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So whenever we call for more diversity in comics creators, the white dudes already working in the business come out of the woodwork, all defensive and shit.
I think I know why:
You know how, as women, we are raised with this sort of understanding that we are all, collectively, competing with each other for one of a few precious positions: as a wife (because we are without value if not attached to a man), as a coworker (the token woman), or the highly coveted “you’re not like other girls” a.k.a. “one of the guys”? It’s toxic and awful and shitty and pervasive. I can’t speak to other experiences, such as those of nb or poc folks, but I suspect they may be, in many ways, similar in this case. We are all the Highlander, only not as cool and without ready access to swords and magic lightning.
So here’s the thing: when we tell the comics industry “hey, we like a lot of what you’re doing, but we also have problems with a lot of what you’re doing. WHAT IF y’all hired more women (and queer people and poc and and and and)? What those white dudes hear is THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE (dozen or so) and they panic because OH HOLY SHIT IF THEY HIRE A WOMAN (or a black person or a gay person etc. etc.) THEN I WILL BE OUT OF A JOB.
When in reality, what we’re saying is, “dude. Bendis is writing, like, a bajillion titles. Let someone else have a crack at it.” or ” You want to introduce a new book? About a woman? Why not use the opportunity to bring in new talent? Or let talent that only gets to shine periodically really flex?”
And I think these guys are all freaking out extra hard because THEY AREN’T USED TO FEELING LIKE THIS. It’s why we can’t figure out why they can’t figure it out! We KNOW this feeling. We know it intimately. It’s in our bones, constantly trying to undermine our attempts at mutual support because we were brought up to think that we are only allowed one representative in any group, that our survival and inherent value is based on our ability to be not like the other girls (etc.). She wears short skirts I wear blah blah. Other girls have tans and fake tits blah blah blah. But we are learning to recognize this inbuilt toxicity and to fight back.
And those sorry ass white dudes don’t have that yet. They don’t know that it isn’t a competition, it’s a collective effort.
I hope they figure it out soon. Because Jessica Drew deserves her own book, and a good one, as do so many other comic characters, and I want to read them.
So, this exists.
I don’t imagine anyone’s waiting on bated breath for the moral authority of the guy who wrote Morbius: The Living Vampire, I’m pretty sure close to 100% of humanity doesn’t give a shit about what I’ve got to say here, but this — combined with the recent horrible treatment of my other pal Janelle (and who knows how many women who dared speak their mind when they, hey, guess what, don’t appreciate being treated like a subspecies because they like something and/or don’t like it when women are portrayed in that thing they like as said subspecies) — makes me feel uncomfortable just sitting back and watching this stuff roll down my screen. Namely because the other thing I’ve seen people repost is how much some of these assholes love how male comics creators aren’t, to quote, “taking the bait.”
If you’re someone who sees that shirt and realizes why it’s offensive/stupid, there’s no need to click the ‘read more’ here. If you don’t, well, click on.
In this upcoming issue, I have this scene with Monet, and I really wanted her to look strong… not comic book superhero-strong, but real life strong, and so I sent artist Clay Mann this shot of Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet:
and asked for a build like that on Monet. Which I got:
I read a lot on the internet about the toxic environment of many comic book stores and how sexist they are and demeaning towards women. Which, yes, that culture can often be extremely misogynistic and arrogant and all sorts of awful things.
Which is why I feel like I need a moment to talk about how the people who run my comics store are GREAT.
I mean, I’m female, I really don’t know much about comics (I come in every few weeks for the next issue of Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye, and that’s it), I’m not very old and I look about four years younger than I am……I’d be a pretty easy target, is what I’m saying.
Instead, I asked for earlier issues of Hawkeye and the store manager tried for a few weeks to get them in for me instead of just telling me it wasn’t possible. Once, he and one of his employees and a woman who was clearly a frequent customer were conversing about the latest issue of some comic or other while I frantically searched the store for the latest issue of Hawkeye. When I finally confessed that I was clueless, the manager didn’t roll his eyes at me, he just showed me that the new releases sometimes get placed on a different table and had happened to get stacked on top of each other so that the comic I wanted was hidden. Then they all wanted to know why I was so worried, and when I explained about having arranged to discuss the comic with People that evening over Skype, they all were interested and asked for more details, congratulating me at the appropriate points and displaying genuine interest and waving at me as I departed.
Today, I ventured in yet again for more of my one and only comic. When I checked out, the manager handed me a flyer for a local comics convention and told me that I ought to come, I might be able to get some of the back issues of Hawkeye there. (DOES THIS NOT SOUND LIKE A BIG DEAL TO YOU? THEN YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN A COLLEGE STUDENT WITH THE FACE OF A HIGH SCHOOL FRESHMAN WHO NEVER GETS SPOKEN TO LIKE AN ADULT.) It sounded interesting, too, only I realized that I would be out of the country on those days, and told him so. He asked if I was fleeing to Canada because of the draft, and assured me that America doesn’t force young people to join the army any more. (WHICH I AM A LADY BUT HE STILL TEASED ME ABOUT HAVING TO JOIN THE ARMY LIKE IT WAS TOTALLY NORMAL AND GOODNESS.)
