11/25/2008

Rape In Comics Continued...

While it was nice to see a response to Karen's excellent piece, it's unfortunate that Scott's response moves away from actual discussion back into obsessive, nerd data collection mixed with equally obsessive parsing out of words and phrasing. Despite the intention behind Scott's bolding of numbers, he must understand that when you bold two numbers and one is so much larger than the other, it would be quite easy to assume and implicit statement is being made about that disconnect. Especially when bolding numbers seems like an odd choice and not something that's frequently used on any of the blogs I read. But here I go, entering this parsing-out my words nerd realm.

The main point is, Scott's really condescending and there's an awkward contempt when he invokes "feminist criticism" towards the end of his little essay. I'm not even sure what his point is really, other than some nit-picking at Karen's phrasing and a lot of not-backed-up references to "lazy" comics bloggers. So, let's get this rape discussion back on track and away from another trip into a whitebox to find a bunch more characters that were raped or not raped.

Indeed, for better or worse, rape and abuse have long been a trope used to contextualize and dramatize female characters. It is hardly specific to the world of comics, as even a quick thought back to the books you read in high school English would reveal the beginnings of an exhaustive list. Extend that to films, especially pre-60s drama and melodrama and you've got an even bigger list.

And so, the same way say, Wolverine's essentially Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights or Cyclops is chock full of Malory's version of King Arthur, is say [INSERT RAPED SUPER HEROINE HERE] is based in Tess from Hardy's Tess of the D'urbervilles or Hester Prynne, who of course wasn't exactly raped but you get the point. These are long-standing literary tropes that comics writers have jumped onto whether they ever read the books mentioned above or not.

This rape/abuse victim origin trope touches upon the forever-debated issue of gender and respect or disrespect when it comes to males writing female characters. Just a few years ago, there was a ton of debate about Lars Von Trier's "USA Trilogy" (Dogville, Manderlay, still-not-filmed Wasington) which was then, next to Dancer in the Dark and Breaking the Waves, the third and fourth film in which Von Trier presented a loveable female character beaten down by the world. Feminism, sexism, masochism or both? There's some odd mix of sympathy, condescension, and masochism working itself out in those films. The same could be said of comics, as it's a bunch of imperfect comics writers imperfectly trying to portray characters as realistically as they can, and still be entertaining.

Comics are still pulp in many ways and as a result, they move toward what Karen called the "easiest" which doesn't have anything to do with the most "common" or factually-represented in the real-world version, but what's short-hand in the sense of working on long-standing literary and pop-culture tropes and being really visceral and kinda seedy.

And that's rape! It's an origin story or dramatic turn of events that allows a writer a lot of freedom and complexity without doing a whole lot of work. The character is harmed in a way the society at least pretends to see as sometimes worse than murder and therefore gains sympathy, rises above it and therefore becomes "strong[er]", and also, maybe some creepy boob-jiggling panels during the rape scene are in there which makes the whole thing kind of naughty and appeals to the ever-present torture porn aspects of our reptile brains.

There's a Dwight Shrute-ian strand of conservatism running primarily through comics fans--and best represented by SGL's original article--that likes to be both hard-ass and assured and superficially sensitive to the complexities of "minorities" (mind the quotes) but not too sensitive either. As Karen already pointed out, the dismissal of Skully as a positive female character because she was "the male character with the breasts" is the perfect example of where this pseudo-sensitivity goes wrong. The fascinating dynamic of X-Files was that it was Mulder who was the emotional, unpredictable one--in super-conventional gender stereotypes, he acted like a broad, not Skully--and Skully, the rational, skeptic. Both characters occupied the porous borders in which gender identity actually resides. Just because Skully wasn't overly feminine does not make her a male-with-breasts.

