#1 Posted by jphulk26 (1792 posts) - - Show Bio

– And The Two Who Got Away.

My top 12 super cool kickass comic book movie chicks who should or are Feminist icons. Also the two that got away.

Let me know what you think and who I´ve missed.

Thanks for reading.

Just an article I thought I share, since the issue of what a "feminist hero" is came up recently.

This is a kind of reply to Speed Forces really interesting article "Feminism in the Marvel Cinematic Universe". I decided to compile a top 12 list of female characters in comic movies, who should be considered feminist icons. Let me know what you think, and, if I´ve missed anyone out.

It also mentions two female icons, who didn´t get the movie dues they deserve, and, an article at the end of my "top 12 list" that is a response to Speedforces notion of what a feminist icon ought to be.

Let the fun begin:

12) Gwen Stacy - The Amazing Spider Man

There has been a big debate between the relative virtues of Gwen Stacy in the latest Spider Man Vs Mary Jane, in the originals. I´ve never been a big fan of Spider Man, but he does have a strong female supporting cast. Really, you could put all three women of Spideys life on this list. Aunt May is a strong maternal figure throughout, and a tough single parent, who copes with Spidey´s ups and downs (by far the most active female parent of any superhero). Mary Jane, I´ll get to later.

On to Gwen in the TASM. What a great, well rounded character, the chemistry between the two leads was off the charts. But, Gwen had some great qualities, that really made her strong. She was tough, smart, she was scientist, willing to go up against Super Villains; she really was just a great character, that everyone felt for. I think a lot of the credit for that should go to Emma Stone, who is a phenomenal young actress.

Most Iconic Moment –

Nearly every time she was on screen. Great actress.

11) Redlight District Girls - Sin City

These girls are kind of like an inverted perversion of Wonder Woman´s Amazonians. Fiercely territorialist; they don´t trust, nor need any man. Yeah, they hit the streets looking for tricks, but that´s only for the money; they are in fact exploiting the men who use their services. And woe betide the man who steps out of line with one of the girls; cause the sisters will tear him apart to protect their own. Yes there´s the male gaze, they are not just over but hyper-sexualised, and yes they are prostitutes, but they are strong, brave, warrior women, who work for themselves and stick up for each other. Nuff said.

Most iconic Moment –

Laying waste to the cops that show up unwanted in their neighborhood.

10) Peggy Carter - Captain America

Cap America´s girl: I have to say of all the women, I have a tough time putting her on this list. In the film she is strong, but superficially so; she is militaristic, but hey at least the war they were in was one that deserved to be fought, she´s no damsel in distress, but she´s hardly realistic to the time.

Some times just making a woman feisty and strong, out of the context of where you would find that kind of woman, just presents itself as forced, and, obviously done to have a strong female lead. Her best scenes, are where you actively see that men in the army don´t respect her, and she challenges them right back. But to be honest her portrayal seems historically inaccurate, mainly because she is not challenged a lot more. For my money, the baseball movie A League Of Their Own, more realistically captures the plight of women during the two great wars, and the strength they needed to endure them.

But nonetheless Peggy is a fantasy, and one that shows women were always capable of doing what men can do. So I´ve put her on.

Most Iconic Moment –

Being a high ranking female officer in World War 2. Testing caps shield, point blank as he cowers behind it.

9) Pepper Pots -Iron Man

Funny, charming, witty and strong. She is no mere love interest, nor just some damsel in distress. Defiantly cool, extremely smart, totally witty; of the chicks associated with The Avengers including Black Widow, I think Pepper is the best character.

Most Iconic Moment –

Her one scene in Avengers, where she banters with Tony, and is able to rattle off just as many great comebacks as Mr. Stark. The woman is super quick.

8) Selina Kyle – Nolan´s Version

What an utter Minx. She is simply lethal. She´s independent minded, tough as nails and feminine as hell. She uses every characteristic of women that is portrayed as delicate or weak, and spins it on its head so its uniquely dangerous. Take her statement for instance when the guy asks her if her shoes make it hard to walk, and she stabs him with a high heel, replying “I don´t know. You tell me.”

