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Thursday, March 30, 2017 

A college paper writer only sees "objectification" around every corner

Here's a biased op-ed from the Valley Vanguard, the Saginaw university paper, where someone we might call the female equivalent of Fredric Wertham's making laughable complaints about alleged objectification of superheroines in surreal fantasy adventures. She first begins with the headline "women in comics aren't sex objects". Well gee, who said they were? Only somebody who obviously isn't reading them to judge how well the ascribed personalities and intelligence of the characters are written up. Then, she continues to drone on with:
We need to stop turning every female comic book character into a sex object. When most female comic book heroes are somewhat tall and pretty thin, they aren’t going to have breasts the size of their head. It’s not naturally achievable, and their bodies couldn’t support it, even if they had breast implants done. The lack of diversity in comics is bad enough with there being drastically less female characters and almost all of them being heterosexual and white, but their body types aren’t realistic either.
Yep, just another "Sarkeesian" who's either ignorant of everything both DC and Marvel went out of their way to offer for tunnelvisioned clowns like her, or obscuring it all deliberately. Including Etta Candy, the Wonder Woman co-star who was chubby when she first appeared in the Golden Age.

Still, I have no doubt what this college columnist must think of Stan Lee for daring to create some of the smartest and hottest heroines in the MCU, including She-Hulk.

And since when did most female cast members in comics have boobs as big as their heads? As a matter of fact, most of them have breasts that are anything but the size of the planet Venus. Even if they did, it's not like nobody can figure out it's unrealistic, and obviously not intended to be. Her assertion tall women couldn't support huge sizes also falls flat, because what have we here but a list of tall models who're at least 6 feet in size. The Swedish model/singer Victoria Silvstedt, for example, has a pretty big chest, and so does Natalia Bush from Spain. There's plenty of ladies here too who got big ones, and yes, that includes those over 6 feet tall. So, what's that about not naturally achievable again? I think what we have here is somebody who doesn't want it to be, and is jealous to boot. It's a silly exaggeration to say the ladies in comics are all literally drawn with breasts as big as their heads.
One of my favorite characters is Spider Gwen. She’s from an alternate universe where Gwen Stacy got bit by the radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker. I really like her storyline, and she’s an interesting character because she’s a drummer in a punk rock band and also has a lot more personality than most female characters are given. I think she is a huge step toward how female superheroes should be.
What, Mary Jane Watson didn't have intellect in better days, before political correctness and Joe Quesada ruined everything? Not even Lois Lane and Supergirl in better days? And what about Storm, Vixen, Zatanna, Polaris, Misty Knight, Colleen Wing, Black Canary and even Donna Troy? I guess they're all too good looking thanks to talented artists for this phony to consider, and her disinterest in their past characterizations is telling something.
Don’t get me wrong; we have some really great classic women in comics like Wonder Woman and Black Widow, but they’re still not as progressive as what we need. They’re both empowered, kick-ass women, but they’re also still somewhat catered toward the male gaze. With Wonder Woman, for example, her uniform. No one can realistically fight off bad guys in a strapless dress. I could barely dance at high school homecoming in one. It’s 2017; we can give Wonder Woman some straps and move on. With Black Widow, obviously it makes sense for her to be wearing a really tight jumpsuit, but it doesn’t have to be unzipped halfway down her chest like it often is.
She continues to make me fall off the couch laughing. If that's what she thinks about WW, then I guess she'd best not be a fan at all, assuming she even is. After all, when William Marston and H.G Peter first created WW, that was one of the ideas! Same with BW when Stan Lee created her in the mid-60s, although it was in the early 70s that Marvel really realized Natasha Romanova's potential for looking beauteous thanks to artists more talented than the college propagandist. Say, do I notice a certain double-standard when this woman speaks of BW wearing a tight jumpsuit? Yeah, I guess I do! But I don't think BW's always worn her zipper low, as the college crum-bum asserts. She must be confusing BW with Black Cat!