Lastly, there is the reality that comics or films and even literature is in part, an economic enterprise and as a result, the loftier, more complex goals of a writer's mind at some point, have to meet-up with giving an audience and corporate entity what it expects. The best work successfully navigates commercial expectations with smuggled-in insight and it's up to discerning readers to parse the work out and see which side the work ultimately falls. This kind of criticism is necessary whether talking about portrayals of rape or anything else in comics and will do us all more good than compiling data like big homey Scott or stumbling back into the kind of wretched, above-it-all complacency of SGL's article.

24 comments:

Karen Peltier said...

in relation to the last thing you said, sammy showed me this yesterday:
http://kali921.livejournal.com/270550.html

which is really absurd because its a blatant example of how some gender equality issues arent just unfortunate side effects of an industry thats ultimately about getting paid. also, who are peter and moonshine gonna have to carry them around now?

brandon said...

Hmm...although I talk a good game, I'm probably more conservative on Feminism issues and uproars than a lot of other people and I can't help but think there were other pragmatic reasons for cancelling She-Hulk and not just some nebulous, out to silence women type stuff. It's a shame Marvel would never be honest about it and upset readers will never calm down to think about it.

Any ideas?

Karen Peltier said...

i dont know, while im sure its not a bunch of dudes sitting around being like "oh man i hate women so much we'd better stop printing this," it just seems iffy since I cant see any concrete reasons to cancel it, especially if sales were ok. maybe some issue with writers?

david e. ford, jr said...

first of all, brandon, you basically verbalized my precise reaction to dude's inane response to karen's unbelievably well reasoned and balanced post. his responding to karen's very real critiques by treading further into a weird statistical/semantic/historiographic void is sort of the blogging equivalent of the ostrich's hidden head.

re: she-hulk . . . yeah, it's weird, but i have to say that i have a difficult time swallowing that a major entertainment company of the magnitude of marvel cancels a profitable product for anything other than legitimate business reasons. of course, if the sales figures are correct and the book is profitable, it does seem like they should have presented those reasons. who the fuck knows? it is pretty weird, though.

samuel rules said...

well, what we don't know are ALL of the numbers on She-Hulk, as in what the books been doing for the past few years, and maybe her numbers haven't gone up but simply down, and they don't want to keep taking a loss?

Scott (The Mad Thinker) Anderson said...

As you might imagine, I think this:

http://scottthemadthinker.vox.com/library/post/she-was-bitten-by-a-radioactive-creepy-boob-jiggling-panel-during-the-rape-scene.html

brandon said...

So, you need to join some bullshit called VOX to post comments on lil homey's website, so I'll just post it here and maybe he'll read it....

"My point in referencing NO COMICS was that this whole rape thing in comics goes beyond comics and has more to do with representation in ART as a whole. If a sidebar about say, Willow in Dreadstar was necessary, I would've thrown it in there. I'm more apt to think it would've spawned a list of rape-incest characters from you and nothing more.

My issue was that while you began complimenting Karen's essay, your response was pretty douchey and condescending. I'm still puzzled as to what exactly your issue is with Karen's post, which seemed to touch on actual issues of representation and the heavy burden of gender expectations, none of which you seemed to consider..

You end a sentence with a preposition. "So" generally has a comma after it. I can play that game too."

James Meeley said...

So, you need to join some bullshit called VOX to post comments on lil homey's website, so I'll just post it here and maybe he'll read it....

Oh, he will. Scott's very good about such things. Funny though, how you called bullshit on having to sign up with VOX to post on his blog, when many who use Blogger are expected to do the same to post on their blogs (unless they want to hide their ass with "anonymous" commenting).

My point in referencing NO COMICS was that this whole rape thing in comics goes beyond comics and has more to do with representation in ART as a whole.

So, now comics are responsible for other media overusing the 'rape card"? Even if comics (and we mean superhero comics here, right?) themselves are shown NOT to do that very thing?

And the SGL piece seemed to be pretty centered on the comic end of things, which Scott's piece was. If you want to go off on some tagent about OTHER entertainment media, that's up to you. But when the dicussion has been comics centric, you should be prepared to being some reference examples to the mix. Otherwise, your being seen as a "lazy critic" is your own fault.

