Saturday, July 01, 2006

Does This Sound Like An Answer?

Sweet Lord Ares on an Alaskan Fishing Trip, I take one Friday night to catch a late show after work and I come home to this:
NRAMA: Noticeably absent (and for some time) is a female creator in that group. Big picture wise, why hasn't a women creator made it into the tight circle of Marvel creators?

JQ: Because currently there aren’t any female writers working on any of our major titles. That said there are female editors at the summit.
So basically you didn't invite any female creators to the editorial meeting that plans your creative direction, because you haven't hired any female creators?

Excuse me, I need to go dig out my clue-bat.

Dammit Lois

After seeing Superman Returns, one thought nags at my brain.

Mild Spoilers

Lois Lane, you utter moron, don't you know that when you're in an airplane and the oxygen masks come down you're supposed to put your own mask on before you help others?

I mean, seriously, that air pressure thing affects you getting drunk. Better safe than sorry.

Anyway, even including the laughable aeronautical errors in that scene (which made me laugh), I really enjoyed this movie.

Even Lex's stereotyped girlfriend was a riot.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Damned List A Side Progress Report

If you thought we'd dropped this, you haven't been reading long enough. We're still compiling a list of all characters at DC and Marvel superhero Comics that have been sexually assaulted. The whole story's here, and here. The last updates are here and here.

Once again, this is just a preliminary list. The Clear list is just to jumpstart your memories.

We have a host being set up, and we plan on visually verifying everything on this list. This project is far from over.

But here's a progress report on the women. Please peruse, correct, and add as necessary in the comments. Then head over to Kalinara for the men.

Our List So Far

Attempted;
Secret (YJ#7)
Diana/Wonder Woman (WW#10)
Diana/Wonder Woman (WW#51)
Jenny Hayden/Jade (GL#109)
Shining Knight (SK#4)
Spoiler (Robin #111)
Hawkgirl (Hawkman, ish # needed)
Storm (forced marriage, X-treme X-men 11-16)
Kitty Pryde (Forced marriage, Uncanny X-men 179)
Lara of Krypton (false pretenses, forced marriage; World of Krypton trade)


Actual:
Felicia Hardy/Black Cat (SM/BC mini)
Elektra (Elektra: Assassin #1)
Grace Choi (Outsiders #17)
Jessica Drew/Spider-Woman (Ref Needed -- Perpetrator was the Purple Man)
Mia Dearden/Speedy II (GA #42)
Crazy Jane (DP)
Swift/Shen-Li Min (The Authority #27)
Engineer/Angela Spica (The Authority #27)
Rogue (Ref Needed)
Carol Danvers/Ms. Marvel (Avengers#200)
Abby (Ref Needed)
Red Sonja (Kull and the Barbarians #3)
Emma Frost (Ref Needed)
Big Barda (Action Comics #592-593)
Cora (Atlantis Chronicles)
Mirage (NTT -- Need ish #)
Calliope (Sandman)
Catwoman (Her Sister's Keeper)
Queen Hippolyta (WW#1)
Atlanna (Incest, Atlantis Chronicles)
Sue Dibny (IDC #3)
Helen Bertinelli/Huntress (Huntress miniseries ??)
Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk (SH#7)
Engineer/Angela Spica (The Authority #21)
She-Hulk (Sens. She-Hulk ish # needed)
Kate Bishop (YA Special #1)
Katherine Anne Summers (Uncanny X-Men 156-157)
Saturn Girl (false pretense, forced marriage, ref needed)
Sally Sonic (Statuatory, Bulleteer #4)
Spoiler (Statutory, ref needed)
Terra (Statutory, New Teen Titans v1, issue 39, page 11)
Cassie Sandsmark/Wonder Girl (Statutory, TT Annual #1 -- Age?)
Dazzler (False pretenses, Longshot's luck power, ref needed)
Marrow (Weapon X: The Draft)


