Superhero movies male dominanted

Natasha Ivery and Natasha Ivery

Though most major Hollywood superhero movies star male actors, such films may start seeing more diversity than in the past.

Captain Marvel, an upcoming film from Marvel Studios, will be the studio’s first in which a woman, Captain Marvel [a.k.a. Carol Danvers], is the central character. The film, which is slated for release on July 6, 2018, has no writer, director or star attached yet. The movie will trail 13 months after the new Wonder Woman film is released in 2017.

The history of superheroes, and the gender gap present in the genre of comics and film, is extensive.

Pop culture professor Charles Coletta said that the history of comics dates back to the 40s and 50s.

“The first woman superhero was Wonder Woman,” Coletta said. “She was created to be the woman version of Superman and was intended to be a role model for girls. William Marston was the creator of Wonder Woman, and he was a psychology professor who had a hand in developing the lie detector, which is why Wonder Woman had the golden lasso.”

The women in comics were not exactly the role models they were intended to be.

“The comics in the early 40s and 50s were written for teenage boys, which is why the woman were portrayed and dressed like they were,” Coletta said. “With Wonder Woman, there was a lot of kinky sex themes like sadomasochism, bondage and things like that. It negatively worked on kids’ subconscious. Then there were superheroes aimed at children, like Supergirl, Batgirl and the like. So instead of them saving the world, they were saving the picnic or cats, which was appropriate for their age. In the book ‘Seduction of the Innocent,’ psychologists thought that the comics were terrible.”

Sexualization and idealization of women are common themes when it comes to women superheroes.

“There have always been complaints about the extreme sexualization of female superheroes,” Coletta said. “That is because the audience for comics is about 85% male and there’s not a lot of room for females. The sketch artists draw women as physically impossible, 10 inch waists and large breasts, with skintight leather clothing that basically shows their anatomy. I still think women superheroes are powerful and to be accounted for, but they do give a

conflicting message.”

Even in the comic book world, diversity is following suit in different and positive ways.

“Now the market of comics is expanding their brand,” Coletta said. “There is a Muslim teenage girl who is a superhero, an Arab-American Green Lantern, gay superheroes, even a white mutant married her black boyfriend. Lots of diversity. I think it’s about time they feature a woman superhero as a lead and not something tied into something that’s already there, like Spider-Man. Even shows like Gotham City which features Jada Pinkett-Smith as the lead is making strides.”

Nancy Down, librarian on the pop culture floor of the library, thinks that there should be more women directing superhero movies.

“Most of the woman superheroes today have a more feminine look, with high heels and makeup,” says Down. “Even though there is some diversity, I think that if more women were able to direct movies and write comics, it would be more empowering, more realistic — we’d get to see the emotional side of woman superheroes, as it should be. I grew up watching Wonder Woman so I’d love to see

a change.”

Students have positive opinions about female superheroes.

“I think we need a lot more women superheores,” said sophomore Lucis Ladden. “There’s a big discrepancy. I’m avidly waiting for the Wonder Woman movie to come out. The men are great, but we need to let the women shine as well.”