It has come to my attention that Rogue has sexual assault in her backstory.
Yes, Rogue. The only character I thought was fully and totally safe from sexual assault is sexually assaulted the one time her powers go down.
That's the straw, Ladies, Gentlemen and Yellow Nazi Gremlins from Sector 2816. The Giant Cyber-Camel's back has been broken by the weight of realism. Remember that depressing list idea that cropped up a few months back when I lost my temper? Now is the time to follow through with it.
What I need you, dear readers, to do is a list, with references (because this will be airtight, we will check back on everything before posting a final list), of all of the female superhero characters from DC and Marvel (we're going to follow Jenn's advice to try and stay sane here, and start with the biggest two before we move on to the smaller press) that fit underneath one of the categories below. Drop a comment or email me. Then, I need you to pop over to Kalinara's and list all the male characters who fall into the categories listed.
So open up the back issue bins, check with your friends, link this anywhere and everywhere you want -- it's time to get organized.
(And oh yes, I am aware that just about every superhero in existence will fit somewhere on the list. It's the where that I'm thinking about here.)
I. Explicit Instances of Actual/Attempted Sexual Assault
A. Rape/Sexual Assault of Adult Victims (Actual):
The primary subcategory will be "On-Panel" (Shown explicitly through current events or flashback) or "Off-Panel" (established in Dialogue but not Visually Indicated).
The secondary subcategories will be as follows:
- -In the Present: Storyline/Plot-Related (For example: In the Killing Joke, Barbara Gordon was shot by the Joker, who then removed her clothing and took suggestive pictures of her. This would count as "storyline-related assault" as it happened in the present tense of that comic.)
- -In the Past 1.0: Backstory Established at Character Origin (For example: In the first issue of the Post-Crisis Wonder Woman series, it was established that Queen Hippolyta and the other Amazons were raped by Herakles and his men in Ancient Greece.)
- -In the Past 2.0: Flashback/Backstory Retroactively Inserted (For example: in the miniseries Identity Crisis, it was established that at some point during the Satellite-Era of the Justice League, Sue Dibny was sexually assaulted by Doctor Light)
- -In the Past 3.0: Flashback/Backstory Retroactively Removed (For example: Helena Bertinelli's backstory used to contain a reference of a childhood sexual assault [Section C] however the later retelling of her origin retroactively removed it.)
B. Rape/Sexual Assault of Adult Victims (Attempted):
- Same subcategory setup as seen in section I.A.
C. Sexual Assault/Abuse/Molestation of Minors (Actual):
- The primary and secondary subcategories will be the same as in section I.A and I.B, but there will be a tertiary subcategory that addresses statuatory rape. (For example, In Robin, Stephanie Brown was impregnated by her boyfriend at age 15. The sexual acts were portrayed as consentual, which would differentiate them from acts of traumatic molestation or assault, but still qualifies as statuatory rape.)
D. Sexual Assault/Abuse/Molestation of Minors (Attempted):
- The subcategories of Section IV will be the same set-up as seen in Sections I.A, I.B and I.C.
II. Implications, Subtext, and Symbolism
A. Implied/Subtextual Sexual Assault of an Adult Victim:
(For example Dinah Lance's torture in Longbow Hunters is commonly believed to have contained rape. Quotes have been attributed to creators to indicate that this was not the case, however the particular scene could be read with that interpretation)
The subcategories will be:
- -Taunts and Threats with Sexual Overtones
- -Physical Assault/Abduction/Torture/Murder with Sexual Overtones
B. Implied/Subtextual Sexual Assault of a Minor:
(For example: Starfire's backstory of slavery contains the implication of sexual abuse, however it has never, to our knowledge, been confirmed or denied)
- This will have the same subcategories as II.A.
C. Symbolic Rape/Violation that are not sexual in nature.
Subcategories will include:
- -Mind-Control, which robs the victim of self-autonomy and will
- -Forced Transformation, which robs the victim of control of physical state.