Wonder Woman – The Amazon Princess: Queer Diplomat of DC Comics

Wonder Woman by Christopher Moeller
Wonder Woman by Christopher Moeller

Wonder Woman, Diana Prince, with her powerful abilities, centuries of training and experienced at handling threats that range from petty crime to threats that are of a magical or supernatural nature, Diana is capable of competing with nearly any hero or villain.  She’s concurrently the fiercest and most nurturing member of the Justice League, capable of making the hard decisions.  Wonder Woman’s hard-decision making is derived from her backstory and characterization.  In comic books and the DC Universe Wonder Woman’s nickname, The Amazon Princess, makes obvious the dichotomy inherent in the premiere super-heroine.  As an Amazonian she is a trained warrior, powerful, strong-willed, and does not back-down from a battle.  The princess aspect of the character places her in the political and diplomatic spheres, pursing peace without escalating conflicts.  In both worlds Wonder Woman is a leader, who, unlike Superman and Batman, understands the ramifications globally and locally of her actions.

In the DC Trinity Superman is the admiral inspiring heroes to be their best; Batman is the general making the plans other heroes follow; Wonder Woman is the soldier shoulder to shoulder with the other heroes in the battle.  Soldiers are the decisive faction in an army, and in an army of superheroes Wonder Woman is the hard-decision maker.   Where Superman and Batman hold tightly to the superhero code, do not kill, Wonder Woman comes at solutions with more ambiguity.  She is the decision maker who makes the difficult decisions, where killing is never completely off the table, such as when she kills Ares God of War by cleaving an axe through his skull (vol3, #33).  There is also the infamous neck snap of telepathic villain Maxwell Lord to save Superman and by extension the planet.  Maxwell Lord had taken control of Superman and used him to nearly kill Batman.  A brutal battle ensues, Wonder Woman defends herself by slicing Superman’s throat with her tiara, and uses the Lasso of Truth on Lord to demand to know how to end his mental control over Superman, which he revealed was to kill him; if put in jail he’d just escape, regain mental dominance of Superman, and begin again.  Seeing no other way to end the carnage an amoral Superman would cause, Wonder Woman snapped Maxwell Lord’s neck.  While Wonder Woman’s actions are defendable, saving her friends and the planet, her decisiveness put her at odds with other heroes who ardently stand-by the superhero code.

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2017.05 Wonder Woman – The Amazon Princess: Queer Warrior Diplomat

A Political Discussion I Had Recently

ME: In today’s job market and society we have produced too many people with degrees that there is no longer a blue-collar work force, which is a factor in the shrinking middle class.

THEM: If the middle class and blue collar contingent disappears, who will be left to vote republican? Bible thumpers and assholes?

ME: Plenty of Bible thumpers and assholes vote Democrat. To believe that “the opposite” political party is made up of “deplorables” minimizes the needs of a large group of Americans – further pushing the polarized state of the country. Middle class and blue collar are often voting for, what can be loosely described, as “family values.” If you are attempting to refer to the large electoral college vote that Trump received, then it might be best to try and think “What has the country not done to support them?” The states that Trump won were “no collar” states, the miners and farmers, and those without college degrees and trade-skills, who – more than likely – saw a country that was increasingly looking beyond its borders and supporting foreign interests. Those that voter for Trump were more than likely attempting to vote for themselves, their families, and their neighbors, by voting for localized economic resurgence. What they saw was how others are getting more and more rights for very specific demographics, while their own was being maligned as “ignorant” or “racist,” which was largely probably not the case. Your statement also ignores recent NYT, LA Times, and Politico articles that are finding, in young America, a 2 party system no longer is viable. As well, there were the Bernie-die-hards that abstained from voting because Hillary wasn’t Bernie, which also cost her the election, and perhaps a more progressive government. Continue reading “A Political Discussion I Had Recently”

