Wonder Woman turns 75 today! I’m not going to go into the long esteemed history of the comic book heroine and feminist symbol. She’s even the international ambassador for Women & Girls. I’m sure others will cover that today. I’d written about the need for a Wonder Woman stand-alone project two years ago, “The Fierce Urgency of Wonder Woman“. And no shade on Gal Gadot who kills it in the clips I got an exclusive look at #NYCC. I appreciated her choice as many first knocked her as Wonder Woman in my article “Wailing on Gadot : Wonder Woman and the War on Women ” I want to reflect a bit on the Woman who was the definitive personification for me—Lynda Carter.
Lynda Carter will ALWAYS be Wonder Woman to me.
I was a precocious eight-year-old boy and in 1975, she was a combination of everything I loved at the time—Greek Mythology & Wonder Woman Comic Book Action. Diana Prince, Amazonian with special power and yes fought bad guys in a skintight outfit ( Did I mention I was a precocious eight-year-old?) But she was a smart, kind and courageous warrior. She had a code, She never took lives casually and though she was super powerful, she didn’t abuse that power. She helped anyone in need, no matter who they were. I also admired her athleticism on the show and though she had stunt doubles on set, Ms. Carter performed many of her own stunts on The New Adventures of Wonder Woman. Carter hung from that helicopter during season two’s episode “Anschluss ‘77”.
Not a bad heroine for an impressionable young boy. I’m a firm believer that boys and men need to see positive role models that are female. From a great quartz.com article, Female heroes are even more important for boys than girls
by Caroline Siede March 04, 2016
Studies have shown that media has a concrete impact on how we relate to people who are different than us. As author Junot Díaz puts it, women have “spent their whole life being taught that men have a subjectivity.” Now we’re finally teaching boys a similar lesson by introducing them to female leads who are strong, smart, flawed, emotionally complex, and able to fight their own battles.
But Linda Jean Córdova Carter is also a proud Latina. And this was a time that Latina characters on Television weren’t nearly as many prominent or garnered respected roles as today. My new best friend Gabriel Luna @IamGabrielLuna on Twitter, in referring to his new role as Robbie Reyes/Ghost Rider in my NYCC2016 coverage on Marvels Agents of SHIELD had this to say about diversity in Comic Book TV / Movies –
I didn’t think there was a part in the Marvel Universe for me but thankfully they created one! And that’s the reality of our world and diversity is being shown more through television and films and I was just the right guy at the right time.
For me Lynda Carter was the proud ambassador from two cultures of matriarchal powers both Amazon & Latino/Caribbean Americans. Growing up in my very Latino & Carribean neighborhood in the Bronx like in many communities of color, “Mamas always on stage” Mothers held it down. Mothers sacrifice for you like no other. They also ran the show. Even if Dads were in denial. In my old neighborhood speaking ill of someone’s mama could easily catch you a beat down. A perfect example of how Women anchor families through tough times is the new Marvel Comic that everyone should read. “Madaya Mom” tells the story of a mom of five in war-torn Syria. It’s based on actual text messages and phone conversations.
Today Ms.Carter works to raise awareness for many causes like Irritable bowel syndrome (which her mother suffered from), Breast Cancer with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a woman’s right to choose and legal equality for the LGBTQ community. She’s acted as Grand Marshall in Pride parades.
So to this day I appreciate and celebrate both Lynda and her characterization a true Wonder Woman!
Photo Credit- DC COMICS / WIKI