Comic Vine News


Off My Mind: Are Men Supposed To Stare At Revealing Costumes?

Female characters should be able to wear what they want. What happens when someone stares at what's on display?

No Caption Provided
Back in June I asked the question whether or not female costumes were practical or exploitive. We can agree that about 99% of all heroes, male and female wear tight outfits. There's been the joke that revealing costumes, like Power Girl's can be used as a distraction against enemies (provided they're interested in looking). I understand that the tight costume may have some practical reasons such as mobility and not having to worry about getting caught on things during a fight. My question is, if a female character chooses to wear a revealing costume, shouldn't they expect people to stare at their bits? 
I'm going to use Donna Troy as an example here since this idea came up when reading this week's Justice League of America #49. Looking above, you can see two versions of her recent costumes. Currently she's going with the low cut one on the right. I'm not here to talk about whether or not showing cleavage is good or bad, but I think that if you choose to wear something low cut, there are going to be certain types of people that will blatantly stare. I don't want to speak on behalf of all women (and I did consult my wife last night about this), but if Donna chooses to show off her cleavage, should she get upset if someone's gaze lingers upon it? 
 == TEASER == 
In the issue, Donna has to talk to the creepy Bogeyman, a Teen Titans villain that I don't seem to recall. When Donna has to talk to him while he's locked up, she makes the following comment: 

No Caption Provided
I am not saying Donna shouldn't be allowed to wear what she wants. Yes her costume is tight and low cut but, I wouldn't necessarily say it's trashy (we all know there are far worse costumes out there). Again, not trying to speak for women, but I think that part of their confidence is being comfortable wearing whatever they choose. It's just the fact that if they wear something low cut or revealing, most guys (and some women) will probably be tempted to look. That's something that women have to be aware of. It's not like it's a secret. There is a difference between a glance and a lingering stare, but I feel if a female is not comfortable with someone staring, maybe they should reconsider their outfit. While I do think it'd be creepy to have this Bogeyman guy staring, I think Donna might've overreacted a tiny bit. Then again, she did mentioning him 'licking his lips.' 
So here is where the debate begins. I feel we should tread lightly here, perhaps a little. If a woman wears something low cut, should she expect certain people to stare? I'm not saying it's an invitation to just sit there and gaze and what is being displayed. I just think that if you choose to wear certain outfits, you have to accept that there will be some looks. Where should the line be drawn?