Implied/Subtextual:
Lian Harper (Outsiders #19)
Dinah Lance/Black Canary II (GA: The Longbow Hunters)
Arisia (Warrior #42)
Elektra (Daredevil #181)
Dream Girl (Universo Project)
Phantom Lady (IC#1)
Alicia (Fantastic Four #255)
Cobweb (TS#1)
Barbara Gordon (The Killing Joke)
Starfire (Ref needed)
Debbie Darnell/Star Sapphire (JLA #115)
Salamandra (Fantastic Four #515)
Supergirl/Kara Zor-El (Incest, SupergirlV5#5)

Symbolic:
Arisia (GLC #213)
Susan Richards/Invisible Woman (FF Annual #23)
Susan Richards/Invisible Woman (FF 278)
Jessica Jones (Alias 25)
Dinah Lance/Black Canary II (GA/GL #76)
Helena Bertinelli/Huntress (JLI#30)
Rachel Summers (Mind control, Ref Needed)
Power Girl (Zero Hour buildup -- Ref Needed)
Donna Troy (WW #136)
Oracle/Barbara Gordon (BoP #85)
Imra/Saturn Girl (Mind control, Ref Needed)
Donna Troy (RoDT)
Catwoman (CW#50)
Debbie Darnell/Star Sapphire (IDC/JLA-SSoSV Ref Needed)
Carol Ferris/Star Sapphire (Pretty much all of Vol 2 GL)
Dawnstar (Forced transformation, Ref Needed)
Zinda Blake (Mind control, Ref Needed)
Kitty Pryde (Mind cotnrol, Ref Needed)
Dr Light II/Kimiyo Hoshi (GA #57)
Jean Grey (Dark Phoenix Saga)
Diana/Wonder Woman (WW#160)
Courtney Whitmore/Stargirl (Mind control, ref needed)
Supergirl II/Cir-El (Forced transformation, ref needed)

Perpetrators:
Martika (GG: Warrior)
Tarantula (Nightwing)
The Mist (Starman #16)
Psylocke (X-Men, ish # needed)
Circe (Wonder Woman)


Mentioned, but even circumstances still unknown -- Sharon Ventura


Clear List:
Lois Lane
Ma Hunkel/Red Tornado
Maggie Sawyer
Renee Montoya
Hope O'Dare
Cassandra Cain
Sandra Woosan/Lady Shiva
Wasp
Andromeda
Katma Tui
Black Widow

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Quick Notes

I've been saying for a while that I was mad about Wonder Woman supporting cast member Etta Candy becoming Dietwoman, Slim-Fast USAF Officer, Wife of the Man Who is Rightfully Diana's Love Interest, but I didn't realize just how much superior the Golden-Age Etta Candy was to the watered-down version until I saw these panels.



I hereby reinvest my hope that there's room in the relaunch for a retcon/regression of Etta Candy to her Golden Age incarnation.

Anyway, this week: Kyle Rayner. Here's hoping the artist smartens up about the panel angles in Ion. Nobody is reading to see his face. Stop giving us the front view.

Jenn's thoughts about blogging, and her new Wiki project on Ethnic Stereotypes in Comics. She's requested some help getting it off the ground, but all I can really give her is Italians and she doesn't have a spot for them. Any other experts?

I'm really liking Planet Karen lately. Not sure Can't imagine why, though.

I got Justice.

And Dora's got a feminist manifesto... feminifesto... womanifesto... Ehh..
Dora's got a cool idea.

And for those of you still curious about Yesterday's Quote -- Anon, a moose gave it a guess and nailed the quote's origin in the comments. You may speculate on the meaning of this development, or you can go with my explanation.

I'd also like to reclaim the term "Harpy" for feminist empowerment. Anyone else?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Reminder

Deadline for the Carnival of Feminist Sc-Fi Fans is only 2 days away!

After-Monday Misogyny: The Quote

I was saving this for next week. Tonight I was thinking of a post on the impending return of Egg Fu, how Judd Winick screwed over John Stewart, or why I love Hal Jordan (and no, the main point wasn't his butt -- or any of the other physical parts that Ivan Reis draws so prettily). I changed my mind.

