Thursday, 14 February 2013

She-Hulk ... needs a man

Read the full article here.
News that comic book publisher Marvel, rights-holder of many of the hit superhero franchises of recent years, is seeking to boost its appeal to a female demographic by creating long-form novelisations centred on two female superheroes...

They argue this is a great example of progressive thinking, and that these novels should appeal equally to male and female audiences. Here's a more critical take on this, from a critic essentially arguing they're doing what tech companies do (make it pink!), in this case focussing on romance:
Not all potential readers were impressed, however. "If the comic book industry thinks that this is the answer to their woman problem, well, they're worse off than we originally imagined," wrote Alicia Lutes at Hollywood . "The novels purport to 'showcase strong, smart heroines', but seemingly relegate their stories to 'seeking happiness and love', as if those are the only two things women are programmed to care about, ever… Here's an unpopular opinion, comic book industry: Why don't we first work on making our female superheroes more than just spandex-tinged boobholders meant to tantalise and frustrate the predominately male audience that reads them?"
Sci-fi and superhero movies tend to be fairly straightforward reflections of the male gaze theory and the objectification of women on screen (and across most mainstream media). Women tend to be clad in skin-tight, revealing costumes - it seems thats what all humanoid females, of any species, do!
Star Trek's 6 of 9 (Jerry Ryan): blatantly targeting a male audience?
Whatever your thoughts on this (which you can always share), there is at least some countertyping counter-hegemony (the muscular, physical strength) to go alongside the normative stereotyping (glamorous, focus on body/looks, romance as central).
Read the full article here.
Avatar's Neytiri: even animated characters fit the general rule