This was originally posted to my old blog on 4 October 2013.
Author Michael Merriam linked to an article about a fan-made Wonder Woman short which has generated a lot of interest. The point of the article is that this short’s popularity proves big studios wrong, which have not wanted to make a WW feature length film as they feel there would not be enough interest. Also, the string of woman superhero flops is pointed to as evidence that we just don’t want to see our superpowered folk in female form.
I have a question for those who hold this view. Would you take Batman seriously if he arrived at the scene of a crime in stilettos? Or would you think a picture of Superman in flight, face grim, is impressive if he was in stilettos?
For that matter, a male superhero whose costume covers him literally head to toe, leaving only his neck and head exposed – in the case of Batman, not even that – is the norm. They even wear gloves. Female superheroes are much more likely to wear costumes which can barely contain their boobs. If they’re lucky enough to wear something that covers them, it looks more like an outfit purchased at the local BDSM shop than a practical costume which optimises physical activity. Even the most practical of them are still stuck with stiletto heels which require superpowers to simply walk in, never mind perform anything physically demanding.
How can anybody be surprised that Halle Berry’s Catwoman was a joke? Would you feel relieved if you’re in a fix and someone dressed like this showed up?
People can suspend disbelief enough to accept, for the duration of the film, that someone can fly, has a magic hammer, can lift trucks or freeze water with their eyes. Asking us to take someone seriously who apparently thought, that morning: “Hmm. I’m likely to get into a physical fight with men twice my size, I’ll need to run, jump, and climb up the sheer wall of a building. I know! I’ll wear my nine-inch stilettos!!” is taking it a step too far.