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13 January 2021
2021 13 January 2021 ASTRO ALL-STARS The Astrology And Herstory Of Wonder Woman And Sheroes With Empressev SUNSHINE STATE OF MIND EPISODE #11 YOUTUBE VIDEO
PART 1 is the astrology of Wonder Woman, Linda Carter, Gal Gadot, and director Patty Jenkins.
PART 2 is an interview with classic Aquarius, Academic/Scholar, writer and film & cultural critic, Wonder Woman memorabilia collector Evelyn Hartogh BA MA MA. Evelyn has a book in the works about Sheroes which we are all ready for. We discuss the history of of Wonder Woman, the evolution, the villains, the ancient Amazon inspiration, & who they really were!
ASTRO ALL-STARS: Hello, & welcome to the Astro All-Starz Podcast. I'm your host Vanessa Montgomery, pro-astrologer, & author of Star Power, & Cosmic Power. This podcast is for you if you are an astro-curious modern mystic, ready to free your mind, own your power, & create your world. Let's Go!
Hi Starlings! Welcome to this chat about Wonder Woman, & Super Sheroes! I just went to see Wonder Woman 1984, the new film, & I love Wonder Woman, loved her for a long time, & Super Sheroes in general. I love 1970s versions in particular, their sense of humour was very empowering because it was a Sagittarius decade with Sagittarius influencing the arts. Anyway this first section is about the astrology of Wonder Woman & Super Sheroes, & then I have my guest coming on, a classic Aquarius person, & I'll just tell you a little bit about her now. Her name is Evelyn Hartogh, she is a writer, a performer, & a cultural critic, she has a Master of Arts in Creative Writing, & a Master of Arts in Women’s Studies, & she has a Bachelor of Arts in English, & Philosophy. She is going to come on, & tell us more about Wonder Woman, the comics, the origins, different bits, & pieces, Amazons in particular, & she has lots of of goodies for us (I'll have some details in the show notes if you want to look down there).
So now lets jump into the astrology of Wonder Woman, so how do we give Wonder Woman a birth chart? Well I did some googling, and she has an official birthday, which is March 22nd, it doesn't give a year, or a place of birth, so I can't make a whole chart, but I do know the sun is in Aries on March 22nd & you know I always try to find out, or work out, what archetype someone is channelling, if it's character, or biographically true films, & see if the actor brought through the true spirit of the person, & often they do, I can tell from the film, ('Walk the Line' being my most classic case – I knew he was Pisces) anyway, I think of Super Heroes & Sheroes have a real Aries vibe, such an Aries vibe, it's such a fire sign vibe, you know they bust in, they are not that emotional, they mess shit up, or they save, & they are off again, they need a lot of stimulation let's face it! So there is a lot going on, they wear primary colours, which is very much that fire sign simplicity, & it's got a bit of a Sag vibe, & a Leo vibe, but Aries mostly, I do think a bit of Sag too! Mmm we'll see, what do you think? I'd be interested to know, but I'm 100% going for that fire vibe.
I had a look at the original Wonder Woman – so how do we set a chart for that? First of all I found out she does have an official birth-date, I don't know if all superheroes do, but she does the 22nd of march, doesn’t give a year, neither do I, worst kept secret in astrology, yes I do! That would make her an Aries, an Aries sun, there is no year or place, so I can't show the rest of the chart, all I know is where the sun was, in any year on March 22nd. So the other way I was able to cast a full chart, what we often do as astrologers is look at when the first instance of this character, when did this thing start, the inception, like a birth chart, when did you show up?
The first comic book, magazine, or any feature, debut of Wonder Woman, was in a comic on December 1st 1941, which makes her a Sagittarius, so here is the fire again, so I looked to see, well are there any Aries placements & of course there are, we will get to that, & then Patty Jenkins I did some googling of her, the director of Wonder Woman 1984, & the Wonder Woman movie before that, obviously resonates, she is around my age, we would have been introduced to the same 1970s Wonder Woman series, & been inspired, & Lynda Carter who played the original Wonder Woman, & was closely consulting with the movie, & of course ooh! (I won't say the rest in case you haven't seen it). I looked at her chart against Lynda Carter's chart – you know when you do synastry – you know lay the charts on top of one another, & see what angles up, what aspects, & of course Gal Gadot who plays the modern Wonder Woman, & I looked for Aries in their chart, like where they could be vibing, & they obviously do resonate, if you have looked up any of them, chatting, they have formed a great relationship, of course there is going to be some awesome synastry.
I love looking at the synastry. So where is the Aries in each of their charts? Yes they have Aries, & the interesting thing with it, & this is what I'll share now, here we go with the Aries they have a few things lining up, so Wonder Woman has Mars at 13 degrees Aries, Patty Jenkins has Chiron at 13 degrees Aries, Gal Gadot has Mercury at 13 degrees Aries, Lynda Carter has Jupiter at 13 degrees Aries, & Lynda Carter also has Moon in Aries, which makes her very Aries, & Gal Gadot also has Venus in Aries, so you know there is a natural Aries vibe in here, you know they are all the same degree, they are all the face of Wonder Woman.
They had a few other things in common, you know it's so interesting when you look up events, people, you are going to have this run of planets out usually, you can have other aspects, triads, squares, but there is all of just these lines of planets all at the same degree, it's interesting, & to me it's particularly interesting, that it's 13 degrees, you know, which is actually a very female orientated number, but in Aries, the Shero, the action, the principle, has been ideas which have been repressed for women, because 13 it has been demonised by Christianity, from the flipping over from matriarchal, matrilineal times, 13 moons a year, women have 13 cycles a year, it like a magic number, more a sacred number, I would say for women in particular, we are pretty bound to it, because of our moon-cycle ourselves, so that was interesting, you know, numbers are numbers.
Patty Jenkins, amazing director, love Patty if you ever see this, thank you from the bottom of my heart, Patty Jenkins is a Leo, sun in Leo, Lynda Carter is a sun in Leo, their suns are both at 1 degrees Leo, so Patty was watching Lynda Cater rock around the joint you know as Wonder Woman, when she was a little kid, really feeling the vibe because their synastry is, like Lynda Carter is being that flashy Leo, she wore a cape, Leo Aries vibes, & Lynda Carter & Patty's suns are conjunct to Gal Gadot's Leo Ascendant, so when someone, their sun is on the ascendant you are like oh the sun is rising amazing, so that would have been awesome for Gal to work with them, they would have been able to see Gal as being able to represent that fire Heroic Leo vibe, or Sheroic vibe, that Leo is still in there as the Hero or the Shero, along with the Aries, so there are the main things, so there is another one which went out, which was, they didn't all have it, Lynda didn't have it, but the modern ones, well Wonder Woman, Patty & Gal, all have a placement that's very tight in Scorpio. So I do see Scorpio as bringing out those mysteries that have been so repressed, well not actually mysteries because they have been repressed, not mysteries if you know what they are, people used to,!