You see, some of the reaction to yesterday's post -- indeed, some of the reaction to the WiR-list, girl-wonder.org, pro-women projects and feminist posts in general convinced me that another learning post was in order.

I'm going to give you a quote this morning. It's several months old. Tonight, after work, I will post the link to where I first saw it.

Most likely I'm especially vicious for lack of a true life target. In nearly every other office there has been "The Woman I Hate." I only work with one other female since I was moved across the hall to actually work again, and she's fun to be around.
Until then, please, discuss.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Monday Misogyny

I'll acknowledge that Misogyny may not necessarily be the most accurate term here. The comment in question is so confusing it's difficult to make an exact classification, though it does strike me as a definite form of anti-feminism, which is why this one goes under this heading today. You see, Passive-Aggressiveness can be a greatly confusing tactic. It results in offense, and it becomes difficult to pin down precisely where the offense came from. So, I've prepared a training exercise.

In the exchange below, I'm going to reproduce one of Kalinara's posts in it's entirety (she's given me permission to do this), and then I'm going to quote you from somewhere around the thirtieth comment. The commenter names will all be obscured, but the actual content is completely reproduced so you can judge what happened without looking back at the names.

What I need you, dear readers, to do for me is to explain to me precisely what Fan #1 is talking about, and what in the original post prompted such a comment. And then I need you explain exactly what point Fan #3 inadvertantly proved, how she proved it, and was she too hard on Fan #1?

This is a long one..Original Post:
An Open Letter to Male Comic Fans:
Recent developments over the cause of comic-book feminism have gotten me thinking. I don't know if a lot of guys really understand what feminism's really about.

At least what *my* brand of feminism is really about.

So I'll tell you.

It's not really about the costumes, be they midriffs, boob windows, fishnet stockings. Yeah, some of them are silly. Some of them are stupid. And yeah, when I think they are, I'm gonna damn well say so But I don't want female characters to go around in shapeless tracksuits any more than you do. I like most of the costumes, and while I might prefer it more if Kara Zor-El wore the Matrix Supergirl's costume and cheered when Huntress changed to the non-midriffed bodysuit, that's not what I really care about.

It's not about breast size. Look women come in all shapes and sizes. And in general, when it comes down to it, I like the variety in comics. I'd like to see more variety in comics. I certainly don't want Power Girl or Phantom Lady to suddenly become a b-cup or anything like that, (though I much prefer Phantom Lady in the recent BfB art style than the Freedom Fighters.) Regardless of what certain folks might think, I like Power Girl's breasts.

It's not about making comics less fun for guys. I don't begrudge you your action, attractive characters and power fantasies. I like them too. I don't begrudge you your eye-candy, though I want more male eye candy to balance out.

So what is it about?

It's about:

# Rape/Sexual Assault Storyline being few and far between. It's got incredible evocative power. But only when used sparingly and subtly. It loses all sorts of impact when everyone and her mother has it in their backstory. It should Never be the default method of establishing strength and development in a female character.


# Female characters being defined as more than just their male counterparts with boobs. Having two X-Chromosomes is not a sufficiently defined personality. Female characters should be as complex and developed as their male counterparts.


# Female characters being no more or less sacrificed for a storyline than their male counterparts. Characters have to die sometimes, we understand that. But a hero character should neither be specifically targeted nor specifically spared because of their gender.


# Female characters being on average of an equivalent competency level with their male counterparts. For every Steph Brown there should be an Oracle. For every Jennie-Lynn Hayden a Katma Tui. The woman should not always be the weakest of her ilk.


# Writers caring as much about the consistency of the characterizations of their female characters as they do their males. We love these characters for their personalities as much as their appearances and powers, these should be kept consistent. Growth is a good thing, rampant out of character-ness for the sake of the plot is NOT. For a man or a woman.

# Gender not being used as a crutch to stick to the same old archetypes. Men can be nurturers, women can be ball-breakers. Men can be sensitive, women can be sex-crazed. Variety is a wonderful wonderful thing.

It's about respect.

I don't want to spoil your fun. I don't want to make you feel bad or defensive. I don't think you're all misogynists and sexist jerks. I don't really see anything wrong, for example, with you liking to see attractive female characters in revealing clothing.

