Scott (invisiblemoose) wrote in inclusive_geeks,

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"Why are all the live-action superheroines porn stars?" - A SFW rant

Wonder Woman, from Justice League XXXThis is a cross-post from my Tumblr - also SFW.

So an article on Topless Robot points out there is going to be a pornographic crossover between Spider-Man and Superman. And accurately point out that there is going to be a crossover movie between Marvel and DC coming out from the porn industry before we even see an official live action Wonder Woman movie. This was sad enough, but then I realized that the trailer included Spider-Woman, Supergirl and Black Cat. Supergirl did have a live action movie in 1984, but Spider-Woman and Black Cat have yet to actually appear in film. And quite possibly won’t appear anytime soon. So including Wonder Woman, that’s three big-name costumed women who have acted in porn movies but not official movies.

This made me wonder; how many comic book women are getting representation in the porn industry without ever getting the live-action film treatment? I did a little research on superhero ‘parodies’ that are either out now or coming soon and compiled the following list: 

  • Wonder Woman
  • Zatanna
  • Black Cat
  • Madama Hydra
  • Sharon Carter
  • Ms Marvel
  • Harley Quinn
  • Huntress
  • Black Canary
  • She-Hulk
  • Spider-Woman
  • Polaris
  • Domino
  • Mariko Yashida
  • Enchantress
  • Millie the Model
  • Jill Jerold
  • Mei Ling
  • Alyce Sinner
  • Hippolyta 
  • Oracle (This is kind of dubious though as ‘Barbara Pennyworth’ appeared as Batgirl in Batman & Robin)

Compiling a similar list of male heroes we have considerably fewer examples of characters in porn that haven’t appeared in live-action movies:

  • Flash
  • Electro
  • Green Arrow
  • Aquaman
  • Steve Trevor
Here’s a few other things of note:
  • The Avengers features one female superhero. The Avengers XXX Porn Parody features five.
  • Vivid’s Superhero imprint is also planning to do a Wonder Woman parody of their own but I’ve been unable to find out any characters that will feature, but so no doubt there’ll be further women to add to the above list. 
  • The Avengers failed the Bechdel test—it features Maria Hill and Black Widow but they never had a conversation. Its Porn Parody passes it. 
  • With very few exceptions, every single female character who has appeared in a live-action film has had a corresponding appearance in a current or upcoming adult film e.g. Emma Frost, Black Widow, Catwoman, Poison Ivy. This seldom happens with the male cast.
  • In the name of fairness I’ll point out that certain characters would be difficult if not impossible to translate to film due to multiple contracts with differing film companies. Spider-Woman and Scarlet Witch both have ties to the Avengers but also have ties to Spider-Man and the X-Men respectively, and Fox and Sony would have a claim to them as well. There would be no such issue with any DC character or many other Marvel characters.
Given any typical adult film that would cater to the male gaze it’s unsurprising to learn that if said film was going to be about superheroes then you’d need a large cast of women superheroes. Fortunately if you’re a porn director with some comic book geek credentials then you won’t have a hard time (pun unintentional) finding costumed women to put in your porno. 
But why is it that DC and Marvel being beaten out by the porn industry when it comes to representation of their own characters? We’re told when a Wonder Woman show fails that “viewers aren’t ready for a contemporary take” in the same year that included a successful mainstream film about norse gods on earth. And I know that it is harder to develop a fully-fledged character rather than someone who is there to gangbang the Justice League but come the fuck on.

Honestly, in principle  I don’t mind that someone decided that they wanted to make pornographic versions of superheroines. They probably aren’t going to be stunningly in-character, which I’m less thrilled about, but the fundamental concept I’m okay with. But why is it that the only way these amazing and beloved characters can appear in a movie is if they’re fucking someone for the sexual gratification of the viewer?
Tags: comics, movies, representations of women, sexism
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