Ok So I just looked up William Moulten Marston, who was the original creator of Wonder Woman, & Evelyn will talk more about him later, he's very interesting to google, his background. What kind of a guy would think up this character? There is a great article in the Smithsonian Mag (if you go to Smithsonian origin story Wonder Woman that will give you a bit more on that one). However I’ve just looked up his chart, & something in common that he has, is of course he has a Leo placement, & of course he has an Aries placement, although they are not conjunct with the Aries, but the Leo, he has Chiron at 27 degrees, & what did I mention before about that 27 degree Leo, Patty Jenkins has Mercury, & the Moon, at 27 degrees Leo, actually I didn't mention that, Patty Jenkins is obviously really resonating with that Leo quality, so I'm not surprised we have seen that go through. That Leo has gone through everyone involved that we think of as the main contributors to Wonder Woman.
So I hope you are fan, I'll just share this little bit, when I was little, we'd have a big agricultural show that was the Ekka, herein Queensland, most people have them in places I guess, rides, & sideshow alley, & sample bags, cows, anyway, cake competitions etc. Anyway, there was a Wonder Woman bag, & it had plastic belt, so I had the belt from the bag, this little plastic yellow belt, cuffs, & possibly a headband, & it was so much fun, & I just really hope the kids these days resonate with that character, there are more, & more, empowering female characters, go see the movies if you haven’t already, & enjoy Super Shero time, there has been really big gaps in-between, but I think it's undeniable that we want to see Super Hero, & Sheroes from our perspective as well, from women, or non binary, as not a white man basically, as I mention later the [Black] Panther was huge, huge, we want the reality! Not this make-believe that the whole world is white men!
[13 minutes in]
So without further ado I'm going to bring on Evelyn's interview
Hi Evelyn! Welcome to this chat! How are you?
EVELYN: I'm amazing as all Amazons are!
ASTRO ALL-STARZ: so I'm just going to introduce Evelyn Hartogh, we were flatmates years ago in the 1990s, early early early 1990s, Evelyn is a classic Aquarius, & Sagittarius usually get along with Aquarius, & we had the best chats in our share house at our kitchen table. I absolutely loved Evelyn the minute she knocked on our door to move in, which was a surprise to everyone, so I wanted her to come here today to talk about Wonder Woman, & Amazons, since Wonder Woman 1984 is out. Evelyn, of course classic Aquarius, is an academic, with a moon in Leo, hence dressing up with that character, she also does performance art, so she has balanced the academic, & a background in writing, also film reviewing, working on a book about Sheroes, which I really want to chat about, what is it, I like to call these things one's opus, the opus takes time, because it's so important too, obviously this is your opus, I have my own I haven’t done yet, because it's my opus, yeah so let's get started. Actually can you tell us a little about your background you academic background with feminism with literature, & stuff like that?
EVELYN: well I’ve probably done a ridiculous amount of degrees.
ASTRO: love it – Evelyn was at the University of Queensland [when we shared a house] so I really enjoyed living vicariously.
EVELYN: when I first met Vanessa I was doing my undergrad at UQ, & I started majoring in journalism, but I actually shifted to English Literature, & Philosophy, & that's where I got my passion for moral philosophy, but I never stopped loving journalism, I pretty much, well even during my undergrad began publishing, been continually publishing articles, then after my undergrad I began performing because again it was my writing, & it was a way to get an immediate response on my writing, because this is back in the 1990s, because if I published an article I'd have to wait two months for someone to write a letter to the editor, or maybe someone would chat about it, but you don't get that instant response like you do now if you write something online, it was a very different world, & then I went back to university & I’ve done a few post graduate degrees, the most noteworthy in this context is, a Master of Arts in women's Studies at Griffith, & then a Master of Arts in Creative Writing at UQ, & I know it sounds weird two masters in a row, the actual second master of arts was the last year it was offered as an MA, it's now offered as an MPhil, a Masters in Philosophy which is kind of in-between a Masters, & a Doctorate.
ASTRO: I love it there is no too much study in my book
EV: well yeah there is never too much study – so yeah I have constantly publishing during this, while I was doing my second masters I became the Arts Editor at Queensland Pride Newspaper, & that's when I started my Pop Cult Sheroes column, so as well as a lot of reviewing of books, films, & theatre, I had a monthly, then fortnightly, column in Qld Pride Newspaper, & then I started doing a monthly column in LOTL, Lesbians on the Loose, that was called Pop Tarts, they were both essentially about contemporary [mainly] twentieth century women who were warriors, who were non-feminine archetypes, or men, like someone for instance like Doctor Who who is not your usual chauvinistic man, I classed him as a Shero. The interesting thing about that period, we are talking about the 2000s, which was the main time I was doing the Sheroes, is that there is lots of revival of famous characters, like there was a new Bewitched, a new Elektra, so that gave me lots of scope to write columns, not just ones that looked back at retro TV series, & characters, but were also relating a revamp to the characters' history, their canon, which I'm guessing is something you might be interested in today on Wonder Woman.
ASTRO: I am, & I remember you were into Wonder Woman even when we lived together, & of course I remember when it came out in the 1970s, we are all about the same age, & the same age as Patty Jenkins, the director of both the most recent movies about Wonder Woman. Now I would like to hear from you, on what got you into it, why have you pursued Wonder Woman specifically?
EV: I remember Lynda Carter on the TV, & just being blown away, & I already had a few comics, & colouring books, & I had a little MEGO figure, & it was the first live action portrayal of a comic book character [that I had seen] & I just longed for stuff like that in the 1970s, & 1980s, just adored her, just adored the whole idea of truth, & love, were her main, like if you look back at the 1970s series, she is actually a much gentler character, I mean she still tough, & bad ass, & throws the villains, & what not, & breaks free, & fights off the bullets, & all of that, but the 1970s Lynda Carter Wonder Woman, I think her best contemporary, with the mood of the character, is a comic called The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, she's a Marvel creation, & she's kinda for younger readers, but the cutest thing about The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is whenever she has a battle with someone she always resolves it peacefully, she finds out why is, why are you doing this mayhem? What do you really need? She basically psychoanalyses the villains, gives them a bit of therapy, finds out what the real problem is, & solves it for them! So no one has to fight. So this was the ethos of the 1970s Wonder Woman TV show in a lot of ways, I mean there were battles, but at the crux of it, that was what really appealed to me, I didn't like conflict, I didn't like deception, these were things to me as a child which really upset me, I was weird child, perhaps was autistic, maybe I have Aspergers as few friends suggested? Because I have always wanted to speak the truth, & I read a lot, & need to remember a lot, so remembering lies for me would just be exhausting, a brain can only hold as much at the front at a time, well my brain, it can take me while to get back to the data banks. So honesty has always been massively important to me, which has often been a problem, it has led to me being tactless, I mean no quality is good or evil, it can be an extreme, & extreme honesty can be tactless, so I have had to learn to temper it at times.
ASTRO: I'll just interrupt here, as you have just reminded me of, there was such a point to the Wonder Woman too that we have just seen, that has just come out, truth is such a big deal in that, what's the big deal with the truth thing, but you are right, of course the Lasso of Truth, she is all about truth, in a time now just to make it relevant, there is so much truth, & lies, there is so much false information, it's an interesting idea to have back now.
