William Moulton Marston

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William Moulton Marston (May 9, 1893 – May 2, 1947), also known by the pen name Charles Moulton was psychologist, lawyer, inventor of the systolic blood pressure test and the writer who created Wonder Woman with artist Harry G. Peter.


  • The only hope for civilization is the greater freedom, development and equality of women in all fields of human activity.
    • "Noted Psychologist Revealed as Author of Best-Selling "Wonder Woman,' Children's Comic," press release, typescript [June 1942], WW Letters, Smithsonian
  • A motion picture must be true to life. If a picture portrays a false emotion a false emotion it trains people seeing it to react abnormally.
    • Jill Lepore, The Secret History of Wonder Woman (2014), p. 136.
  • The talkies are the only art that would attract Leonardo da Vinci were he alive to-day. This art is a baby giant, as clumsy as all babies are...we don't know what the baby will be doing and saying when it grows up. But we are sure it will make its mark in the world.
    • Martson, Pitkin, The Art of Sound Pictures (1929), p. vi; Jill Lepore, The Secret History of Wonder Woman (2014), p. 140.
  • Sound and talking undoubtedly increase the entertainment value of a picture. There is a distinct conflict, however, between a pictorial and sound elements, which cannot be entirely avoided until third dimensional pictures are made.
    • Jill Lepore, The Secret History of Wonder Woman (2014), p. 139.
  • Not even the church is so powerfully equipped to serve the public psychologically as is the motion picture company.
    • Henry W. Levy, "Professor to Cure Scenarios with Wrong Emotional Content: Dabbled in Movies While at Harvard; Now Sought By Hollywood with Offer of Favorable Contract", New York University News January 1929; Jill Lepore, The Secret History of Wonder Woman (2014), p. 137.
  • In the majority of cases which are brought to me as a consulting psychologist for love and marital adjustment, there are self-deceptions to be uncovered as well as attempts to deceive other people. Beneath such love conflicts there is almost always a festering psychological core of dishonesty.
    • William Moulton Martson, Lie Detector Test, p. 119.
  • The next 100 years will see the beginning of an American matriarchy—a nation of amazons in the psychological rather than the physical sense. In 500 years there will be a serious sex battle. And in 1000 years women will definitely rule this country.
    • As quoted in Neglected Amazons to Rule Men in 1000 yrs., Says Psychologist; Washington Post, November 11, 1937.
  • There are one or two rules of thumb which are useful in distinguishing sadism from exciting adventure in the comics. Threat of torture is harmless, but when the torture it’s self is shown it becomes sadism. When a lovely heroine is show bound to the stake, comics followers are sure that the rescue will arrive just in the nick of time. The readers wish is to save the girl, not to see her suffer. A bound or chained person does not suffer even embarrassment in the comics, and the reader, therefore is not being taught to enjoy suffering.
    • A s quoted in Olive Richard Bryne's, "Don't laugh at the comics" Family Circle, Oct 25, 1940.
  • Comics they say are not literature--adventure strips lack artistic form, mental substance, and emotional appeal to any but the most moronic of minds. Can it be that 100,000,000 Americans are morons?
    • WMM, Why 100,000,000 Americans Read Comics p. 35-44.
  • Tolerant people are the happiest, so why not get rid of prejudices that hold you back?
    • Your Life What are your prejudices? (1939).
  • In the spring of the freshman year, the sophmore girls held what was called "The Baby Party" which all freshmen girls were compelled to attend. At this affair, the freshmen girls were questioned as to their misdemeanors and punished for their disobedience and rebellions. The baby party was so name because the freshman girls were required to dress as babies.
At the party; the freshmen girls were put through various students under command of sophomores. Upon one occasion, for instance, the freshman girls were led into a dark corridor where their eyes were blindfolded, and their arms were bound behind them. Only one freshman at a time was taken through this corridor along which sophomore guards were stationed at intervals. This arrangement was designed to impress the girls punished with the impossibility of escape from their captresses. After a series of harmless punishments, each girl was led into a large room where all the Junior and Senior girls were assembled. There she was sentenced to go through various exhibitions, supposed to be especially suitable to punish each particular girls failure to submit to discipline imposed by the upper class girl. The sophomore girls carried long sticks with which to enforce, if necessary, the stunts which the freshmen were required to preform. While the programme did not call for a series of pre-arranged physical struggles between individual girls...frequent rebellion of the freshman against the commands of their captresses and guards furnished the most exciting portion of the entertainment according to the report of a majority of the class girls.
Nearly all the sophomores reported excited pleasantness of captivation emotion throughout the party. The pleasantness of captivation response appeared to increase when they were obliged to overcome rebellious freshmen physically, or to preform the actions from which the captive girls strove to escape....
Female behavior also contains still more evidence than male behavior that captivation emotion is not limited to inter-sex relationships. The person of another girls seems to evoke from female subjects, under appropriate circumstances, filly as strong captivation response as does that of a male.
  • The Emotions of Normal People as quoted in Wonder Woman: Bondage and Feminism in the Marston/Peter comics, 1941-1948 pp. 64-65 by Noah Berlatsky.

Quotes about[edit]

  • I always thought this Marston was a phony.
    • J. Edgar Hoover, WMM, in Jill Lepore, The Secret History of Wonder Woman (2014), p. 166.
  • If Marston is whipping up comics stories while Rome burns, there must be a reason.
    • Olive Richard Bryne, "Our Women Are Our Future", Family Circle, August 14 1942, as quoted in Jill Lepore, The Secret History of Wonder Woman (2014), p. 231.
  • He believes the sexes have changed their professional status, that the hunted has become the huntress, that men have more ideas about women than about themselves and that a majority of men prefer to be 'unhappy masters' rather than 'happy slaves'.
    • Olive Richard Bryne, "Hot Babies, Those Co-Eds," New York Graphic (November 17, 1931).
  • This noted scientist is the most genuine human being I’ve met. He isn’t fat—that is, in the ordinary way. He’s just enormous all over. We walked through the garden and about the grounds. The doctor asked me about my work and myself, and I told him more in 15 minutes than I’d tell my most intimate friend in a week. He’s the kind of person to whom you confide things about yourself you scarcely realize.
    • Olive Richard Bryne Family Circle 1935 as quoted in "Last Amazon" New Yorker, (09/22/2014).

External links[edit]

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