“Your body is a miracle. It’s the only body you’ll ever have. You only get one chance to live in it and revel in it and all the amazing things it can do and feel. Don’t waste it. No one, on their deathbed, wishes they’d only had fewer orgasms and hated their thighs more. You’re fabulous. Dive in.”—
“Not being racist is not some default starting position. You don’t simply get to say you’re not a racist; not being racist — or a sexist or a homophobe — is a constant, arduous process of unlearning, of being uncomfortable, of eating crow and being humbled and re-evaluating. It’s probably hard to start that process if you’ve been told that every thought you have is golden and should be given voice, and that people who are offended by what you say are hypersensitive simpletons.”—
“From the moment a baby’s genitalia is categorized, everything else in his or her life is also categorized. Suddenly boys are swimming in an ocean of blue, while girls are transported into the Pepto Bismol world of princessified clothes, sparkly toys that don’t do anything, make-up for preschoolers, and extra-special girl Happy Meals. Girls fall down a rabbit hole of beauty propaganda from which they may never emerge, while boys are shepherded down their own toy aisles where the adventure games, science kits, and all the colors of the rainbow, except pink, have gone to live. Adults who are naïve to these issues reinforce the cycle that the marketers have set in motion, making sure that they buy “boy” or “girl” clothes and toys. Just so there is no confusion, these are all labeled and occupy separate sections of stores and catalogs. Company profit doubles, while girls’ possibilities shrink.”—Lori Day, The Gender Pendulum: How the Free Market Economy Creates Gender Polarization | The Good Men Project (via sparksummit)
You wanna add another candidate? It’s like the Republican primary is like a season of American Idol in reverse, where every week, you just add another idiot. …First you guys wanted (Michele) Bachmann, then (Rick) Perry — now (Chris) Christie? You know what, Republican base? Meet me at camera three!
(To camera three.) Have you ever considered the possibility that maybe your candidates aren’t the problem — maybe it’s you? You’re hard to please or figure out! You’re unrealistic! I mean, you’re pro-life, yet — (rolls tape of GOP members applauding Texas’s death penalty) — what was that? You’re afraid of ‘death panels,’ yet for uninsured coma patients — (rolls tape of GOP members shouting ‘YEAH!!!’ when Ron Paul was asked if a patient without health insurance should be allowed to die) — that’s the crowd: ‘YEAH!!!’ You guys ‘support the troops’ — well except for Captain Creatine over here (rolls tape of gay U.S. Army soldier who asked GOP candidates if they’d repeal DADT — and was booed by GOP debate crowd).
It’s like the Republican base is at war with its own talking points: ‘I want someone who’s gonna cut taxes — and balance the budget! Someone who’s a skilled orator — that doesn’t talk all fancy! The child of poor immigrants — who will build a fence to keep them out of this country! Someone who’s strong enough for a man — but Ph-balanced for a woman!
…It’s like your ideal candidate is a rare, super-heavy element that can only exist in a particular particle accelerator. And even then, only for a fraction of a second. Before you all remember how much you hate science.
You guys need to take a long, hard look in the mirror, and not come away thinking ‘Hey, there’s something wrong with this mirror.’
”—JON STEWART, on media-fed rumors that New Jersey governor Chris Christie may enter the GOP presidential race — as well as the hypocritical sentiments of the Republican party — on The Daily Show (via inothernews)
If you have signed in to basically anything on the Internet these days, then you’re most likely familiar with the whole CAPTCHA program. That’s the thing where you have to prove you’re not a spambot by typing some nearly unreadable words into a…
—-I understand why women get upset, but this is always going to be in comics, and women have to understand that, too.—-
This is the one that quiet honestly, upsets me the most. It’s the response that seems supportive on the surface, but the underlying message is that all us hysterical women are just freaking out for no reason. What we just don’t understand is that men like what they like, and so we have to smile and put up with a little objectification now and then if we’re going to be comic book readers.
You know what? No. I am sick and tired of being told that what I want and need from my comics comes second to what men want to read. I have been a fan of comics for almost my entire life. I’ve paid my money for not only the books themselves, but the movies, the toys, the clothes. I’ve spent hours reading comics, discussing comics, loving comics. Why on Earth is my opinion and what I want to see in comics so much less valuable than someone else’s? Just because I was born with a different set of reproductive organs, I have to be passive in what I read, while a certain sector of men get to be catered to? That’s bullshit, plain and simple, and I am not okay with it. Yeah, this is the Twenty-First Century, and I am liberated with a mind and voice of my own, and I’m not just going to sit down, shut up, and be reduced to my parts because hey, comics are really for boys.
