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    Default Woman of Steel Man of Kleenex

    Lois Lane, Mary Jane, Betsy Ross, etc... what do all these women have in common? They all date superheroes, and are most of the time ordinary humans. However, superheroines rarely if ever date non-superpowered men; Why is this? One theory I read is that more often than not superheroines are usually part of a super team as the “token chick”, and most writers keep the number of characters down so as to fully develop them. Naturally this means the lone superheroine will probably be hooked up with one of the many male superheroes, while all excess males will have love interest that are normal and can be pushed into the background when not necessary for the plot.

    So maybe if there were more independent lone superheroines with their own mythos, the number of Luis Lane, Marty Jane, and Bret Ross would increase?

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    Default Re: Woman of Steel Man of Kleenex

    Perhaps a sociological answer- women tend to date their social equals or superiors (broad generalizaton here with lots of individual exceptions, natch, part of the weaker sex/find a good provider agruments that abound) whereas men are more likely to "date down." Thus, who's Ms. Marvel going to date? The other superhero who can keep up with her, or the mundane schmuck?

    Or, playing on another stereotype- women superheroes are simply smarter than their male counterparts and only date people who have a reasonable likelihood of being able to defend themselves from being used as leverage.
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    Default Re: Woman of Steel Man of Kleenex

    "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" breaks the trope a bit- but it was a comedy rather than a typical superhero movie.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2010-08-10 at 02:57 PM.
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    Default Re: Woman of Steel Man of Kleenex

    Kim Possible kinda has the "strong girl, weak boy" thing going. It's the only one that comes to mind and doesn't really count but hey.
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    Default Re: Woman of Steel Man of Kleenex

    Uh, I hate to be Captain Obvious here, may have missed something, but, well...

    Wonder Woman?

    She-Hulk?
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    Default Re: Woman of Steel Man of Kleenex

    Quote Originally Posted by chiasaur11 View Post
    Uh, I hate to be Captain Obvious here, may have missed something, but, well...

    Wonder Woman?

    She-Hulk?
    I thought She-Hulk was dating Hercules?

    And Wonder Woman kinda proves my point, she started as an independent hero and had a social life outside the Superhero world.
    Last edited by GenericGuy; 2010-08-10 at 03:15 PM.

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    Default Re: Woman of Steel Man of Kleenex

    I like the play on the Larry Niven short story. If you haven't read Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex, I highly recommend it.
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    Default Re: Woman of Steel Man of Kleenex

    How many really famous superheroines are there, anyway? Could the average person on the street name one aside form Wonder Woman, who had the non-superpowered romantic interest Steve Trevor? Maybe more if they really paid attention to the X-Men movies.

    I think it really breaks down like this: there are very few comics staring a solo woman superhero, and of the ones that have existed none of them have had any notable longevity aside from Wonder Woman. Most female superheroes appear in group books - X-men, Teen Titans, etc.

    Now in most solo books, the star dates non-superheroes - otherwise, it wouldn't be a solo book. In group books, the characters tend to get romantically involved with each other, or superpowered recurring minor characters. So since most female characters are in group books, that means most of them get involved with other superheroes - the ones in solo books are much less likely to.
    Last edited by JonestheSpy; 2010-08-10 at 03:30 PM.

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    Default Re: Woman of Steel Man of Kleenex

    In Buffy I'd say Xander Harries qualifies as man of Kleenex, he's had four demon girl friends all of whom have tried to kill him at one point. Even the one he date long term Anya

    He is in fact shrouded by super powered women who can all kick his ass, Buffy, Faith, Kendra[before she died], Willow.

    In a campaign that ended a while back, I RP a female character who was part of the nobility that went into hiding when the clan was conquered [Oriental themed campaign] She once mentioned once that her prospects of finding a husband were slim as few men would want a wife capable of crushing them like a bug.

    That plays to the psychological issue for most men not wanting to be seen as weak. For most guys it be quite emasculating to be saved from a fight by their girlfriend.

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    Default Re: Woman of Steel Man of Kleenex

    Quote Originally Posted by chiasaur11 View Post
    Uh, I hate to be Captain Obvious here, may have missed something, but, well...

    Wonder Woman?
    Not to mention her younger counterpart, Wonder Girl.

