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Dudes, get some self-awareness!

Cracked.com, the humor site that has mastered the art of making lists of stuff (and sometimes making them funny), recently posted a list of the The 5 most ridiculously sexist superhero costumes — which is funny, but is kind of an easy target, one that is addressed elsewhere, too.

What made it especially funny, though, are the comments: comic book fans came out in a furious horde to complain that someone dared to criticize the cheesiness and sexism of their beloved medium. So the author turned around and wrote The 8 Stupidest Defenses Against Accusations of Sexism. It’s amusing its own right, and has a nice explanation for why people who like comic books ought to care.

Loving comics is why I’m annoyed at major publishers deciding “We’ll only target half the population, then much less than that” by turning it into expensive fake softcore: ridiculously stupid characters and more camera angle than character development. It’s also why I’m excited by new characters who exist in their own universes, and so are allowed to actually do things that won’t be erased in the next story arc. Atomic Robo features women who kick ass and wear clothes at the same time, as if not being naked were some kind of combat advantage. Empowered proves that joyously, blatant fan service doesn’t preclude a personality or character development. It turns out you don’t need a Y chromosome to have a lead role or protection against chilly breezes.

But, you know, it was inevitable — the comments again steal the show. It’s an interesting mix of people who get it and agree, and other totally clueless pig-people who respond to being called out on their sexism with…more sexism. Here are a couple of quick ones that made me laugh, ruefully.

Damn dude, get a life. Why do you waste your time bitching about this stuff?

Dude, you’re a comic book fan griping about an article about comic books.

Exactly what is so terrible about sexism anyway?

Well, gosh, he’s got me there. I guess if you never want to talk to half the human race, sexism is just peachy.


The latest Sinfest fits in right about here.

Comments

  1. abadidea says

    I pretty much gave up on mainstream American comics because of this… viva la web comic.

  2. Timid Atheist says

    SSDD. There will always be comic book fans who just cannot let go of the fact that the way women are usually portrayed is completely different from how men are portrayed. And while men are objectified in some cases as well, it is by no means equal. And honestly anyone who claims otherwise is simply unwilling to face reality.

    I gave up long ago trying to make die hard comic fans aware of this. It’s just not worth the amount of rage that builds up in my mind when trying to have this conversation.

  3. trianglethief says

    I’m trying to decide if the repeated assertions that the commenters must be lonely virgins is some kind of additional meta commentary. But the fact that he’s saying that in the midst of an argument about how ridiculous it is that they’re claiming being anti-sexism is just an attempt to get laid is giving me double vision.

    Also giggling and furrowing my brow at the same time feels, and I suspect looks, very uncomfortable.

  4. says

    I swear, it is like defending against a claim of racism by saying “n*****s are too sensitive” or something. Saying that there’s no problem while actively contributing to the problem.

    +1 for web comics.

  5. says

    The best argument against “men are sexualized too” that I’ve seen (and forgive me if this is mentioned in either of the articles) is that the men who are sexualized are done to appeal to the inner wishes of the men who want to be like them, while the women who are sexualized are done… to appeal to the inner wishes of those same men. It’s still patriarchal and man-centric.

  6. Carla says

    List of things I refuse to do:
    1. Jump off a cliff without a parachute.
    2. Read the comments on Cracked.com.

    Cause I’m pretty sure #2 is more painful and likely to cause death than #1.

  7. laurentweppe says

    I’m trying to decide if the repeated assertions that the commenters must be lonely virgins is some kind of additional meta commentary

    I think it’s just the author thinking “Oh fuck, pedagogy is not going to work on them” and deciding to start throwing insults to vent off: you know, like the fact that it’s always tempting to call a fundie creationist a child molester regardless of wether he actually did rape a kid or not or a far-right anti-immigration activists a pro-inbreeding incest fetichists regardless of wether the Lannisters turn him on or not.

  8. Matt Penfold says

    Exactly what is so terrible about sexism anyway?

    That is “Bob” level stupidity.

  9. Esteleth, Raging Dyke of Fuck Mountain says

    I went to a lecture last year that point out that boobalicious armor is not just impractical, it is DANGEROUS. Because of the shape of it, a blade would be deflected into the neck. Bad place for a blow to be deflected.

    “Oh, but a woman can’t wear a man’s breastplate!” Yeah, she fucking well can, even if she has DD breasts. Underneath a breastplate, you wear about 10 layers of soft, spongy, absorbant clothes. And then there is at least a 3 or 4 inch gap between the top layer of cloth and the metal. With proper under-armor clothing, a woman can wear a standard breastplate with no problem.

  10. Louis says

    INB4 Elevatorgate rants, MRAs, “M(e)yers you mangina”, subsequent nerd rage about how the wimminz must make us sammiches, mansplaining how bikini armour is more effective than real plate because they totes did a module on medieval armour in community college before they dropped out to keep it real, “science proves women are different”, but you see it’s not sexism because it’s fantasy, ass+tit postures and how they are SO possible, mega breast to micro waist ratios and how they are SO real, you’re just envious because you are fat, herp derp bitches got no sense of humour/lighten up it’s just a joke, dear Muslima, castrating feminazis, all women are tuppenny whores who fuck anyone…except me, slut shaming…

    …what did I miss?

    Given this thread is now up, I’m glad I’m going away for the weekend in a few hours. I confidently predict there will be much herp to derp. And if I am wrong, may god strike me down in a freak accident with 12 pounds of cocaine, a bevvy of naked, willing, nubile young ladies, some bananas, a moist towelette, some margarine, a young gentleman from Morrocco who brings me drinks, a bottle of factor 12 sun lotion and a well reinforced jacuzzi.

