where so many men behave badly. That’s easy to answer. Put middle class men in a frat house with flowing kegs, and their manners melt into a boozy puddle. That’s exactly the point of the whole exercise. People —men and women — drink because it feels good to shed their inhibitions, to say the sorts of things of which their parents might not approve and do things their daytime, classroom selves may wonder at.

Ironically, then, Hollaback!’s video suggests that privilege belongs to white middle class women as much as their male classmates. For all of the myriad problems they face in a college sex scene drenched in alcohol, women students can walk the ivy paths with minimum of hassle (unless they pass by the guys building the new student center with yoga studio and state of the art fitness center). When they move to a chaotic, multicultural city, however, especially if they venture into Harlem and Times Square, they find themselves bumping up against all types — blue collar and poor men, immigrants and children of immigrants, men whose parents may not have raised them to treat women with the sort of restraint their own brothers and fathers do. And they don’t like it one bit.

Even Rob Bliss — especially Rob Bliss! — has to know there’s not much anyone can do about it. Unless they’re willing to see a lot more minority men hassled by the police.

Kay S. Hymowitz is the William E. Simon Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. She is the author of four books, including Marriage and Caste in America: Separate and Unequal Families in a Post-Marital Age and Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Is Turning Men Into Boys.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME feminism

What We Can Learn From Nellie Tayloe Ross, America’s First Female Governor

Nellie Tayloe Ross
Nellie Tayloe Ross when elected governor of Wyoming in 1925. AP Images

Not much has changed for women in politics since 1924

Before there was Sarah Palin or Ann Richards, there was Nellie Tayloe Ross. Ninety years ago today, on Nov 4, 1924, Ross was elected governor of Wyoming, and became the first woman governor in the United States.

Ross was elected a month after her husband, Governor William B. Ross, died suddenly of appendicitis. Her supporters thought it was fitting that the first state to allow equal voting rights (Wyoming passed women’s suffrage in 1869) would also be the first to have a woman governor, and Ross was committed to continuing her husband’s progressive policies. Plus, she wanted the job. Ross was the first woman governor by only a few days — Miriam “Ma” Ferguson, who had also been a state First Lady, was sworn in as governor of Texas just over two weeks after Ross took office.

Ross was inaugurated on Jan. 5, 1925. Eleven days later, when she appeared before the Legislature to review the progress of her late husband, The New York Times ran the headline, “Mrs. Ross Wears Hat Before Legislature,” and noted that she “defied precedent” by “wearing hat and gloves.” Other contemporary media accounts noted that she had “not lost her womanliness” and remained “ever feminine, never a feminist,” as noted in her Times obituary when she died in 1977. “Really, I dropped accidentally into politics,” she told the Times in 1926, saying she preferred to taking a stroll along the boardwalk to discussing rumors of a 1928 bid for the Vice Presidency (which never materialized).

Ninety years later, women politicians are still struggling with the delicate balance of femininity, ambition and power. Even though we may have a woman president sometime soon, female politicians must still be attractive but not too sexy, ambitious but not too scary. And as much as we may want to think that we’re past caring how female politicians look, the recent kerfuffle over Sen. Tom Harkin comparing Iowa Republican candidate Joni Ernst to Taylor Swift proves not much as changed in the last nine decades. That focus on looks is bad for women who aspire to politics. “When [a woman]’s appearance is commented on publicly during a campaign, it undermines her; it actually hurts her,” Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said at the Real Simple/TIME Women & Success Panel in October. “And it doesn’t matter if the comment is positive or negative. It undermines her credibility.”

Ross also had to dispel the idea that she would use her power to rid the Wyoming government of men, and create an all-woman government ( a 1925 man’s worst nightmare). Here’s what TIME reported in 1925 that she told the Associated Press when asked about her view of women in politics:

“It is most amusing and amazing to me, for example, to be asked, as I was soon after my election, whether I expected to appoint any men to office? This question, telegraphed to me from the East by a well-known metropolitan newspaper, had every indication of being quite sincere, and was apparently inspired by the fear that the elevation of women to executive office was likely to be followed by the dismissal of all men and the substitution of women in their places.”

