Professor Marston and the Wonder Women pictures the life of William Marston, psychologist and creator of the Wonder Woman superhero comic books. In 1928, Professor Marston taught Psychology at Radcliffe College while furthering his research into DISC theory which assesses the state of dominance, inducement, submission, and compliance. Alongside his wife and fellow academic Elizabeth, the two recruit Olive to assist them in their research to create the first lie detector test. Marston and Elizabeth soon find themselves deeply in love with Olive. The three quickly form a passionate and controversial menage a trois relationship, over time raising a family of their own. After being fired by Radcliffe College because of the rumors of his “perverse” sexual relationships and discovering BDSM with the women he loves, Marston is inspired by his sexuality and the women closest to him to write the Wonder Woman comics.
William Marston was a man devoted to the idea that submission to strong women was the key to nurturing boys into compassionate men. This notion of masculinity was shocking for people of that time, but an important precursor to what the feminist movement would become in later years. Professor Marston and the Wonder Women encapsulates those ideas and credits them to a trio of great people, taking few liberties in telling their story.This is less a tale about the female superhero, but rather the two women who inspired her concept. Shattering the common idea that more explorative sexual desires are a product of recent generations, the film deftly uses sexuality to examine gender empowerment, free love, and social psychology. To learn more about Wonder Woman’s history, read The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore, available at the Westmont Public Library.