“You see, we weren’t really that ‘type-cast’ until we hit syndication. When it hit syndication, it went wild, see? It just went crazy. So that was when the ‘lock-in’ started, years afterward, with us… and then by that time, I’d gotten so damn lazy I didn’t care anyhow.”—
DeForest Kelley, in response to being asked if there was a problem with type-casting after Star Trek was cancelled.
“When a beautiful actress is cast in a movie, executives rack their brains to find some kind of flaw in the character she plays that will still allow her to be palatable. She can’t be overweight or not perfect-looking, because who would pay to see that? A female who is not one hundred per cent perfect-looking in every way? You might as well film a dead squid decaying on a beach somewhere for two hours. So they make her a Klutz. The hundred-per-cent-perfect-looking female is perfect in every way except that she constantly bonks her head on things. She trips and falls and spills soup on her affable date (Josh Lucas. Is that his name? I know it’s two first names. Josh George? Brad Mike? Fred Tom? Yes, it’s Fred Tom). The Klutz clangs into stop signs while riding her bike and knocks over giant displays of fine china in department stores. Despite being five feet nine and weighing a hundred and ten pounds, she is basically like a drunk buffalo who has never been a part of human society. But Fred Tom loves her anyway.”—Mindy Kaling on the women who only exist in romantic comedies | Flick Chicks (via rufustfirefly)
You’d think people who had grown up with the ‘Toon Titans’ could’ve been a target audience there. The comic book Starfire isn’t that far off from the cartoon Starfire, except for the obvious difference in customer base between a cartoon for young children and a comic book that costs four bucks a pop. So why is murderous part-time psychopath Red Hood in charge instead of minor icon Starfire? In short, why isn’t it Starfire And The Outlaws?
Because that wouldn’t hurt. Unbeknownst to many, Scott Lobdell’s parents were killed in a tragic newsprint accident, their bodies buried in a closed-casket funeral lest friends and family see panels from Fantastic Four 53 imprinted on their lifeless bodies. Superheroes had taken Scott Lobdell’s family, and Scott Lobdell was going to take back.
You see, Scott Lobdell has seen things. Things man was never meant to see. If you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back into you. And Scott Lobdell had seen into the very heart of the abyss.
You don’t fuck with someone who’s written the Tommy Lee Jones/Cedric the Entertainer laffer Man Of The House.
The DC reboot made female characters more palatable by taking away their power, their history, their relationships. Barbara Gordon and Dinah Lance were no longer BFFs. Lois Lane was no longer Clark Kent’s wife and trusted friend. Voodoo was a stripper, and apparently despite the name, she wasn’t one before. Dan Didio had already made his biggest mistake; he’d made Scott Lobdell mad. But now he’d made his last one—he gave Lobdell an in.
Bleeding Cool's DC Through The Eyes of a Marvel Zombie, by Heather Kenealy
Red Hood and the Outlaws
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: Kenneth Rocafort
Jason Todd, the Red Hood, rescues Roy Harper, from unjust imprisonment and convinces him to join him in being a mercenary, I guess. Also Starfire is there, she’s really stupid and likes having sex. Then some weird lady cryptically says cryptic things and Jason gets to shoot people.
Wow. Can I just say how offended I am by this book? The story in and of itself is OK, but then the misogynistic way Starfire is treated is just appalling. She is literally reduced to a brainless sex slave who can also kick ass. They mention in narration that she was raised to be a slave but she’s really a princess, but they treat her with absolutely no respect, the big HAHA joke being Red Hood referring to his back up as 38s, and of course, the next panel stars Kori’s boobs. Yeah, Scott Lobdell, you should be ashamed.
Story: 1 out of 5 stars
Scott Lobdell, Writer.
Seriously, the only reason I am not giving this book a zero is because at least the words are all spelled correctly. How did this trash get published? Really, is DC just going to let Lobdell turn Starfire into that brain damaged girl on the short bus who keeps pulling her skirt over her head? This is just disgusting, and it’s frankly writing Jason and Roy as scumbags who take advantage of this really stupid but hot alien. It’s not only character rape but it’s practical literal rape.