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    Default Re: Woman of Steel Man of Kleenex

    Quote Originally Posted by FoE View Post
    Not to mention her younger counterpart, Wonder Girl.
    Didn't she marry a creepy middle aged guy, but then died in a car crash?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Vukodlak View Post
    For most guys it be quite emasculating to be saved from a fight by their girlfriend.
    I've never understood this. Shouldn't the appropriate response be "Thank you for dealing with that thing I didn't want to deal with. Now I can go back to drinking my coffee and reading the internet like I had planned before that guy attacked me."

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    Default Re: Woman of Steel Man of Kleenex

    Quote Originally Posted by mangosta71 View Post
    I like the play on the Larry Niven short story. If you haven't read Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex, I highly recommend it.
    Eh. I dunno. I've read it, and it kind of makes a lot of assumptions that don't fit more modern explanations. That, and since none of what he proposes has happened...

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by GenericGuy View Post
    Didn't she marry a creepy middle aged guy, but then died in a car crash?
    I remember him being slightly older than Donna, but not particularly creepy. But he did die in a car crash, along with their child.

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    Default Re: Woman of Steel Man of Kleenex

    Ah, but while Clark is the physically stronger one, I'd say Lois is the dominant one in the relationship...

    And in bed

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    Default Re: Woman of Steel Man of Kleenex

    Quote Originally Posted by Xefas View Post
    I've never understood this. Shouldn't the appropriate response be "Thank you for dealing with that thing I didn't want to deal with. Now I can go back to drinking my coffee and reading the internet like I had planned before that guy attacked me."
    It should be but for many its not.

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    Default Re: Woman of Steel Man of Kleenex

    Quote Originally Posted by Xefas View Post
    I've never understood this. Shouldn't the appropriate response be "Thank you for dealing with that thing I didn't want to deal with. Now I can go back to drinking my coffee and reading the internet like I had planned before that guy attacked me."
    That'd be logical, but social pressure says otherwise, and that's still a fairly powerful driving force despite its deficiencies.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conjob View Post
    Kim Possible kinda has the "strong girl, weak boy" thing going. It's the only one that comes to mind and doesn't really count but hey.
    Kim is the weaker one in the relationship, Ron just plays down as the weak one because he doesn't want to deal with the pressure of being the hero and likes being the comedic sidekick.

    Evidence is the episode where Kim was mind controlled(Ron takes on Shego and Kim at the same time), the episode with time travel(Ron cleans up everything when he learns what caused him to be moved to Sweden) and the series finale.

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    Default Re: Woman of Steel Man of Kleenex

    Quote Originally Posted by Geddoe View Post
    Kim is the weaker one in the relationship, Ron just plays down as the weak one because he doesn't want to deal with the pressure of being the hero and likes being the comedic sidekick.

    Evidence is the episode where Kim was mind controlled(Ron takes on Shego and Kim at the same time), the episode with time travel(Ron cleans up everything when he learns what caused him to be moved to Sweden) and the series finale.
    So that would be more served by comparing them to male and female lions respectively than to supers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonestheSpy View Post
    How many really famous superheroines are there, anyway? Could the average person on the street name one aside form Wonder Woman, who had the non-superpowered romantic interest Steve Trevor? Maybe more if they really paid attention to the X-Men movies.
    This is certainly a big part of it. Most big-name superheroes tend to be men, not women - probably at least in part because most of the big-name ones were established way back when sexist views that would preclude women from such a role were more the norm than they are today. And the closest thing we've acquired to big-name superheroines since then are female counterparts of existing males (Supergirl, Batgirl, etc) and a few major female members of popular superhero teams (Storm and Jean Grey in the X-Men, for instance).

    Wonder Woman is just about the only exception to those rules - a major superheroine who was lucky enough to get established back when superhero comics were still fairly young, who isn't part of a team (necessarily, anyway - there is always the Justice League stuff too, but she was a solo hero first) nor a counterpart of an existing male hero. And, surprise surprise, she's also the one big superheroine who had (has? I don't follow comics for the most part, so I don't know) a non-superpowered love interest.

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    Last edited by Zevox; 2010-08-10 at 08:40 PM.
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    Default Re: Woman of Steel Man of Kleenex

    Speaking of Supergirl, she was apparently dating Lex Luthor's son during the Doomsday thing. Although I think that wasn't actually Supergirl somehow? I'm not certain.

