Let me tell you a story about a hot bitch who killed Nazis.
Enter Miss Nancy Augusta Wake (initials NAW, as in ‘NAW, man, I only chase my whiskey with the sweet whiff of French countryside littered with rotting Nazi corpses’). Nancy was born in New Zealand, aka birth place of this guy. She ran away from home at age 16 with
£200 in her pocket. To put that in perspective, that’s probably enough to buy 20 shots of tequila. Can you tell I’m writing this on a Saturday night with a Magic Hat in hand? You’re right, it’s Sunday morning. And it’s absinthe. (But actually it’s just Magic Hat.)
Not that Nancy had time to check out the club scenes in NYC or Paris (where she traveled, on her own, by the way) (16, remember) because she was training herself to be a journalist. This chick was fucking Lois Lane by the time she was 18, but not really because if she met Superman she probably would have told him to suck his own cock if he was so damn super.
ANYHOW. Nancy gets hitched. Boring. Whatever, he was an industrialist, it was probably only for political leverage.
Shit got real a year later when the French front fell re that whole WWII debacle. My girl Nancy was not pleased, and joined the French Resistance as a courier (aka a sneaky mothafucka). She worked the escape network, and used a flat as a hiding place, which she OSTENSIBLY used as a secret rendezvous for a lover.
So that idea had the Nazis a little distracted with wet dreams. She got the Gestapo’s panties in a bunch more than once, and they started to call her The White Mouse.
Three years later, she was the Gestapo’s most wanted (IN BED) person and there was a 5-million franc reward on her head. To put that in perspective, that’s probably enough to buy 2.5 million shots of tequila. Roughly. Inflation and all that economic shit makes it difficult to say for sure but you get the idea.
“A little powder and a little drink on the way, and I’d pass their (German) posts and wink and say, ‘Do you want to search me?’ God, what a flirtatious little bastard I was.”
She fucking said that. Girl WINKED at NAZIS.
So her husband is captured and killed (sad, I guess) but Nancy is resilient like a good pair of heels on a Saturday night and KEPT ON KEEPIN’ ON. She booked it on over to Britain where she joined the Special Operations Executive (can’t you just hear Judi Dench’s voice saying that? I can). The SOE trained her (didn’t last long before they realized she was a ninja fox) and then parachuted her into France. The following exchange was said to happen when she landed in a tree in Franzia (france, sorry, what):
French asshole: I hope that all the trees in France bear such beautiful fruit this year.
Nancy: Don’t give me that French shit.
During her time in France, Nancy committed the following bad-asseries:
- Led attacks on the Gestapo headquarters.
- Killed a German sentry with her bare hands.
- Biked over 500 miles in under 72 hours to find a radio operator. To put that in perspective, that’s… much more than I could bike after five tequila shots.
- Killed a girl accused to be a German spy when none of her men would do it.
I’m sorry but that’s pretty damn impressive when I think about what I did in France, which was buy a cheap beret, eat profiteroles, and stare at statues of naked dudes in the Louvre.
Post-war, a bunch of kiss-ass suckers were throwin’ medals at her like dolla dolla bills and Nancy was like:
“I told the government they could stick their medals where the monkey stuck his nuts.“
Okay but WHY, you might ask, when so many French/British/Germans(probably) were clamoring to capture the white mouse (IN BED) did she not take advantage of some steamy post-battle sexy time???
“I was too busy killing Nazis for amorous entanglements.”
She fucking said that.
“But you see, if I had accommodated one man, the word would have spread around, and I would have had to accommodate the whole damn lot!”
She was a BOMBSHELL SPY and did not have time for a little behind-the-barracks blowie?? Now that, my friends, is scandalous.
I’m about to drop a TruthBomb on you, For Shame! Faithful, and it’s going to fucking hurt. LHB has barely recovered herself, and she’s known for weeks. I shudder to think what JAF will say. KAB and I are new friends, so she’s probably cool with it.
THE TUDORS HAS BEEN SUPPLANTED AS MY NUMBER 1 FAVORITE PREMIUM CABLE SMUTTY HISTORY PROGRAM.
Shh. Calm down.
