The internet is a deep dark cesspool of crazy, but it can also be an amazing place that will just bring you pure joy. My last few articles have been about women in and reading comic books. They’ve talked about how sexism makes its way into something that is supposed to be an outlet for those that are considered to be outcasts.
The internet has become a place where the oppressed can make their voices heard, and with that in mind, the Hawkeye Initiative was born. The initiative started in December 2012 where people create fan art of Clint Barton, a.k.a Hawkeye, in the sexualized positions that female character are normally depicted in. The initiative was started when an artist named Blue switched the roles of Black Widow and Hawkeye on one of the comicbook covers that they appear in. From that moment on, Hawkeye became the main character to take on these role reversals. The initiative does show other male heroes (Captain America, Spiderman, Batman, etc) in these sexualized poses but it mainly uses Hawkeye, hence the name.
Soon after, a Tumblr blog began to compile it together for the viewing pleasure of the general public. The blog also makes sure to always making sure to give credit to the artist when reposting/reblogging it or get them as submissions. The blog gained instant popularity and still regularly gets submissions from artists.
The purpose of the initiative is to point out the ridiculousness that, generally, male artist put female characters in. A woman’s body becomes almost nothing more than a plaything for men when they do this, but when confronted they make a big stink about how its art and shouldn’t be scoffed at. With that in mind, show an image of Hawkeye in one of these poses. They’ll get uncomfortable about it and probably have some of the same complaints.
That begs the question, what do you do? The answer is simple, through their answer back in their face. After all, it’s just art isn’t it?
What’s even better is that the initiative has grown past just Marvel as DC and video game characters have been put into the mix as well. There’s a great one floating around that showcases Batman with a nice bubble butt sticking out as he stands with his back facing the reader.
Below are some of my favorites, enjoy: