sexism in comic books

I think someone should do a reverse Hawkeye Initiative (drawing women in men’s poses) and this is why:

The Hawkeye Initiative is this really cool thing, but a major protest from the people still clinging to the “you are throwing a fit over nothing” argument seems to be

“Well it doesn’t look stupid because the pose is wrong, it looks stupid because men and women are different and drawing a man in a woman’s pose is obviously gonna look off.”

So let’s combat that with this:

If a man in a woman’s pose looks ridiculous solely because it is a woman’s pose, then a woman in a man’s pose will look equally ridiculous, won’t it?

And thus begins the reverse Hawkeye Initiative, in which we draw women in the poses of Superman and Captain America and Batman and yes, even Hawkeye, and we realize that they don’t look off at all. In which we prove that no, it doesn’t look stupid because of different sexes.

It looks stupid because the poses are sexist.

Just a thought.

i hate/love when marvel or dc movies come out bc all the pseudo misogynistic gate keeping Guy Nerds are like “ugh watch every girl claim to like harley quinn all of a sudden” or “did you even read the young avengers or super boy???”

1) it pisses me off bc as a marvel fan of over 14 years you need to shut up and let people enjoy THINGS. like leonard i personally do not care if that girl does or does not know who puddin is or knows what Yggdrasil is, she’s gonna watch that movie and have a good time so take several seats.

2) it gives me the opportunity to act like i know nothing about comic books just to annoy these day old bowl of cereal excuses for men.
him: im sure you you haven’t read ____?me: oh no go ahead tell me about (even tho i sure as hell did)
him: *goes on a lengthy explanation using simple words and dumbing it down for me*
me: uh huh. yeah sounds dumb. so anyway
him: *screams*

Bitch Planet has always been absurd. But in 2017, it reads like a warning.
Bitch Planet might no longer be absurd enough to effectively comment on the state of sexism in America today. The three-year-old comic book, from writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and artist Valentine De Landro, has always been an irreverent, zippy, and at times sorrowful satire and intergalactic allegory. Read more
Why Kamala Khan Is Awesome (And for EVERYONE)

I had a pretty awesome moment at the library where I work today.

A boy, who looked about 15, came to my desk to check out his books. The pile was filled with mostly comics, and I commented on the ones I had read, including the new Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1. 

“Oh, I love that one!” He told me. “I’ve read this several times. Ms. Marvel is probably my new favorite superhero.” When I asked why, he told me that she seemed “real”, and he felt like he could relate to her.

For those of you who aren’t “comic book people”, let me spell it out for you:

Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel) is a young, Pakistani-American superheroine. She dresses modestly, doesn’t drink or party, and her comic books deal with issues such as racism, sexism, fitting in, and growing up.

If this fifteen year old white boy from Kentucky can appreciate (and love!) well-written and diverse female characters, I REFUSE to believe that the rest of the world can’t, too.

Don’t tell me that “boys don’t want to read comics about girls”. 

Don’t tell me that minority characters will only appeal to minorities. (Or act like that somehow justifies your refusing to write diverse characters.) 

Don’t tell me that de-sexualizing women is “ruining your fun”. 

Don’t tell me that there isn’t a market for comics/books/movies headlined by female characters. 

Don’t tell me any of that crap. Because you are WRONG. 

You go, Marvel. Keep doing what you’re doing. 

A Girl Walks into a Comic Book Store: How Geeks Code Each Other Hurts Fandom


Would you like to hear a joke?

A girl walks into a comic book store. She is not the “typical” comic book girl: a stereotypical lesbian, butch hair and plaid; a chubby teenager trying to find a hero that will help her fit in with the boys she’s around; an over glamorized pop girl. She’s simply in blue jeans and a loose T with a cardigan. A few bracelets and clear makeup that’s not powder fresh and no liquid eyebrows. She doesn’t go for the “standard chick-comics” - no Wonder Woman, no She-Hulk. She aims for Red Sonja and Ms. Marvel. She picks up the latest Grimm Fairy Tales with the overly sexualized cover and flips through to see if her favorite fairy tale is making an appearance. 

Now she’s been in all manner of comic books stores. Sometimes no one stops to stare; other times they keep asking if she needs help. They push comics on her that they “think you might like!” Whatever that means?! She’s normally really nice. Girls aren’t common in these parts. She’s a rare bird, a lost legend, someone “different” then the girl that got dragged along to dwell with the commoners.

