benicio127: (Default)
[personal profile] benicio127 posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Scott Lobdell does an interview with Newsarama on Red Hood, Starfire, sex and gender inequality.



I honestly had a particularly negative reaction to this interview. So did some others, including Ragnell, who I don't always agree with, but I thought had a great post and criticism of it.



The good thing is that the story has gotten people to talk about issues they are passionate about — and that can only ever lead to a better understanding on everyone's part.


It.... kind of sounds like he's saying it's a good thing he wrote this problematic portrayal because it's helped to foster discussion!

More and a bit that really made me grate my teeth:

Nrama: The character is obviously very comfortable with nudity and sex, which isn't exactly new to her character, but was really played up in the art here. Was that the intended message behind the way she was visually portrayed?


Lobdell: I'm not really sure one draws a Koriand'r in a bathing suit on a tropical island without making her sexy.



Also, I don't think a beautiful and confident woman needs to apologize to anyone for the way she dresses, on a beach or off.


Nrama: How do you see Kori in the first issue? Was she meant to come across as a little weak as she leaned on Jason for decisions and offered sex to Roy, or was there another meaning behind her actions? What can you tell us about how she acted in the story — and why? 


Lobdell: I think in a courthouse this would be called "leading the witness. "

In the first issue Kori shows up only when she is needed to rescue the guys. Once that is accomplished — between panels as a way to show how her sudden appearance completely changes the power dynamics present so far in the story — she politely asks her friend if there is anything else she can do to help. Polite is the new weak? Would it have been a better portrayal of the character if she had said "I will fly ahead and kill everyone in your path, Jason?" 




Yep, so if you had concerns about that part, you just interpreted it wrong! Personally, I did not find any friend-type behaviour in that scene, particularly not on Jason's side of things. This was also the part I had the most problems with; where Jason made a joke about Kory's boobs and then talks about using her dislike/distrust of soldiers to his advantage and then it just... got worse from there.

And one more bit for good measure!


Nrama: What was the thought behind the story description of Tamaraneans as not seeing humans as much more than sites and smells? Does that mean she doesn't remember things that may or may not have happened in the past? Or was there another meaning behind that statement?


Lobdell: I love the fact that Kori is an alien. She and the rest of her race have been described of being descended from felines and we all know that humans and cats have different ways of perceiving our environment — so it stands to reason that Humans and people from Tamaran see things differently.



Now, as Humans we might fall into the prejudicial and xenophobic trap of applying a judgment onto other races that they are somehow lacking or even "stupid" because they see the world from another perspective. But I'd like to think that as comic book fans we can all accept that not everyone in the galaxy sees each other as we do.
 



/FACEPALM

For legality: Kate Beaton's STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS!!!









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Date: 2011-10-21 11:33 am (UTC)
kirke_novak: (Marvel: Caiera)
From: [personal profile] kirke_novak
Yesterday, I read comments about the overuse of the word b***h in the new Arkham City game and every third comment was how it's coming from the bad guys (not true, some guards use it as well, including one protagonist) so it's ok because this is how the bad guys speak.
I am NOT in the mood for more of that "you see, you don't get it, because [...]" nonsense. I get it, YOU don't.

Date: 2011-10-21 11:48 am (UTC)
shadeedge: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadeedge
Also, I don't think a beautiful and confident woman needs to apologize to anyone for the way she dresses, on a beach or off.

See, this just seems like someone attempting to position themselves as a champion of women, but once you actually read it, it doesn't truly work. What do beauty and confidence have to do with whether a woman should apologise for what she's wearing? If she was ugly, she'd need to apologise? If she was shy, she'd need to apologise? Oh, and "confidence" does not equal simply being blunt when she asks to have sex with you.

Polite is the new weak? Would it have been a better portrayal of the character if she had said "I will fly ahead and kill everyone in your path, Jason?"

Quite possibly. But without excluding the middle, a better idea might have been not to either defer or command, but offer an option. It's a team, after all. But by and large, personally this particular point is only a problem in combination with everything else. If Starfire hadn't been a terrible character in the other ways, I think i'd not be too bothered on this one point.

Now, as Humans we might fall into the prejudicial and xenophobic trap of applying a judgment onto other races that they are somehow lacking or even "stupid" because they see the world from another perspective. But I'd like to think that as comic book fans we can all accept that not everyone in the galaxy sees each other as we do.