    After the first hour, during one of what I am sure will be many breaks to get my breath.

    Louis

  11. frog says

    @3 and @10:

    I think it’s a reasonable hypothesis that geek men who are so blatantly sexist have a high likelihood of repelling the women in their social group (i.e., geek women). You can get away with being a sexist shit if you are part of a population that actively trains many of their women to put up with it (e.g., women who are taught that having a husband is a necessity and they should do anything in order to have one; this is definitely not limited to any specific culture or economic group).

    Geek women, OTOH, may have a higher likelihood of self-determination–it takes a strong person to face down a culture that says “This is not for you” and respond with “It fucking well is.”

    A good mating strategy (not just to get laid, but to get general companionship; getting laid is a nice side-benefit) is to look among the social group you already know. If you’re spending time alienating the potential partners in that group, then you get nothing.

    Sports stars, for example, can be sexist shits because there are lots of women who have been trained to believe that bagging a sports star is highly desirable. While I’m sure there are any number of geek groupies, there isn’t the same “Gotta get me a guy like Wolowitz!” (of The Big Bang Theory) culture pervading geek circles.

  12. Pteryxx says

    From the Cracked article:

    Also any comment using “feminazi” or “misandry.”

    “Misandry” may be the most efficient word in the English language. In just one word it condenses the self-denying assholery of “I’m not a racist, but …” with the misogyny of “All women are bitches,” throwing in a free persecution-complex bonus, because it’s not like the user was going anywhere. Our previous codeword for “biggest asshole on the planet” took two words because Donald Trump has a first name.

    *joy!*

  13. flapjack says

    I did a film studies module on my Degree course, and ‘the male gaze’ was the topic for discussion one week.
    We were shown a series of slides of film posters and asked if they were empowering to women or a male wank-fantasy made flesh.
    One of them was similar to this…
    http://jaymckinnon.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/TheMatrixReloaded_Trinity.jpg

    Most of the class were of the opinion that Trinity was empowered because she kicks ass and can do martial arts.
    Most missed the rather obvious point that if Keanu was bearing his ass in the skintight catsuit that left nothing much to the imagination and Carrie Ann Moss was wearing the anklelength leather trenchcoat you’d be doing a double take.
    Keanu is simply an action hero in Matrix posters, Carrie ann Moss is presented as an “AHILF”.

  14. mero says

    laurentweppe @ 10:

    I think it’s just the author thinking “Oh fuck, pedagogy is not going to work on them” and deciding to start throwing insults to vent off

    I sure hope so. The bit about the Amanda Waller transformation where he went on about how unfuckable her old version was made me really hope it was tongue in cheek. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt here because of all the other positives in the article.

  15. Brownian says

    I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt here because of all the other positives in the article.

    That’s the problem with Cracked. It’s so awash in sexism and homophobia that even the articles fighting those things can’t get away without a little muck.

  16. trianglethief says

    @laurentweppe

    Oh, those retorts really are seductive little beasts, it’s true.

    @frog

    But! Sports fans and geeks don’t grow up with some totally different set of social pressures than anyone else. It’s surely some sort of Geek Fallacy to think that sexism plays out substantially differently within the geek subculture than without. Sure, some women will fight back against the sexism, but some others will adopt the one-of-the-boys, naked-ladies-don’t-bother-me-and-I’m-a-woman-who-cares attitude, and still others will ignore it to varying degrees in EXACTLY the same way women react in various ways to sexism in sports, sexism in science, sexism in atheism and etc. etc.

    And this is all assuming it’s true that the geek population contains more virgins than the general population. I would posit that geeky women have sex with sexist douchebags roughly as frequently as non-geeky women.

    Essentially – ‘if you’re sexist you won’t get laid/female attention’ is the flip side of ‘you’re only pretending to be against sexism so you can get some’ and that is the big ol’ honking coin of sexing the ladies being the payment you get for not being a douchebag.

  17. trianglethief says

    @Brownian

    That’s the problem with Cracked. It’s so awash in sexism and homophobia that even the articles fighting those things can’t get away without a little muck.

    WELL I DEMAND THAT THEY FIX IT AT ONCE SO I CAN TITTER AWAY WITHOUT THE FURROWED BROW OF ‘WELL, BUT IT REMAINS PROBLEMATIC >:(

  18. Marcus Hill (mysterious and nefarious) says

    @Carls #9: Yeah, it’s hard for me to judge whether Cracked or YouTube has the stupidest comments as I can’t stand to read more than three or four of either before remembering why I gave up in disgust last time…

  19. says

    Oy.

    Fortunatly as a comic book fan who spends more time than he should at comic book stores I don’t know as many of these obnoxious walking cartoons as I could, the few that I do are bad enough. Every time you see them go off on one of these rants the store owner has this pained look that says “Dude, you know I have female customers, right? In fact one of them is standing right behind you.”

    It’s all the more painful since I know quite a few female fans and the industry still seems to think the market consists only of desperate hormone addled 15 year old boys. (hence the new striperiffic version Starfire mentioned in the Crack.com list.)

    What’s worse is half the time they seem to want to keep it this way. The worst example is a story I heard of why the powers that be at Marvel added the character, Spider-woman to their Avengers titles.

    Apparantly readers who thought Wonder Woman was unobtainable would think they had a “chance” with Spider-woman.

  20. jehk says

    General question:

    “empowering to women or a male wank-fantasy made flesh”

    Do these have to be mutually exclusive? I think most things (comics, games, whatever) tend to be one or the other. Is there line where they cross (any examples would be great).

    Just bored. Looking for some opinions.

  21. mythbri says

    I think the sexism that exists in the geek community can be traced back to these basic ideas that seem hard for geek cis-men to abandon:

    1. No Girls Allowed. These are MY toys! MINE! Quit touching my stuff, you dumb wimmenz!

    2. Geek women don’t actually exist – they’re one of those pervasive myths, like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster or God. Or, if they do exist, they don’t sleep with me and therefore don’t matter.

    Even when I’m able to convince geek men that I exist, and that I like the same things they like and know just as much as they do, I still run into the problem of being placed in a separate category than “real” geeks. I’m a “Geek Girl”, not a REAL geek. There’s even some amount of pedestal-placing going on, as long as I don’t dare point out the sexism present in the subculture, or suggest that the comics industry should recognize and reach out to a significant portion of their readership (women). And there are of course geek women who like their place on the pedestal, and fall into the “I’m a woman and it doesn’t bother me – these gals are way too sensitive. Amirite, fellas?” routine. This is really frustrating in the context of a subculture that is supposedly based primarily on knowledge and love of the properties, not gender or orientation.

    There was a lot of great commentary by female comic book fans when the DCnU comics were released, and it brought the sexist geeks straight out of the woodwork.

  22. says

    Yeah, it’s hard for me to judge whether Cracked or YouTube has the stupidest comments

    Try the Alternet comments, in particular beneath articles by Greta Christina. Some of them are so malignantly stupid, that you almost feel like contacting the emergency services, in case they were the result of the poster having a stroke while writing.

  23. mythbri says

    @ montanto #23

    Sorry, my geek is showing – but Wonder Woman is DC, not Marvel. I think you may mean another superheroine.

  24. says

    the men who are sexualized are done to appeal to the inner wishes of the men who want to be like them, while the women who are sexualized are done… to appeal to the inner wishes of those same men. It’s still patriarchal and man-centric.

    yeah. if you look at yaoi, or gay erotic comics, the men in them look, pose, dress, and act nothing like mainstream comic dudes.

  25. Lars says

    There are some fun sites around that are bound to scare the daylights out of some of those commenters. Too bad I didn’t found the one I was actually looking for, there’s at least one with excellent artwork and deeply disturbing sexualization of a handful of male heroes.

  26. says

    @mythbri #27

    No I meant Wonder Woman. these are the marketing people I’m quoting. I would assume that what was rattling through their empty heads was that since the Avengers is Marvel’s equivalent of the Justice League than Spider-Woman is like Wonder Woman only she’s “available”.

  27. mythbri says

    @montanto #31

    I see – it was the marketing peeps that were mistaken. My apologies.

    But if we’re talking about Jessica Drew as Spider-Woman, I can see how they’d think she’d be “easier” than a heavy-hitter like Wonder Woman.

  28. says

    yeah. if you look at yaoi, or gay erotic comics, the men in them look, pose, dress, and act nothing like mainstream comic dudes.

    What do women know about turning women on?

  29. mero says

    @mythbri #25

    I’d change #2 into “Geek girls that are conventionally attractive don’t exist.” There were always geek girls around, but for some reason we never managed to exist as something other than ‘hogging’ or ‘butterface’ targets.

    (in other news ‘friendzoning’ is only a thing when women do it to men.)

  30. mythbri says

    @mero #35

    Yes, absolutely. And in general, the geek men who deny the existence of conventionally attractive geek women and ignore the presence of other geek women are the same ones who protest loudly at the stereotype that all geek men are conventionally UNattractive virgin men with poor hygiene that live in their mothers’ basements. “The only false stereotypes are the ones applied to ME!”

  31. astrofiend says

    @mythbri

    “as long as I don’t dare point out the sexism present in the subculture”

    It is a damn sexist culture, which is a shame. I think I have some clue as to why that is, what with doing research in an area that is typically populated with geek guys. From casting my eyes around my research group at uni, extended groups of acquaintances, etc. etc., it seems to me that geek guys are just sad, shy, lonely dudes, and much of their sexism stems from a build up of sexual frustration.

    Most geek girls I know can get laid pretty easily when they so wish, but the guys are just hopeless. I know plenty of them who aren’t even a remote chance of having sex by age mid-20s, which must be hard to take. One guy actually broached this subject with me a while back while we were out at a uni piss-up – he said that the geek girls go and shag non-geeks or ‘cooler’ guys that are only on the fringe of geekdom, and so ‘fuck those sluts’. I chatted to him a little longer, probing around this attitude, and this guy was soon almost in tears asking me what was so wrong with him that girls wouldn’t just ignore him but actively sneer at him when he went to go talk to them. I mean this dude was seriously intelligent, nice enough but awkward, and would go far in his field, yet here he was telling me how he’d rather be ‘a dumb brick layer cos at least he’d have a girlfriend.’

    It all goes to reinforce for me that when you find a sexist man, you’ve found a man who’s had no attention from women. It seems to me that a lot of the geek guys aren’t getting much attention from women, and they’re pissed about it. My two cents anyway.

  32. astrofiend says

    Note that I’m not implying that this attitude is right or that it doesn’t swing both ways – just that these are my observations from my limited circle of friends and acquaintances.

  33. says

    t all goes to reinforce for me that when you find a sexist man, you’ve found a man who’s had no attention from women.

    “sexism is women’s fault. if only they’d just bite the bullet and fuck everyone who asks, there would be no sexism (in the geek culture)”

    O.o

  34. Pteryxx says

    Um, astrofiend:

    One guy actually broached this subject with me a while back while we were out at a uni piss-up – he said that the geek girls go and shag non-geeks or ‘cooler’ guys that are only on the fringe of geekdom, and so ‘fuck those sluts’.

    […]

    It seems to me that a lot of the geek guys aren’t getting much attention from women, and they’re pissed about it. My two cents anyway.

    Why do you assume a) causes b) and not the other way around?

  35. clenz says

    Delurking to comment on another aspect of the superhero/sexism intersection…

    For the past few days I’ve been replaying Batman: Arkham City, which is an awesome game, but has some, shall we say, issues with women (sorry if I screw up the link). Anyways, I’ve been replaying it because with its game of the year win, they’ve decided to release a new downloadable mission where you track down Harley Quinn. As soon as I heard this, I though, hellz yes, I’m buying this the day it comes out, since Harley is one of my favourite Batman characters.

    And then I saw the ad for the DLC. The tag line is, and I quote, “Payback’s a bitch.”

    Way to lose a customer, Rocksteady.

  36. vaiyt says

    The original poster for the Avengers movie, that I saw on the internet, reproduced the dynamic. Every hero was making in-character kickass poses, but Black Widow was the only one facing AWAY from the viewer in order to show her ass.

    For some reason, here in Bananaland they swapped it with a cooler poster where she’s confidently walking forward. I don’t know why, but looked much better. :)

  37. mythbri says

    @astrofiend #37

    Anecdata proves nothing – as mero said in #35, geek women who aren’t conventionally attractive are practically invisible to members of their own subculture. I’ve experienced this myself, and I can give you plenty of anecdata to support it. The fact that some geek guys are lonely and unable to find a willing sexual partner doesn’t excuse the sexism, and only perpetuates the stereotype that I mentioned in my previous comment.

    What you describe in your comment has made me a winner on my Nice Guy(TM) Bingo Card. It’s not the responsibility or obligation of women of ANY subculture to have sex with members of same. The common woe of the Nice Guy(TM) is that “women only sleep with jerks and never with me, therefore I hate them and justify my sexism because of it.” No one is owed sex. Ever. The fact that Nice Guys(TM) feel entitled to it is a problem that they’ll have to deal with. It’s not for women to fix.

  38. rg57 says

    So now “much of porn is brutal, horrifying and sad”?
    Is that like how “much of business is unconscionable, life-threatening and frightening”?

    We’re skeptics here. Numbers. Definitions. Go.

  39. mero says

    @astrofiend #37

    Fuck, where do I start.

    “It all goes to reinforce for me that when you find a sexist man, you’ve found a man who’s had no attention from women…and they’re pissed about it. “

    BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAW NOBODY WILL GIVE ME PUSSY BECAUSE I WON’T WORK TO CHANGE MY CHARACTER FLAWS

    Does your friend ever talk about any of the female friends he has that he DOESN’T want to sleep with? Does he even HAVE any? Or does he just see women as either fuckable meat sacks?

  40. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    It’s been said that you shouldn’t be the one to decide whether you are a “hacker” or not.

    Frequently I feel that “skeptic” is another word people should not choose for themselves. It so often turns out to be an embarrassment.

  41. nonentity says

    The best argument against “men are sexualized too” that I’ve seen (and forgive me if this is mentioned in either of the articles) is that the men who are sexualized are done to appeal to the inner wishes of the men who want to be like them, while the women who are sexualized are done… to appeal to the inner wishes of those same men.

    The thing that always gets me about this argument is that the people who advance it rarely are able to quantify what it would mean to sexualize the men differently to appeal to the inner wishes of women. Instead, it usually ends up accompanied with images of male superheroes sexualized in the same way as the female ones (or looking like gay porn pinups), which just makes every woman I know either go into giggle fits or shudder of horror or disgust.

    How about some constructive criticism? Or, at the very least, some acknowledgment of the contradicting data points?

    (For an example of contradiction… tell me there isn’t a male character posed in the “chest and rear showing” position always complained about for female characters in this poster: http://www.imdb.com/media/rm127383040/tt0848228 )
    (yes, I’m being somewhat silly with that example, but there’s others out there)

  42. Esteleth, Raging Dyke of Fuck Mountain says

    Oh, I completely missed the fail @37!

    Yeah, d00ds like that are the type who told me that I was a “bad girl geek” because I’m conventionally attractive, a lesbian, and uninterested in “performing.”

    Because apparently I “owed” the guys to fuck them?

  43. Amphigorey says

    I can’t find it now, but a while back someone did a pitch-perfect set of comic covers that sexualized men in the way that women are sexualized. It turns out to look not at all like male superheroes are currently portrayed. The Batman cover, for instance, was a closeup of his hips and crotch, with his thumb tugging suggestively at his Bat-belt. The Green Lantern was shown flying heroically – but the camera was pointed right at his ass, and his leg was bent invitingly.

    It was the perfect answer to the comic fan’s whine of “but men are portrayed sexually tooooo!” No, they’re not. Certainly not like that.

  44. mythbri says

    @nonentity #49

    My problem with the inequality present in the representations of female superheroes as opposed to male superheroes is not that I want “sexualization parity”. Cheesecake doesn’t become less cheesecake just because you add a side of beefcake. It doesn’t “balance out” – at least not to me.

    My issue is (and I’ve discussed this with other geek women who agree with me, though it’s by no means a universal opinion) is that the characters that I relate to most are the male superheroes. They’re the ones that I idolize, and want to become – not in a gender identity way, but in a powerful character way. I want to have an amazing iron suit that lets me fly. I want to wield a hammer that can control the weather. I don’t see (for the lack of a better term) role models in many comics featuring female superheroes, and that’s because a lot of them are not intended to be relatable to me. They’re intended to titillate what the comics industry see as their only audience – men.