On this most recent and blustery day she walked into a comic book store. Her hair is all tassled and nose a little red, but she knows her comics and walks right to them. She’s not finding what she wants but a Captain Marvel jumps out at her. Minding her own business a comic guy picks up an Avengers and says, “I like Samuel L. Jackson as much as the next guy, but I don’t see the need to change everything up.”

Girl: Oh?!

Comic Guy: Yeah, I like the way they had what’s-his-name in the comics.

Girl: Nick Fury!?

Comic Guy: Yeah. Why do they have to change it all…?

Girl: Because representation matters and a new generation of comic readers need heroes they can relate to.

Comic Guy: But…

Girl: Just like the whitewashing in Doctor Strange.

Comic Guy: But wasn’t that a woman?

Girl: Yes but does that make it right to change a character to represent a gender when the character could not only represent a gender but also a race? Of which the comic first characterized it as such?

Comic Guy walks away. Girl buys issue #1 of Captain Marvel.

Now, I ask you what was funny in this joke?


As you may have guessed, this all happened to the Lady recently, and it really got under her skin for lots of reasons. For one, she didn’t like the way the comic guy treated her; he’s just one in a long line of men who assume she knows less than them. She occasionally strikes back.

There was this one time when she complimented a comic book guy (who’d previously mansplained to her) on his T-shirt; it was black with a red, reflective Spider-man on it. But then she said that it looked better on the Gamer’s solid chest. The Gamer really does own that shirt; she still feels bad about it whenever he wears it. Other times, when she’s being bugged by few different comic guys, she finally asks them if they have this or that comic, and they’re like “there’s the new Jem and the Holograms” or Howard the Duck. She didn’t ask for those.

However, she was also upset by this particular episode because she, too, was making assumptions about other women buying comics. In a weird way, she realized that in her frustration she had internalized what fanboys say about other geek girls.

“Why you readin’ that comic? Are you a lesbian?”

“You’re only reading that for attention. Do you even know the name of Tony Stark’s 3rd girlfriend?!”

Of course, this attitude didn’t begin with comics. You’ve experienced it anytime a favorite underground band suddenly becomes popular and new fans feel the need to explain them to you, who’s been listening to them way longer. The irony, of course, is that new fans increase the life of the things we love. So why do we react defensively to other fans? Why did the Lady react to the comic book guy’s assumptions by making her own about the other women she was being compared to, when normally she’s eager to talk and learn about other comics and fandoms?

Unfortunately, we don’t have an answer, though there’s been lots written about this over the past few years, especially with the rise of women in traditionally male-driven fan spaces. We trace this back to the sudden popularity of Twilight and the backlash to its fans showing up at San Diego Comic-Con all the way forward to GamerGate, the Hugo Awards, and even this past weekend’s release of Netflix’ The Iron Fist, in which new fans and their representation are seen as “ruining” the fandom.

What we do know is how terrible all this fan-judging is for fandom. By making these assumptions about one another, not only do we damage our own fandom, we also increase the likelihood that the fans we make assumptions about will reflexively make similar assumptions about other fans. The cycle continues, fandom is worse off, and those who stay in the cycle perpetuate it while those who don’t are the very people who could enable it to grow.

So what do we do? First, if you find yourself on the receiving end of these assumptions, take a moment to educate. They may listen; they may not. And if you find yourself making these assumptions, just remember:


A Woman Made A Comic Book About Abortion And It’s Awesome

One woman is on a mission to demystify the realities of abortion – using illustrations.

Writer and artist Leah Hayes created an illustrated book, Not Funny Ha-Ha: A Handbook for Something Hard, which takes readers through the thought processes of two women who choose to have abortions – one medical, the other surgical. She hopes the book will chip away at the stigma that often surrounds abortion.

Read on for how this revolutionary feminist comic ends here. 


Denver Comic Con held a “Women in Comics” panel that included zero women

The panel was intended to discuss popular female characters and female illustrators “that were able to break in the mostly all-male club of creating comics” and to introduce “many of the female illustrators/creators attending the convention,” the event description stated. It did not go well.

If the “Jessica Jones” series was the type of show to have a catchphrase line for each character, “Smile,” would be Kilgrave’s. The instructions to “smile” appear in both the “Alias” graphic novels, written by Brian Michael Bendis, as well as in the series that adapts them, but outside of that mainstay, the series often opts for a much lighter hand as far as the depiction of manipulation goes.