Oh, fuck off. Something is only prejudicial or xenophobic if we apply a generalised rule to an individual - "all those people act like that". It's not prejudice to say that a character acts in a stupid way - if, indeed, people claimed that in the first place - if the character is acting in a stupid way.

And a general "fuck off" to the "Aha! People who called her a slut, you're the bad guys in this!" Yes, those who went for a slut-shaming route are twats. But that doesn't mean the guy who creates a character who basically seems to be a cipher with T 'n A whose purpose in story is "blow up things when the male characters say to" and provide said male characters with fodder for innuendo and fuck-buddy-ism is not a bit problematic. One of the reasons why people are focusing on the sexual aspects of her character is because - dun dun dun - there are, apparently, no other aspects to her character. And if this is because her character will be fleshed out in a future issue - guess what, you've still got an issue where we have no reason to think that will be so.

Date: 2011-10-21 11:54 am (UTC)
eyz: (Default)
From: [personal profile] eyz
Blah :/

*will wait until a reboot of the reboot or until I become EIC of DC in 204X*

Date: 2011-10-21 11:58 am (UTC)
lilacsigil: Batwoman, red/black/white art (Batwoman)
From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
If DC is a democratic nation by then, I'll vote for you!

Date: 2011-10-21 12:09 pm (UTC)
meowshi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] meowshi
So tired of this argument.

Date: 2011-10-21 12:09 pm (UTC)
jeyl: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jeyl
Lobdell: I think in a courthouse this would be called "leading the witness."

Yep, and it's usually permissable depending on certain circumstances. But the best part here is that we're not in court, and observations on comics are usually the key component when one wishes to understand how characters are treated. Sure he asked:

"Was she meant to come across as a little weak as she leaned on Jason for decisions and offered sex to Roy, or was there another meaning behind her actions."

But mainly he was asking:

"How do you see Kori in the first issue? What can you tell us about how she acted in the story — and why?"

You don't answer those questions. Instead, you answer the question that you're all "Ooo, you can't ask that in court!" and ignore the real question outright.

Date: 2011-10-21 12:11 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
Jesus, some of DC's writers should really just stick to explaining themselves through the books, because they've got all the PR skills of a dead cat.

I also think Lobdell's a bit of an idiot for continuing to do interviews that deal with that first issue, because any improvements made in the second issue or even later are gonna be overshadowed by repeatedly bringing attention back to that clusterfuck. And whilst some writers could actually answer the questions smartly, Lobdell's just going to dig himself a grave over a few pages.

He should just let the book speak for itself, now it's supposedly improving.

Date: 2011-10-21 12:17 pm (UTC)
tauruschick12: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tauruschick12
"The good thing is that the story has gotten people to talk about issues they are passionate about — and that can only ever lead to a better understanding on everyone's part."


Well, to be fair, that line came right after this:



What surprised me was that it almost caused the Internet to melt. Mostly, what has surprised me has been the very vulgar way that people believe they are coming to the defense of Kori: they hurl words like “slut” and “whore” and expressions too disgusting to repeat here that are only used to demean women.

Lets consider an imaginary woman who has more than one or two lovers. Is it fair to label her with dismissive and derogatory language? Because we disagree with the choices she makes, to do what she wants with her own body? Are we still at a place in society where we’re going to call a woman — any woman — names that reinforce gender inequality?



So, in context, I think he was talking about more how people can get into a discussion about what is wrong with those kind of statements and how people could learn to understand why calling a female character vulgar things is wrong and problematic.


Yeah, the other stuff he says though...egh.

Date: 2011-10-21 12:27 pm (UTC)
nezchan: Navis at breakfast (Default)
From: [personal profile] nezchan
What is it with the DC guys, whenever they produce something like this and get called on it, the responses always end up as "you're whining" and "we're right in the first place" and then proceeding to demonstrate they don't understand the objections in the first place. It's like they've all got a variation of .

