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Superheroines and superstereotypes? Queer postfeminism, intersectionality and female superheroes in Supergirl

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Abstract
Since the new millennium, there has been a remarkable increase in audio-visual adaptations of superhero comic books (Garcia-Escriva, 2018). Whereas these adaptations used to include predominantly male superheroes, they have started to feature more female superheroes (Curtis & Cardo, 2018). An increase, however, does not imply diverse and rounded representations, since women in superhero movies tend to be depicted in stereotypical and sexualized ways (Kaplan, Miller & Rauch, 2016). Even though previous research has addressed the genre's politics of gender representation, there is a need for research that looks at televised female superheroes from a queer postfeminist lens. Therefore, this study conducted a textual analysis, informed by queer postfeminism and intersectionality theory, to explore how leading female superheroes in the series Supergirl are represented. We concluded that the superhero series Supergirl subverts hegemonic gendered identities through its depiction of both traditional and queer femininities.
Keywords
The superhero genre, gender representation, stereotypes, queer postfeminism, intersectionality

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MLA
De Wulf Helskens, Maxine, et al. “Superheroines and Superstereotypes? Queer Postfeminism, Intersectionality and Female Superheroes in Supergirl.” DIGEST. JOURNAL OF DIVERSITY AND GENDER STUDIES, vol. 8, no. 1, 2021, pp. 91–105, doi:10.21825/digest.v8i1.17163.
APA
De Wulf Helskens, M., Dhaenens, F., & Van Leuven, S. (2021). Superheroines and superstereotypes? Queer postfeminism, intersectionality and female superheroes in Supergirl. DIGEST. JOURNAL OF DIVERSITY AND GENDER STUDIES, 8(1), 91–105. https://doi.org/10.21825/digest.v8i1.17163
Chicago author-date
De Wulf Helskens, Maxine, Frederik Dhaenens, and Sarah Van Leuven. 2021. “Superheroines and Superstereotypes? Queer Postfeminism, Intersectionality and Female Superheroes in Supergirl.” DIGEST. JOURNAL OF DIVERSITY AND GENDER STUDIES 8 (1): 91–105. https://doi.org/10.21825/digest.v8i1.17163.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
De Wulf Helskens, Maxine, Frederik Dhaenens, and Sarah Van Leuven. 2021. “Superheroines and Superstereotypes? Queer Postfeminism, Intersectionality and Female Superheroes in Supergirl.” DIGEST. JOURNAL OF DIVERSITY AND GENDER STUDIES 8 (1): 91–105. doi:10.21825/digest.v8i1.17163.
Vancouver
1.
De Wulf Helskens M, Dhaenens F, Van Leuven S. Superheroines and superstereotypes? Queer postfeminism, intersectionality and female superheroes in Supergirl. DIGEST JOURNAL OF DIVERSITY AND GENDER STUDIES. 2021;8(1):91–105.
IEEE
[1]
M. De Wulf Helskens, F. Dhaenens, and S. Van Leuven, “Superheroines and superstereotypes? Queer postfeminism, intersectionality and female superheroes in Supergirl,” DIGEST. JOURNAL OF DIVERSITY AND GENDER STUDIES, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 91–105, 2021.
@article{8707507,
  abstract     = {{Since the new millennium, there has been a remarkable increase in audio-visual adaptations of superhero comic books (Garcia-Escriva, 2018). Whereas these adaptations used to include predominantly male superheroes, they have started to feature more female superheroes (Curtis & Cardo, 2018). An increase, however, does not imply diverse and rounded representations, since women in superhero movies tend to be depicted in stereotypical and sexualized ways (Kaplan, Miller & Rauch, 2016). Even though previous research has addressed the genre's politics of gender representation, there is a need for research that looks at televised female superheroes from a queer postfeminist lens. Therefore, this study conducted a textual analysis, informed by queer postfeminism and intersectionality theory, to explore how leading female superheroes in the series Supergirl are represented. We concluded that the superhero series Supergirl subverts hegemonic gendered identities through its depiction of both traditional and queer femininities.}},
  author       = {{De Wulf Helskens, Maxine and Dhaenens, Frederik and Van Leuven, Sarah}},
  issn         = {{2593-0273}},
  journal      = {{DIGEST. JOURNAL OF DIVERSITY AND GENDER STUDIES}},
  keywords     = {{The superhero genre,gender representation,stereotypes,queer postfeminism,intersectionality}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{1}},
  pages        = {{91--105}},
  title        = {{Superheroines and superstereotypes? Queer postfeminism, intersectionality and female superheroes in Supergirl}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.21825/digest.v8i1.17163}},
  volume       = {{8}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}

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