EV: yeah you have a period in the early 2000s, late 1990s, in the comics, where she dies, one of the many times she dies, & is resurrected, this one time she goes up to Olympus, & is briefly the Goddess of Truth, but she keeps interfering [with mortal lives] so they go, 'Ok we will just resurrect you again!' That is the things with comics, especially female characters, they get killed off, & resurrected a lot.
ASTRO: yeah right what was I going to ask, oh yeah. I was going to share that I quite liked the truth element in the 1970s as well I really liked the action a lot, love the action, but the point is, she has defensive skills, she doesn't just go, & attack people for no reason.
ASTRO: but yeah the action is awesome I'm just thinking while you are talking the female characters, it's sort of like a gender thing, where they are meant to do the love, & all of this, & be a certain way, but then in the second Wonder Woman, the villains were fantastic, & Cheetah, what is her name?
EV: Barbara Minerva, Cheetah.
ASTRO: Yeah Cheetah she was a fantastic female villain, in terms of she just went completely psycho, I loved it! Ha Ha!
EV: Yeah Cheetah is good, I have pulled a few from my collection, here is a famous Cheetah cover from 1987 [holding up Wonder Woman comic from 1987]. What happened with Wonder Woman is you have got the original Wonder Woman [title comic] run that started in 1942. Now in this comic [holding up Wonder Woman comic from 1972] gremlins actually take over her invisible plane, & she crashes through the World Trade Centre both towers – so now this comic is famous – so this is 1972, you have basically got a 30 year old Wonder Woman here.
ASTRO: So I'm wondering what your thoughts are on feminism, & Wonder Woman? We have had so few female action characters to basically model being an active assertive person, you know, & for me that was really important, with agency & independence.
EV: In the 2010s, & the 2020s, there has been so much more both from Marvel, & DC, heaps more women, & even the Star Wars universe has expanded with a lot more action women in that. In the 1980s, & 1990s, that was a difficult time, I mean Buffy made a huge impact, Xena made a huge impact, but with cinema Sheroes, with Catwoman, Electra, & Tank Girl, & with the Alien 2 sequel with Ripley [I meant the movie Aliens]. Amazing, assertive women, yet to bring them to the screen it seemed like all of them compromised, & said well to make this woman relatable she will have to be protecting a small female child, & that kind of irritated me.
Now to Wonder Woman, what irritates me there – we have a big change in 2011, which I still haven't recovered from, in the story arc, but right up till 2011 she was moulded from clay, she was a woman born of woman, the Queen of the Amazons wished for her, so in the comics from the 1942, right up to 2011, sometimes if something terrible, like if she got poisoned, or something else happened, often she could regain her strength by just putting herself onto the earth, & feeling the clay that she was born from. Well anyway in 2011 that all changed, & they declared her father was Zeus, for a while she was misled that it was Ares [in Ancient Greek mythology Ares is called the father of the Amazons], because Ares is her traditional adversary [in the comics] also another reason why I mix it up, is after she kills Ares, in the comics, they make her the Goddess of War, because that’s the traditional, if you smite down a god you become that god, so she kind of had everything on her plate, she was the god of war, a superhero, an ambassador, 2011 was just a really rough year, & even worse they made her wear trousers, no that was much earlier, they just made her boots dark [in 2011] but let me just show you a bit of the costume changes, well here we have – well like I said even though they often kill off a comic book character, & rebirth them, & they start from issue one again, occasionally they go, oh lets add up from the first ever comic, here we go number six hundred, so that is number 600 since 1942 – they have just added up everything – even from the 1987 reboot where they went back to one. So the first run of Wonder Woman, what we call the golden age went up to the early three hundreds, the second run about two hundred. So that’s issue 600 – that's a little while ago – that’s ten years ago now – here she is with the pants – thank god they didn’t last long – now you might remember around 2013 [no whoops its 2011] they tried to make a Wonder Woman TV series with Adrianne Palicki [& Pedro Pascal - who plays villian Max Lord in 2020's WW84 - played Wonder Woman's police contact Ed Indelicato in the failed 2011 pilot], anyway you can search online, & see it, they never even finished editing the pilot – bit of a disaster – anyway here is the dark boots [2011 reboot] the first issue when she is a daughter of Zeus, when they changed, no longer a woman born of woman made of clay, who can save herself by lying in the earth, & feeling the energy of the earth mother, great Gaia, No, Zeus, yet again, slimy philanderer that he was, bonked Hippolyta [Wonder Woman's mother the Amazon Queen] – she didn't even know it was him - who knows what he was dressed up as – a swan, a rock, another Amazon, Zeus, he's a bit of a naughty one, but there you go.
ASTRO: I guess that's the standard patriarchal [Ancient] Greek myth style of doing things anyway isn't it, it's basically they have subverted, rewritten what's come before, we have lost touch with that, & we think back to that as being the original, & it's actually not at all, oh, what's her name in Greek mythology that is the daughter of Zeus, from his head?
ASTRO: yes Athena story on repeat isn't it? & Hera was originally, I've been doing lots of reading of pre-classics, & history, & research, & Hera was the one, & Zeus just made his way up the ranks, & you know then was dominating, & people don't know that, I've been looking into that because astrology leans so much on that patriarchal sexist version, & all I see is rape culture, & it's all a bit nasty, as interesting as it is, they are amazing, but there is that component, so that is interesting that Wonder Woman started following that narrative as well.
EV: Another thing about the movie, I did enjoy it, I thought it was wonderfully cheesy, I enjoyed the action, one thing that was quite bizarre
ASTRO: is that the second movie?
EV: the second movie, the bizarre thing was with Steve Trevor of her going: 'I just want this one thing, I just want you Steve', & he's like: 'No you have to give me up if you want to save the world', & that's a complete reversal of the comic ethos for such a long-time, right up till now! Way back in the 1940s you had Steve Trevor chomping on a pipe, & going: 'What Ho Diana can't we even talk about getting married darling angel?' & she's like: 'No Steve, no we cannot, not at all, I must save the world, while the world needs me I cannot be married, away with you Steve!' So in the comics it's always Steve begging her, & her going: 'no, no no, away with you, away', & he's died, & been reborn a few times, & he's been black, as has Etta Candy in the military, but just one quick point about Steve Trevor, another big change.
ASTRO: before you get to that – I just want to say I'm glad you said that because in the movie my thoughts were like, I was wishing they didn't have that part, she’s a Super Hero, she’s however old, they are clearly trying to make her relatable, but lets just have a strong role model that just can be independent, like that's what we want, we don't get to see that often. & he is the human, & he was acting like he has got it all together, & he would surely be all too human, not her! & I didn't really appreciate that part of the story. I was like: what is that there for? It's taking up valuable arse kicking time!
