The singer may be innocent, but never the song. #WonderWoman
One finger pointing at the Amazons; three fingers pointing back at yourself.
Brian Azzarello may or may not be aware of this, it may or may not be intentional, but what he has done is made the Amazons literal scapegoats. He has cast all of the transgressions of the society he, himself, lives in onto the bodies of the once-honorable, once-humane Amazons. For it was NOT the Amazons — despite what the misogynists known as the Classical Greeks might have written — who raped, warred, pillaged, and murdered throughout millennia. No. The vast majority of rapes, wars, pillaging, murder, and, specifically, infanticide (and, historically, it has ALWAYS been baby girls who were murdered because they were deemed to be of lesser value, NOT baby boys) are the crimes of patriarchy. And there is an OVERWHELMING supply of economic, political, psychological, and social evidence to support this, enough to regard it as self-evident. I do not know if this means that women are morally superior to men. I do not know if women would be just as despicable if women, as a group, wielded power. I do not know what the defining features of a TRULY matriarchal society would be; I have never seen one. I do know that in a patriarchal society, women are just as capable of operating as patriarchs as men. And I do know that most men cannot imagine a society ruled by women without making it look just like one ruled by men. They seem to be afraid to imagine it could be any other way, which, to me, reveals their limitations.
I do not know if Azzarello and his readers have the courage or psychological wherewithal to understand what it is he is doing, what it is they are reading or buying into, but I see it clearly. If Azzarello’s Wonder Woman character can function as an allegory, she is an allegory for the American. The American, more than any other person on the planet, operates from a false and distorted history and an over-inflated sense of self-importance (the American will look at you as though YOU are the one who is crazy at the mere suggestion of this; hubris prevents critical understanding). Just like Azzarello’s Diana, the American walks into the world mistakenly believing he is superior to every other being he encounters. He, more than any other creature, believes himself The Savior Whose Burden It Is to Civilize the Savages. And he is completely oblivious to and protected from the fact that he comes from a nation of savages.
Brian Azzarello’s WONDER WOMAN might be his attempt to answer the questions: What would happen to the American if he could no longer deny the depravity of his history and had to confront what he actually is? Could he survive knowing that he is no better than the savages he looks down upon? But Azzarello could not, of course, tackle these questions dead on (if he is even AWARE that he is tackling them). Instead, he had to superimpose the American pathology onto suitable patsies; ones who could carry the psychosis without offending him or the readers who identify with him. In other words, he had to find ciphers into which the pathology could be suitably, sufficiently invested and hidden (so as not to hit too close to home and wind up hurting egos and comic book sales). And since just about everyone in America hates women to some degree or another (whether they are sexually interested in women or not), ESPECIALLY if the women are FREE, why not Wonder Woman and the Amazons? Azzarello is using misogyny (and yes, I do believe what I am reading is misogynistic) as catharsis, as confession—perhaps for himself and perhaps for an entire nation of misogynists who simply cannot face their sins any other way.
The thesis, I suppose, is that if Wonder Woman can come from such a debased, murderous nation and still operate as a hero in the world after she discovers and faces the truth about her people, then the American can do the same. That’s the kind of wishful thinking that only white supremacy and white privilege can produce (see KONY2012).
While I believe the intention of Azzarello’s WONDER WOMAN is to indict Wonder Woman and the Amazons, for me it winds up being an unintentional indictment of white supremacist capitalist patriarchy; an indictment that is SEVERELY compounded by the arrogance, ignorance, and dreadful innocence of both Azzarello and the readership. Unconsciousness is a weak alibi. Impact matters. Could this be subversion? Possibly. But I believe it is undercut by how self-serving and pandering it is. It seems to be the status quo in subversive drag.
I expect no one to agree with this. Agreement is not the impetus for it. I wrote it because I had to tell the truth as I see it.
I wrote it because I am a witness.