    The tl;dr version: I want characterization parity, not sexualization parity. There’s a difference.

  45. says

    “empowering to women or a male wank-fantasy made flesh”

    Do these have to be mutually exclusive? I think most things (comics, games, whatever) tend to be one or the other. Is there line where they cross (any examples would be great).

    If you talk to some people on sites like Greta Christina’s, then sure, its plausible they could co-exist. But, *because* there is a real problem, both sides like to, unfortunately, double down, and you will find as many feminists trying to “protect” other women from making choices they don’t like, and you will find assholes trying to tell women that, “Oh, no, that is just the way they are supposed to be, the ones that are not are just ugly freaks.” The middle ground ***is not allowed***.

    And, I have to admit, its damned annoying listening to one asshole call someone that wants to be objectified a slut, and having a supposed “pro-women” person go, “Heh, that’s not nice, but I agree she shouldn’t look that way, because it feeds into the objectification of women.” Notice who isn’t actually getting any say in it, while the two idiots yell at each other, over top of her. So, yeah, the Sinfest character, as an example of one side of this, is a twit, but the only thing he gets right, by pure accident, is that its more complex than either side often wants it to be.

  46. Amphiox says

    nonentity @49;

    Sometimes that is done deliberately, because the target of the argument is men, and men are more likely to recognize poses that make women sexually appealing to men, and get the reduction ad absurdum.

    Other times it’s well, you would need to talk to actual women and take their opinions seriously to get the accurate depictions of men portrayed sexually to appeal to women, and, you know, there’s just no time for that, between all the mansplainin’.

  47. clenz says

    nuh-uh. “bitch” is totes not gendered. The commenters at Dispatches said so.

    What’s even worse is the fact that, on a discussion about the constant, only referring to women as bitches thing, I saw someone defend it as saying that, if anything, Arkham City was unrealistic in that random street thugs would be more likely to use the term “cunt”, and women should stop complaining because the game designers were being nicer than they should have been.

    Seriously.

  48. shadowbroke says

    “It all goes to reinforce for me that when you find a sexist man, you’ve found a man who’s had no attention from women.”

    While I understand that you weren’t making excuses for them, I’m sure they wouldn’t get that. What those assholes need is to be told they’re assholes. I have precisely zero sympathy for their fucking sob stories and I’m as large a failure in romance as it gets (it would be giving me too much credit to say that I’ll lose my virginity by my mid twenties).

    The sexism of such men is enough to make me hate them, but my disdain for them is multiplied exponentially every time I hear someone associate lack of sexual experience with sexism because of them. I’m surely not the only sexually inexperienced guy who only admits to being sexually inexperienced under pseudonyms on the internet because he doesn’t want everyone in real life to think he’s a whiny asshole who hates women because they don’t fuck him.

    So, to the entitled and spoiled men who use their lack of sex to justify their negative attitudes toward women:

    Go fuck yourselves. Misogyny is not the necessary result of women refusing to fuck you, and saying things like “who needs those STD ridden whores anyway?” is not an acceptable way to deal with your frustrations. If you can’t get laid, then focus on being more desirable and try to be happy for the sexual fulfillment of others. I lose any sympathy I might have had for your lack of sex when you start up with the sexist/misogynistic bullshit. It’s no excuse.

  49. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    “It all goes to reinforce for me that when you find a sexist man, you’ve found a man who’s had no attention from women.”

    Well you need to get out more.

  50. Cipher, OM, MQ says

    I have precisely zero sympathy for their fucking sob stories and I’m as large a failure in romance as it gets (it would be giving me too much credit to say that I’ll lose my virginity by my mid twenties).

    I know this is beside the point, but especially if you’re not even in your mid-twenties yet, you really don’t need to consider yourself a large failure on the romance front :) Also, while not having sex even though you want to does sometimes feel like a failure, having sex does not necessarily count as success. I can definitely think of people who were having sex below age 20 who were bigger failures in romance than any single virgin is, in that they were complete harmful assholes to their partners.

    That said, I completely agree with everything else you said. Anyone who thinks their misogyny issues would be solved if only us bitches would fuck them is someone who seriously doesn’t deserve one fucking ounce of coddling.

  51. Adam says

    nonentity:

    (For an example of contradiction… tell me there isn’t a male character posed in the “chest and rear showing” position always complained about for female characters in this poster: http://www.imdb.com/media/rm127383040/tt0848228 )
    (yes, I’m being somewhat silly with that example, but there’s others out there)

    How is this not an example of #3?

  52. Adam says

    And that’s ignoring the fact that the dude’s in a metal suit. I think that’s pretty niche appeal right there, but if that’s what gets you off, more power to your elbow. So to speak.

  53. shadowbroke says

    “I know this is beside the point, but especially if you’re not even in your mid-twenties yet, you really don’t need to consider yourself a large failure on the romance front :)”

    Thank you, Cipher.

  54. Amphiox says

    re @58;

    Also people who are so desperate for sex, or the validation of romantic self-worth that they think they’ll get from sex, that they repeatedly gravitate to partners that are assholes that harm them.

    That is a different kind of failure, that is even sadder.

  55. carolynmacleod says

    I like this sinfest better as an illustration. Monique’s recent evolution, the big wheel feminist, and Blue’s recent storyline make me think the author has recently got it, a bit, about the male gaze, I mean, look back at some early comics in the series.

    “It all goes to reinforce for me that when you find a sexist man, you’ve found a man who’s had no attention from women.”

    When a man is sexist, I give him no attention. You may have cause and effect reversed.

