The Geek Girl What Rules’ Greatest Hits – #6 Comic Fangirl Angst

Okay, I’ve started this column three or four times, and I could not figure out why I kept blocking on it. Then I figured out a couple reasons.

A.  I was trying to hard to sound polished and not my usual ranty self.

B.  I was afraid of sounding too shrill and alienating boys. Then, after a long talk with my own personal Boy, I decided, screw it. 

Now, bear in mind that I’m bi. I like girls. I like looking at girls, at all kinds of girls just like I like looking at boys. I’ve done porn, I’ve written porn, I’ve photographed for a pornographic calendar. I collect pin-up art of men and women. I dig on the nude and nearly nude female form easily as much as any boy out there. 

That said, WHAT THE FUCKING HELL IS WRONG WITH THE PEOPLE COMING UP WITH, WRITING AND DRAWING FEMALE SUPERHEROES?

Knowing, as you now do, that I like girls you might ask, “What is she on about?” Well, let me tell you. Their proportions are totally wrong, most of them run around half naked in combat situations, they wear spike heels to fight crime, and do not even get me started on the moralistic bullshit “punishment” of female characters who own their own sexuality. I can’t cover everything here, but I’ll try to touch on most of it.

Footwear: Have any of these folks tried to walk in four inch stiletto heels, let alone perform some crotch-baring judo kicks? I have. The walking, not so much with the judo kicks. It’s difficlut enough fighting gravity in those things, let alone crime. When I wore them a lot, and I did, I would generally have a couple of very strong, very nice guys carry me somewhere I could sit and pose for a few hours. I might dance a little bit in them, and then they’d come off in favor of shoes that weren’t actively trying to kill me. Platforms and coffin heels, while more stable and comfortable, still not a particularly strong base for a fighting stance.

Costumes: Ok, I understand the “necessity” for skintight costumes on heroes of both genders. They’re aerodynamic, hard to grab onto in a fight, blah blah blah… But an awful lot of the female costumes go beyond the pale. As much as I can totally see that Emma Frost’s costume fits with her personality (owns her own sexuality, uses every advantage), is one of her X-powers telekinetically keeping that thing on her tits? And there are some superheroines with costumes that do not fit with their personalities, take Dagger of Cloak & Dagger for instance. There is nothing in her personality to indicate that she would be the type of woman to wear a costume with a neckline that plunges to her pubic hair. Not to mention the combat liabilities of such an outfit. And why aren’t the guys wearing similarly skimpy outfits? Nightcrawler’s a ladies’ man type, and fully aware of how much of a hottie he is, why isn’t he wearing something chest-baring and ass-enhancilng? Not to mention that one of Marvel’s most popular female heroes is Kitty Pryde, who is consistently modest and fully clothed. If Kitty can be popular with clothes on, why can’t Storm?

Battle Lingerie: Even when women in comics are depicted wearing armor (Witchblade, the Magdalene) it isn’t armor, its steel lingerie, battle bras and bullet-proof bikinis. Their armor bares midriffs, upper chests, most of the breasts, the asscheeks and thighs. Yeah, no major arteries or organs there. Come on, guys, seriously, pull your brains out of the little head and do some real armor design here.

Proportions: Apparently a facet of the X-gene is HUGE breasts and teeny little waists. Some of these girls make Barbie look like a cow. Really, guys, I know its fantasy, but Rogue in the Leifield days would have been crippled by the weight of her own breasts long before she could have absorbed Ms. Marvel’s powers. At some point I’m going to do an interview with a couple of friends of mine who have H or double-H cup breasts to give you an idea of what its really like carting around a couple of watermelons on your chest like that.  (For those of you who are breast-deprived, bra sizes start out at AA, A, B, C, D, DD, DDD, E, EE, F, FF, G, GG, H, and on up). 

Now, I’m waiting for the cries of, “But, but, they’re SUPERHEROES, they WORK OUT.” Yeah, but they look like that when first discovered before the working out starts. And male superheroes get to have different body types. Colussus, Wolverine, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Puck from Alpha Flight, all have different body types, and that’s okay for them, but the women are all thin and willowy with GIGANTIC BOOBS and legs up to their necks. And, while I like girls that look like that, I also like girls who look like me and my girlfriends, all different sizes and shapes.  

Granted, being a reader of mostly Marvel and indie comics, I don’t have it as bad as the female DC fans. Good grief, it seems like the majority of feminist critiques on sexism in comic books that I read are railing against DC.  Sites like Girl-Wonder.org, while they don’t let Marvel or the indies off the hook entirely, seem directed mostly at the outrageous sexism in the DC universe. The fact that the majority of the female heroes who die in DC are killed not because they themselves are a threat, but because it will hurt a male character. The fact that most of the DC heroines who are hurt or killed are jumped and not given the opportunity to defend themselves, tortured, or raped. Female characters have things done TO them. Male characters are motivated by the suffering of those close to them, usually someone female, to DO things themselves.