I remember all of those things. I do. Which is what makes this so hard. I just…I couldn’t control myself. This whole joblessness thing has turned me into a monster. An online video-streaming monster. I spent a whole month on a Netflix trip, and when I came to, the N just wasn’t enough for me anymore. I needed something else. So I turned to premium cable shows. And that’s where I found it. My new TV drug, The Borgias.
When it premiered last year, I read an article or two about it and dismissed the show as a blatant attempt by Showtime to recapture the success of history/blood/boobs circlejerk model that was The Tudors (RIP 2007-2010 Gone But Never Forgotten). You can’t just fucking put Jeremy Irons in a pope outfit and call it a new show!
But, dear buttons, that was when I was a young, naive little guppy, still in school, writing a thesis and auditing extra classes. I didn’t have time for a new television addiction. I had books to skim and beers to demolish.
Yet now that I am comically un-busy, I have watched this program, this seeming pretender to the Jonathan Rhys-Myers Memorial Sexy Historical Pay Cable Program Crown®, and I have seen the error of my ways.
The Borgias is fucking fantastic for many reasons, so in an effort to be brief and not spoil anything I will summarize, telegram-style: Pope in Renaissance Rome has kids, 3 sons, 1 daughter, a mistress, and an unnofficial wife. -STOP- Eldest son super fucking hot despite Cardinal outfit and curly shoulder-length bob. -STOP- Next son petulant but charming; in command of papal army but shitty at the job. -STOP- Daughter totally pretty and sweet and marriageable. -STOP- Other son unimportant to plot because he’s like 10 and can’t have sex with or kill anyone yet. -STOP- Mistress and wife smart, savvy, respect one another. -STOP- Political intrigue clear and important, but nuanced relationships, personal and divine, are central. -STOP- Phenomenal character arcs. -STOP- Subtle and funny references to Italian Renaissance culture/figures. -STOP- Beautiful costumes and sets. -STOP- Excellent plot development and pacing. -STOP- Lots of butts and boobs, but not too many. -STOP- Appreciate the depiction of my cultural heritage pre-mobs, pre-pizza. -STOP- Did I mention the hot Cardinal son?
So it’s RULL good and I can’t recommend it enough. And much like its inferior stepbrother, The Tudors, The Borgias is absolutely RIPE with based-on-actual-historical-events sexy scandal.
Showtime, you beautiful bastards.
Anyway, I couldn’t resist profiling one of the Borgias after I finished watching the only two seasons that have aired. I’m sort of going through Borgia withdrawal. So today I’m going to focus on the sexytimes of Lucrezia Borgia, the aforementioned sweet and marriageable daughter of Pope Alexander VI, but please rest assured that every fucking one of these mofos was laughably promiscuous and corrupt.
Not much is known of Lucrezia, really, as with most historical ladies. But that’s the way the gender-inequality cookie crumbles, I guess. Historians think she was born in or around Rome in or around April of 1480, but they know she was the daughter of then-Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia (the future Pope Jeremy Irons Primus) and his main mistress, unofficial wife, and mother of his four known children, Vannozza dei Cattanei.
Now the actress they have playing Lucrezia on the show, Holliday Grainger, is wonderful at her job, has a great showbiz name, was in Any Human Heart, and seems pretty visually accurate, given contemporary descriptions of Lucrezia. Additionally, I sort of kind of want to be her.
This is a roundabout way of saying that The Real Miss Borgia was the fucking shining exemplar of ideal feminine beauty in late fifteenth-century Italy. She had blond hair that fell past her knees, hazel eyes, big boobs, straight white teeth (which was a BFD in an era before dentistry, mind you), a long graceful neck, and people said that she walked like she was “floating on air,” which apparently was pretty boner-inducing among the cortigiani. Anyway, she was widely renowned for her beauty, mostly because every painter in the Eternal City wanted to get their paws on her, plus her popedaddy could afford to commission a lot of paintings of her. Plus-plus, in a country without a centralized monarchical system (this was when the Italians were still down with all that feuding kingdoms jazz), she was essentially the Princess of Christendom once pops put on the Holy underpants, which made her HELLA marriageable in addition to being HELLA pretty.