I just want the gals to have personalities, brains and skill to go with their beauty. I want female characters to have the same respect and consideration as male characters. I don't think that's too much to ask.

Our desires aren't mutually exclusive. We've got no reason to be adversaries. It would be very easy for us both to be happy. Think about it


This post gets to thirty comments before I see one that really sticks out to me, so I'll be nicknaming the commenter "Fan #1"

Nice piece. Of course, the two main things that would need to change is there to be more female leads (either in their own book or another series) and more female creators (not always working on female characters, either).

But the thing feminist comic fans need to remeber, is that it's going to take time. Rome wasn't built in a day, neither was the comic industry. Things are changing to the better for women in comics (both in the books and in real life), but there is still more to be done. Guys understand that. But it seems that a good bit (not all, because not everyone is the same) of comic book feminists are a VERY impatient lot (and concidering the patience of "regular" comic fans, that's saying something).

We know you want to make things better. We even want to help where we can (because, I'm sure it wasn't just feminist comic fans who wrote in and saved Manhuter and Spider-Girl). But when you get impatient, you really hurt the cause more than help it. This is just a little something you should keep in mind, when you want to go off on rants about something you don't like. Normal comic book fans look stupid when they do it, having a "cause" behind you doesn't make you look any less so.

Let's keep making those strides to make better comics for men and women (has anyone here been reading Witchblade lately? Man, that is some good stuff.). But don't let the passion you feel for the issues, cause you to turn people sour to your points, simply bacause of your tone and attitude in expressing them.

When someone is screaming in your ears, the reflex is to cover your ears. Not listen more intently.

Just a little something to think about... :)


Within ten minutes, Fan #2 replies (With a slight edit for the name):
[Addressing Fan #1], you remind me of Terry Long.


It's a full hour before Fan #3 comes along, and feels a need to point something out:
When someone is screaming in your ears, the reflex is to cover your ears. Not listen more intently.

Conversely, when someone continually refuses to listen, the reflex is to raise your voice.

You're very quick to take this opportunity to point out the shortfalls of feminist comic fans, when none of these shortfalls apply to Kalinara's post.


The original poster returns:
[Addressing Fan #1]: Female Leads and Female Creators are all well and good, but the thing is that respect should be across the board. Many male creators clearly respect women, many female characters are written respectfully even when not the star. There's no reason to segregate ourselves to just stories with female leads written by women.

[Addressing Fan #2]: Heh.

[Addressing Fan #3]: Conversely, when someone continually refuses to listen, the reflex is to raise your voice.

There's definitely that factor. We've spent centuries not being listened to, being overlooked and disregarded, so it's perhaps understandable that now that we're actually getting somewhere, well, we're impatient.


Fan #1:
[Addressing Fan #2]: How so? I'm genuinely curious.

[Addressing Fan #3]: True enough. But then, some people won't hear you, if you had the "voice of God" telling them something. Sometimes, you just have to chalk some people up as a lost cause and focus on finding those who aren't.

And I think it fit in fine with Kali's piece, insomuch as she seemed to think men don't understand "the cause". While I think many do, but get turned off by some of the tactics and attitudes some feminist comic fans employ. It's yin and yang here. Both sides have their weak points.

Kali: A key factor in respect if equalit and/or balance. And the comic industry isn't (although it is much better than it used to be). With each new generation of creators coming in, I think things will only imporve. Afterall, a lot of the creators who hold on to those sexist conventions, also grew up in thimes when that was considered "normal". Today's younger creators know that's not true anymore and act accordingly (both in their writing and personal lives).

But as I said, it's still going to take time. I understand the impatience (some) women have. But that doesn't mean it should be acceptable, anymore than the sexism they deplore should be.

I think what it really comes down to, for me, is exactly how women express the issues. Sure, everyone jumps on something that's "wrong." But how many also praise what's "right?" Not nearly as many. I know you, Ragnell and a few others do, but you guys hardly make up the whole of "feminist comic fans." There is very much a lack of "respect" from the feminist comic fan movement, IMO, by that lack of "fair play" in reporting events and issues. If all one does is complain about the bad, but never acknowledges the good, how can you expect someone to really listen to you, no matter how LOUD you get? Who listens to someone who is always complaining about something?