  56. Cipher, OM, MQ says

    The thing that always gets me about this argument is that the people who advance it rarely are able to quantify what it would mean to sexualize the men differently to appeal to the inner wishes of women.

    Someone upthread did exactly that by pointing out that there are kinds of art that are meant to appeal to women. I get the impression that you’re not really listening.

    (For an example of contradiction… tell me there isn’t a male character posed in the “chest and rear showing” position always complained about for female characters in this poster

    Okay. There isn’t. *shrugs*

  57. nonentity says

    Amphiox @54:

    Other times it’s well, you would need to talk to actual women and take their opinions seriously to get the accurate depictions of men portrayed sexually to appeal to women, and, you know, there’s just no time for that, between all the mansplainin’.

    The common complaint I hear, in discussions with friends, is that male superheroes are posed and drawn just fine to appeal to them with the exception that a lot of them are a bit too muscular or *ahem* big. As for the absurdity department, I rarely see guys actually trying to defend the spine-breaking poses as natural.

    mythbri @52

    The tl;dr version: I want characterization parity, not sexualization parity. There’s a difference.

    I agree there 100%. It’s just that this message gets drowned out with the people who drag out every example of a spine-breaking pose or exposed flesh.

    And, I do have female friends who really like female comic book characters who I think tend to be really under dressed/over sexualized. They’re not golden-age style characters, but two immediate examples that come to mind are Shi and Dawn.

    I definitely think there’s a lot of crazy/silly costuming on women in comics that can be toned down. I also feel like concentrating on this could be rather solidly missing the actual causes of frustration. Men and women tend to handle fantasies (both sexual and otherwise) differently, so it wouldn’t surprise me if the way to get women more into comics had more to do with characterization… and things like posing were somewhat of a symptom rather than a cause.

  58. says

    Men and women tend to handle fantasies (both sexual and otherwise) differently, so it wouldn’t surprise me if the way to get women more into comics had more to do with characterization

    erm. did you just say that being soft-core porn is the point of comics?

    because whether or not women handle sexual fantasies differently or not* isn’t really relevant unless the point of something is sexual.

    though I suppose the alternative is that you’re implying that men are incapable of fantasy unless it includes softcore porn (thus it must be included in comics for dudes, but women are ok with “just” characterization), which I also severely doubt.

    *and that one is pretty much BS, as even a casual scroll through yaoi imagery shows. the difference is that yaoi is supposed to be about eroticism, while superhero comics are supposed to be about super-heroism and adventures and the super-people who do that.

  59. says

    @Astrofiend
    You are incredibly dumb.

    and much of their sexism stems from a build up of sexual frustration.

    So how is it frustrated geek girls don’t end up massively sexist again? Because this?

    Most geek girls I know can get laid pretty easily when they so wish,

    Is a function of sample size and preselection bias. Despite the claims of the nerd community to only value intelligence, oh so often that intelligence must be attached to a suitably attractive frame. Plenty of invisible geek women can be as frustrated as dudes. I wish you asshat misogynists would get your stories straight. This shit doesn’t make sense when placed alongside other shit like ‘spinsters’.

    – he said that the geek girls go and shag non-geeks or ‘cooler’ guys that are only on the fringe of geekdom,

    Yeah, I’m sure it’s more plausible that women just aren’t as nerdy when they’re nerds, rather than a dude who specifically felt massively frustrated had a warped perception of reality.

    It all goes to reinforce for me that when you find a sexist man, you’ve found a man who’s had no attention from women

    You know, there are vaguely plausible ways to blame women for sexism, “Did not fuck sufficiently many men” isn’t really one of them.

  60. Hairhead says

    I was a total geek-nerd. Still am, apparently.

    I graduated from high school completely feral, socially, warped by all the abuse the school-jock culture doles out to the very smart, physically uncoordinated and socially retarded. And throughout four years of university that followed, I completely struck out/was mystified by male/female relations and the social mechanics of sex.

    I was in genuine danger of becoming the dreaded “Nice Guy”, the woman-hating, frustrated virgin — but I didn’t. Sometime during my uni years, I made the active choice to learn from the horrible emotional abuse I had received during my school years, and I made a commitment to never treat anybody the way I had been treated.

    In the first year after uni, I met someone, the sex happened. It was wonderful. It was fantastic. It was real fantasy-sex. Befuddled by my good luck, I asked her why on earth she was attracted to me, had done this with me. Her answer: “Because you respected me as a person.”

    Since then (thirty years ago), I have had a lot of quality sex, and it *always* came about because I had treated my partner (FIRST, FIRST, GET IT??!!FIRST, BEFORE HITTING ON HER, BEFORE OGLING HER, BEFORE “GIVING HER A LINE”) first with respect, and as an equal. If only I had known it earlier.

    That’s my experience, and that’s why my favourite definition of feminism is, “Feminism: the idea that women are human beings.” It’s as simple as that.

    And to shadowbroke: dude I’ve been there. Watch your words and your actions when around women; I guarantee, I GUARANTEE that you will find you’ve been saying and doing stupid, disrespectful shit, and when you clean that shit up, when you give respect, when you treat women as real equals good stuff will happen.

  61. says

    “empowering to women or a male wank-fantasy made flesh”

    Do these have to be mutually exclusive?

    By definition, yes, those precise things are mutually exclusive. This is the problem with objectification: objectifying a woman or a female character removes all reason for her existence except to be pleasing/arousing to the (presumably male) onlooker. That’s the opposite of empowering.

    Is it possible for “empowered, three-dimensional character” to overlap with “sexually attractive” for some readers/viewers? Sure.

