Title: Suffering Sappho!!! Credit: Craig Young Comment Thursday 1st September 2005 - 12:00pm1125532800 Article: 891 Rights
Fundamentalists have attacked popular culture since time immemorial. In the fifties, it was the turn of DC Comics mainstays Wonder Woman and Batman. has already dealt with the Camp Crusader. Bruce and his teenage ward Dick (...) Grayson lived in stately Wayne Manor, although current continuity has Dick (...) involved with Oracle, the disabled ex-Batgirl. As for Batman, he has an (...) ambiguous relationship with a certain rather dominant vinyl-clad whip-wielding villainess. See? It's all straight up after all. However, Wonder Woman is not so fortunate. In 1955, Professor Frederic Wertheim published his tome "Seduction of the Innocent." In this piece of conservative cultural criticism, Wonder Woman came under fire. Well, think about it. WW comes from Paradise Island, where men aren't allowed, which is inhabited completely by Amazons. In original continuity, along came Steve Trevor, a femme straight male beard, who crashlanded and brought WW back to Patriarch's World for World War II. However, Frederic Wertheim ignored WW's alibi. Actually, that was rather easy to do, given that Steve Trevor was always getting rescued by his alleged romantic interest. Wertheim didn't like the fact that WW's island home was completely female, and that WW hung around with a chocolate addict named Etta Candy and her Holliday Girls, who were dyke-baited for being a pack of gay holiday girls and (gasp) gay girls!!! Moreover, WW touted a magic lasoo, and bound her enemies in "loving bondage" (...) forcing them to (...) submit (...) to her. And whenever she was in a scrape, she kept saying "Suffering Sappho." And we all know what Sappho and her female disciples got up to, don't we, readers?Well, Frederic wasn't having any of that. Since then, Trevor has vanished altogether, although WW keeps making eyes at a certain robustly heterosexual married alien. Sadly, Frederic isn't around to appreciate all this, as he passed away two decades ago. About a decade later, Roger Shuker and Roger Openshaw authored a monograph on how Wertheim played in New Zealand, where our local Communist Party also supported the anti-comics crusade, much as it did in Great Britain. As for WW's current scripters, these are more enlightened times, and they haven't shied away from possible questions about the heroine's sexuality, as well as that of her Amazon kindred. Thus far, though, she hasn't developed an interest in another superheroine. However, the DC Universe is about to undergo a universe-reshaping crisis, so WW may finally smash her way out of the closet. Pow! Wham! Slap! Eeeek! Recommended Reading: Roy Openshaw, Roy Shuker and Janet Soler: Youth, Media and Moral Panic: Palmerston North: Massey University Department of Education: 1991. Frederic Wertheim: Seduction of the Innocent: London: Mueseum Press: 1955. Craig Young - 1st September 2005    
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