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The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 120: ‘Girls’ Night Out’

The Arkham Sessions, hosted by Dr. Andrea Letamendi and Brian Ward, is a weekly podcast dedicated to the psychological analysis of Batman: The Animated Series. Nostalgic, humorous, and even a little educational, each episode promises to lend some insight into the heroes, villains, and classic stories of the Dark Knight!

The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 120 – “Girls’ Night Out”

“Girls’ Night Out” is an unapologetic celebration of the feminine superhero. The story features top ladies of the DC Animated Universe: Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Batgirl, Supergirl, and a new member, Livewire, with few references to Batman or Superman, who are “away on business.” These caped heroines showcase their courage, grit, and pluckiness in this story – not to mention their proclivities for shopping sprees, makeovers, and late-night ice cream binges. The fighting between superheroines and super-villainesses is quite electric, especially with the addition of Livewire, making this episode just as intense and physically brutal as male-dominated episodes. However, subtle and not-so-subtle writing and imagery give way to gendered themes. In what ways does this story reify stereotypes or assumptions about women – and, consequently, about lady heroes we look up to? In what ways does the story dismantle social expectations, beliefs, or biases toward women? How does intra-group and inter-group fighting displayed on screen spread such messages? In this episode, we explore important perspectives on gender differences in cooperation and fighting, including concepts from evolutionary psychology and feminist psychology.



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