Woman superheros= sex objects. Where is the hero part?

 

    Superheroes have long been popular in American culture. There have been many movies and games with superheroes. In a majority of them, there is a beautiful girl that our hero has to protect and save. She is pretty much helpless and needs her hero. Some good examples are Superman and Lois Lane, and Spider man and his red-haired girl–Mary Jane. But with time passing, more new superhero ladies emerge. One of oldest ones is Wonder Woman, she was in the comic book first, then there were a TV show in the 70’s and cartoons with her.Image

 She is a superhero, but there is something different about this representation. She looks like a girl from a beauty pageant. She is a sex symbol. She is the superhero, she fights just like any male superhero, but it seems that the most important features in this character is her beauty and sexuality. And everything else is not important next to her looks.

  And it has gotten worse with the passage of time…Image

Even more sexuality and too unrealistic in proportion. Representations of women in media have been centered around looks and sexuality, so it is just natural to expect it from comic books and movies about superheroes.This is the dominant representation, even though each woman character possesses intersectionality and are very unique and diverse. But that is not what sells. Men want to see very sexual characters and comic world is a patriarchy, so the representation is clear what the people in charge want.

”The hyper-sexualization of women in comics is actually a relatively recent phenomenon; it’s concomitant with, though probably not caused by, the rise in superhero comics.  More likely it’s a latent tendency which spandex and thongs permitted.  New advancements in colorization, new lapses in restrictions on content, new changes in social mores have all permitted female characters to have bigger boobs, bendier spines, improbably long legs, and constantly shiny skin.”(http://threatquality.com/2010/05/19/representations-of-women-in-comics/).

  Some people fight it, trying to change this idea. Women write articles and blogs where they are saying that we are more than our cup size.

  One person found a very interesting and different way to break this stereotype and show how inappropriate this over sexualization of women is. It is called The Hawkeye Initiative

“How to fix every Strong Female Character pose in superhero comics: replace the character with Hawkeye doing the same thing”

Image

http://thehawkeyeinitiative.com/

This is how it looks. We all will agree that it looks ridiculous, but why we do it to women?

There are many other opinions about this problem or issue, and some people do not see anything wrong with it, since it is a cartoon. Or simply, they make what sells.

In October 13, 2011 Laura Hudson wrote an article “Female Super-Hero Characters and Sex: Creators Explain How Comics Can Do Better” Here is the quote from it:

”A lot of writers don’t seem to be able to write female characters unless there is a need for them to be female. What I mean is that women are treated like cake icing, something to make the story sweeter, sexier, to give the reader something nice to look at amid all the violence. It feels like if you asked one of them to write a female character who wasn’t overtly sexual, like they do with males all the time, they’d look at you like you had two heads and say, “Well then, what’s the point of the character being female?” The simple solution is to stop treating women like icing, a pair of boobs, a pretty face, just treat them like people.”

References:

http://thehawkeyeinitiative.com/
http://threatquality.com/2010/05/19/representations-of-women-in-comics/

 

Advertisements

One thought on “Woman superheros= sex objects. Where is the hero part?

  1. This was a terrific post on how even when women are portrayed with strong characteristics they still must be sexualized. Thanks for including the photo from the Hawkeye project!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s