It just laid there in front of her doorstep: the simple, brown box. It wasn’t even a big brown box. Yet still, she saw the box through the window pane. She knew it would be there today. The tall, armored Amazonian had told her so. The Amazonian had come to her home the day before and warned her that after she had opened the package—after she had seen what was inside that box—her perspective on the world around her would change forever. But in which way? She did not know. She was afraid to know, after all she was only 22 and recently engaged, just having received her degree in Psychology. And on the other side of the world, the First World War had just broken out. There was much to be afraid of. Still, her youthful curiosity crept over her.
She quickly unlocked the door and retrieved the package, swiftly bringing it back into the house, checking to see that no one had seen her, then locked the door shut. She brought the package into the living room. She inhaled one quick breath and creaked opened the box, little by little. Once she saw what was inside, her eyes widened and her mouth fell open. It was beautiful but what did it mean?
Several weeks passed until she got her answer. It came when she asked her father if he could help support her through law school. His answer was simple: “Absolutely not, Sadie. As long as I have money to keep you in aprons, you can stay home with your mother.” Broken-hearted, she waited until dark that same evening, making sure that everyone in the house was asleep and that she was utterly alone. She then took out the box from her closet and opened it once more. She stared intensely at the contents inside. Suddenly, the corner of her mouth began to curve pleasantly into a smile. Her eyes glistened with an unyielding fire. She uttered a single world, “No.” Her mind had been set.
That summer of 1915, she and her husband wed and while he entered Harvard Law School, she was rejected for being a woman. Instead, she enrolled at Boston University School of Law, providing for her own education the entire time through. In three years, she had earned her Bachelors of Law, LLB. In 1918, she was one of three women who graduated law school in America.
The years passed and the box remained in the attic of her new home, gathering dust over time. Yet the object inside never left her mind. One day it dawned on her to ask her husband—the man she trusted more than anyone—a peculiar question: “What is the essence of truth?” In response, he smiled wide and said, “I don’t know but I would be happy to find out if you are.”
Together they set on finding exactly that by researching how to detect deceit. They studied how blood pressure effected deception. In time, their research would develop into the systolic blood-pressure test for detecting lies. But they would never know that their research would lead to the precursor of the modern-day lie detector—the polygraph test.
After many more years, she achieved her Masters in Psychology from Radcliffe College in a time when such an achievement was unheard of. But her most crowning achievement—the one that she will be remembered for even today in our modern time—was yet to come.
She sat with her husband at the dinner table as he hunched over a dilemma. He sought to create a strong, powerful character who would be a symbol of truth and equality for his submission to a large publisher. She decided to give him a piece of advice, one that stemmed from the very revelation on that morning so many years ago when that brown box lay at her front doorstep. She said, “Why don’t you make her a woman.” Her husband looked up at her in awe. There—right there sitting in front of him—was the very symbol that represented everything he was trying to convey. In that moment, on the eve of 1941, Elizabeth “Sadie” Holloway Marston and William Moulton Marston (under the pen-name of Charles Moulton) brought into the world the character of Wonder Woman, submitting the fully-designed character to All Star Comics and DC Comics.
And yet, they would never know that their creation would become a leading icon for woman’s rights and Amazon Feminism in the 21st Century. But what Sadie knew that no one else would ever know is that Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth was the very same golden lasso that lay before her inside that simple brown box. It was that golden lasso that had reminded her of how she was a slave to her surroundings, whipped by the lasso of her societal norms. Yet it had given her the strength to climb up to the top tiers of academic achievement. It had inspired her to pursue research with her husband in finding truth in people. And it was the same lasso that the Amazonian Wonder Woman holds in her hand until this day, reminding the world that women—no matter where they come from—are a force to be reckoned with.