Thursday, September 29, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
As I was looking for the general public’s opinion of female superheroes online, I stumbled upon a website that was very thought provoking. The article talks about the recent debate about the role of females in the comic book industry. It also discusses the portrayal of men and women in comics, and shows a few clips from Joe Philip’s gallery of iconic male superheroes. His gallery portrays these male superheroes with “blatantly provocative poses and outfits as female superheroines.” The article stated that DC comics redid their staffing and left only a small percentage of female writers and artists (which is why this debate occurred). I think this article is important because it shows the counter example of sexuality of women (in the form of sexualized men) and shows how the images are almost laughable! The way the men are dressed seems like they came right off of a men's underwear add, not from a comic that people of all ages read. The article ends with a question that we have talked about briefly in class: Would more women read comics if guys were drawn sexier? What do you think of these images?
Sunday, September 25, 2011
However, her new suit is skin tight. Hathaway reported that it took "three people and a lot of mental preparation to get her into the costume." (http://dcwomenkickingass.tumblr.com/) That seems like a little much. If a suit has to be tight enough that a woman can't even get into it, to be attractive, then why do it? Is a sexual image really that important? And what of the message that that suit is sending to women everywhere? Anne Hathaway was thin and beautiful before she became Catwoman, but she had to work out for the movie so that she could be even thinner and more toned to fit into an "unforgiving" costume. Superwomen are meant to be looked up to, but why is it that the only women that the media gives us to idolize are so impossible to mimic. We need to be forgiven a little. Our heroes and actresses need to be forgiven a little for being slightly less than whatever "perfect" is supposed to be.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Relating this to heroes and heroines in comic books: It never really seems this way for heroes and heroines. Heroes and heroines usually handle their problems by their own. They, most of the time, do have weaknesses to certain people but they are usually not getting help from them. It usually ends up with the hero or heroine helping his or her love. We don't really see the beloved somehow standing behind our hero or heroines and supporting him/her.
For example, Clark Kent, loves Lois Lane but he is not Superman because she is "behind" her. She doesn't necassarily help Superman in doing what he does. She is a motivation for Superman, but I haven't witnessed her openly motivate him or tell him something which made Superman a better at what he does.
I think the same is also true for Wonder Woman and Agent Tresser. She is Wonder Woman on her own. She indeed does have a weakness for him but I don't think that he is a force supporting Wonder Woman in what she does.
I don't think neither Superman would be less of a Superhero without Lois nor Wonder Woman less of a Super Heroine without Tresser.
Like I stated I don't have the best background in comic books but what I've seen so far is that this quote is not valid for heroes and heroines.
Take page 16 of Rogue #3 for example: Gris-Gris throws his voodoo powder onto Rogue, causing her to "cower in fear" for a few precious moments. Even though it was disconcerting to see a typically spunky Rogue looking so vulnerable, I felt that this scene was the first and only scene in the entire Rogue miniseries that I was truly able to connect to her. My heart reached out to her, and I found myself cheering her on more vigorously than I had before the encounter took place.
Additionally, even though fear can render many incapable of completing tasks successfully, our superheroes and superheroines always have it in them to eventually overcome their fear, developing into stronger and more respectable individuals along the way. On the page following Rogue's confrontation with Gris-Gris, she gathers her determination and breaks free from the trap of fear that Gris-Gris put her in, proceeding to kick the baddies' asses. The message of "crush your fear" that Rogue sends is inspiring and easy to believe in, making her a very relatable superheroine, whereas a "fearless" superhero will never be as realistic of a role model.
In the comic world, fear is a lesson to be learned, not something to ignore.
Friday, September 23, 2011
The article "Top 10 Comic-Book Vixens" discusses how the sole purpose of an overwhelming amount of female characters is to torture men. Worst of all, this article basically sums up these women's powers as strictly sexual. Familiar faces from the list are: The White Queen, Mystique, Catwoman...and surprisingly Jean Grey [Dark Phoenix].
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#1 Dark Phoenix:"Each time Jean came back [Cyclops] fell for her hard. Then she would die and destroy him all over again...[making him] the unluckiest SOB in the Marvel Universe."
Note: By failing to mention the complexity of her powers, the author totally misleads the reader into thinking that this Dark Phoenix is synonymous to Jean Grey herself, not to mention that it totally plays off Jean's sacrifice of dying to save the world as unfair to Cyclops. (Hmm what's more important, Cyclops' feelings, or the fate of the universe?...) Jean Grey doesn't belong on this list, especially not at #1.
#4 Catwoman: "A prostitute, a bimbo, a seductress...truly gained greatness [when] the normally paranoid Batman let [her] into his bed and into his cave. You go, girl!"
#5 Mystique: "The shape-changing mutant can fulfill your every fantasy."
#6 The White Queen: "A cold, manipulative, power-mad seductress...has the confidence to wear lingerie while teaching a classroom full of 15-year-old boys."
