Wonder Woman’s Kinky Feminist Roots

maxresdefault (2)

Wonder Woman;s Kinky Feminist Roots

Wonder Woman will appear in another DC film, which is a sequel to the 2017 smash hit . The character has become so recognizable and popular that she has appeared in TV, books, ads, and other popular media. The character’s creation is a fascinating combination of feminism, fetish, and psychology. Wonder Woman’s creator William Moulton Marston was to say the least a strange figure in the comics world. He believed as this article from The Atlantic stated were superior to men. Marston  was convinced that in 1,000 years women would be running the world. It was not that he just thought they would be in charge, rather they should be. There are more female leaders in governments around the world, but it seems improbable that some form of matriarchy would arise. This article was published in 2014 before the Wonder Woman movie was released.  While longtime fans know all DC characters there remains a rich history that is normally ignored. The early Wonder Woman comics were designed to promote feminist ideology, yet also had sexual innuendo with the the depiction of bondage. Some how Wonder Woman was always getting tied up in ropes or chains and then used her immense physical strength to break free. There may have been more than one type of fetish suggested than bondage. Besides being involved in comics, Marston was a psychologist. When discussing the creation of Wonder Woman all  the credit cannot be given to Marston alone. His two lovers Elizabeth Holloway  and Olive Byrne  contributed to the character’s creation. Entertainment can sometimes be a vehicle for the promotion of ideology.

       William Moulton Marston was a very unusual personality. His family life was a menage a trois . He had four children from Elizabeth Holloway and Olive Byrne. This would have been unacceptable in the 1930s  and 1940s, so it was kept secret. Marston was influenced by the women and historical events in his life. The suffragist movement and Olive Byrne socialist feminism were two factors in his ideological development. His fetish for bondage may have come from suffragettes chaining themselves to buildings during the 1910s. It could be questioned whether or not he was genuinely feminist. It appears that he was able to manipulate two women into maintaining what was an unconventional home life. Marston’s article ” Don’t Laugh at the Comics” caught the attention of Charles Maxwell Gaines. Gaines was the head of DC comics and realized from reading the article in Family Circle that the company could benefit from his expertise. Comics were coming under attack as being a bad influence on children. To counter this Gaines needed professionals to counter this falsehood. William Moulton Marston thought that comics main problem was the “bloodcurdling masculinity” as he referred to it. This was not exactly the more ludicrous argument of “toxic masculinity” uttered by feminists of today, but rather the lack of female heroes and independent characters.

Wonder Woman 789

42d

90c4a939d1ad4a982f8b408c6a21c8f0

Wonder woman 7890

If girls and women were presented with negative images in entertainment or media in general this could effect their self-esteem. As Marston articulated the damage of  negative images of women : “Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, power.” He explained further ” not wanting to be girls they don’t want to be tender, submissive, peaceloving as good women are.” Not all women are good and peace loving. This is a positive sex stereotype that at times is embraced by feminists when it suits them. The idea was more so a product of social feminism and the temperance movement. Marston exalted female qualities as he saw them saying  “women’s strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness.” Thinking deeply about this it actually puts men into a gender stereotype. Violence and brute force are associated with men, when there are cases in which women were involved in sparking conflict. Every man is not violent or is every women peaceful. Maybe Marston was not as progressive as thought, at least by a 21st century standard. However his intent for Wonder Woman’s creation was clear:   “the obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.” One wonders if Marston was genuine activist, fetishist, or possibly a con man. His failed business ventures and the development of the polygraph make some wonder if the socialist-pacifist feminism he preached was just another enterprise.

        When deconstructing entertainment, literature, or media certain elements can be discovered. Interpretations can be debated. However, there are some messages that are so obvious. Bondage and fetishism was a part of Wonder Woman comics. Wonder Woman in many of her comics were either tied up by her enemies. Panels would be devoted to breaking free from chains. Some would be quick to say that this is just a trope of action comics. Others would say this a metaphor for women’s oppression and the inevitability of  equal rights being achieved.The blatant display of bondage is so obviously it is almost unthinkable that Marston was able to put that in Wonder Woman comics. The character was so popular that William Marston had a level of creative freedom. Bondage was not the only fetish that could be seen in the comics. Cratolagnia was part of the list of fetishes that Wonder Woman comics demonstrated.

Wonder woman3

Wonder Woman8

Wonder woman56

Wonder Woman 45

Her strength and athleticism was highlighted through the art of  H.G. Peter. William Moulton Marston was not a comic artist himself. The job of illustrating fell on Peter. Few people remember his name, but he could also take credit for being one of the creators of Wonder Woman. His career was based in cartooning and illustration. After Marston’s death he would continue to work with the character. Peter’s character design featured a Wonder Woman with a traditional figure, with some athletic development. The moral panic critics were quick to see that there was a fetish element in Wonder Woman. Marston stated that it was not violent or abusive, rather it was teaching readers to value peace and a more  positive perspective about women. This was published before the sexual revolution and the second wave feminist movement. The character was more of a bold statement back in the 1940s. The article incorrectly says that Marston presented strong women as submissive. What he was really articulating was the idea of men submitting to women’s loving authority. Only when this happens can the world be free of war and oppression. It is questionable how much the creator actually thought this was possible. One thing is for sure is that he was into fetishes.

