Emmapeelers, Disco Divas, and the Feministas of Justice
Comic Arts Conference; WonderCon, San Francisco
Taking cue from the Women’s Liberation Movement, superhero stories in the 1970s featured righteous Lady Liberators, Femizons, and Amazons who fought to free women from gender inequity and oppression. But were they really feminist?
Jennifer K. Stuller, author of Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology (IB Tauris), explores such contradictory, and often cliché, characters as Valkyrie, Diana Prince, Ms. Marvel, Lois Lane, and The Cat. Though they presented an image of feminism that was superficial at best, they continue to serve as symbols of female empowerment in the cultural imagination—a conundrum Ms. Stuller attempts to reconcile.