December 26, 2011

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's an androgynous superhero!

Hey there gender blenders,

At 25, I still sit at the so-called kids' table (this time with the addition of an Aunt and Uncle), and it's awesome. We had a long discussion about the hypersexulization of female superheroes, which alienates women and girls who may otherwise enjoy superhero movies and comics had the writers/producers/directors/etc. included complex, strong female protagonists/heroes. My dad actually moved to our table half-way through.

An interesting question came up: If we are to change female superheroes to make them more believable, more complex, more appealing to female viewers/readers what would this new "super"-woman look like? How different from or similar to the "super"-man would she be? Would her powers be traditionally feminine OR would she be like the boys?

I think the ideal superhero would be androgynous, whether s/he is a super/woman or a super/man or something "other". This androgyny would create a greater complexity than any other personality factor could, as gender is arguably the most deeply rooted binary system we use to define people. Queering that line within a genre that is so strongly and statically gendered could have an earth-shattering result in the superhero world.