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Why Is The Geek Community So Annoyed By Female Superheroes?

Once again a woman’s success and empowerment bothered men’s ego. That last happened when, after huge criticism and polemics, the movie Captain Marvel was a box-office hit. The leading actress, Brie Larson, suggested the film’s press to be more diverse and to allow women to have more active participation in the press conferences, rather than just the average white men journalists.

Her first intention was to get both women and the LGBT+ community to criticize her movie based on their ideals, putting aside white men’s usual opinions. However, Larson was extremely condemned by that group itself when they used absurd words, such as “racist” and “sexist”, to describe the academy award winner.

In an attempt to harm the movie’s success, people started writing mean and untruthful comments about it on social media, trying to make as little audience as possible. Besides the effort, Captain Marvel reached nearly half US$1 billion in its first week of exhibition.

This is not the only example of sexist manifestation on the geek universe. There are many other ways in which women are inferiorized. Heavy sexualization of female characters is one the most important, showing superheroines or female villains in a very short amount of clothes that would not be comfortable at all to do their job. The erotic way in which women are portrayed is one the reasons why some men buy and consume comic books and not the story itself.

In an attempt to defend the female sexualization in comic books, some people claim that everything that has been done to superheroines has also been done to superheroes clothes wise. It is said that male characters also wear tight clothes and are shown as objectified by there poses in the covers.

In order to refute this unreasonable justification, the Tumblr profile Hawkeye Initiative was created to portray men in the same clothes and position as women in the comics, arising the feeling of strangeness and proving that those images are unnatural, offensive and no women or men would feel flathered being shown as a sexual object.

Image Source: Ian Churchill/Steve Orlando

Image Source: Emanuela Lupacchino/IMDb

Image Source: Frank Cho/IMDb

In a practical and quick example, we can mention Caixa de Gibis, owned by Mauro Tavares. The blog, that was abandoned in 2017, had a bunch of articles complaining and making mean, aggressive and even sexist comments about not only female superheroes but also about their creators. It’s the perfect picture of those who still live inside a cave: representation does matter and not being able to notice that is undeniably sad and pity worthy.

With pieces that attack both women and their clothes, one in special caught our attention, specifically because of it’s commentary section. Garotas, geeks, machismo e super-heróis (“Girls, geeks, sexism and superheroes”, in English) is an article that, while it inferiorizes women, the author also criticizes the amount of interest of girls in the comic books fandom — in which he assumes what women “search for” and even says what is sexism and what isn’t. All of this while being a man.

Thankfully, we do have women that use their voices to reach other girls who are interested in pop culture. Sara Pichelli, for example, is an italian artist who illustrated Miles Morales, the half black/half hispanic Spider Man. On the other hand, Babs Tarr is an american comic book artist that is best known for her work to revamp Batgirl. This time, the popular superheroine is not sexualized. Instead, it’s exactly what she deserves: comfort and badass clothes to show off the powerful superhero that she is.

Image Source: Instagram/Babs Tarr

The geek universe repelled women, as well as worship them. Their opinion and complaints were not heard and got ridicularized and undermined, at the same time that their image was used to create oversexualized characters that served as sex symbols. The power is not exclusive to the comic books, real women have real powers and they are using to put an end to the domination of the sexualized female portrayal.

Beatriz Lemos

Casper Libero '21

Journalism student and aspiring actress
Julia Maria Pereira

Casper Libero '21

somewhere in between a journalist (or at least one in process) and someone who's obsessed with pop culture, health, beauty and fashion.
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