Tattered Tops and Ill-Fitting Utility Belts: The use of Body Presentation and Sexuality as Compensation for the Gender Non-Conforming Behavior of Female Superheroes.

Files

Citation

Michael, Kat, “Tattered Tops and Ill-Fitting Utility Belts: The use of Body Presentation and Sexuality as Compensation for the Gender Non-Conforming Behavior of Female Superheroes.,” Scholar@Simmons, accessed April 4, 2020, https://beatleyweb.simmons.edu/scholar/items/show/263.

Title

Tattered Tops and Ill-Fitting Utility Belts: The use of Body Presentation and Sexuality as Compensation for the Gender Non-Conforming Behavior of Female Superheroes.

Creator

Michael, Kat

Date

2015

Description

Beginning in 2010, the visibility of female bodied superheroes in comic books rose exponentially as more of these characters were released with their own solo titled series. These newly released series (largely the product of corporate comic publishers Marvel and DC) were in direct response to the success of the superhero movie market. Publishers attempted to bring in new, potentially female, readers to the struggling comic book market. While many have celebrated the growing number of female bodied superheroes in solo titles as a deliberate move by comic publishers away from their historically sexist images of female superheroes a closer examination reveals that these newest titles continue to enforce traditional gender behaviors of its female characters. Comic creators, by rejecting the masculine performance of “hero” and then subsequently replacing their performance with objectifying imagery and victimization, replicate the same sexist behavior superhero comic books have historically presented. By exploring the mainstream history of superhero comic books as well as engaging in a close cross analysis of superheroes She-Hulk and Batwoman it becomes possible to more readily understand the systemic sexist and homophobic treatment female bodied superheroes. With such knowledge potential sites of resistance to comic book sexism and homophobia may be identified and used in order to make comic creators responsible for producing more positive images of female bodies in comics.

Publisher

Simmons College (Boston, Mass.)

Format

1 PDF (46 Pages)

Language

English

Type

Masters Theses