Maybe I should pump the brakes here. From your extensive knowledge of Catholicism, you’re probably thinking that this all seems a little…unCatholic. Because of that little priestly celibacy rule. Were Mr. Borgia celibate, Lady Lucrezia would not exist. And even if Mr. Borgia managed to cover up the fact that he was getting his D wet all over Rome, one would think that perhaps he might not want to parade his beautiful daughter around for suitors, or appoint his younger son Giovanni head of the papal armies, or very publicly name his extremely hot older son Cesare a Cardinal. That’s the thing about these Borgias, people. They just don’t give a fuck! Watch the show! Mr. Pope Borgia was like “I am Pope. I have sex. These are my kids. They exist and will get nice things because I said so. Kiss my goddamn ring and bring me a calzone.”
He spake and it was done.
And one day, while he was calzone-grubbing, Giovanni Sforza, Lord of Pisaro, cousin of the powerful Duke of Milan, barged into the PopeRoom, and was like “GIMME DAT DAUGHTER.” Such a marriage would be politically advantageous, so the Pope finished chewing and was like, “Blokay” and shipped his THIRTEEN-YEAR-OLD BABYDAUGHTER off with this hairy caveman of a dude twice her age.
Naturally this was probably not what happened, exactly, but I like to pretend. Keeps me young. Anywhooo, the show depicts this marriage as terrible and abusive for little Lucrezia. No one knows how it really went, but it is known that fairly soon after the wedding, the Pope really didn’t need this cousin-of-someone-important in the papal court so much anymore, politically speaking. He realized he could use Lucrezia’s hand in mawwiage for more useful alliances were she conveniently not married, so after planning to have Sforza murdered, the big softie had a change of heart. Instead, he summoned his daughter and her cavehusband to Rome for a groundless annulment hearing in front of the entire College of Cardinals.
Sforza, although a Neanderthal, knew he had a good thing going with his beautiful Renaissance trophy wife, and refused to agree to the annulment. That’s when Lucrezia, daddy’s little girl, pulled out the big guns and claimed that the marriage had never been consummated due to her husband’s impotence.
EXCEPT, OH YEAH, SHE WAS SEVEN MONTHS PREGNANT. On the witness stand. No one knows who Lucrezia made that little guy with, but she named him Giovanni (possibly after her Neanderhusband) and he went on to be remembered as the Roman Infante.
Sforza, understandably, was pissed. He was being emasculated in front of God, the Pope, and the forty most important men of the cloth in Christendom. So he accused Lucrezia, her father, and her super hot Cardinal brother Cesare (played on the show by up and coming ladyboner insipration Francois Arnaud, whose name is comically sexy) of some kind of incestuous love triangle thing. It was probably a last-ditch effort at saving face, but historians believed for a very long time that the Roman Infante was actually Cesare’s son. Which is icky and most likely untrue, but TOTALLY SCANDALOUS. Now it may seem that Lucrezia did not deserve this divorce, what with being visibly pregnant and really having no case whatsoever, but one of the perks of being the illegitimate child of the Pope is getting whatever the fuck you want, so BOOM, annulment acquired by 1497.
Next, daddy needed a little help from the Neapolitans, so he had Lucrezia marry Alfonso of Aragon, the brother of her youngest brother’s wife (take a second to process it) less than a year after the divorce and a few months after giving birth to her son (and possible son-nephew if the incest thing is true). He died by 1500, and Cesare might or might not have killed him. But probably not. Italians: great at pizza and paintings, not so much at keeping accurate records.
Third time was a charm for Lady Lucrezia, who married Alfonso d’Este, Duke of Ferrara, early in 1502 (people did not fuck around when it came to getting hitched back then – in frequency or efficiency). By this marriage she’d presumably figured it all out; she popped out a lot of kids for him, but also embarked on a couple long-term affairs almost immediately after the honeymoon was over. First girlfriend flipped back through her 1497 little black book and booty called Francesco of Gonzaga, who’d been her brother-in-law when she was married to Sforza the Milanese Yeti. According to Mother Wiki, their affair lasted a while and was “more sexual than sentimental as can be attested in the fevered love letters the pair wrote one another.” They had to call it quits when Fran got syphilis BUMMER. Lucrezia also boned the poet Pietro Bembo, and their letters have survived. Lord Byron famously called them “the prettiest love letters in the world,” and when Lord Byron gets a woodie from your writing, YOU KNOW shit was hot.
