Today, I'd like to talk about girls.
Specifically, teenage girls. Now, this is an unusual topic for the Absorbascon, but there's a reason for it. Last week, I spent three days working with young female quartets and choruses on their stage presence, interpretation, performance skills, etc., as part of a large music festival. The fact that I was working only with girls was a happenstance, but it brought home to me something I'd never really given much thought to...
Girls and boys are very different people.
Boys are interested in being 'cool'. While this means different things to different boys, it's pretty much a universal and generally involves being on top of your game and being emotionally unperturbed.
Girls do not seem interested in being 'cool'. In fact, they seem interested in being overwhelmed and perturbed. That's not a criticism; quite the opposite, really. Boys try to paddle about in safe emotional waters and avoid making waves, while girls are hot-dogging the pipeline on the sea of feeling, with spectacular rides and dramatic wipe-outs.
I could go on, but you all are probably more familiar with the difference between boys and girls than I am. My real question is: are the essential differences between boys and girls well represented in comic books?
Because if so, I haven't noticed it much, and if not, then that's not very realistic. Certainly, there is a tendency for all heroes, even young ones, to be portrayed in a Standard Heroic Personality Mode. And one would except young heroes to be more mature than their agemates, meaning that they might be a bit beyond the personality extremes of 'normal' teenagers.
Still. If there's not difference at all in their portrayal it demands us to ask the question: why? Is it lazy characterization? Is it male writers unable to write female characters? Is it part of the Conspiracy to Claim that there are No Essential Differences Between Men and Women?
You tell me.