I'm still puzzled as to what exactly your issue is with Karen's post, which seemed to touch on actual issues of representation and the heavy burden of gender expectations, none of which you seemed to consider..

Well, I don't want to speak for Scott, but having read the piece in question, I think his issue was with her quick assumption that "most writers" are lazy and rely on rape as a main motivation for a women to become a superhero.

That this assumption, passed off as fact or a self-evident truth, is hardly anything of the kind, if the person making the criticism actually put even a moderate effort into understanding how often rape is actually used in superhero works by writers and how the genre itself is more or less "lazy" in how it present the big and obvious threats the heroes face, by way of the vary nature of the material and the genre itself.

I think that is what he took issue with. And, needless to say, I don't think he was very much in the wrong to do and call her on it.

It seems a lot of bloggers want to make these outlandish statements on things they have little (if any) knowledge on. Rather, they prefer to shoot from the hip with silly claims and then, when criticizied for not doing their homework and knowing of what they speak, sling insults and petty barbs at those who call them out on that "lazy" attitude.

Too many bloggers try to pass themselves off as crusading activists or serious journalists, who are to be taken seriously, when they are actually just another set of whiney fans with their personal and petty axes to grind, at people and a world that doesn't cater to their every desire or command.

Personally, I'm not surprised that comic publishers and creators (or hell, ANY form of entertainment media) doesn't put a lot of stock in the words of bloggers. Because, to paraphrase an old bit of wisdom: "Blogs are like assholes. Everyone seems to have one and most of the content found within it stinks something fierce!"

My issue was that while you began complimenting Karen's essay, your response was pretty douchey and condescending.

Really? Hmmm, did we read the same blog entry? Because I didn't see him being "douchey" to Karen. He didn't agree with everything she said. And he made some pointed remarks concerning how she expressed the views she did, but I didn't see any "douchery" in it.

Now, the response he gave YOUR entry... THAT was "douchey!" But then, Scott tends to give back the same treatment to a blogger that they give him. So, if you don't want a "douchey" response, don't go making one to (or about) him. :)

brandon said...

One can always "sign" or note "hey I'm this guy and I'm commenting anonymously" on blogger, VOX, not so much.

Again, I don't see the point in the data collection as it doesn't prove is disprove anything, and is an easy thing to fall back on. Data's as subjective as any other form of "proof", easily manipulated, easy to misrepresent etc etc. Additionally, Scott's tone is a problem,it seems to forever fall back on his "data" or not-necessary parsing of words and side-steps the more pertinent aspects of Karen's point.

My rhetorical strategy and a way to make this discussion sorta entertaining was to just come out and be a dick. Like I said, I'll make sure to flesh it out with a rant on Willow from Dreadstar next time.

"the rape card"? Again, you're exposing your biases. I didn't know the discussion was specifically about "the rape card" and while I know what you mean by that phrase, it's odd.

Comics aren't responsible for anything nor is any other kind of media, but to focus on comics and to try to connect it to your applaudable but misguided attack on the worst aspect of comic nerds, is disingenuous because the very same issues and discussions are going on in the same way in all forms of media since forever. My taking it out of the world of comics while clearly connecting it to comics extends the discussion and makes lists of raped or not-raped comic book characters moot.

It's also my experience that while publishers take little stock in "bloggers", creators of comics take a lot of stock. I take it as a compliment if the suits at Marvel think bloggers are bad and I take it as a bigger compliment when people like Brian Wood, Joshue Dysart, Brandon Graham, or Larry Marder compliment this blog.

Besides the point that I'm someone who makes money off of my writing and blogging, I think this blog speaks for itself as pretty fucking smart.

James Meeley said...

One can always "sign" or note "hey I'm this guy and I'm commenting anonymously" on blogger, VOX, not so much.


Which of course, isn't something that can be abused or faked, right? I mean, I couldn't have come in here, used the anonymous fetaure, then signed my piece "Dave Sim" and you wouldn't be able to know if I really was him or not, right? See, that's the great thing about VOX. None of that kind of nonsense.

