‘Superman believes that a wife’s place is in the home’: Superman’s girl friend, Lois Lane and the representation of women

Goodrum, M. (2018) ‘Superman believes that a wife’s place is in the home’: Superman’s girl friend, Lois Lane and the representation of women. Gender & History, 30 (2). ISSN 1468-0424.

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Abstract

Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane ran from 1958-1974 and stands as a microcosm of contemporary debates about women and their place in American society. The title itself suggests many of the topics about which women were concerned, or at least were supposed to concern them: the mediation of identity through heterosexual partnership, the pressure to marry, and the simultaneous emphasis placed on individual achievement. Concerns about marriage and Lois’ ability to enter into it routinely provide the sole narrative dynamic for stories and Superman engages in different methods of avoiding the matrimonial schemes devised by Lois or her romantic rival, Lana Lang. Marriage is, however, routinely represented in a popular feature of the comic-book, at least in its early to mid period of publication: the ‘imaginary story’.

This device allowed the creative team to explore potentialities that have no impact on the ‘main’ story which exists within continuity. Lois Lane therefore engages with real-world concerns facing women through direct representation and indirectly through consideration of problems with continuity, the system through which superhero comic-book narratives are internally structured.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: E History America > E151 United States
E History America > E151 United States > E171 History
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts > N5300 History
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Michael Goodrum
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 10:10
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2018 12:30
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/17233

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00