I know most people don’t care for Lois, but I think that’s because they haven’t really given her consideration. I mean, here’s a female character who, despite office sexism perseveres with moxie. She’s tough-talking, street smart, and modern. She has her own apartment in the City, is an award-winning reporter, and is dedicated to her profession—all of which sounds admirably progressive, even feminist to me. It reminds me of something I wrote in my book about Gloria Steinem’s comment about rescuing Wonder Woman by putting her on the cover of Ms. magazine. While Wonder Woman serves as a symbol of our highest aspirations, Lois may have more accurately reflected the lives of journalists at Ms., and at the time was certainly in need of as much rescuing as Diana Prince.
The newspaperman, and newspaperwoman, have long captured the American imagination – and reporters, anchors, and even photojournalists have served as the protagonists in comics, animation, television and film.
As a woman writer and pop culture herstorian I can’t help but be drawn to places in pop culture where women and journalism intersect – and that means I absolutely adore Lois Lane.
She is not the first woman reporter in popular culture, but Lois is likely the most recognizable – and certainly the longest lasting in the American cultural consciousness, having debuted alongside Superman and Clark Kent in 1938.