And it's odd that you viewed it as "bullshit", anyway, considering your pride in making money here. But I'll touch back on this piont later.

Data's as subjective as any other form of "proof", easily manipulated, easy to misrepresent etc etc.

That's true, it can be. However, that's not what I saw Scott doing. He was fair and as impartial as possible with the numbers. He didn't slant them in his favor or manipulate them for the outcomne he desired. He presented what the number were. And they did disprove the fact that all "strong" female heroes have been raped and that MOST writers use rape to motivate a women to be a hero. That is the point of his data, to debunk those outlandish claims, which it does.

Additionally, Scott's tone is a problem,it seems to forever fall back on his "data" or not-necessary parsing of words and side-steps the more pertinent aspects of Karen's point.

Well, Karen went about making her point in a pretty bad way, then. As did you, as well.

She came into a discussion about how rape is used in superhero comics, admitted little (if any) knowledge of them, then goes on to to say what "most writers" do. Then you jump in, talking about other entertainment media and how it shows pop-culture overuses the rape trope, never citing a single comic story, but referring to "some creepy boob-jiggling panels during the rape scene" that never happened in any comic, or that was done by any comic writer, and when you both get called on your "lazy blogger" attitude, get all indignant about how Scott has missed your larger point, yet never admitting your own failures to stay on the topic being discussed, or provide proper examples to back-up the claims you both made concerning rape in superhero comics.

Seems to me, it was you two doing the side-stepping from the start, while making broad and sweeping generalizations about comics and rape, as well as the writers of them. If you'd have stayed with the topic being discussed and not simply used it as a springboard for your own tangents, while making your sweeping and completely unproven generatizations of comics use of rape, the writers of comics and Scott Anderson himself, you might have avoided all this nonsense. But then, "lazy bloggers" rarely stop to take such things into consideration.

My rhetorical strategy and a way to make this discussion sorta entertaining was to just come out and be a dick.

Yes, because the use of snark and petty barbs in a serious discussion always brings out a menaingful and well rounded resolution to the debate, doesn't it? If that's your idea of "strategy," you aren't nearly as smart as you think.

Like I said, I'll make sure to flesh it out with a rant on Willow from Dreadstar next time.

Oh, next time, huh? What about THIS time? How about you pointing out the comic where you saw "some creepy boob-jiggling panels during the rape scene" in? If you could provide THAT information, it might go a long way to proving you aren't a "lazy blogger." Somehow though, I doubt you will, because, as one who IS well-versed in superhero comics, I've never seen any such scene, even if the comic DID have a rape in it. So, I wish you good luck in your search.

"the rape card"? Again, you're exposing your biases. I didn't know the discussion was specifically about "the rape card" and while I know what you mean by that phrase, it's odd.

Let's see... SGL talks about how strong women in comic aren't strong, making a very important citing that "if you see a strong female in superhero comics, you can count on the fact she was raped." Scott Anderson goes on at length, debunking that false claim with data that shows such is NOT the case and never has been. It isn't until you and Karen stick your noses in, that suddenly it isn't really about comics anymore, despite the fact you both make outlandish claims regarding them and how they use "the rape card."

So, maybe, in the future, you should make sure to know what the topic is actually about, before you blog on it. Again, it is another way to prove you actaully aren't a "lazy blogger."

Comics aren't responsible for anything nor is any other kind of media, but to focus on comics and to try to connect it to your applaudable but misguided attack on the worst aspect of comic nerds, is disingenuous because the very same issues and discussions are going on in the same way in all forms of media since forever.

Really, you don't think comics are responsible? Then what's the point of this little gem: "My point in referencing NO COMICS was that this whole rape thing in comics goes beyond comics and has more to do with representation in ART as a whole."

