‘Wonder Women!’ Documentary Explores Wonder Woman’s Impact on Feminism and Pop Culture

Wonder Women independent documentary title card I’ve been looking forward to seeing this independent documentary since I first saw the trailer last year. I finally got my chance earlier this week when Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines aired on PBS’s Independent Lens.

Thankfully, after a year of anticipation this film did not disappoint.

Wonder Women! is not only a fascinating study of Wonder Woman’s roots, history, and cultural significance, but also of the feminist movement as a whole. This story is told largely through interviews with various academics, writers, and feminist icons such as Gloria Steinem, Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman), Lindsay Wagner (The Bionic Woman), Gail Simone (Batgirl, Wonder Woman), and Kathleen Hanna (leader singer of Bikini Kill and Riot Grrrl founder).

Wonder Woman on the cover of the first issue of Ms. MagazineThe film explores the history of Wonder Woman beginning with her war-time debut in the ’40s, followed by the devastating Seduction of the Innnocent and subsequent advent of the Comic Code in the ’50s, the “Mod Girl Wonder Woman” of the ’60s, and Wonder Woman’s appearance on Ms. Magazine in the ’70s. The film then shifts its focus to new media starting with an examination of the much beloved Lynda Carter Wonder Woman TV series of the ’70s.

Before the film, I didn’t truly comprehend the monumental effect the Wonder Woman TV series had on the industry. With the rise of Second Wave Feminism in the ’70s, Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman helped pave the way for the rise of other women led shows such as The Bionic Woman and Charlie’s Angels. These ultimately led to more strong female characters in subsequent decades like Ellen Ripley, Sarah Conner, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Xena.

Check out the film online for free now through June 14th and let me know what you thought in the comments!

4 Responses to “‘Wonder Women!’ Documentary Explores Wonder Woman’s Impact on Feminism and Pop Culture”

  1. 1 Feliza C. April 19, 2013 at 10:27 am

    SO looking forward to seeing this documentary. Glad to see I wasn’t the only one stoked to see it!

  2. 2 craftyacuity April 19, 2013 at 11:12 am

    WHAT I just read your thing about Wonder Woman…..Now I gotta SEE it LOL.

    I got a hold of the Wonder Woman PIlot last year. I’ve seen to many movies of Girls kickin butt to like it. I was kinda disappointed that for all she represented…THAT was the best they could do. Also they need to redesign the outfit. I’m willing to believe she is not rockin heals

    The Cartoon was NICE though.

    • 3 Daniel Amrhein April 19, 2013 at 11:46 am

      Yeah, from what I’ve heard about it, it sounds like we should all be thankful that it wasn’t picked up by a network. It’s a shame because I think the time is right for a new Wonder Woman TV series.

      • 4 craftyacuity April 19, 2013 at 12:53 pm

        The problem is that they need to overhaul what wonderwoman is so they can actually find someone to be her. I would sacrifice height if she could kick butt. I hate to say it but white, amazonian women that can fight and act are VERY rare. This girl at least knew how to run. But there was no fighter swag. I like fighter swag LOL

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