It is a pity that Hathaway came after Michelle, because she was the greatest part of TDKR, as far as I´m concerned, but Michelle was just so delicious and barmy in her depiction, that Michelle´s still stays the definitive Cat Woman portrayal on film.

Most Iconic Moment –

Pretending to the police she´s some helpless victim, after having laid waste to several bad guys.

7) Ursa Superman 2 – Sarah Douglass

This chick just kicks ass. Plain and simple. A great female villain companion to Zod, who for my money, easily shows up Zod as the most memorable of the trio of criminal Kryptonian´s.

Hardly ever is a woman aloud to be evil and extremely powerful at the same time, but Sarah played it with a regal ease and lady like sense of elegance. However as graceful as a cat she maimed, killed and laid waste to some of the most powerful men in the world. An utter psychopath, with no remorse or conscience, who clearly took more pleasure in destroying weak little men, than the trios ultimate goal of world domination; which was at best a secondary consideration for her. This made her a much more terrifying prospect than Zod.

Most Iconic Moment –

Blowing a kiss at an army helicopter while using her Super breathe, so that it flew off and exploded.

6) Silk Spectre 1 - The watchmen

This woman is a victim of male oppression in everyway. She has grown up to be a drunk, who spends most of her time reminiscing about the good old days, when she was a Super Heroine. So why should she be an icon for me? Because not for one moment of it does she regret her choices, she´s wise enough to always see the bigger picture, even laughing at herself and misadventures in the good old times. She loves every moment of it, cause she knows without those times, she never would have had her daughter, who is the true love of her life. No man has ever compared.

Most Iconic Moment –

Her stirring speech about the nature of time and memories, to Silk Spectre 2.

5) Girls From Ghost World – Tiffany And Amber

The super cynical Gen Xer twosome. They give about as much of a shit, as a cross between Eric Cartman, Eminem, Beavis and Butthead and Nirvana rolled into two single sentient beings. They are loud, obnoxious, potty mouthed, freaks, and they are really, really, proud of it. Scarlett Johnasson is great here, much more than as Black widow.

Most Iconic Moment –

So many to choose, but teasing their friend Josh, by writing a letter that they came round to double team him but he wasn´t around, and then declaring him therefore gay. Pretty cool chicks, no doubt about it.

4) Lois Lane - Margot Kidder

She is still now the definitive Lois Lane. A strong, independent minded journalist, who would do just about anything to get the scoop. She´s got a very sharp mind, and, not much can get passed her. To be fair to all Lois Lane´s, or the character in general, there is something in the character tin itself that is just kick ass.

Yes she gets saved by Superman a lot, but she also has her moments of saving him, and her willingness to out maneuver all her male colleagues, including Clarke, to get the latest story, always puts a smile on our face. She usually outwits all of them as well. A Type A personality modern female professional, that´s existed since the 30´s, that´s pretty feminist to me.

Lets face it, there´s a reason why Lois can´t find a guy tough enough to handle her, unless he´s a Superman.

Most Iconic Moment – Figuring out who Superman is through pure intuition. Although, come on they were never in the same place at the same time; could have figured that one out a bit quicker Lois, don´t you think? ☺

3) Mary Jane Watson - Raimi Spiderman Trilogy

This is a Gwen vs Mary kind of thing. I come down on the side of Mary. She doesn´t have the privileged life style that Gwen has. The stable middle class upbringing, but she´s willing to go out in the city and make it for herself. And she does. Both are great characters, but Mary has had it much more difficult and still persevered.

Most Iconic Moment –

Going out to the city to become a star.

2) Hit Girl - Kick Ass

Hit Girl was just awesome. She was more than willing to use her, Little Ms Universe looks, to present herself as vulnerable so as to manipulate men, but most of the time, she didn´t even have the patience for that. She´d just come in, say something most of us would have got a slap for at that age, then proceed to beat the crap out of people. Men, Women, it really didn´t matter to her, she would just blow you away if you were the bad guy.

But there´s one other great thing about her character; she was truly a little girl at heart, and bless her little cotton socks, all she wanted was some ice cream, before the hard work of being a vigilante.

