Supergirl: Paragon of Feminism

Bloggified by Jake on Monday, March 20, 2006

Everything I ever needed to know about gender equality I learned from 1962's Action Comics #285.

If there's one thing we can all easily agree upon, it's that girls ain't no good for nothing. Not having a penis pretty much condemns a person to a life of being completely worthless. On the rare occassion that a girl actually accomplishes anything of any significance (Marie Curie, Elizabeth I, Linda Lovelace, that chick who became the first female pope whose name I can't remember, and... well, I think those four are pretty much it), it's only because a man was too busy doing more important things. Incidentally, if a man had done it, it would have been done better.

Writer Jerry Siegel breaths life into the thrilling concept of Superman announcing Supergirl's existence to the world. Wow. What kid didn't always look forward the announcement-themed issues of their favorite funnybooks? On the bright side, Siegel was able to finally get that feather for his figurative cap. Some may have expected the scribe to fade away into obscurity but now he will always be remembered as the creator of Superman...'s introduction of Supergirl.

Prior to the big announcement, Linda Danvers had to keep her secret to herself, which caused a moral dilemma that weighed heavily upon her supershoulders. In fact, when her parents drive their car off a bridge, she actually has to take a moment to debate whether to save them.Why's the girl with the power to decimate a city block just by sighing too hard such a whiner? Is there more to this announcement than we're being given? Perhaps in Kryptonian, "I'll never introduce you to the public," translates to "I'm going to sodomize you to death with a Kryptonite broom handle!"

Linda's hemming and hawing is interupted by Superman swooping down from the sky, advising Linda to tell her parents the truth. To Linda's surprise, Superman isn't mad. Apparently Superman must express a lot more blind rage toward those who save the lives of others when he's "off camera," because that wouldn't be my first assumption as to the "what kind of mood will Superman be in when he finds out I saved my parents from certain death?" quiz.

Instead, Superman gives Linda permission to reveal her secret identity to her parents. First off, I think it's exceedingly arrogant of Superman to think it's his place to decide when and to whom Supergirl reveals her secret identity. Second, it's a little unsettling to think she's kept this huge secret from her parents this whole time.

However, there are two things to recognize about this situation. First, Supergirl is a girl and needs to have a man tell her what to do and how to live her life. If she could be trusted to make decisions for herself on any level, she'd have been born with testicles. As for the second point, before you feel bad for the Danverses having the wool pulled over their eyes for so long, realize these people aren't exactly winning any plaques for parental involvement, or they probably would know their brunette daughter is actually a blonde in a wig.With Linda's parents now aware of their daughter's part time job saving the world, the time has come for Superman to officially let the world know about Supergirl.Even the President of the United States books time with the networks before addressing the nation. He doesn't just hit a button in the Oval Office and interupt every TV broadcast. But then, Superman isn't President of the United States, is he?

The fact Superman has his own television studio and control over every television in the world makes me curious how often he does this.

"Hooo-doggies, Mr. Drysdale. I'm just about fixin' ta jump in this ceement pond--"
"Hello, citizens of Earth. This is Superman with another important announcement."
"Dammit! Mom! Superman's on the TV again!"
"I just wanted to let you know there's this girl here... and, uh... well, she exists, y'know. Talk to you later."
"Mr. Clampett, your deposits are perfectly secure at my bank. There's no reason to--"
"Hello, citizens of Earth. Superman again. It has come to my attention I will be having fish and chips for dinner tonight. Again, that's fish and chips."

The world gets the news and who you are determines how you react.If you are a woman, you are either an airhead who doesn't care about anything but cute hairstyles or you're a totally jealous bitch. Obviously, these women should have been watching television with a man who could help them form their opinions.

As you can see, men are much more rational. The strongman is rightly concerned that this announcement may have an adverse effect on his career, causing people to think less of circus performers. Nikita Khrushchev is cautious about accepting the information at face value, as a wise male leader should be.

The biggest impact, however, is felt among the male-dominated criminal community.So Supergirl's greatest contribution to the war on crime isn't actually catching criminals; it's scaring them out of committing crimes in the first place to avoid the potential embarrassment of being nabbed by a girl.

With the word out, the entire universe catches Supergirl Fever, which is to say they are all very excited about the revelation of her existence, not that they caught some Kryptonian flu from her. I only clarify that statement because I'm willing to bet my right pinky toe that there was a Silver Age story where the lives of millions of people were jeopardized by some illness Supergirl contracted.

Planets throughout the galaxy celebrate the fact Supergirl... just... is, each in their own stupid ways.Other planets build statues, which Supergirl assumes might lead future generations to think of her as a goddess. On Earth, she meets President Kennedy and is invited to the United Nations where she gets a standing ovation from every delegate. Because undoubtedly the Saudi Arabian ambassadors are really hyped about a girl who wears a short skirt and doesn't cover her face in public being a role model.

Of course, while Superman insists he's happy for Supergirl and all the attention she's getting, he also takes any chance he can to shift the focus back to himself.Fine, Superman, the UN gave you the certificate first. You're soooo much better than Supergirl. It should be noted, however, that she probably could have gotten her own certificate sooner if you hadn't forced her to remain in hiding for three years until her parents' driving off a bridge forced her to come out of the supercloset.

Supes does have a legitimate reason to be a little jealous of all the Supergirl love, though. Afterall, he's saved the world more times than you can count on all your fingers and toes while all Supergirl's done is show up on TV with a cute haircut. When Superman leaves her in charge while he flies off to the 50th century for an important mission, Supergirl herself confesses she "can hardly wait to prove [her]self worthy of all the honors [she'd] received!"

It doesn't take long for her to get her chance to perform on the big stage when an infinite monster starts trampling the countryside.See if you can spot the theme of this battle.If you guessed "Supergirl repeatedly tries to fly into the monster's ankle or get stomped beneath the monster's foot in attempts to knock him down while men deride and doubt her," you're right.

As everyone knows, if you knock a giant monster down once, he can't get back up, so it seems to be the perfect plan. Also, never hit giant monsters above the shin. Alas, it's not working and in case we don't understand why, we have a bevy of male characters explaining that chicks suck at everything.Fortunately, Supergirl finally comes to her senses and realizes she's just a stupid girl and the only way she'll ever stop this beast is to turn to a man for help. She builds a time capsule and puts a note inside for the Legion of Super-Heroes to read 500 years later. Brainiac 5 gets the note and sends a shrink ray back in time to the moment Supergirl finished writing the note.Supergirl gets all the credit for the big win and goes to a party at the White House where all she can think about is how pretty Jackie Kennedy is.

Supergirl, idol to millions of little girls everywhere, taught them a very important lesson: know your place. The final panel promises another Supergirl adventure in issue 286, I can only assume it was titled something like "Barefoot and Pregnant in the Kitchen... of Doom!" or "A Virgin in the Parlor, A Whore in the Bedroom" or "Kinder, K├╝che, Kirche" or "Homemaker Isn't a Real Job Because if It Was You'd Be Getting a Paycheck, Wouldn't You? Now Make Me a Sandwich."

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