We know that it’s critical for girls and young women to have female role models.
The benefits girls reap from watching the women who came before them are enormous and crucial as they carve their own paths and enter adulthood. We also know that women endure inordinate amounts of scrutiny. Women are judged harshly, their bodies examined in the public eye under a microscope, their personal choices made political, their stories often untold and their voices frequently silenced.
The team at Storm Entertainment (formerly titled Blue Water) understands these facts, and found a way to, with their signature innovative creativity, create a platform by which to tell the stories of strong, high-achieving, women. They decided that featuring some real life superheroes in comic books would not only inspire readers, but also subvert stereotypes about female comic book characters who are often portrayed in distress or as magically able to fend off villains while scantily clad and posing in a push-up bra.
In a study published by the University of Missouri in March of 2015, researchers Hillary Pennell and Elizabeth Behm-Morawitz, found that how superwomen are depicted could have harmful effects on female readers. After working with a test group of 83 women, the researchers discovered that “exposure to the sexualized-victim images of women in superhero films decreased egalitarian gender role beliefs…[and] resulted in lower body self-esteem.”
Acknowledging the problem at hand, at Storm Female Force was created. The comic book series puts historical, factual women on the map in all of their own, real-life, superhero-worthy glory.
The series, which, as Storm defines it, is a “broad examination of strong and influential women who are shaping modern history and culture,” is available easily online across the globe.
The comics feature the women like Hillary Clinton, Nancy Reagan, Elizabeth Warren, Michelle Obama, Sheryl Sandberg, Barbara Streisand and Tina Fey.
The feminist narratives that Female Force are choosing to tell are not to be ignored. When Female Force ran its “Women in Comedy” and “Women in Entertainment” books, they were dedicating pages to telling the tales of women in traditionally male-dominated fields. In doing so, they provide opportunities for their readership — female or otherwise — to be exposed to stories of women making a name for themselves by doing work society tells them isn’t for them.
Female Force’s inspiring work to subvert the norm and to harness the potential of comic books’ mass following puts their books on the very top of our reading list. Through comics about the careers and upbringings of Kathy Griffin and Madeleine Albright alike, Female Force reminds us of all the good that happens when women are recognized for their heroism.
Image courtesy of Getty Images.