Do not underestimate the military strength of the human navel


After the success of Wonder Woman, you may be wondering whether the upcoming Justice League movie will continue to correct the dismal, depressing failure of the DC comic hero franchise. Have no fear! They’ll find a way to fuck it up.

One sign that they will is…costuming. Wonder Woman’s Amazons wore practical, reasonable armor that were less about fan-service and more about warriors not wanting their guts stirred with a sharp piece of metal. In Justice League, though, the Amazons are ditching the uncuddly, relatively unrevealing metal plates for soft leather bikinis, because, apparently, belly buttons are more ferocious and intimidating.

Perhaps the US Army should ask Zack Snyder to design their uniforms?

Comments

  1. kupo says

    I’m going to have to disagree that boob plate is practical, reasonable, and not added for fan-service. Just because it’s not as bad as Justice League doesn’t make it a good example of cinematic female armor.

  2. says

    Yeah, there are also a lot of bare legs and arms in Wonder Woman. Made me wonder if there aren’t a lot of amputee veterans on Themyscira.

  3. Dauphni says

    Bare legs and arms were pretty common for ancient Greek hoplites, so I can forgive them that. Typical armour of the age was a helmet, cuirass, and greaves, which would leave the thighs and arms bare. Of course they did also had giant shields to protect those bits, and I don’t see that in the movies…

  4. says

    Maybe that’s the dress uniform for formal dining. I’ve been to plenty of dinners in the City of London to know that high ranking army officers have the clothes for special occasions that would be totally impractical for battle, mainly because they are normally bright red.

    Or, Justice League is written with adolescent men in mind, I can’t decide which.

  5. says

    Oh FFS. If they start putting all the superdudes in G-strings, I’ll stop suffering near-fatal eyerolls over this sort of nonsense.

  6. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Joss Whedon stepped in as director after Snyder

    Cause he did so well as would-be writer for Wonder Woman. >.>
     
    Twitter Thread: Rave Sashayed – Excerpts from Whedon’s Script w/ Commentary

    [CN:] If you’re a woman considering reading this script, maybe just… don’t! It’s 11 years old, and it will ruin your week. There’s little or nothing to be gained from it. It’s not fun bad, it’s a highly-concentrated toxic stew–poisonous in boring, familiar ways.

  7. birgerjohansson says

    I recently watched some episodes of 1970 SF TV series “UFO “. It was sexist like hell, the female astronauts having short skirts, purple wigs and mascara from hell.
    And yet, those women were depicted as very capable, and they had access to the same kind of tactical gear (space suits, armed lunar rovers) . So Brit TV SF from 47 years ago was more progressive than current films!

  8. Gregory Greenwood says

    And once again my head poses an imminent danger to any and all unsuspecting desks in the vicinity. Happily, a useful and-not-remotely-sarcastic-honest comic is on hand to helpfully explain female armour.

    The usual word of warning is very much required here – don’t read the comments. They are infested with pseudo-intellectual, misogynist arsehats.

  9. Mark Jacobson says

    This practice is not only insulting and degrading, and idiotic from a Watsonian perspective, it’s idiotic from a Doylist perspective. Proper armor looks fucking badass, and it’d be a greater service to the fans than trite “fanservice.” They’d love it. Hollywood is perpetuating harmful tropes for no purpose other than to shoot themselves in the foot with it.

  10. Holms says

    #1 #2
    I disagree – the armour they have is actually fairly faithful to what the Roman Legionaries wore – lorica segmentata. This armour covered no more than what a t-shirt does, and was accompanied by bare arms and legs. Sometimes it also came with a skirt of tough leather strips, other times it was just a plain old cloth skirt.

    Here is a discussion of the armour from the view of a professional costume designer.

  11. says

    Silentbob @ 11:

    Ahem.

    That’s going a long way to miss my point. Arnold is not any or all the current crop of superdudes in the movies. They want to strip women’s costumes down? Fine, all the men in the movie, no more armor. No more complete coverage lycra. Just a g-string. Y’know, Batman, Aquaman, the Flash, all the rest. Ironman can have a metal g-string.

  12. Holms says

    #15
    Hm, I actually give them a pass on that one. The armour is only slightly stylised, and I think 90% rejection of the usual trope is close enough for a movie that is not trying to be realistic.

