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Selling sex: Wonder Woman and the ancient fantasy of hot lady warriors. (Videos)

Selling Sex 

Wonder Woman and the Ancient Fantasy of Hot Lady Warriors

The Conversation

Wonder Woman embodies the male fantasy of warrior women. 

When the film Wonder Woman is released in early June, it will surely join the blockbuster ranks of other recent comic book-inspired film franchises, including Batman, Superman, Spiderman, and X-Men. But that’s not just because it features a sword-wielding Gal Gadot in knee-high boots and a metal bodice.
Wonder Woman has long been a bestselling creation, originally imagined in 1941 by the psychologist WilliamMoulton Marston, and the film follows some of the main plot lines developed in the comic books.
Wonder Woman is a superheroine known as Diana, princess of the Amazons, who is trained to be an unconquerable warrior. When an American pilot, Steve Trevor, crashes on the shores of her sheltered island paradise and tells tales of a massive conflict raging elsewhere, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat.
Though Wonder Woman was portrayed asa feminist icon in the 1940s, she is also a highly sexual character.

We can only wonder – no pun intended! – about the reasons for this imagined link between war and female sexuality. As a sexy but fierce lady warrior, Wonder Woman is hardly alone. Throughout history, cultures across the globe have envisioned and revered the femme fatale, from feline killers to sensual goddesses to sassy spelunkers.

The Sumerian “wonder woman”
In 3000 BC, in the ancient Sumerian city of Uruk in Mesopotamia, the first kingsof human history ruled over the south of modern-day Iraq, protected by Ishtar, a great goddess of war and love often associated with lions.
Ishtar, naked on a vase. Louvre/Wikimedia
Ishtar would reveal the kings’ enemies and accompany them to the battlefield. It was said that she fought like an unleashed lioness protecting her young – in this case, the Sumerian people. Like Wonder Woman, Ishtar’s sacred duty was to defend the world.
She could also be sensual. More than merely worship the goddess, the Kings of Uruk claimed to be Ishtar’s lovers, who, according to royalhymns of the era, would enter her bed and “plow the divine vulva”.
For the king, receiving sexual and military favours from a goddess served his political agenda, legitimised his reign and made him into an exceptional hero for his people. In the Wonder Woman film, this role is filled by the American pilot.
References to divine lovemaking arealso found among ancient Palestinians, Babylonians, though scholars can’t confirm what was really going on in those temples.

Cat girls from Sekhmet
Bastet as a lion. Mbzt/WikimediaCC BY-ND
Lee Meriwether as Catwoman in the 1960s. Ebay/Wikimedia
What’s more sexy than a powerful woman? Taming her, of course.

In ancient Egypt, the most fearsome goddess wasnamed Sekhmet. Like Ishtar, she had two sides – fierce beast and loving companion.

Sekhmet was often portrayed as a terrible lioness, the butcher of the Pharaoh’s enemies. At times, though, she would transform into an adorable cat named Bastet.

Today, the feline is still symbolic of female sexuality. Catwoman, another comic book heroine, was born a few months before Wonder Woman (not that a lady reveals her age) and is the most contemporary avatar of afeline woman.

With her curves and her bondage fetish, Catwoman has always been hypersexual, though somecritics regret that her sexuality – not her intelligence – has become her greatest asset these days.
Amazons, the lonely sailors’ dreams

Warrior women with sexual natures are also found among the ancient Greeks.
Their myth of the Amazons tells of a Mediteraneankingdom in which it was women who fought and governed, while the men were relegated to domestic duties. Marston’s Wonder Woman comic invokes the Amazons’ city, Themiscyra, and the name of their queen, Hippolyta.

He embellished his ancient Amazonian setting with details from the legend of thewomen of Lemnos, in the Aegean Sea, adopting the isolated island idea as Wonder Woman’s home.

