Kieran, again I appreciate your vocal views, and I'm all about you being an optimist - I consider myself one as well, but I write this post to report that not all women have your point of view. When I started drafting said letter to the creators of Ms. Marvel I had a group of close friends, all women, all non-comic book readers, review my ideas and hopeful "revision" of the title (this is a stronger word than I mean to use, but I'm at a loss of what to substitute it with). My main focus for asking my friends their opinion was to bring a modern day woman's perspective. Like the rest of us, they could care less about about long preachy speeches or over exemplification of girl power, but it was unanimous of the six (all around my age, 24-27), that there should be a heroine who's shown at being better than the boys and that women don't get their fair share of the respect many men do. I asked them if women are finally considered equal to men as of 2009, the majority response was, "Almost," or "In lots of ways," but not one person had a definite, "Yes, women are treated equal to men." Over a late lunch I pulled out several issues of the current Ms. Marvel series and asked the girls to flip through and give me their initial opinion. There were comments on the art, mention of the character's cool powers and costume, but as far as a favorite issue or story, most gravitated to the tale of Carol's past, in Ms. Marvel #32. My friend, Erica, said it best, "Carol doesn't need powers to be a powerful woman, she stands strong even without powers and proves to be equal or better than any guy would in a situation where she's being grilled and tortured. We should see more of this. It's all about the attitude. It's more relatable to women readers and even inspiring." While the girls don't think Ms. Marvel needs to loose her costume to show regular women and men Erica's suggestion, they do feel that having Carol in charge of other superheroes like Lightning Storm or the Avengers is a step in the right direction, "If only she DID something." The other consensus was it should be okay to show Carol on dates, having girl talk (like we first saw with Jessica Drew), and not fully being sure of herself -- so long as she remain strong in the end.
Finally, my conclusion is, that it seems everyone has a different opinion of feminism and how it should be related to Marvel Comics' single solo heroine title. I remain firm with my belief that sexism still exists and I would be happy to see a comic book tackle an issue that has remained a problem of our society for centuries. Writer Brian Reed is more than talented enough to handle a subject such as this without turning off current and possible future readers. It's time someone took a stand, why not have Marvel Comics use Ms. Marvel to just that?
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