Think of it this way, in the traditional male superhero movie the woman is always the love interest, the damsel-in-distress, and sometimes a helper, like a sidekick without a costume. The point being that the woman is always secondary to the man. The man still has the cool powers and gets to kick the bad guy's ass and save the world; at best the woman gets to say, "And I helped!"
At the worst the woman just whines and is used for bait by the bad guy, like in all three Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies. Watching "Jack the Giant Slayer" it solidified in my mind that most of the time in action movies it's OK for a girl to be spunky enough to run off when her dad wants her to marry some rich douche, but when she actually runs afoul of anyone she needs some guys to bail her out.
So the problem is if we flip the script and the woman is the superhero, then what is the man? Right, then the man is the love interest, dude in distress (what is the male version of a damsel?), and pseudo-sidekick. The man is secondary to the woman. If you want to see this principle in action, watch the not-very-good movie My Super Ex-Girlfriend where Luke Wilson is an ordinary schmuck whose ex-girlfriend happens to have all sorts of cool superpowers. Luke Wilson gets so tired of her domination that he teams with her arch-enemy to strip her powers away. You could make the case that this symbolizes us guys's greatest fears about female heroes and women in power in general. But then you'd be way overthinking a crappy romantic comedy.
In the Tales of the Scarlet Knight series the male characters are definitely secondary. Dan Dreyfus is pretty much just a love interest and a dupe since he never figures out what's going on with Emma. The Sewer Rat becomes more like a sidekick and a love interest as the series goes on. Tim Cooper gets introduced as a love interest (not for Emma) in the fourth book and in the 8th becomes more of a sidekick. It's always Emma who's the main focus because it is Tales of the Scarlet Knight, not Tales of Guys Who Like and Sometimes Work With the Scarlet Knight. Maybe that would sell better?
While we're a more open-minded country than 50 years ago about, we're still not that open-minded. Especially not in Hollywood, where female directors are still about as rare as unicorns. Has there been a big superhero movie directed by a woman yet? I doubt it.
Especially in Hollywood, women are still generally perceived as a pair of boobs on legs. Most actresses still don't have much of a career after age 30, when their looks start to fade and there are a bevy of other, younger girls coming in. As they say in LA Confidential, "Who cares about this broad? Tomorrow a dozen more just like her will come in on a bus." Despite women's lib and all that, I don't think attitudes in Tinseltown have improved much since the 50s. I'm sure directors are still largely casting based on cup size of an actress's talents more than her actual talent. (Michael Bay springs to mind.)
A way to prove this is that we can have female superheroes in movies, just not as the main attraction. Like X-Men with Storm, Rogue, Jean Grey and Mystique was OK because Wolverine was still most everyone's favorite character. Or Fantastic Four with Sue Storm because there were still three other male heroes and most of us were just staring at Jessica Alba's breasts. Or the Avengers where it wasn't threatening that Black Widow is a woman because the male heroes are the more important ones. So basically as long as we still have men in equal or more-than-equal roles we can tolerate a woman's presence.
To do it otherwise emasculates the male characters and that's something that makes a lot of us uneasy. I'm sure the last thing a lot of people (especially down south) want is a female president. When Clinton was president people like Rush Limbaugh were always bitching that Hillary had too much power. If Michelle Obama encourages kids to eat healthy you'd think she'd told kids to join the Communist Party or something from the uproar amongst conservatives. Because women need to know their place is in the kitchen or the sewing room, right? Someone linked to a game by a Republican group where Hillary gets slapped every time she speaks; that pretty much sums it all up right there. On the news this morning they said it will take until 2058 for there to actually be pay equality between men and women. So a woman just now entering the workforce would probably be retired before she could get the same pay as a man. USA! USA!
I think the only way to solve the problem is for a studio to have the guts to actually do a female superhero movie and for women especially to turn out in numbers large enough to make it a hit. Because if there's one thing that can change attitudes in Hollywood real quick it's $$$$$. Until then a Wonder Woman movie will be stuck in development hell and anything like a Supergirl or Batgirl movie will be completely unthinkable. And a Scarlet Knight movie? Yeah, right. (But if any movie studio wants to adapt it, shoot me an email because I like money.)
NOTE: There's a change for the Box Office Blitz winner in Week 11. Prisoners has an actual weekend total of only $20.8M not $21.4M which means Chris Dilloway is closer by bidding $20M versus Andrew's $22M. So he gets the 300 bonus points for winning the round. Don't blame me, blame the studio for overinflating the numbers. (Congrats if you paid attention up to this part.)