Forced feminization Comics

Most Masculine & Feminine Comic Character

imageWho is the most feminine comic book character?

Who is the most masculine comic book character?

These questions were asked during the online course Gender Through Comic Books, which contained interviews with Terry Moore, Mark Waid, Steve Wacker, Sana Amanat, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Gail Simone, Scott Snyder, and Brian K. Vaughan, as well as shorter interviews with a number of other creators (which I hope will be made public on Youtube at some date).

Most people named characters they felt represented the ideal female and male characters. But that’s not how I answered.

See, the thing is, feminine does not mean female, and masculine does not mean male. Masculinity and femininity are social constructs, labels assigned almost arbitrarily to particular concepts or traits, like how pink was once labeled masculine before it was later labeled feminine.

In our culture, the term feminine has often been used to label things that are considered delicate, impractical, or without value, while things are labeled masculine when they are strong, practical, or particularly valuable.

For instance, cooking has long been considered a feminine skill, being domestic in nature…except when it’s done in a restaurant as a career, and then it’s suddenly a masculine field that women have had trouble breaking into. It’s the same skill, the only thing that’s different is whether or not money is being made (and thus whether it has value).

Based on that train of thought, here are my answers to the questions:

The Most Feminine Comic Book Character: Lord Fanny

That’s right, the most feminine hero in comics is a male.

Before any of you jump on me for disrespecting his gender identity, Lord Fanny is a drag queen.* Drag queens are traditionally people who identify as male – often a gay male – who acts out a hyper-feminine persona that satirizes femininity.

Drag queens give you a quick summary of pure, undiluted femininity at-a-glance. As such, no woman can be more feminine than a drag queen, without adopting a drag queen persona herself.

*Yes, I realize Grant Morrison complicated Lord Fanny’s gender identity by giving him an origin that included elements of transsexuality, transvestism, and drag queen all wrapped in a forced feminization story. Morrison was likely trying to create a character that represented all forms of transgenderism, but by combining three contradictory subcategories, he created a character that doesn’t convincingly represent any of them. But outside of the origin story, Fanny is clearly a drag queen.

The Most Masculine Comic Book Character: Leonidas

I’d name a drag king character if I could think of one, but since I can’t I’ll go with the next best thing: a Frank Miller male.

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