There aren't easy "female Conan" or "male Sonja" parallels in the way that you want there to be because the symbolism and meaning of the way they dress is hugely affected by our societal construction of gender. M. C. Escher was an artist who drew pictures that warped space and perspective. He drew things that were physically impossible. In comic books, women are often drawn in contorted poses (the most famous being the one where they're twisting impossibly at the torso so you can see their rear end and breasts at the same time). And Escher Girl or Escher Posing refers to this. (ETA sorry, I read your post as asking what I meant by escher posing, but Coop's response made me realise you may have meant how her costume functions in the comic. See below for that.) You may find The Hawkeye Initiative useful as a blunt illustration of some of these points. The premise is that they draw the male hero, Hawkeye, in exactly the same poses as women in published comic book art, and suddenly it's patently ridiculous. It's worth noting that the fact we laugh at men who present effeminately is also a problem. The point here is not lol they made Hawkeye a girl. The point is these poses are fundamentally unrealistic and ridiculous and putting someone we don't expect into them illustrates that. The same basic idea can be applied to the first question you asked. In basic, literal terms, you probably could say that Conan's loincloth and Sonja's bikini are roughly equivalent. The imbalance comes from social context that means Conan is presented as powerful while Sonja is presented as sexy. i.e. Conan might be striking a natural, heroic pose, while Sonja might be contorting herself into knots in an attempt to tantalise the reader. I feel that Simone's Red Sonja has a more non-exploitative presentation of Sonja, so it bothers me far less. But that doesn't get rid of a decades-old, industry-wide practice of putting women in comics in tiny pieces of clothing and then drawing them like porn. So it's better. I like the comic a lot. I'm just not going to pretend the bikini is there for anything other than the reason it's there, you know? ETA: Coop, I'm not sure I'd go that far. I mean, it's not really discussed when she's wearing it one way or the other, and it's still ridiculous. It's just that she isn't in it in situations where it's patently absurd to wear it (like when she's trudging through the snow) and the lack of pornographic posing, and the fact she's written really well make up for a lot with me. But I read superhero comics. One of my favourite heroines has an actual hole for her boobs (though credit to me, I do hate that). It's basically destroyed my baseline.