The Hawkeye Initiative is a place to draw attention to ridiculously sexist comic book character drawings by replacing a female in a typical superhero pose with the character Hawkeye.
The problem with this line of thought (from my perspective anyway) is that I don’t feel that comic book artists are necessarily setting out deliberately to be sexist. The illustration of both the male and female form in the super hero genre is given to overwhelming physical attributes. In the case of males it is their incredibly overblown hunky muscles. In the case of females it is their natural curves.
Of course, this has been going on for thousands of years. The first Super Heroes were arguably the ancient pantheons of gods and those were immortalized in sculpture with the same overwhelming physical attributes familiar to comic book fans. Take for instance the Farnese Hercules which originated in the Fourth Century B.C. On the female side of that coin, ancient art dedicated to Aphrodite or Venus glamorized their feminine virtues with over-emphasis of what was considered either sexually appealing or beautiful at that time in history.
Obviously, ancient gods would be less godly and impressive if they both looked and moved like cake eating, T.V. watching average humanity. The same can be said for Super Heroes and Villains.
I do not think that the women who are themselves participating in cosplay are being “Sexist”. I am more inclined to think they are simply being “Sexy” and having fun emulating the power, grace and beauty of women in comics. Males emulate as well in cosplay by looking hunky, muscular and powerful. But the male pose and look is different, of course, as it is focused on the chest and arms – masculine, one might say (less bendy and more sturdy).
While the poses comic book heroines make may be ridiculous (or at least over-stylized) I am not sold on the idea that the intention is to be sexist. When Joel Schumacher put nipples and codpieces on the Bat-Suit and gave us a two hour romp of man-butts on screen, I didn’t think that was sexist either. Cheesecake sells, we’re all buying and we have been for centuries. Besides, what’s the alternative to these flights of fancy that artists take with the super-heroic form? Whatever it is, I’m sure it will not be quite as much fun.