Wonder Woman, Made of Clay

Jul. 18th, 2017 07:51 am
beatrice_otter: Wonder Woman--Black and White (Wonder Woman)
[personal profile] beatrice_otter
Thing I do not understand about what people take away from Wonder Woman: "Zeus and Ares considering Diana to be Zeus's daughter"="Diana was not sculpted from clay by Hippolyta."  It's like, they assume that the whole "sculpting from clay" thing was just a lie to get away with "where the heck did you get sperm on an island with no men."

I mean, the Greek gods were "born" and came to life in all kinds of weird and wacky ways.  Athena, for example!  Athena was Zeus' daughter with Metis (and very similar to Diana of Themyscira, in a lot of ways).  How was Athena born?  She sprang fully formed from Zeus's head!  He was still her father and Metis her mother.  A bunch of Zeus's other children were at least sometimes considered to have been born through means other than sexual reproduction.  (Ares' mom may have gotten pregnant with him by eating the wrong lettuce leaf at the wrong time.  Ares was still considered a child of Zeus.)  The Greek gods just kind of went with the flow.  The people involved in your creation (whether through sex or not) were your parents.

What I'm trying to say is, everything we are told in the movie could easily be true all at the same time: Hippolyta wants a daughter so she sculpted one out of clay and prayed to Zeus.  Zeus wants a god-killer to take out Ares, and so he obliged her by flinging a lightning bolt her way or whatever, and bringing the baby to life.  The Amazons know this, but what is most important to them?  This is their Queen's daughter, their princess, the only child on the island, their Diana who was sculpted out of clay by her mother.  What is most important to Ares?  That Diana was brought to life by Zeus and is thus his daughter, and therefore Ares' sister, whether or not her birth fits into the standard "mommy and daddy have sex and nine months later a child is born" model that is the only way humans reproduce.  Ares and Diana are not humans.  They are Greek god and demigod.  Ares, in particular, scorns humans, so why would he care about human definitions of parenthood and sibilinghood?  Especially when he's trying to get Diana onside.  "Come join the family" is a lot more compelling than "come join the dude you've been taught to hate all your life for all the horrible things he's done."

As for Diana?  How does she consider herself?  What is most important to her?  That she is Hippolyta's daughter, sculpted from clay.  Yes, she was brought to life by Zeus.  Yes, that means that in the way the Greek gods thought, Zeus was her father.  She acknowledges this tie.  That means Ares is her brother.  But I bet you that when you ask her how she was born, five minutes heart-to-heart with Ares on a battlefield doesn't overturn the fact that she is an Amazon and thinks like one.  And therefore, unless you are specifically considering her role as god-killer, the fact that Hippolyta sculpted her from clay is far more important than Zeus's contribution.

Look at the battle between her and Ares.  She doesn't really ... react much when Ares starts calling her his sister.  She doesn't look, talk, or act like a person having a major identity crisis.  She's just like, "okay, you want to call me sister, sure, fine, whatever, guess that fits too, let's get on with this."  She doesn't react like "OMG, my mom LIED to me, everything I know about myself is a lie!"  It's more in line with "oh, right, yeah, from your POV Zeus's contribution is the most important, whatever."
beatrice_otter: WWII soldier holding a mug with the caption "How about a nice cup of RESEARCH?" (Research)
[personal profile] beatrice_otter
One of the things we fans love is our Woobbie Heroes, the guys (like Daniel Jackson or Bucky Barnes) who suffer so beautifully.  Hurt-comfort, we loves it, precious.  (And oh, I am dating myself with those terms.)

Anyway, there are a lot of fics about, say, Bucky recovering from torture, or where his psychological recovery is a large part of the story.  And one thing I've noticed is that the treatments for PTSD that people normally use are behind the times.  Like, they'll have talk therapy, and maybe a therapy animal or journaling--and these are good and helpful--but there's been a LOT of research into trauma disorders and recovery in the last two decades, and a lot of developments of new treatments.  Talk therapy is not the gold standard of what a cutting-edge therapist recommended by Tony Stark would use.  It might well be part of the therapy, but not the whole of it.  And Sam Wilson, working at the VA, would certainly know this as well.  I am not a professional, but I have read enough of the top books on trauma to have some feel for the subject.

If you would like to incorporate some more current research, understandings, and techniques, the best place to start is The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk.  He's got decades of experience and research dealing with combat vets, survivors of childhood abuse of every kind, and every sort of trauma you can imagine.  The book is well-written and interesting and suitable for a non-specialist to read, and it covers the history of trauma in psychology and how we learned what we know today, along with some very interesting case studies.  Best of all, the last few chapters are overviews of what he's found to be the most effective forms of treatment, including a brief overview of what the treatment is and their best guesses as to why it works, and then some examples of what's happened when he has used it or seen it used.  (Also, it's fun how he burns the DSM-V and some of his colleagues.  Like, there is SO MUCH SHADE, OH MY GOD.)

If you want some medical jargon to use in your fic, the place to start would be The Body Bears the Burden by Robert Scaer.  Scaer is a neurobiologist, not a psychologist, and boy howdy can you tell in his writing.  This one is a little more challenging, but it has a lot of medical stuff if you want to use that in your fic and wikipedia isn't doing it for you.
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