  13. kupo says

    @Holms
    Ok, that’s great that you give them a pass. I do not as it bothers me immensely when women are dressed up to be pleasing to the male gaze and it completely shatters my suspension of disbelief. Not because it’s unrealistic, as I’m able to handle a lot of unrealistic things in movies, but because it turns women from being agents into being decoration. I dislike sexism, even if it’s subtle or 90% washed over.

  14. kupo says

    Holms, your privilege may allow you to believe it is progress, but it’s actually more harmful because people like you come along and ask us womz why we’re complaining when it could be worse.

    I acknowledged that it was enough for you. You argue against Ichthyic that it should be enough for, I guess, everyone, becasuse you take it as fact that It’s progress. It’s not, and you will not change my mind on that and probably not the minds of many others that it bothers.

  15. cartomancer says

    The bare arms and legs are fair enough really. If you study depictions of Amazons in Greek art – they were a very popular subject among Athenian pottery painters during the Classical period – you will find they are almost invariably bare-armed and bare-thighed in a traditional leather cuirass, or else unarmoured but wearing some kind of animal-print onesie thing. Greek warriors tended to prioritise mobility of the arms and legs over additional protection to those areas, which would have been very cumbersome indeed given the technology available. If you had a great big tower shield or hoplon then you would rely on that for protection. If you didn’t you’d try to dodge the blows of the enemy, which would be easier with unencumbered arms. Experiments with heavy metal armour in the ancient world invariably went horribly wrong. Just about the only warriors who wore it regularly were gladiators – for the spectacle of the thing more than anything else – and when they tried to use it in non-arena combat situations (such as Spartacus’s revolt) they found it too heavy to move in and a complete liability.

  16. says

    Holms:

    But it does.

    No, it absolutely does not. I expect the only way you’d get the damn point is if the male actors and characters were treated in the same manner. This is regression, not progress, and it’s being done for purely sexist reasons, to appeal to the male gaze, because of course, nothing is more important than the state of a watching dude’s boner.

  17. cartomancer says

    The bare midriff thing… not so much. There are ancient Greek depictions of male warriors fighting in little more than greaves, a helmet and a startling lack of modesty, but these are probably stylised gymnastic sparring contests rather than actual battles. For an authentically Greek look you’d want the women as modestly dressed as possible with the attractive young men naked and strutting their stuff.

    Any objections? No?

  18. cartomancer says

    But not 300. Definitely not that. That works as neither Classically accurate nor homoerotically arousing. 2/10, would not buy again.

  19. Holms says

    #22
    Holms, your privilege may allow you to believe it is progress, but it’s actually more harmful because people like you come along and ask us womz why we’re complaining when it could be worse.

    Amazing. If this is more harmful than the usual ‘mail bikini’ depictions of women’s armour, the direct implication of this is that you’d prefer going back to said mail bikini. Also, your paraphrase of my position is inaccurate. Noting that Wonder Woman’s amazonian armour (as opposed to the equivalent in Justice League) is actually a marked improvement over most depictions of women in armour does not imply that I think progress ends here. It is a simple statement: this represents a move in a positive direction and that’s good.

    You argue against Ichthyic that it should be enough for, I guess, everyone, becasuse you take it as fact that It’s progress.

    Flatly wrong. Icthyic made a blunt statement that Wonder Woman‘s amazonian armour doesn’t show any progress at all. I disagreed with that specific statement. I did not at all say “that it should be enough” as if to mean no more progress can be made, only that it represented some progress.

    #24
    Caine, and possibly others, are you under the impression that I’m defending the amazonian armour in the yet to be released Justice League? I’m not. I’m defending that of the earlier movie, Wonder Woman, and agree that the next movie slumps back to the usual boneheaded armoured bikini idiocy.

  20. kupo says

    At least if it was a bikini you wouldn’t be in here telling me my discomfort with itf was wrong, so, yeah, that would actually be an improvement in that respect. Sometimes a “compromise” actually makes things worse.

  21. kupo says

    Basically my stance is, “don’t objectify women.” Doing so more tastefully is not progress towards my goals.