Most Iconic Moment –

Any time she was kicking someone´s head in, was pretty nice. But I have to say, the line about how Kick Ass could contact her if he ever had a crisis, was pretty cool. “Just contact the mayor, he has a special signal that shines in the sky. It´s in the shape of a giant cock.” Nuff said.

1) Cat Woman – Burtons Version Batman returns

What can I say. This is the true journey of a woman, who can´t take it anymore, and just loses it. She lets go of anything, that ever stood in her way and takes the new attitude, I can have it all.

From buttoned down, mousy secretary, to, deadly man eating Catwoman.

The scene where she rips up her house, with its decor of pink walls and doll houses, was a moment of pure cathasis, for anyone who ever felt repressed by higher forces.

Truly liberated, from any notion of being weak or vulnerable. She can´t stand men, she can´t stand vulnerable women, she´s sexual, sensual, but has no real interest in men at all, unless it´s to some how take advantage of them. She´s lethal, without mercy to her enemies, witty as they come, and deliciously wicked. Just the thought of evil makes her want to take a bath.

How can we ever forget Michelle. Hats off, you were by far the most brilliant Cat Woman.

Most Iconic Moment –

Laying waste to a rapist, but then chastising the woman she saves, “You make it so easy don´t you, always waiting for some Bat Man to save you. I am Cat Woman, hear me roar.”

What a line.

Then there are the two who got a way.

1 Rogue:

Why oh why, did they decide to make you some little winy gimp in the movies? When really you’re a kick ass Southern Bell, who could take on any of the X Men with ease. But that´s the direction they took, make it The Wolverine show. And what a chance they missed, if I was a female comic reader I would have been livid at what they did to Rogue in the X Men


Wonder Woman: Shame on you Hollywood. Shame. It´s a disgrace that this iconic character has not got her own movie yet. There´s nothing stopping it, she´s cool, beautiful, strong and has great villains. Yes some things are a bit silly about her, but have some imagination and update the character a bit. Are you that afraid of strong women in Hollywood? I guess you are.

Response To Speedforce

This is a companion piece to Speed Forces article “Feminism In The Marvel Cinematic Universe”.

I´d like to start out by saying that although I disagree with a lot of what she said in the article, it’s a really well thought out and well argued piece.

"It has come to my attention that The MCU has done something that many Superhero movies do not do, and that is having the strong female characters. When we see a female character portrayed in a Comic Book movie, or in fact most films, they are over-sexualized.”

It is this statement in the article that I really disagreed with.

“The camera pans over their bodies showing us there full form. These shots have no real meaning to the movie.”

The disagreement is on 2 grounds.

1) Is it true that Marvel have pioneered the ground for non-sexualised and well rounded women in their latest slate of films?

2) Does being a character, who is over-sexualized, exclude one from being a feminist heroine? Especially if they are presented as having a power over their allure and being unapologetic for it, able even to use it to their own benefit. Being erotic is not against being feminist.

There are two strands of thinking in feminist thought, about this matter, one that talks about the objectification of women, and, how a strong woman should not feel the need to represent herself sexually; at least not for the sake of men. It is hostile and suspicious of the motivation of media representations of women that are sexualized, believing that they are necessarily caught up in gender politics.

But a new wave of Feminist emerging in the 80´s has countered the above point, suggesting a rather subtle argument. When you think about it, the above argument that women should practice chastity about their appearance and sexuality, is actually a quite conservative and religious idea. It goes back to the virtuous image of the virgin mother figure verses the demonized image of the adulterous. The woman who is, independent, knows what she wants, and is willing to act on it, is demonized, called a prostitute or slut, where as men who act in the exact same way, are seen as real men to be admired.

So what constitutes a heroine worthy of admiration, emulation, or, at least one who should be thought of in the context of feminist discourse?

I think really the only character trait that should be considered here, is whether or not they are good well-rounded character. It should not matter how erotic or unerotic they are is quite irrelevant. Sometimes a very sexual woman, can very much be a feminist icon, and is precisely her liberated sensuality that makes her so.