EV: If you think of the triumvirate: Superman, Batman, & Wonder Woman. Superman has always had Lois Lane, they have had their ups, & downs, he has always had heaps of girls chasing after him. Batman, he’s always had an on-again-off-again thing with Catwoman, but he’s also in the cinema depictions a bachelor, bachelor Bruce Wayne, a rich playboy, he's got women everywhere. Wonder Woman, she's had Steve Trevor but she's always kept him at arm's length. So many other female superheroes, romance is so difficult for them, especially Supergirl in particular, is a character in tragic romance [in the comics] anyway not really in the TV show – aww scratch that bit!
ASTRO: so why can't the Female Superheroes have this bevy like Batman Bruce Wayne, why can't they have the bevy, call the shots, & be cool, they are like how old? They are not human, but they are trying to make them human! Let's show us at our greatest potential – be a role model to aspire to!
EV: there was a special – a 2017 special by Grant Morrison – in that they have Steve Trevor crashing on Paradise Island, & Wonder Woman joining him to go back in the battle to save earth, & man's world, but in that she leaves behind her lesbian lover, which you know really makes more sense! Way back in the 1990s they had, in the George Perez run on the title, they had delegates going to Paradise Island, & for the first time ever they explicitly stated that they, 'most of all we have each other', in that they were in lesbian partnerships, you would actually see women sharing the same bed, [& if] a woman died, then her lover [was depicted as] being completely distraught, you'd see all those sort of things.
As for Wonder Woman, up till 2017 she was basically a virgin, she went out on dates, like when Steve wasn't around they would introduce a few other gods, or superheroe,s she's go out on dates with but essentially she was a virgin, you never saw her in bed with anyone, until 2017 when the first Patty Jenkins Wonder Woman movie came out – this issue August 2017 she actually goes to bed with Steve Trevor, now you don't get live action sex, but what you do see, for the first time ever, is her in bed with Steve, nude, & all her clothes on the floor. So that is something never depicted [before], that's something they correlated to the movie – so she was a 75 year old virgin!
ASTRO: that makes sense though keeping it relatable, like why should – like again going back to those Greek myths – women were – to be action they had to be virginal for some reason – they couldn't have their sexuality as well – so I'm glad to see a woman making a movie, & having a female have a sexuality – thank you!
EV: there was talk that she would have a female lover – perhaps she will have a female lover in the next film?
ASTRO: We can only hope! Just love our Patty Jenkins!
EV: well that's even if she will direct the next one, we don't know that. Now another thing I know you wanted to talk about was the ancient Amazons.
ASTRO: Yes the ancient Amazons you have been researching, yes this character & Wonder Woman's mother back on Paradise Island, is it still Paradise Island?
EV: Themiscrya they call it now, an ancient Greek name, & that was from the George Perez reboot from 1987, when he rebooted he really went back to a lot of the old classical Greek imagery, & did a very classical Greek Amazons, he relied on what research was available in the late 1980s, previous to that, in the really early Wonder Woman, those Amazons, they had just the wildest science. They had this magic science, they pretty much had Wi-Fi video calls – Wonder Woman had this little transmitter on her tiara, & this little globe thingamajig. She'd press her tiara, & telepathically call Paradise Island – from the 1940s up to the 1980s - & they would chat, & the Amazons had, (well the William Moulten Marston created fictional Amazons) were incredibly advanced scientifically. The idea he [Marston] had was that that people thought they were magical, & feared them, but it was just that they [the Amazons] were incredibly advanced, & had such a high respect for science, & mathematics, & technology, as much as the arts, & they also didn't ride horses in the early Marston stuff – they had giant kangaroos!
ASTRO: No way! That's awesome! I'll say with the horses, on the opening, I'll just say that Patty has done the the most incredible opening scenes on both movies – that first one – I'm not a crier – I'm such a hard arse – but luckily I went by myself because I had a little cry – because it was so – it just seemed so primal, so archetypal.
EV: It was so beautiful.
ASTRO: we don't actually get much – we have to watch so much slop that's reinforcing the same shit that I know I don't relate to at all. It seemed so primal, so archetypal, being a Sagittarius!
EV: No wonder you liked the archer in my doll collection the most!
ASTRO: Yeah the Saggo Archer! & back when the original show came out in the 1970s it was a bit the same - we just didn't get to see stuff like that done so well with respect to the women, to the character, of being such a well rounded person, being so independent, the only other one I can associate with is when Kate Bush came out with Babushka – I was so young – looking back on it now it's not what I remember – I just remember this woman in armour smashing through mirrors, she was like an Amazon warrior vibe, & so unique, so I’m glad that Patty Jenkins like smashed it too!
EV: Patty Jenkins has done a great job really, she's really up to the minute with the research, because it was only about 2013, that recent archaeological digs, & DNA testing, found out about so many women warriors around Scythia, & the Black Sea, here is a map of it.
ASTRO: because I was reading about it, there was a book about it, about the Scythians.
EV: Yes they lived around the Black Sea, modern day Russia [more accurately modern day Ukraine, & Romania] , & Europe, to the north east of Greece, that whole region.
ASTRO: Siberia? the enemies of the Greeks traditionally, the ancient Greeks, isn't it?
EV: the wacky thing is you get all these archaeological studies, & with these DNA testing around 2013, & this completely turns over so much belief, so much history, what people think is solid history, not only for the Amazons but for the Vikings,
ASTRO: ah yes the shield maiden
EV: it was around that time they found out that, as many women, were Viking warriors, as men, it's all egalitarian, the big change [in regard to Amazons] is realising these were real people, really up till this century, the standard historical belief was these were mythical figures that were created to keep the good Athenian women in their place, when you look back at the glory of [Ancient] Greece, & you see all the wonderful Amazons, these are women that would not have been accepted in Athens, In Athens if you were a woman you were the property of your father, or your husband, & you were veiled in public.
ASTRO: pretty much uneducated, & locked in the home from what I have read.
EV: Yes, unless you had some amazingly liberal father, or husband, who let you read, because well anything can happen really, but in Athens, at that time, it was only women in the prostitute class who could walk the streets without a veil, you know go to lectures, the theatre. Or if you weren't an Athenian citizen, to be a citizen, a women would have to become the property of a man, be adopted by an older man, or be married to someone. One of the most famous prostitutes, also prostitution is a bit different in ancient Athens, you have got five classes of it, & they all paid tax, it's all legal, every beautiful Greek statue, monument, temple, all of that majesty of ancient Greece, all of it paid for by women on their backs, or playing instruments, because prostitutes, & musicians, were in the same five classes, anyway I won't go through them all.
ASTRO: were there male prostitutes as well?
EV: Yes, yes, the top class was the Heterea, one, in particular, who in a lot of ways would be quite similar to Wonder Woman, she was the mistress of Pericles, as in the Periclean Golden age of Athens, statues of Athena were based on her, she taught at the university, she taught Socrates, she is even in a frieze at the University of Athens still. She often gets forgotten about, her name was Aspasia, from Miletus, she was both a teacher, & a warrior, she stayed the mistress of Pericles, because if she married him, she would have had to then stay in a veil, couldn't go to the theatre, couldn't work.
ASTRO: she would have lost her agency!
