I Can't Wait To Not See The New Superman Movie

 A social media connection of mine posted this photo:

I can't wait to not see that Superman movie. I'm really tired of Lois Lane being turned into a gritty, hard-hitting investigative journalist.

Time for a rant.

Women writers don't understand the appeal of Superman comics. (Women tend not to understand romance in general, but that is perhaps a topic for another day.) Men understand intuitively what's cool about a man who can perform awe-inspiring feats of strength and who can defeat any foe and overcome any challenge. Men also intuitively understand what it's like to be in love with a woman while, for various reasons, being unable to reveal to her the very best parts of who you are. And there is an instant human appeal to a story in which a person hopes that their personality is enough to win a romantic partner, without having to rely on tricks, fame, super-powers, etc. This is why Superman is a story that people enjoy.

But it's also a male-centric perspective. If a woman falls in love with Clark Kent... what's in it for her? To be sure, it's fun to be WANTED by someone at work, as long as he's not a creep, but if he's not handsome, powerful, and/or a man of great integrity, what exactly is the appeal? So, from the female side, the best part of the story is when Superman falls in love with an ordinary reporter. Not a beauty queen, not a rich debutante, just an ordinary girl who lives in an apartment and works for (what used to be) a humble newspaper. But, gasp, this creates an imbalance of power between the two characters, so now Lois Lane has to somehow "deserve" Superman and be equal to him in some way. She can't be beautiful or a rich debutante, though, or else women are going to hate her. So, she's gotta be a left-wing activist girl-boss. And you know what's really great about this? It proves that not only does Superman like girl-bosses, but he also likes left-wing activism! Now we're talking!

But wait, it gets worse. In this female-centric story, Clark Kent has nothing to reveal about himself to Lois Lane. Why would he want to? He's no longer an all-powerful hero with a vulnerable side he's seeking to share with the love of his life. No, in this story, Lois Lane must be the one who discovers Superman's true identity. So, Clark Kent doesn't seek to be vulnerable in the arms of the woman he loves; instead, the woman robs him of his anonymity by "figuring it all out by herself." Then she decides that he's the man for her. She takes him, and he lets her do it because, how could he not fall head-over-heels for such a girl-boss?

Except now there's nothing in the story that appeals to men. Or rather it only appeals to the kind of men who dream of falling in love with a left-wing activist girl-boss, which is... not very many men. And certainly zero young boys. And also, as it turns out, even most women don't particularly care for a story like this, because there's nothing interesting about it. The whole plot is, "Once upon a time, Lois Lane was awesome." Why was she awesome? Because she was good at being a reporter.

Look! Over there! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's--aw, who gives a fuck? There's a girl-boss over here girl-bossing! Who has time for superheroes?

No comments:

Post a Comment