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    Default Re: Woman of Steel Man of Kleenex

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Vukodlak View Post
    That plays to the psychological issue for most men not wanting to be seen as weak. For most guys it be quite emasculating to be saved from a fight by their girlfriend.
    I'd say the issue is more that men don't want to see themselves as weak. But how many guys would see themselves as weak for not being immune to small arms fire, or for only being able to bench press 150 kilos instead of three tonnes?

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    Default Re: Woman of Steel Man of Kleenex

    I've heard plenty of women say they "want a man who makes them feel safe". Amplify the disparity, amplify the turn-off, I expect.

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    Default Re: Woman of Steel Man of Kleenex

    Quote Originally Posted by Grumman View Post
    I'd say the issue is more that men don't want to see themselves as weak. But how many guys would see themselves as weak for not being immune to small arms fire, or for only being able to bench press 150 kilos instead of three tonnes?
    It's the smaller things that happen in day to day life rather than standard comicbook events that would probably be the deciding factor.

    Imagine that you have to ask your girl to open a jar of pickles for you, or getting her to move the sofa so that you can clean underneath it?


    On the subject of other superheroines that have been dating non-super powered humans, didn't Rogue from X-men date some normal person at one point?

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    Default Re: Woman of Steel Man of Kleenex

    I believe the only supers/capes/masks that both The Question and Batwoman have dated are each other, I'm not sure how that fits into this discussion though...

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    Default Re: Woman of Steel Man of Kleenex

    Hm. So, how do Jessica/Roger Rabbit play into this? Cuz Jessica Rabbit definitely has super powers...

    Edit: Also, wasn't Deadpool dating Death for a while? How do anthropomorphic personifications ("embodiments," whatever) fit into this?
    Last edited by ghost_warlock; 2010-08-11 at 07:35 AM.

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    Default Re: Woman of Steel Man of Kleenex

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    It's the smaller things that happen in day to day life rather than standard comicbook events that would probably be the deciding factor.

    Imagine that you have to ask your girl to open a jar of pickles for you, or getting her to move the sofa so that you can clean underneath it?
    I still think the issue there is comparing yourself unfavourably with Joe Average (for whom pickle jars are supposed to be openable and sofas are supposed to be moveable), not with your girlfriend. As long as you're at that "good enough" level, I don't think it would matter much that she's better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    On the subject of other superheroines that have been dating non-super powered humans, didn't Rogue from X-men date some normal person at one point?
    Up until the point where she sucked the life out of him; only in the movies, as I recall.

    In the comics, her most significant relationship has been with Gambit which was rife with problems with the no-contact thing and all, and, really only picked up when they lost their powers and/or when she got them back and stopped sucking the life out of people.

    Still, she's with Gambit, and always has been (not including the times they break up and get back together) as far back as I can remember and still is AFAIK.

    Ultimate Rogue was with Iceman.
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    Default Re: Woman of Steel Man of Kleenex

    Quote Originally Posted by GenericGuy View Post
    Lois Lane, Mary Jane, Betsy Ross, etc... what do all these women have in common? They all date superheroes, and are most of the time ordinary humans. However, superheroines rarely if ever date non-superpowered men; Why is this? One theory I read is that more often than not superheroines are usually part of a super team as the “token chick”, and most writers keep the number of characters down so as to fully develop them. Naturally this means the lone superheroine will probably be hooked up with one of the many male superheroes, while all excess males will have love interest that are normal and can be pushed into the background when not necessary for the plot.

    So maybe if there were more independent lone superheroines with their own mythos, the number of Luis Lane, Marty Jane, and Bret Ross would increase?
    Isn't betsy ross the woman who sewed the american flag? Why is she dating a superhero?
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonestheSpy View Post
    How many really famous superheroines are there, anyway? Could the average person on the street name one aside form Wonder Woman, who had the non-superpowered romantic interest Steve Trevor? Maybe more if they really paid attention to the X-Men movies.
    Well, there's Wonder Woman, whom I actually heve never seen appear in any comic I read. And there have been women in the X-Men movies. What's their name? Rogue and Storm I think. Are they famous?
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