If Nellie Tayloe Ross were alive today, she’d certainly have some thoughts about #notallmen.

TIME 2014 Election

Joni Ernst Missed the Real Problem With the Taylor Swift Comparison

Joni Ernst
Republican Iowa State Sen. Joni Ernst in Des Moines, Iowa on May 29, 2014. Charlie Neibergall—AP

The problem is not that she was called attractive, it's how people react to that

When video surfaced of a Democratic senator calling her “really attractive,” Senate candidate Joni Ernst took full advantage.

In an appearance on Fox News Monday, the Iowa Republican slammed retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, whose seat she’s seeking, for saying in a video that she’s “as good looking as Taylor Swift” but “votes like Michele Bachmann.”

“I think it’s unfortunate that he and many in their party believe that you can’t be a real woman if you’re conservative and female,” she said. “I believe if my name had been John Ernst on my resume, then Senator Harkin would not have said those things.”

Ernst is right that there’s a double standard for female politicians, but she’s not quite right about how it works. For one thing, people say male politicians are sexy all the time. In fact, it’s often an argument in favor of their candidacy.

Obama’s sex appeal won him a fan in “Obama Girl,” who made viral YouTube videos about her crush on the then-Presidential candidate in 2008. Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) rumored washboard abs were the subject of much speculation during his 2012 Vice Presidential campaign. Scott Brown, who once posed nude for Cosmopolitan, was the subject of a 2010 New York Times column called “Bringing Sexy Back.” John Edwards was voted People Magazine’s “Sexiest Politician” of 2000.

It’s not a recent phenomenon either. Some historians argue that JFK won the presidency in 1960 because he looked more handsome than Nixon during the televised Nixon-Kennedy debate.

But while attractiveness is a political asset for male politicians, it’s a liability for women.

A 2010 study from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel found that when female job applicants included a photo with their resumes, more attractive women were less likely to get hired than plainer ones. But references to physical appearance of any kind, flattering or insulting, can hurt a female candidate.

“When [a woman]’s appearance is commented on publicly during a campaign, it undermines her; it actually hurts her,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said during the Real Simple/TIME event on Women and Success on Oct 1. “And it doesn’t matter if the comment is positive or negative. It undermines her credibility.”

That’s why comments about female politicians’ looks are seen as gaffes, while comments on men’s looks are considered funny and flattering.

Earlier this year, Gillibrand revealed in her book that she had been called “porky” and “chubby” by fellow Senators. Last year, Obama apologized to California Attorney General Kamala Harris after he commented that she was the “best-looking attorney general in the country.” Before he was defeated by Sen. Elizabeth Warren in 2012, then-Sen. Scott Brown responded to Warren’s comment that she didn’t have to take off her clothes to pay for college (a dig at Brown’s nude photo shoot) with an insulting “thank God.” And in 2010, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Gillibrand the “hottest member” of the Senate, while she was sitting only a few feet away. Each of these comments created a minor scandal, and sparked debate about whether the female politicians were being “taken seriously.”

Sarah Palin is a perfect example of this. The former beauty queen-turned politician became a living punchline, thanks in part to her “sexy librarian hair” and resemblance to SNL comic Tina Fey.

So the problem with Harkin’s remarks isn’t that he wouldn’t have made them about a hypothetical John Ernst. The problem is that they would be seen as a problem for the real Joni Ernst.

TIME Opinion

Instagram Is Right to Censor Chelsea Handler

2014 Kennedy Center's Mark Twain Prize For American Humor Honoring Jay Leno
Chelsea Handler at the 2014 Kennedy Center's Mark Twain Prize For Americacn Humor at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on October 19, 2014 in Washington, DC. Kris Connor--Getty Images) Kris Connor—Getty Images

Allowing nudity on Instagram would hurt more women than it would help

It’s Halloween, which means it’s the perfect time to stir up a smoking hot gender-politics brouhaha in the Internet cauldron. This time, it’s over comedian Chelsea Handler’s nipples, and whether she should be able to post pictures of them on Instagram.