Wonder Woman as Queer

Wonder Woman by Nathan FoxWonder Woman is from Paradise Island, a single-sex island, where in the twenty-first century began canonical displays of romantic love towards one another.  Wonder Woman’s advocacy of queer eroticism, which began with her creation by William Marston in 1942 until Dr. Fredric Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent labeled Wonder Woman dangerous to young American girls by promoting lesbianism.  Fearing cancellation DC Comics’ writers and artists began suppressing Wonder Woman’s textual queer support, barely addressing her erotic history as subtext.  During this time Wonder Woman abandoned promoting equality between the sexes for earning Steve Trevor’s affections.  In the twenty-first century writers leaned-in to modern interpretations of Paradise Island, once again freeing Wonder Woman from heteronormativity, and regaining her role as an advocate of queerness.  Freedom from heteronormative expectations removes preconceived notions of “sex” and “gender” labels, allowing Wonder Woman to embody the idea of universal love.  Wonder Woman’s love for all extends to acceptance, such as in the 2016 (v3, #48), when she officiated over a same-sex wedding, legitimizing homosexuality as a mainstream.  Additionally, given Wonder Woman’s Amazon Princess role means that Hippolyta, queen-mother, would have performed officiations on Paradise Island, and given being royalty her participation would lend significance and validity to the ceremony.

Verve (5/01-5/05)

As spring comes around I stay indoors focused on myself with little regard for normalcy, primarily because it remains elusive for me.  While I do not regret the decisions that have led me to being more goal orientated, rather than relationship focused, I cannot help but see the stagnation that it causes.  I routinely struggle to have inspiration; I struggle with snot sleeping all weekend long; I struggle with wanting to do anything outdoors.  There is little that is of interest.  I am consistently bored by the options that are available.

Dating has not been much of a priority, or provided respite from the day to day life.  The men that I have spoken with, either through dating apps or through actual dates, begin a conversation rooted in getting blowjobs or attempting to score crystal meth.  I find it impossible to take much of the gay community seriously as they quest to party like it is 1970s, and remain duplicitous in behavior.  The majority of homosexual men are trapped in an adolescence of demanding respect, while simultaneously revealing that behavior does not warrant that respect.  As homosexual-men make uproars about beign perceived as complex and valid human beings, I see little in the everyday non-Luke Evans homosexuals that are worth holding up as exemplary; Neil Patrick Harris & Ellen DeGeneres can’t be the only face of Homosexual-America.

Conflicting Teacher Philosophies

Teachers Cant Be Erased (conflicting teaching philosophies)‎            I lost my passion for teaching because of the teacher I worked with, Lorela Graham, passive-aggressively pushed me out.  Lorela began by criticizing my clothes and hair, rather than help me build better lesson plans or practice performing the lessons before teaching them; she preferred me do her paperwork and grading.  I was given the upcoming week’s outline on Sundays, leaving 6 hours to personalize lessons for an entire week.  She “hazed” (her word) by having me out of the room following students to gather data on their behavior in an effort to remove them.  Lorela’s life problems (such as her son’s college suspension related to drugs) were taken out on me, erupting and swearing at me after school hours.

Lorela and I had different educational philosophies.  She did not believe in connecting student lives to curriculum, that students did not have agency and shouldn’t engage in dialogue with the teacher. She preferred comma placement over critical engagement, and avoided student imagination. Lorela was about results, through lessons that were easily duplicated yearly, which is little more than playing school.  The unresponsive teaching reinforced the status quo, and for a homogeneous student population that is a dangerous proposition because college becomes an uncontrollable culture-shock upon discovering not everyone has the same background, opportunities, and financial resources.

My conflicting philosophy was that connecting ELA to student lives creates global citizens capable of compassionately understanding human values, creative experiences, and skills in conflict resolution.  ELA analysis of language can be used to question the socially constructed self, giving students the ability to deconstruct attitudes towards culture/ethnic groups, and transform into democratic agents prepared for civic choices towards societal change.  Stories have the unique ability to present students with influences inspiring students to re-imagine the world from another cultural perspective and appreciate culture-originated solutions, to find unique solutions based on multiple perspectives.