EV: Yes, so she lived outside the system. It was still pretty dangerous to be in that position, you were on a tight-wire. But the Amazons, they had this thing of Amazon tombs, one of these things that historian used, to say they were myths. They [previou historians] said, oh the Greeks they were heading into the north, & the east, they wouldn't find anyone, but they would want to claim the land, so they would erect an Amazon tomb, but it would really be empty, so they would just come back, & say we we killed all these wild women, you better stay in the home, & be a good girl etc! But the thing was, the tribes in that region, to the north, & east of Greece, around the Black Sea, Scythia, they were nomadic tribes, so they wouldn't always be staying in exactly the same spot, they would create a tomb, & they they would move on, so this is the tombs, & the burial grounds that we discover, these women, these archers, these women on horseback. Bbut the most interesting thing I have discovered from this research is this things about trousers. That they were a feminine item of clothing in antiquity, if we look back at Egyptian, Roman, & Greek dress, even Persian at that time, it's all skirts, it's what the men wore, & it's [considered] feminine to wear trousers.
ASTRO: so they wore them like the Persians, the loose trousers we still see in many Asian countries, in India, they are fitted up to the knees, & then kind of loose, that kind of thing?
EV: I was just remembering when we were young, & you were talking about the Asian dressing of the trousers, & a long tunic over them, for the ladies, that's kind of hearkening back to the ancient feminine trousers. Ok so picture these old Greek soldiers - they are going through this area north east of Greece, & they see all these people on horseback, riding, wearing trousers, & they just think oh they are all ...
ASTRO: men no, women! Yes!
EV: Yes women, & yes some of them would have been women, about half of them would have been women, basically they see this egalitarian tribe, & they assume oh it must be all wild women, because the idea in their minds is, oh my gosh, the men here must not have control of their women, because their women aren't at home cooking, & mending, & sewing, & doing domestic duties, they are not honouring the hearth, like we do, so these women must be out of control, they must have murdered all the men, so you get this wild, it is very much this cultural clash, because for the [Ancient] Greeks the idea of men wearing [trousers] is - no way - far too feminine!
ASTRO: that interesting, that's a bit like propaganda today, a bit like the drama we are seeing now – like oh my god all these women, & I remember something you mentioned to me before about looking back at equality, because they were so extreme with inequality, that equality looks like women are dominating, but it's just like equal they were small tribes, everyone had to pitch in, women were warriors, so were guys, & it sounds like that manner of dress was just practical.
EV: well you are riding, on your horse, living on your horse, it's much easier to ride astride with trousers, & you would, you know, ancient people would often have a big skirt, & you would bundle it up in the centre. But yeah exactly what you just said, if oppression is your norm, then equality looks quite extreme!
ASTRO: it's like the backlash we experience, we only, you get a little win, & it looks like we have crushed everything, with the racial debate, with the gender debate, with all those things so I'm really glad you pointed that out. So I'm really glad you mentioned that before so we could bring it up now.
EV: you still see it in the microcosm, men who don't realise how entrenched their sexist values are, without thinking they just expect women to obey them, it's so entrenched they are oblivious to it, so any time a woman wants to be treated as an equal, they are like, 'oh you don't respect me', because in their minds respect is obedience.
ASTRO: because their mind is there, & you have come up against it, & all they know is you have come up against it, you have stepped out of your lane.
EV: yeah it's wacky but everything is changing, & I'm sure Wonder Woman is helping with that. & just a quick last comic we can relate to the movie, Maxwell Lord, he is a villain that has been around for a while, interesting in 2005 there is Wonder Woman getting arrested because she has just murdered Max Lord, because Max Lord was originally a character who could take over people's minds, he kinda does that in the film I guess, but anyway in 2005, in the comi,c he took over Superman's mind, & was just going to destroy everything, so Wonder Woman kills him [Max Lord]. So that was the end of the Perez run, that was like was a bridge too far.
ASTRO: Max was like extreme chaos wasn't he, I loved his character in the movie, I thought it was a fantastic Super Villain but it – it's chaos, it's our idea of pitting chaos against, what would you call it? Control?
EV: here is one, this is 1999, Wonder Woman wearing the golden armour, because a few people were asking me, what’s this gold armour, when did she get gold armour? She has worn it before this, but this is just a particularly nice cover by one of my favourite artists Adam Hughes.
ASTRO: so they do have such a rich history to draw from for these movies,don't they, there is so many outfits, an characters, & it's very rich, there is a lot there, they could just keep making movies.
EV: well we have more information on the Amazons, there is a lot more known about them now. Previously, what we knew about Amazons came from literature, came from philosophy, it came from anthropology. A great deal of it was based basically on speculation, fictional, & historical accounts, which we can now see were largely unreliable. The archaeological digs give us a lot more definitive information on who these people were. What did they eat? What did they drink? What was their lifestyle like? & so many of the things, like the eagle, the birds, training birds, training the birds, eagles, horseback riding, all those amazing horse stunts at the start of the film, Wonder Woman that brought you to tears, that is still all happening, like at the bottom of Russia [modern Ukraine, Romania], near the Black Sea, there is still women who do that. Obviously, the young girl in the film does all her own stunts. One thing that occurred to me last night, about the young girl in the film, because you can get the little doll, of the little girl, & her horse, in the 1960s, in the comic, they had this thing called 'Impossible Stories', which were really cute, they had the regular adult Wonder Woman, & Wonder Girl, who was not a separate character but Wonder Woman as a young girl, as an adolescent [actually a teenager] & then Wonder Tot which was Wonder Woman as a little girl.
ASTRO: Oh! This is very interesting for ongoing movies, or segments, isn't it?
EV: Oh yes! & the cute thing is that in these impossible stories, because the Amazons have that incredibly advanced technology in the earlier Wonder Woman comics, before the  Perez reboot, so you would have these three different Wonder Women from their respective timelines, come together, & have these adventures, I really loved Wonder Tot – she was always so naughty, always getting into total mischief, they were all really fun.
ASTRO: I'd love to see the teen, to come through, & have the teen, & tween girls, coming through [Superhero Girls I guess has done that with a boarding school based animated drama with all the heroes, & villains, as teenagers at high school, it appeals to a younger audience]. Ah – just to jump back to Wonder Woman, I was reading that Wonder Woman was much more queer than I first realised, well I realised Amazons, that idea of Amazons (was queer), but I read that the Cheetah was bisexual, & there was going to be some flirtation with Wonder Woman. There was a little whiff of it in the movie – a sexual tension element.
EV: Yeah I felt a bit of that too, because in the comic you get, because her, & Barbara Minerva, become friends at different times, the Cheetah in a character that comes back often in different ways, they slightly sort of tinker with her origin, Golden Age [1940s] Cheetah for instance, she was just a rich chick that dressed up as a Cheetah, & stole things for the Nazis .
ASTRO: & pounced on young men!
EV: A bit of a cougar cheetah!
EV: & then you get the George Perez reboot in the 1980s, this cover I showed you, Barbara Minerva is an archaeologist, & anthropologist, & she comes across a tribe that worships the Cheetah Goddess, & they have this plant that if you mix it with blood, & a human can drink it, & become the Cheetah Goddess, & she decides to do that, & but apparently you were meant to be a virgin before taking this blood, & plant drink to make you a Cheetah Goddess.