The drama started Thursday night, when Handler posted a topless photo of herself riding a horse on Instagram, to mock Vladimir Putin’s topless horseback selfie from 2009. Her photo was accompanied with the caption, “Anything a man can do, a woman has the right to do better. #kremlin.” But Instagram took the photo down, citing its Community Guidelines, which prohibit sharing of “nudity or mature content.” Handler posted the notice that her post had been removed, with the caption “If a man posts a photo of his nipples, it’s ok, but not a woman? Are we in 1825?” She then took to Twitter, calling the removal “sexist.”

Breastfeeding moms have voiced similar outrage at social networks like Facebook and Instagram, complaining that their nursing photos have been taken down for being too revealing. And pro-nudity movements like the Free the Nipple campaign have argued that nudity laws policies like this amount to “female oppression.”

Yes, in an ideal world, women’s nipples would seem just as unsexy and random as men’s. But we don’t live in that world, and Instagram is right to censor Handler and other women who post topless pictures. Not because there’s anything wrong with female nudity, but because that kind of monitoring helps keep revenge porn and child porn off of the network. It’s not that kids on Instagram need to be protected from seeing naked photos of Chelsea Handler–it’s they need to be protected from themselves.

See, kids love taking nude selfies, and they have notoriously bad judgement when it comes to putting stuff on the Internet. A study in June by Drexel University found that 28% of undergrads said they had sent photographic sexts while underage. Another study, published in Pediatrics in September, also found that 28% of surveyed teens admitted to sending naked photos, and 57% said they’d been asked for a sext. At the same time, Instagram is quickly eclipsing Facebook as the social network of choice for young teens. According to a survey by investment banking company Piper Jaffray, 76% of teens say they use Instagram, while only 59% use Twitter and 45% use Facebook. So if Instagram didn’t have its nudity policy, it stands to reason that teens might just start posting their naked selfies there.

The nudity policy also keeps Instagram from being a revenge porn destination. A 2013 study by McAfee security company found that 13% of adults have had their personal content leaked without their permission, and 1 in 10 say they’ve had exes threaten to post personal photos. Of those who threatened to leak photos, 60% followed through. Without their policy, Instagram would be a destination for revenge porn as well.

To be fair, Instagram doesn’t have a share mechanism, so it would be harder for porn to go viral. But on the other hand, Instagram profiles can also contain personal details about users’ immediate surroundings, which could make teens or potential revenge porn victims even more vulnerable.

This is also a question of practicality. Ideally, Instagram would be able to distinguish between a naked 13-year old and a breastfeeding mom. In reality, it would be unrealistic to expect Instagram to comb through their content, keeping track of when every user turns 18, whether the user is posting photos of themselves or of someone else, and whether every naked photo was posted with consent. And even if they could do that, would you really want Instagram calling you up to verify you knew about that whipped-cream photo your ex posted? It would be creepy.

This kind of policy is what makes Instagram different than Tumblr, which has fewer restrictions and much more porn. Granted, Tumblr has recently made that content harder to find on its site, but it’s still a destination for revenge porn. And as Maureen O’Connor wrote for New York Magazine, the process of getting revenge porn taken down can be humiliating: victims have to send Tumblr a picture of themselves holding a piece of paper with their full name, to verify they’re the person in the pictures.

So which is more important: the rights of a few bold comedians or breastfeeding moms to feel validated by their Facebook followers, or the privacy of people who might have their private photos posted without consent? I would side with the latter any day of the week.

TIME Television

Watch Anita Sarkeesian School Stephen Colbert on GamerGate

She even declares Colbert a feminist

The maker of a feminist video game who has faced vitriol from some members of the “GamerGate” online movement stopped by The Colbert Report on Wednesday and handily schooled the host’s fake gamer persona.

“I’m saving the princess, and I’m supposed to let the princess die? Is that what you want?” Colbert asks Anita Sarkeesian incredulously.

“Well maybe the princess shouldn’t be a damsel and she could save herself,” Sarkeesian replies, drawing cheers from women in the crowd. (“I didn’t know you brought a posse,” Colbert jokingly responds.)

