Posted by: *carrie* | May 22, 2010

Female Force Comics

I just saw something that made me say “hell yeah!“. It’s Female Force:

Female Force: Biographies of Amazing Women

Sure Sarah Palin is included, but she is a woman in the political spotlight. (Just not a woman most of us want to represent us).

Hillary Clinton is featured in issue #1. No one can argue that Hillary is a great role model. She’s been in politics for years, she’s currently our (very effective) Secretary of State, and she makes it evident that her career was as important as her family.

Michelle Obama is also one of the featured women. Here’s her cover:

Michelle Obama

Do you know what’s missing from this cover? Michelle Obama’s totally kick ass biceps.

Michelle Obama: Literally Strong Woman

This is a comic book. If anything, shouldn’t we be over-exaggerating her awesome muscles? Remember when every time someone commented on Michelle Obama, it was about her biceps? Too frequently to say she should cover them up. There’s a level of uncomfort with a woman displaying anything that might be construed as “unfeminine” – apparently even in a comic book about how she is a “force”.

I can get over the bicep thing. Sort of. To celebrate strong women politicians. To share the comics (ok, not the Palin one) with my niece & nephew.

It does seem really awesome.

And that’s when I discover there is also a series titled Political Power. My immediate reaction was that it figures the women couldn’t just be included in the Political Power series – they had to be othered.

This is why a bit of research (by which I mean a 3 second search around their site) is important. I discovered that the Political Power series is actually a spin off from Female Force. Apparently, the female political series was popular enough that they wanted to include the men, too.

So I have mixed thoughts about this. It’s kind of like Dora and Diego. Dora was (maybe still is?) immensely popular among young kids – girls or boys. So they had to come up with Diego, the male counterpart, for the boys. Why couldn’t the boys just continue to enjoy Dora like they had been doing? (Judging from some kids I know, they still did prefer Dora). Because our society, while it grudgingly allows girls some allowance in liking “boy” things, cannot have boys liking “girl” things, because that might emasculate them. Take away from their manhood. Nevermind that they are about 4 years old.

So back to the women in politics comics. Is it teaching kids that women in politics are an important force? Or is teaching kids that the men are the real politicians, and there are a few women that show up sometimes, but they need their own line of comics because women in politics is still so rare?


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