Lucrezia died in 1519 at 39 giving birth to her eighth child, after a life of distinguished boning. Yes, she was essentially a political pawn for her father in the early years, but you’ve got to admire the sexual gumption it must have taken to juggle innumerable lovers (ITALIAN lovers, at that) across marriages, illegitimate kids, and social diseases. Additionally, she might have had sex with her hot brother, and I know incest is bad, or whatever, but………he’s so fucking attractive on the show…let’s just call it a gray area, okay?
So let’s all watch The Borgias, raise a meatball, and pour out some Prosecco in honor of Lucrezia Borgia, who didn’t let Catholicism, conventional gender roles, a Neolithic first husband, or shared genetic material get in the way of her boning spree. Cin cin!
Additionally, I don’t know if I’ve articulated this clearly, but BROTHER HOT ON SHOW.
Apparently that title is a little wordplay on the battle cry from the Chronicles of Narnia (thanks, MRG). I wouldn’t know because I haven’t read or seen it. But that’s not going to stop me from shamelessly exploiting the dark and sexy secrets of its author.
Clive Staples Lewis, whom you know as C.S. Lewis, and whose friends called him Jack (weird story about that, read his Wiki page), was the beloved Irish author of every British kid’s third favorite fantasy/sci-fi children’s literature series, the Chronicles of Narnia. Now, I’ve never read the Chronicles of Narnia, probably because no one ever forced me to, and I thought reading was stupid until my dad read HP1 aloud to my sister and me, BUT Narnia holds a special place in my heart because after the movie came out (which I also neglected to see) a bunch of people came up to me and told me I looked like the older girl in it. And who doesn’t love being mistaken for a milky-skinned celebrity archer?! Since then I decided I love me some Lions, Bitches, and Closets or whatever.
But now that I know C.S. Lewis was a kinky motherfucker (LITERALLY) (not his mother, that would be gross), I like him even more. But not enough to watch those books.
So, Jack has an idyllic Irish childhood for about a decade. Goes without saying that he’s not Catholic. But then when he’s ten his mom dies of cancer, and his father becomes awkward and distant. Parent-issues, you know. Let’s fast forward a few years: there are some shamrocks, rainbows, gold, leprochans, he probably decides he loves reading, writing, making up stories, normal Irish writer’s childhood (Yeats shit right here) whatever, blah blah, then BAM 1914, War in Europe.
He waits three years before enlisting because he’s at Oxford and, you know, fragile. While he was training in 1917, he bunked with this guy named Edward Courtnay Francis “Paddy” Moore. The two pals made a pact that if either of them were killed in the war that other would take care of the dead guy’s family. Paddy died in 1918 on the front like right before the war ended, and C.S. Lewis kept his promise. He took care of Paddy’s family all right. He took care of them real good. And hard. He took care of Paddy’s mom particularly well. He fucked his mom is what I’m saying.
First, though, Jane Moore (no relation to Demi), TWENTY SIX YEARS HIS SENIOR, (although you’d think they were related based on their taste in the Ashtons of their perspective generations), the widowed mother of Paddy Moore, took care of Jack. But literally, I mean she took care of him. He was injured in April of 1918 by an ill-fired British shell and since his Dad was, like, weird and distant, Mama Moore came to visit him in the hospital where she would probably bring him cookies/handies.
After the war, the 21 year old stud set up house with the forty seven year old fox. In 1930, they eventually moved into The Kilns (the name for Jack’s house, because British people love naming houses). Jack would introduce her as his Mother (gross) to friends and told a buddy of his via a letter (what people used before iPhones) that he considered her one of the most important people in his life. Which I guess is really sweet or whatever. They lived there, “taking care of each other,” until the late 40s when Jane started to get sick from, you know, being really fucking old. She moved into a nursing home and suffered from dementia until her death in 1951. Jack visited her every single day. I mean, whatever, that’s sort of perfect and wonderful I guess. It’s Nicholas Sparks shit, for sure. MRG loves that.