    But when the only, or the primary, criteria for a portrayal is to sexually appeal to a male viewer then I think you’ve made empowerment impossible.

  62. nonentity says

    Jadehawk @67

    erm. did you just say that being soft-core porn is the point of comics?

    Erm. No, I didn’t. You see, sexual fantasies don’t necessarily need to include “soft-core porn”. There’s actualy quite a lot that can fall under that, and advertisers get paid good money every day to exploit that fact without resorting to “soft-core porn”. (to greater or lesser success, but still..)

    Perhaps you should broaden your focus before putting words in someone’s mouth.

    though I suppose the alternative is that you’re implying that men are incapable of fantasy unless it includes softcore porn

    Looked at the covers of magazines in the check-out isle that are explicitly marketed at women lately?

  63. Esteleth, Raging Dyke of Fuck Mountain says

    Women’s magazines?

    Open one of those, and 90% of the message will boil down to “Do this and men will like you!”

    Women are socialized from a very early age to be pleasing to men.

  64. says

    You see, sexual fantasies don’t necessarily need to include “soft-core porn”.

    no shit. what I’m questioning is your insistence that male-target comics that ostensibly aren’t erotica need to include sexualization (or even just mild sexual titillation). because what comics do is sexualization; and they’re bieng softcore-porn, at least to the degree that Playboy is, and sometimes quite a bit more than that.

    or are you not even realizing that your comments are implying this? because that would be hilariously clueless.

    advertisers get paid good money every day to exploit that fact without resorting to “soft-core porn”.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Looked at the covers of magazines in the check-out isle that are explicitly marketed at women lately?

    I have. unlike you, I know they’re sexualizing women not for women’s sexual titillation, but to say that women should sexualize themselves for male titillation (which, incidentally, is also a large percentage of the written content of Cosmo and Cosmo-clones).

    None of which has anything to do with your comment that sexualization seems inherent to comics and/or male fantasy, since you’re discussing sex(ualization) in regards to (ostensibly) non-erotica

  65. nonentity says

    Esteleth @74

    Women are socialized from a very early age to be pleasing to men.

    Yeah, and with some women, that’s a problem.

    I happen to have grown up living in a lot of different places with a lot of different women who really weren’t touched by that, so I’m not really stressed about it as horrors of society go.

    Jadehawk @75

    what I’m questioning is your insistence that male-target comics that ostensibly aren’t erotica need to include sexualization

    So now it’s gone from what I’m “implying” to my “insistence”. You’ve clearly got a one-track mind on this topic, and I’m really not interested in participating in what you seem to believe I was trying to say. Thanks.

  66. Loqi says

    @shadowbroke
    Call it romantic failure if you want, but no amount of failure approaches the level of failure of those MRA “Nice Guy” assholes.

  67. Esteleth, Raging Dyke of Fuck Mountain says

    Women are socialized from a very early age to be pleasing to men.

    Yeah, and with some women, that’s a problem.

    LOL at “some.”

    I happen to have grown up living in a lot of different places with a lot of different women who really weren’t touched by that, so I’m not really stressed about it as horrors of society go.

    …what.

  68. says

    I happen to have grown up living in a lot of different places with a lot of different women who really weren’t touched by that

    Yeah, you know, Mars, deep-sea trenches, Xanadu, those sorts of places.

  69. Esteleth, Raging Dyke of Fuck Mountain says

    I grew up on Obstreperon myself, kristinc.

  70. mythbri says

    @nonentity #66

    It’s not that the spine-breaking poses are dragged out to obfuscate the argument. They’re dragged out to support the argument that male characters and female characters are treated differently in comics, and that is plainly evident in many comics – certainly in the comics from the big publishers.

    I said in my comment at #52 that I relate to and want to be like the male superheroes because they’re powerful and awesome. Their sexuality rarely comes into it for me, and it’s certainly not as played up as it is with female superheroes. Male superheroes are superheroes first and foremost. They get to set their gender aside to save the universe. Female superheroes are women first and foremost. They never get to set their gender aside to save the universe.

    The difference there is akin to the sexism of the geek subculture. Male fans get to be fans first. Female fans are women first – all the time – and only sometimes allowed to be fans. If they don’t rock the boat too much, and do their duty by providing sufficient sex to their fellow members of the subculture. It’s their duty to prevent them from becoming sexist assholes, doncha know.
    /sarcasm

  71. Krasnaya Koshka says

    Esteleth, right on!

    Both you and kristinc are right on the money– not that you need to be told that, just that I don’t think nonentity understands socialization. No woman escapes socialization in a society. Good grief.

    Anyway, thank you both for making me laugh with your succinct, spot on comments.

    Total anecdote: I knew a geek guy who ignored one of the most interesting, intelligent women I had ever known who was interested in him. (I only wished she was interested in women–I would’ve asked her out in a heartbeat.) His reason? She had a weak chin. How could he show her off to his friends?

    He instead chased after a “butterface” (his term) and had his “heart” handed to him back many, many times. When he raged on about being rejected, I had to laugh. What a dumbass.

  72. Khantron, the alien that only loves says

    He refused to go out with a woman with a “weak chin” so he chased a “butterface” instead? He wouldn’t go out with a someone because he didn’t like her chin but he would go out with someone if he didn’t like her whole face? That makes about as much sense as Chewbacca on Endor.

  73. Krasnaya Koshka says

    Khantron, the “butterface” (gourd, I loathe that term) had a porn-worthy body. The “weak chin” was completely average, a little on the short side. Therein lied the difference. As far as I could tell.

    I don’t know. The guy was my boss so I had to humor him somewhat.

