Wonder Women

June 4, 2017
(was 08.30.2015)

Hollywood is finally getting ready to give women superpowers. For decades, moviegoers only saw the likes of Batman, Spider Man, and Iron Man, but in recent years there's been a slate of strong female characters on screen. And there's more to come, including The Black Widow, Captain Marvel and the iconic Wonder Woman. This hour, we're talking about superheroines, in film and in real life.

  1. Wonder Woman's Fascinating Origin Story

    Since her creation in 1941, Wonder Woman has become one of the most popular superheroes of all time, as well as an beloved icon of second-wave feminism. It also turns out she has a fascinating origin story that intersects with the Women's movement of the early 20th century, the lie detector, and even involves the founders of Planned Parenthood. Historian Jill Lepore tells Steve Paulson about these connections, and talks about Wonder Woman's eccentric creator.

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  2. What It's Like To Be A Real Life Spy Girl

    Television is rife with shows about female spies, whether it's Nikita, Covert Affairs, the Americans, or Homeland. It really seems like spy girls are having a moment on TV, but how true to life are these popular depictions? We turned to former CIA operations officer Valerie Plame Wilson to find out.

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  3. What Does A Strong Female Character Look Like?

    How do you best portray a strong female character, either in TV or in film? That’s a question culture critic Tasha Robinson has been asking herself for a long time now, first during her 13 years as an editor for the A.V. Club and most recently as the senior editor of the movie commentary site, The Dissolve. She tells Charles Monroe Kane that it's relatability — not toughness — that defines a strong woman on screen.

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  4. Let's Put An End To Sexist Language

    Cognitive researcher Douglas Hofstadter explains how gendered words and phrases — like using "guys" to refer to mixed company — can oftentimes reinforce sexist attitudes.

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  5. How Pop Music Marginalizes and Excludes Women

    For much of her early life, rock critic Jessica Hopper was an ardent fan of punk rock. But despite her passion, she never felt like she quite fit in. That began to change once she started seeing female fronted bands performing onstage. She says the experience convinced her that there was a place for her in music. The discovery set her on a quest to uncover the countless other ways women are excluded from music, which she writes about in her book, "The First Collection of Criticism By A Living Female Rock Critic." She spoke to producer Craig Eley about the various forms of sexism she encountered in her decades-long career as a music journalist.

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