For a while there was some wishy washy inconclusiveness among C.S. Lewis’s biographers regarding whether or not Jack was really truly sleepin’ with Mama Moore. But eventually everyone was kind of like, “Yeah, they were doing it.” George Sayer, who knew Lewis for a really long time, at first said that the relationship was just a loving one that came out of Jack’s need for a mother figure. But then a few chapters later, he was like, “Nevermind.” Actually, what he said was…
I have had to alter my opinion of Lewis’s relationship with Mrs. Moore. In chapter eight of this book I wrote that I was uncertain about whether they were lovers. Now after conversations with Mrs. Moore’s daughter, Maureen, and a consideration of the way in which their bedrooms were arranged at The Kilns, I am quite certain that they were.
Doesn’t that make it seem like they had some secret passageway between their rooms or something??? I LIKE IT.
After Jack’s “mom” (lover) (ew, I’m sorry I said that) died, he married this hot and smart divorcee with a couple of kids. She died pretty young and he ended up raising his step sons on his own. So, you know, he was really mean and ugly.
Now we come to the point in the post where we ASSess WHAT WE’VE LEARNED. First of all: I think I can safely say that CS Lewis was a solid dude. He spent his life taking care of people who needed him, first his mom/girlfriend, then his non-children children. And that’s, like, a really nice thing. Especially when during your downtime you’re busy creating our generation (and other generations’) most cherished fantasy series. After Twilight.
Friends, Americans, Countrymen, welcome to For Shame! Ruins Your Childhood: PART DEUX!
A quick preface: This is my first official blog post as the newest addition to the For Shame! historic and scandalous enterprise. I only pray to God & country that I can measure up to my marvelous colleagues. It was an honor to receive an invitation to join the team. What the fuck am I saying. When I found out I basically red, white, and BLUE myself. On that note…
JM Barrie, playwright of the beloved Peter Pan, may have touched the lives of millions of children, but he also may have actually touched children. There is no HARD evidence (get it?) to prove this. I will say that the name of Barrie’s imaginative realm Neverland was used by a certain suspected pedophile for his magical fortress of fondling and nap times.
I’m sorry, was that coming on too strong for you? Maybe you should toss some bourbon in your tea and man the fuck up because
THIS POST HAS JUST BEEN BOSTON TEA PARTY-ED.
That’s all there is to say about Mr. Barrie (except this) and since it is July 4th I’m pretty sure talking extensively about a Brit is considered blasphemy and my forefathers would look down upon me and shout FOR SHAME.
HAPPY FUCKING BIRTHDAY, AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!! So 236 years ago (and you are looking FOINE for your age) your mother dearest (aka MILF) was pushing you out of the womb with a Declaration of Independence. The labor was more or less painful than yours truly pushing this debut blog post out. The pressure!! Whatever. Like declaring independence was hard.
But you know what was hard? Childhood. You know what made childhood easier?
Wonder Balls Children’s books. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, ima let you finish, but you know what was the best children’s book of all time? GOODNIGHT MOON.
Margaret, or “Brownie” to her friends––who were generally cool and rich because she was a babe––grew up in a bit of an unhappy home. Mom and Pop were not happy bunny parents knitting on rocking chairs, but poor Brownie just wanted to be a little happy bunny baby eating porridge with bunny parents that read her bed time stories.
I just need to take a second and say that Brownie a) was considered a creative genius by her contemporaries and b) was so prolific that she had to write under various different pen names, including Golden MacDonald, Juniper Sage, Kaintuck Brown and Timothy Hay, to keep from flooding the market. Amurica’s got talent.
So like the smart Brownie she was, she headed off to college to earn a BA in English. In college she was briefly engaged. You know, shit happens in college. One-night stands, frat-house-basement blowies, marriage proposals.
After that brief engagement turned out to be brief, she dated some unknown “good quiet man from Virginia” for a while. Brownie kept it classy and didn’t want the whole world to know who SHE was saying goodnight to in the bedroom. But with that description I think I have a pretty good idea of who Brownie was boning.
Since that relationship was a little overdone (brownie? baking? whatever) she quickly moved on to William Gaston, a fucking nobody because he WAS NOT the Gaston that no one’s slick as, quick as, fucks like, etc. Ditched that wannabe-French-ass-shit.
