Saturday, April 7, 2012

Batwoman: A New Role Model

As I was browsing through a few blogs about Batwoman Elegy, I came across an article that I feel nicely comment on the portrayal of Batwoman. It talked about how well Batwoman Elegy, and the following issues of Batwoman passed the Bechdel Test, and highlighted on the fact that Kate Kane being lesbian, was not at all used as a sex fantasy for male readers, and instead portrays a strong female who is confident in herself and her sexuality, and does not try to hide from her true self. The article also points out how Batwoman doesn't wear stilettos and isn't portrayed as frequently from the male gaze with framed ass shots and sexy poses, as other comics are. 

This article made me realize how empowering Batwoman/ Kate Kane really is. She stands up for herself, and doesn't allow life's setbacks to keep her from her true potential. She realizes the injustice of the world and actively does something about it. Instead of sitting at home, sulking and thinking "woe is me" she gets up, puts on the Batwoman suit and kicks criminal ass. Not only this, but she was once a part of the military, which is still a rarity among women in today's society. These aspects of her character show the true progressiveness of Batwoman as both a character and a comic, and she is the ultimate feminist superheroine we've read about so far. 

I feel that Batwoman is a female character I can respect, for all of her qualities. For once, I feel that her portrayal visually is respectable and, although still sexy, it isn't distasteful. I look forward to reading more of her storyline, and seeing how she will change how superheroines are characterized in future comics. In my opinion, she would be a good starting point for superheroine movies.  

What do you think? Is Batwoman really as progressive and empowering as I think she is? She definitely has room for improvement, but J.H Williams III has definitely captured a powerful woman. Do you think feminists (or only certain feminists) approve of her? 

Side note: Although the article goes on to discuss later issues, the topics it brings up are very interesting, and I recommend reading past the initial discussion about the Batwoman comics we read. 


  1. I agree with your post. Batwoman is very progressive and empowering. She is independent and does what she wants. She does not let society's stereotypes stand in her way. The comic book does not highlight Kate's sexuality as other comic books with super heroines do (i.e. it doesn't include shots that capture the male gaze). I think that feminists would approve of Batwoman and the comic book series overall because of its lack of sexual shots and Batwoman's inherent powerful nature.

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  3. I agree that Batwoman is feminist in comparison to some of the other female superheroines we have seen. I think it is especially shown in the fact that she is a lesbian. As we learned in class, some feminists believe that women should have no reliance on men whatsoever. In this case, Kate Kane has certainly separated herself from the need to be with a man. With the exception of her father, Kate only needs to interact with women, an idea that is portrayed as empowering and shows her ability to survive on her own.

  4. You definitely make a great point here. The reason why I think Kate Kane progressive and empowering is because she is so honest with herself. There is no real denial or confusion about her sexuality. Given she was first engaged to a man, she owned up to her escapades with another female soldier. Instead of denying it and keeping her position in West Point, she thought honesty was the greatest merit a soldier or a person could have so she told the truth and got kicked out. Such sense of morality and duty are great characteristics and are truly admirable. It shows that she does not bend the rules or the law that she works so hard to uphold, even for herself.


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