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About Varied / Hobbyist Member AmandaFemale/United States Group :iconcare-bear-villains: Care-Bear-Villains
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Normally I don't agree with feminists. But on this point, I do agree. The recent picture of Spiderwoman is problematic, and the trend of SuperHeroine costumes is also problematic.

First, see here:…

Now, for the comment which summarized the exact problems:

"OK, since you asked for someone to explain why...

Firstly, as someone who used to feel the same way, I get your logic, but its massively flawed.

For starters, there's a big difference in the way things are treated between the genders. With female characters in comic books and media, they're designed with heterosexual males in mind and are given typically 'sexy' designs for them, in order to please aforementioned straight dudes. With male characters though, they're not designed to please female audiences, they're designed to be power fantasies; they're designed with how guys want to look themselves, not necessarily what girls (or other guys) would find sexy. For reference, the Hulk is not a sex icon the way She-Hulk is; girls don't find Hulk appealing since he's a giant monster of muscle, but She-Hulk is a sexy amazon, because if she was like her male counterpart and was a monster of muscle too, it'd be unsexy. Why isn't she one too? There's handwaves in-universe, but the actual reason is that people would find it unsexy if she looked like him.
And not to mention, that only goes for some male characters; male characters have far more freedom to be physically unattractive than female characters do. Hell, here's a good example, look at Batman's villains. His most well known female villains include Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Talia Al Ghul, and Harley Quinn, all stunningly beautiful women, while his most famous villains are the Joker (a creepy disfigured clown), Penguin (a disfigured overweight little person), Bane (a monster of muscle like the Hulk), Scarecrow (a skinny man who hides his face with a scary mask), and Two-Face (a man who's face is partially burnt). None of those male villains are designed to look appealing, but the female ones are all drop-dead gorgeous. No matter how you cut it, that's a blatant double standard. And its not just villains, either; Beast, Hellboy and Abe Sapien, The Thing, the aforementioned Hulk, Wolverine, and many, many other characters are designed in a manner that are not, by any definition of the word, 'sexy' or 'attractive'.

Secondly, guys have far more variation. Women tend to be depicted with one single body type: hourglass figures with unrealistically sized boobs. Guys, however, while many are given a typical hero build, you'll also find that many male characters have different builds and appearances, not always fitting the same mould. There's a big difference between Robin's build and Batman's build, even when Robin gets older, and similarly, Spider-Man and Captain America generally have massively differing builds. While sure, there are some exceptions with artists who do try to give women differing features or give males all the same build as well, that's the exception, not the norm.

Thirdly, its not just how they're designed, but also how they're presented. Women will almost always have focus drawn towards their backsides or chests, sometimes at the same time, even though its physically impossible for their backs to bend that way (try, for reference, to look at both your chest and your ass in the mirror the same way women are often drawn on panel; its barely possible to get it like that, and its painful to hold that position for any longer than a second). With that Spider-Woman cover, if we saw an image of Spider-Man in that position, he wouldn't have attention placed on his ass like that; his ass would be realistically sized and he'd be sitting in a more natural position, rather than positioned so his ass is in front and centre.

Fourthly, there's also the matter oh how they dress. Look at Starfire, Supergirl, Zatanna, Wonder Woman, Ms Marvel, Wasp in her more revealing moods, She-Hulk, WCA!Era Mockingbird, Black Canary, Storm in her more revealing moods, Emma Frost, Wonder Girl, the Star Saphires, and countless, countless others. That's thirteen characters off of the top of my head who rear revealing outfits that show off their skin, expose their boobs, and/or show off their ass. Male characters? While there's some who wear little, its considerably less, and generally their outfits get altered to be less-revealing since people acknowledge it looks stupid. Robin gets to wear pants instead of trunks in the New 52, but all those DC girls? Nope. Namor now wears actual clothes, but Emma Frost is actually wearing less than she used to. Male characters that had low-plunging necklines have had their necklines risen, but female characters tend to have their necklines increased to show off more chest.
To put it simply, many costumes in comics tend to look stupid by modern standards, but when it comes to updating them, generally the male characters are the ones who get focus on making sure their costumes don't look silly, but female characters tend to get far less focus on that, and while some have switched to wearing more covering outfits, its far less frequent.
Hell, look at Black Widow in the films. In CA2, Steve Rogers works with SHIELD and is given his own spy gear, which include practical loose-fit cargo pants and a thick, protective shirt, while Widow wears a catsuit that hugs to her body so much that Scarlett Johansson can't wear underwear underneath. Winter Soldier and Falcon are similar, as the pants of their uniforms are replaced with more logical and practical loose cargo pants, but Natasha needs to wear an outfit that draws attention to her curves.
And then, look at the other Avengers. Hulk is a monster who doesn't wear a uniform, Iron Man wears his armour, but Hawkeye and Thor, however, wear thick leather tops that obscure their chests, instead designed to be protective. Widow's suit doesn't protect her, it makes her eye-candy. Why does SHIELD give practical gear to their male agents but send their female agents out in catsuits? What logical reason is there beyond 'it makes the girls look sexy, but makes the guys look badass'. And even despite that, Widow's sex appeal is turned down from what it is in the comics. The films at least show her wearing some tactical gear and avoid her walking around with her top unzipped, but in the comics, she tends to go out in just a black body suit and a belt with her boobs out for show.

In short, yeah, there is a massive issue with how women are sexualized, and while some male characters are sexualized too, its to a much lesser extent, and when it happens, it tends to have more respect to the character than the female characters. There's nothing wrong with them being sexy, its just that they don't try hard enough to balance it out, and that's the problem."

I got permission from the person who created this lovely piece to post this as a journal.


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