Despite having a team name of X-Men, there have been several female members. This is something that has always been a little odd and sexist. We know it was Charles Xavier that started the team and of course he wanted the X from his name to be part of it. The fact that they were called men is strange, especially when you look at the name of other teams, such as the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, the Defenders and so on.
In the comics, the original team members were not even men yet, there were teens and one of them, Jean Grey, was clearly female. As the team's membership increased and changed, it was accepted that gender would not be an issue to be part of the team.
What's interesting is the majority of the women that became X-Men over the years have suffered from some sort of insanity or complete character change. Now I might be using using the word crazy lightly and this is in no way saying women are crazy. It's that we've seen the female members of the X-Men go through some pretty crazy changes. What is it about being an X-Man that makes women go a little crazy?== TEASER ==
Let's start with Jean Grey since she was the first female X-Man. Her moment of insanity started with the coming of the Phoenix Force. To be fair to Jean, you could argue that her major moment of insanity, destroying a complete star system and billions of lives, wasn't her doing. We found out years later later that Jean was actually in a hibernation pod at the bottom of the bay while the Phoenix Force struggled with trying to maintain human nature.
However the change or bonding was made, part of Jean was present in the Phoenix Force. With the birth of Jean as Phoenix, she still had her personality and feelings. She and Scott continued their relationship. An elemental force wouldn't have a need to put up the charade. As part of the X-Men, Jean/Phoenix easily succumbed to the manipulations of Mastermind. If Phoenix or Jean was truly portrayed as powerful as we would expect, she/it would've wiped out Mastermind the first moment he tried to manipulate her mind. There must be another explanation as to how Jean/Phoenix could lose it so easily and become Dark Phoenix.
What about Lorna Dane? She was the second female to become part of the X-Men and hooked up with Havok. She had everything a person could ask for. She had a boyfriend, friends, a home and a place where she belonged. Eventually her association with the X-Men would drive her over the edge.
Because of her proximity to the band of mutants, it was almost fated that her world would be turned upside down. First she was kidnapped by the Shi'ar and mind controlled to try to kill Xavier. Later her mind and body were taken over by Malice. She found an enemy in her sister, Zaladane. Later she discovered that her true father was none other than the X-Men's greatest enemy, Magneto. She even had a weird run in with Doop...or maybe it was Daap, an alien that tried to kidnap her. Being a member of the team off and on, we soon saw quit the change in Lorna. Whether it was chasing Doop through the woods or just being part of the X-Men, Lorna went over to the other side but luckily managed to return to Havok's side.
Storm has always been one of the strongest female members of the X-Men (except when she's put in a situation where her claustrophobia can kick in). Storm may not have gone completely crazy as some of the other females but she did undergo a drastic change. When she first joined the team, she was the essence of elegance. She was worshipped as a goddess and almost became the mother figure of the group (but did she really believe she was an actual goddess?). She was the only one that could truly stand up to Wolverine and keep his violent tendencies in check. Above all else, Storm valued the sanctity of life.
When faced against the Morlocks, a member of the X-Men had to fight their leader, Callisto, to the death. Storm could barely stand and Nightcrawler volunteered to fight her. Storm insisted she would do it. Showing no remorse, Storm was victorious. She stabbed and nearly killed the Morlock.
Then Storm became a punk rocker...sort of. One of the biggest changes was when Storm decided to chop off her long flowing white hair and wore a mohawk. Gone was her traditional costume which was replaced by leather pants and the vest worn by Callisto.
Later when she lost her mutant abilities, she fought Cyclops in the Danger Room for leadership of the team. Whether it was a brilliant tactical move or just plain dirty fighting, she ripped off Cyclops' visor, knowing he could not use his optic blasts to stop her without fear of killing her or the other members observing in the Danger Room.
What about Betsy Braddock? When we first saw her, she was a prim and proper English lady. She wasn't quite X-Men material as she only had telepathic powers. She survived a terrible ordeal before going to the Xavier Institute and finally showed the beginning of her potential in surviving an attack by Sabretooth.
Then came the Siege Perilous and her transformation into an Asian assassin. This was a complete change to her calm character. Now dressed in a skimpy skin-tight suit, Betsy fits in perfectly with the other unstable but deadly members of X-Force.
Kitty has always been a strong person. Not even being brainwashed, regressed and turned into a ninja had much of an affect on her psyche. Having her heart broken by Colossus, losing her best friend Illyanna or even spending months stuck out in space in that crazy missile didn't drive her over the edge.
But what was it that made her cut her hair and start carrying around Wolverine's broken bone claws? That's pretty gross (not necessarily the hair part but carrying his claws). There wasn't really a clear explanation for it. Maybe I need to go back and read those issues. I remember feeling like I had missed a half dozen issues or so when X-Men #100 cane out in 2000.
Lockheed's Dragon Girlfriend?
When they returned to Earth, rather than arrive back in Central Park, they were transported to Japan. Besides not knowing how they'd get home, they discovered that Lockheed's new girlfriend had grown...a lot. The X-Men and Sunfire tried to stop her but it was Lockheed that got through to her.
The other X-Ladies have had some unstable moments as well. Is it a matter that they're all secretly bothered by the fact that after all these years the team still continues to use a sexist name? The X-Men were pretty much a secret until Charles Xavier made his public statement and revealed the team. Some knew who they were but they weren't the franchise that they are today. They could have easily rebranded their name and retained their fancy X-logo. Look at how many other X-teams there are.
What the X-Men need to do is keep a better eye on their members. For whatever reason, the women are susceptible to having moments where they are not themselves. Sure some changes have been for the better but others have resulted in risks to themselves and others. Is it time the X-Men start a support group for its members? Should they be aware of the signs of instability? Who will be the next X-lady to go over the edge?