The GamerGate movement, named after the Twitter hashtag that has fueled its growth, purports to challenge poor ethics in video-game journalism. But it has also unleashed a wave of sexist comments and threats against women in the overall gaming industry.

Sarkeesian, who has publicly criticized video-game culture for its portrayal of women, canceled a talk at Utah State University earlier this month after the school received an email threat of a shooting massacre. While the school considered it safe for the talk to continue, Sarkeesian decided to pull out of the event because the school was barred by state law from disallowing legal guns on campus during the event.

“They’re lashing out because we’re challenging the status quo of gaming as a male-dominated space,” Sarkeesian says. By the end of the interview, she even declares Colbert a feminist after he asks if he’s allowed — as a man — to be one.

See the full interview below:

TIME celebrity

Here’s Benedict Cumberbatch in a Feminist T-Shirt

All the Cumberbitches are pretty excited

Well, looks like Mr. Benedict Cumberbatch is the latest male celebrity to proudly embrace the f-word. Behold:

ELLE UK called on the Sherlock actor to pose in a t-shirt featuring the slogan “This is what a feminist looks like,” created by equality campaigning organization the Fawcett Society. As part of its upcoming feminism issue, the magazine recruited Cumberbatch — along with other actors like Tom Hiddleston and Joseph Gordon-Levitt — to show their support.

Naturally, Cumberbatch’s many fans (also known as Cumberbitches) are pretty excited.

Here are Gordon-Levitt and Hiddleston:

 

TIME feminism

Emma Watson: Feminism Is ‘Not Dogmatic,’ It’s About Having Choices

HeForShe Campaign Launch
Emma Watson, Ban Ki-Moon attends the launch of the HeForShe Campaign at the United Nations on September 20, 2014 in New York City. (Steve Sands--WireImage) Steve Sands—WireImage

She'll be on the cover of Elle's feminism issue in December

The Harry Potter star and new UN Women Goodwill ambassador will grace the cover of ELLEs feminism-themed December issue.

In a sneak-peak at the full interview from ELLE’s U.K. website, here’s what she has to say about feminism:

“Feminism is not here to dictate to you. It’s not prescriptive, it’s not dogmatic. All we are here to do is give you a choice. If you want to run for President, you can. If you don’t, that’s wonderful, too.”

Watson also said her upbringing helped influence her ideas about feminism:

“I’m lucky I was raised to believe that my opinion at the dinner table was valuable. My mum and I spoke as loudly as my brothers.”

The British star made waves last month when she spoke at the UN He for She event about the importance of feminism for both women and men.

[ELLE]

TIME Culture

7 Amazing Things You Didn’t Know About Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman
Knopf

In her new book, Jill Lepore explores how the suffragist movement, Fascism and the lie detector inspired the creation of the most popular female superhero of all time

Even the most devout Wonder Woman fanatics probably didn’t know that the heroine’s creator, William Moulton Marston, a psychologist, lived with and had children with two women at the same time. They also probably didn’t know that he had slightly strange theories about the benefits of bondage. Nor is it common knowledge that the character, which debuted in 1942, was inspired by the leaders of the suffragist movement.

In her new book, The Secret History of Wonder Woman, which hits shelves Tuesday, New Yorker writer and Harvard professor Jill Lepore delves into the life of the man who created Wonder Woman. The book comes just as Wonder Woman is swooping back into the cultural consciousness with her invisible jet. Israeli actress Gal Gadot will play Wonder Woman in 2016’s Batman vs. Superman and will get her own solo film in 2017.

Here’s just some of what Lepore uncovered:

1. Wonder Woman was inspired by Margaret Sanger (and other suffragists)

Creator William Moulton Marston, a psychologist, was deeply interested in gender dynamics, women’s rights and the suffragist movement.

He also fell in love with one of his students at Tufts, Olive Byrne, who eventually lived in his house with him and his wife in a sort of polyamorous relationship. Byrne happened to be Sanger’s niece, and Byrne’s mother, Ethel, and Sanger together opened what eventually became the first Planned Parenthood in 1916.

