2012-03-21 10:55 pm (UTC)
Ok, you know what I feel like I probably need to say something more, but when I first saw this I really needed to say that and then put into words why I felt so strongly about this.
Its no exageration to say that scans_daily was responsible for turning me into a regular comics reader and for helping me as person. Two or three years ago I was hooked into reading one or other comic in the DC universe through some reference on a forum and I went on a piracy-binge through everything that seemed interesting to me. It should be noted that this wasn't exactly a happy time for me, I was in the middle of a depression which comics helped me escape from a bit by enthralling me in fictional worlds and feelings(as well as videogames, books, movies and shows), and I often lept from one comic to another simply consuming them blindly in a geeked out blitz to feel like I knew everything about this universe. Except in the middle of it I found out about s_d and I started lurking, and reading, and engaging with myself.
Scans_daily was the first place to present me with various feminist and anti-opressive viewpoints that before I had never noticed or dismissed far too simply. Not so much by reading its links, but mainly by following the discussions that surged from the community and its readers I started to question my opinions and my outlook towards fiction in the past(which had always been a great part of my identity, the stories that I most loved). Finding a vocabulary and people which identified for me the instances of opression that I could not yet see helped me alot to identify in my past why when I wrote fanfic I had fixated on the female characters once I tried it, and why I had felt such an empathy towards shows in my childhood like Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura even though I was a male; because I could see the lack of equality in all of the other shows and the token females that would rarely appear, and that inbalance made me wish for more variation and more inspired stories, even though I could hardly express that for various years to come. It was that which let me to find my local comic shop and start my buying there which to this day has given already quite a few hundred euros to DC.
Furthermore, tanks to those experiences in s_d and links that I found here to various tumblrs such as STFUconservatives/sexists/racists, that made me more confident in myself and my convictions and helped reafirm my sense of self, something which helped me along with events in real life to start picking myself up from my depression.
Along with this when inthe DC reboot the Wonder Woman title appeared, I felt quite attracted to it due to Chiang's art. Before my favourite title was Stephanie's Batgirl which let me identify with a character whose resillience and will not to give up gave me a little bit of that will as well, but even that did not help me with the problem that now that I could see prejudice, most woman portrayals in fiction and media were obvious in their prejudice(just today I saw a couple of lingerie posters in the subway whose posing made me angry at its obviousness, bodies slightly skewed to one side, with the spine bending 30 degrees to the other side halfway through and the top of the breasts slightly rising over the cusp of the bra beyond the line of comfortability) and it became difficult to find portrayals that I could enjoy both for their natural sexual appeal and identity, and for their three-dimensionality as characters. Chiang's art which is still a wonderous thing in regards to how it so magnificently portrays women helped me fill that visual void which in turn helped me stay even more secure in my own convictions and hold myself up by seeing that indeed there were ways and people capable of taking great strides towards equality.
It was by no surprise that I loved the title, not just because of the art but because I felt that here was a character with the depth I could admire and not cross the line into objectification. But here we reach this point and I know not of what to say; I wish I could keep following this title and its art, but the turn this story takes goes against everything I learned in the last years and everything I connect with and defend with my convictions. The idea that creating man-haters and man-killers is in any way an original or rational stretch to a story like Wonder Woman's goes against everything that society nowadays shows us, in fiction or otherwise; women are still thought of as lesser in science and engineering and I see examples of that condescending atittude aplenty in my day-to-day, there are movements in the US to take away reproductive rights and in my country I see news of that as if it is a reasonable thought, I hear priests talking on tv about how women should stop working and go back to taking care of the family and watch the media bend itself over backwards to accomodate their beliefs, and on International Women's Day when I mentioned that women were still discriminated against, I ended up being called dogmatic and radical. I cannot follow this title anymore, because to put it simply I
a feminist, and this just makes a mockery of the role of fiction for the betterment of humanity.
Some years ago I might have found this interesting. Now? Now I find myself feeling sick.
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