From the inception of the funny pages until today, sexism in comics has been rampant. While things are better for female characters than they’ve ever been, that makes the comic book sexism that’s still happening even more egregious. Even though the female superheroes that grace the pages of our favorite books are just as powerful and nuanced as their male counterparts, they’re still hyper-sexualized in a way that Batman, Robin, and other male heroes never will be (unless we’re talking about slash fiction, and if that’s the case then all bets are off). Prepare to have your feathers ruffled, these are the most sexist moments in comics.
The marginalization of women in comic book takes on a plethora of forms. From the obsession with spanking women in the Silver Age to fridging them in the '90s to the ongoing struggle give female characters sensible costumes, sexist comic books have never truly gone away. It seems that every decade, the culture realigns its sense of morality and sexism shifts with it. For instance, the sexist comics in the Silver Age suggested that while women could be heroes, they couldn’t be as heroic as men. Which is why you’ll find characters like Wonder Woman and Batgirl bumbling through a sticky situations only to be saved by their more heroic male counterparts.Sexism in the comic industry isn’t going to go away over night, but by pointing out some of the most sexist elements from the last 80 years, we can start trying to make sexism a thing of the past. Vote up the most outrageously sexist moments in comics, the ones you can barely believe happened. And if you have some thoughts on this polarizing issue, leave them in the comments.
Power Girl's Cleavage Window
A superhero has a right to dress however she likes, and she certainly doesn't need to cover any part of herself to cater to anybody's prudishness. That said, doesn't Power Girl's outfit look at little... impractical? Kara Zor-L is a powerful female character, yet she's best known for her bust and the ridiculous costume that goes out of its way to showcase said bust.That she's Superman's cousin only underlines the objectification, since you don't see the Big Blue Boy Scout flying around in a thong. And the in-story explanation - that she always meant to have a Supes-style symbol but never came up with one - makes her seem like an ineffectual airhead.
Emma Frost's Outfit
Since the '80s powerful mutant telepath Emma Frost has been fighting against and alongside the X-Men in a pair of white silk panties and a matching bustier. It looks great, but there's no way that outfit is battle ready.
Milo Manara's Spider-Woman Cover
Milo Manara is known for his erotic comic book art, so Marvel should have seen it coming when they hired him to illustrate the cover of Spider-Woman #1. The art shows Jessica Drew in costume that's ludicrously skintight even by comic book standards and presenting like an animal on the cover as if to say, "Hello boys. Don't worry about a female superhero replacing your more popular male superheroes, I'm just a sexual object."
Orion Slaps Wonder Woman on the Bum
In Wonder Woman #17, new god Orion smacked the Amazon Queen on the hinder because he thinks she's cute or something. Being a strong, proud woman who defends the honor of all people, Wonder Woman goes off on Orion about how degrading it is to be spanked by anyone, especially a male co-worker does nothing.