For those that don’t know (and I didn’t, until yesterday), Wikipedia explains the WiF theory (and website) thusly: exploring “female comic book characters that had been injured, killed, or depowered as a plot device within various superhero comic books. Also, the site seeks to analyze why these plot devices are used disproportionately on female characters.”
These are superheroines who have been either depowered, raped, or cut up and stuck in the refrigerator. I know I missed a bunch. Some have been revived, even improved -- although the question remains as to why they were thrown in the wood chipper in the first place.
I know I missed a bunch -- I just don't know my comics deaths the way I should. I'm not editorializing -- I'm just curious to find out what you guys think it means, if anything. – From the site
Good question—what does this all mean and why is it happening? I don’t think this use of female characters is limited to comic books. As Crocodile Caucus points out, it’s branching out into television, and I’m sure with some thought and research, you can see this attitude in movies and literature as well.
Positive female role models and characters are really needed in our media. Sure, some of these women mentioned are intelligent, but they still meet a dreadful end because a man was powerless to save them. Why can’t they have power in their own right? What is this teaching the audiences (both children and adult) who watch or read these stories?
With Spiderman 3 coming out this summer, I’ll be curious to see how they handle the infamous Gwen Stacy plot line, and see if she meets a WiR ending. Another obvious example would be the fate of Jean Grey in the recent X-Men movies.