(Sincerest apologies to Kalinara for stealing this rant idea, but I need to vent)
Well, just learned from Chris Sims about Spider-Man/Black Cat #6.
Turns out that its revealed that Black Cat was raped in college.
Lovely, another one for the list.
Yes, there's more to this.
I first read this sort of thing in a comic in my teenage years, when I bought some back issues that included Wonder Woman #1. I was irritated that it was there and chose to ignore it.
I then encountered it in Watchmen. Found it disturbing, but it served the story.
Same with The Killing Joke.
I didn't really mind it in Green Lantern #109, because I didn't care much for Jade to begin with. I just considered it a lackluster issue and moved on.
I thought Mia in Green Arrow having been a hooker was an interesting past for a potential sidekick, and was more bothered by her blonde hair and blue eyes than her traumatic past.
I didn't think the Engineer in the Authority needed this at all.
I honestly didn't care much about it in Identity Crisis. I mean, it was pretty vile, but it was about the only horror that could explain away the irrational actions of the Justice League.
But when you start putting them all together, you get a freaking bad trend. Nearly every female character has sexual trauma in her past.
Someone needs to sit these writers down and tell them to stop. You're not adding emotional resonance to the story anymore, because this ploy is tired and overused. You are not showing the slightest sensitivity to women's issues, so don't consider yourself enlightened for using such an adult subject. And you are not making the female character any deeper and more compelling with this, at all. If anything, they become more superficial because the issue isn't properly explored.
And it really bugs me that these writers find the only way they can emphasize a female character's strength is by giving her a past sexual trauma to overcome. As though this is the only trial fit for a woman.
I blame the guy who rebooted Wonder Woman (not Perez, the guy before him) for taking the Amazon's positive past and attitude and painting them as manhating isolationists with having been raped as justification for their prejudice. And I heard a rumor once that he'd planned on having Diana fend off a rape attempt within the first few issues but was stopped by editorial. I'm sorry, that's just plain stupid. Every crime prevention briefing I've ever attended has emphasized certain behaviors to avoid being a victim. Your standard rapist would not target a six foot Amazon who carries herself like a Queen. Too intimidating, too risky.
But I digress. However it started, it needs to stop. It's not only cheapening the characters, but the depicted trauma which happens to far too many women everyday.
Knock it off.