I listened to two audiobooks that were sort of focused on women and
female empowerment, but in very different ways, and I’m lazy, so combined
reviews here we go.
Supergirls is about what the title says. Mike Madrid is a big comic book
aficionado who spent his childhood pocket money on single-issue comics. He has
loved comics his whole life, and he has loved female heroes his whole life,
which I think grounded it. In the book he points out that when he was a kid he
noticed that the women in comic books were mainly victims or bait, and if they
were heroes they were sort of provocatively dressed, and he couldn’t figure out
I really enjoyed listening to this. I’ll say first that I liked the
narration. I thought it was really well done.
Anyway. The book looks into the history of comic book heroines. And it
was really interesting to see how comic book heroes spend a lot of their time
fighting the enemies that exist in the real world, or metaphors for the real
I learned that a lot of comic book heroines, like Wonder Woman, spent a
lot of her life with a boyfriend, and that her personhood was very tied up in
her boyfriend. And she spent a lot of her time thinking about him, and saving
him at times. And super heroines who did not have husbands or boyfriends were
seen sort of as suspect, and were often paired up to not seem like lesbians or
man-haters (in the 50s, and 60s). It seems to have been really important to
pair them up with either normal men, or other superheroes. And it was
interesting to see that most of them had to take a deferential role in both
kinds of relationships. They can’t tell their normal boyfriends that they’re
super, so they have to be “normal” stereotypical women, and if they’re with
super heroes they can’t outshine the man and ruin his masculinity.
It felt like a very comprehensive look at super heroines, how they’re
often referred to as super girls, rather than super women, in an attempt to
infantilize them. It was interesting, but not surprising, that when women
started writing comics the women characters became more fleshed out and
independent and interesting.
He looks at fashion, and the hyper sexualised ways women were dressed
and the girly weapons they gave them, cause they’re girls, and we should always
remember that, at all times.
It was also good to see that female heroes get better, and they’re
allowed t be single, or gay, or married, or whatever else they want to be. And
yes it’s not perfect, but we’re doing better.
It was great, and interesting, and cool. And I want to read more badass
lady comics now.
All the Single ladies is a look at the rise of
single person households, specifically in America. The single person household
has always been around, but recently women choose to live alone and they
flourish, and it’s a good and solid choice for a lot of people.
It was really interesting and cool, and so great.
I’m a fangirl clearly. I really liked the narration too. I thought it was good.
I have seen some reviews who didn’t like it, and I feel like I see where people
have trouble with it, but I really liked it.
It was really interesting to see how single women
have often been vilified and discriminated against, mainly it seems because
politicians and the powers that be are scared of them, scared of the power they
wield and the political power they potentially have. And it was interesting to
see how their sexuality has been used against them, and as a method to push
them down. Like Rush Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a slut on the radio because
she wanted her health insurance to cover birth control.
The book looks at the history of single women,
and the author also interviewed contemporary women who are single either by
choice or by circumstance. The author tried to get a good demographic spread,
and has succeeded to a certain extent, although there is a certain limitation
because there are certain kinds of women who choose to live alone. They have to
be able to provide for themselves, and live somewhere it isn’t completely
socially impossible to be single, so there might be more white middle class
women than other, but that’s almost impossible to avoid. She has still gotten a
fairly good mix of people.
I really liked it. I liked the tone, it was
interesting, it was cool. I very much enjoyed reading history this way.