I know I’ve brought this up before and will again, but I can’t be the only one who is genuinely sick and tired of superheroes, whether they be on TV, in the movies or in comic books, having their gender or race or sexual orientation pointed out again and again and again, just because they aren’t straight white males.
Shows like Supergirl and Agent Carter both beat you over the head over and over and over with the gender of their characters. There is nothing subtle here. In fact, I think it proves that the TV and movie producers are convinced that the hardcore feminists and liberals are just stupid, they have to keep blatantly saying “see! See! We’re giving you what you want!”
And it isn’t just the shows, it’s the fans. Fans go on and on and on about their favorite female heroes. Not their favorite heroes, their favorite female heroes, like there’s something inherently different because they happen to have breasts. Now sure, until recently, there weren’t a lot of female heroes in popular culture, but now they’re everywhere. Aren’t we at the point where we can stop talking about a character’s gender or race or sexual orientation and just enjoy them as a character?
But to step beyond gender for a second, this same thing happens with minority characters too. For a superhero that is black, their blackness becomes the defining characteristic of the character. They become little more than black stereotypes that never move beyond their skin color. The same goes for gay characters. The same goes for Hispanic or Asian characters. They aren’t superheroes that just so happen to have this other characteristic, they are people with this other characteristic that just so happen to be superheroes. I find that entirely problematic.
It’s too bad that people are so tied up in gender politics and racial politics to just let these characters be people and not stereotypes. Race and gender and sexual orientation shouldn’t matter one bit. I don’t care if my superheroes are black or white, male or female, so long as they are well-written and competently portrayed. I enjoy characters of all colors and genders and orientations, I don’t go hunting for characters of one kind or another, any more than I give a damn what a character’s eye color or hair color is. Give me an all-black superhero team that is well written and I’ll read it. Give me an all-female superhero team that tells good stories and I’m on board. Make it blatantly over-the-top female or black stereotypes though and you’ve lost me, as you should lose anyone interested in quality storytelling. Just make good characters, tell good stories with them and stop trying to make them stereotypes. That’s what costs sales, not racism, not sexism, bad writing. There’s already too much bad writing out there without doing it on purpose.