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.