Talk:Portrayal of women in American comics

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Part of a series on
Sex in speculative fiction

The view of women[edit]

Any relevant links to studies on what women think about it? Would be relevant to the article imo. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.31.177.52 (talk) 07:47, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

Improving article[edit]

This article desperately needs an introduction; in fact Wiki policy requires one. It appears to be on the topic of fictional women in comics, but at the end it contained a list of real-life women working in comics — a list that duplicates those found in two other articles that are already in the process of a consensus-agreed merge.

The title of the article is too vague and needs to be changed, since it's essentially indistinguishable from List of women in comics and List of female comic book writers and artists --Tenebrae 01:02, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

There's also an enormous amount of original research and uncited opinion. Fixing it might require an equally enormous of amount of time. If editors want to salvage this, I'd like to wait a few days before submitting it for WP:AfD --Tenebrae 01:05, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

CC of posting at User talk:Maple Leaf[edit]

Hi. I've enjoyed your hard work on some of the various ComicsProject categories. I hope you've had a chance to read the Talk page at Women in comic books. I know you're a fairly new member of the community, and so it's important you read the policy about no original research. What we've got here is a nice essay about women in comics, but it's all your point of view and your personal take, and Wikipedia strives — in fact requires — a neutral point of view with a specific footnote or citation for anything that can be considered opinion ... which at this point most of the article is.

It became even more so since I posted on the Talk page yesterday, so this really needs to be addressed. Right now it's pretty close to a candidate for "Articles for deletion" discussion.

I know that if you go to WP:NOR and WP:NPOV, you'll see that no one wants that, and we just need to bring this article up to Wikipedia policies and guidelines. I personally think an article on "Women's portrayal in comic books" is needed, and I'm sure other editors do as well, so let's all work together on this. --Tenebrae 00:09, 11 January 2007 (UTC)


Just wanna say, User:Maple Leaf is starting to do some great work revamping this article. --Tenebrae 01:28, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Title change[edit]

I know the title of this page has only just been changed, but might I suggest that it is moved to Portrayal of women in comics. That way it could take into account the various femme fatale characters in The Spirit.

Iron Ghost 22:03, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

OK, I've now moved the page (after one or two hitches!).

Iron Ghost 14:13, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Continuing...[edit]

This is starting really be something!

I'd like to suggest that all of us work on the tone, which currently reads more like an essay -- which tries to mount an argument and convince the reader of something -- than an encyclopedia article, which isn't necessarily dry but is much more simple, basic and straightforward ... just the facts, ma'am, as they used to say on Dragnet.

Also, we have to watch out for terms like "of course," which assumed the general-audience reader has a familiarity with the subject. People in the U.S. and some other countries know about the Betty and Veronica love-triangle, but an English-speaking person in India, or the person translating this into Malaysian, for instance, might not. Simple descriptors are important for that reason. For example, we all know who Gene Colan is. But in an article on comics artist Christopher Rule, a Colan quote about his time at Marvel in the mid-1940s is set up as: "Artist and Comic Book Hall of Famer Gene Colan, a Marvel mainstay from 1946 on, said..." See what I mean?

Also, the comic-book dialog quotes aren't really necessary. Citing a particular issue (with month and year) as a source for the statements in the given paragraph is plenty. People can look up the verbatim specifics if need be.

Honestly, though, it's fun and gratifying to see a new addition to the community collaborating so wonderfully. --Tenebrae 23:51, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

The discussion of "body type" seems to entirely overlook the fact that ALL body types --- male AND female --- are traditionally exaggerated or distorted in comics. Portrayal of women with, e.g. unrealistically large breasts, is not necessarily more absurd than the longstanding history of portraying male superheros with unrealistically large muscles. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.82.99.1 (talk) 21:10, August 27, 2007 (UTC)

Women vs. Superheroes[edit]

