Batgirl Fights For Equal Pay (From Batman) in New Ad [Video]
Batgirl hasn’t always been the best representative for feminism in the super-hero community. A quick scan of her history in the comics will find her stopping during a melee to fix a run in her tights, participating in a cheesecake-tastic all-nude fight scene, and being the prototype victim for the Women in Refrigerators trend in The Killing Joke. But you, me, and Yvonne Craig have always known there’s more to Barbara Gordon than that, and a new video released in support of the Paycheck Fairness Act aims to remind everyone that Batgirl is no one’s pushover.
Produced by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and the Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAPAF), the video features Yvonne Craig as Batgirl, Burt Ward as Robin, and standing in for Adam West, Dick Gautier as Batman. The scene opens with Batman and Robin tied up dangerously close to a ticking bomb. Batgirl swoops in for the rescue, but before she defuses the bomb, she takes the opportunity to press Batman about the unfair pay gap that the Caped Crusader apparently maintains between Batgirl and Robin. Batman, true to his super-dickery ways, tells her to stop kidding around, and then hums and haws uncomfortably, while Robin chimes in with his usual “Holy [insert word]” inanities, presumably to drive home the point that there’s no way he would be paid more than Batgirl if sexism weren’t a factor, as he’s clearly mentally deficient.
The video is a remix of a Public Service Announcement shot for the U.S. Department of Labor in the early ’70s to raise awareness of the original Equal Pay Act, which banned wage discrimination based on gender. The new act aims to buttress the original law by strengthening penalties for cases of equal pay discrimination as well as creating new incentives for employers to follow the law, new educational and outreach programs, and giving women greater leverage in civil court to fight for equal pay. Supporters of the new law are most likely ramping up advocacy for it now in order to try and have it passed in the lame duck session of Congress, before the next Congress is sworn in with a stronger GOP presence.
While we’re pretty sure that pseudo-fascist criminal vigilante gangs aren’t covered under any federal labor law, it’s nice to see Batgirl take a feminist stance for once, threatening to actually let the Dynamic Duo blow up unless they knock off their Mad Men-esque nonsense of paying her bupkis and asking her to make coffee all the time. Remember, kids: Yvonne Craig did all of her own stunts, and Adam West had a stunt double with a pot belly. That an advocacy film she made 30 years ago can play more or less unaltered today and still be just as applicable is a crying shame.
in the sassiest, most sarcastic tone possible.
Click here to go to the “Help Batgirl in the Battle to Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act” page where you’ll find more information from the campaign. Embedded below is the original Department of Labor PSA.