While Bendis’ version of the villain orders Jessica to strip (or dress in a schoolgirl ensemble while naked women writhe in the background), the TV version instructs her to smile. The seemingly less invasive direction is transformed into a nuanced example of everyday sexism, grounding the comic book fantasy into modern-day reality.

By insisting that Jessica smile, Kilgrave is aping an action so culturally prevalent that it’s spawned a campaign to end gendered street harassment called “Stop Telling Women to Smile,” as well as spurring dozens of Internet think pieces.

The message is coming through loud and clear to “Jessica Jones” audiences as well.

—  Libby Hill, “Smile!” How a villain’s phrase in Jessica Jones shows modern day sexism.”  

In the book, “Bombshell” is the moniker of a covert superhero team headed by Amanda Waller (you know her from the Suicide Squad). Waller recruits the Bombshells, and it’s up to the heroes to enlist of their own free will.

“In a lot of cases, women are not in control of their own image,” Bennett said. “You are raised to serve a certain male gaze and standards of beauty that were not your own invention. I think a lot of the backlash as far as like, ‘Oh, girls and selfies, they’re so vain,’ is the fact that you’re taking control of your own image.”

Bennett has a point.

Women writers and artists like Bennett often face backlash for “pushing an agenda,” which is usually followed up by complaints that they’re ruining comics by not having women overtly sexualized in their stories. A similar backlash is also applied to nonwhite writers and nontraditional heroes.

But 60,000 issues has a way of drowning out those voices.

“I feel like there was a lot of resistance to that at first, but now people are like, 'The books are here, you can see what they’re like, they’re great. Go forth and read,’” Bennett said. “I think people are starting to understand that this is not the destruction of Western civilization if you let girls in your goddamn clubhouse. ”

—  Alex Abad-Santos, “Diversity is making DC comics great again.” 

I want joss whedon to invest his whole self into a franchise that has a weak portrayal of his own gender. I want him to see a team of complex girl heroes with one token boy hero to represent his whole gender. I want him to adore and love these comic books and have to get used to the fact that he’ll have to look harder and pay more for any kind of plot involving a main male character. I want him to love this broken heroic incredible male character after them being sexualised and crushed by the media THEN have him reduced to a cheap romance plot just to benefit another female character. What would he have to say them, hmm?

My addition to the fake nerd girl debate thing

So I worked with a girl tonight who I have met outside of work (she is a friend of a friend who is also a stripper). And we were chatting and ended up talking about these chestburster chopsticks at Hastings.

Her: Yeah. I wanted my stage name to be Ripley–
Her: –but then my roommate was all “No, that’s too weird. That’s not a sexy name.”
Me: I know what you mean.
Her: Ripley is totally badass.
Me: I get a lot of flack for Babs sometimes because it’s not sexy sounding but Barbara Gordon is totally fucking sexy so fuck them.

And then I told her about how every nerd guy I’ve met in clubs has been like ‘Oh, you read comics? That’s so cool!’ and when I tell them my stage name is a comics reference they ask me to explain it to them.

Me: It’s not even an obscure reference! It’s a very mainstream comic book reference.
Her: It’s freaking Batman.
Me: I know! But so far no guys have gotten it, even though they tell me how into comics they are.
Her: What? Would you prefer my name was Harley?
Me: I love Harley***. She’s tied for first for my favorite character but…I can’t see myself using that as a stage name. 
Her: Yeah. Out of context it just…it’s not the same really.

Basically I hope to work with this girl in the future and someday find a goddamn customer who is a REAL geek guy. No more of these fakey mcfakersteins who can’t even name the first and current Batgirl. (Though I’m sure some of them could name every male character who has ever been part of The Avengers.) 

***(I really do. And I know some men who generally do but…I feel like a lot of guys who like her like her as sort of a fetish thing more than a full character. Like she’s a crazy chick who is part of The Joker’s history oooh hot! And it pains me to say that because I am one of those people who will spend an hour explaining to people why Harley Quinn is actually one of the smartest people in Gotham City and one of the greatest female cartoon characters ever. Also why Suicide Squad’s rewriting of her origin story is one of the biggest slaps against female characters DC pulled with the reboot.)