Girl-Wonder.org and Friends of Lulu are working to dispel the sexism that is so predominant in the comic industry, both in the comics themselves and in the Boy’s Club that is writing and drawing mainstream comics. It’s because of reading them that made me want to sound as polished and together as these sharp ladies, but, then again, as I was raised to believe, Feminism needs all the voices and my rough, raunchy voice is just as valid as the coolly polished. Not to mention you have got to read the gal who writes “Girls Read Comics! (And they’re pissed)”.  She swears as much as I do.

 

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9 thoughts on “The Geek Girl What Rules’ Greatest Hits – #6 Comic Fangirl Angst

  1. I guess this a repost or something? 😮

    But I am so with you on this! 😀 I know it’s been said over and over again but I think you summed up all the complaints rly nicely! 😀 And srsly, I have a hard enuf time moving at any decent speed in heels much less fighting in them :\

    The battle lingerie has ALWAYS bothered me, also when I can’t tell the temperature and weather of the setting b/c the guys are wearing jackets and full sleeve shirts while the girls have their legs and midriffs exposed :\ But it’s like the Huntress’ costume revamp during Hush, I was like wtf o_O Like my friend said when he saw it, it’s not like stomach wounds SUCK or nething right!? With no powers she supposedly wears a kevlarish thing like Robin and Batman and Nightwing right? So why would she expose such a key part of her body? :\

    I used to work some rly physical hands on jobs, lifting and using tools and working with wood and stuff and I’d get scratches on any exposed part of my body even if I didn’t notice it at first, there’d be all sorts of stuff. :\ Even just having CLOTH over your body helps a little. And when you’re being thrown into crates and running thru foliage and climbing fences, I’d think you’d end up with a TON of small scratches and other injuries if you didn’t have protection 😦

    NEWAYS 😀 The point is GREAT POST :]

  2. Amen to that! And while we’re on the subject, no woman who works out is going to have massive boobs without the aid of plastic surgery. So start retconning the surgeries in, including the complications (like havign your nipples cut off ansd then reattached), or learn how to draw.

  3. Yeah, this is a repost of the stuff that was on MediaGauntlet. I just haven’t had the time to get it all up yet. The last 10 months have kind of sucked a lot.

    But we’re putting that all behind us now. Yes, we are.

  4. And while we’re on the subject, no woman who works out is going to have massive boobs without the aid of plastic surgery.

    Srsly.. often they’re rly thin and have like cantelopes sticking out of their chest and like… do men rly think breasts are independent of the rest of the body b/c men dun have them or something and therefore they aren’t affected by losing body fat or gaining muscle or anything? >_>

    Also the artists should take some lessons in how clothing, even spandex goes around breasts, it doesn’t cling to each breast like saran wrap! XD

    And I will add I’m a bi girl who likes and regularly watches porn, women on women porn at that.

    Me too! :DDDD

    I’m sry that the last 10 months sucked GGR 😦 *hugs* I hope things are better now! 😀 I was trying to look at the old MG stuff but it wasn’t working for me 😦

  5. For me it’s the wedgie those poor girls must deal with all the time. I mean who can fight crime digging around trying to keep your costume from crawling up your ass? And the metal wedgies? I mean can that be healthy? That area is supposed to breath … not have metal wedged up it.

  6. Actually, the old Wizard’s How to Draw series had a pretty large section devoted to this very subject:

    ratcreature.livejournal.com/175099.html

    The comments on the book are what really sell the site. That, and one reader’s “re-imagining” of the “how to draw females” process using male models instead of female ones.

  7. A great summing-up of some of the main problems. Some additional thoughts:

    a. Footwear: Yeah, what’s the deal with stiletto heels? From what I’ve heard, you could do quite a bit of damage with them (extremely high force per square centimeter when you push down), but you never see a heroine nailing an opponent’s foot to the floor using her heel, do you?

    b. Costumes: That point about costumes that do not fit the personalities of their wearers is actually one that I do not think is made often enough, and Dagger certainly is a prime exhibit in that respect. With the male X-Men you indeed had an similarly odd situation when for a time Colossus, then really the shiest of them, wore the costume with the most bare skin. Speaking of the X-Men, it is too bad that they did not stick with the look they had especially when Paul Smith and John Romita, Jr., drew them in the mid-1980s. The ladies’ costumes were not too superhero-y, especially Storm’s punk suit and the various costumes Rogue wore looked a lot like the kind of a attire a young woman on the street might wear. And the costumes of Rogue, Storm and Shadowcat tended to be fairly loose and/or multi-layered around the chest, so you did not have the saranwrap look Ami Angelwings mentions. And all that did not stop Uncanny X-Men from being the top-selling comic-book at the time. The JLA’s Ice then also had one of these loose “tank-tops” worn over an outherwise skin-tight costume which served to make her breasts less obvious. (On a related note, back in the 1980s (during Silvestri’s run), Rogue put on loose-fitting jackets and windbreakers over her costume against the cold, you did not get sillyness like the useless leather jacket Jim Lee gave her, which was too small to be closed in front and which may have been added to create a faux-cleavage effect with the tighter costume worn underneath…

    c. Battle lingerie. I just envisaged Captain America’s chainmail shirt cut so it would cover the nipples and little else. Shudder!

    d. Proportions. Good thing Liefeld did not draw Rogue all that often! 🙂

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