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  1. #76
    Fishy Member I'm a Fish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    Naomi is.



    Again, if the existence of the sword (which she has used since the Perez run) was about them being insecure about female superheroes, they would have given swords to all their female heroes. The more likely explanation is that Diana was given a sword is that as a character based in Greek mythology it made sense. You're free to dislike it but accusing DC of being insecure about female superheroes is inaccurate given the evidence.
    They aren't insecure about female heroes in general, just the ones that have their own ongoings who aren't tied to Batman. And the sword becoming a regular tool came with the change of making her more violent just like they did with Supergirl and making her more violent to the point they made her a red lantern.

    It’s also funny because in an interview Perez said he knows he’s the one who introduced Diana using a sword, but you could tell he wasn’t pleased with how often she uses it now.

  2. #77

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    Honestly, I think the sword and shield is to Wonder Woman what the glowing red eyes is becoming for Superman.
    Yeah, Superman has had heat vision forever, but in recent years there has been an increase in the image of him with glowing red eyes. And what that is, pretty much, is an effort on the part of DC and creators to dispel the notion of Superman being a boring boy scout by making him look "bad-ass" with sinister red eyes.

    It's a similar mentality with the sword and shield, which often comes across as an effort to present Wonder Woman as a "bad-ass" despite being "for girls" as she's perceived. The fact is Diana was deliberately created to be a celebration of feminine power in a way most other female characters aren't in a genre dominated by men that caters mainly to an audience of adolescent boys and men with the mentality of adolescent boys.

    Yes, Wonder Woman has used swords in the past. But it was the New52 that made them a consistent and near constant part of her image, and it was also the New 52 that saw Diana portrayed as increasingly aggressive, violent, and lacking in empathy. What was that if not a misguided effort to appeal to male readers by making her "edgier" and "tougher"?
    There is such a thing as benign sexism. Sexism also doesn't have to be a deliberate and conscious agenda. I'm sure most of the writers and artists emphasizing the sword & shield genuinely believe they're empowering Diana by presenting her as a hardcore "bad-ass" who's quick with a weapon and eager to kill, but it goes against what Wonder Woman intended to be.

    It's, at the least, a very narrow-minded and unimaginative approach to the character. At worst, it reveals an insecure and somewhat sexist attitude toward feminine power.
    Last edited by Guy_McNichts; 06-13-2021 at 06:52 AM.
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  3. #78
    Leftbrownie Alpha's Avatar
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    Yes I agree with everything you said there. And again, this is why people should appreciate and acknowledge WW84. You can criticize it however much you want, but support the creative use of the lasso and her stance on violence. Heck, even though JS WW2 made Diana kinda stiff at least she was strong fair and inspiring leader, instead of violent and with a temper.

  4. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha View Post
    Yes I agree with everything you said there. And again, this is why people should appreciate and acknowledge WW84. You can criticize it however much you want, but support the creative use of the lasso and her stance on violence. Heck, even though JS WW2 made Diana kinda stiff at least she was strong fair and inspiring leader, instead of violent and with a temper.
    WW84 isn't any less sexist just because it uses the lasso.

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha View Post
    They aren't necessarily insecure about all female superheroes,
    Given the evidence, I doubt they're insecure about them at all. Frankly, that would require them caring more about their female superheroes than they normally do.
    but the reason why they gave Wonder Woman a sword is definitely because they thought that she didn't seem imposing enough, and the reason why they thought that was because she is a woman.
    Citation needed. This feels like an awful lot of projection on your part.

    Hercules is from greek mythology, how often does he carry around a sword?
    Plenty often from what I've seen.

    Seriously, did you actually argue that Hercules of all characters is rarely seen with a sword?
    Last edited by Agent Z; 06-13-2021 at 09:09 AM.

  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy_McNichts View Post
    Honestly, I think the sword and shield is to Wonder Woman what the glowing red eyes is becoming for Superman.
    Yeah, Superman has had heat vision forever, but in recent years there has been an increase in the image of him with glowing red eyes. And what that is, pretty much, is an effort on the part of DC and creators to dispel the notion of Superman being a boring boy scout by making him look "bad-ass" with sinister red eyes.

    It's a similar mentality with the sword and shield, which often comes across as an effort to present Wonder Woman as a "bad-ass" despite being "for girls" as she's perceived. The fact is Diana was deliberately created to be a celebration of feminine power in a way most other female characters aren't in a genre dominated by men that caters mainly to an audience of adolescent boys and men with the mentality of adolescent boys.

