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What about a male Wonderwoman?

OK, fine, let's get into this.

Why not a male Wonderwoman? A male Batgirl? A male Catwoman?

It seems like a reasonable argument to “Why not a female James Bond?” The person asking might even mean it. But underneath the comment is either misogyny and trolling or a deep ignorance of the issues at hand.

Under the premise is the idea that we have equal opportunity, which we do not. Women earn far less than men for similar Hollywood roles; they are undercast, underwritten, often merely love objects for the male heroic characters, and are constrained to type to a vastly greater degree. Their careers are shorter and are much more likely to require nudity and even sexual performances.

In a society that writes almost exclusively male heroes, to get representation, you have to ask the question: Why couldn’t this character have been written as a female? To some degree, we arrived at the concept of the character because we live in a sexist society where we only see male heroes (because we only write male heroes because we only see male heroes). The more we live in a less sexist society, and the more we want to, the more we have to ask that question: What ABOUT a female Hulk? Iron Woman? Lady Kirk? And yes, for the same reasons, why can’t Superman be black?

Why not a male Wonderwoman? Because a female Superman is fighting sexism, and a male Wonderwoman is perpetuating it. Those things are not equal. Wonderwoman was the first successful carve-out for women in the superhero genre. Male superheroes aren’t about claiming male power in a female-oriented society, overcoming mis-representation of and exploitation of men in media. Female gender-swaps are exactly about that, about rectifying the under-representation, underutilization, and sexist stories. Flipping female characters male amounts to trolling. It’s like starting a men’s rights movement because women want equality. When you have inequality and boost the side in power, that’s about maintaining the sexist, racist, heterosexist status quo.

It's the fat cat eyeing the steak. It doesn't need any more steak. Share the table, fat cat.

So maybe the person what-abouting the issue deserves the benefit of the doubt and a patient explanation. But I’ve been on social media long enough to know they’re unlikely to listen. So it’s the banhammer for you, boy. Blocked and gone so the adults can have an adult conversation about the real issues.

OKIloveyoubye.


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