Names and gender in comic books

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Sonic#
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Names and gender in comic books

Post by Sonic# » Wed Jul 19, 13:01 2017

The article is "Analyzing the Gender Representation of 34,476 Comic Book Characters" by Amanda Shendruk: https://pudding.cool/2017/07/comics/

Often in discussions of representation in a particular format, the initial discussion hinges on either one specific representation (Wonder Woman, Black Widow) or on a raw numerical count (26.7% of Marvel and DC comics characters being female). Occasionally, as with the Hawkeye Project, they use satire to create a basic meme for critique (would this pose look reasonable if Hawkeye adopted it?).

I find this article useful for its level of detail. For example, it tracks some correlations in what powers superheroes have: women tend to have mental abilities more often than men. This is also true of most physical abilities, save agility and a few very specific abilities like prehensile hair. They then go into team formation - surprise, most superhero teams have male majorities. In naming, despite the prominence of a few examples of Something Woman, many more male characters are Something Man. Inversely, more characters are Something Girl than Something Boy, indicating a preference for the diminutive in naming conventions.

In any case, it illustrates for me how representation in comics is still widely disparate, despite small victories.

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Re: Names and gender in comic books

Post by rowan » Wed Jul 19, 20:55 2017

I saw not too long ago that Black characters tend to have lightning/electricity based powers, enough that it's a trope. I will have to read this!
spacefem wrote:All your logical argue are belong to us!

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Re: Names and gender in comic books

Post by geldofc » Fri Jul 21, 3:13 2017

I've never been super into comics so I have very little to bring to a discussion but, yeah I'll definitely start reading up starting with this.
:gf: :devil: :syringe:

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Re: Names and gender in comic books

Post by Keen » Wed Jul 26, 13:37 2017

Well yeah you are sooo much more likely to see a guy bench 300 pounds than a woman. And women are more likely to graduate college. So it would make sense that girls would have mental abilities and guys would have physical. And how about don't complain about comic books and enjoy the comic book.

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Re: Names and gender in comic books

Post by Sonic# » Wed Jul 26, 19:12 2017

"Well yeah you are sooo much more likely to see a guy bench 300 pounds than a woman."

We're talking about superheroes, not fitness junkies. Who am I more likely to see teleport? Break down a wall? Shoot lightning? Read a mind?

"And women are more likely to graduate college. So it would make sense that girls would have mental abilities and guys would have physical."

I don't think educational level demonstrates a predilection for mental powers. In any case, Jack Kirby and Stan Lee (and most other writers/artists) were creating characters in a time when men were much more likely to graduate college, so that comparison doesn't even make sense.

" And how about don't complain about comic books and enjoy the comic book."

I'm allowed to both enjoy comic books and recognize systemic patterns in comic books. That's how we get better comic books.

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Re: Names and gender in comic books

Post by Keen » Thu Jul 27, 7:48 2017

The patterns make the comic book good, women are more likely to have mental powers who cares? It's a fiction book thats meant to be enjoyed for its creativity and the story of the book

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Re: Names and gender in comic books

Post by Sonic# » Thu Jul 27, 8:10 2017

So "women are more likely to have mental powers"
because "The patterns make the comic book good,"
but "who cares?"

Do you not care (in which case you don't mind other people talking about gender in comic books, since you don't care), or do you think sexist patterns make comic books good (in which case you really do care)?

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Re: Names and gender in comic books

Post by Keen » Thu Jul 27, 8:56 2017

Sexist is hating someone for ones gender how about go look up some definitions of these words your throwing around otherwise you're being extremely ignorant. Which you are

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Re: Names and gender in comic books

Post by Keen » Thu Jul 27, 10:53 2017

Lol doesn't matter that you warned me you're still wrong and not my fault you don't look up definitions of words

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Re: Names and gender in comic books

Post by Nech » Thu Jul 27, 13:40 2017

sex·ist
ˈseksist/Submit
adjective
1.
relating to or characterized by prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.
"his attitude to women is patronizing and sexist"
noun
1.
a person with sexist views.
"I want to make it clear that I'm certainly not a sexist"
Where there's smoke, there's fire. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. So just shut up, and bring some water.