A motif of women in comics is having one of them cast as "the femme fatale." Overall, this article had outrageously sexist synopses for these women characters, but unfortunately, since the women in these comics are already over-sexualized, I can't really argue that these interpretations (save Jean Grey) are totally off-base. It's ridiculous that this seems to be a necessity in comics; female characters whose sole purpose is to be the conniving sexy villain who ensnares the virtuous male heroes into traps. I understand that to be a hero, you need a nemesis, but I don't see why it's necessary for (at least one of) the nemeses to always get this role. Another thing, why is it always the women's fault that men fall under their spell...I think the men deserve (at least) a little blame for being so hopelessly naive time and time again.
After reading the first four chapters of Promethea, I began to realize that many comic books are really not suited for kids. Although Promethea is by far the worst out of all the comic books we read in class, most comic books contain characters with revealing costumes and dialog with crude language. This is surprising to me because before this class and before reading comic books I thought that comic books were geared towards kids and young teenagers. However, after reading comic books I would say that many of them are geared more towards older teenagers and adults.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
The women are accompanied by another man for all of their missions, Bosley. Now, the angels are definitely the heroes, not Bosley. But he is always there. He is, simply, their chaperone. Why do they need him at all? One answer is that he is one of the original classic characters and they can't eliminate him. But this is the 21st century. Characters are cut all of the time. The angels have always been fine on their own, and aside from the new muscles he has in this version, he doesn't bring a lot to the table.
The video "Behind the Action of Charlie's Angel's" that pops up on the show's website may be more interesting than looking at the show itself. In the video one actress talks about her favorite part of being an angel and says "Who doesn't want to do that *flips hair while holding up the symbolic charlie's angels finger guns...flips her hair a couple more times* you know? Who doesn't wanna swing your hair around and and be a fun girl?" So her favorite part of playing a superheroine is looking hot and flipping her hair. I'm sure she's not the only one. But it seems sad that her favorite thing about a supposedly strong empowered woman is her girly qualities.
Dear third wave feminism,
You still have a lot of work to do,
Monday, September 19, 2011
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Saturday, September 17, 2011
If you imagined something similar to the above picture, I'm sure you're not alone. I feel like the word "witch" has had a negative connotation since (pretty much) forever, and with all the hysteria involved in witch-hunts and witch burnings in Europe and North America centuries ago, shouldn't the popular "wicked" witch image be justified? I don't think so.
I've been fascinated by magic since I was a toddler, so I never understood why witches--supposedly brilliant at magic--were often depicted as evil, mean, and possibly green. After all, don't they have "superpowers" just like our beloved superheroines from Marvel and DC have? Even though there is plenty of "good" witchcraft (say, healing, protecting, or seeing the future), the "bad" witchcraft gets ten times as much attention.
Thankfully, over the past few decades, the concept of the "good" witch has become more and more popular, what with the release of popular books and shows like Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Harry Potter, and Wicked the Broadway musical. Even so, the idea of the wicked witch is much stronger and widespread, as it is firmly rooted in centuries of witch fright and witch panic. Can witches still be considered superheroines?
Friday, September 16, 2011
Top Row: Storm and Rogue
Middle Row: Psylocke* and Emma Frost
Bottom Row: Kitty Pryde and Dazzler (all L-R)
McMillan notes that "this particular image kind of flattens out the character of these characters." The women in X-Men were like no others in comic books; the women weren't dressed to allure (save Emma Frost and the other "evil" women), women were shown to be more powerful than men (Jean Grey), and compared to most comics, I believe that they were treated more like equals (which was especially well displayed through the X-Men's "teamwork" dynamic). But this one image totally contradicts all of these powerful depictions of the X-Women. As Graeme McMillan said, "Would it have been too much to have just had [them] looking kick-ass instead of looking bimbo-esque, really?" I'm asking myself the exact same question...
*Totally irrelevant note but Psylocke is a character that unexplainably acquires the telekinetic abilities of Jean Grey (just a little fun fact)
Yesterday, as I was sick and facebooking all day, I came across a new game added to facebook, the Sims. I used to play this game often when I was younger and I decided to check it out. I was creating my own personal Sims character and I began to realize how even this video game is brainwashing people into believing that skinny and big boobs are the only way to go. The Sims that I was playing on facebook does not let u choose a body type; you are skinny and perfect, as everyone "should be." I remember on the other Sims I used to play you could choose a body type, but most people still chose the "perfect one" as I always did too.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
It's because as a woman, especially a model, society holds expectations for you to be always underweight, always beautiful, and always "picture-perfect", everything else is considered unacceptable. In retaliation to these standards, Banks took a stand for women and herself with the famous lines "Kiss my fat ass!" on her talk show.
Tyra Banks strives to exhibit a wider variety of feminine beauty and tear down such typical stereotypes through having contestants of various shapes and sizes on her show, America's Next Top Model. She also advocates for the idea of more than one type of beauty in talk show. When these hateful attacks, judging her own appearance were made, she was the epitome of her own cause when she remained self-respect and confidence in her own body.
Such gender expectations tear women down everyday, filling them with thoughts of great inadequacy and self-hate, driving them to do unthinkable, damaging things to their bodies. I appreciate that Tyra took this stand, and is true to her cause for universal beauty, but I feel as though this problem needs to be addressed one day at a time, and it will take a lot more people to follow in her example before a permanent impact is made.
Video of Tyra Taking A Stand (video is 1 minute 30 seconds)