Gaines was troubled. Roubicek, who worked on Superman, too, had invented kryptonite. She believed superheroes ought to have vulnerabilities. She told Gaines she thought Wonder Woman ought to be more like Superman and, just as Superman couldn’t go back to the planet Krypton, Wonder Woman ought not to be able to go back to Paradise Island, where the kinkiest stuff tended to happen. Gaines then sent Roubicek to Bellevue Hospital to interview Bender. In a memo to Gaines, Roubicek reported that Bender “does not believe that Wonder Woman tends to masochism or sadism.” She also liked the way Marston was playing with feminism, Roubicek reported: “She believes that Dr. Marston is handling very cleverly this whole ‘experiment’ as she calls it. She feels that perhaps he is bringing to the public the real issue at stake in the world (and one which she feels may possibly be a direct cause of the present conflict) and that is that the difference between the sexes is not a sex problem, nor a struggle for superiority, but rather a problem of the relation of one sex to the other.” Roubicek summed up: “Dr. Bender believes that this strip should be left alone.”

The story behind the writing and editing of Wonder Woman can be pieced together from Bender’s papers, at Brooklyn College; Frank’s papers, at the University of Minnesota; and Marston’s editorial correspondence, along with a set of original scripts, housed at the Dibner Library at the Smithsonian Institution Libraries. In his original scripts, Marston described scenes of bondage in careful, intimate detail with utmost precision. For a story about Mars, the God of War, Marston gave Peter elaborate instructions for the panel in which Wonder Woman is taken prisoner:

Gaines was troubled. Roubicek, who worked on Superman, too, had invented kryptonite. She believed superheroes ought to have vulnerabilities. She told Gaines she thought Wonder Woman ought to be more like Superman and, just as Superman couldn’t go back to the planet Krypton, Wonder Woman ought not to be able to go back to Paradise Island, where the kinkiest stuff tended to happen. Gaines then sent Roubicek to Bellevue Hospital to interview Bender. In a memo to Gaines, Roubicek reported that Bender “does not believe that Wonder Woman tends to masochism or sadism.” She also liked the way Marston was playing with feminism, Roubicek reported: “She believes that Dr. Marston is handling very cleverly this whole ‘experiment’ as she calls it. She feels that perhaps he is bringing to the public the real issue at stake in the world (and one which she feels may possibly be a direct cause of the present conflict) and that is that the difference between the sexes is not a sex problem, nor a struggle for superiority, but rather a problem of the relation of one sex to the other.” Roubicek summed up: “Dr. Bender believes that this strip should be left alone.”

“As to the ‘advanced femininity,’ what are the activities in comic books which women ‘indulge in on an equal footing with men’? They do not work. They are not homemakers. They do not bring up a family. Mother-love is entirely absent. Even when Wonder Woman adopts a girl there are Lesbian overtones,” he said. At the Senate hearings, Bender testified, too. If anything in American popular culture was bad for girls, she said, it wasn’t Wonder Woman; it was Walt Disney. “The mothers are always killed or sent to the insane asylums in Walt Disney movies,” she said. This argument fell on deaf ears.
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