What Kind Of Superman Are You?
It’s International Women’s Day and artist aleXsandro Palombo has done a series called “What Kind Of Man Are You?” featuring images of well-known cartoon characters in scenes of domestic violence.
Characters include Prince Charming and Snow White, The Flintstones, and The Simpsons, among others. I’m not sure what kind of statement he’s trying to make beyond the equivalent of flying a ribbon from your car antenna, but I think he missed the target here. This image, for example…
…isn’t particularly striking, pardon the pun, since we’ve seen Homer do worse to Bart almost since Day One. If anything, Marge is getting off easy (and I seem to recall Maggie launching an unprovoked attack at Homer at one point).
As for the superhero images, they’re pretty tame (seriously, after being hit by Superman, Wonder Woman shouldn’t even have a head anymore). Even the Super Friends cartoon, which looks to be the inspiration here, was more dynamic and energetic. But more importantly, he didn’t need to come up with some new image to show Superman committing domestic violence – there’s tons upon tons of source material in the actual comics.
Those are way niftier ways of trying to murder the one you love, especially if you have super powers. Gotta put some style in your game. But I digress.
So it’s established that Supes was not very nice to his girlfriend. But domestic violence is not always one-sided. Often the woman is an aggressor as well. It’s not as well known because women are generally less likely to manage causing physical harm to the man, which is illuminated through the extreme situation of the Superman-Lois dynamic… what’s she gonna do to him without taking extreme measures?
Which she’s done. Repeatedly. It’s only fair to look at things from Superman’s side of the story and see how Lois has treated him.
Superman isn’t the only one to be the victim of his girlfriend turning on him. Batman’s crazy cat lady squeeze dropped a hurt on him something fierce.
Another aspect of domestic violence that is not often mentioned is that there are times when the woman starts the fight, provoking him into retaliating or sometimes even forcing the man into defending himself. With his greater strength, he is more likely to visibly injure the woman.
The unstated assumption here appears to be that those with power will abuse it unless shamed into restraining themselves. Delving into characters like these undermines the concept – comics and cartoons are loaded with Women Of Power. Aside from Superman, who is more powerful than Wonder Woman? In addition, unlike the caped Boy Scout, she was explicitly trained to fight and even kill. So should we expect a scene like this?