I am impressed with them, okay? This could easily have been a totally awful experience for me, and I was a little concerned going in, but it turns out that no one there is a jerk at all.
There was a post, well a few posts really about how DC generally doesnt give a shit about its female audience because we dont buy the same amount of merchandise or toys or apparel as male fans.
Now today I was shopping and spotted a Wonder Woman t-shirt, so I made a beeline for it. Ready to throw my money at DC, to become a walking billboard and swish around in a snazzy new Wonder Woman shirt.
As soon as I picked it up I put it back down in disgust and headed back to the mens section and picked up a guys Batman tee.
Why? Because emblazoned on the WW shirt were the words, in a glittery font “Girls Night!”.
Below this tshirt was another Womans fitted vest with the boys from the JL on it and the slogan “I need a hero!”.
I dont want to buy this shit. Why can’t they just give us a line of superhero stuff for women without insulting our intelligence?.
Where are my Black Canary knee high fishnet print socks? My Huntress pants? Where is my Mera inspired jewellry range for my more formal needs (because yes. I do require a sensible tiara).
Where is my Big Barda gym bag?
They don’t exist.
So instead I buy the guys stuff and alter it myself but then they assume its a guys money they’re getting.
And action figures? Shit I have ALL THIS FUCKING MONEY TO GIVE YOU DC but you wont give me a set of kick ass women figures that aren’t more offensively proportioned than Barbie herself.
I once saw a Catwoman figure whose waist was as thick as her neck.
Who statistically are the biggest consumers DC? Women. Don’t you dare pretend I aint here waiting to buy stuff, shit give me a utility belt purse with quick draw credit card release and i’ll give you my first born.
I’M LOOKIN’ AT YOU, TOO, MARVEL
Full name / name of organization:Zara Wilkinson, Rutgers University-Camdencontact email:
May 2-3, 2014
Buffy to Batgirl is an interdisciplinary conference with a focus on women and gender in science fiction, fantasy, and comics. Science fiction and fantasy is a popular genre, as evidenced by the recent success of books, televisions, and films such as The Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, The Avengers, and Gravity. These books, television shows, and films include a wide variety of female characters, from protagonists to villains, warriors to “women in refrigerators,” and sidekicks to starship captains.
We invite submissions of individual papers or complete panels on any aspect of female representation in science fiction, fantasy, and comics. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the conference, we seek to represent a range of critical and theoretical approaches as well as a variety of media.
Appropriate topics might include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Women and their place in futuristic or other worlds (Star Trek, Doctor Who, Babylon 5, Firefly)
- Female protagonists in urban fantasy and paranormal romance (Buffy, Anita Blake, Sookie Stackhouse, Clary Fray)
- Gender politics after the apocalypse (Revolution, Falling Skies, Oryx and Crake, Y: The Last Man)
- Female characters in updated/adapted fairy tales (Once Upon a Time, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Snow White and the Huntsman, Grimm)
- The women of superhero films/television (Marvel Cinematic Universe, Agents of SHIELD, Arrow)
- Female-focused comic book series (New 52 Batgirl and Wonder Woman, Marvel NOW! X-Men)
- Horrific women and women in horror (American Horror Story, Carrie, Mama)
- Science fiction and reproductive body horror (Alien franchise, Twilight, Bloodchild)
- Cyberpunk and the augmented woman (William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, Charles Stross)
- Feminism, gender, and sexuality in zombie media TV (Romero, In the Flesh, The Walking Dead)
- Young female characters, especially in sf/f media for young adults and children (The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Song of the Lionness, His Dark Materials)
- International aspects of these and other relevant topics and/or papers on science fiction, fantasy, and comics in other languages also encouraged
Buffy to Batgirl is open to all faculty, graduate students, and independent scholars. Undergraduate students may also submit proposals but should include the name of faculty mentor who will assist in the preparation of an appropriate conference presentation.
Please send a 300-500 word abstract and a short bio to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 4, 2014.
Rutgers-Camden, located just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, is the southernmost campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The campus can be reached from all major transit hubs in Philadelphia, PA, and is accessible by public transportation. Please contact the conference organizers for more information.cfp categories:childrens_literaturecultural_studies_and_historical_approachesfilm_and_televisiongender_studies_and_sexualitygraduate_conferencesinterdisciplinarypopular_culture——————————————————————————————————————-TELL EVERYONE
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