Time and time again, i’m defending the point of view of someone who hates the way women are treated in the media, especially comics. Mostly because comics are where my expertise lies. And often, especially discussing with male readers, I have trouble making my point. I tell them I dislike how women are objectified and most of the time background characters, or “lesser” characters. Often, women aren’t heroes. They are part of the hero team and are even sometimes the main character, but it still doesn’t make them the hero. They are still relegated as “the team chick”. And usually when i’m saying this, the usual replies I get are :
1) If you don’t like comics, then don’t read them.
2) Guys are sexed up too.
3) What, girl’s aren’t allowed to be girly?
Response to #1 - Actually, I love comics. Comics are amazing. There’s a lot of really good comics out there, and, as time goes by, more comics that treat women characters well. This isn’t about bitching about the medium. This is about making it BETTER. Constructive comments. I’m not saying “we don’t want sexy girls anymore in our comics”. No. Actually, I love sexy girls. I love hot, confident, sexually active characters. What I actually want is for these characters to be 3-dimensional. A woman can have a nice bod and even still have a lot of flattering shots at the same time as she has dreams and aspirations. Sexuality, like everything else a character does, is a part of the way they express their personality. Use a character’s sexuality as more then eye candy. Use it as a way to develop a character. Some people are sexy. And you can be sexy in several ways. And the way you are sexy is linked to the way you act. What bothers me is that all comic girls seem to act the same nowadays in badly written comics. So it’s just the same person in different costumes. I loved the Black Widow in the Avengers because she was damn hot in her own way. It’s not about the sexy. It’s about how the sexy is used. Use it badly, and all you get is a empty jello lady.
Response to #2 - Again. This is all about how sexuality is used. Guys are sexualized, yes, but in an extremely flattering way for the male ego. Muscles. Flawless action sequence’s, big penis packages, and of course, female characters all over them. When a female reader sees a girl that looks like a blow up doll, she does not feel valued. However, have a girl look like Asami or Korra in the new Legend of korra, and heck yeah, that is our type of hot. Realistic but awesome bodies. Realistic and awesome personalities. Dick Grayson is awesome because he’s Dick Grayson. The fantastic abs are just a bonus. The sexual aspect is not the main aspect of the character. It’s just a sweet add-on.
Response to #3 - God yes, girls can be girly. And not girly. And jewish. And green. And whatever you want. Girls can be anything. The point is, if you pick a personality, do it well. A female character can be jealous and catty. Yes, female jerks exist. But if that is her personality, keep it together from beginning to end. In my own comic, Namesake, the main character, Emma, rarely smiles. And if that changes, it’s going to plot-related. Not happen magically because the males in the plot demand it. If a girl is girly, keep her that way unless the plot has her evolve away from it over time. Same with all the personalities. Male characters have character development arcs. Girls need them too.
This message has been brought to you by my annoyance.