Queerly Geek

Enigma            Peter Milligan’s The Enigma confronts society’s expectations about identity.  The Enigma, narrated in the first person, tells the story of 20-something Michael Smith. Smith meets Titus Bird, the writer of the superhero comic book The Enigma, the story of a man with omnipotent powers who adopts the identity of a superhero. Smith runs into the Enigma, who reveals that he is an emotionless being, unfamiliar with concepts of right and wrong.  Enigma take Smith on life changing adventure where Smith is challenged by how consciously he is aware of himself.  His experience with Enigma reveal a deeper understanding of his, and the reader’s, place in the world.

In a twist at the end the narrator is revealed to be a lizard, that had been gifted human consciousness by Enigma, and the lizard is attempting to explain its new awareness to other lizards.  The other lizards though are unable to comprehend the story they are being told because their own knowledge of self and the world is limited.  The lizard’s interaction with Enigma mirrors Smith’s, who too has been changed and grown from experiences with Enigma, and finds it difficult to explain to friends.

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Queerly Geek

Kabuki

Kabuki (david Mack)            I first read David Mack’s Kabuki with the 1998 storyline, ‘Metamorphosis.’  A storyline where the titular character, an assassin, must escape an institution that reprograms secret agents to work in other organizations.  While escaping Kabuki is pursued by released inmates and former teammates.  Kabuki’s fights are battles against mainstream’s expectations, rejecting the limiting philosophies each inmate represents through their fighting style.  The story is a metaphor for Kabuki rejecting expectations and the role she was groomed for, itself an allegory for teenage rebellion.

Kabuki is weighed down by history and without an identity separate from role.  Her motivation comes from the scar on her face, a feature she views as making her less than, separating her from the group.  To compensate Kabuki perfects the skills of an assassin to impress her paternal grandfather, a general.  Kabuki repurposes her combat skills into dance to express herself in pursuit of a new identity against the routine status quo, reflecting the rebellious nature of a maligned subculture.  I saw how an identity can shatter expectations, particularly when the pursuit of that identity uses the previous life’s tools.  By escaping Kabuki rejects the world, and the role it has tragically giver her.

The Super-Powers I’d Want

If I was to be an X-Men there were two mutant powers that I wanted: shapeshifting and telepathy.

Shapeshifting to me represented liberation, a way to escape my conflict about homosexuality; freedom to explore queerness.  In middle and most of high school women were happy in their submissive role, reveled in the same fantasies about escape to a big city, a family of friends, and self-reliance.  With shapeshifting I’d be able to become that person, to become anyone other than myself.  I’d be able to avoid the lonely and isolation prophesized by television and movies.  By being able to shapeshift I’d have more tools at my disposal.  If only my goals and fantasies matched my outside.

Telepathy was a power that I wanted because it would ensure that the forms I took would be ideal for whom I was interacting with.  By having telepathy I’d know exactly what to say, be prepared for what others would say, and always have a funny quip to keep grace.  Having the correct words, I’d be able to give the illusion that I was known without having to go through the painful experience of not exposing my queerness.  Telepathy would remove the guess work about how to be part of the group.

Bent Mirror – Genre Fiction for Social Justice

As eleventh and twelfth graders discover their identity, they become tied to gender/culture/ethnic communities. Students explore these identities to form connections to understand writing and ideas about their increasingly diverse world, challenging educators to creatively keep students from cynicism in citizenship.  Speculative fiction exposes students to radically different cultures, not Americanized variations, where presupposed rules can’t be applied, and are unable to change the culture. This demonstrates blanket-solutions can’t be applied to all situations/cultures and expected to work.  Rather solutions must be unique to that problem and culture.  Speculative fiction authors create original settings that are contrary to the presupposed world, requiring imagination in examining the setting’s effect on characters and interactions.  This position paper reviews the literature on meaningful adolescent literature experiences with an emphasis on speculative fiction, provides an overview of science fiction, fantasy and horror genres, and critically review two of their narratives to teach social justice.

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The Bent Mirror – Speculative Fiction for Social Justice