          Using Amazons to deliver a feminist message can be both a bizarre and contradictory message. The Amazons of ancient Greek myth were a tribe of warrior women who live apart from men. Some myths presented them as man hating, rather than protagonists. Their existence in mythology was not to glorify the strength of women, rather to exalt Greek male heroes. While skilled in combat, they would meet their defeat. The blatant message was do not challenge male strength or power. Most importantly do not violate the natural gender order. Penthesilea was killed by Achilles. Hercules takes the girdle of Hippolyta and kills her. The queen of the Amazons was defeated in the ninth labor of Hercules. Amazons however got a more positive image in popular culture. It could have been due to a greater acceptance of strong women or women as protagonists. The Amazon’s of the DC universe are not man-hating, rather they despise the ways of the outside world. They are capable warriors, but not bellicose. Wonder Woman has been forced to fight seeking as the problems of  outside world come to her home. Instead of remaining on Themyscira she sets out to battle war and injustice. This depiction of  Amazons differs due to the fact it is based on utopian  social feminist literature. The interesting aspect is that over time the term and concept has been used differently. Some have used the term amazon to refer to strong or muscular women. Knowing the original myths and definition it does not fit perfectly. The Amazons of myth were warriors. While the sportswomen of the modern day are not warriors ( although there are women serving in combat roles). The Amazons of myth are normally not depicted with noticeable musculature. The modern sportswoman has attained a highly developed physique through training and sports nutrition. Strong women of today do not hold misandry as part of their beliefs. Amazons of  Greek myth only kept men around for breeding purposes for producing more girls. At least in a contemporary  context strong women are   modern Amazons.

wonder w3colorado_iron_fitness_-_BzuYmorDf-_ Margie Martin 459

Definitions and words can change overtime. The question remains is are Amazons a feminist statement? The ancient myths were not pro-women pronouncements. The modern pop culture presentations could be. The image has made such an impact it has become a small branch of feminist ideology. Amazon feminism promotes celebrating the strong woman both in history and fictional works. The idea of amazon may no longer be a pejorative. The history and myth can be confusing, which why it is subject to debate.

      William Multon Marston can either be viewed as a fetishist, a feminist, or charlatan. Maybe he was all of these. A combination of psychology, political ideas, and art produced one of DC’s most iconic characters. His contradictions almost reflect the contradictory nature of  the feminist movement in America. The feminists were allied with the abolitionists in the 19th century. When emancipation occurred the alliance gradually drifted when African Americans demanded more rights. By 1920. the movement completely abandoned the cause for racial equality, when suffrage for white women was achieved.  The feminist movement was always divided between race and class lines. The sex and gender division just like others was debated. Marston’s solution was the embrace of loving community. To the radical feminists that would emerge in the 1960s, this would be unacceptable. They wanted separation and tended to have a more hostile attitude at men in general. Marston could have face harsh criticism from these individuals if had lived to that decade. He most likely would have been classified as a sex positive feminist, which still remains condemned by sections of the movement.  Wonder Woman has kinky roots, but since 1941 has become something more.  She will remain a long lasting and lovable cartoon character for generations to come.

Wonder Woman’s Kinky Feminist Roots

Rebuttal -Adult Women Have The Physical Strength of A 13 Year Old Boy and The Question of Women in Combat (2017)

strength67

Strength versus running

Are Women As Strong As A 13 Year Old Boy ?

Misinformation spreads rapidly across the internet. There seems to be greater misunderstanding about basic science. Masculine By Design is a blog that has a traditionalist view about men and women. Basically, it is using religion to mask misogyny and the justification to treat women less than equal. The irony here, is that it is using science as well to claim that women are inferiors. The article makes the claim women are unsuitable for combat seeing as they lack the physical strength. The claim is that they have strength of only a 13 year old boy. Basic anatomy and physiology can reveal that is incorrect. The use of running speeds is not an indicator of physical strength. That is more of an measure of aerobic capacity. Sprinting does require a level of muscular strength, while marathon running is reliant on muscular endurance. The author uses the wrong set of data to make comparisons about physical strength. Weightlifting records could be more precise. Long jump records are the only set of data could be more useful making his point. Military combat is more complex than running or playing on a team sport. Sex differences are not a justification for keeping women out of combat jobs. If they are physically and psychologically able to handle such occupations, there is not reason to ban them. Masculine By Design is not offering an opinion, rather it is distorting the facts. Anatomy and physiology do not always work against women in physically demanding occupations.

           Sexual dimorphism does effect physical fitness. On average men have more  natural physical strength.  All women are not weaker than men as stated in the article. There can be degrees in relation to  body size, somatotype, and body composition. The claim is women are weaker not by a little bit, but by a lot. A woman with an etcomorphic body type would not be stronger than any man, even a man of her similar body type. A woman who has a naturally muscular body type could be stronger than a man that does not train. Women with mesomorphic bodies would gain the most strength from a training regimen. Women can experience muscular hypertrophy from an exercise strength training program. The difference is that they will not reach the same physical fitness levels as men who do the same. It should be no surprise that a highly fit woman can be as strong as an average man or one that is physically weak. Strength can vary with age. Children obviously are not going to be strong than full grown adults. A 13 year old has not yet attained their full growth in terms of muscle and bone mass.

Buff
Both male and female bodies can gain strength. The differences is in degree and total aggregate of absolute strength.
Motor neurons
The anatomical structure of male and female muscle is the same .
fbb versus man
I think we known who has more strength. Biological sex is not the sole factor in physical strength.
B9781437711554000675_f067-001-9781437711554
The physical changes the body goes through during puberty.

