Mel's Reviews > The Secret History of Wonder Woman

The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore
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really liked it
bookshelves: 21st-century-non-fiction, bought2017, women-s-history, queer

It's a great feminist and comic book history but there is TOTAL bi-erasure! To the point of absurdity! The woman has ZERO understanding of poly relationships! The cover refers to them as Marston's "wife" and "mistress". It ignores the other woman (who appears to be primarily the wife's secondary partner who also had a relationship with her her whole life) It mentions off hand that after Marston died They lived together the rest of their lives! For the next 40 years! But no they weren't together they just had a man in common... It perpetrated the family story that Marston told his "wife" he'd leave her if she didn't let "his girlfriend"'move in. Even though the girlfriend moved into the wife's apartment not the husband's! The only reason I can think of is that the family would only give their consent to it if she removed any hint of queerness from the story. Which considering Marston spent his whole life trying to say that all forms of sexuality were ok is very depressing. Not to mention that as a "feminist" history it is only presenting them as in relation to men and not other women extra bad. It did include a picture of them together in their old age though which was one of the sweetest things I saw.
I am still glad I read it. I learned SO much reading this, about their lives, about the times, for example gun control acts in the US in the 30s, I had no idea. I got this book for a pound at work and it was worth it. I'm glad I read it despite it being so frustrating. It's sad that even in 2014 the actual relationships can't be talked about. It makes me wonder if there's a queer history that's been done.
The other frustrating thing was that one of the pictures was labeled as the woman who inspired Etta Candy, but then nothing on that. Clearly the author didn't love Etta as much as I did.
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Reading Progress

October 23, 2017 – Started Reading
October 23, 2017 – Shelved
October 23, 2017 – Shelved as: 21st-century-non-fiction
October 23, 2017 – Shelved as: bought2017
October 23, 2017 – Shelved as: women-s-history
October 24, 2017 –
page 7
1.71%
November 4, 2017 –
page 150
36.59%
November 8, 2017 –
page 180
43.9%
November 10, 2017 –
page 221
53.9%
November 25, 2017 – Shelved as: queer
November 25, 2017 – Finished Reading

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