Over time, there have been a number of discussions regarding female representation in society and the comic world. Certain individuals have identified that specific female characters are being under-presented in the comic industry and this could be due to how women were once reflected within our culture. However that said, a lot has changed within modern culture. Women are starting to be better represented and have a stronger presence in the upper tiers of our society’s hierarchical structure. Whether you believe it or not, comics have played a big part in the representation of the female form.
Since the medium of comics began, females have been portrayed as characters to be ‘easy on the eyes’ rather than characters that should be taken seriously and represent truth and justice- Like Super Girl and Wonder Woman within their story arches. I believe this happened because, since the first comic book, their targeted audience has been aimed towards men; therefore the female characters and superheroes were designed to appeal to a male demographic. This gives evidence to why the characters were seen as ‘licentious’ during the early days of the comic industry, which did no justice to the representation of women.
Wonder Woman: A Pioneer in Female Representation
However throughout the years, culture has indeed changed and we are starting to see a new realism within our comics that is now inspiring a new generation. Wonder Woman is a good example of this. The character first appeared on page during the Second World War, which was a time where the norm mandated that a woman’s place was in a home rather than inspiring and being a strong role model in a horrid time.
Yet, Wonder Woman has become a pioneer of diminishing this once idea of a woman’s place. Her re-emergence in both the comic industry and movie industry has come at a focal juncture for the image of women in our culture. Certain female actresses are now advocating to be paid the same rates as their male co-stars and, in addition to this, there has been an urge for studios to hire more female directors. William Moulton Martson once said that ‘Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don’t want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good as women are. Women’s strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strengths of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman’. This is why Wonder Woman has become such an important figure for females in modern culture. She’s injected a radical edge in the comic-book medium and most recently became the saviour of both Superman and Batman in the movie Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.
More Female Involvement
Comics are drastically changing our modern culture, and certain issues are being used as a fight back against the troubles we are facing in our society. The female involvement is becoming more popular in today’s comic and why you may ask? Well, it’s due to the influx of female readership which is now giving a new generation a voice to speak out with. More than ever, women are becoming comic book artists and writers and most of them have adapted and flocked to the comic industry. An example of this can be seen in Marvel’s new America series which is an advocate for race and feminism due to the lead character being from Hispanic decent and, with this taboo subject consisting in American at the moment, Comics have manifested into a catalyst that is not afraid to inspire. Who knows? We may see Captain Marvel and Miss America standing outside Trumps White House banging on the door waiting to say some hard words.