Of Babes in Capes: What I Learnt from Female Superheros

I love cartoons and comic books. Always have. These days, if I come across these New Age cartoons on telly or in a publication, I give them a chance if the characters look half-way decent (I’m sorry Chowder, you and your lot look far too scary.) She-Ra, He-Man, Captain Planet, Gargoyles, Popeye, Archie & Veronica, Beano, Pingu, Dennis the Menace (both the sweet blonde and the dark shaggy-haired lads), Andy Capp, Ninja Turtles, Desperate Dan are some of the names that peppered my childhood.

In the innocent way of children, I enjoyed the antics of these diverse cross-sections of fictional characters at face value. That is, until a friend on Twitter (@potentash) raised the issue of how female superheroes are stereotyped and how this influences how girls see themselves. Apparently this discussion was had earlier in my absence but the general consensus (presumably) was that, “Superheroes like Batman and Superman etc have their own series [while] women like Wonder Woman and Catwoman play supporting roles.”

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