Brownie even jumped en el sack-o with THE PRINCE OF SPAIN (the now King Juan Carlos), and I’m sure our little American pastry was having some buenas noches, ifyaknowhatimean.
But I think the real scandal sets in when Brownie sneaks under the covers with Michael Strange, aka Blanche Oelrichs. HOLD UP. You may be asking: Michael or Blanche? Man or woman? That is such a good question to ask of your blog. Now let the blog ask one of you: Does it even matter?
Okay, yes, it does, because it was 1940 and lesbianism was SCANDALOUS and STEAMY. Blanche was a woman who wrote under the pseudonym Michael Strange, and was a poet/playwright/actress/”the most beautiful woman in America”. Other than Lady Liberty. Or Eleanor Roosevelt. Obvs.
Get the low-down on this ho(-down?). Blanche (can I just call her Blondie? Like the white version of a Brownie? okay thanks) first married Leonard Moorhead Thomas, the son of a prominent Philadelphia banker. Then had an affair with the actor John Barrymore, divorced Leonard, and married John. Then she divorced John. Then she married prominent NY attorney Harrison Tweed. And THEN she had an affair with Margaret Wise Brown. (Divorcing Harrison, of course, after the fact).
PHEW I feel like I just shotgunned an ice-cold can of American adultery! FROTHY.
Brownie and Blondie were just friends at first. They read one another’s shit and gave thoughtful constructive criticism while flashing a bit of cleave on the side. Did I mention that Blondie was 20 years Brownie’s senior? It would be suspect if all of America’s greatest couples weren’t separated by a decade (or two and a half).
The delectable couple moved in together in an apartment in NYC. Just two forward-thinking writer babes fornicating in the Big Apple. NO BIGGIE. But Blondie died in 1950, leaving Brownie all alone in such a big world with so many things to say goodnight to––what’s a girl to do!?!?
BONE A ROCKEFELLER, THAT’S WHAT’S UP. Brownie meets James Stillman ‘Pebble’ Rockefeller Jr. at some swanky party, and shortly after the two become engaged. Now isn’t that sweet as apple pie.
But things take a tragic turn, children. After an emergency surgery to remove an ovarian cyst, things all seemed yankee-friggin-doodle dandy for Brownie. She goes to the doctor for a check-up, does a can-can kick to demonstrate just how dandy she feels, and then dislodges a blood clot in her leg, which then travels to her heart. She dies at age 42.
That’s a bit of a downer. So instead of lingering on death and other entirely un-American thoughts, let us CELEBRATE the life of a fire-cracker of a gal who treated men and women equally and liberally, and had no problem with pursuing happiness in whatever form (American, Spanish, fake-French) it took. AND LOOK AT THIS CUTE PICTURE OF HER WITH A DOG.
WELCOME TO For Shame! Ruins Your Childhood: PART ONE!
Allow me to set a scene for you. A tableau, if you will (will you?): It was a lovely and seasonable night way back in April when Tom and Lorenzo, my gay-uncles-in-my-head, arbiters of fashion, disdainers of the nude platform pump trend, came to my school for a reading. It was magical, all of it. We went out for cocktails after the reading, they asked if any of us write on the regular, someone told them about the blog, I hyperventilated and knocked back my St. Germain martini (and okay, maybe another one, because when you’re nervous, someone else is paying, and your drinks are like 9 beans a pop, you do what needs to be done).
So I was slugging them down like Lucille Bluth because I hate when I have to tell adults about the blog. I’ve told you about my recurring stress dream right? The one where someone finds out about the blog (a boss, a professor, my mom) and is totally scandalized by it and humiliates me (by firing me, failing me, or disowning me). Shit is REAL and RECURRING.
Anywhooooo, I knew that I loved my gay uncles when, after I quickly and sheepishly told them about our little blogsperiment here, they were SO EXCITED and started suggesting all kinds of sexy people for us to write about! And Tom was especially into The Tale of William Moulton Marston and His Polyamorous Sexytimes™, so I felt it was only right to repay his kindness and lack of MRG-shaming by writing this post. So this goes out to you, T and Lo, even though you guys are a really big deal and will never see this probably. God love the gays. Amen and Hare Krishna.
