Superhero Females Breaking the Glass Ceiling?
While we agree that huge steps have been made to promote badass females in modern times, we kind of agree with PolicyMic on the still cracking glass ceiling of superheroines. Says Noah Gittel of Policy Mic yesterday,
“Black Widow is an assassin who has worked for the KGB and S.H.I.E.L.D., but she’s just a woman who knows how to fight. The same goes for Jennifer Garner’s Elektra or Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman) in The Dark Knight Rises, both of whom are fierce fighters and smart as a whip but still are bound by the laws of nature.
In some ways, these films paint a progressive picture of gender relations, and they could provide important role models for the next generation of women; but without superpowers, these strong, independent women will always be second-class citizens to the male superheroes. Despite Black Widow’s ability to kick ass and take names, she is never really a formidable threat. She never fights anyone with superpowers because if she did, she would lose.
More significantly, Black Widow remains an object of the male gaze so that her real power can always be compartmentalized by the young men in the audience. Clad in skintight black, she is closer to a BDSM fantasy than a genuine threat to the male hierarchy, and the way the camera objectifies her — particularly in that opening sequence where the camera lingers at ass-level as she walks away — ensures that she never really challenges the traditional gender roles that we have become accustomed to seeing on film.” [Full Article]
In Supervillain, Penny is the protagonist, and arguably the most powerful of her three friends. It’s also science-based, one of the fields that has consistently been male dominated in the past. While Hermione is known for her brainiac status, my mind shifts to the series Arrow on CW and it’s female computer genius, Felicity Smoak. Felicity is a science wiz, a computer hacker pro (though she would probably scold me because ‘no one says hacker anymore’), and a beautiful woman. She assists Arrow/Oliver Queen and many times is the reason behind his success. She also demonstrates many of the same love-triangle quirks of many female superheroes, including Penny, but that never stiffles her skills or determination!
Do you think Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’m A Supervillain’s Pennt Akk can give that ceiling a little shove in the right direction? Does it need that shove, or are we already there? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!