I am sure most readers have forgotten that I am also a comic book fan! Back in May, I wrote two posts (that may or may not have been a bit incoherent) about female superheroes; The Female Superhero and Watchmen and Alan Moore Revisted. A few weeks ago, I was in a somewhat serious state of depression and in the ‘why am I on this planet?’ mood of mine that comes once in a blue moon. Anyway it was in this state that I discovered my problem with the representation of women not only in comics and fairy tales but also in the media generally. The reason I have decided to focus more on the comics medium in this particular post is because in that down state of mine I thought in frustration something along the lines of; ‘We are living in a rape culture and all I am asking for is that my favourite superheroine lives without having to worry about being raped!’
It was either that or something along those lines. I did mention rape specifically but I was implying all the other bad things that seem to happen a lot to superheroines such as forced marriages, lost powers or mental illness. I do not get it when some people say that the reason female superheroes are physically (and also psychologically it seems) weaker than their male counterparts is because ‘in real life it is this way’. Oh really? I suppose in real life, men go around flying in capes and tights too. I have reached the stage where I am just too tired and disgusted by the way women are portrayed in mainstream media outlets no matter the medium. I enjoy some excellent pieces of work every once in a while (right now I am reading Y: The Last Man) but I find it disturbing, the sort of world we are living in or shall I say what mainstream media says about the sort of world we are living in. Sorry if I am not making much sense, I shall attempt to explain.
It started with me reading this excellent post on Shakesville; “Rape Culture 101”, reading that post left me seriously thinking and that was what eventually lead to me lamenting on the sad fate/overall uselessness of superheroines. Stuff like comic books are meant to be means of escaping the sad realities of this world are they not? That is probably the reason why I specifically thought of superheroines first. The weekend past, I found some articles online that addressed the issue of women and misogyny in comics. I also came across these articles on Hollywood and physically strong women and another on the ‘male fantasy of gender roles’ the latter is extremely intriguing as the author gave examples of badass women.
I do not know if this post made any sense at all but I was overcome with this urge to just write down all that came into my head after reading about rape culture. It may seem odd the way I linked rape culture to comic books in my head. Indeed, I do find it strange myself so, you can just take this post as one of the ones in which I am ‘venting’ ^^