Growth hormone will increase during the tanner stages of puberty. At the first stage a 13 boy would not have the physical strength of an adult woman. A boy at this stage of puberty will have more strength than a 13 year old girl. The strength spurt happens between two growth spurts. Women also grow in terms of musculoskeletal mass,but not to the same degree. This is mainly because they have their growth happen earlier and faster. More muscle tissue is on the male body due to the influence of sex hormones. Androgens will allow for denser bones and muscles. The third to fourth stage of the Tanner stages see a boy’s body become more robust. Stage five sees a boy reach his full natural level  of physical strength. This happens between the ages of 15 to 20. Knowing this it would be more credible to say that a 15 to 18 year teenage male could have the strength of an adult woman. This also depends on the males and female being compared. The author was comparing female athletes to middle school and high school boy athletes. Most Americans are either average in fitness or overweight, which would mean many would not be able to pass demanding physical fitness assessments of the US Military. People who are going to be drafted ( if it comes back ) are not going to perform on the level of professional athlete. Being a soldier also requires a completely different skills set.

168b3713ca34e01a48d80f62b48bf48f
Both men and women can be physically fit. The difference is in total physical fitness capacity.
muscmap1
The female muscular system is identical to the male muscular system.
6d6e17951093284
There is no such thing as men’s muscles and women’s muscles. They are the same in terms of histology.
124250153956103
Men on average have more body mass than women.

It should also be noted that running and acts of pure brute strength are two different elements of physical fitness. Measurement is important to this calculation and data is also critical. The selection does not provide an accurate account of male and female capabilities in physical strength.

        The data counts when making assertions. What was excluded was the discus and shot put records, due to the difference in equipment size. If that was a problem, then it was make more sense to use weightlifting and powerlifting statistics. It is actually possible for a person to run faster than a physically stronger person. That is not to say that sprinters do not have considerable muscular strength. Running shorter distances requires explosive amounts of power compared to marathons. Runners are doing a different method of training compared to weightlifters. One group of athlete is trying to increase speed rather than be physically stronger. Both incorporate weights into their training. Examining weightlifting records as an aggregate challenges that claims made in the text. The statement was:

” Women are physically weaker than men. Not by a little bit, but by a lot. It’s not good or bad; it’s just the way it is. The physical rigors of combat stress even the strongest of grown men, what will they do to someone that only has the physical strength of an 8th grade boy?.” 

There is a strength gap. However this is extorted to suit the writer’s personal opinion. Calculate the difference between the snatch, clean,and jerk between men and women. The snatch comes to a 59.11 kg  difference. The clean and jerk is 65.24 k9. As a total there is a 120 kg difference.  Considering the physiological and anatomical differences one would expect that these gaps would be much larger. The disparity in running speed would be related to lung and heart size more so, than muscle mass. The quadriceps angle and pelvis size on women effects their running speed. Women being helpless weaklings does not seem to have scientific credibility. Body size is a factor. The reason it is difficult to make such comparisons is because women are on average smaller than men. The difference in performance is related to size. That is why many sports have weight classes.

Weightlifting World Records (men and women)
Professional athlete records data 
825f8f1329608025
There is a difference between training for aesthetics and building strength.  
track
The data collected from a middle school and a university 
5bad62d8e0206b17cb6667deab1167ac.1000x667x1
A runner could be weaker than a weightlifter and still be able to out run them. 

When building an army, there could be people of various physical fitness levels. Every soldier is not going to be high performing. There are times when waivers were done just to increase the size of armies. Sometimes an enemy nation could be overwhelmed by numbers. Soldiers of the past were either forced into service or average civilians took up arms when situations became desperate. Training the body for combat is more than just building physical strength. It requires an cumulative system of functional fitness. Endurance, speed, hand and eye coordination are pivotal in various functions.  Shooting requires fast reflexes and a level of muscle memory. Depending on which branch of  the military a person goes into, requires a different set of skills for the Navy, Army, Air Force, and Marines. Basic training is an introductory course to more advanced MOS. The type of data selected is important when making a case for or against women in combat. Rather than be objective, it seems some rather use it as a justification to keep women from advancing in the US Military.

         The author does not seem aware that children have been made into soldiers. Oddly enough, he claims that if anyone suggested that 13 year old boys be made to fight they would be laughed at. The truth is there are countries that use child soldiers. Children do not even have their full adult strength and size yet, but are fighting in war zones. This is an ignored human rights crisis that gets little press coverage. Anyone who is capable of firing a gun can be made into a soldier. The reason children are used is that an army of loyal and brainwashed soldiers will remain with a force for life. That way, a conflict can go on forever. Countries such as Myanmar, South Sudan, and Columbia have been known to use child soldiers. The majority are mostly boys, however there are girl child soldiers.

923abaaa79e2e705e8f78a3b92e8581a
Child soldier during the Vietnam War. The conflict destabilized Southeast Asia causing a mass exodus of Laotian, Cambodian, and Vietnamese refugees.   
girl_soldier
The battle between FARC and the government has been a never ending conflict. Columbia has used child soldiers. 
Army women
Western countries forbid the use of child soldiers, yet target high school students for recruitment as a means to pay for higher education. 

