Episode 18: She-Ra and the Male Gaze

If you happened to see a mid-tier 1980s cartoon superheroine get a costume update that was less objectifyingly sexy for a modern day reboot of the series in the last couple weeks and you were shocked to see a bunch of angry middle-aged men complaining about it… well then, “hello there! You must be new here. I’d like to welcome you to the Internet, feel free to look around but for god sake, stay away from 4chan!” The rest of us, pretty much saw this coming. For those who don’t know, The superheroine in question is She-Ra, probably best known for being “He-man’s sister.” Netflix has announced that they are rebooting the show to try and make a new kids cartoon that will be empowering to young girls. As such, they made some updates. And one of the biggest complaints has been about the way she looks… which mostly amounts to her not being sexy enough.

Yes, that’s right… the Internet is questioning whether or not a cartoon targeting 7-year-old girls is sexy enough.

But breaking down things like that is what we do here. Wayne, Mav and Katya are joined by Hannah Lee Rogers to look at the concept of “the Male Gaze” and talk about what it actually means and how it does and doesn’t work in general and in comics and cartoons in specific. Is it always bad? What are the problems with trying to subvert it. What are some examples where it is appropriate? If you’re into fan service and you want to hear a deep meaningful conversation about looking up the skirts of cartoon characters, well you’re in luck!

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