Author Topic: So what's this whole Race and Gender thing all about....  (Read 21009 times)

Faust

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Re: So what's this whole Race and Gender thing all about....
« Reply #150 on: December 05, 2015, 08:22:27 pm »
I would like to pose a serious question here, which unfortunately must focus on a very old and much pored over question. I notice that in comic books in particular, whenever we discuss how male and female characters are portrayed, often there is a controversy with the way women are depicted because they are often drawn like supermodels in spandex, and claim objectification. then the male fans will chime in, saying that the male characters are just as objectified, they are also wearing spandex and are depicted as the very pinnacle of the human form in terms of physique. There is usually the counter that being so strong and capable is a male empowerment fantasy, and so the people making the comic are merely drawing the characters for the male gaze, and not even allowing for the possibility of attracting a female audience, and are only there to please the men. But the question i pose is this, if comic books, and mediums like them are about empowerment fantasies, of identifying with characters which are far above what we as normal people could be, can we assume that looking like a supermodel might be part of that fantasy, at least for some women? I mean i realize that many comic artists are men, and that they may just want to draw sexy looking women because boobs, but if we follow the argument to its full extent, that would imply that if suddenly all our female characters looked less supernaturally attractive and more "realistic", that all the women who read comics  would still find them as "cool" as they did before. I'm not sure if thats true, mainly because i've seen fan artists try to reimagine superhero costumes to be less sexy and provocative, and to be honest, they just dont look "cool". they end up looking like either women in normal clothes, or like some kind of figure skater with a vigilante complex. Is the fantasy of being attractive something that attracts women to certain characters, in the same way that young girls love the idea of being princesses? would they like the characters just as much if they were something different? is indulging in these kinds of empowerment fantasies, whether for men or women, kind of the point of the medium? If so, is it really a problem in the way that we think it is?

They don't look cool to you. If the issue is correcting for the male gaze issue, whether a female super hero looks cool to you as a male is entirely beside the point.
Yea, but i guess that part of what i'm asking, since whenever they seem to try to address the costume issue, it seems to be met with a sarcastic whoop-de-friggin-doo at best and a fanboyish screeching against any sort of change at worst. I mean its entirely possible i could be wrong and female fans loved when they changed wonder womans costume to include pants and I just missed it cuz the only people i heard commenting on it were men, but thats why i'm asking, does this sort of thing actually add or subtract from a female fans enjoyment of a particular character?

like, hypothetically, if they changed it so Emma Frost only wears nicely tailored white business suits, would that really do anything for a women who likes that character?

Well, for one I'd actually be more likely to cosplay Emma Frost in a business suit.

A lot of sexualisation has to do with posing as well.  Men aren't usually posed like romance novel covers.  Women, however, are drawn in weird poses, often to have both boobs and butt in frame.

Tumblr feed for this type of thing:

http://eschergirls.tumblr.com/

Chirst. I saw those around the time of that horrible catwoman cover. The most stupid thing is, while sexualised, not one of those is sexy.

The cosplay thing touches on an important point though, there are very few positive female rolemodels in superhero comics. You have some iconic examples like Batwoman, but they are an exception to the rule. Having sexualised characters wouldnt be an issue if there was a diverse portrayal of women in different roles in comics. If I had a daughter I wouldn't want her cosplaying as most of the female superheros :(
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Re: So what's this whole Race and Gender thing all about....
« Reply #151 on: December 05, 2015, 11:36:42 pm »
A lot of sexualisation has to do with posing as well.  Men aren't usually posed like romance novel covers.

I hate to beat a dead horse, but yet another reason that JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is love and life.
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