Art: 1 out of 5 stars
Kenneth Rocafort, Artist. Blond, Colorist.
Continuing with the theme, the only character Rocafort cares to draw with any skill is Starfire, posing her in slutty positions that best show off her boobs or butt. Every other piece of artwork in this horrible book is inked in scratchy overworking, anatomy is wonky, with Red Hood’s thighs going from elephantine to almost spindly in one sequence. The colors are adequate, which is good because the faces of the two main characters are identical, which might mean Starfire isn’t stupid, the boys are really just that interchangeable.
As I’ve pointed out with regards to my post about the Shortpacked comic from a few days ago that while I disagreed with the way the comic went about its approach, I totally agree with the overall sentiment.
We’ve heard what’s being said about Starfire today and we appreciate the dialogue on this topic.
We encourage people to pay attention to the ratings when picking out any books to read themselves or for their children.
Which is great advice - I encourage parents and consumers to review any type of media before its used for themselves or a child, hence why the ESRB works so well for the video game industry, and why the MPAA exists. As someone who used to make games for a living, I understand the value and impact a rating can have on a title. A rating is exactly why I will watch something - say, like How To Train Your Dragon or Justice League Unlimited - before I’ll allow my nearly 3 year old son to sit down and watch something with me. I want to ensure that it’s appropriate - or at least explainable - for him.
However, what DC is doing here is taking one example of the situation - written complete with gut punch emotion by the unbelievably eloquent Michele Lee (please click this link - it will take you to Ms. Lee’s original blog post where you will get the entire story) - and granted, it has become the rallying cry of fandom to use this example, as it is the most well thought out, written and most emotional example of the Starfire and Catwoman hullabaloo. DC, in a very officious and corporate way, pulls a Matrix here and dodges the bullet of concern that has been the great fan outcry - why the hell are favorite characters being depicted in this way? You’ve had - in the case of Catwoman especially - DECADES of character development, and yet with this relaunch, it seems as if that’s unimportant and has been flushed.
It’s not the rating, guys. Seriously. It’s the exploitative story telling. And honestly, that’s a dismissive statement. Your biggest complaints are coming from adult fans of the character. It’s one thing for a character to be sexy - it’s quite another to be depicted as a sex robot. She went from being an emotional positive force to being an emotionless negative stereotype. THAT is the problem.
Its a shame that books like Red Hood & The Outlaws and Catwoman have tarnished an otherwise excellent relaunch. Sadly, people are going to remember these two negative extremes more than they will positive things like Animal Man, Blackhawks, Grifter, or I, Vampire.
It occurs to me that people who are only acquainted with me on Tumblr might get the wrong impression about how I feel about comics. After all, a great deal of what I’ve reblogged lately has been articles decrying the anti-feminist everything about the DC reboot. So I thought I would lay out my perspective on the matter, for anyone that cares. This is also to help me articulate what bothers me about these things and why they are wrong.
Main point: The DC reboot pisses me off so much because I want to love comics.
I really, really do. I am a fan of sequential art and what can be achieved in storytelling with that format. I am a fan of superheroes. I love a lot of male superhero characters. I even fangirl over some of them. It’s been problematic for years that there weren’t very many female superhero characters I could really enjoy, but A) my main era of actually reading comic books was at a less socially conscious age and B) I liked the male characters enough to ignore what was going on with the female characters (whether I should have or not). The DC reboot, though, has changed that. The way female characters are being treated in this reboot is something I cannot ignore, something that infuriates me, for two reasons.
1. They’re destroying the female characters that were less problematic before the reboot.
This one is probably the one that bothers me the most as a writer and artist. Why are they changing things about perfectly good characters? The offenders here are the Batman girls and Starfire.
The female characters in Batman have always, I feel, been less problematic. Aside from Ivy, they’ve had less revealing costumes. Harley was sexy in that full-body clown suit, but she wasn’t throwing herself at the reader; her character was not about sex. It was about obsession and how you can be attached to someone who does nothing but hurt you. Hard to feel that in herredesign.