War ruins nations  and functioning societies. When it becomes so prevalent men, women, and children will eventually become involved . Aggressor nations normally are not as effected as the victim. Libya’s engineered destruction by NATO has seen the country fall into a failed state. Indochina experienced mass bombings by the US, resulting in a large exodus of refugees in 1975. Arming populations for permanent states of warfare is a threat to civilization. The case of child soldiers demonstrates that a person does not need to be large or strong to be part of a fighting force. Societies can easily become militarized whether they are democracies or authoritarian systems. Everyone then becomes part of the fighting force of the nation.

          The argument against women in combat lacks cogency. History has shown periods in which women fought in wars, but rarely got recognition. The Mino warriors saw combat in the Franco-Dahomean wars. Japan had the onna bugeisha a noble class that consisted of female combat units.  This all female fighting force attempted to stop the French from colonizing Benin. The Soviet Union during  World War II allowed women to fly combat missions. These are a few examples of women fighting in war. The suggestion that there entry into the US Military’s combat occupations could cause decline or collapse is ludicrous. Biological or physical arguments were once used to exclude women from law enforcement, firefighting, and construction. A similar tactic is being used here, although the author is being more dishonest. Women were already seeing combat in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was not being done in an official capacity. Fighting terrorist organizations is different compared to fighting a conventional army. If anything, the US will have more combat soldier as the result of positions opening up to women. The harsh reality is that the constant state of warfare and a military industrial complex will be America’s downfall. As the world shifts to multipolarity, the US still seeks to remain the dominant world power. This will inevitably lead to conflict with China and Russia putting global security at risk. Only skilled diplomacy can prevent a mass global conflict. Compare to other horrifying possibilities related to international disputes, women in combat jobs is not the worse thing to happen.

Rebuttal -Adult Women Have The Physical Strength of A 13 Year Old Boy and The Question of Women in Combat (2017)

Taller ,Heavier Female Soldiers Out-Perform Leaner Counterparts In Power Tasks Study Finds

soldiers24soldiers

Bigger Women Out-Perform Smaller Women

There have been claims that women are not the problem, it is the military standards. The real error was more obvious, it makes some wonder why it was not mentioned earlier. A study published noted that women who perform the best in combat jobs that require power task are bigger and taller. This was not a shock to a person who understands functional fitness and the basics of the musculoskeletal system. The denser the bones and greater muscle mass means that the body can sustain more physical strain. The fact that body mass index is still used to evaluate soldier performance is more of a shock. This measure has been questionable in its scientific validity and usefulness in relation to calculating healthy weight. Women who do weight lifting can gain weight. This is not fat, rather the build up of lean body mass. The title of the Stars and Stripes article is some what of a misnomer. Leaner can be understood as having less body fat and therefore more muscle mass. The more accurate term here would be women of thinner body types. Military Medicine‘s study revealed that BMI is not reliable for assessing soldier fitness. Women who trained hard to build strength gained extra muscle mass as a result and were marked as being overweight. Qualified women possibly were overlooked for combat jobs due to this mistake. Other methods must be utilized to assess women’s preparedness for combat operations.

          The study took 362 women soldiers and trainees examining their BMI. The result demonstrated that women with higher BMI were better at common soldiering tasks. This included marching under load or dragging causalities. The only flaw with this is that the sample is small. the challenge is finding enough women to participate in such studies. It will take some time for  the numbers of women in combat jobs to increase. The ban was lifted in 2013. The Department of Defense lifted the ban on all positions only in 2015. The study used more active duty soldiers totaling 229. The trainees were 133 of the the test subjects. They did the common soldiering tasks such as the sandbag carry, move under fire, casualty drag, road march, and casualty evacuation. This was done with fighting loads on their bodies that weighed 60 to 90 lbs. The women that had BMI in the range of 25 to 29 were able to perform tasks easily. Women who were taller in heavier did better as well. According to the BMI chart, the 25 to 29 range is overweight. What can be concluded from this is that the body mass index chart does not account for muscle mass.

bmi-chart
The chart does not distinguish between fat and muscle mass percentage.
Army
Women if they are to be successful in combat operations, they must meet the same standards.
cREZMwc7o60
Women who train for bodybuilding competitions go into an off season in which their weight would be higher. The BMI incorrectly places them on the overweight range.
gRVqJhjMBSA
Building upper body strength is the hardest area for women to improve.

Observers have made this claim before, yet the chart is still in use. There is a claim that obesity rates are up across all of the armed services, but that can be disputed with this information. The BMI chart seems to indicate that women who are in shape and have the 25 to 29 range would be more suitable for combat. There was a suggestion that the BMI should be readjusted or waivers be given. The BMI may just have to be discarded, because it lacks precision in relation to combat readiness. The approach to fitness must also change.

       The US Army at one time seemed to focus on cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance as indicators of soldier fitness. The problem is that strength was not a part of the measure. If the military occupational specialty requires lifting, this is essential. The only rational solution would be to design a program of functional fitness. This would incorporate strength training, runs, and endurance exercise. This was the reason that the US Army updated its standards. It can reduce injury rates, while have a uniform standard that both sexes must meet. It would be ludicrous to classify a fit soldier as overweight and  negatively impact their career. Strength training should not come at the expense of other areas of fitness. One study from 2017 claimed that those who exceeded the weight and height standards took longer to complete the two mile run. This indicates that either they did not train enough for endurance or their cardiovascular fitness was ignored during training. Thus training should have a more integrative approach. Clearly, training needs adjustment and the BMI should be replaced with another form of measurement. Body fat testers could be more useful than BMI.