I would also just like to say that after researching all the parties involved in this scandal, I have decided that despite the whole polyamory thing, this story is real fucking cool, especially when it comes to the ladies’ rights situation. You did me right, Tom, you did me real fucking right.
William Moulton Marston, pseudonym Charles Moulton, was quite an interesting fellow. Which is a shitty opening sentence, I know, I get it. But it’s fucking true! So interesting. Although such a cool dude might have gone for a better nom de plume, right?
In any case, you might not know Bill, but you sure as shit know about his two greatest contributions to modern society: the lie detector test and Wonder Woman! Both provide hours of fun for kids of all ages.
And more importantly, both were only developed through lots of inspiration and help from the ladies in Bill’s life, who, oh, by the way, lived in super-swinging, super polyamorous, super scandalous sin with him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
Let’s start where things get sexy, shall we? By the late 1930s, Bill is riding high. He’s a psychology professor at Harvard, he’s already invented the polygraph (which some people believe inspired Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth), and he’s married to a sassy and really, really well-educated lady, Elizabeth Holloway Marston. Girlfriend held THREE higher ed degrees. Shit. And that last one, a Master’s in law, was supposed to be from Radcliffe, but Liz was like, um, I don’t fucking need to learn lady-law, I need to learn REAL-LAW. So she went to BU instead, and then landed a Very Important Real Person Job in the executive office of Met Life Insurance. Sisters are doin’ it for themselves.
So it should come as no surprise that when Bill mentioned that he wanted to develop a comic book character (because comics, all of which starred muscular men, were crazy popular in the 1940s), Liz said, “Fine, but make her a woman.”
And thus Wonder Woman was born (though Bill wanted to call her Suprema, which sounds like a brand of toilet paper or diet cola). When it came time to draw her, he was like, Hmm, I need a model who is strong and smart yet warm and feminine. WW was, after all, meant to be a “distinctly feminist role model whose mission was to bring the Amazon ideals of love, peace, and sexual equality to a world torn by the hatred of men.” Shoot. Bill looked to his left, then to his right, then left again, and was like, OH, MAYBE MY KICKASS WELL-EDUCATED SHE-WARRIOR OF A WIFE WHO GAVE ME THIS IDEA IN THE FIRST PLACE MIGHT DO THE TRICK.
And DO the trick she did. Bill took a few…em…liberties in using his wife as a model, but whatever. Girl got her roll on (I don’t really know what that means but it felt right).
But Aunt MRG, you ask, WHERE’S THE SCANDAL?
Ask and ye shall receive, little ones.
Wonder Woman premiers in All Star Comics #8 (keeping it real for all you nerds out there) in December of 1941 to much fanfare, and soon, much success. And with success comes publicity, so Bill consents to an interview in The Family Circle, which in my head is “The Family Circus,” but it’s totally a different thing. Oh, and the interviewer is just this super hot recent Tufts graduate named Olive Byrne who also happens to be one of Bill’s former students, or whatever, it’s not a big deal except OH YEAH HE BONES HER REAL QUICK and then ASKS HER TO MOVE IN WITH HIM AND LIZ.
As in he and his wife, to whom he has been happily married for a decade. Oh, and they just live in a happy little menage a trois until Bill’s death until 1947, naming their kids after one another and shit. Oh, also, here’s something, Liz and Olive continue to live together (you know, for the kids) after Bill dies and are not in a lesbian relationship, but are also not NOT in a lesbian relationship. It’s fuzzy. BUT SEXY, too, NO?
Now, you may be thinking what I thought initially, which is why would such a strong feminist badass ladywoman like Liz stand for sharing her man with another, comparably badass ladywoman? Wouldn’t she demand to have another male companion in return? Or at least demand that Olive not move into the Marston household?
But, as I said before, Sisters Were Doing It For Themselves. And I think that Liz, liberated, modern, strong woman that she was, probably found Olive totally hot and probably wasn’t against a little sexperimenting (I’m sorry, never again) of her own. And hey, according to Liz’s daughter Olive Ann Marston (yes, you read that right) Liz liked having the elder Sisterwife Olive around because Liz could go to her Fancy Real Person Job all day err day while Sisterwife Olive took care of the Marston brood. Oh and just for fun, the brood’s names were Pete, Olive Ann (Liz’s kids), Byrne, and Don (Olive’s kids).