ASTRO: That is interesting, like do the boys ever have to be virgins to do anything? I don't remember that kind of narrative!
EV: So in the 1980s she can still become the Cheetah, but she can go back & forth, & when she is Barbara Minerva she becomes more crippled, that version of Cheetah is trying to find a way to stay as Cheetah because every time she reverts, her human body has become more wrecked, but then it's perfect secret identity for her, nobody is going to suspect her of being the Cheetah because she is on crutches, & then in a wheelchair, she is steadily deteriorating. The reboot Cheetah is slightly different but it is again this ancient ritual.
EV: Using the notion of primitivism, maybe now we can talk about the critiques of the movie, because as much as I adore Wonder Woman I think it's important to realise it's an 80 year old concept, she embodies a century of feminism, as it's well known the creator William Moulten Marston lived in a relationship with two women, Olive Byrne, & Elizabeth Holloway, & they were both suffragettes, & so the women were in charge!
ASTRO: & he was perhaps there toyboy?
EV: yeah basically yeah, when he went to university, in New England, Boston, right in the heart of suffragettes, campaigning for the vote – & real hard core – they weren’t messing around – & he just thought yeah, that was brilliant, & embraced that, but you know it's only in very recent years that we are understanding the legacy of Olive, & Elizabeth, but of course after Marston died, they continued living together!
ASTRO: Well wow – so that is essential foundational knowledge for this character isn't it? Like if a guy is going to write a character like that, look what it took for him to even understand that kind of concept, & open his mind to it, & be excited about it, & about writing a character like that!
EV: So yeah you have go the amazing women behind it, it's interesting they have done reprints of the earliest 1940s comics, into little graphic novel collections, & at the front they have this kind of disclaimer that says something like please realise that these were written in an age where concepts of race, & culture, were very different from our own. So you have some remarkably racist overtones. The most recent critiques you have of both films, the recent Patty Jenkins, & Gal Gadot films, is that they depict a very colonialist notion, that black women are few, & far between, there was a critique of the first film, & I can't confirm this, it could just be an internet rumour that they [later] had added in scenes with black Amazons because early rushes were leaked, & there was an uproar [over the lack of black Amazons]. Since the late 1980s, traditionally the general of the Amazons was General Phillipus, a African American, sorry an African Amazon. To be honest, in those opening scenes of the latest movie wonder Woman 84, I was overcome with emotion too, but in the 2017 film they did make an effort to show Amazons of different races, but the 84 film, I'd been waiting so long, & we all had been waiting after such a long year, I was so excited, I was mesmerised by that horse racing, that young girl, & the Amazon crowds, they looked pretty white to me! I don't really remember much racial diversity, but I will have to watch it again to confirm.
ASTRO: I will have to look again too, & it's a good reminder for people, & the[Black] Panther movie was the biggest, it was huge. So again, like breaking out of these stereotypes. What is it they think? That they are not going to make money? Or is it just because they don’t want to change things? Is it? Because we are here, we want it, the money makers can make a fortune!
EV: Well it's simply not realising, I mean it's not until, & that why critics are so important, because it's not until a critic point something out that they ...
EV: Yes, & they can modify, one of the best examples of the impact of criticism is the Barbie doll which had this huge surge in the 1980s, & 1990s, with feminist critiques of Barbie. Since then they have upped the racial diversity, they have changed the shape of the body, they have made the shape of the body diverse, they have latched onto diversity, & yes as a kind of consumerist angle, & yes, but it's still a direct response to critics. So yes, love Wonder Woman, but let's still critique her because she is the Goddess of Truth, she does embody those [Ancient] Greek ideals of debate, so these issues of colonialism, of her feminism, is, one things about her feminism I'll chip in with, so the movie is set in 1984, what the most famous thing about 1984?
ASTRO: George Orwell's book 1984.
EV: Yes exactly, & the thing is around that time, in the mid 1980s, the Supergirl movie comes out, which I bought a copy of, the Helen Slater Supergirl, & watched it recently, the first thing that happens to Supergirl when she arrives on earth, in the mid 1980s, is a groups of guys attempt to gang rape her, fortunately she is Supergirl, & literally blows them away, she just goes [make blowing sound] & blows them away with her Superbreath. Now Wonder Woman in the same era 1984, & yes its a film made in 2020, she well, I remember a bit where she is walking into the gala, & guys are saying hey baby, hello darling, so she gets a lot a low level of sexual harassment, but I can tell you as someone who lived in the 1980s, men were not that polite! They were not! Now Barbara Minerva in the movie she gets some full on harassment.
ASTRO: it's the same as I remember, it's still the same, I have been followed so many times, people doing weird stuff because I'm getting around by myself, bagged all the time, ridiculous, people yelling out of cars, & beeping the horn, the carry on ...
EV: They have really tempered down the sexism , because the thing with Wonder Woman was she was so embraced by the second wave of feminism movement. Very interesting she was created by someone who was very influenced by the first wave of feminism, & in the second wave Ms. Magazine puts her on the cover, around that time, oh no actually a bit later, this one is – oh tell me the year on the front don't be mean – 1982 – ok this is Wonder Woman 1982, this is the first issue where she wears a double 'W' costume – a group of feminists offer her the double 'W' to represent women everywhere.
ASTRO: ah that's interesting
EV: & here is Hippoloypta saying – oh wear the new costume if it will do good – so you see eagle boobs then double W boobs. So she has been very aligned with second wave feminists, now the third wave is often called the DIY feminists, the kind of internet girls-need-modems, DIY culture of zines, & punk bands, where girls did it on their own, the internet comes along, & feminism becomes complex, diversity is so important, you get these groups that, well for instance in the 1970s second wave feminism you had this thing called 'The Lavender Menace' which was [a derogatory name for] lesbians, so you get feminism factionalised into separate groups of lesbians, & heterosexual women, a lot of that is integrated now.
ASTRO: & racial groups to, civil rights was still moving on, & equality, & black women in the US were not well maybe they weren’t getting fought for in the main feminist movement, & the guys weren't fighting for them in their racial movement either.
EV: Exactly yes being black was bigger, at least for Australian women, for Aboriginal women being black was a bigger issue for them than being a woman, & there was a feeling from the indigenous women's community that when the white women were saying oh come, & join us, it felt again like a colonialist separation of the children, now separating the women from the men, & the women wanting to reclaim their power within their own group. The biggest issue, well I think the most worrisome issue for me in feminism, which I see as being really divisive, & I think we all need to sit down, & find some common ground, before this really busts people apart, the transgender women versus cis women.
ASTRO: Yes the gender identity spectrum.
EV: well yeah – back in second wave feminism you had women wanting adrogyny, just wanting to do away with gender roles entirely, yet the trans culture says I can sit where I want on the gender spectrum, & trans people for example are like I was born a woman, I just have the wrong biological body, the thing is 1% of people are born both, & neither, male, & female, biologically, & chromosomically, there are more than five genders, but we have only recognised two of them, many cultures have recognised a third gender.
ASTRO: & I think the complexity, the difficulty then, is that everything is divvied up, into that, or this, that makes the problem even worse, a lot of women are born women but we don't relate to this tiny sliver of a role that we are given, like we all have an inner action Shero, that why this movie really resonates with so many people.
EV: The whole women-being-born-of-woman, being changed to her being a daughter of Zeus, didn't sit well with me. I wonder, like I was saying before, of that derogatory term of TERF, a trans excluding radical feminist, that there are women's groups who only want women born as women in them, I mean don't trans women have enough to deal with! Their point is that these women haven't lived a life where they have had a women's experience of their life, they haven't had culture reacting to them [as a woman], & this is often what identity politics is, how my identity in culture is reflected back, & how I get treated. So this action Shero Wonder Woman, perhaps by doing these things that don't sit well with me, for example giving her a father, making her the one who doesn't want to give up her lover, the one who pushes him away, & the earlier feminist [cinematic Shero] stuff [the movies of Elektra, Tank Girl, Catwoman, & Ripley in Aliens] where they have children, & she has to look after [them], all of these things are ways to make the character reflective, & relatable, she's not like a ball-busting-alien-man-hating-creature but just as woman as us, so as much as the Doctor Who  reboot annoyed me at first with Rose Tyler the every-woman, these things are all a step on the way to have a culture re-embrace the concept of a strong, independent woman, & show perhaps it is important to show she is not perfect, even a Goddess isn't perfect. I just hope this heated debate between women who say a woman is only a woman born as a woman, with the people who say hey I may not have lived my whole life knowing what it's like to be treated as a woman in this culture, but inside I have always been a woman, & now my outside is reflecting that, I hope they can learn to relate, that is something I think Wonder Woman would really care about because she doesn't want to see suffering, & she wants to encourage debate, & she wants to encourage people to find common ground, & mend rifts.
ASTRO: & that seems to be the real message coming out of 2020, & into 2021. Inclusivity, yes there is diversity, we all have diverse experience, there are lines where we will connect, & intersect, & there are just places where we won't, the division is a killer, & it's like the oldest tool in the book for separating people, & taking their power, so the more inclusive we can get the better, it doesn't mean we are all the same, because in lots of ways we are not the same. We are not the same, but that’s ok, that is the diversity part of it. & those who are identifying, & passing as female now, they might not have grown up with the stuff that we have had in our own lives, but they sure are gonna get it now!
EV: Yes! & they are going to be unprepared for it, the point is up till then women have had the lesser treatment as a second class citizen, the assumption that you are stupid, judged by your dress, the pressure to look sexually available – but not too much!
ASTRO: You know it's such a minefield.
EV: & like you said people are going to always differ on opinions but the important thing is to respect that, & is to listen, & ask questions, tell me why you feel that way, tell me more about it, & I'm sure people can find a common ground. When there is a fear behind it, you will find it is often conjured by themselves.
ASTRO: it's ignorance most of the time, like you said, listen, have the conversation, & it's so enlightening as well, & sharing stories makes people feel bonded. Now, I just had a couple of things here like why do we love supersheroes? Why do we need them?
EV: Well superheroes, what comic historians say is that they are very much pulled from mythology itself, that they are just mythological figures brought into the modern day. Some pretty wild stuff from early comics, like Superman, the creators of Superman – Shiegel & Schuster – Jewish guys – they had to keep moving their offices because the Neo-Nazis would keep coming in, & smashing everything up!
EV: Superman was feared as the second coming, as an embodiment of the Christ figure, now Neo Nazis they did not – they were very direct. Batman, we have Detective Comics, but also that dark man. Wonder Woman [she's] the Amazon of old, so they are all drawing from mythology, & religion, & what is known as the archetypal figures – that you see coming up in the Tarot, or in your Horoscope. Those very ancient concepts, iconography of humanity, that we used to explain our psychological make-up, & our struggles, & that are flexible enough to be tweaked, & reinvented in various centuries. So in a sense, the Super Shero, the Hero, are religious iconography for a secular world.
ASTRO: Yeah! I like it, religious iconography for a secular world, well in [Ancient] Greece that was their religion wasn't it? It's returning!
EV: Well like dolls, I'm a doll collector too, predominantly Wonder Woman but also female action figures. & that has been a hard thing because it's hard to find women! You know they would put out a set, & there would be ten male characters, & one women, & you would have to sift through all the toys, search, search, search! [Women are] a bit more available these days but pretty much in the minority. But those kind of dolls, you know, in ancient times, you would have little statues, you would have a tiny Aphrodite in your home. These days people have a little Virgin Mary statuette, pretty similar, I won't say the same, because that may offend some people, but at least very similar. A small depiction of an icon, a religious figure, a holy figure, that is used as a conduit for your own ideals, you look upon it, & it reminds you that you are the warrior, the warrior within. Now we had, well Barbie, in the mid twentieth century, hearkened back to the use of dolls as mannequins. There that purpose too for wealthy people, lets say someone wealthy living in London in the 18th century, while over in Paris there was a mannequin with their measurements, but before the designer made the entire dress they would send over a miniature, with the dress, well they would probably send over a couple of versions – these are our latest fashions – & then they would go well I will have this one. So there is that component to dolls as well – but when they are a specific character, it is very much an object of worship, it's a sculpture, so I've been quite glad that Barbie [well the company Mattel] has been making quite a few [more] Wonder Woman dolls!
ASTRO: Yes for a whole new generation!
EV: There are a lot more dolls that have action movements in them, not just, well you know some of the older Wonder Woman dolls had them, but it's good we are no longer just worshipping being a fashion plate, & pretty.
ASTRO: Can you tell us more about your opus, your book on Sheroes, that you have developed from your column, & what you want people to do, where can people find you, & read your stuff? So we will start with the Sheroes, & get to that.
EV: My Sheroes book was initially just going to be a compilation of all the columns. However, a publisher approached me, & suggested I just put all the Wonder Woman ones in it. When I sorted through all the columns I did, I had a vast majority that were on Wonder Woman, next [laregest category] was Barbie, & Buffy, then was fictional woman, & historical women. So I have decided to do a series of books. The first one will just focus on Wonder Woman, the second one perhaps be Barbie, or perhaps I have the idea of a compilation of Witches, Bitches, & Badasses, which my friends say they are a bit more interested in, that than they are in Barbie! So the naughty women might be fun, I do love Wonder Woman, but she is so good, sometimes that it's nice to have a bit of villainy.
ASTRO: like picking out the villains like Cheetah, & focusing in on them?
EV: I mean yeah looking at the actual – moral philosophy is my main focus, my research into popular culture very much much intersects with my research into moral philosophy. So Wonder Woman's embodiment of moral goodness, & her struggles are very fascinating to me. However, what do we conceive of, as evil? What is that struggle? How does that manifest? It's just as fascinating.
ASTRO: Yes because it's archetypally just our shadow part, like the villains are just representing that part of ourselves.