Seems like you are holding comics accountable for, not only for the occassional rape that happens in them, but for lowering the representation of art itself (at least in part). All while providing no evidence or examples on how they do that, yet making wild claims about boob-jiggling panels in comic rape scenes that, as far as I know, never even happened.

This is what happens when you go trying to take a discussion about one thing and plaster it into others. Suddenly, it goes from how often rape is used in comics and to what ends, to suddenly being about the "epdemic" of rape in entertainment media and how the artform is lowered as a whole by it, yet never giving any specific examples or evidence to prove anything of the sort.

Maybe you and Karen were trying to make some grand point behind all of this. But your haphazard and ill-informed way of doing it, doesn't really make that point. It also doesn't even add anything of value to the original topic being discussed. It just ends up as a bunch of overly dramatic drivel, that makes wild and unproven claims about comics (and maybe other media), and shows that you two really don't have much of an idea what you are talking about (which Karen aditted to herself, concerning her lack of knowledge on the source material for all of this, superhero comics). But then, many bloggers don't care about being factual, fair and insightful. It's all about simply being seen as "right", regardless of the realities of things, and getting as much traffic and hits as you can. In short, "lazy bloggers."

My taking it out of the world of comics while clearly connecting it to comics extends the discussion and makes lists of raped or not-raped comic book characters moot.


No, your taking it out of the world of comics, shows your complete lack of being able to stay on topic. Nothing more.

You want to make some grand point about various forms of entertainment media, go ahead. But don't go jumping into a discussion about one specific one, then go twisting it to fit this idealized point you want to make. The topic was about rape in comics: how it is used and how often. If you didn't want to discuss that, you should have just keep your nose out of it. It doesn't matter what goes in television, or films, or music, or anything else. It wasn't about any of that and your attempt to shoehorn it into the actual discussion shows an ineptitude of being able to stay on topic in a discussion and perhaps some mild form of lack of reading comprehension. But I can't say that the latter is true. I'm not qualified to make such a diagnosis.

I take it as a compliment if the suits at Marvel think bloggers are bad and I take it as a bigger compliment when people like Brian Wood, Joshue Dysart, Brandon Graham, or Larry Marder compliment this blog.

Man, you really don't know how to leash in that ego, do you?

Tell me, do you think Brian Wood concerns himself with what "Brandon and Karen" might think, when he goes to write a story? I highly doubt it. Whatever compliments he and other creators might have given your blog, all that says is what nice people they must be. It is hardly any kind of evidence that they take this blog serious in regards to their work andf livelyhood.

And you don't care what the suits at the publishers think, despite that they are the ones with all the power to get things changed how you might like? Okay, whatever. I guess it's better they see bloggers as a bunch of stupid and whine assholes to be ignored, rather than as an economic force, that can cost them lots of cash, if they ever smartened up and got their acts together. Like I said, you don't seem to be as smart as you want to believe.

Besides the point that I'm someone who makes money off of my writing and blogging, I think this blog speaks for itself as pretty fucking smart.

Well, that makes one of you. You think financial success (whatever it might be) means the content of your blog doesn't stink like shit, the way MOST blogs and their content do? Again, it just shows your lack of smarts, not how brilliant you think you are.

Just like anything else, financial success is used as a point something is good, even though it has virtually no bearing on it what-so-ever.

Tell me, if you think a comic sucks, does the fact it sold hundreds of thousands of copies mean that you are wrong to think it sucks? No, it doesn't. You'd probably even say it means nothing, except that a lot of people must enjoy buying crap. So, the financial success doesn't prove the content has value or is not utter crap.

Yet now, when you are confronted with the fact you just might be a "lazy critic/blogger," what do you pull out as "proof" you aren't? Financial success. As if it proves, since you make money at it, you MUST be good. Never mind that people spend money on CRAP everyday.

So, you know what, your making money means nothing to prove the quality of your content or your not being a "lazy critic/blogger." It just means a lot of people are willing to spend money on YOUR crap, rather than someone else's crap. But crap is crap, no matter who makes it or how much it sells.