076ec838-5ab7-4cbf-a9ba-be73cfdc6a76
A skinfold calipher  only measures the fat not entire body weight.
army weight lifting_1482239167380_7424963_ver1.0
When muscle mass is added boy weight can increase.
boston-marathon-women_s
Endurance is also an essential element of fitness.

The body fat tester is more simple than BMI and does not require computation. Taking this measurement before and after training can help assess soldier physical fitness and health. The error of using BMI  means that soldiers that could have performed better were disqualified due to an unreliable method. Gradually, the US Military has seen the problem and will proceed to fix it. The movement to functional fitness is much welcomed and being implemented in the new combat assessment tests.

        The body mass index does make the mistake of classifying more muscular people as overweight. Taking random selections of strength athletes reveals errors. An observer would look and determine that such people are not overweight or obese. According to the chart they are. Attempts have been made to adjust it to women. The same problem still occurs with the classification. A women who has a high level of fitness could easily fall into the overweight classification by just gaining a few pounds. Obviously, small amounts of weight gain would not harm a person. It is only when it is massive amounts overtime which effect the circulatory and skeletal system. Let us select an assortment of crossfit, bodybuilding, and weightlifting athletes. The examples are of athletes past and present. The reason for this is to show how flawed the method is. Yolanda Hughes was a competitive body builder with a weight of 145 lbs in competition. Using her off season weight would be more reliable considering contest weight is not year round. Her 164 lbs weight would put her in the overweight range although most of her body would be muscle with some fat. Yolanda is 5′ 6” inches tall. Now calculate the BMI value. Yolanda falls in the 26.5 BMI range incorrectly classifying her as overweight. Stephanie Chung’s body is 150 lbs according to crossfit statistics. At 5′ 5” if she were to gain one more pound of muscle she would fall into being overweight according to the body mass index. her BMI is 24.9. Gaining a few pounds would not dramatically alter her health.

1275602
Stephanie Chung (150 lbs)
d57f3a77378908
Yolanda Hughes (164  lbs)
Womens Category +75kg
Cheryl Haworth (300 lbs)

Cherly Haworth, who certainly is stronger than the both of them, has more mass and height. The Olympic athlete is 5′  9” with a weight of 300 lbs. The BMI chart only stops at 215 lbs. Her BMI is 44.2, which means she would be extremely obese. Seeing as she is an Olympic athlete and does more exercise than the average American, it would be hard to believe she suffers from weight related health problems. Once more the BMI is providing data that does not match the the condition of a person’s fitness. A woman with high physical fitness could be randomly selected for the BMI measure and it still does not give a correct result. Even when the metric equation is used it produces similar results.

        There is a growing health concern in relation to weight. The BMI is not reliable in predicting or making recommendations related to body mass. While waivers can be used to make exceptions for recruits who are qualified, the BMI probably needs to be discarded. The measurement has done the reverse: If women with a BMI of the 25 to 29 range perform better it would seem BMI from this perspective is an indicator of success. Using the skinfold calipher and then the BMI measure could be a readjustment. If women do not have too high of a fat ratio and fall in the 25 to 29 range, that would indicate that are strong enough for physically demanding tasks. There still remains controversy about women in combat as well as considerable debate. Others support the measure, while there are objections claiming it is unnecessary. Women in combat jobs is going to be more common, so it is pivotal that adjustments be made. A more reliable and precise method of assessing soldier fitness is needed for the US Military. If not then many qualified soldiers will be passed over for combat jobs.

Taller ,Heavier Female Soldiers Out-Perform Leaner Counterparts In Power Tasks Study Finds

Beth Skwarecki : Worrying About Bulky Muscles on Women Is Some Sexist Bull****

vickie and sarahripped

Worrying About Women Getting Bulky is Sexist

For too long the fear of women getting bulky has held them back from athletic potential. Even though “bulkiness” or “long lean muscles” is not a reality of exercise science. There is obviously sexism related to this. Man are told they can become strong. Women are told they can tone or worse they may see improvement at all. Beth Skwarecki explains why this acceptable form of sexism still remains. Not only is it prejudiced and biased there is no scientific credibility. Women have just as much right to develop their bodies athletically and physically. The idea that femininity should be equated with weakness or inferiority must be challenged. Women no matter what they look like are subject to ostracism. The stunning part is that other women also insult women who look different. Skwarecki describes  the tightrope in which a female athlete walks. It is one between a new image of woman, but not upsetting the status quo. All women are not immune from this. Former First Lady  Michelle Obama was criticized for her arm strength. Female athlete are criticized for being “too big .” Convention needs to be overthrown. Women or others do not have anything to fear from the rise of physically powerful women. It is time for people to accept that others are different and they are not going anywhere.

