As someone who studies how women in comics are treated there are a quite a few trends that suck. Women in comics are often oversexualized, depowered or killed for shock factor and nothing else. This takes place for lots of reason but the most evident being that a majority of comics book creators, artists, and editors are men. And these men consult other men and that leads to depictions of women that are outright disrespectful. However distinct differences are very evident when women take over for comic book characters. Prominent women in comics are beyond incredible for breaking into the industry, let alone being able to become successful in a male dominated industry. Specifically one that seems to purposefully keep women out.
Now that we have our numbers we can look at how they apply to the Women in Refrigerators movement that the amazing Gail Simone started. Women in Refrigerators is a reference to Alex Dwitt, Green Lantern’s girlfriend who was dismembered, shoved in his refrigerator and then forgotten after she served her purpose, furthering Green Lantern’s plotline. Another case for this is Stephanie Brown the one and only female Robin, her stint as the Batman’s loyal sidekick was short lived as she was brutally murdered by the Black Mask, her murder was portrayed with her body drawn in a sexually suggestive pose, Batman fails to acknowledge her death and writers try to justify their abhorrent depiction of her character by trying to downplay her role, claiming that Batman never really thought of her as Robin anyway. For those of you who are listening and at this point thinking, hey it’s comic books deaths happen, violence happens and it happens to everyone and probably happens more to men then it does to the women well to respond to that you have to look at the nature of the deaths. When male heroes die they die nobly, as warriors however when women who are often depicted as side characters die, shock factor seems to be a major variable. More women then men are also de-powered for extended periods of time, if a male hero loses their powers it is almost always very short lived, whereas women lose their powers at a higher rate and for longer periods of time. Women also have the unfortunate role of being raped in comics, an act that simply does not happen to men in the world of comic books. It’s just one more way to enact violence against women that is entirely unnecessary. There is quite literally not a single story where rape was used as the motivation for the female character to fight back where you couldn’t have used literally anything else. It’s not necessary, it’s not wanted, and it needs to stop, stop reducing females and female characters to props. They don’t need to be used and beaten and raped and tortured in order to further the plots of whoever’s story it is. You wanna kill them fine, I’m a writer I get that deaths are necessary. However, let them die fighting, let them die trying to protect their man. First of all it’s far more realistic, second of all it’s far more respectful.
Also the INCREDIBLE Kelly Sue DeConnick saw my article!!!!