The Women In Refrigerators Syndrome: Teaching Feminism Through Comics
Steven Varela, University of Texas at El Paso
This is a live blogging of the session.
debate about the genre of comics why is it a useful tool?
power of the genre of comics
women in refrigeratorâ€™s syndrome
No respect: (theory)
intellectuals v. popular culture
for the â€œmassesâ€
taste is hardly an aesthetic activity, but rather an exercise in cultural power
Academics tend to look down on the genre of comics (so have to say graphic novels).
A History textbook? A Peopleâ€™s History of American Empire
graphic novel format
other academic disciplines are accepting
9/11 Commission Report was put into graphic novel
does not diminish intellectual content, replicates the visual aspect of our brains
sexualization of women characters found within the genre (genre is not individual)
The Hulk â€“do students know who that was?
Selling the Culture, academic relevance of graphic novels, blended with the traditional comic convention
perception of the genre at an academic conference, having the comics for sale
had the movie stars from various films
womenâ€™s theory, notions of femininity
myth: Graphic novels are â€œeasy reading.â€
Why this perception? Because there are pictures. Not 500 pages.
Overcoming the perception doesnâ€™t take long because the students are engaged and recognize the visuals.
How they consume information has changed
Women in Refrigeratorâ€™s Syndrome
the coining of the term, Green Lantern- catalyst for him to become a hero, his girlfriend has been stuffed in the refrigerator
because of this moment, how often does this happen in a very male dominated genre
What does this say about men and young men? consuming and presenting
Literary trope of using death, injury, or depowerment of female comic book character as a plot device, usually to provide the ethical motivation for the male superhero to whom the victim is connected and/or further cement the hatred between hero and villain.
Women have little to no voice, esp. early in the genre.
What can we learn from this? What does this say about men? action movies?
In Maus, husband and son talk of mother. Mother committed suicide. Journals were burned by her husband. New wife is a â€œgold-digger.â€
Woman is introduced to further the action of the male.
Supermanâ€™s first love falls off a bridge and he canâ€™t save her.
Gwen Stacy in Spiderman
Linda Park in The Flash
Can you think of more in popular culture?
Why is this happening? Art imitates lifeâ€™s ideologiesâ€”needs to examine them.
Talk about modern
always about the men, women are secondary/sex
Art imitates lifeâ€¦ some people think gender is not a relevant issue anymore.