Date: 2011-10-21 12:28 pm (UTC)
dr_archeville: Doctor Arkeville (Default)
From: [personal profile] dr_archeville
This is an issue I've grappled with for some time. I've always felt it is appropriate -- to a degree -- to show bad guys doing/saying bad things, thus establishing that they are bad guys. Show they're bad guys, rather than just having someone say they're bad guys. But where's the line between "establishing this character/this group of characters is Bad (and worthy of being trounced by the Heroes)" and "egregiously offensive to some percentage of the audience"?

Date: 2011-10-21 12:37 pm (UTC)
nagaina: (Kanda Yuu Cannot Believe This Shit)
From: [personal profile] nagaina
So, basically he's saying that we're interrogating the text from the wrong perspective?

OH, SCOTT LOBDELL, NO.

Date: 2011-10-21 12:40 pm (UTC)
littlepunkryo: (Default)
From: [personal profile] littlepunkryo
I am not the least bit surprised that his answer to everyone's criticism is basically "it sounds like a personal problem to me" and "I think you'll find that it's YOU who's sexist/xenophobic." I really just wish that DC hadn't "suggested" he use Kory in this book because I've been reading all of his interviews and he'll go on and on about his plans for Jason or his plans for Roy (although Jason gets more attention) and Kory will get like one paragraph that says really nothing at all. He has no idea what to do with her or how to integrate a female character into his "buddy" story at all.

Date: 2011-10-21 12:43 pm (UTC)
abriel: (pic#855858)
From: [personal profile] abriel
See what really pissed me off about this whole clusterfuck was just the awful stuff being hurled at Starfire and then the whole denial mostly from so-called "feminists" claiming they weren't slut-shaming.

At the same time claiming that Starfire was being written like a slut or a whore.

If you call a female character a slut or a whore, that's slut-shaming.

If you say that a female character is being written as a slut or a whore, that's slut-shaming.


Referring to a female character in any kind of derogatory way, whether calling the character that outright or saying that they are being written that way, is a good way to completely contradict any argument you just made about gender equality and female empowerment, especially if it follows "I have no problem with women enjoying sex, but..." Which I have seen a lot in blogs and such discussing this and it has really pissed me off. Never follow your main point with "but", it cancels out everything you just said before it.

Date: 2011-10-21 12:47 pm (UTC)
eyz: (Default)
From: [personal profile] eyz
And then I'll get humor titles out too, because comics are also a means for entertainment, not just brooding.
Have Doom Patrol, Detective Chimp, Angel & The Ape and even Ambush Bug back!....
*starts some plans to take over DC*

Date: 2011-10-21 12:52 pm (UTC)
tauruschick12: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tauruschick12
"See what really pissed me off about this whole clusterfuck was just the awful stuff being hurled at Starfire and then the whole denial mostly from so-called "feminists" claiming they weren't slut-shaming."

YES. There are a lot of good comments by people who very clearly take apart what was explotative and done wrong about issue #1 (because issue #1 has a lot of problems) but they get lost in a *~SEA~* of slut-shaming comments. Like, if you have the word 'slut' or 'whore' or 'prostitute' in any of your criticisms of Issue 1, I stop reading, because you are ignoring the real problems with the issue.

"especially if it follows "I have no problem with women enjoying sex, but..."

YES THIS. It's comments like that- "I'm not racist, but..." "I'm not sexist, but..." "I'm not homophobic, but..." that just prove that whatever you are about to say IS racist, sexist, or homophobic.

The other problem I have is people who have never read any comic with Starfire except maybe seeing the TV show commenting on the issue. It's all mostly "EEEEEEWWWW STARFIRE WOULD NEVER HAVE SEX EWWWWWWW A WOMAN HAVING SEX WITH SOMEONE WHO ISN'T HER BOYFRIEND/HUSBAND/ROBIN EWWWWWWWW".

Date: 2011-10-21 01:06 pm (UTC)
nezchan: From Spirou et Fantasio a Tokyo (spirou facepalm)
From: [personal profile] nezchan
Then there's this little gem where Lobdell talks about "the constant wailing and gashing of teeth" from the fans and how they have no effect at all on his writing. Except to make him defensive, I guess.

Saves me some trouble, now I know Lobdell doesn't give a shit about readers or their concerns, I can happily not buy any book he takes on.