Catwoman- yes, she wore a catsuit, but at least it was somewhat practical, since she was a burglar, and it (at least usually?) wasn’t a catsuit that was missing bits, unlike other characters. She wasn’t willing to change who she was or stop doing what she enjoyed for Bruce, and that unresolved romantic tension made that ship. She was an interesting character and an interesting not-quite-enemy for Bruce in ways that had nothing to do with her physical appearance. Now she’s being advertised primarily as sexy by her book’s writer, her catsuit is half coming off, and she’s having sex with Batman at the end of her first issue (which is a problem because of the change in character and because of the pornshot nature of the ending panel, not because she’s sexually active).
Annnd Starfire. I’ve seen a lot of places talking about how this Starfire is supposed to be sexually liberated. I’m not sure where that argument originated, but Starfire was already sexually liberated. Her whole culture promoted polyamory in a way that sometimes included sex, and that was equally acceptable for both males and females. The change in her character has not ‘sexually liberated’ her. It made her into a woman who uses people as sex toys, because she has no emotional connection with them whatsoever, even the ones she’s theoretically in a relationship with. How is that putting her on a level with men? If I saw a male character written that way, I’d think he was disgusting. No matter how stereotypically attractive his appearance was, I wouldn’t be attracted to his character. I’d consider him prime hated villain material, since he’s clearly accustomed to treating other individuals as less than the sentient beings they are and has difficulty understanding emotions, which is, well, a bit sociopathic. Why is anyone supposed to feel any different about that same character as a woman?
2. It has gone to a level that cannot be ignored in favor of the male characters.
This is pretty simple. When I was reading through my dad’s comics, if I didn’t want to see women treated as sexual objects, I went and read Batman and skipped the issues of the JLA that featured Wonder Woman in favor of the ones with Black Canary (hooker costume aside, Canary is pretty awesome). And we’re told to vote or not vote with our dollar- buy the comics with strong female characters, don’t buy the ones that super sexualize or objectify their characters.
Where am I supposed to go now? I love Batman, but now Catwoman and Harley have this ridiculousness going on, and even if the pornsex and the costume falling off was in Catwoman’s comic, it’s going to intrude on Batman. Harley doesn’t have her own comic (as far as I know?), so Batman is where she’ll be showing up. Even if they do a good job with Batgirl (pleasepleaseplease), there are still going to be these glaring problems. Starfire? Not her own title- she’s in Red Hood and the Outlaws. Again, even if I like the male characters there (don’t know so much about them, to be honest), I can’t just read them and somehow ignore Starfire’s barely clad ridiculous proportions asking to have sex with a friend of the person she’s supposed to be in a relationship with.
And I haven’t seen anything that gives me an indicator there will be good options for female characters in this reboot. If someone has, link me. Please.
That’s my opinion, for what it’s worth (which, to the comic book industry, is apparently nothing).
In many ways, the constant barrage of this type of imagery (and characterization) is not unlike the sh*tty neighborhood I used to live in where every time I walked down the street, random people I didn’t know shouted obscene comments about my body and told me they wanted to have sex with me. And you know, maybe a lot of those guys thought they were complimenting me. Maybe they thought I had tried to look pretty that day and they were telling me I had succeeded in that goal. Maybe they thought we were having a frank and sexually liberated exchange of ideas. I’m willing to be really, really generous and believe that’s where they were coming from. But in the end, it doesn’t matter that they didn’t know it was creepy; it doesn’t matter that they “didn’t get it,” because every single day I lived there they made me feel like less of a person.
That is how I feel when I read these comics.
And I’m tired. I’m so, so tired of hearing those messages from comics because they aren’t the dreams or the escapist fantasies or the aspirations that I want to have. They don’t make me feel joyful or powerful or excited. They make me feel so goddamn sad that I want to cry, because I have devoted my entire life to comics, and when I read superhero books like these I realize that most of the time, they don’t give a sh*t about me.
“She’s like me. She’s an alien new to the planet and maybe she doesn’t always say the right thing, or know the right thing to do. But she’s a good friend, and she helps people. She’s strong enough to fight the bad guys, even when they hurt her. Even her sister tried to kill her, but Starfire still fights for the good side. And she helps the other heroes, like Superboy and Robin and Raven.”
A most interesting read from a most interesting perspective. I have a hunch that little girl could do great things with her life.