That's one possible reason for it. However, his costume also provides combat uses as has been very often demonstrated in the comic. It does include body armor. It includes lots of places to hide gadgets. And so on. The pose in that specific picture? Sure, it could be construed as pin-up visual porn for persons interested in male musculature, but that's not all it is.
Compare and contrast:
Just hypothetically, how likely is it Starfire wearing only crotch and chest protection is beneficial to her crimefighting efforts? Oh, but she's superhuman, you say. She doesn't need to wear armor, she can absorb a tank shot naked! Sure, that's true...but she doesn't need to fly around that exposed, either.
That doesn't mean anything! you say. She can choose to wear what she wants! Or, as you actually said:That's absolutely true! ...if it were her choice. But it isn't. It's the choice of the writer/artist responsible for the character's representation. If you want to compare that to the slut walk, it's more like having someone else tell you what avatar you're going to use for the slut walk rather than having the freedom to pick it yourself because it's the avatar you want.
If they were dressing themselves, this wouldn't be an issue. Since they're not, it is.
Shjade, the way I see it, it's art imitating life. It's much more common for men to wear clothes that don't show much skin beyond the head and forearms, while women often wear clothes that show a lot more. If only men designed clothes and edited fashion magazines, then men could be blamed for it.
Now, if every woman in DC comics is an out-and-out slut, I can definitely see an issue forming. As comparison, I've seen enough of Hollywood that as soon as I see someone religious, I already know they're usually the murderer in a mystery story, or a pedophile, or something worse. I think that would be my demarcation of where we start seeing a serious problem. Then again, I'm seriously out of date on comics (especially DC), so we may have already hit this point.
That's because there is a lot of male privilege regarding gaming and comic books. The audience is assumed, still, to be a straight male. Batman hasn't been portrayed as a bad-ass to appeal to homosexual men or straight women, he's portrayed as a bad-ass so that the straight men who read the books can picture themselves as the ripped hero, rich by day and dark avenger by night.
The hypothesis of the article seems to be that: 1. Women are uncomfortable in geek culture. 2. It is because the traditionally-male culture still treats incoming females in ways that make them uncomfortable. The article provides examples and support for that two-part hypothesis, and it does it well. Are there some gaming groups that are female-friendly? Absolutely. Are they the standard? Absolutely not.
It is a trend that I would personally like to see changed, because I would appreciate being able to walk into a gaming store and head over to the tabletop books without being harassed - no matter what I'm wearing, thank you very much - by the mostly-male (if not all-male) staff. I would like to be able to appreciate gaming culture without having to search high and low for a gaming group that won't demand that I play a sex object. And I would like to play in a D&D campaign where the smarmy shopkeeper says something along the lines of, "Yeah, I'll let you have a discount on my boat... if you let me spend some time with him" while waggling his eyebrows at someone not my character.
So, yeah, there's male privilege in geekdom. And ... yeah, it's a big obstacle to how comfortable women are among other geeks.
Trieste, if it wasn't against the rules, I would rhetorically ask where in the world you're gaming at.
The last time I spent any significant amount of time at a gaming shop, it was because a friend of mine was running a game there and wanted me in it, she wasn't the only girl there, and not only men worked there.
Now, she has told me that she's been to one place where she got stares for being female and walking into a place, and never went back. They didn't seem to say anything except be shocked, and the store owner asked if she was buying the books for her boyfriend.
I've been to anime conventions where guys and girls will wear the bare minimum that places that the hotels will allow, and if anyone actually says or does anything, I would hope they get reported.
The last time I got a girl's phone number, I met her at a video game store where she was buying Arkham City.
Maybe I'm just fortunate enough to live in a place where people aren't jerks, but dear crap, not all geeks are like that.
This isn't just about geeks. To be frank, in any subculture where the predominant gender is male, there will be heterosexual guys who can't interact with women of the same group positively and respectfully. Take a look at fans of pro-wrestling, American football, "hard" genres of music such as metal and rap, competitive weight training, automobile enthusiasts... A woman who shows interest in these areas can often incorrectly be viewed as unfeminine or endure an unhealthy gravity of attention. Just like a man who takes interest in creating clothing, dolls, "chick lit", fashion, or any other stereotypically feminine interest will likely endure unwanted attention from women who might not have the best social skills or have his masculinity attacked.
Until everyone is born with a complete knowledge of social skills or our culture loses the habit of associating certain interests with certain genders, this isn't an issue that's going away.
I think this sums it up nicely. There are jerks, it's not acceptable, it needs to stop, but it's not something to blame an entire subculture for.
Now, I have a hypothesis here that I'd love for people to chime in about.
I'm guessing that there's a strong correlation between physical appearance and revealing (if revealing isn't the best word, please suggest another) clothing. Someone who's attractive and proud of their body is much more likely to display skin than someone who is not.
In the world of comics, where nearly everyone is attractive and nearly everyone that isn't is completely hideous, it would therefore make sense that many of the women wear revealing clothing.
I don't really know if this is true, and it certainly doesn't make them sluts. I would just be curious to know if people think that this applies to any significant degree.