Date: 2011-10-21 01:11 pm (UTC)
nezchan: Navis at breakfast (Default)
From: [personal profile] nezchan
Personally, I think a number of those doing "slut-shaming" are actually trying to argue the actual issues, but aren't able to articulate them properly. To be fair, a lot of comic fans who don't usually talk feminism or hang in safe spaces like this aren't used to the pitfalls. So they're going "WTF" at the new version of Kory/Kori and end up with this clumsy slut-shaming stuff.

OTOH, there's actual slut-shaming in there too, but I expect that at least some are trying to say something different and failing.

Date: 2011-10-21 01:21 pm (UTC)
drmcninja: (Default)
From: [personal profile] drmcninja
See, this is why first impressions are so important. Even if you believe everything Lobdell just said, people will still be extremely skeptical about this book, look at it with that always in mind, and he lost a ton of new readers who may have otherwise stuck with him considering how much better the second book was.

Date: 2011-10-21 01:26 pm (UTC)
drmcninja: (Default)
From: [personal profile] drmcninja
It's trying to find the middle ground between the ten-eyed man and... and... I can't hunk of anybody at the moment, but yes you are correct.

Date: 2011-10-21 01:30 pm (UTC)
rocketlindy: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rocketlindy
This is one thing that doesn't bother me at all. Most people out there, when pissed off by a woman, will pretty quickly get to calling her "bitch," "whore," etc.

It's irritating in real life, it can be really awful, but as background chatter in a game or a movie--I think it makes sense. Because, in the end, you know who still has more power, who decides how they feel about themselves, and who gets the last laugh.

If it were a less confident character, or one with whom we're not supposed to sympathize, I'd be annoyed. But, I feel like since we're supposed to root for Catwoman on at least some level, having others try to demean her or act badly towards her does more to make her feel powerful and strong as she keeps on going and doesn't let that sort of thing stop her.

Caveat: it's early in the morning and I may or may not make sense right now.

Date: 2011-10-21 01:37 pm (UTC)
tauruschick12: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tauruschick12
I think that is giving people a bit too much credit. I've seen a boatload of stuff on tumblr and from other places from people who should know their shit much better who are spouting this stuff.

Besides, using words like that is internalized sexism more than just not being able to articulate what they mean well. It's more along the lines of, from what I've seen, a problem with a woman having sex than a problem with not knowing the right word choice to use in their criticism.

Date: 2011-10-21 01:38 pm (UTC)
kirke_novak: (Marvel: Hulk/Caiera)
From: [personal profile] kirke_novak
Have you played that game? It's used so often and by so many characters and not only towards Catwoman but Harley as well, that it really gets on your nerves after 30 minutes. It was REALLY getting on mine. That word becomes a background, Catwoman doesn't fight it, she doesn't kick in the nuts the guy who uses that word (sheds also have to do it to "the good guys" as well too, then), that's what annoying. It's not about the power, it's about that word being overused to the nth degree, until it becomes "just a word".
Batman in the mean time? He gets called "a freak" once or twice.

There's the whole thing: http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/10/20/catwoman-arkham-city/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Date: 2011-10-21 01:46 pm (UTC)
nezchan: Navis at breakfast (Default)
From: [personal profile] nezchan
Not saying that's not true. I just think some part of it comes from mere clumsiness. But yeah, internalized sexism plays a role in that, you've got this culture that allows it, and when you're trying to make a point it creeps in.

What bugs me is that stuff like that gives the creators an easy out, being able to say "well, the critics are just slut-shaming" while ignoring the more serious criticisms. I expect they'd do that even if only one person slut-shamed, though.

Date: 2011-10-21 01:48 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] hyperactivator
He does realise that if he has to explain his story in a forum outside of the story then he has failed as a writer right?

If most people people find your story offensive, sexist and badly written then they didn't interprete it wrong you most likely wrote an offensive sexist badly written story. It doesn't matter if you didn't mean to. Scott Lobdell failed in the eyes of thousands of readers to write Starfire and no amount of explainations is going to change what he wrote.

Date: 2011-10-21 01:51 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] laddical
It's maddening - I find myself torn. I want to just cut this guy off at the knees in terms of the books I'm buying, but... but... Superboy and Teen Titans have actually been, ya know, interesting, easily two of my favorites from the New 52. But the more this guy opens his trap about the one book I didn't buy from him, the less I can ignore the fact that it's him writing the books I did.
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