This whole page is ridiculously biased anyway. It starts talking about superheroes, then DC, Marvel, Image... and nothing else. "Women in comics"? Where are Daisy Duck and the other potential female models? This should be called "Women in superhero and sci-fi comics", with no depiction of real women in any way. (Anonymous reader)

Although the user makes a great point that there are not enough references to non-superhero women, the vast majority of comics today is superhero based. For what its worth, there were references to Betty and Veronica, the women of Spider-Man, and women from Strangers in Paradise. Depending on the evolution of this article, there might be a need to have an article for the portrayal of super-hero women and non super-hero women. Maple Leaf 22:50, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Yeah but I don't think Daisy Duck counts as a woman. She's more of, a duck. A gx7 05:24, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Article tags[edit]

This is an important article, and with User:Maple Leaf I've done what I can since it's inception to build it. Given the sociological nature of the topic and of Wikipedia editing it was inevitable that it would tilt toward becoming a soapbox. Usually what happens afterward is that editors outside the immediate project, in this case comics, come in from sociological/historical projects and inject a neutral encyclopedic tone.

That hasn't happened so far in the latter sections tagged as POV and original-research essay writing. Phrases like "Another recent source of outrage" do not belong in an encyclopedia.

I believe this article has enough material and examples for the moment — it's a long article and in fact could be shorter and more streamlined. We need to work now on neutral language and an encyclopedic tone.

I've left a call for editors at the WikiProject Sociology talk page. Together we can make this a top-notch academic article — the material is here; now we just have to squeeze the "outrage" out of it. --Tenebrae 17:01, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

One Sociologist's View[edit]

I saw Tenebrae's call for sociological input.

Well I am a sociologist, albeit a male person, an as I am in my 60s, I am mostly familiar with Gold and Silver age comics.

My own POV is that this is a fine article. (I didn't find "outrage", btw). Very well written and with more documentation than many. I thought the analyses to be smart and cogent, and they do a good job of linking changes in comic books to US male-female and family relationships.

One omission: did I miss the women-only community of Wonder Women's Amazon-dwelling family and friends? Even at the age of 10 in the innocent 1950s, it made me think about anti-male sexism, altho I was too innocent to know about lesbianism.

Good luck. But my own feeling is that you are worrying too much. Bellagio99 17:59, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

PS: I've also read at one of Tenebrae's deletes: the recent one about Misty Knight. Putting on my professional editor's cap, I half agree with her. The "outrage" language doesn't belong, but the rise (?) of sadism and bondage could well be mentioned. Basically, it wouldn't take much editing to de-outrage (some folks don't find S&M, B&D outrageous, alas), but keep in the contact of the now-possible portrayal of that stuff in the comic books.

I also suggest that you edit from a non in-group POV. For example, I never heard of any of the current hot writers/editors. So I suggest you explain more.

But, YMMV.

I won't stay with this debate, important and fascinating as it is. (I learned lots from the article, as a current non-aficionado.) I have stuff of my own to do, but I will keep it on my watch list for a day or so, in case anyone wants to chat. And you can always find me on my Talk page. Cheers, Bellagio99 18:13, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Actually, I'm a he, so I'm glad I'm a progressive enough male to be welcomed otherwise. And it's wonderful to hear your positive comments. The first large part of the article seems indeed very solid to me.
I had removed the "outrage" line by the time you'd joined us. Let's hope we can keep building on this in a less "outraged" way.  :-)   --Tenebrae 18:54, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
Hi Tenebrae, thanks for the thanks. I don't want to be Wikipossessive about my comments, but I see all of the Misty Knight discussion is gone, not just the "outrage" but the NPOV. Methinks, the article would be more complete if an edited version of this -- and similar stuff -- were put back in. Bellagio99 19:36, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

B&D and All That[edit]

Hiya. The Misty Knight material that was cut opened with:

"Another recent source of outrage was the cover to Heroes for Hire #13. The cover featured Black Cat, Misty Knight and Colleen Wing bound by the wrists, showing prominent cleavage, and with malacious tentacles dripping what appears to be semen on them."

