My Grandmother Was the Real-Life Wonder Woman (Guest Column)

Elizabeth Holloway Marston earned a law degree before women had the right to vote — and inspired her husband to create the world's most famous female superhero.
Courtesy Christie Marston

Christie Marston is the granddaughter of Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston. When asked what her late grandfather would have thought about the new Wonder Woman movie, Christie Marston kindly replied that was the wrong question: "It is my grandmother who really matters in the 'what would they think' line of thought.' " Below, Christie Marston remembers her grandmother Elizabeth Holloway Marston, who broke down barriers for women, earned a law degree in 1918, and helped inspire her husband to create the most famous female superhero.

My grandmother was the role model for Wonder Woman. She was born in 1893, and instead of doing the more common things associated with women in that day and age, she went on to get three degrees and happily marched her way through her hundred years proving that gender roles were ... just plain silly! Always positive, always moving forward, never letting obstacles decide her life for her. Gram and Wonder Woman have always been one in the same to me. And Gram would approve wholeheartedly with Wonder Woman getting out there and inspiring new generations.

Gram and I spent many, many hours together discussing all the good and bad in the world. We'd be up half the night speculating on the myriad of problems and possible solutions. Always — always — it came down to fair play and encouraging good people to work harder for themselves and for others. Wonder Woman ... some things never change!

As I "met" more and more Wonder Woman fans online, I started getting private messages from people explaining why they loved her so much, and what she has meant in their lives. The writers were very diverse, but their messages were almost identical. Many had been in bad situations in their youth; abuse was not uncommon. Instead of becoming the abuser later in life — as is so often the case — they were inspired to make their lives better.

The messages made me realize that Wonder Woman is bigger than I knew. Much bigger. Turns out that Wonder Woman isn't just part of the immediate family; she has a huge family spread all over the world.

She’s real to people. A hero. An inspiration. A role model who actually does make the world a better place. A comfort. A friend.

The true-life stories that I’ve been reading are mind-blowing. From people all over the globe. Very different people; very diverse. Age, gender, politics, race, religious preference, sexual orientation, education, economic and social class all go by the wayside.

The common theme to almost all can be summed up simply — human values. People want and need someone in their lives who represents and upholds values which are dear to them. People are sick of war and misery and lies and suffering; sickened by all of "mans' inhumanity to man." People want a role model who points the way to a better life — and a better world.

Wonder Woman has been that ‘someone’ for generations. She has inspired individuals to be their best. She has solaced and encouraged. She has helped people make that extra effort, go that extra mile.

Wonder Woman may have started out as pen and ink on a comic page, but she became a very real — and very valuable — part of our world when she started impacting real people's lives. May she live forever!

As to the movie — YES, YES, a million times YES! I knew that Patty Jenkins loves Wonder Woman and all that she represents, so I had been hopeful. But I had no idea how incredibly talented and creative she is on top of that. Not only is her heart in the right place; she created a movie that flowed flawlessly and popped the most incredible visuals. The actors were excellent; the graphics people amazing ... and the director a gift from the gods!

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