Another great response, Kieran - thanks! Let's see if I can break this down --
Then how do you make it ‘about feminism’ without being in your face about it?
I don't want Carol or Karla to be preachy about being feminists, but definitely show more of an attitude to their remarkable competency (no, I'm not saying be a b!tch, though Karla may) and to have those around them acknowledge it since both women are usually surrounded by mostly men. It's more of the feel of the book, not a direct speech, or subversive lecture that will educate readers.
But this is all secondary to the fact: IT’S A COMIC. This is not the place to toot “Girl Power” or make a stand (at least not anymore, in a Western world embracing equality).
Thank God writers like Lee, Claremont, Wolfman, Byrne, and Moulton-Marston didn't believe this years ago or we would never have had the X-Men, Spider-Man, the New Teen Titans, or Wonder Woman (to name just a few). These characters became involved with stories that talked about equality, being different than the norm, growing up, and the harsh realities of life. True these messages were sometimes secondary, or even less important, but nevertheless they remain there.
Especially in today culture, where women are equal to men --
Unfortunately, this is incorrect, not just here in the United States, but all over the world. While is some ways the equality of the sexes has improved, women are not always equal in several regards.
I can’t think of many governments in the western world take open and public swings against their civil liberties; as they do with homosexuals and in American, with Native Americans.
Just because it's not public, doesn't mean these swings don't happen, Kieran.
-- do that she must just “be”, and fight crime, and save the day, looking superhero fabulous while she does it.
Being a superheroine is another form of celebrity separate from actors, musicians, and politicians. Women, men, girls, and boys draw inspiration, confidence, and joy from celebrities. Ms. Marvel is not excluded because she is "just" a superhero. Why would Carol have gotten a publicist in issue #1 if this was the case?
Why must Ms. Marvel be an example, when clearly Wolverine isn’t. Or Captain America? Or Iron Fist?
Because not only is there a Captain America book, several Wolverine books, an Iron Fist comic, several Spider-Man comics, many Batman titles, lots of Superman books, etc, and only one Wonder Woman book, one Ms. Marvel book, one Red Sonja book, and -- ? Since there are fewer women in comics who sustain their own title, why not show readers why, how, and for the fact that there are other female characters just as deserving as Wolverine, Batman, and Superman to have a comic book all their own? One way to do this is to show a greater interest in the few female characters with their solo books and prove that women are just as great (and in some ways greater) as men.
My hope is that Marvel Comics will take a stand and use the format of a Ms. Marvel book and help promote a more positive image of feminism. This isn't to say that I don't appreciate what the company has done up to this point, but I'm optimistic that someday soon we'll see comics help lead the trends of society in stronger ways, rather than follow or imitate.
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