Batman and Superman v Wonder Woman (and The Feminist)

Now, before all of you start correcting me, I know that The Feminist isn’t actually a superhero – I’d be interested to see her costume if she were though. Would it be a sexy skintight catsuit like the Black Widow or would she be completely covered up in a smart trouser suit with a high neck blouse? That could be sexy too, I guess. And, really, a pretty convincing argument could be made for her to wear either. She could be owning her body and sexuality in the catsuit or refusing to be objectified in her smart trouser suit. Maybe you think it would be something completely different. I guess you come down on the side of the outfit that epitomises what Feminism means to you.

The dictionary definition says it’s “The advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of equality of the sexes”. Which is great … except that’s still kind of a fuzzy definition and I think that’s why so many people have, sometimes wildly, different opinions on what it means. And, since it’s all over the news recently, the most obvious thing about Feminism is that it means a whole lot of different things to different people. Just the fact that it’s such a social media hot topic is great … except most of the talk seems to be about why’s it’s good to be a feminist, why it’s bad to be a feminist, who is and who isn’t, why they are, why they aren’t. Then we get into the area of topless selfies (I’ve included the link because I’d be clicking it too if I were reading this), film stars commenting on pay gaps, yada yada yada …

And whilst this is all totally great that these things are being repeatedly brought up and grabbing people’s attention, I can’t help but feel it’s a little futile. Yeah, topless selfies are great, but what type of lasting impression does that have – how does that change opinions? And where are these people that they can just whip their tops off in toilets and take pictures? I just can’t see it happening in McDonalds, can you? An actress commenting on gender pay gaps? Yeah, that’s great too, and thanks for saying that out loud, but how has that helped?

So how do I think we should tackle this? I’m so glad you asked. I’ve considered petitions, marches, demonstrations and all that jazz but I think if we employed some guerrilla tactics we’d have a little more luck. Now, before you start covering your face up with camo paint, when I say “guerrilla tactics” I actually mean female superheroes. If we were to have female superheroes in the volume that we have their male counterparts, yes we would be drowning in Marvel and DC films (aren’t we already?) but, that type of female empowerment message would just seep into society slowly changing people’s opinions on women without people even realising. It wouldn’t be, like, a couple of Wonder Woman films and suddenly gender inequality would be a thing of the past … but it would be a start.

I know we’ve got Katniss and Tris and they’re totally great. Yes, they’re both strong, capable and probably the best female role models we’ve had since Buffy but, personally, I kinda want a female version of Thor. Someone who’s charismatic and funny and strong and determined and tries really hard to do the right thing. Just like Captain America. Just like Iron Man. And then I hear you say “But these guys are all super-hot-heroes!” and it’s true, they are. So then, we’re back onto the topic of female beauty and how it’s portrayed in the media (don’t even get me started on the thigh gap – I mean, seriously people, why is that even a thing?). So, yes, that would be a bit of a minefield but still I think any female superhero would be a more positive role model for young girls than getting your boobs out flipping your reflection off. But that’s just me. And that’s not because I think showing a certain amount of flesh makes you a whore/slut/whatever – I just can’t see how it helps.

I’m a gal of the Joss Whedon’s Buffy generation. Did Buffy lose it’s way a little later on? Sure. But the foundation was solid. The foundation was a girl who was strong enough to defeat anything the came her way. And when she couldn’t do it on her own she relied on her friends to help. Was she pretty? Sure. Was she popular at school? Not really. The smartest girl in class? No. The thinest? No. As for a thigh gap – I’m sorry, did you see her wield a stake? Who cared? Where is this type of hero for girls (and grown woman) to emulate now? I’m not going to stand here (actually I’m sitting but you get the idea) and slate all the popular female “heroines” of the moment but, for me, I think we are in desperate need of a new Buffy. Or a Thorina? I think we should start a campaign … though someone needs to suggest a better name than Thorina …