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Please write a paper of no more than 1500 words on ONE of the following prompts.  You need not address every aspect of the prompt–its intention is to, literally, prompt thought!

1. Radical activist Crystal Eastman once said that the point of feminism “was to arrange the world so that women can be human beings.”  What did it mean to be a feminist during the early 20th century, and what did feminists at this time believe were the preconditions for female equality? Consider suffrage, education, reproductive rights, etc.  Jill Lepore writes that superheroes are “lousy at fighting for equality.”  Why is that?

2.  According to Amazonian law, women in that society cannot marry.  Is marriage incompatible with female equality?  What is the relationship between female equality and marriage in the complicated household of William Marston?  How about in Slaughterhouse 5?  What are the preconditions for marital equality?  What are the power dynamics of the Pilgrim household?

3. What’s the difference between fighting superheroes and regular people?  Wonder Woman’s authors worked hard to limit violence in the comic, which was aimed at children.  Although subtitled “The Children’s Crusade,” Vonnegut’s book is clearly not intended for a young audience.  Yet there is an element of comic book fantasy in his book.  Can we connect the world of the Trafalmadorians with Wonder Woman?  How might a steady diet of comic books affect a young man drafted in 1944?


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