Sexism in the world of Superhero films?

I am very disappointed and I’ll explain why?

Let me take you back to the mid 80’s when the summers were always hot and it never rained, and children would play out all day not worrying about the possibility of being kidnapped by some depraved paedophile and the fabulous Lynda Carter was starring in The New Adventures of Wonder Woman on British TV.

I was about 5, 6 maybe and I loved Wonder Woman, (and still do). I spent my summer holidays spinning and spinning and pretending to be the Amazon. My mum even made me an outfit. Looking back now, what a great role model, a female superhero kicking ass in a male dominated world.

20 odd years on and I am very disappointed by the continuing sexism in the superhero movie industry. Both Batman and Superman have been well represented in the film industry, both have been re-booted at least once so where oh where is my live action Wonder Woman film??

I have read many rumours of a film over the past few years, but none have seemed to have come to fruition. I have recently read an article stating that one the problem was her costume, it being outdated, which is just ridiculous (giant bat and man who wear underpants on the outside) or its sexual exploitation (for god’s sake have they watched music videos these days? the likes of Lady Gaga are, for all intents and purpose, naked and writhing around simulating sex on the male dancers, which apparently is ok for airing during the day when children are watching (but that is a whole other rant)).

I am, however, very pleased with the Wonder Woman animated film and would welcome more, however I fail to understand the lack of live action. Even now they are making superhero films with lesser known (to the general, non geek, public) superheroes like Green Lantern and Thor. Don’t get me wrong, I welcome these along with Captain America and The Avengers but goddam it where is the lead female superhero.

Kick Ass featured the awesome Hit Girl but not without a bucket load of controversy, and I don’t feel the X-Men films did any of the female heroes justice. I can only hope the X-Men: First Class will do a better job representing its ladies. Electra was quite disappointing and as for Catwoman well I don’t really need to go into why that bombed. I fail to think of any others at this point, which obviously means they were not good enough to remain in my head.

Furthermore, I sat down and watched Batman Superman: Apocalypse, not so long ago and I came away with two thoughts,

1. It should be spelt Apokolips, and I’m not sure how they got that so wrong.

2.Why wasn’t it called Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman: Apokolips (Yes I have corrected the spelling, I’m kind a stickler for that). Wonder Woman practically appeared in it as much as the two blokes, yet gets missed from the title. Do they think people would not buy it, if it featured her name? I just don’t get it.

All you have to do is look around the Internet and shops, Wonder Woman merchandise is everywhere, her comic continues, so it must sell well and therefore have a secure fan base. Surely fear of it being hated by the fans isn’t enough to stop them. The industry has produced both Batman and Superman films that suck (Batman and Robin just being one example) and not forgetting emo Spiderman. Geeks watch it anyway and it hasn’t stopped ‘them’ making more with the same hero.

Just to clarify my hairy legs are due to it being a tired working mum who has been married a long time, who wears trousers all the time and its winter. I am by no means a feminist out protesting for equal rights at every opportunity, who is down on society because it is male dominated, things have and will continue to get better. But I truly hope that the lack of lead role female superheroes in the world of film it is not down to sexism. I thought we were past that, but the more I think about it the more it plays on my mind. I welcome the industry to prove me wrong and I can only hope that the reason is as simple as not being able to find an actress who can live up to the icon that is Wonder Woman.

Journal Comments

  • micklyn
  • blueming