         There is sexual dimorphism  between male and female bodies, however the muscular system is not radically different. Women have the same muscles in relation to anatomical structure. Lifting weights with a certain level of intensity can induce muscular hypertrophy. If consistent enough then a change can be noticeable. At one time it was thought exercise for women was either bad for their health or they are incapable of having any form of physical prowess. The frailty myth and the weaker sex stereotype still persists in the minds of many.  Beth Skwarecki even explains if a woman looks “too feminine” the assumption is that she has no physical ability. Women can be stronger than they look. Genetics,diet, training method are factors in how strong a person can get. The error was that women were once thought as biologically  inferior. Casual exercisers and professional female athletes demonstrate that women’s bodies are capable of increasing physical fitness. Some refuse to accept this saying it is not natural for female bodies to have this level of muscle and strength.

bb_overallClose-up portrait of tender African female freelancer at cafeteria working on her tablet, writing out something on sheet of paper, looking tired and bored, resting cheek on hand, drinking white coffee8f5fe01330510432

1a5ff9db5e150ff45eb112.21815001_

Most of what people eat or use is not natural. Human bodies have been altered by changes in the environment, chemical exposure, food, and drugs. Knowledge of science has enabled humanity to manipulate its own biology. Human phenotypes are diverse. We have different skin color, height, weight , and body size. The unfortunate part about people is that they are prejudiced and stereotype. Women are subjected to harsh criticism about their appearance not just by men, but other women. The female body has been subject to scrutiny and women are now rejecting these social pressures. Biological sexism still remains. There never was a femininity or muscularity tight rope. This was imposed by a society that could not handle the idea that women could be physically powerful. Women are now developing their bodies, but a coded fitness language emerged to police the idea of what is acceptable.

           Bulky and toned are terms that are directed at women. Long and lean are a new addition   to this terminology. These terms are not facts of exercise science rather descriptions of appearance. Bulky has been used as a pejorative for women and a compliment for men. According to Skwarecki ” generally what people mean when they say ‘I don’t want to get bulky,’ they’re referring to the look where you have a good amount of muscle on your frame but you also have a good amount of fat covering it.” The first idea that comes to women’s minds is the female bodybuilder. It should be noted while these women have significant levels of muscle, they weigh less than they appear. The reason women look so big is due to the fact they reduced fat levels so much that their muscles look extra exaggerated. Training for years, diets, and supplementation produces bodies like that. Bulky is not even a good description.

f802c51332300164

iris_kyle

15467_kri19_122_1102lo

003a001327831123

A bodybuilder must have a balance between size, shape, definition, and conditioning. Simply being big is not going to win a contest. The objective is to create an aesthetically pleasing physique in the tradition of sculpture. Few can appreciate this bodybuilding aesthetic.  Women have created with the sport a new paradigm of beauty. It combines a dynamic strength with a feminine softness. The reason it causes shock or confusion is for the first time in history women have develop their bodies to a physical maximum. When viewed from this perspective bulky may not be such a pejorative. It only means an athlete is getting closer to their goal.Maybe its time to take full ownership of the term.

       The term toned also provides a level of confusion. The word tone is actually a term that refers to tension on a muscle at rest. That means that even the most muscular woman is toned . The colloquial use means a look in which carries some muscle on the body. A product of marketing, it was used as a way to sell weightlifting to women. The issue is that the gender specific terminology plays on sexist beliefs. The first one is that women are weaklings so serious workouts are not for them. They need low intensity or simple exercises, because their bodies not designed for it. The second is that power and strength cannot be feminine. Strong women have a following among some male fans of women’s sports. The modern female athlete has successfully combined power and grace into one physical form. Tone even as a general term is so arbitrary. Certain women could be  in the middle of a female bodybuilder and toned physique. There exists no term for that.

unnamed
The idea of the toned woman ,who has some definition.
Tomoko Kanda 56
Some women have more muscle that is beyond what is considered toned.Yet, they are not so big that they would be called bulky.
female bodybuilder (6)
This is the image of a  bulky woman with higher levels of muscular density

   Some critics are vocal about what they consider too much. This is a matter of opinion and personal taste. What could be extreme to one person, maybe tolerable to another.Frankly, the criticisms seem baseless considering women are not doing this for male approval. The demand that all women should appeal to a individual male’s preference is unreasonable, Double standards continue and the lugubrious part is that few see the sexism in it. When a woman lifts weights, she is building muscle. Toning just seems like a condescending term directed at women.Thankfully, women are embracing sports and strength sports more so than they ever have in the past. The fitness phenomenon is not just regulated to professional female athletes, but the casual female gym goer.

        Beth Skwarecki poses an important question. What do you call a woman who just works out ? Some women just love to be active without plans to compete. It is a fun hobby. The stereotypical image is that women are only into fad diets or if they do exercise it’s just cardio.When women take their fitness and sports seriously it becomes a controversy. Men do not face these dilemmas, because it seen as natural for them. Sports, exercise, and fitness are activities that can be enjoyed by everyone. Women were either excluded based on the idea they were too weak, had no skill, or would harm themselves. Strength and physical prowess was not part of femininity in the traditionalist  viewpoint. Besides backward thinking, there has always been a fear about women attaining too much power. Physical strength was thought to be the sole domain of men, that women could never enter. When skilled female athletes emerged, so did more sexism that did not want to see the gender role status quo dismantled.

boxer
A postcard from the 1900s shows an athletic woman boxing. This is a depiction of fear of a physically capable woman.
1910 postcard
Another postcard criticizing women in sports and involvement in physical culture.  Here it highlights the idea of female ineptitude.
Magazine cover
How sad that very little has changed. What makes this woman a freak ? This magazine was published at the beginning of the 21st century. One would think people would have become more open minded.

Women’s demand for basic rights and freedom could not be stopped. While society’s laws and social system changes, people’s attitudes do not. Many will cling to their sexism,no matter how much society progresses. Battles are still being  waged for equal pay and reproductive rights.  The American women’s soccer team continues to fight for better pay even though they have won multiple Women’s World Cups. Women can at least have access to gyms and sports, but this still is not happening in every nation. Certain countries violate women’s basic human rights to an egregious degree. It is time for the world to have a dramatic change in thought about women’s roles and what they are capable of.

