Sunday, September 4, 2011

Similarly to my classmates who have already posted, for inspiration for my first post i searched "superheroines" on google. Unfortunately not to my surprise, pretty much every link appeared to have some link to sexuality. One of the first few links called "super heroine central" (http://www.superheroinecentral.com/) appeared to be the least sexualized and actually made reference to 'peril' and 'combat' in the little description under the link. Now I was actually surprised to be taken to a page where you must confirm that you are 18 in order to enter. Before even entering the page, you can see the categories for the site listed at the top: superheroine, peril, bondage, combat, sex, punishment, more." One of the statements listed for acknowledgement before entering the site was: "I do not object to, or find offensive, material of a sexually-explicit nature, including images and depictions of bondage, nudity, and other fetish activities. I am accessing this website for my own personal enjoyment, information, and/or education about this subject matter." I did not enter the site, however I felt like it was dirty just being on that intro page, like I was about to do something illegal (even though I am 18 and legally could have entered the site). Especially since in at least the issues of wonder woman that we have read, there is not an overly sexual undertone, I think it's a little gross that the media industry has taken such liberties with these characters. I suppose that in part, that was somewhat intended with their creation, but this website really illustrated how far certain people have taken these characters.

5 comments:

  1. Curiosity lead me to google the same category and find the website Rachel was referring to (www.superheroinecentral.com) as well as the seemingly innocent description under its google result, "Superheroines in peril, combat and sexual situations depicted in online photo comics, original artwork and 3D." Without any background knowledge and upon first glance, this description would have lead me to believe that the website was dedicated to the portrayal of women in comics and art. I would've probably even taken it so far as to assume it was an educational website, perhaps providing examples of superheroines throughout "comics" and "artwork," as well as analysis or some commentary. However, as our Ivy League educations will probably prompt you to guess, this was not the case. Unlike Rachel, I felt the need to see what this website was about, and so I proceeded through the warning. What I found were blatantly pornographic images and videos, both of cartoon figures as well as real individuals. Feeling great offense towards the misleading description, I carefully reread it, and to my surprise, I realized I was the one who was mistaken. Like the description states, superheroines were indeed being shown in peril (while barely exposed in a modest thong,) in combat (against the terrible evil of bondage) and in (VERY) sexual situations depicted in online photo comics, original artwork and 3D (pornographic videos.) I find it disgusting how people actually enjoy this obscenity. Who wakes up feeling the need to create such a website? Whoever this individual may be, he or she probably spending more time devising a description that is as vague as possible so that it is seemingly innocent but still accurate.

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  2. Rachel, I totally agree with you..this is gross! It is sad to see that when looking for strong, successful, and role-modelesque super heroines all one can find are sites that lead to scantily dressed women and porn sites.

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  3. I'm glad this topic is being discussed. I mentioned top google searches for superheroines in the first essay we were assigned. I stated in my essay that there is no way to fix the atrocious image placed on women besides proving to the world that women can be stronger and more successful.

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  4. That was one of the first links that I found also. I, like you, did not enter the website once I realized what it was actually about. It is terrible that when you want to get information about superheroines that this website is one of the first things to appear. It's difficult for superheroines to be viewed in the same league as superheroes when they are the objects of websites like this one.

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  5. This should teach you to be more specific (about everything), eh?

    On a more serious note, do you really believe that the work of low-level pornographers and members of a fetish subculture actually affect the way mainstream people view superheroines such as Wonder Woman? I'd venture that most people would 1) search a specific character and never come to a site like this (no porn for searches of Wonder Woman, Catwoman, or Storm) or 2) never come across these sites because they don't care about superheroines or comics. The few people that do see the sites may have a moment of outrage (or not) and then forget about it and find something useful to look at.

    Also, as a side note, the fetishization of fictional characters is not a phenomenon exclusive to superheroines or even female characters. Slash fiction, an erotic subset of fanfiction, eroticizes male characters just as much, such as with the brothers from Supernatural, who even parodied this practice in an episode.

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