I'm a bit mad about this:
Well, what other character? Not Wonder Girl. Enough women had died in the DCU.
I'm not going to put up the money for the hardcover, because I have all of the issues and I don't really need this roundtable, but I am going to ask a friend to see this tomorrow. However, knowing fully that this is a quote taken out of context, I'm still going to rant about it tonight.
Because the direct quote, without context, annoys me a little.
Then, I see the people on that thread applauding this quote, and I get just a bit more annoyed.
Then, I see the people on the thread (and in the WFA comments) criticizing the statement, and I get pissed beyond belief.
They are complaining about the wrong fucking thing.
The quote itself, I don't see as hypocritical because it could signify a change of mindset, like Waid and Augustyn's professed regret at killing Ice, (that it was shortsighted and for the wrong reason). I strongly suspect that, whatever the actual context, this comment may be a result of some of the criticism we've leveled at the writers in the past year.
Sadly, it's the wrong result. It's a short cut.
To me, that quote says "I will treat female characters differently. I'm not going to use them in the 'real plot' where they run the risk of death."
See, death is a part of reality in the DCU and the Marvel U. Characters die, they get replaced, and they return to life. Sometimes it may take a few decades, but that's the reality they live in. To simply say, without qualification, that those rules no longer apply to female characters is ridiculous. Giving an expendable character a pass from death when you feel the story demands it only for the reason of gender is sexism, whichever way the pendulum falls. It breeds that attitude of "women = weak" that sends my blood pressure through the roof and keeps women out of believable lead roles.
I'm well aware of the quantity problem. There's less women than men in superhero comics. That's stupid, and should be fixed. A blanket statement promising no further death doesn't help anything.
We all know that there will always be characters dying in comics. It's to move the story along. There's an infinite number of ways to bring them back, death is not, has not been, and never will be permanent at DC.
I know some of you have heard me lament about the great characters who lost their lives too early and unfairly and plead for resurrection or at least a retcon away of the death, but this comment horrified me. I have at least two women on my "wish they'd die and stay dead" list, and I know I'm not the only one.
I'd sooner see some energy thrown behind resurrecting some of those dead women, like the men tend to always get resurrected, than see them have to be "protected" to a greater extent than the men.
It goes back to my complaints about rape, I suppose. It's an unequal threat, ever-present over the female characters and never-present over the men unless its in a "Mature Readers" book. If all our complaints do is stop them from killing female characters, we basically put a similar unequal threat out there. Death will hang like a shadow over male characters and never truly threaten the female characters.
I want to see both genders face the same trials, not inequality. I'm fucking tired of fucking inequality.
I'd be happy to shut the fuck up about rape in comic books if two conditions were fulfilled:
1) It must suddenly and immediately become as overtly present a threat in the lives of male superheroes as it is for female superheroes. If both Green Lantern and Black Canary are captured by a group of supervillains, and the writer chooses to have the villains leer and make sexualized threats -- they would be levied at both characters, not just Dinah.
2) A sexual assault scene for a female victim is drawn in exactly the same mood and manner as a sexual assault scene for the male victim. Meaning panel angles, point of view, emotions, and reasoning behind writing this.
(Please note: If you find these two options absurd because this treatment "emasculates" i.e. weakens a male character, do consider what it tells us about your attitudes towards women as a gender when it is perfectly acceptable for female superheroes.)
Which brings me to the second problem with the above statement.
It doesn't solve anything.
It's a way to bypass thinking about the actual issues, and throw a quick-fix on the problem. This is trying to manufacture a magic band-aid.
"I won't kill a female character" does not in any way mean "I will treat female characters with the same respect as male characters." It doesn't exclude female characters being 'damsels in distress,' being motivations/rewards for the hero, being shot and paralyzed, being impregnated mystically, being raped, being dragged through the mud, being used solely as eye candy, being retired from action indefinitely or generally being put through any of the shit we've been complaining about for the last seven years. If every writer and editor were to adopt such an attitude as is being cheered on (and alternately condemned as hypcritical, implying that the complaintants feel that this is the correct idea) would be a decision to take women one step away from the plot.
Chucking the Refrigerator and going to non-perishables does not stop female characters from being used as consumables.
It doesn't even come close.
Nice try, writers, but you're going to actually have to learn to use your brains when you write.