by Bear Hunter
Like many young men of my generation I read a lot of comic books, fantasy novels and I played a lot of video games. I was very socially awkward as a kid and as a teen. In some ways I’m still kind of socially awkward… I still have trouble chatting with women. Also, like many young men I got sucked into the world of beautiful heroines in comic books. I couldn’t figure out the girls around me but I always had Wonder Woman and the Scarlet Witch to fall back on. I had the biggest crush on Rogue from the X-Men, a woman who was just as much of an outcast as I felt myself to be.
Those super hero women were just a fantasy. I didn’t look at them as a statement on our world, only a secret delight for a lonely young man. I’ve been to a few comic book conventions now. Each time I step out onto the floor I’m more shocked than the last. The girls dressed up as super heroes. It didn’t hit home how sexualized the outfits really were until I saw them on real women. In many cases the women are young enough to be my daughter. I have to admit, it’s confusing.
I always looked at violence in comics as an acceptable release, a way to celebrate aggression in a way where no-one would get hurt. I guess deep down I considered the sexuality in comic books to be the same. Now that I see it materialized in front of my eyes with no fictional barrier I’m not too sure. I’m not sure if I should celebrate it or try and cover up the girls with their own capes.
Maybe it’s empowering for some women, maybe even freeing. I don’t know, I’m not a woman nor do I claim to understand them. I’m just afraid they will associate strength and power with sexuality as opposed to valour and integrity. Maybe I’m just afraid I’ll developed a strange sexual obsession with women half my age and stop paying attention to women my own age or at least closer to it. I don’t want to miss out on meeting sweet and intelligent middle-aged women because I’m too busy staring at twenty-somethings dressed up like Sailor Moon. Half of my motivations in life are already questionable, I don’t need at add anymore to the list.
Feel free to let me know what you think.
– Bear Hunter