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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Wonder Woman 

The good part is that I went with N, and that’s always great. I’m so into him, people. It’s as fresh as if we were in our third week of dating. 

The movie, though, is identical to Hunger Games except with a prettier and better actress. It’s the same idea that the perfect woman is a defective prepubescent boy in the grip of oedipal drama (secretive mother figure, menacing father figure.) And I’m very far removed from the dramas of boys. 

But hey, the photography is great, the animation is very impressive, the actress is beautiful, plus there was a woman from SVU, so I’m glad I weSCI,

One question, though, what was a Native American fellow doing in there? I can with an enormous effort get over an American character who wins WWI but a Native American is going too far. 

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15 thoughts on “Wonder Woman 

  1. At first I thought he was going to be a code talker, but a smuggler is a bit far from that. There were also very few code talkers in WWI, so it makes even less sense. There were Native American soldiers in WWI, but that particular character seems almost like a token character.

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  2. Dreidel on said:

    So did you see the movie in 3-D?

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    • No, I’ve never seen anything in 3D.

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      • Dreidel on said:

        You really owe it to yourself to experience at least one 3-D movie. The illusion of reality coming from a totally flat screen is a surreal experience.

        Be sure to sit in or near the BACK row — if you sit too close, you’ll lose most of the 3-D effect — and you’ll be amazed at how images from the movie come close enough for you to reach out and touch.

        The best 3-D movie ever made was the original “House of Wax” (1953). Toward the end of the movie, you’ll think the guy in the seat in front of you has stood up and blocked your view. Just as you’re about it say, “Hey, buddy, sit down or move,” the image jumps onto the screen and starts wrestling with the hero.

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  3. Veronica on said:

    Historian with an interest in Native American history here. There were indeed thousands of Native American soldiers in WWI, including a lot who crossed the border to enlist in the Canadian forces before the US entered the war. (Did you notice how all of the other characters kept calling him “Chief”? That is actually very characteristic of the wartime experience as reported by Native American vets in WWI.)

    I understood his presence like this: Diana came from her island with an extremely simplistic good guy-bad guy view of the war. The Americans and English are good, the Germans are bad. Kill the top bad guy, and the war will be over. By the end of the movie, her view is less simplistic, but that is a lesson she has to learn along the way.

    Do you recall the scene where she and the Native American guy are talking about the French villagers who have lost everything? He says something like “My people’s land was also taken from them,” and she asks “Who took your land?” He nods toward the sleeping hero (Chris Pine) and says “His people.” So I didn’t see it as “We need a token Native American,” but as “Diana is starting to learn that the real world is more complicated than she thought.”

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  4. Shakti on said:

    a href=”http://nativeamericannetroots.net/diary/573″>World War I and American Indians
    The Onondaga Nation, a part of the Iroquois Confederacy, unilaterally declared war on Germany, citing ill-treatment of tribal members who were stranded in Berlin at the beginning of hostilities. The Oneida Nation, another member of the Iroquois Confederacy, also declared war on Germany.

    Literally the second link that popped up with “Native Americans in World War I”
    Here: World War I’s Native American Code Talkers

    Also
    When the United States entered WWI, a draft was applied and Native American men were required to register for the draft—even though they did not become citizens of this country until 1924. It was a very confusing and controversial requirement as many did not understand why they had to register if they, in fact, couldn’t be drafted. There were some conflicts with the government at this time as a result of this draft requirement. Even though they could not be drafted, many Native men volunteered to serve hence keeping the opportunity to continue the ‘warrior’ traditions of their tribes. An interesting thing to note is that many of these men who fought in this war were already accustomed to military life considering that they were coming from certain government- run schools such as Haskell in Kansas and Chilocco in Oklahoma. They were used to wearing uniforms, doing certain drills, and having their time strictly regulated. For a Native young man to go into the military seemed in a way to be a normal way of life after having been assimilated to a culture that was not their own.

    Through research it was found that a technical number of 12,000 Native Americans volunteered their time and life to WWI. Finding this information led me to Patty Loew, a member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe. Her grandfather was known as keeping the best documented diary during this horrific war. Loew regarded Native Americans being placed at the frontlines of battle during this war hence portraying the role of the ‘warrior’ conception. She quotes, “They were seen as super-warriors, who were supposedly extraordinarily brave and fierce.” Because of these stereotypes, Native Americans were placed in more of a life threatening place during the war, therefore having a number more die. The actual ration to support this is that they had a casualty rate five times higher than any other race.

    As most know, the Navajo Code Talkers became the heroes of WWII while using their Native language to talk in code that the enemy could not break. What many people may not know is this form of communication didn’t just help out in WWII, but it also helped in WWI. Since the English language was spoken frequently by the Germans, communication was a problem during the war in keeping certain things secretive. Even though these Native men were punished at one point in their lives for speaking their native tongue (while attending government schools), it was a practice that came to save countless lives. The tribe that consisted mainly of these code talkers was that of the Choctaw tribe who were sworn to secrecy about this plan, therefore having their story be lost. Not only did this small group of men (19 to be exact) help confuse the Germans, it also paved the way for the Navajo Code Talkers to exist and help in WWII

    Eh, I mean if that’s what took you out of the movie and not the superhero woman in a costume repelling bullets with a bracelet… :p I mean, I can’t comment on the dramatic effect of the scene, since I haven’t seen the movie, but it’s not completely without any connection to history.

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    • As I said, the wonder woman is clearly part of a magical world. WWI clearly isn’t. The whole idea of the movie is the collision between the two radically different worlds.

      But hey, if American viewers have zero problem with the image of an American, a Turk, a Native American and an Irishman running around Belgium and winning WWI while debating US history then what can I say? It’s more hard-core than any Soviet propaganda, that’s for sure. I’m now not surprised why even the graduate students at the History Department at Yale proved incapable of naming the warring sides in WWI. They probably thought it was all Native Americans against Turks or whatever.

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      • Shakti on said:

        LMAO.

        It’s more hard-core than any Soviet propaganda, that’s for sure
        Wonder Woman has always been a propagandistic comic. The classic outfit is red, white and blue with stars. And of course it’s all American-centric to the nth like pretty much every single discussion of the World Wars generated by Americans.

        Yes, the Turk is on the wrong front. Look, I only learned about the Western Front and they really don’t cover the fact the United States joined later.

        I’d blame bad history teaching to be honest.

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      • “It’s more hard-core than any Soviet propaganda”

        I used to annoy people back in the 1980s by saying the main difference between US and Soviet propaganda was that Americans believed US propaganda while Soviet audiences didn’t (in retrospect this is probably due to rampant communist induced cynicism than problems with the Soviet system per se).

        And surely one of the reasons that Wonder Woman was moved to WWI rather than WWII is that audiences don’t really know much about WWI.

        Another reason was to de-Americanize the character for international audiences (why she’s dressed in dreary brown rather than red, white and blue).

        The original early 1940s Wonder Woman stories are very kinky and of doubtful suitability for any children in any place. There’s a lot of amazons tying each other up and spanking each other (the creator was in a polygamous relationship that had elements of bondage play – her bracelets were apparently inspired by those worn by the second woman in the trio).

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        • And you were right when you said that back in the 1980s.

          God, I can’t believe I never made the connection but now I remember how back in high school one of the girls brought a magazine to school. (Many of my classmates were the well traveled children of the Soviet elite)
          We were all super excited bevause we thought it was porn It was kind of kinky ad strange.

          I forgot all about that until now.

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