But to give some further meaning to the above argument, take Thelma, from Thelma And Louise. She is very sexual (unapologetically so; even till the end), the director in no way seems to be saying she is the type of character women should aspire to be, the camera does gaze over her body many times, and, for most of the film she is depicted as a willing victim of the male world. But nonetheless she is a powerful feminist icon, not only because of her final liberation from the male bondage (represented by her repulsive husband) but also because she´s just a great rich character, who many women can relate to. She´s a real woman not a fantasy, and a generation of women responded to that and the sisterhood between the main leads. She´s not a fantasy spun out to superficially make a woman seem strong, or, merely one who in the end relies on a man to save her.

Just to finish, I think that BattlinMurdoch couldn´t be more right when he says about Marvels latest slate of heroines, which, Speedforce lauds as the feminist icons of our time, are all militarists. All the strong ones are really just soldiers. Militarists, who in every sense represent one of the most masculine and destructive forces of our modern world.

Unlike Wonder Woman, who is a warrior who directly opposes war and the masculine world that engenders it, Black widow is the absolute product of American militarism, and doesn´t oppose it in the slightest. She represents a quite corrupted and male dominated force. She is also largely expendable and not very powerful comparatively to the men.

If my memory serves me correctly, she actually has powers in the comics, which have pretty much been taken a way in the movie. Why?

In the 70s they did the same with Wonder Woman, and there was a huge uproar. Why not now?

Let me know your thoughts.

Read more at http://www.comicbookmovie.com/news/?a=66184#2gbo7Tf7lCexlSiQ.99

#2 Posted by sethysquare (3965 posts) - - Show Bio

1. wrong forum.

2. none of those female characters are or should be considered feminist icon.

3. wonder woman is the biggest feminist icon and she doesnt need a movie to do that. just cause thats how badass she is.

4. again wrong forum. please create another thread in the appropriate forum

#3 Posted by Captain13 (4352 posts) - - Show Bio

If this were a "Black" article instead of a woman article, you'd be in trouble right now. And I consider myself a feminist (as in equality between genders) but when you post stuff like this:


Unlike Wonder Woman, who is a warrior who directly opposes war and the masculine world that engenders it


who in every sense represent one of the most masculine and destructive forces of our modern world

I can't take you seriously. Stuff like that is why a lot of people think feminists want superiority over men. SMH Women are not by their nature less violent or militant than men. There are so many examples of this that I don't know where to start.. Maybe with Wonder Woman who grew up in a warrior state? The one who kills and in her youth liked to fight? The one who was trained by the god of war? Sure she tries to avoid fights later in her life but so do many men. Ugh...


Shame on you Hollywood. Shame. It´s a disgrace that this iconic character has not got her own movie yet. There´s nothing stopping it, she´s cool, beautiful, strong and has great villains. Yes some things are a bit silly about her, but have some imagination and update the character a bit. Are you that afraid of strong women in Hollywood?

I want a Wonder Woman film too, but that's ridiculous. There are male and female directors in Hollywood, but at the end of the day, they just weren't interested in Wonder Woman. End of story. It's not a sexist thing. Supergirl, Lara Croft, Alien, Aliens, etc. Oh, and Lauren Faust DID make a Wonder Woman movie. It's good too.

#4 Posted by jphulk26 (1792 posts) - - Show Bio

@Captain13 said:

If this were a "Black" article instead of a woman article, you'd be in trouble right now. And I consider myself a feminist (as in equality between genders) but when you post stuff like this:

I agree with alot of what you´ve said, cause maybe I didn´t phrase things as well as I should do. Hypothetically speaking we don´t know that a world run by women would be any less militaristic. But as it stands now many left wing thinkers believe "modern warfare" is a product of an elitist and patriachal ideology, which all to often is celebrated in films and media as a good thing. I was merely saying that Wonder Woman is rare in that she directly opposes this, and has come to mans world as an ambassador to teach us another more peaceful way. where as a lot of other female superheroes are often represented as somehow being connected to the armed forces, totally indoctrinated with the militaristic ideology that it supports and often taking que or orders from men. E.G. Ms Marvel, Black Widow and there are many more. I don´t see how this has anything to do with race? But please let me know. I don´t wish to offend you.