Sexism In Super Hero Comics: Causes And Solutions

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There is a strange level of discomfort that sets in when considering how drastically male writers and artists outnumber their female counterparts. The current statistics say that women hold about 10 percent of the jobs in the comics industry. Apparently, that is an improvement over earlier numbers.

At least back then they were trying to uphold an image. Certain expectations were held for Wonder Woman, as they wanted her to be “warrior ready.”  Wonder Woman has gone through a variety of looks, but her current transformation makes her a bit of a paradox. Wonder Woman has gone from her original costume, which you can see above, to this:

The art is beautiful, she’s not rail thin, and the change may not seem like a huge deal, but I can’t help but think her outfit has shrunk over the years. The extra small leotard doesn’t particularly look warrior ready.

This doesn’t stop with WW though. This is a trend with female characters across the comic industry (but mainly at DC and Marvel). Being a big comic book fan, and reading so many female-led titles, I have assessed that female characters with extraordinary power and endless abilities become the sum of their parts. I am not a prude ,by any means and there is nothing wrong with female sexuality, but there is a line between being sexy and objectification, and it is crossed over and over again.

Let’s check out some of the costumes of some of comics’ most powerful women. While viewing these, I will ask a rhetorical question: do these costumes look practical to you?

If these costumes aren’t to please a male audience, then what is their functionality and purpose? I understand these are powered characters, but do their breasts need to be bigger than their heads? Do they need to wear next to nothing to accomplish the mission? These pictures represent a very large problem in this business. Clearly, this is simply about what men want to see. Again, this is a demographics game … which brings me to my next topic, women and comic art.

Next: Strike an Unrealistic Pose