Why was this particular question so important?
Because I was absolutely convinced that no one at DC had even had the idea to do this.
See, I'm a big believer in ingrained cultural sexism. I think empathy and respect, these need to be taught. Our culture simply isn't set up to teach empathy to women. Everything is masculine, everything is for boys. That's why "sissy" and "throw like a girl" and such as insults. When we're raised, we're taught to identify with the masculine. That's where the traditional values of society are placed. You need to teach yourself to identify with the feminine. You need to teach yourself to value the feminine viewpoint.
That's why I stories are set up that way. Male heroes, the story revolves around them.
And I really don't understand why having this viewpoint shaken puts people on the defense. I mean, that's what Feminism's for, to shake the narrow viewpoint that centers on the male. To focus on the female for a change. It's not considered a revolutionary philosophy anymore, but really it is. The point is to change the basic wiring of society. To make Women the Norm. It's not anything against men. It's just to introduce another way to view things, a way that doesn't center on men.
So, when I see the unconcious cultural sexism, I like to call it out. I like to single out cluelessness and make people think about it. Because if you're dealing with a good hearted person, I really think they'll go "Wait, I didn't think about it from that point of view," and think differently from that point on. It's revolutionary in a little way. Sometimes it puts someone on the defense, sometimes I get caught up in my point of view, sometimes we lose our tempers, but sometimes.. Sometimes it works.
And I don't think comic book writers are bad people. I just don't think they've looked at it from the other angle. We all get stuck in our boxed stories, our rotes, our formulas, our viewpoints. Rather than be defensive, we should welcome a fresh idea!
But I digress. My point was, I really don't think that Dan Didio or his massive creative writing factory are bad people. Not at all.
I really honestly figured that they'd just never thought of what I had. And I figured, if we got it out there, it might just happen because no one had thought of it before.
So, being unable to go myself, I asked Kalinara to prove it for me. And, like the wonderful friend she is, she used her one chance to ask my question:
"Will we ever see Major Force beaten by a woman?"It's not that there's anything wrong with the concept of Major Force as a psychotic misogynistic villain. It's a fair idea, and it works.
Nor do I have a problem with Alex DeWitt's death, or the Green Lanterns being angry and white-knight about it -- because that rings true. Men react that way. Especially heroes.
It's not even that we have this horrifically misogynistic villain who specifically seeks out female characters and hurts them, not because he wants to get at them personally but because he thinks that is the best way to hurt their male relations, and he's not a Wonder Woman villain.
Because that's a kickass concept for a Wonder Woman villain.
And to be honest, while he's just too perfect as a Wonder Woman villain, he does work elsewhere. He can be a Green Lantern villain fine without bothering me.
No, the problem, is that every time I have seen him up against a female character -- He Has Won.
I saw him fight Wonder Girl in Battle for Bludhaven, and he beat the crap out of her.
He fought a depowered Arisia in Guy Gardner: Warrior and killed her.
He fought Alex DeWitt in what is possible the most one-sided fight in Green Lantern history, and, while she put up a fight (a better fight than Cassie Sandsmark did), she had no chance at all.
To be fair, as far as I know, he's never been up against Wonder Woman, Queen Hippolyta, Artemis, Supergirl, Black Canary, Huntress, Batgirl, Power Girl, Manhunter, Donna Troy, Lady Shiva, a live Katma Tui, Brik, Boodika, Soranik Natu, or even Jade. He's never to my knowledge fought a fully-powered, fully-grown, non-civilian woman.
Because he's Kyle's villain. He's Guy's villain. He's a generic Green Lantern villain and there are no female Green Lanterns on Earth. This I understand.
But here we get back to the proper structure of the story, and the payoff. The sexist jerk who offends/hurts/threatens a female character in Act I needs to have his ass handed to him by the same female character in Act III. Not by her boyfriend, or her brother, because that's the male protector fantasy. No, it has to be by her.
And if she should die in Act I, well, if the villain's actions are based on misogyny he still needs to have his ass kicked by a woman.
I've got no problem if a writer decides to write his characters equal, treat his female character the same as his male characters and not make a distinction -- as Ron Marz seemed to be doing in Witchblade when he wrote Sara as Kyle. Kyle's has his victory, when he was personally insulted, taken by the guest star. No problem.
But when you introduce a villain that is marked as evil because he is sexist, a sexual predator of some degree (the sexual harassment in Witchblade #89), you've just brought the inequality of gender into it. And to complete a satisfying story to a female viewpoint, that inequality needs to be refuted.
The Sexist Asshole in Act I Must Have His Ass Handed to Him By a Woman in Act III.
Because if it's just a man, then it's the fulfillment of the male fantasy alone -- the WhiteKnight Protector and the injured female becomes a prop.
Even women, though, get raised with the male viewpoint and need this shaking up sometimes. I was truly surprised when I first realized it, but it fell into place and explained some of my vague disappointment with some stories.
So, I didn't figure that by not understanding this little rule I've outlined, and by being used to the typical White Knight Protector cycle, that the writers were bad people. I figured they genuinely had never considered this. So, a simple, innocent question might change things.
How did they react? According to Kalinara:
Well, I asked during the lightning round, so it was kind of funny because it was all "Yes! No! Ehhhhnnn! (buzzer noise)" then I asked and there was a very obvious stall.
Like in the old cartoons...the record getting pulled off?
And there was a sort of group stutter and Rucka says something like "Uh...sure...why not? Just...might have to wait a few years..."
And Didio recovers and quips something like "beaten by a woman? Sure! He can be just like the rest of us!"
It's sad, but I get a vain, self-centered pleasure out of being right -- even about things like this.
Besides, this is Greg Rucka who answered. He probably started plotting it in the back of his head with Sasha or Renee or Kathy right there because we know he lives vicarously through them. And I just have to wait and I'll get to finally see this jerk get beaten to a bloody pulp by a superheroine for all his stupid sexist little comments. And it will be immensely satisfying.
I am a bit disappointed, as this does mean that Kalinara's hypothesis that Phantom Lady will get to hurt him in Battle for Bludhaven #6 is wrong.
Oh well, it'll come. Maybe it'll be a resurrected Katma Tui or Arisia. That would be downright awesome. Or Soranik cutting her teeth on him. Or Brik -- Hehehe, I'd like to see him just try and hurt Brik.
(Of course, this is no excuse not to keep calling out the little things like this. If anything, it tells us it works.)
In the meantime, we get to see him piss off Hal Jordan.