But at its heart, it was a story about how women are assessed: by disciplinary committees, police departments, their friends, the public, and by the people they identify as their assailants. It was about how female availability and consent and intoxication are appraised based on how women look, dance, dress, and act, even when those appraisals are at odds with medical evidence, eyewitness accounts, inconsistent stories from accused parties, and certainly with the woman’s own interpretation of her experience or intentions…
This comfort with group assessment of femininity in turn reminds me of the ease with which women’s choices regarding their bodies, futures, health, sex, and family life are up for public evaluation…
It’s such a comfortable pose, gathering around women and deciding what we think of them—hot or not, alluring or tragic, moral or immoral, responsible or irresponsible, capable of consent or incapable of consent, maternal or neglectful."
Anonymous said: Wait who came before Ma Hunkel then?
If this is like asking “Who was the first female superhero in comics?” then it sort of depends on whether you think “superhero” means super-powered or just masked/costumed, whether that includes vengeful antiheroes, and whether “comics” includes newspaper strips.The Red Tornado (Ma Hunkel) was the first masked female crimefighter at DC Comics, but she was preceded by several other masked and/or superpowered heroines at smaller publishers.Here’s a work-in-progress list I’ve started of the first female superheroes in comics leading up to Wonder Woman:
- 1937-38: Sheena, Queen of the Jungle in Wags #1 (UK); Jumbo Comics #1 (US, Fiction House) — The first “jungle girl,” a non-powered Tarzan-type woman.
- February 1940: Fantomah in Jungle Comics #2 (Fiction House) — A jungle woman with godlike superpowers.
- March 1940: Amazona, The Mighty Woman in Planet Comics #3 (Fiction House) — Survivor of a super race that perished in the Ice Age; key inspiration for Wonder Woman.
- March 1940: The Woman in Red in Thrilling Comics #2 (Nedor) — A non-powered masked vigilante.
- May 1940: Gale Allen in Planet Comics #4 (Fiction House) — A sci-fi princess and leader of a female space squadron.
- June 1940: Lady Luck in The Spirit Section (newspaper insert) — A non-powered masked crimefighter.
- June 1940: Invisible Scarlet O’Neil in newspaper strips — A policewoman with the power to turn invisible. Sometimes considered the first female “superhero” (if Fantomah and Amazona are not “heroic” enough for you).
- August 1940: The Black Widow in Mystic Comics #4 (Timely/Marvel) — An antihero who kills bad guys for her master, Satan.
- November 1940: The Red Tornado in All-American Comics #20 (DC) — Ma Hunkel, a non-powered middle-aged mother.
- April 1941: Miss Fury in newspaper strips — A spy and vigilante.
- May 1941: Bulletgirl in Master Comics #13 (Fawcett/DC) — Counterpart to Bulletman, with flying powers.
- May 1941: War Nurse in Speed Comics #13 (Harvey) — A non-powered British spy and fighter and nurse.
- May 1941: Madam Satan in Pep Comics #15 (Archie) — An antihero; like the Black Widow, she kills people for Satan.
- June 1941: Hawkgirl in All-Star Comics #5 (DC) — Counterpart to Hawkman, who flies with wings.
- August 1941: The Black Cat in Pocket Comics #1 (Harvey) — A Hollywood actress and non-powered vigilante.
- August 1941: Nelvana of the Northern Lights in Triumph Adventure Comics #1 (Hillborough) — A demigoddess based on Inuit mythology.
- August 1941: Miss Victory in Captain Fearless #1 (Holyoke) — Patriotic fighter of the Nazis.
- August 1941: Miss America in Military Comics #1 (Quality/DC) — Another patriotic fighter of the Nazis.
- August 1941: Wildfire in Smash Comics #25 (Quality/DC) — A superhero with fire powers.
- August 1941: Phantom Lady in Police Comics #1 (Quality/DC) — A detective vigilante with a black flashlight.
- December 1941: Lady Satan in Dynamic Comics #2 (Chesler) — A vengeful spy/vigilante type.
- December 1941: Wonder Woman in All-Star Comics #8 (DC) — Super-powered Amazon superhero.