When Marston hired a woman named Joy Hummel to help him write Wonder Woman, Olive Byrne handed her one book to use as background: Margaret Sanger’s Woman and the New Race.

2. There’s a reason she’s bound up all the time

A recurring plot point in the early Wonder Woman comics was that if the superhero was bound by a man in chains she would lose all her Amazonian powers. So Wonder Woman was bound—a lot. This choice was partly inspired by the suffragists who chained themselves to buildings during protests and used chain symbolism to represent men’s oppression of women. But Marston was also preoccupied, perhaps even obsessed with, bondage.

He had a theory that women enjoyed submission and bondage and teaching young girls of that virtue was one of the purposes of the comic: “This, my dear friend, is the one truly great contribution of my Wonder Woman strip to moral education of the young,” Marsten wrote to his publisher after he was accused of sadism. “The only hope for peace is to teach people who are full of pep and unbound force to enjoy being found—enjoy submission to kind authority, wise authority.”

Wonder Woman’s subjugation was extremely controversial: Wonder Woman was banned in the 1940s because of the overt sexual nature of both her dress and the sexual nature of her near-constant bondage.

3. Wonder Woman was partly a response to the rise of the Nazis

The first comic book superhero, Superman, hit the stands in 1938. But shortly thereafter, comics came under fire: critics said Superman could be interpreted as a fascist—an all-powerful ubermensch that would have a negative influence on American children. (Remember, the rise of the superhero coincides with the rise of Nazi Germany.) Parents demand that the books be burned.

Superman publisher, M.C. Gaines, reads an article written by Olive Byrne for Family Circle saying that comic books might be good for kids. Gaines asks Marsten to help him save comic books, and Marston recommends a female superhero, reasoning that comic books are too violent and need a touch of femininity. Enter Wonder Woman.

4. The Lasso of Truth had a real-life parallel in Marston’s life

In the Wonder Woman comics, the heroine’s Lasso of Truth forces anyone in its snare to be honest. The weapon was likely inspired by Marston’s own creation of the lie-detector test in 1913. The basic test consisted of taking someone’s blood pressure as they answered questions. Any elevation in blood pressure signaled a subject’s guilt. In 1923, Marston fought to have results of his updated lie detector test used in courtrooms. But the courts rejected the machine, citing too high a frequency of error.

Marston was none-too-happy with this conclusion. In an autobiographical moment in the comics, Wonder Woman tries to get confessions made with the help of her Lasso of Truth admissible in court.

5. Wonder Woman was designed as a feminist icon

Anyone who has read Wonder Woman comics will be able to recognize the feminist underpinnings of her story. But readers probably don’t know that Marston broke from the rest of popular culture by asserting not only that kids would be interested in reading a comic about a woman but that she would be essential to their education in teaching them about gender equality.

“Like her male prototype, ‘Superman,’ ‘Wonder Woman’ is gifted with tremendous physical strength,” Marston wrote in the press release announcing her creation. “‘Wonder Woman’ has bracelets welded on her wrists; with these she can repulse bullets. But if she lets any man weld chains on these bracelets, she loses her power. This, says Dr. Marston, is what happens to all women when they submit to a man’s domination.”

He concludes: “‘Wonder Woman’ was conceived by Dr. Marston to set up a standard among children and young people of strong, free, courageous womanhood; and to combat the idea that women are inferior to men, and to inspire girls to self-confidence and achievement in athletics, occupations and professions monopolized by men.”

6. Despite that, she started out in the Justice Society as a secretary

Wonder Woman was admitted to the Justice Society with heroes like The Flash and Green Lantern after a survey of comic book readers found that the vast majority of girls and boys wanted her there.

But in a 1942 comic penned by Justice Society writer Gardner Fox, all the superheroes get to go off to fight the Nazis, except for Wonder Woman who must stay home and reply to the mail. Marsten was, of course, infuriated by this turn of events.

7. Wonder Woman has run for president in the comic books twice

Wonder Woman ran for office in a comic book written by Marston in 1943, and then again in a cover story in Ms. magazine in 1972. She didn’t win either time. Maybe she should try for 2016.

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