Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Public Service Announcement

Far be it for me to denigrate another member of the online comics community, but there are some things that just look strange and should be pointed out. I freely and fully admit that I've reacted to other fan complaints by asking incredulously if the other fan has actually read the work in question (or if they indeed know how to), and I don't see it as a question that off-limits when you find your interpretation of a work (and the tropes of the genre) to be remarkably different from another fan's reading.

But really. From whence comes your indignation, internet? Have you never read a Wonder Woman comic? Ever?

If you ask that question (even rhetorically) and the first post you link is by someone who has written the comic book in question, you look stupid.

Just for future reference.

And it doesn't help that Greg Rucka shoots down your main point in the comments of that first link.


  1. Putting Rucka first was not an accident by any means.

    Do you know what rhetorically means?

    Have you never read the dictionary? Ever?

  2. Speaking of reading the dictionary, having consulted one might have helped Laura use "whence" correctly instead of adding the redundant "from." (Because "whence" means "from where," what she's saying there is "from from where.")

    Just, you know, as long as she's flinging rhetoric about what words mean.

  3. Fascinatingly, if a rhetorical statement is posted publically, people can still actually have an opinion or even *gasp* respond to it.

    Asserting that a question is rhetorical only indicates your intent, it does not actually bind anyone else against replying to it.

    And for the record, that rhetorical question is pretty damn stupid. :-)

  4. Oh goody... Let's all play a round of Pedantry!

    "But from whence has been used steadily by reputable writers since the 14th century, most notably in the King James Bible: 'I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help' Psalms. Such a respectable precedent makes it difficult to label the construction as incorrect."

    Who got next?

  5. By "shoots down," you mean what? I don't recall ever having heard of a guy being bothered by a superhero look being done in a nudie women’s magazine. Have you? His argument would be great if there was even a single instance of his supposition being supported.

    I've seen guys get bothered by male sexual images that appear to be marketed to men (as in comics), but never to women.

  6. Goodness, don't you know that this is HOW IT IS, and therefore there is no point having an opinion about it, or trying to change it- you just have to get accustomed to it!

    Oh wait I forgot my [sarcasm] tags

  7. "I've seen guys get bothered by male sexual images that appear to be marketed to men (as in comics), but never to women."

    It is my personal experience that the average guy gets wigged out when there is even the slightest chance that he will have to look at something as mild as this.

    And "bothered" is a rather mild term for the usual reaction that I see. Having to listen to the guys complain about the mere existence of gay porn mags in receiving? Very much not the highlight of working at a bookstore.

  8. My experience is similar Mickle. :\ I had tons of guy friends in HS and after, and they ALL got icked out if a character or actor was there to attract women (like Dean Cain in Lois and Clark) and it was UNBELIEVABLE how much hate they threw at such chars or even refused to look at a pic of them and if I liked them then they freak out like mad.

    Their reactions were very extreme. And they got very insecure if girls they knew liked a guy, a character or anything else much less did any smexy drawings of them. :\

  9. Oddly they had very little issues with stuff objectifying men meant for other men tho. Or gay porn or nething. But when it came to guy characters or actors meant to attract women, it was freak out time. :\ They also took their fictional characters very seriously. Try to co-opt one for the female gaze, and it's also freak out time. Their heroes meant a lot to them and they did get upset at stuff even as vanilla as Dean Cain as Superman, or if I said James Bond is hot. No he's cool, not hot, he's not meant for me, he's meant to be cool!

    Etc :\

    And I knew quite a lot of these fanboys (and still know a lot of them) :\ YMMV but they ARE out there.

  10. Amy and Mickle, I agree with both you, but as Playgirl is created for women, I don't think guys would get that homophobic reaction if the image was specifically marketed to women and to the exclusion of men. If they thought that Playgirl was being marketed to them, I could see them freak, but I've never heard of guys being bothered by anything in Playgirl.

    Frankly, the people who would be most bothered by a nude superhero are the very people who don't think would rant about the cover because they'd be afraid to even say they were looking at it.

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  13. My friends I was referring to HAVE been upset about Playgirl and men on covers of magazines marketted to women tho. That's what I was saying. It wasn't about homophobia necessarily as I had many gay friends and they weren't bothered by them sexualizing ppl or heroes but by girls doing it (not ALL my friends were of course, some were homophobic, some only a little, some not at all, I had and have a LOT of male friends). And a couple of these guys who freaked were bi, but many were also straight.

    All I'm saying is that they DO exist. Just b/c you haven't heard of them doesn't mean that they dun exist, b/c my experiences have been different :)

    I personally dun see why it matters whether or not they exist tho. If NO men existed that would be offended by the sexualization of their heroes by the female eye (and as I said, I KNOW ppl who are, and it's not about a gay thing b/c sexualization for the male eye doesn't bother them) would that mean that women shouldn't be offended? Or if there was even ONE man that existed that was offended, or 100 men, or 1000, or 10,000, would that mean that ppl are suddenly allowed to criticize the WW cover?

    I just see the point as neither here nor there. It's impossible to declare with certainty that b/c your experiences say somebody doesn't exist, therefore they do not exist. Since this is about knowing ppl and not about what ppl SHOULD think based on logical thinking (if ppl thought logically all the time we'd be living in a very different world xD), it's just about pure KNOWING ppl from experiences, and there are SO many different ppl in different cities and different age groups and everything, that it's impossible to know from one person's experience, who does and doesn't exist in the world :)

    They DO exist. Is all I'm saying. But I dun think them existing hurts or helps the critics of the cover, nor does it hurt or help the critics of the critics of the cover.

    As I said, I dun rly have a problem with the cover, but I do understand why ppl would, and I also understand why ppl wouldn't. But I dunno how what OTHER ppl might think, or whether these other ppl exist or not, impacts in any way. So if my friends didn't exist, ppl shouldn't be offended, but since my friends do, they are "allowed" to be offended about the WW cover? I dun get it :( It seems neither here nor there.

    My friends DO exist tho. :) That's all I'm saying, and that they are and have been offended by men, male heroes they they like, etc being offered up or objectified by the female eye, and it's not about homophobia for them, as it's not about homophobia for female fans who are upset about the WW cover.

    Homophobia certainly exists (I also have homophobic straight friends, and oddly homophobic bi friends, etc... xD I told you I have a LOT of male friends) but it isn't involved with the friends I'm talking about. :)

    They do exist. I just dun see why debating the existence of real ppl I know in real life who are my friends, matters in this debate. xD

  14. ">but as Playgirl is created for women..."

    As opposed to Vogue Knitting, which is marketed towards....????

    "Frankly, the people who would be most bothered by a nude superhero are the very people who don't think would rant about the cover because they'd be afraid to even say they were looking at it."

    Possibly. That still leaves all the guys that do kick up a fuss all the time about such things. If the guys that are most bothered by such things are the ones that are silent, then there are even more hypocrites out there than I thought.

    "I personally dun see why it matters whether or not they exist tho."

    No it shouldn't. But it's a lot harder to explain that than it is to shoot down the obviously false "but it wouldn't bother me if the situation was reversed!" :)

    I, personally, tend to fall into this trap more than I should because I am bothered by the lack of the female gaze in the mainstream media and often talk about that. It's hard to explain to a lot of people the difference between "admiring sexy pictures" and "admiring the kind of sexy pictures that are currently the norm in the context of all the other crap that goes on it the world." Frequently arguing that they should try not being so freaked out by the mere idea of the female gaze doesn't make it any easier to point out the difference between actions in the abstract versus within the real life and all the baggage that goes with it.