Aside from the opening phrase, which was over-the-top language and a WP:DATED vio, the phrase about "malacious [sic] tentacles dripping what appears to be semen" is a highly POV interpretation unmitigated by the "appears to be" weasel phrase. It's original-research speculation.
I think we need instead, perhaps, to have a self-contained section on bondage imagery, which goes back to the Golden Age. I'd suggest an opening short paragraph saying it exists in comics, with an authoritative cite (very easy to find); a second graf giving a couple of examples per era (Golden, Silver, etc., which I would key to decades rather than "Golden", "Silver", etc., for the sake of the general-interest reader); and a final graf of maybe two or three non-judgmental, authoritative quotes to put the issue in a) historical, and b) societal context.
I've leave the content to more astute Wikipedians than I; as an editor, though, this is a way to structure such a section. It's not the only way, but it's a solid and workable way. --Tenebrae 23:26, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Sounds good. But please don't leave it only as generalities, even if you dip into WP:NOR a bit. Speaking as a professional editor, you want some concrete examples (of which there are others in the MK writing now), to exemplify what you are saying. IMHO. Bellagio99 00:19, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

I agree -- specific examples ("a second graf giving a couple of examples per era") are the most precise and concrete way to go. I'm not sure what "dip[ping] into WP:NOR a bit" exactly entails, but as a professional journalist and editor myself, I would leave that to the "News Analysis" column, and stick to the 5Ws and H. Other, learned forums can take the facts we present and interpret them as they will. Our volunteer job is just to give the encyclopedic facts. --Tenebrae 01:03, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

women in manga[edit]

ought to be a mention of that, since it's also seen as being more appealing to girls in America. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 199.111.210.134 (talk) 15:08, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:SueFF27.jpg[edit]

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BetacommandBot (talk) 05:04, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Don't Exaggerate[edit]

Terms like "exaggerated" and "unrealistic" are not really accurate, as women with these body types really do exist. "Uncommon" would be a more truthful description. --Noclevername (talk) 18:09, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

Considering that comics often feature characters who can fly, walk through walls, read minds and come back from the dead, the "unrealistic" perfect bodies of a lot of the female characters seems like a minor quibble.

I added a cite for the unrealistic body images. It talks about physiological impossibilties, such as having bent spines that could not support the body, or waists that are narrower than necks. "Uuncommon" is not true in these cases - people with these bodies would be physically disabled or dead.YobMod 10:57, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

WikiProject Comics B-Class Assesment required[edit]

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Image copyright problem with Image:Mjface.jpg[edit]

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C-Class rated for Comics Project[edit]

As this B-Class article has yet to receive a review, it has been rated as C-Class. If you disagree and would like to request an assesment, please visit Wikipedia:WikiProject_Comics/Assessment#Requesting_an_assessment and list the article. Hiding T 14:22, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

I agree with C, and rated it such for the Gender project.YobMod 09:22, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Criticism section[edit]

The "criticism" section seems rather random. Is someone willing to write it into something more coherent? 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 04:37, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Comics other than American ones and the portrayal of men in comics[edit]

What about comics from Europe and Asia? I've read somewhere that some South American comics (mostly are underground I think) were/are more inclined toward social issues.

And there's also the question about the portrayal of men. How they're disproportionally violent when compared to women on comics, mostly using brute force to fix things; how many of them are super-villains, disproportionally more than women (or even just random/non-super street thugs, or gangsters); super-villains who thrive in a world where the police, which is composed mostly by men, is utterly incompetent, and a muscular man in revealing clothing (objectification, unrealistic standards putting pressure on kids to conform to that image) needs to come by and save the day, all while looking sexy, showing how he's muscular and toned. Whereas normal women often at least get to be the protagonist's girlfriends, normal men are meaningless, they don't make anything important, they're at most just plot devices, part of "the mass in distress" to be saved (or violently killed for shock or as a plot device, like Ben Parker from Spider-man) by the super-human male hero, which teaches kids that they have to be super-human or they would be worthless, that they can't change anything as someone who is just normal, human. And in non-super-heroic comics, men are often portrayed as losers, such as Charlie Brown, Garfield and his owner. [original research?]

