Last week a panel featuring Susana Polo (Founder/Editor of The Mary Sue), Karen Boykin-Towns (Vice President, Worldwide Policy at Pfizer), Dr. Jonathan Gray, (Assistant Professor of English with John Jay College), feminist activist/speaker Shelby Knox, and So-Chung Shinn (co-host of The Portfolio TV) convened to discuss the new PBS documentary Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines (directed by Kristy Guevara-Flanagan). The hour-long panel following the screening was more diverse and did more issue unpacking than the hour-long film.
Some of that may have been for reasons of accessibility. The film is aimed at fans of all ages, and focuses more on Wonder Woman’s inspirational value to women and young girls than it does Serious Issues of Feminism. It’s a look at the comic and television origins of the character, (some of) the heroines that debuted in her wake, and some of the social change that occurred at different points during the highs and lows of her popularity. At an hour long it doesn’t necessarily have the time to fully dive into some of the issues brought up–that was left to the panel.
You can watch the entire film here, and the entire panel below when you have a spare hour, but for now few highlights from the guest speakers: