This Explanation of Wonder Woman's Sexuality Reveals What Is Wrong with Labels

September 28th 2016

Tricia Tongco

Over the past 70 years, the story of comic book superhero Wonder Woman, a.k.a. Diana of Themyscira, has been filled with lesbian subtext in her Amazon-populated motherland. But one of the writers behind the current series "Rebirth" just revealed that the current iteration of Wonder Women is not straight.

Wonder Woman subtext

In an in-depth interview with Comicosity, reporter Matt Santori-Griffith asked Greg Rucka, a writer for Wonder Woman's "Rebirth" title, point-blank whether or not she is queer. After Rucka asked for a definition, Griffith defined "queer" as "involving, although not necessarily exclusively, romantic and/or sexual interest toward persons of the same gender." Rucka responded:

"[Themyscira is] supposed to be paradise. You’re supposed to be able to live happily. You’re supposed to be able — in a context where one can live happily, and part of what an individual needs for that happiness is to have a partner — to have a fulfilling, romantic and sexual relationship. And the only options are women.

"But an Amazon doesn’t look at another Amazon and say, 'You’re gay.' They don’t. The concept doesn’t exist.

"Now, are we saying Diana has been in love and had relationships with other women? As Nicola [the artist behind the comic] and I approach it, the answer is obviously yes."

There's one major reason for her queerness.

Rucka explained she can't leave paradise for a potential romantic relationship with Steve Trevor, a male character she meets, because it would diminish her character and heroism. "She leaves because she wants to see the world and somebody must go and do this thing. And she has resolved it must be her to make this sacrifice," Rucka said.

subtext in wonder woman

Rucka's assertion that in her native society the concept of homosexuality doesn't exist highlights a stark contrast with how sexuality is rigidly categorized in our culture.

Labels on people's sexuality create and reinforce a hierarchy in which heterosexuality is privileged over homosexuality, with inequality as a result. On the other hand, the queerness of Wonder Woman's world eschews labels, instead existing on a spectrum of sexuality aligning with the "Kinsey scale."

As ATTN: has previously written, the scale, created by biologist Alfred Kinsey, "is rooted in posited that human sexuality could be described on a scale ranging from zero (exclusively heterosexual) to six (exclusively homosexual), with shades of both in between. This scale would set the stage for the modern notion that sexuality is fluid, and that the categories of 'gay,' 'straight,' and 'bi' are hopelessly reductive."

[h/t The Mary Sue]