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

Journal article


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). https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-0424.12361
AuthorsGoodrum, M.
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.

Year2018
JournalGender & History
Journal citation30 (2)
PublisherBlackwell Publishing
ISSN1468-0424
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-0424.12361
Publication dates
Online01 Jun 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited10 Apr 2018
Accepted04 Apr 2018
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusPublished
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/88q70/-superman-believes-that-a-wife-s-place-is-in-the-home-superman-s-girl-friend-lois-lane-and-the-representation-of-women

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