Despite what you might believe, the problem isn't that female superheroes are oversexualized in comics and on film -- no, according to Fox & Friends, it's they're not being sexualized enough.
In a particularly odd segment of Sunday's show that frequently tipped into full-on parody, co-host Clayton Morris began by worrying that test footage from Genndy Tartakovsky's animated Popeye movie signifies the "wussifying" of the classic character, as he doesn't sport his iconic pipe and tattoos.
"Of course, they’re wussifying," assured co-host Tucker Carlson. "Nothing is scarier to a modern liberal than tobacco. If Popeye were driving around giving the morning-after pill to fourth-graders, that would be totally fine. But smoking a pipe, a symbol of freedom and masculinity in America itself, the reason this country exists, tobacco, that’s like, ‘Oh, that’s outrageous. That’s a major sin.’"
Anna Kooiman, the third part of the Fox News trinity, brought up the specter of smoking and lung cancer, but her co-hosts had little time for that, as masculinity was being assaulted from still another front: The introduction of a female Thor, which made headlines, oh, two months ago.
"If you think that's bewildering," Carlson offered by way of segue, "take a look at this: This is Thor. Now you may notice something a little different. Popeye lost something, Thor has added something -- a couple of them. We'll see if you can notice what they are." (Hint: He's talking about breasts.) "That's the new, bustier Thor on the left, because Thor is now a chick!"
After a bit of hand-wringing from Kooiman about the character's name -- why not "Thorita" or "Thorella," for goodness sake? -- and that we're "worrying about gender equality so much and being so politically correct that this is what we're getting," Morris asked, "Do we have to cram a female version into every male version of a character? We had this in the '70s, of course -- Spider-Woman, we had."
Yes, those wussified '70s, when, as you might recall, the introduction of Jessica Drew nearly deprived the country of the Reagan Era.
But that brought Fox & Friends to the real tragedy: that Gal Gadot in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice won't be wearing the same costume Lynda Carter did four decades ago -- a costume that Morris remembers with more than just a twinge of nostalgia.
"Now in the comic book -- take a look what they've done to Wonder Woman in the comic books now," said Morris, barely recovered from his Spider-Woman flashbacks. They’ve taken her from that beautiful, you know, the short-shorts, like you might wear roller-blading, I don't know, and they’ve stuck her in a pantsuit like she’s on her way to an accountant’s office." It's worth noting the Fox & Friends crew was lamenting Jim Lee's 2010 costume redesign.
"Y'know, some people would say this is an important thing that we're not sexualizing these women so much, right?" Kooiman said in a tone that suggested she's probably not among those people, before immediately agreeing with Morris -- "Come on, Thor doesn't have a shirt on!" -- that male superheroes are also sexualized.
That gave Carlson, who'd already attempted to link a pipe-less Popeye to liberalism, his opening to take an out-of-left-field jab at Islam. "That’s a good Islamic point I think you're making. We should cover them," he told Kooiman. "We should cover the women because, otherwise, it just incites the men. It’s immodest, as we say in the Sharia."
Morris, however, couldn't be bothered with scoring political points; his mind was preoccupied with boyhood fantasies.
"I wanna see Wonder Woman in that outfit," he declares. "Is it wrong for me to say I want to see that? I want to see Wonder Woman in the original short-shorts and the halter top. Is that wrong of me? ... I mean, if you've got the body, flaunt it. That's what I always say."