Learning From Wonder Woman’s BDSM Origins

This post is a follow-up to the one I did yesterday about Wonder Woman’s Semi-Secret BDSM Origins. I feel a follow-up is necessary because in looking into this issue, it got me thinking about a few concepts that I explore in my recently-completed book, “The Big Game.” While I have explored BDSM concepts in my books, namely in “The Final Communions,” I’ve never really explored the actual merits of these concepts. I think I’ve scratched the surface with “The Big Game” and I hope it inspires more exploration with future projects.

In discussing Wonder Woman’s BDSM origins, I pointed out how her creator, William Marston, had some pretty unusual views about the concept of submission and domination, at least from traditional Western perspective. With Wonder Woman, he frames the act of submission as an act of love and trust. It’s an act someone does willingly to show their respect and love. He sees it as a part of the feminine ideal, the complete antithesis of a patriarchal system where power oppresses for the sake of power.

It’s a powerful and admittedly radical concept, especially in an era where people are less trusting of those in power. The historically low 11-percent approval rating of Congress is proof enough of that. If Marston were alive today, I imagine he’d see this as further indication that patriarchal power structures are inherently corrupt. Too many people in this system seek power as a means to avoid submission to anyone or anything because they believe such submission is a bad thing. In a culture that shames itself over legacies of slavery and oppression of minorities, that’s understandable.

It also presents a unique opportunity to explore alternatives. I think William Marston’s ideas surrounding BDSM, including those highlighted in Wonder Woman’s origin story, offer something unique and different for a jaded population. Think about it a little deeper. Can submission be an act of love? Can domination be an act of love? Can these concepts be done in a way that subverts the kind of patriarchal corruption that Marston criticized?

I say it can and I make that case in “The Big Game.” The setup of the book alone puts it in a perfect position to highlight both systems. The story involves football, the ultimate exercise in masculinity and domination. The men who play this game are conditioned to seek domination over their opponents. Naturally, this is going to skew their idea of submission. Football players, especially those who play beyond pee-wee levels, will be more reluctant than most to entertain this idea.

So what happens when one player who carries himself with these skewed ideas more than most gets a lesson in loving submission? What does it do to him? How does it affect him? Is the effect positive or negative? Can it help him be a better football player?

These are all questions I explore in “The Big Game.” They’re ideas that I hope to flesh out even more in future projects. The act of submission doesn’t have to be cold, cruel, and callous. William Marston used Wonder Woman to frame this act in the opposite context. I use that same context in “The Big Game.” It is possible for submission and domination to convey love and trust. Without those emotional undertones, it becomes the kind of cold, callous act that leads to corruption and abuse.

I think the time is right for these concepts to enter the mainstream. I think the public is more open to alternative ways of thinking than ever before. I’m still waiting for responses from publishers, but I hope “The Big Game” can be part of that.

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4 responses to “Learning From Wonder Woman’s BDSM Origins

  1. Pingback: CONFIRMED: Wonder Woman is “Queer” | Jack Fisher's Official Publishing Blog

  2. Pingback: Top 10 Wonder Woman Facts From WatchMojo | Jack Fisher's Official Publishing Blog

  3. Pingback: Wonder Woman Origins Trailer | Jack Fisher's Official Publishing Blog

  4. Pingback: Sexy Sunday Thoughts: Wonder Woman Edition | Jack Fisher's Official Publishing Blog

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