According to the Greek story, the women of Lemnos had revolted and massacred all the men on the island, young and old. Living in a forced sexual abstinence, the ladies were delighted when sailors unexpectedly landed on a local beach. They immediately set upon the Argonauts, ateam of beautiful and famous mythological heroes that included Hercules and Theseus, compelling them into long orgiastic intercourse.

The sex-starved but unattached women theme is another favourite male fantasy, offering imaginary satisfaction of sexual scenarios that may be difficult to realise in real life.
Our modern Amazon. TombRaiderWikia
By the late 20th century, Lara Croft came along to update the idea of the Amazons and the ladies of Lemnos. Croft, an English archeologist-adventurer who started life as a character in the 1990s video game Tomb Raider, was the ultimate virtual-reality dream girl: she is an expert in martial arts, great with a gun and super smart.
Plus, she always leaves the guys wanting more. Reincarnated on the big screen in2001 by actress Angelina Jolie, Croft often gave the cold shoulder to her male counterparts. Later sequels featuring Alicia Vikander continued to pitch Croft as a sex symbol whilebolstering her feminist credentials.
Women and weapons, the ultimate fantasy?
The new Wonder Woman film seems to have made a careful choice of actress, looking beyond just a pretty face and a remarkable body. Gal Gadot has both of those, but she’s a lot like the heroine in other ways, too.
VotedMiss Israel in 2004, Gadot was also a sports coach in the Israeli army. Ina August 2015 interview with Fashion magazine the actress, who was then 30, affirmed that her military experience prepared her well for a Hollywood career.
Gal Gadot in the Chinese film poster for Wonder Woman, to be released in China on June 2. Reddit
On screen and off, the ancient link between femininity, sexual attraction and the military, seems to still be going strong today. Everything from Wonder Woman and the Instagram account ofIsraeli soldier-cum-amateur model Maria Domark to the rise of a new sub-genre of lady warriorsin Asian cinema and, of course, Americanweapons catalogues, confirms the old masculine fantasy associating pretty faces with guns.
The new Wonder Woman film channels all this history. Popculture attempts to showcase the heroine as a feminist cannot counteract thousands of years of global sexual fantasy. But you can bet it’ll be a hit at the box office.
Christian-Georges Schwentzel, Professeur d’histoire ancienne, Université de Lorraine
This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.


William Moulton Marston
Wonder Woman: Feminist Icon of the 1940s Angelica E. Delaney Kennesaw State University
Religion and Power: Divine Kingship in the Ancient World and Beyond
Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer
The Cult of the Mother-Goddess in Ancient Palestine
Sekhmet et la protection du monde
Dangerous Curves: Action Heroines, Gender, Fetishism, and Popular Culture
Catwoman: The Hypersexualisation of a Sexual Woman
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
How the New Lara Croft Film Can Sidestep Her Sexist Baggage
Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman: A Hamas-Bashing, Ex-IDF Soldier and Former Miss Israel
‘The military trained me for Hollywood’: Gal Gadot talks serving in the Israeli army… and playing ‘symbol of strength’ Wonder Woman
PHOTO: Official Chinese Wonder Woman poster
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Warrior Women: Gender, Race, and the Transnational Chinese Action Star
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Selling sex: Wonder Woman and the ancient fantasy of hot lady warriors
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Sekhmet originally the warrior goddess as well as goddess of healing for Upper Egypt. She is depicted as a lioness, the fiercest hunter known to the Egyptians. It was said that her breath formed the desert. She was seen as the protector of the pharaohs and led them in warfare. she can be construed as being a divine arbiter of the goddess Ma’at (Justice, or Order)
In Egyptian mythology, Sekhmet was the goddess of fire and war. She had the head of a lioness and the body of a woman. In her former life, she was Hathor. a solar goddess, and was named “Eye of Ra.”
Great Lady Sekhmet
Sekhmet originally the warrior goddess as well as goddess of healing for Upper Egypt. She is depicted as a lioness, the fiercest hunter known to the Egyptians.
Sekhmet – Goddess of War and Healing – Temple of Kom Ombo, 1390 – 1352 BC
My Shero–Yaa Asantewaa

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