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2/13/2015

Sexism in Comics



 

 

Sexism is defined by Merriam Webster as
1 : prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially : discrimination against women 2 : behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex. I would like to focus on the second half of this definition. Sexism is just one variation of the larger problem which is prejudice and ignorance. Ignorance and prejudice make roots in the minds of individuals most easily when society treats them as truths. Culural prejudices can be seen in art music and entertainment. Comics being a very popular form of creative expression are no stranger to sexist, racist and overall ignorant ideas.




According to DC Comics in 2014 their creative staff was made up ninety one point two percent male and nine point eight percent female creators. Marvel had 10.8 percent female creators. While these are all time highs for females in the field their is still a long way to go. Modern comics tend to appeal to a larger male than female audience. This is largely because of the way in which female comic character are portrayed. If comics are to evolve in such a way that they accurately represents all groups regardless of race, sexual orientation or gender.


 Neil Gaiman's Sandman series is considered ground breaking by many comics fans and contemporary literature critics alike. It is notable because it featured homosexual relationships in a positive light and depicted the struggle of a transgender woman. It also got many women interested in comics and helped to launch the Vertigo imprint of DC and with it a new age of comics.


 With more female creators and comics like Sandman progress will surely march on. Unfortunately today societal prejudice is still reflected in the medium. Ultimately this will become a thing. Comics are a strong tool to express ideas and accelerate social change.



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Image source: http://www.sparknotes.com/mindhut/2013/08/16/sexism-and-diversity-in-comics-a-heated-debate
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