I’ve been enjoying The Hawkeye Initiative of late.
If you can’t be arsed to click the link, then the gist of it is female superheroes always get drawn in anatomically improbable positions, thrusting breasts, bums and crotches at the reader … often all at the same time. In order to ensure they get the maximum sexy-fect from the thrusting, they usually choose to fight crime in as little clothing as possible, preferably with only their nipples and crevices covered and all else on display. Male superheroes, by contrast, like to cover themselves up and sensibly protect their genitals from supervillain attack.
In order to demonstrate how stupid this is, people have taken to drawing Hawkeye in the same poses as the women.
It seems to have started with this cover:
… and spiralled off into mass-hilarity.
Some people think it’s highlighting something stupid and/or offensive about the way women are portrayed in comics.
Some people think it’s just a giggle.
Others think it’s not a problem because female comic readers want to see strong muscular men flexing their strong muscles while male readers want to see women being all flexible and improbable.
Well, kind of bits of all of the above really.
I’m not a fan of semi-naked superheroes. Possibly because, no matter how sexy semi-nudity can be, I find it’s completely cancelled out by a lack of common fucking sense.
If you’re going to be crawling over the rooftops, getting shot at and climbing up walls then surely, for the love of fuck, you’d want to wear something unrippable and a little bit padded? Imagine climbing up a granite building, reaching over the ledge at the top and hauling yourself onto the roof.
Now imagine doing that with a bare midriff, dragging your naked stomach over rough stone as your entire bodyweight presses down on it.
I have a similar opinion on reality.
Attractive woman on a night out, wearing practically a nightie in the summer = sexy.
Same woman wearing the same (nigh)nightie in the winter?
PUT SOME FUCKING CLOTHES ON.
Blue is my favourite colour, but not for skin. What the fuck has gone wrong in your head that you think no clothes are the best clothes to wear in the winter? You’re showing a basic lack of survival instincts and if attraction is mostly a primal urge to do with finding a mate with strong genes, then the primal bits of my brain are telling me you’d be an appalling genetic match – you couldn’t look after my offspring, you’re unlikely to survive the winter for fuck’s sake.
I’m as much attracted to the way people think as the way they look. Attraction for me is physical and mental. I can talk to someone I consider plain and end up fancying them. I can talk to someone stunningly good looking and end up thinking they’re a complete and utter twat.
Wearing the wrong clothes for the situation is not attractive. It’s fucking stupid.
I did this survival course once where we had to climb out of the water and into liferafts. Climbing into a liferaft is fucking hard and takes a lot of effort. Liferafts are not comfortable against the skin, plus water is cold. There were some women who turned up in bikinis, froze, scraped their stomachs and generally fell out of their bikinis.
Don’t get me wrong, I like tits. If someone falls out of their bikini under warmer, less stupid circumstances I consider it a good day. In this situation I just felt these women were remarkably stupid. Or at the very least, stylistically misguided.
If you’re a costumed vigilante and you want to fight crime, wear some fucking trousers and a decent top. Preferably one with bits of armour and spikes in it.
But what if you have super powers? What if scraping over rough brick isn’t really a consideration because you have titanium-strength skin? You don’t feel bullets, let alone cold so why bother with anything other than the skimpiest of costumes?
I don’t know about you, but every time Wonder Woman twats someone with an uppercut, I worry she’ll pop out of that corset. If Supergirl turns too quickly or takes a fairly longish stride she’d probably have to stop and tuck her clitoris back into her costume – is this sensible?
Maybe these women are completely comfortable with nudity and feel they have nothing to be ashamed of? Maybe they could happily fight naked and only wear the briefest of costumes in public as a sop to humanity’s weird prudishness?
Just seems fucking moronic to me.
As for frequently drawing characters getting changed or taking a shower or lounging around the house in their thongs … I kind of … hmm. I like it, sometimes; but maybe less is more?
The worst offender for me was a Batgirl vs Catwoman book where Catwoman stripped off and ran into a nudist party and Batgirl stripped off to follow her.
What the fuck?
Okay, Catwoman … yeah, maybe; but Batgirl should have just stormed in and beat the fuck out of anyone who tried to stop or strip her. Batman wouldn’t have taken his clothes off in the same situation – it’s hard (tee hee) to be menacing when your cock and balls are on display – so why the fuck would Batgirl do it? It just makes her look like a twat.
As for the majority of female crime fighters being able to stand with their tits and arses pointing the same way … why is that sexy? Women are sexy because I am a straight man and programmed by evolution to find that specific shape sexy. Changing that shape into something with a front-arse or back-tits is just weird. If it’s not woman-shaped, it’s not a sexy woman.
The sexy-posing I waver on. I think it depends on the character in question. Batgirl, Huntress, Wonder Woman, Supergirl … no. I just don’t think it suits their characters. Catwoman, fuck yes. She’s absolutely a character who uses her sexuality to unnerve her opponents – male and female. She should always be draped over stuff or thrusting curvy bits at people … just not when she’s angry. I reckon it’s something she practises … but forgets when she loses her temper. Then it’s just arse-kicking time.
The legs-akimbo backflipping shit … again, I think it depends on the character – male and female. I’m quite happy to see Dick Grayson or Spiderman hurling themselves through the air doing the splits … but not Batman. Harley Quinn – yes. Poison Ivy – no.
Although I think Poison Ivy would be very sexy-posy most of the time.
So as a male, heterosexual comic reader who genuinely believes most situations in life can be improved with either full or partial nudity … can we just tone it down a bit? Or a lot?
Try and be anatomically possible; try not to have every female character capable of doing mid-air crotch-thrusting splits; try to limit the showering/changing scenes to every now and then and for fuck’s sake give these women some proper clothes to wear.
If for no other reason, consider this – I’m covertly training my four year old daughter in a variety of martial arts, partly for her own protection/fun/fitness; but mostly so she can, if she chooses, be a costumed vigilante when she grows up. Part of that training covers standing with her spine facing the right way, adopting a stance which protects sensitive areas from attack and not wasting time draping herself sexily over things when she can just punch the gun-toting maniac in the throat and be done with it.
But most of all, she’s my daughter and I can fucking guarantee that if she wants to fight crime she’ll be doing it in sensible fucking clothes.