Gender Equality in the Comic Industry

While there are some women who continue to have to work in order to achieve the same success as their male counterparts, in most industries gender equality is well on its way to becoming a reality. One industry where women continue to slam into the glass ceiling is the comic industry.

Almost since its inception, the world of comics has been dominated by men. This is obvious both in looking at the name of the creators of each character, but also in looking at the way male vs. female characters have been portrayed. Although there are some exceptions, the male protagonists are strong heroes, capable of saving the world, no matter how great the challenge, while the female characters, even the ones who headline their own series of books are often put into situations where they need to be saved by the male characters.

Some might argue that the way men and females are portrayed has to do with the time that the characters were created, that they represent a different way of thinking. For example, Superman was created just before the outbreak of WWII, a time when it was socially acceptable for a woman, even one as independent as Lois Lane, to depend on a strong man to save her. However, even current comics continue to follow the same pattern.

What’s truly appalling is how women artists in the comic industry are being treated by their male counterparts. Instead of having their unique set of talents applauded, many of the men in the industry to their best to ostracize any woman who dares to make herself known in the industry, and as a result many of these women have become the victims of some truly appalling behavior, including death threats.

With the trend in fan gradually shifting from male to female, it’s high time that the comic industry start to explore the basic concept of gender equality.