Want to prove you aren't a "lazy critic/blogger"? Show me a serious outlet for news and information that uses you as a source. Does CNN reference you? Are they taking the lead from stuff you talk about here? Do the best newspapers in the world follow your lead on topics they put in print? I'm going to make a wild and outlandish claim and say "no, they don't." (Please feel free to correct me with proof otherwise, if I'm mistaken.)

So, it all goes right back to what I said before: "Blogs are like assholes. Everyone seems to have one and most of the content found within it stinks something fierce!" And your's is no differnt in that respect. You are just another overly-opinionated, attention-seeking whore, like most bloggers are. You just happen to be lucky enough to make some money at it. Nothing more.

Oh, and to get back to what I said at the start, about your pride in how smart you think you are at making money here. Your petty snipes about VOX shows you really aren't as smart as you think you are, in even that way.

After all, why pass up the oppertunity to sign-up there? You could used the VOX blog you had to pormote this one (and maybe make more money). You could then post on others VOX blogs and draw more traffic to this one. Hell, you might even like some of the features they offer over Blogger better and move it there and possible make MORE money. The fact you held up your nose at having to sign-up to post over there, show a fundamental lack of being able to better market your own product (this blog). Not very smart from a business and marketing standpoint. If I made money at a blog, I'd sign-up for as many social networks as I could. The more connections you have, the more potential customers you have. THAT, my friend, is SMART thinking.

And now, I think I've pretty much said all that I have to on this. I do want to tank you for allowing me to express these thoughts here, even though I'm sure it hasn't even caused you to give pause and think about how you handle this in the slightest. Still, it does speak to your character that you allowed me the platform. There are plenty of bloggers who wouldn't. So, if you want to take pride in anything, you can take pride in that. I can only hope that the next time you jump into a discussion, that something of what I've on at length here about will resonate with you. Because, the one sure way you'll finally prove you are a "lazy critic/blogger" is if you handle things the exact same way you did this time. Because truly "lazy critics/bloggers" NEVER learn from their own mistakes and missteps. I hope you prove you are better than that.

samuel rules said...

yo i've stayed out of this and but all i'm sayins where's this scott dude? can't he like comment somewhere besides his own blog?

Dave M said...

Wymen's Studies Drama Queeen: Incorrect statement of fact, in the name of...~Feminism~

Mildly Autistic Dude: Objective description of inaccuracy of above statement.

White Knight: The subjective douchyness that I personally percieve in your tone matters more than objecive reality.

Monique R. said...

I do want to tank you...

Is that how babby is formed?

brandon said...

James, your post was too long to read. I skimmed it though. While I do think it's pretty cool to make money off of writing, it was more a point that you know, someone, somewhere kinda thinks what I have to say's beyond lazy.

I would hope Brian Wood etc isn't thinking of me when he's writing but in terms of creator/publishers hating on bloggers, the praise of those guys would disprove that and you know, does make me and the rest of us on this blog feel pretty good.

Most of the examples in the posts seemed to be shit like Buffy and Firefly.

And as I already said, the played-out Dwight Shrute hard-ass nerd approach to feminism by SGL's painful. At least Scott's just a goon....

Scott (The Mad Thinker) Anderson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott (The Mad Thinker) Anderson said...

Samuel, that Scott dude is in the Miami airport on his way to Key West, and he has found that if he posts long comments in other people's blogs, they get mad at him for taking over their blogs, so he posts on his own mostly.

Brandon said, "Additionally, Scott's tone is a problem,it seems to forever fall back on his "data" or not-necessary parsing of words and side-steps the more pertinent aspects of Karen's point."

Data is what is real in comics. If Karen is going to make comments on what the "frequency" of rape in comics tells us about writers, doesn't she have to have some understanding of what the frequency is? If you are going to talk about boob-jiggling rape origin stories, shouldn't you mention them if you are bothered by not-back-up references? I never said that rape never happened in media. What I've said is that you and the people like you seem to think it is happening on comics at levels that it clearly is not. To my knowledge there has never been a boob-jiggling rape origin story, so to suggest that there is a trend and that we call tell something about comic writers and their reptilian brained readers from that trend is lazy criticism. You aren't explaining what is really there. You are explaining what you haven't taken the time to read and think about.