The part about "progressive" is telling too. From what I can tell, nothing less than an Islamic niqab would satisfy these "public moralists" who obsess over stuff I'm sure they don't read on a regular basis anyway. Besides, if "objectification" is such a big deal to them, then they wouldn't be such fans of WW to begin with. Already, we saw would-be feminists throwing WW under the bus after the progressives at the UN shunned Marston's famous Amazon.
There is also a difference between female characters dressing revealing because it’s part of their style or personality and when they’re just pandering by putting them in these outfits. It’s easy to tell when the characters are dressed a certain way because they’re empowered by their appearance and sexuality and when they’re just dressed that way because of lazy character design catered to male fans. A lot of the difference is in the poses and posture – if their stance seems powerful and dominant or if it seems submissive or straight up impossible, like the famous “Spider Woman” comic cover that went viral for the absurd angle she was bent to emphasize her butt and breasts.
I thought it was just the butt? In any case, since when haven't any male heroes ever had their muscles and chests emphasized? And if that's intended to cater to female fans, does she find that concerning or not? And I guess she believes it's impossible to empower a girl by ways of intellect and strength, whether superpowers or combat training. For many years, Black Canary was a standout example of a martial artist, yet that doesn't matter to her either. Come to think of it, even Black Widow's own training clearly doesn't matter to her.
It makes sense for women who are crimefighter-type characters to wear things that are skin tight because it allows them movement, but some of the costumes just don’t make sense for what the character is doing. I’m not saying completely rebrand a classic character, but some could use a moderate costume change to keep up with the times.
Yep, keep up the laughs please. Some male costumes in books like the Legion of Super-Heroes don't make sense either. I'm sure even Hawkman, Power Man and Iron Fist's costumes may not make much sense, so I think she should go blabber about their outfits before worrying about what the ladies wear again. Besides, there already were attempts at costume changes that proved unpopular and ultimately didn't please anybody. And then, as if this couldn't get hilarious enough, she has the gall to say:
Yes, some male characters are also in similarly unrealistic body types, but they generally aren’t totally unachievable. They also aren’t made that way to cater to female fans. They’re still created for male fans and tend to represent the ultimate male power fantasy.
So, I guess Hawkman, with his mostly chest-baring outfit save for the shoulder straps, couldn't possibly be made to cater to female fantasies, huh? Not even Dick Grayson in his Robin or early Nightwing outfits? Yup, tell us about it, why don't you. And do tell us there's no wish fulfillment or female power fantasy in, say, Black Canary's career, or Hawkwoman's, or Storm's, or even Supergirl. When the columnist uses that drivel as a defense, you know something's wrong. And then, at the end, she says:
My main point here is that if women are going to be sexualized in comics, let it be for their own empowerment. They can still have attractive bodies if they’re more realistic, and they can still have revealing costumes as long as they’re practical for what they do. But let’s have a little more diversity in comics. Give us characters with different body types and individuals of different races and religions. Some women are empowered in dressing modestly, and some are empowered in dressing sexier. Writers and illustrators should give their expanding female readership a larger variety in the type of female characters they create, and not just make them all objects.
Yawn. Again, she, and only she, wants everybody to believe it's never for their own empowerment, and her call for "realism" and "practicality" is ambiguous. There already has been "diversity" of a very superficial nature that doesn't involve talented writing, let alone altruism. Some of that diversity includes characters of different races replacing established white protagonists in mainstream products for the sake of publicity stunts, and whitewashing certain religions to boot. I have no doubt that even if they had given SJWs like these exactly what they demanded, they'd still be looking endlessly for what to complain about for the sake of complaining, and wouldn't read the books on a genuine basis anyway. Whatever attempts she makes in trying to prove she's not biased also fall flat as a pancake, and her main point is pretty poor.

This is just another example of unintentional comedy on the part of a university contributor who can't be bothered to embrace and enjoy fantasy for what it is. Point: even Spider-Man's portrayal isn't realistic, because real life humans are too heavy to stick to walls the way he does. Her failure to recognize and accept fantasy for what it's meant to be is both funny and sad. If it matters so much, that's what independently owned comics are for, a market that grew bigger after the Big Two increasingly alienated writers with their company wide crossovers. Of course, even there, there's comic creations that don't fit her SJW vision, and I wouldn't be shocked if she wanted to slam them as well. I think she'd do well to just find another hobby if body types are all she can worry about.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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