EV: Batman, the Joker was being his other side. Superman with Lex Luther. Wonder Woman, well she has quite a lot [of villians]: the Cheetah, the Silver Swan.
ASTRO: Silver Swan, I haven’t heard of her.
EV: She is generally, in cannon, The Silver Swan is like an ugly duckling girl, who gets manipulated by Dr Psycho, who gives her all this surgery, & robotic cyborg parts, & turns her into this beautiful flying swan, & teaches her to hate Wonder Woman. Other Wonder Woman villians like Dr Poison that you had in the first film, & Circe who is one of my favourites, I'd really like to see her back, she is again from ancient history, ancient myth. Yes Witches, Bitches, & Badasses - I also did columns on [fictional] women for instance Servalan from Blake's 7, obviously Catwoman, famous villain, & just generally you have a lot of powerful women in history, perhaps not evil, but who have simply been villainised.
ASTRO: Yeah that’s it. That's what I was thinking of, & you know if one woman is a bad-arse, a guy who is the same isn't a bad-arse, or a bitch, is he?
EV: Yeah Exactly, as for finding me, I have my fan page it's Evelyn Hartogh Fanpage.
ASTRO: oh & is there princess ev dot com?
EV: Empress Ev – the joke is if you say it in a french accent it sounds like she is “impressive”.
ASTRO: Impressive Empress Ev! Ha! I like it. So is that dot com dot au?
EV: Empressev dot net
ASTRO: “Impressive” thats all I can hear now.
EV: Yeah once you hear it – I'll got to remember to ruin more things for you in future, well that one isn't ruined.
ASTRO: no not ruined I love it – a play on words like that – Aquarius is the word smith as well.
EV: Fly Fly! [holding up Wonder Woman doll with golden winged armour, & Cheetah doll]
ASTRO: that's amazing where did you get that?
EV: Well Ebay, but I got them locally. I couldn't find any retail in Australia, but the ones from America you just had to pay so much postage, so I got one from Australia, & one from New Zealand, & basically paid retail.
ASTRO: they are fabulous. A quick question – what do you think of Cheetah coming in, & that idea that women fighting is a 'cat fight' literally?
EV: well that's a good question, well she is gunna fight with whoever the villain is! The cat fight is like, Barbara really likes Wonder Woman at first, that's her first friend, she [Wonder Woman] has been keeping herself apart, but then she had a friend, so there is closeness to them, which only develops into a rivalry when Barbara wants to be more like Diana, & accidentally gets the Wonder Woman Super Powers!
ASTRO: & then is superseded, & it's the cat, & the bird, as well when they fight. I quite like that.
EV: Oh yeah, mmm [I hadn't thought of that] But we shouldn't fight, we should all just cuddle.
ASTRO: well yeah it's like you said she had to fight any villain, & I like that there is female villains, that's really important.
EV: but the classic patriarchal thing as to why cat fights are titillating is that they believe it will turn into a lesbian romp just for the male gaze pleasure, [much] as I was just mucking around with the dolls.
ASTRO: Yes I just love it, there is definitely a lot of potential for the next movies, where they take them, I think Patty Jenkins will surely head up number three as well?
EV: There is a rumour of a movie Amazon, there was a show that was pitched in around 2013 called Amazon, sort of a Smallville in terms of Superman, but Amazon in terms of Wonder Woman, that was her younger life on Paradise Island, but that didn't get green-lit, but now apparently there is interest in a film, of the young life of the Amazon. I don't know how accurate Patty Jenkins is going to be because you have got a few wild things about the historical Amazons, they drank a fermented milk, like an alcoholic yoghurt, they had it in saddlebags, it was horse milk, from mares, mare milk. They would keep it churned, & at the right temperature by having it on their saddle bags on their horses, & they would drink that, & it would be good for the system, but also get them a bit tiddly, so alcoholic yoghurt, & they also were huge cannabis smokers.
ASTRO: Were they? The Scythians?
EV: yes they had little braziers, & a little tents that they get in, & the brazier in the centre, & they would just burn the flowers, for recreational ceremonies, that was how Napoleon got into it, his troops encountered the nomads smoking cannabis, & so they adopted that instead of drinking cognac.
ASTRO: wow so I guess every culture did have these ways of transcending our ordinary waking reality at the end of the day.
EV: & dances, wild dances, lots of wild dances, & lots of partying, they were good times!
ASTRO: While Greek women, Ancient Greek women, no good time, locked up! The other extreme.
EV: Our contemporary understanding of sexuality is such a far cry from the ancient world. What we would call lesbianism these days was just the normal behaviour in societies that were generally highly sex segregated, you would have women's chambers, ladies in waiting, they would keep people [genders] apart unless they were married. So certainly for the upper classes homosexuality was just normal. Heterosexual relations were just for breeding, [but] pleasure, & love, were homosexual, & as Wonder Woman says, one of her favourite sayings from the 1940s to the 1980s was “Suffering Sappho!” it was her way of swearing, like a swear word, like Jesus Christ! It would be like Suffering Saphho!
ASTRO: that is great! You know Christianity has made this leap, & you know I always think of Pagan as Celtic, & British kind of Pagan, but like Ancient Greece is Pagan in a different way.
ASTRO: look at your drink bottle
EV: yes this is my souvenir
ASTRO: I love this golden outfit, & we are having a mini Aquarius age, & it's an air sign, & it's an air vibe, & I love that Wonder Woman comes in on time with her bird suit.
EV: One other thing, & this is something that I often think about, & forget, is because I was doing columns all the time [during the 1990s & 2000s] about all the Wonder Woman films that were going into production, like scripts were written, they had been in pre-production, & none of them got off the ground, & none of them got into production, & one thing that I always wondered was one of the reasons [no film was made in in the 1990s or 2000s] was Wonder Woman, Diana, she was Princess Diana, of the Amazons.
ASTRO: Of course.
EV: the other beloved Princess Diana, so famous, died so tragically, & it took twenty years since the death of the British monarchy's Princess Diana, for the first Wonder Woman film, of that Princess Diana, to come to the screen, I've never heard anyone mention this, but it seems so obvious.
ASTRO: Interesting correlation. I quite like that. I did some research last night just about women's superhero films, & there has been some massive gaps between drinks there, it's happened before but now I think it's undeniable that it works when it's done well. So check out Ev at empressev.net
EV: thank you so much. This gave me a great opportunity to revise my notes, & be more solid about my intentions of finishing off this book this year – I was waiting for this second film to come out with baited breath. For the last two years I have published a bit of autobiographical material, I have got that out of my system, & just want to go into the wonderful world of non fiction.
ASTRO: I'm waiting with baited breath for it I'm sure it will be something great, once you have done it lets have you back, & we can talk about it!
EV: Absolutely, & I'll have a book sent to you so you can hold yours up!
ASTRO: well thank you Ev, stay with us there- I'm just going to stop the recording, & thanks everyone for joining us today. Thank you for joining me today this has been Vanessa Montgomery for my astro mysticism find me at Astro All Starz dot com, remember that’s stars with a “z”, & remember stay cosmic!
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