From the inception of the funny pages until today, sexism in comics has been rampant. Portrayals are better for female characters than they've ever been, making the comic book stereotyping 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.
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 of giving female characters sensible costumes, stereotyping in comic books has never truly gone away. It seems that in every decade, the culture realigns its sense of morality - and the content shifts with it. For instance, the 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 sticky situations only to be saved by their "more heroic" male counterparts.
Presenting women in a stock fashion in the comic industry isn't going to go away overnight, but by pointing out some of the most flagrant elements from the last 80 years, we can start trying to make such bias 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.
- 12,551 VOTES
Wonder Woman Is A Weakling
- 23,011 VOTES
Orion Slaps Wonder Woman On The Bum
- 32,668 VOTES
Superman Spanks Lois Lane
- 42,179 VOTES
Wonder Woman Was The JLA's Secretary
- 52,021 VOTES
Wonder Woman's Feminine Vanity
- 63,318 VOTES
Power Girl's Busty Window