    Yes, Wonder Woman has used swords in the past. But it was the New52 that made them a consistent and near constant part of her image, and it was also the New 52 that saw Diana portrayed as increasingly aggressive, violent, and lacking in empathy. What was that if not a misguided effort to appeal to male readers by making her "edgier" and "tougher"?
    There is such a thing as benign sexism. Sexism also doesn't have to be a deliberate and conscious agenda. I'm sure most of the writers and artists emphasizing the sword & shield genuinely believe they're empowering Diana by presenting her as a hardcore "bad-ass" who's quick with a weapon and eager to kill, but it goes against what Wonder Woman intended to be.

    It's, at the least, a very narrow-minded and unimaginative approach to the character. At worst, it reveals an insecure and somewhat sexist attitude toward feminine power.
    So, while I think you are onto a few good points here, I have major issues with this argument.

    Namely, it's pretty damn androcentric.

    The idea that a female character is less feminine because she uses a sword and is more violent is incredibly sexist and regressive. We can argue about whether or not Diana being overly aggressive is good writing - I'm in agreement with you that it isn't - but to say she is less feminine is wading into sexism itself. It reminds me of those people who complain about a war on femininity every time a female character gets redesigned to be more modest.

    Furthermore, this argument presumes that the only people who would like this version of Diana are men. Women are just as capable of liking female characters like this and there actually has been some encouragement from female audiences to feature more female characters like this, with the caveat that they be well written (which Diana often isn't when depicted this way).

    Hell, She-Ra uses a sword as her main weapon. Are we really going to argue she's less feminine or less feminist because of that? How about Jessica Jones who is depicted as being very aggressive and yet was beloved by numerous women and even had her show ran by one?

    And this is why it is important to note the difference between bad writing and sexist writing when it comes to WW. Yes they can and often do overlap but what is simply a stupid writing choice for Diana or simply one that you may not agree with is not always sexist.

  7. #82
    Incredible Member mystical41's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    Given the evidence, I doubt they're insecure about them at all. Frankly, that would require them caring more about their female superheroes than they normally do.


    Citation needed. This feels like an awful lot of projection on your part.



    Plenty often from what I've seen.

    Seriously, did you actually argue that Hercules of all characters is rarely seen with a sword?
    Not caring much about their female characters, including the so called most iconic one tells you a lot already. Giving WW a sword and shield and focusing more on that than her actual powers tells you a lot. Seeing WW getting one or two shotted by Superman, struggling to match Aquaman on land etc tells you all you need to know. Sexism.

  8. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    So, while I think you are onto a few good points here, I have major issues with this argument.

    Namely, it's pretty damn androcentric.

    The idea that a female character is less feminine because she uses a sword and is more violent is incredibly sexist and regressive. We can argue about whether or not Diana being overly aggressive is good writing - I'm in agreement with you that it isn't - but to say she is less feminine is wading into sexism itself. It reminds me of those people who complain about a war on femininity every time a female character gets redesigned to be more modest.

    Furthermore, this argument presumes that the only people who would like this version of Diana are men. Women are just as capable of liking female characters like this and there actually has been some encouragement from female audiences to feature more female characters like this, with the caveat that they be well written (which Diana often isn't when depicted this way).

    Hell, She-Ra uses a sword as her main weapon. Are we really going to argue she's less feminine or less feminist because of that? How about Jessica Jones who is depicted as being very aggressive and yet was beloved by numerous women and even had her show ran by one?

    And this is why it is important to note the difference between bad writing and sexist writing when it comes to WW. Yes they can and often do overlap but what is simply a stupid writing choice for Diana or simply one that you may not agree with is not always sexist.
    I think it’s just the questionable motivation behind having Diana use the sword so much that sexist, not that women are less feminine if they wield a sword.

    Plus most women who wield swords in comics barley wear any clothing. Almost as if to counter balance the potential “masculinity” that comes with wielding the sword by sticking them in a chain-male bikini. Not saying that women can’t like that either, (I actually like Red Sonja) but it does feel like there’s some doubt that they don’t want men to be questioned for liking a strong female warrior. You can always pull the “shes hot and got no cloths on” argument. Regardless though, I don’t think it can be argued those types of female warriors were created for girls.

