I probably should have talked about this ages ago, but the new "Supergirl" television series is set to air in this coming fall. I have been a comic geek for forever, and Supergirl, despite occasional sexism written into her character, has always been one of my favorites. The Supergirl "First Look" trailer was posted on YouTube by CBS, and I have some questions.
So first of all, there's A LOT of emphasis on the fact that she's a female superhero. One example is the "slogan", for lack of better words, for Supergirl is, "It's not a bird. It's not a plane. It's not a man. It's Supergirl." A YouTube comment on the trailer really made me think about this: "I feel like this is why female superheroes get crap.... When they create a super hero that's male, they focus on what makes them awesome, what makes them stand out from other heroes, not on the fact that they are male.... With this they focus on too much of the the "LOOK, SHE'S A GIRL" crap... Stop focusing on the vagina and focus on the hero," (GhostOf Eddie on YouTube ... https://www.youtube.com/user/TRASHYgah).
Also, the trailer has an aura of goofiness and general lack of seriousness to it; a soft, bubbly, light background song is being played for the majority of the trailer. Let's compare this to Marvel's Daredevil trailer, where dark, serious, scary background music is being played. In addition to that, when Kara is being shot at, she looks down at her body, sees her inability to be shot, and smiles giddily as she walks on; happy, cheerful music is being played during this fight scene, ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lm46-envrHo). In Matt Murdock's (Daredevil) trailer, Matt is shown fighting and being trained to fight with sinister and dramatic sound affects playing in the background, ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAy6NJ_D5vU).
There was one other YouTube comment that I found really explained what was wrong with this trailer: "Why is it that we finally get a Superhero show led by a female hero and they screw up the main character? In the comics Supergirl is strong, independent and rebellious. Here we have a Supergirl that can't make her own costume, completely folds on herself because someone tells her that he doesn't need her help when she offers it, and then asks for permission to be allowed to stop the villain. Don't get me wrong, I will watch the show, because I'm hoping this trailer just really doesn't do it justice," (Jason Norris on YouTube... https://www.youtube.com/user/jormungaurd/feed). This comment is 100% true. Kara has a man who tried to get her to date him make her outfit, and finally settles on one he makes, after various showings of outfits which sexually objectified her. The YouTube comment by Jason Norris then goes on to say something else about the trailer, that Supergirl shuts down after being criticized by a man, which is also 100% accurate. The man in the trailer says, "You wanna help? Go back to getting someone's coffee", after Kara offers to help defeat an evil, and then the next scene is Supergirl sitting on her couch staring blankly at the floor in the dark, whilst really sad music plays. Kara then, after rebuilding her self-esteem, approaches the man, saying "People of this city will die. You have to let me stop it", the man then replies, "Make sure you win", followed by a nod from Kara. Since when did SUPERGIRL have to get permission to save people? Much less permission from a man, which is so patriarchal, just- ugh.
I don't know if the show is going to be good, but I do hope that CBS/DC drops the sexism, I'd love a show where a woman is depicted as strong and independent.