[Editorial] On Superheroes and Gender Expectations

co-written by Dayna Abel and Kate Spencer

“If you perceive ‘Supergirl’ as anything less than excellent, isn’t the real problem…you?” -Cat Grant, Supergirl First Look trailer

I watched the Supergirl trailer the other night and had…thoughts. More to the point, I had gut reactions. Saturday Night Live recently did a skit about a Black Widow movie basically being a rom-com, because that’s what chicks like, right?

I got that same vibe off the Supergirl trailer. I was immediately put off by the clumsy, dorky, working-girl-in-the-big-city pop-music feel of Kara in the office, as well as the “You want to help? Go back to getting someone’s coffee” line and its subsequent pouty, dejected walking away. It put me in mind of Jodi Picoult’s bit in Wonder Woman where WW infamously cried after a mild criticism from Tom Tresser.

I saw Kara giggling and crying and being flustered around cute boys and I thought to myself “oh god no.” But then I thought about it for a while. About why it bugged me. And it boils down to “I don’t like traditionally girly things. I am not the target audience here.” But what about the trailer made it “girly?” The giggling, the crying, the doofy stumbling of her words around Jimmy Olsen? And why do I automatically code these things as “female”? And, by extension, some kind of weakness?

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[Review] The Posthuman Project

I have written before, at great length, about my views on the modern take on superheroes. I grew up around my father’s collection of Bronze and Silver Age comics, and it should be no great shock to know that my preference in superheroes trends more towards actual heroism rather than the grim-and-gritty fare that’s so pervasive in modern comics.

Call me old-fashioned or naïve if you like, but I like to come out of a superhero story feeling hopeful. Inspired to do good. Not, you know, tallying up property damage or readjusting my eyes to actual color. When I saw the Batman v Superman trailer last month, my instant reaction was revulsion at its sheer bleakness. There was no hope or joy. I saw plenty of super, but no hero. Hope and joy, something to aspire to…isn’t that what superheroes are supposed to give us?

Look no further than The Posthuman Project.

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[Anglo-Filles] Episode 31 – Television Necromancy

It’s aliiiiiive! What’s alive? Every previously cancelled TV show ever, apparently. Do you miss Full House? Does anyone miss Full House? Uncle Jessie does, apparently, that’s why he’s bringing it back. And Twin Peaks may or may not be alive, depending on who’s playing the Twitter PR game better.

Click here to listen to the latest episode of Anglo-Filles.

[Anglo-Filles] Episode 30 – Colonialism and Buttflaps

What connects Phil Collins, Christopher Lambert, Kellan Lutz, Lucy Lawless, and Elvis Presley? Tarzan, of course! From Edgar Rice Burroughs’ pulpy, bosom-heaving adventure (Don’t believe us? We read out some excerpts to prove it!) to screens big and small, it’s everyone’s favourite Lord of the Apes.

Click here to listen to the latest episode of Anglo-Filles.

[Anglo-Filles] Episode 29 – Why is the rum gone?

February is the month of love, so Les Filles get together to gossip about the hot couple on everyone’s minds: text and screen. Can the magic of one be made double by the money-making prowess of the other? In other words, we talk about adaptations—who improved on the materials they took on and who failed to understand it?

Click here to listen to the latest episode of the Anglo-Filles.

[Anglo-Filles] Episode 28 – The Unbearable Whiteness of Being

Awards season is upon us! The Golden Globes happened and the Oscars are imminent. Exciting, isn’t it? … Isn’t it? Well, at least it gives us the joy that is Kayleigh’s rage against the establishment – what’s worse than the predictably boring Cumberbatch nomination? Listen to the find out. At least we have some exciting Hannibal news to tide us over.

Click here to listen to the latest episode of the Anglo-Filles.

[Anglo-Filles] Episode 27 – Alina’s Best Day Ever

Dai stiho, Cousins! Chances are, if you are a Made of Fail-er, then you’ve enjoyed Diane Duane’s work, whether it was a Star Trek episode, or a Gargoyles one, or you’ve read the Young Wizards books, or any number of her other award-winning work. And on top of all that, she’s a great podcast guest.

Click here to listen to the latest episode of Anglo-Filles.