    I think Disney’s Mulan is a good example of a woman warrior aimed at girls. There’s quite a noticeable difference. She-ra is a good example too but the first show had her sword shape-shift into a shield all the time. And did she ever cut anyone with her sword in the second series? I genuinely can’t remember.
    Last edited by I'm a Fish; 06-13-2021 at 12:15 PM. Reason: Typo

  9. #84
    Black Belt in Bad Ideas Robanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy_McNichts View Post
    Honestly, I think the sword and shield is to Wonder Woman what the glowing red eyes is becoming for Superman.
    Yeah, Superman has had heat vision forever, but in recent years there has been an increase in the image of him with glowing red eyes. And what that is, pretty much, is an effort on the part of DC and creators to dispel the notion of Superman being a boring boy scout by making him look "bad-ass" with sinister red eyes.

    It's a similar mentality with the sword and shield, which often comes across as an effort to present Wonder Woman as a "bad-ass" despite being "for girls" as she's perceived. The fact is Diana was deliberately created to be a celebration of feminine power in a way most other female characters aren't in a genre dominated by men that caters mainly to an audience of adolescent boys and men with the mentality of adolescent boys.

    Yes, Wonder Woman has used swords in the past. But it was the New52 that made them a consistent and near constant part of her image, and it was also the New 52 that saw Diana portrayed as increasingly aggressive, violent, and lacking in empathy. What was that if not a misguided effort to appeal to male readers by making her "edgier" and "tougher"?
    There is such a thing as benign sexism. Sexism also doesn't have to be a deliberate and conscious agenda. I'm sure most of the writers and artists emphasizing the sword & shield genuinely believe they're empowering Diana by presenting her as a hardcore "bad-ass" who's quick with a weapon and eager to kill, but it goes against what Wonder Woman intended to be.

    It's, at the least, a very narrow-minded and unimaginative approach to the character. At worst, it reveals an insecure and somewhat sexist attitude toward feminine power.
    Absolutely everything here.

    The sword and shield are a limp-wristed grab at a male audience by proving "she's totally okay to like and you don't have to question your masculinity, boys" while seemingly forgetting that's decidedly not what made her appealing for 80 years. It was never about "come on in, boys, the water's fine."

    It was "damn, the girls are having a great time over in Wonder Woman. Think I'll check it out."

    I am in no way saying that women don't like the sword and shield. I can't speak to that, but I can speak to DC's endless attempts of late to try and make her seem more "badass" and missing the point entirely. Diana in no way "deals with" her villains. She's compassionate. She knocks them on their ass, shows them where they went wrong, and tries to redeem them. Yes, like Superman. They're cut from the same cloth. She's an answer to him for women. Don't run so damn much from the character because you're so worried guys won't care. Having a sword and shield doesn't make her less feminine, but what they bring with them in execution thus far does detract from her characterization.

    Women can absolutely be badass warriors with sword in hand. The obvious pulls are Xena or Red Sonja, the latter of which admittedly is (absolutely awesome, but) also in a very male gazey costume, but the shift for Diana never felt like a natural evolution. She suddenly became very aggressive, gloating about killing her rogues, and became DC's defacto "I will kill because you boys are too soft to do what needs to be done RAAAHHH WARRIORRRRR TRIIIIIBE" barbarian in events. They turned Diana into the queen of Hell rocking a chainsaw. I can see Diana taking over Hell to try and make it a place of redemption instead of damnation, but a chainsaw? Why? It doesn't fit her at all.

    Because it's totes metal and will appeal to the boys and hopefully girls. I don't know, it feels less like "we want to show girls they can be badass" and more "we want forty year-old guys to buy the book because we'd rather rake in some money while sales circle the drain instead of publishing Wonder Woman." I know plenty of women (but frankly, mostly men) who like Warrior Woman, but I have never heard any of them reference anything other than violence when they talk about what they like about the character and that feels so very, very wrong.

    Perhaps I'm out of touch. I think of a lot of female warrior characters that appeal to men and women and then I wonder why we needed to mangle Wonder Woman into one of them (but who must stay PG-13 at most) instead of allowing WONDER WOMAN to exist.