Now, if you can point out a trend of boob-jiggling rape origin stories, please do so; otherwise, I think you owe some writers an apology, don't you? And some of us reptilian readers might like one too.

Oh, and I think Vox is better than blogger.com. You can do more things with it. If comments are more important to you than what you can do with your writing, you are probably in the right spot; however, if what you can create is more important ...

brandon said...

Are you fruits being paid by VOX? I've never even heard of it before this stupid argument.

My bit is populism, Scott. So I go with blogger. Anybody can comment and that's cool. Comments are important because you know, that's the point of blogging--interacting with people.

I think it's weird that the apparent seriousness or dedication to writing is the mode of attack for you and Jason because neither of you are particularly notable or organized writers.

You can harp on the boob-jiggling joke all you want, the point was there's a weird sense of voyeurism or like pervy-ness going on in rape/sexual assault in comics. Indeed, one reason it's often used in comics is because it's sort of seedy and a way to show sex/sexuality without being overtly sexual. Again, same thing with movies too.

I think I'm done with this though.

Scott (The Mad Thinker) Anderson said...

Indeed, one reason it's often used in comics is because it's sort of seedy and a way to show sex/sexuality without being overtly sexual.

And if it were often being used, you'd be correct. But given that I can't think of even one instance of this happening (and apparently you can't either), one has to wonder who it is that is being seedy? The writers who haven't done what you've accused them of or the guy who is smearing them as being seedy for doing something they haven't done. Bravo. You are the problem you are fighing against.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Scott's blog is usually condescending, and the comments there are often incestuous with him and two or three other people talking about how he's right and other people are wrong.

Essentially, it's the whole 'yes, BUT-" argument, where there's some agreement, and then more disagreement, to try and dismiss the whole entire thing in the first place. It's been happening for a good long time, and I doubt it'll change anytime soon.

bellatrys said...

(Here via WFA)

The thing that always gets me about intellectually dishonest sorts like Scott et al is - they TOTALLY ignore the fact that you just cannot find male characters who are defined by their rapes. How many heroes' origin stories are rooted in rape? How many "peril of fate worse than death" scenarios for superheroes involve rape? (let alone castration.)

The fact that rape is a *gendered* thing in drama is part of the whole woman-reduced-to-body-part/Chekhov's Vagina problem of making women the Sex Class in our narratives.

And no, it isn't an *exclusively* comics problem, but so what? That comics reflect the wider popular culture is, well, no duh! That doesn't mean we shouldn't address it in comics when we find it there.

Unless of course someone doesn't think it's a problem at all, and this doesn't think we ought to adress it at all, and when someone goes rather insanely obsessive in trying to make people stop addressing it, that rather seems to be the case, demurrals notwithstanding.

Scott (The Mad Thinker) Anderson said...

bellatrys, who are the female characters defined by their rapes? Red Sonja is kind of, but that's it. While some female characters have rapes in their stories (as some male characters do), I can't think of any superhero charcters who I think of "the rape victim who ..." Even Hawkeye II who trained to become a great fighter because of her rape does not seemed defined by it. She mentioned it once after appearing for months in the comic and we didn't even see the scene. For me, she is defined by her strength of character, her ability, her moral courage, not her rape.

It is true that more female characters experience rape than male characters but it is also true that more real women experience rape than men.

If you don't like rape in comics, I get that, but this idea that most or many female characters are defined by their rapes is clearly a myth.

John Foley said...

Are you fruits being paid by VOX?

Fruits? Really?

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Viagra said...

At first i thought the post was interesting to see the psychological effects of rape in comics. But then i saw all your comments and saw this was more part of a previous point of view defense against each other