Even for American comics, the article is heavily biased towards comic book traditions, disregarding traditions such as underground comix, alternative comics, newspaper comic strips and webcomics. 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 21:35, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Debate of Feminism[edit]

All feminist believe all men subjugate women for not being born male and all believe that they are expendable and should be eradicated from the planet. Because after all all feminist hate all men coldly.

The main reason why "girls need role models is a bad thing" is not because they portray women as inferior, useless or victimised because those are not role models but tools to spread both fear and hatred. It is in reality because misandric subjugation is the only characteristic they accept because all feminist groups are in reality Gender Feminist/Separatist Feminist in disguise.

Put back my edits to the page. All feminist hate all men no matter what they do. What I have said about feminism represents all of its forms as a whole. Saying all men are bad writers (only towards women) is only a small part of the harm they are all doing. Because of them all it takes for a man to be a criminal is to be born with a penis and there fore he is automatically a potential rapist and a gender supremacist.

squint Not sure if troll, or just reeeeeally misinformed on several levels, up to and including Wikipedia editing policies, but either way, such edits would be inaccurate, non-neutral POV, original research, uncited, and irrelevant to the topic. And thus not good edits. What you have described is not, shall we say, a neutral description of feminism based on a specific, third-party reliable source that isn't you, nor, frankly, is it relevant to the article's actual subject, which is "portrayal of women in comics", not "feminism and how mean it is to men". So no, we will not "put your edits back in".
Coincidentally, I count myself as a "feminist". I believe in equality for women (which I believe is still needed), and in discouraging misogyny (which is still rampant, albeit more subtle nowadays, in our culture - and which I think damages men as much as it does women, actually); these are the only two things required to be called a "feminist". So this will perhaps surprise you, but, I not only don't hate men, most of my favorite writers are men, including comics writers! :)
And no, it's not always the ones who write "feminist" works with "strong women" like Buffy and Xena, either. A good example is Geoff Johns, a writer for Green Lantern; I loved his "Green Lantern: Rebirth" miniseries, which I only recently got around to reading, and guess what? Women have pretty much no real role in that. Jade gets to just... stand next to her father with no explanation who she is, Katma Tui gets only a single one-line, dismissive mention from Sinestro, and Carol Ferris shows up only to talk to Hal Jordan's ghost and then go away; and forget the non-GLverse lady heroes, like Power Girl and Wonder Woman, they're just kind of... there, with everybody else who isn't a Green Lantern, responding to the craziness for a few panels. The story is entirely about a handful of Green Lanterns, all of whom are males, and the rebirth of Hal Jordan and the refounding of the GL Corps. And yet! And yet, this FEMINIST... still loved the story and the characters! Yeah, it would have been cool to see more interesting roles for the women, but I still liked the guys' story too. As the saying goes, "people are allowed to like problematic things". Even if they're a feminist ;)
Seeing as trying to define "feminism" in exact, precise, universally-accurate-to-all-instances terms is about as slippery as trying to define "deconstructionist", given everyone who uses it has a different idea what it means, I would suggest you stop trying. 68.202.85.105 (talk) 01:55, 8 October 2012 (UTC)


I edited the end of the section under Modern Age because what was written was actually the opposite of what was concluded in the study that was actually cited as a source. The quantitative study concluded there was a decline in such factors of sexualization such as apparel styles. I'm assuming someone was trying to support their own philosophical view, even at the expense of misinforming readers of what the cited source actually concluded. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.0.131.236 (talk) 05:25, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Grammar[edit]

The grammar in this article is atrocious. There is way too much passive voice.