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Toxic MasculinityMapping the Monstrous in Our Heroes$
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Esther De Dauw and Daniel J. Connell

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781496828934

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2021

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496828934.001.0001

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Emma Frost, the White Queen

Emma Frost, the White Queen

Superpowers as the Performance of Gender

(p.121) Emma Frost, the White Queen
Toxic Masculinity

Richard Reynolds

University Press of Mississippi

Initially a ruthless and hypersexualized operative for the Hellfire Club, Emma Frost has transformed into a core member and leader of the X-Men. Frost engages with the world on her own terms, bypassing many of the stereotypes attached to superheroines. Her challenging personality functions as a dark mirror for other characters in the saga, inscribing emotions and attitudes that implicitly question the values of the X-Men and of the genre to which they belong. Focusing chiefly on her membership of the X-Men and her part in key developments of the Marvel Universe in the 21st Century, this chapter examines Emma Frost as exemplifying Butler’s concept of gender performativity as an explicit aspect of her superpowers. It explores whether the limitations of hegemonic masculinity can offer a way out and asks whether it is possible to consciously exploit hegemonic narratives in order to affect change.

Keywords:   Emma Frost, X-Men, Judith Butler, Gender Performativity, Hegemonic Masculinity

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