May 4, 2006

Conspiracy Theory # 129

You know, sometimes, it really stinks to be a comics fan.

Never mind the usual cynicism about crossovers, or the casual whining about the proliferance of the spandex set...what really bothers me is that it seems like, in a field where the majority appears to be maladjusted, obsessed with the minutiae of the past, and willing to accept low quality work, I am sticking out like a sore thumb.

Within the past month, there have been two really big items (at least, two out of many big news items) - first has been the revelation of the perpetrator of some ugly, sexist behavior (thanks to Johnny Bacardi for the summary); and the next has been Joe Quesada's belief that Spider-Man's marriage was a dumb idea (thanks to the Redhead Fangirl for the roundup). Both point to a gradual underlying belief held by comics professionals, (some) male readers, and some editorial staff: women are bad, and will wreck your life.

Now, for some of the female comics bloggers out there (like So So Silver Age and Written World), this is probably not news, and they'll be the first to e-mail and tell me so. But it just seems like comics are being written towards a more misogynistic, cynical audience. The message is simply - no girls allowed. And if you are female, you're either a cheating traitor, a useless appendage, or - worst of all - cannon fodder.

Just look at what's happened in some major storylines this past year: a hero's wife was brutally raped with no consequence; another hero's former flame was revealed to have had an illicit encounter with his most dangerous enemy; a female character's was revealed to be...that's she's the cousin of the world's most powerful (male) hero. In addition, that hero wanted to reform the universe not because it was the right thing to do...but because his human wife was ill, and he couldn't face her dying, and another female hero went crazy and - essentially - reformatted the universe. Let's not forget Frank Miller's All-Star Batman and Robin, which makes 2 Live Crew's work look like masterpieces of feminist thought.

Gee, pretty soon Mary Jane is going to be revealed as an adulterous whore.

My apologies if that word offends you, but quite frankly, you should be offended. I know that this seems a little too late, but quite frankly, I'm growing increasingly disenchanted with comics. Look at the subtext, as Dorian might hint - there's no such thing as a healthy relationship between a man and a woman. Any woman you think is honest, won't be. Women are only defined by their usefullness to men. (And read that however you want).

Awhile ago, there was a "Blog Against Sexism" Day, and my post was a bit naive and rambling. I only wish today were that day - this is a much stronger statement.

Maybe I should take up something a little more wholesome and empowering.

Like stamp collecting.

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