SWING-ing the Lasso of Truth.Posted: July 3, 2012
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!!!