Feminist Philosophers

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Woman Thor July 16, 2014

Filed under: gender,the arts — philodaria @ 2:28 am

Marvel Comics has announced that Thor’s Mjölnir is going to a woman, a.k.a., there’s going to be a woman Thor (whoever holds the hammer, holds the power of Thor). Read about it here.

 

6 Responses to “Woman Thor”

  1. Derek Bowman Says:

    This is just Marvel caving to feminist pressure, just like they did for radical amphibians-rights groups in the 80s. http://geek-news.mtv.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/tumblr_ljy88jg5er1qfdq6jo1_r1_500.jpg

  2. philodaria Says:

    Too funny, Derek!

  3. Roy T Cook Says:

    This particular choice actually just strikes me as weird. Thor’s particular corner of the Marvel Universe is actually rather replete with strong female characters already (Sif, Frigga, the Valkyries, including Brunnhilde, “the” Valkyrie, etc.), at least when compared to much of the rest of the Marvel Universe. Why not showcase one or more of them (the way Sif was showcased in an episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) instead?

    And then there is Thor’s connection to actual Asgardian mythology – making Loki female a while back made sense, since Loki is the trickster god, and there is some tradition here (for good or bad). But this just seems forced in comparison.

    I’m certainly not saying it’s necessarily a bad thing – any moves towards more balanced and more positive depictions of females in comics is a good thing (assuming the female version of Thor will be done tastefully and well, and end up a positive thing – an outcome far from guaranteed in mainstream superhero comics), and Marvel is already behind the curve compared to their big competitor in this regard (although both companies are far from where they should be). But if I were an editor at Marvel, and was thinking about interesting and positive ways to showcase new (or old) females characters in my comics, this certainly isn’t the choice I would have made.

  4. philodaria Says:

    Roy, I had precisely the same thought yesterday in conversation with my significant other about this — I thought Valkyrie would be a great character to feature more prominently, but he suggested that outside of more committed Marvel fans (i.e., I mean people outside of more committed fans to refer to people who are fans of the recent movies for example, but don’t read the comics or follow the story lines, etc) characters like the one’s you mention are pretty unknown. He thought this might be a good way of reaching people who watched the movies and so know Thor, but have no idea who Valkyrie, et al are, and to do it in a more splashy way than Sif has been featured.

  5. Nathan Says:

    FWIW I was going to type philodaria’s response, but then s/he beat me to it. I think the broader audience reached by this particular hero justifies an otherwise less than suitable choice.

  6. Roy T Cook Says:

    Philodaria and Nathan:

    I take your point. But the choice of ‘turning’ Thor into a woman has two obvious drawbacks, it seems to me.

    First, it is obviously going to stir up the usual ***-storm from all the fanboys that are offended that Thor isn’t a dude anymore (and in fact already has).

    Second, there is a strange message one could take from the choice to make Thor a woman: that there weren’t any interesting inherently female characters that could be successfully pushed front and center in the Marvel universe, and thus the only way to have a successful female character is to take an existing male character and turn it into a female (a much more literal version of the unfortunate tendency of superheroines to be She-This or Ms. That or Whatever-Girl, where the This, That, and Whatever are pre-existing male characters).

    Also, given her appearance in both the Dark World and S.H.I.E.L.D., I am not convinced that Sif isn’t mainstream enough to have done the job (but maybe I am just fooling myself here).


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