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Re: Names and gender in comic books

Post by Skeezy » Wed Aug 9, 12:41 2017

I have to agree that..the article itslef is indeed stupid.
I grew up on comics, mostly dc and marvel and some spawn. I didn't read the article itself yet on this topic.
My post is based off what has been said.


1. Characters are mostly men, thats true. It may be because most superhero comics are geared towards young boys and is ment for their enjoyment. There are comics geared towards young women. Its not like they are lacking in female heroins however, there are many.

2. The women have mostly these powers is completely made up and is over reaching. For example you have to ignore prevelant comic characters that have been around for ages like wonder woman, rogue, domino, phoenix, she hulk, super woman, Ms. Marvel and dozens upon dozens of others you get the idea. Some of which may have telepathic powers along with super human strength and some are badass gun toters etc.

Basically comics have been one of the most bias free forms of entertainment around, usually manipulated by what people actually buy them and real world issues. Most of these women heroins are either part of major comic series or have their own.

This seems to be one of those instances where someone has over trivialized something innocent to a point where they are wrong. Still, I didnt read the article, but now I kind of dont want to lol

Edit. Was about to read the article and I saw the chart. I can tell you the chart is wrong and biased

So they essentially skipped every female with superhuman strength and many of the other powers are incorrect as well.

As far as the teams chart I cant say yay or nay but I skimmed through the article and yea its a biased opinion with little reference to what its actually saying. Thebexamples can be rigged by easily trivializing things. It states they left out a lot of things because there isnt a big enough difference.

Again judging from the power chart with all the female characters that have strength and other skills they have no representation in the chart.....lies. Also a lot from the male chart is wrong as well.

I dont know what 34 thousand characters they went by but whatever they did doesnt represent factuality well enough. Meaning numbers could be true to a far fetched extent but subject A has had 3 comics subject B has had over 500. They must have all the lesser known characters in this because theres just no way this chart is right otherwise

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Re: Names and gender in comic books

Post by Nech » Thu Aug 10, 7:05 2017

Actually I'd totally say it makes sense, this chart. Though I'd argue Green Lanterns has even less females than before with the results of that war of light arc. I didn't see it there, but does anyone have a list of the heroes they used for this? I'd be curious to see who they included.
Where there's smoke, there's fire. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. So just shut up, and bring some water.

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Re: Names and gender in comic books

Post by Sonic# » Thu Aug 10, 7:50 2017

I'm not taking seriously the part you wrote when you hadn't read the article, Skeezy.

One fundamental misunderstanding I'm spotting: what the graphs mean. They don't mean "the female characters that have strength and other skills ... have no representation in the chart." They are represented. The chart just shows (for example) that there are more comic book men (at 28%) with super strength than women (at 20%). Even with 20% of about 17,000, there are a lot of women with super strength I can name. It's just interesting that there are a lot more men associated with strength.
They must have all the lesser known characters in this because theres just no way this chart is right otherwise
If there's a discrepancy in the set of lesser-known characters, that's also a significant finding. This is a measure of total character generation, which seems like it would be somewhat prone to gender biases since one-off characters likely don't receive much attention beyond the need of a story. Otherwise, what you're proposing (norming this based on number of issues one appears in) sounds doable with the API, and I'd be interested in the results.

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Re: Names and gender in comic books

Post by Skeezy » Fri Aug 11, 11:42 2017

@sonic

I think I understand now. At first I thought they were showing the percentage of women with strengrh was so thin they listed it as 0% but the chart is for the difference in percentage points. Ok I misunderstood.

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Re: Names and gender in comic books

Post by Sonic# » Fri Aug 11, 12:18 2017

^ To be fair the charts were unclear to me too. Like, I thought the same thing you did at first, and it's not exactly obvious that you can hover over the bars.

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Re: Names and gender in comic books

Post by Pikachu » Mon Sep 4, 4:24 2017

women tend to have mental abilities more often than men.
Cos they're scared to show women taking physical hits from men. :lol:

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