SheZow: The Female Superhero who is really a Boy

So I was combing through the old posts looking for some inspiration on what to write about today and I happened to come across this particular gem. “Sexism in Comics”, as the title suggest, talks about the differences in ways male and female characters are represented. The blog goes further and challenges the reader to consider why it is only after seeing the male character (Hawk Eye in this case) pose in these “traditional” women poses do we see how truly ridiculous they are. The post brings up other interesting points and even has a pretty funny sideshow to further add the writers point that I highly recommend checking out.

With all that said, it was that blog post that made me remember a recent superhero controversy that happened not too long ago. The Hub, a television network aimed towards children, has launched a new female superhero show called SheZow. The show features a young boy named Guy (yes, I know, the irony is apparent) become a female superhero after putting on a magic ring meant for his sister. Unable to take the ring off, Guy now has to come to full terms with his new superhero identity with the help of his sister and best friend.

The Magic Ring presents itself

The Magic Ring presents itself

As you can already imagine, having a cross dressing superhero show aimed at kids has gotten some heat for the show’s creator. One of the groups producing the heat is the group entitled One Million Moms and here is some of what they had to say:

This is just another attempt by the gay, lesbian and transgender community to indoctrinate our children into accepting their lifestyles…

There is no doubt this superhero character will confuse kids. Children desire to be just like superheroes and will mimic a superhero’s every action, even to the point of dressing up in costumes to resemble the characters as much as possible. It won’t be long before little boys are saying, “I want to be a girl, so I can help people and save the world!”

Now, as a college student with no kids of my own, I may be too far removed from a child’s mind set to fully comprehend where these mom’s are coming from, but after watching the first episode, I can say that they don’t have much to worry about. I rather not influence the readers opinions further than I already have, so I’ll end it here and leave you with the first SheZow episode along with two commentaries on it. The Youtube video deals more with the controversy around the show along with hypothesizing about where it comes from. The article deals more with challenging the show to go further with their attempts to break down gender roles by destroying many of the roles that still perpetuate in the show. Again, I’ll end it here and let the reader come to their own conclusions about how truly beneficial Shezow is to the gender debate.

P.S. After a comment or two, I’ll dive in and give my own two scents, but I want to see what some readers think before I do that, so please share your thoughts and impressions.

P.S.S. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

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5 thoughts on “SheZow: The Female Superhero who is really a Boy

  1. I hadn’t heard of the show before your post, but I definitely think the conversation surrounding this show is very interesting.

    In the Rubin Show interview, I thought it was slightly ironic how the host himself mentioned that he frequently watches the Hub in the beginning of the segment. While the main demographic is for children of the show, are the producers aware that there is also an adult demographic? Is there any subtle references in the show to the adult viewer that may be watching?

    Also, I found it intriguing that part of the “controversy” surrounding the show, according to the Rubin Show interview, was the fact that the main character does not seem to be “pro-trans,” but rather identifies as a boy and a female superhero. It makes me question how many times when gender boundaries become blurred or when gender does not become clearly defined into a specific category (i.e.: trans), how many times these issues become “controversial.”

    I am definitely interested to see how the conversation around this show continues. Will it die down as the “newness” of the show begins to fade? Will people continue to question the show? How will children react? Statistically, will the show draw more boy or girl viewers? And how will the adult demographic play out in the show’s dynamics?

  2. Derya, the Hub is the home of shows like My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, which somewhat surprisingly has a huge adult audience (it has the same creators, tone, and aesthetic of Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends, both of which also had cross-generational fans). For that reason I’d think that Shezow would have similar success amongst 20somethings.

    I am curious about the reactions of children, though. We’ll see what ends up happening, because I don’t think the show’s novelty will wear out anytime soon.

  3. As it stands now, SheZow’s 26th and last episode of season 1 aired on November 2. There has been no word yet on whether it has been picked up for season 2 or not. Once I know for sure and do a bit more digging on audience reaction I’ll post it here.

  4. Pingback: French short film about being a woman in a male-dominated society | Girlpower

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