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Laura Joh Rowland

The Secret History of Wonder Woman / written and narrated by Jill Lepore

The Secret History of Wonder Woman - Jill Lepore

The Secret History of Wonder Woman is a history of Wonder Woman, but it's so much more than that. It is a history of the social movements that birthed her, a biography of the people who created her, an analysis of the scientific, legal, business, and political realms which alternately tried to chain and unchain her. This was clearly a labor of love on Jill Lepore's part, and she did her research, to be sure!  Not only did I learn a lot about Wonder Woman, but I learned a lot about how it came about that I, as a woman, have the freedoms that I do.


Now that I've written that, I have to say that I just got done putting in a full day at work (where I am in a leadership position; oh, and I'm also the breadwinner in my household), came home from an hour-and-a-half commute, did the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen (after my husband cooked dinner), took the dog and the husband for an hour long walk, came home (again) and spent another hour cleaning the house.  I haven't taken off my work clothes, or even my shoes yet!  I can't imagine what my day would be if I also had children.  Am I still chained, or am I free?  Because not only do I now still run a house, but I have a career, too, with all of the additional responsibilities that brings.  My husband's shoes are off, and have been for hours.  He's had his shower, and is in his pajamas.  Just sayin'.  And these very themes are central to The Secret History of Wonder Woman.  She was born out of multiple women's rights movements, struggles by women to win the right to birth control, questions about whether or not a woman could or should have a career and a family at the same time, questions about whether or not women really wanted equality, and indeed, whether they would ever really have it.  Why do modern women identify with Wonder Woman?  Because she, like we, were born out of the same history.  The Secret History of Wonder Woman is the secret history of every woman.