- #089: More Wonder Woman, DC Superhero Girls, and Sandhya Menon

By | June 29, 2017 at 11:00 AM

Clockwise from top left: Elena Anaya playing Doctor Poison, Ann Ogbomo, Sandhya Menon, and DC Superhero Girls dolls

Wonder Women, Wonder Women, all the world’s waiting for youuuu! Sing it with us now! This week on Geek Girl Riot we’re talking the Good, the Badass, and the Hurtful about wonderful women: While the majority of us Rioters loved the Wonder Woman movie and all of us appreciate that it exists, we can’t ignore that there were some glaring problems, but first up, Day “The Chamber of Secrets is Now Open” Al-Mohamed brings us “the good” with a 60-second secret about Steve Trevor and his cool homage to WWI flying ace, Eddie Rickenbacker.

Then, we take a slight break from Wondering about Wonder Woman for more of “the good” as Sam chats to Sandhya Menon about her YA novel When Dimple Met Rishi. We *heart* this book, and we’re bringing you a glimpse into the writing process, Sandhya’s next novel, and if she’d ever write a children’s book—try not to grin at how delightful she is. Up next comes “the badass”, and who else could it come from but our own Ms. Marvel? She discusses the DC Superhero Girls dolls that came to kick ass with their real life feminist powers.

Now, for “the hurtful”: Like we said, we appreciate Wonder Woman and applaud all the good it’s brought into the world. But for all the unity it has brought to women everywhere, there were some who felt decidedly left out. Rioter Erin wrote an incredibly important piece on Doctor Poison (played by Elena Anaya) and the representation of disability in the movie, which sparked a conversation between her and fellow Rioter Sherin. She wholly agreed, and had her own questions about the silencing and near erasure of the Philippus character—played by Ann Ogbomo. This conversation is one that needs to be had in order for us to improve, because y’all, we want more, and we want more.

If you haven’t heard, Geek Girl Riot is now on idobi Radio! Tune in every Tuesday at midnight (aka Wednesday morning) for your dose of late-night geekery from our team of rioters. For now, you can find the list of books Sam and Sandyha talked about, as well as a transcript of Day’s 60-second secret. Happy Rioting!

Reading List:

– When Dimple Met Rishi – Sandhya Menon
– From Twinkle, With Love – Sandhya Menon
– Born Confused – Tanuja Desai Hidier
– Dear Martin – Nic Stone
– The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
– Forest of a Thousand Lanterns – Julie C. Dao
– Americanized: A YA Memoir – Sara Saedi
– The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue – Mackenzi Lee
– Not Quite Narwhal – Jessie Sima

60-second Secret Transcript:

Hi, this is Day with idobi Radio’s Geek Girl Riot.

For those of you who don’t know me, I am a huge Wonder Woman fan. I love the comics, I love the old television show, I love her in the animated series. I love all things Wonder Woman. I’ve already seen the film 3 times in its first week and will probably see it at least one or two more times in the theater. What can I say, it’s an obsession. There is something inherently empowering in seeing a woman not just kick ass, but in seeing that her compassion and kindness is depicted as a strength of equal value.

However, today’s 60-second secret, while it is from the Wonder Woman movie, is actually not about Wonder Woman. It is about Steve Trevor. And I think I can do this in a way that is spoiler-free. At the end of the film we see a photograph of Steve Trevor. It is an image of a cocky young pilot leaning against a biplane with the number 5 on it and a symbol of a hat with a ring around it. The hat is decorated with the stars and stripes; Uncle Sam’s hat. It is literally, hat in the ring.

This photo is an almost exact replica of a photo of World War I flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker of the 94th Aero squadron. The 94th was first organized on 20 August 1917 to engage and clear enemy aircraft from the skies and provide escort to reconnaissance and bombardment squadrons over enemy territory. They were the first US squadron deployed to France and saw significant combat on the Western Front.

“Fast Eddie” Rickenbacker, was a well known race car driver before the war. He had a longtime love of all things mechanical and when the opportunity came to join the Allied troops, he signed up. Although originally relegated to being a mechanic, he lobbied for and was eventually successful in being allowed to fly. Within the space of a month, he had downed 5 enemy planes, gaining him the title of “ace.” By the time his service was over, Rickenbacker was credited with 26 aerial victories and was America’s most successful fighter ace in the war.

Whether Steve Trevor’s image in front of a plane with the iconic hat-in-the-ring imagery and same number is meant to show him in parallel with Rickenbacker or merely that he was a pilot with the 94th Aero Squadron is unclear but regardless, it’s a great little piece of history to discover.

That’s today’s 60 Second Secret. I’m Day with idobi Radio’s Geek Girl Riot.