        Women should not have to worry about what happens to their bodies when they weight train. Getting muscular should not be considered an awful thing. Weight training can improve musculoskeletal health and protect the circulatory system. Lifting could also be an effective method of weight management. Certainly only positive developments can come from such a training regimen if done properly. That means consuming enough  calories to fuel workouts and the sufficient amount of protein to maintain muscular hypertrophy. There still is considerable debate on whether a person can lose fat and build muscle simultaneously. These responses to exercise stimuli are two different results. Depending on the fitness goal a personal trainer,  dietitian, or nutritionist can be consulted. Prior to this consult your doctor or physician about embarking on an exercise regimen. People just need to accept that women’s bodies vary in appearance. Muscular women should not be treated as some anomaly or aberration. People will be judged no matter what.Just because an activity does not fit into your personal opinion does not invalidate it. There are men who object to women in strength sports, but they will not stop anytime soon. It is refreshing g to hear    Beth Skwarecki  embrace women with muscle. Normally, women in the fitness industry favor simple weight loss for women rather than functional fitness. Just remember bulk is beautiful.

Beth Skwarecki : Worrying About Bulky Muscles on Women Is Some Sexist Bull****

Princess of Prowess : Comedy, Medieval Mayhem, and The Fairy Tale

Princess of Prowess was mentioned before ( Preview of Princess of Prowess), but it deserves an in depth review. It is a fun webcomic that is unique in its presentation, yet has the delightful charm of what is familiar. It is the creation of an artist that goes by the screen name of  Lester Yeoman . The setting is in a fantasy world known as Rywerheim. Dolores Dulac is the princess that resides in Pommerland. The webcomic made its debut in 2018 and has been evolving ever since. Princess of Prowess is a mixture of traditional fairly tales, Monty Python, and Disenchantment . Reading it one can notice that there seems to be a Disney trope to it. King Harold Dulac, her father seems to fit the mold of the protective father that appears in Disney animated feature films. The story is divided into books. The story is serial based, so there could be more characters and settings on the way. What will be discussed is what happens so far. Further discussion may occur on the Femuscleblog Reddit page. This webcomic has shown great promise and it can only get better as time goes on. While some may just think of it as just another female muscle fetish comic, it is more than that. It created a wonderful female protagonist, along with a mix of comedy and action. Right at the beginning the author tells you what this world is all about : “I welcome thee, o brave explorer, to my domain: the world of Rywerheim, the kingdom of Pommerland, the home of the Princess of Prowess – the strongest princess there is!” He hopes that the pages bring the reader merriment. The comic has done more than that. Princess of Prowess is a refreshing and different take on the fairy tale and fantasy genre.

          The comedy is one of the first elements a reader notices. A Disney reference is what reader are introduced to when Dolores begins singing. The birds help her get dressed and in comes her stepmother. The only problem is the birds leave their droppings all over the place. Bug eyed, they are not the cute animals common in Disney films.  Yelling at Dolores it reminds readers of the stock Disney villains. However, she is not what she seems. Stepmother( Queen Stephanie)  is a product of witchcraft. These armies of stepmothers  are being controlled by the evil Witch Queen Marzipan. Along with her troll, they seek to take over various kingdoms with these stepmothers. The problem is they make poor assassins. Every attempt at murder the stepmothers fail miserably. Stepmother give Dolores a poison apple. She did not eat it, instead making it into a pie. King Harald was going to eat it, but stepmother takes it from him and eats it herself. She then dies. The next step mother pushes Dolores out the tower hoping the crocodile will get her. All it does is safely put her on land. All while this is happening Dolores is blissfully unaware that these stepmothers are attempting to kill her. These antics become funny to a Warner Brothers cartoon level. When Dolores runs into Sir Rupert more comedy follows  .He was injured from his duel with Sir Waldemar . Losing a finger to him is no problem as he mentions it with nonchalance.

ddaqsch-6a70c7c8-c4cc-40fb-9ec0-e93215b3b013
Princess Dolores Dulac was changed by the magic of the black rose . The magic was protecting her and altered her body making her very strong.
tumblr_pipuxcrAaC1xg4uc7o1_r1_1280
This a unique character. She has the charm of a Disney princess combined with the strength of He-Man.
gallery4
The comic is updated every Tuesday three times a month. The adventures are placed in books. currently the comic is on book one and going into book two.

Start Reading From the Beginning

Tex Avery style slapstick seems to be a part of this comic. A mix of humor and action reminds a reader of watching a Jackie Chan film. After she nurses sir Rupert to health other knights show up bleeding and bruised. Vexed Dolores marches to confront Sir Waldemar. Washing his face off in a near by lake, Dolores scolds him for his duels. “That wasn’t very nice she said. Once more the stepmother attempts to make another assassination attempt an is taken out by Waldemar. Another stepmother tries to kill Dolores while she was sleeping, but was protected by the black rose. Stepmother end ups with the knife in her head.  Queen Marzipan lured Dolores into tarp thinking its from Waldemar. When hit ring Mug-ba’ krai the rose saves Doloes. This time it alters her body as a result. Dolores is now much stronger and proceeds to pulverize the stepmothers.

page43

page45

page48

The art style only adds to the hilarious nature. It seems to have design similar to John Kricfausi. Exaggerated expressions and Robert Clampett like cartoon physics make it funnier. There is a tendency for some entertainment to take itself too  seriously. It either is strictly action or humor. Princess of  Prowess does a nice blend of both. Losing fingers must be a running gag. Slapstick humor has become more rare. The great thing is that it has never left animation or comics. Seeing as this is set in a fantasy world and Middle Ages era the possibilities are endless.

