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Thinking about Journalism with Superman
Unformatted Document Text:  Thinking about Journalism with Superman 9 strictures of objectivity—they still projected an air of calm, objective authority. 50 Deborah Chambers and Linda Steiner write that in multiple instances over the years, “`objectivity‟ and „authority‟ were qualities associated with masculinity,” whereas female journalists were relegated to a “soft news” ghetto of human interest stories. In brief, the weighty business of seeking and reporting truth about public affairs has often been defined as a male province, with women forced to consider whether they should “try to act like men” to advance their careers. 51 The female journalist in popular culture has regularly faced a similar conundrum: “how to incorporate the masculine traits of journalism essential for success—being aggressive, self- reliant, curious, tough, ambitious, cynical, cocky, unsympathetic—while still being the woman society would like her to be.” 52 So it is with Clark Kent‟s colleague and sometime love interest, Lois Lane. In creating Lois, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster again drew inspiration from the movies, basing her partly on Glenda Farrell‟s sassy reporter character Torchy Blane who starred in a series of low-budget films. As such, Lois was infused with “courage, independence, and ambition.” 53 In the 1940s Superman animated film series, she was even seen piloting her own plane while chasing a story. When the George Reeves TV series debuted, Phyllis Coates played Lois as “tough and direct,” similar to Reeves‟s portrayal of Clark. Margot Kidder‟s Lois in Superman II pursued nuclear-armed terrorists to the top of the Eiffel Tower. 54 For all that, one writer has asserted that Lois often “seemed intent on proving that she could be just as silly and frivolous as the feminine mystique required.” 55 As opposed to uncovering the truth as a public service, she seemed more concerned with satisfying her amorous curiosity regarding the truth behind Superman‟s secret identity. After she finally did so in Superman II and shared his bed in his Fortress of Solitude, her memory was wiped clean via a kiss from Superman, who thus not only restored his secret but also maintained his image as a pillar of chaste virtue. 56

Authors: Ehrlich, Matthew.
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Thinking about Journalism with Superman 9 
 
 
strictures of objectivity—they still projected an air of calm, objective authority.
50
 Deborah 
Chambers and Linda Steiner write that in multiple instances over the years, “`objectivity‟ and 
„authority‟ were qualities associated with masculinity,” whereas female journalists were 
relegated to a “soft news” ghetto of human interest stories. In brief, the weighty business of 
seeking and reporting truth about public affairs has often been defined as a male province, with 
women forced to consider whether they should “try to act like men” to advance their careers.
51
 
The female journalist in popular culture has regularly faced a similar conundrum: “how 
to incorporate the masculine traits of journalism essential for success—being aggressive, self-
reliant, curious, tough, ambitious, cynical, cocky, unsympathetic—while still being the woman 
society would like her to be.”
52
 So it is with Clark Kent‟s colleague and sometime love interest, 
Lois Lane. In creating Lois, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster again drew inspiration from the movies, 
basing her partly on Glenda Farrell‟s sassy reporter character Torchy Blane who starred in a 
series of low-budget films. As such, Lois was infused with “courage, independence, and 
ambition.”
53
 In the 1940s Superman animated film series, she was even seen piloting her own 
plane while chasing a story. When the George Reeves TV series debuted, Phyllis Coates played 
Lois as “tough and direct,” similar to Reeves‟s portrayal of Clark. Margot Kidder‟s Lois in 
Superman II pursued nuclear-armed terrorists to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
54
 For all that, one 
writer has asserted that Lois often “seemed intent on proving that she could be just as silly and 
frivolous as the feminine mystique required.”
55
 As opposed to uncovering the truth as a public 
service, she seemed more concerned with satisfying her amorous curiosity regarding the truth 
behind Superman‟s secret identity. After she finally did so in Superman II and shared his bed in 
his Fortress of Solitude, her memory was wiped clean via a kiss from Superman, who thus not 
only restored his secret but also maintained his image as a pillar of chaste virtue.
56
 


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