As I said at the start, a key point to repect is balance. But it's not just men who need to work on it, but the women, too. Perhaps that is something to think about for another "open letter" style entry. I certainly think you are up to the task (as this entry showed). :)


Fan #3 reads more than enough:
True enough. But then, some people won't hear you, if you had the "voice of God" telling them something. Sometimes, you just have to chalk some people up as a lost cause and focus on finding those who aren't.

Good point. I won't even bother reading or responding to your comments anymore.


Fan #1:
>>Good point. I won't even bother reading or responding to your comments anymore.<<

Thank you for proving my point for me.


For today's Monday Misogyny, please readers, explain to me what exactly happened here and weigh in -- impartially -- on whether this is misogyny or a hair-trigger in action. Both Fan #1 and Fan #3 used passive-aggressive tactics when arguing, as those tactics are the bane of the candied civility that tends to replace actual civil discourse and productive debate. But what exactly in the original post was Fan #1 responding to? What set Fan #3 off? Was Fan #2 justified in his comparison, and was it an insult or a misguided compliment?

The original comments are still intact back at Pretty Fizzy Paradise so that you can check them for accuracy, but I'd prefer you not take the names into account while trying to explain. Although if you go over there, you'll see Fan #3 broke her promise.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Women Weekly Geek-Out #5

No, I didn't forget, but lately I'm distraced by the heat. Summer in Oklahoma makes me long for the icy embrace of a snowy Pennsyvania winter -- the frosted mountains, the shaded woods, the warm stove when the heater went out. I adore the winter seasons here, and the between time. But when it comes to summer and we approach 90F every day, and surpass it every afternoon (often surpassing 100F), it gets to be problematic. I'm almost completely localized to the South now (I roll my eyes when my mother complains about the heat back home -- "Ma, you don't know rough weather...") except for this one thing. Especially when the air conditioning in your apartment goes out and you need to clean. Concentrating on linkblogging isn't easy at the moment.

But enough complaining, on with the links!

This week, I'm going to start out with Colleen Doran's blog, which is a daily stop for me. You can find posts about her personal life and thoughts, industry news, her work, and other tidbits there.

Lis Riba blogs more about personal and political topics, but rest assured, she is certainly a geek, though her greek cred is hidden deep in her archives and unearthed with a simple search.

Well, I was going to read this one all the way through before I linked it, but some news hit this week that made me want to link more webcomics. I've read the first chapter, it looks itneresting, but what captures me is the art. If you go through from the prolouge to the end of the fourth chapter, you can actually see her skill improve. It's called Shades of Grey, and its created by Robin Dempsey who also has a livejournal and a DeviantArt account.

Kalinara would kill me if I didn't link The Pen Stealer, especially as her partner-in-crime, Chu is also a female geek. They only have a couple chapters up so far, but even as a non-Manga-style fan I can see the art is lovely.

And finally, the reason I'm linking webcomics today -- Lea Hernandez has announced the requirements and guidelines for the Nan Grant, which aims to promote female webcomickers:

In order to foster women publishing independently, with economy, and as owners of what they create, I will award FOUR grants annually, of a year's free hosting at WebComicsNation.com, to women making a regularly-updating new or existing webcomic of any genre or style.
The recipients will have unlimited data storage and bandwidth, the ability to choose to support their work with ads, and a storefront for selling merchandise.


If you're eligible, look into the details. And then come back and give the link to me if you get one of the grants.

Last week's WWGO can be found here. If you find a female-friendly and operated geek-site, please point me in the right direction either in the comments or through e-mail. I have a few in the queue, but could always use more to keep this feature running as long as possible.

I'll end with another link to the Carnival of Feminist Sci-Fi/Fantasy Fans, because I want more submissions. Thanks to everyone who's submitted and reposted that so far. We've got one week left!