  22. says

    Technically, if you went with “modern” armor, unless you are bomb squad, for most people it is a tac vest, which covers the torso only – same problem as ancient times really, they don’t make things that both provide the mobility needed to move around a battle field well, and also protect the arms, legs, or heck, even your face. So, if you stripped modern armor down to “just” the armor, you would probably have the Wonder Woman armor, with the skirts being just for modesty. The rest worn by soldier, et al is just protection from general stuff like.. mosquitoes, brambles, modesty… that sort of thing. lol

    That being said, there is zero excuse for the BS bikini armor for the new movie.

  23. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Exposing a female navel will distract a male opponent so she can get a slash across him, winning the duel.
    The extent of my imagined rationalization for the baby re midriff of female warriors. Within the story, aside from the obvious fan service and production staff preferences.
    ?

  24. says

    John Morales:

    Then there are movies like “300”.

    (Male gaze for males? I dunno, I’m straight)

    Which also contained naked women, scantily dressed women, and a rape scene.

  25. says

    Amazing. If this is more harmful than the usual ‘mail bikini’ depictions of women’s armour, the direct implication of this is that you’d prefer going back to said mail bikini.

    At least the chain mail bikini doesn’t pretend to be progress so us women can be indignant about it without having self-styled “progressive” men mansplain to us how it’s oh so good.

  26. Holms says

    But it is progress. And nothing about that statement suggests that we stop hoping/pushing for better, it’s just noting that the movement was in the right direction.

  27. kupo says

    It’s not progress. It’s just a different flavor of objectification. One that fewer people recognize as objectification.

  28. says

    Holms:

    It. Is. Not. Progress. One more fuckin’ time:

    No, it absolutely does not. I expect the only way you’d get the damn point is if the male actors and characters were treated in the same manner. This is regression, not progress, and it’s being done for purely sexist reasons, to appeal to the male gaze, because of course, nothing is more important than the state of a watching dude’s boner.

  29. says

    Giliell:

    Ladies, stop talking and go back to the kitchen, the man has spoken.

    No shit. It’s bad enough being mansplained by an oblivious dude, but we’re also told we just don’t have the slightest idea about these things, no.

  30. says

    Let’S quickly recap the facts on this:
    – a woman designs armour for a tribe of mythical warrior women
    -she takes great pains to reflect the geographical and historical origin of that legend
    -the film is a huge success
    -especially female people LOVE the armour
    -another film in the larger franchise is made
    -an all male group decides to discard the already designed armour* and demands more skin.
    Holms: This is progress!

    Oh, and if we’re at it, can we just acknowledge that the new “armour” isn’t just objectifying but also plain boring
    *Where are the usual “this is not cannon” warriors here?

  31. says

    Giliell #42, I think you overlooked holms’s #28

    are you under the impression that I’m defending the amazonian armour in the yet to be released Justice League? I’m not. I’m defending that of the earlier movie, Wonder Woman, and agree that the next movie slumps back to the usual boneheaded armoured bikini idiocy.

    To me this seems like one huge misunderstanding.

  32. says

    Giliell:

    *Where are the usual “this is not cannon” warriors here?

    Downright odd, isn’t it, they never appear when it’s a matter of women getting closer to naked? There’s such a condescending smack to this, too – “yeah, okay girls, we get it, you loved WW, and you had your little movie, but we have to get back to what’s important now: men!”

  33. Holms says

    The above reply was unnecessarily snide and I retract it. Retry:

    When the argument appears to be caused by a misread of what I wrote, the only recourse that I can see it to correct that misread. But I will end my involvement in this thread here as my above rudeness indicates that I have helped it become acrimonious.

  34. kupo says

    I did not misread anything. I simply have a different idea of what progress looks like than you do.

  35. says

    Hmm. Just watched the movie. I think I counted maybe 6 with the “new armor”, like total. Mind, it was during a brief segment involving what I guess you would call an “honor guard” in the corridor of a big stone building, containing an artifact, which was surrounded, on the inside, by dozens of amazons in the old armor. The ones outside had sensible armor, the ones inside did, the ones in the corridor seemed to be sort of… dress casual, I am just a guard, and if some scary F shows up the ones actually guarding the thing, or the ones outside, will get to it first, so I would rather be sort of less hot a sweaty in full armor. Or, something like that.
    Mind, still maybe arguably a “bad idea ™” category of dress code for guards, but… not any more so than complaining that the person manning the front desk is in a business suit, or dress, instead of body armor, despite being part of the security of a building. I think, perhaps, people’s reaction to it was a tad overblown.

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