Discussion Question

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If media were to change the construct of our most prevalent superheroes, would ideas about masculinity and femininity change? How would these superheroes take form? How would they be considered "super" and a "hero"? Or, rather, do we need the structures that have already put in place? Why or why not?

1 Comment

This is an interesting and tough question. I think the issue is that villains in most films (male or female) are often causing harm through violence. It's hard to stop violence unless the hero can use violence to defeat the villain. Thus, we often associate violence with masculinity, not just because the media portrays male heroes as strong or violent, but also because men are inherently more aggressive. However, there are plenty of films with female leads as heroes (heroines?) but they also end up using violence to defeat their foes (e.g. Haywire, Aeon Flux, Ultraviolet, Resident Evil, Catwoman). It seems like even though we associate heroes as being masculine and capable of violent acts, female heroes are subjected to the same characteristics. I think it's hard to change ideas about masculinity or femininity in terms heroic roles because these heroes almost always need to resort to violent means. There aren't really examples of superheroes that don't need to be aggressive to achieve their goals. There's the option of men and women using their intelligence to conquer evil, but I feel like our society would never really see them as "super."

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This page contains a single entry by rhode125 published on April 10, 2013 10:37 AM.

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