DC’s Editorial Policy of Ignoring Women

DC Special #3

From “Relevance in Comics”, an article by Alex Boney printed in Back Issue #49, the “1970s Time Capsule issue”:

DC’s Editorial Policy Code, for example, declared as late as the 60s that “the inclusion of females in stories is specifically discouraged. Women, when used in plot structure, should be secondary in importance, and should be drawn realistically, without exaggeration of feminine physical qualities.” Even before such requirements, though, comics had been a medium dominated by male voices writing about male subjects, and the depiction of females in comics had generally not been very progressive.

That doesn’t surprise me — if you’re concerned that some people can’t handle an area of subject matter appropriately, easier to make a blanket rule than actually work on improving their treatment in the area.

DC Special #3

The survey article goes on to discuss the “Lady Liberators” story (Avengers #83), Wonder Woman’s depowering and costume changes, and the introduction of Power Girl, as part of a section on “women’s lib”. The overall piece looks at how the changing times in a variety of areas were reflected in comics.

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