As part of the Snow College Gender Studies Initiative gender initiative here on campus Dr. Andrew Bahlmann gave a presentation on gender and superheroes. Dr. Bahlmann was the first male professor to present to the gender initiative here on campus which was much appreciated.
He began by first defining feminism as push for gender equality for all genders. His main focus was how superheroes are objectified in society.
Keaton Studebaker liked the presentation because as he says “People in Utah tend to think that gender problems only exist in third world countries or maybe in big cities like New York City or LA, places far from home. We have cultivated a culture of apathy regarding gender issues and generally distrust those who call attention to gender inequalities.”
Dr. Bahlmann further explains that the objectification of a male superhero is vastly different from how a female superhero, but regardless of the differences they are both still being dehumanized.
Men always look muscular and strong. They are also always put in a position of power and rely on control, force and violence to solve problems. All of these portray men as simple minded, and violent while also creating a false image for men.
Female superheroes are also objectified through media as well. They are often drawn with unrealistic figures that are sexualized, but it doesn’t stop there. Whatever actions are carried out be a female superhero are always sexualized with an arched back, unnatural breast sizes, and waist to hip ratios.
As a student body there are lot of things that we can be doing to make sure that we don’t perpetuate the gender inequalities that media creates. The Snow College Gender Studies Initiative offers numerous events for students to discuss, learn, and engage with gender issues. You can check out the website at: snow.edu/genderstudies. You can also follow them on twitter at: Snow Gender Studies@snowgender. Finally, you can contact the Director, Dr. Rachel Keller at email@example.com for more information.