This Week in the Mercury


Friday, June 14, 2013

My Least Favorite Piece of Misogyny This Week: Comic Book Edition

Posted by Barbara Holm on Fri, Jun 14, 2013 at 4:59 PM

I'm a girl and I like reading comic books. Don't propose to me.

Last week saw the release of the new X-Men which features an all-female team. And, of course, this week featured a backlash on message boards. My least favorite piece of misogyny this week is sexism against women in comic book culture.

The new X-Men isn't a good team because it's all women, it's a good team because it features some of the most powerful and interesting characters in X-Men—and guess what, they happen to be women. This internet comment epitomizes the backlash I saw:


"McBob (1 week ago) When comics refuse to include female members, there are screams of misogyny. So when a comic refuses to include male members, is that not MISANDRY?"

The idea that giving women equal representation in any genre is somehow reverse sexism is stupid. We're not saying "men are bad" by giving women a spotlight. We aren't saying we hate men. We're not taking something from men and giving it to women, despite my petitions. We're just saying, "women are good, too." When men get mad on the internet and say things like, "Women are getting attention and value? That's reverse sexism!" They might as well add "And I never get laid!"

I understand that there is sexism in some superhero comic books, in terms of the way women are posed and sexualized, but I more want to focus on the sexism in the fanbase, because I can only get so many words before my attention span turns back into a pumpkin. There's a lot of sexism from comic book fans against other fans. One time a friend accused me of just pretending to be into comic books to get guys to like me. Which is ridiculous, because you don't have to be a girl nerd to attract boy nerds. You don't even really have to be a girl. You can be an anime cartoon, or a Mrs. Butterworth bottle.

I hate the "fake girl geek" stereotype. (Especially ever since the blue fairy totally granted Gepetto's wish to make me a real girl geek.) I hate the implication that anyone would fake nerdiness or any other attribute to attract the attentions of the opposite sex. It's like saying "How do you have room for hobbies and a personality with all those boobies and ovaries?"

Women are allowed to like whatever the heck they want to like, to read whatever they want to. I'm so happy that we have strong women superheroes to serve as role models for women AND men to look up to. When women get to be the center of attention, it is not reverse sexism; they are not taking anything from men. Men are not entitled to all the positions of power, and women are not usurpers. Or at least that's what we should keep telling men until the time of the revolution. Shhh.

That's been my least favorite piece of misogyny this week! Tune in next week to see how I got trapped inside a brick wall a la Kitty Pryde!

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