       The Medieval period refers to a period of European history starting with the fall of the Roman Empire  to the Age of Exploration. Sometimes this period is referred to as the dark age. That becomes problematic, because Africa, Asia, and the Americas did not experience a dark age during the  Middle Ages.  Abbasid and Umayyad caliphates preserved ancient Greek and Roman knowledge. Ghana, Mali, and Songhay became some of the most powerful empires of West Africa. The Mongol Empire was one of the largest land empires in history. The Maya, Inca, and Aztecs built empires along similar lines. Europe would not catch up until the Scientific Revolution. Superstition and religious fanaticism stunted Europe’s progress. A feudal system did not help. Europe was a place of  kings,nobles, peasants, lords,  and knights. The kingdom of  Pommerland seems to be modeled on this. Knights make an appearance with Waldemar being the strongest. European knights have been subject to much lore and fascination. Knighthood was an honorary title  granted by  a head of state, the church, or military for service. Mounted warriors were given this title during the Middle Ages for performance in combat and service to their lord. They adhered to a certain code referred to as chivalry. It was a mix of warrior ways and courtly behavior. Princess of Prowess demonstrates this with Dolores’ conversation with Waldemar. “The soul of the sword is double edged it does good it does evil” Waldemar proclaims. However, he then reveals “sooner or later it will always draw blood.” What he was explaining to Dolores was warrior ethos and the thrill of battle. While she dismisses it at this point, she may be embracing the idea later .

mace
The mace an iconic Medieval weapon.  Female warriors in fantasy tend to appear scantily clad as seen here in Dolores’ metal bikini.
joan_of_arc_miniature_graded
Women could not become knights. However, this did not stop them from entering combat. Joan of Arc  was famous for her role in the Hundred Years’ War ( 1337- 1453) .
tumblr_ph0q5iHo7T1xg4uc7o2_500
Princess of Prowess also has a Tumblr Page: Princess of Prowess Tumblr

The Middle Ages had a huge influence on fairy tales and European folklore. Being a fantasy and fairy tale based webcomic, the historical foundations of fiction cannot be ignored. This world in which Dolores lives maybe more along the lines of fairy tale fantasy with a mixture  of  historical  Medieval society. Princess of Prowess draws upon this historical time periods and the folklore shaped by it .

         Fairy tales are part of a long tradition of folklore with features magic and creatures of the imagination. They are conveyed in the form of short story. The term fairy tale is a recent one only coming in use when serious academic examination of literature shifted in the past centuries. Fairy tales are mostly associated with children’s literature. This can become confusing when trying to distinguish between fables, legends, and myths. These terms are different, but there are some connections between them. Fables are stories that convey a moral lesson, yet also have legendary creatures.  Legends are part of folklore that puts emphasis on human action and grounded its narrative in a certain history. Myths refer to narratives that are important to a culture of society. These stories feature either gods or supernatural beings. Every culture in the world has a creation myth. Princess of Prowess is a clever parody of fairy tales with a twist. Our princess is not a damsel in distress, rather the hero of the story. Witch Queen Marzipan is not a typical fairy tale antagonist. Witches in fairy tales are mostly as elderly women. Marzipan appears to be closer to Dolores’ age. Sir Wadelmar may appear to be a stock character in fairy tales known as the knight in shining armor, but it seems he has more personality. Gubber-Clobb Marzipan’s troll does not seem like the terrifying depiction in European art or fairy tales. He is a comedic character adding his own commentary to events.  Gubber-Clobb is just a troll looking for fun and excitement laughing along the way. The fight with the stepmothers he sits on a tree branch eating snacks watching Dolores pulverize them. This will be unlike any fairy tale that was read to you as a child. Magic also is a large part of this world. The black rose will certainly have importance to the plot. It not only changed Dolores, it has a mysterious origin. The only person that may have information is Master Ragelbite. Magical items appear in multiple fairy tales and Princess of Prowess continues that element of folklore.  As the story progresses, there could numerous magical items and creatures. The comic does an homage to fairy tales with a mix humor and folklore tropes.

        The internet has allowed for webcomics to be viewed by millions of people. Before, an artist would have to seek out a newspaper with the hope it would pick up their strip. Since the 1990s, many comics published on the internet have rapidly expanded. They are not bound by senseless censorship or editorial control. The result is unrestricted creativity. Princess of Prowess is a wonderful combination of the familiar and new. Mixing these elements has created a comic that is very unique. Starting in 2018, readers were introduced to a princess that could bench press 100 knights.  The  webcomic is coming on its third year and looks like it is gaining momentum. Dolores Dulac is going on some crazy adventures and it is something you should not miss. Reading this comic will want you to revisit some old fairy tale literature and fantasy related genre. If a reader and fan of webcomics is looking for something new, this is highly recommended. Fans of female muscle and strong women will truly appreciate the character designs. Even if you are not, the comic is still engaging enough  to keep a reader interested. There are times you wish this was an animated series on Adultswim. Dolores Dulac may end up becoming a popular webcomic character as time goes on. So remember to add Princes of Prowess to your favorites, because Medieval mania  awaits .

Princess of Prowess : Comedy, Medieval Mayhem, and The Fairy Tale