    This may be silly, too, but there's something to say about Diana needing to bring a weapon to every fight where Clark doesn't. It doesn't make them look like equals because they're supposed to have similar levels of power but she needs enchanted weapons to get the same effect. Think of Batman needing to bring power armor when he fights Superman. Does it really look like they're equals when one of them needs all manners of equipment to simply match before the actual conflict starts? You don't empower women by requiring they need to do more to get the same result. The lasso was Diana's tool, like Bruce's utility belt. It was there when needed. A persistent sword and shield doesn't do that. It kind of presents the image, like GL, that if you remove the weapon they're less effective. It makes it look like she kind of needs them, and she never did. Diana's been knocking heads together with her fists and wits for eight decades. Lose the sword and shield and make them something she busts out as needed, like the chicken armor.
    Last edited by Robanker; 06-13-2021 at 11:39 AM.

  10. #85
    Leftbrownie Alpha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    Seriously, did you actually argue that Hercules of all characters is rarely seen with a sword?
    Actually, you're right about that. I was thinking of the marvel stories I've read with him, but he does use a sword often enough.

    Most iconography shows him with a club which is a traditionally heavy weapon that requires strength rather than ferocity.
    Last edited by Alpha; 06-13-2021 at 12:05 PM.

  11. #86
    Leftbrownie Alpha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    Citation needed. This feels like an awful lot of projection on your part.
    Clearly I'm not the only that sees a gender bias in it so there must be some truth to it. I never said that a female character being violent is sexist. What I said was that turning someone like Wonder Woman into a violent character AND giving her a sword, presumes that she didn't seem strong enough before. Why do you think they gave Aquaman a trident and before that a hook?

  12. #87
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    It seems to me that the arguments here are less about sexism and more about different visions of what the character should be.

    Honestly, you can find an argument for pretty much anything being sexist if you think about it for 5 minutes!

    I mean, sure, you can argue that turning Wonder Woman into a sword-wielding warrior and 'barbarian' is sexist. You can equally argue that turning her into a overly feminine and compassionate (some might say 'preachy') person who hesitates touse force as equally sexist.

  13. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha View Post
    Clearly I'm not the only that sees a gender bias in it so there must be some truth to it.
    More than one person thinking the same thing doesn't mean there is truth to it.


    I never said that a female character being violent is sexist.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha View Post
    To be clear, I believe one of the arguments here is that many of the complaints OP brought up aren't a case of sexism.

    Good examples of how DC been sexist towards Wonder Woman is how they have tried to make her barbaric and added a sword and shield to most of her modern depictions. This is both a case of DC being insecure about female superheroes, as well as not believing in the themes of the WW franchise.
    What I said was that turning someone like Wonder Woman into a violent character AND giving her a sword, presumes that she didn't seem strong enough before. Why do you think they gave Aquaman a trident and before that a hook?
    The fact that you mention they've done this with Aquaman alone proves that sexism isn't the actual problem with this.

    DC does all kinds of things with their characters to make them seem more powerful and imposing. With Superman it was giving him more powers over the years like flight and heat vision. With Batman it's increasing the number of weapons he uses and having him wear armor. With Aquaman it was giving him a trident. I have no idea why Wonder Woman is getting singled out in this regard especially when the other three's fandoms generally don't complain.

  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    It seems to me that the arguments here are less about sexism and more about different visions of what the character should be.

    Honestly, you can find an argument for pretty much anything being sexist if you think about it for 5 minutes!

    I mean, sure, you can argue that turning Wonder Woman into a sword-wielding warrior and 'barbarian' is sexist. You can equally argue that turning her into a overly feminine and compassionate (some might say 'preachy') person who hesitates touse force as equally sexist.
    There are some who actually think Diana using force at all is out of character for her. I've actually seen people complain when the lasso gets used as a weapon. And then there are people who think Diana not wasting her time trying to rehabilitate someone who shows no desire to change and who has crossed numerous lines that no sane or compassionate person would tolerate. I remember one poster here claiming that Superman was more heroic than Diana was because he let Luthor abuse him more. Which isn't even true of Superman and Luthor's relationship.

  15. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    The fact that you mention they've done this with Aquaman alone proves that sexism isn't the actual problem with this.
    When they added they turnex Diana into a barbarian with a sword she was in a veey different place from Aquaman before Prter David.

    In the 2000s Diana's strength kept being shown fighting and defeating other power houses and she had plenty of good runs. Everything about the character was working in comics. They didn't do it to salvage an underselling character like with Aquaman. They did it to one of the well selling characters. That's because Dan Diddio and Geoff Johns looked at her and didn't think a woman like her, the best selling female charcharacter, wasn't respected enough unless she became a barbarian with a sword.

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