PHEW. The moral of today’s story, kids, is that if you work really hard and are really smart and give your husband really good, lucrative ideas for children’s literature, he might just welcome another woman into your home and you might just get to have lady sex with her. And isn’t that the American Dream, on this Fourth of July Eve, to which we all aspire?
I mean it’s obviously not but I had to mention America because tomorrow is the Fourth and it’s MY FAVORITE HOLIDAY EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 WONDER WOMAN AMERICA BLUE JEANS MENAGE A TROIS!!!
It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for…announcementz!!!
First, A REALLY FUCKING EXCITING DEVELOPMENT IN FORSHAMELAND (which is a real place):
WE HAVE ADDED A NEW BLOGGER! Why, you ask?
Well, sometimes when a mommy blogger (LHB) and a daddy blogger (JAF) and their weird single neighbor who comes over too often but everyone’s afraid to bring it up (me, MRG) love each other very, very much, they decide that it’s time to bring into the blogosphere a baby blogger. Also, sometimes mommy, daddy, and weird neighbor have a lot of real-world stuff going on, and they need another blogger around to help pick up some of the slack. LHB, JAF, and myself are sort of busy these days, what with fellowships and grad school and unemployment, so we decided to add to our brood. And we are pleased as punch to introduce our new addition……………..KAB!!!
But you remember her, right? She’s the one who wrote that kickass post about F. Scott and Zelda that sort of made the rest of us look bad. So when it came time to choose our new writer, well, there was really no choice to make. We’re so, so happy to have her, and you should be, too. YAY! HAPPY HAPPY YAY FOREVER!
Second: THEME MOTHERFUCKING WEEK. A few questions:
Did you love your precious and fleeting youth?
Did you read a lot during said precious and fleeting youth?
Do you look back on those days you spent exploring the magical world of reading with warmth and nostalgia, because you’ve lost the ability to lose yourself in your own innocence?
Ever wonder how much sex Ann M. Martin was having when she wrote Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls?
Well, maybe we’re not specifically answering that last one because Ann is still alive (thank GAWD) and therefore misses our only requirement for our subjects. And also I would never fucking do that to her because she has a killer set of full bangs and she taught me how to be friends with other girls.
BUT WE WILL BRING YOU THE SORDID TALES OF LUST AND LOVE BEHIND SOME OF YOUR OTHER FAVORITE CHILDREN’S LITERATURE!!!!!!!!!!!1
That’s right. This week’s theme week is ALL ABOUT SKANKY CHILDREN’S AUTHORS. Get ready to feel real weird.
I’m going to kick things off by exploring the polyamourous, borderline bigamist stylings of Mr. William Moulton Marston, AKA Charles Moulton, AKA the dude who created Wonder Woman (and hey, I know that some of you might suggest that comics don’t count as literature but my nerdier friends assure me that you should suck it because they totally count).
And then we’ll all be treated to a little pedophilia/adultery courtesy of J.M. Barrie, the Peter Pan guy, care of our NEW OFFICIAL FULL-TIME AUTHORIZED 100% AUTHENTIC NEW BLOGGER KAB!!!!!!!!1
Next, LHB will bring us some Narnia-level sexiness about the life of C.S. Lewis, hopefully using a large lion as a Christ figure throughout her post, because obviously.
And JAF, god bless her, is living in a very scary and wild place where there is NO INTERNET. I know. Breathe. I know. Such purgatory exists here on Earth, my friends, and we must pray for JAF’s tender soul as she faces this trial. But if her WiFi sucks less or if she can make it to a Starbucks, she’ll try to write up a little ditty herself. WE’RE HERE FOR YOU, JAF (even though you can’t read this because of the no-internet thing). The bright side, as LHB so cleverly pointed out, is that JAF is essentially doing immersive research on History, because in History there was no internet (I know, right??!?). So brave. So young and so brave.
Anyway, look for the first installment of For Shame! Ruins Your Childhood TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!1