  74. Krasnaya Koshka says

    My point is: This geek guy (with a weak chin himself, balding and with an unremarkable body) was very much invested in getting a porn-standard-bodied woman, not actually an equal girlfriend. His main relationship was with his male friends, the female in his life would have to be his hood ornament.

  75. shadowbroke says

    …I guarantee…that you will find you’ve been saying and doing stupid, disrespectful shit

    I appreciate that you’re not afraid to say so (and it ties into a point that others have made; astrofiend was likely confusing effect for cause with their remark). I do get tired of the defensive reactions that some men (geeks and not) have when confronted with the mere idea that they might be acting shitty toward women. Such responses are so many synonyms for fail (ht to Loqi) that it’s both depressing and rage inducing.

    Then I read the comments from places like cracked.com, and I die a little inside. “Exactly what is so terrible about sexism anyway?” reminds me of Nigel Tufnel: http://youtu.be/aBbE-v4VTxw?t=7s

  76. nonentity says

    All right, I give in. The only reason advertising that shows women who would be pleasing to men convinces women to buy things is because women are all socialized to want to be pleasing to men (which they clearly wouldn’t want to do otherwise).

    Frankly, that seems to presume a lot of weak-willed women. I can’t say that anyone I know would agree with the assumptions there, but sure, maybe you’re right and we’re all just deluding ourselves.

    The great thing is, any possible response can just be shot down with “you just don’t understand.” Because these pressures are just so bad, and guys are pigs who don’t get pressured about looking, acting, or being pleasing to women. So, obviously, only women are sexualized in comics, and that is just wrong, and needs to be stopped.

    The funny thing is, I clearly agreed completely that something was wrong, and that the female sexualization needs to be scaled back. But since I mentioned that there is possibly something else also at work, and that it might be partially a cause of things that are bad about female characters (like poses, horrid clothing, etc), I’m obviously on the wrong side of the argument.

  77. nonentity says

    seems to presume a lot of weak-willed women

    That’s not to say, of course, that I think there aren’t a lot of weak-willed women out there. I just think there are a lot of weak-willed people out there, and I haven’t seen evidence that it’s particularly weighted towards one group unless testing for very specific ways in which they are weak-willed.

  78. Forbidden Snowflake says

    I just think there are a lot of weak-willed people out there, and I haven’t seen evidence that it’s particularly weighted towards one group unless testing for very specific ways in which they are weak-willed.

    I’m sorry, but when did anyone claim that women are particularly susceptible to the influence of socialization? Not that it isn’t lovely that you defend them against this bit of straw-slander.

  79. Cipher, OM, MQ says

    Frankly, that seems to presume a lot of weak-willed women.

    That’s some great victim-blaming you’ve got there.

  80. mythbri says

    @nonentity #90

    I’m looking back over your comments, trying to determine what you mean by “there is possibly something else also at work, and that it might be partially a cause of things that are bad about female characters”. I’m having some trouble understanding what the gist of your argument is, since you seem to have conflated socialization present in advertising (for men and women) and the topic of PZ’s post, which is about the over-sexualization of female comic book characters.

    If you’re saying that the comics industry should adopt some methods of appealing to ALL of its ACTUAL audience instead of what it believes its audience to be (men), then I agree with you. I disagree that the methods they would use to appeal to men and women necessarily have to be sexual. As I said, the presence of beefcake doesn’t lessen what’s wrong with the presence of cheesecake.

    That being said, there’s nothing wrong with the sexualization of comic book characters in the appropriate context (like when it serves the story). The problem lies in the constant sexualization of a specific group of characters that have nothing in common but gender, and that the way that these characters are sexualized is intended to appeal only to men.

  81. Brownian says

    Frankly, that seems to presume a lot of weak-willed women.

    That’s some great victim-blaming you’ve got there.

    It also evinces a bizarre understanding of the term ‘socialisation’, as if there’s a default human in all of us that could withstand the forces of enculturation if we just mustered up the inner strength.

    “Fuck you Mom,” says the strong-willed child, “despite you and dad my sisters and brothers and grandparents and pretty much everyone I’ve ever been exposed to speaking Mandarin, I’m going to draw upon my vast reserves and will myself to know English.”

  82. bjtunwarm says

    mythbri @ “If you’re saying that the comics industry should adopt some methods of appealing to ALL of its ACTUAL audience instead of what it believes its audience to be (men), then I agree with you”

    These comic book companies have been around since the 1930s. It’s reasonable to say they know what people will pay money for and that’s the brutal reality of any business. The Crack article even cited a comic where the main character was a fat, black woman and the publisher changed it, want to bet that was to boost sales?

    And hey, keep in mind comic books are one of the few places an artist can make a living doing art. But I suppose they could remain true to their art and go back to starving.

  83. Esteleth, Raging Dyke of Fuck Mountain says

    These comic book companies have been around since the 1930s. It’s reasonable to say they know what people will pay money for and that’s the brutal reality of any business. The Crack article even cited a comic where the main character was a fat, black woman and the publisher changed it, want to bet that was to boost sales?

    “I’ll take ‘Viewers Are Morons’ for $500, Alex.”

    Racist, fatphobic and misogynistic morons, according to you.

    And hey, keep in mind comic books are one of the few places an artist can make a living doing art. But I suppose they could remain true to their art and go back to starving.

    Do I really need to address this?!

  84. mythbri says

    @bjtunwarm #96

    This new-fangled thing that we’re using to communicate with each other is called the Internet. It is no longer the 1930s.

    Are you saying that the comic book industry should just ignore women who are already fans and want to see more things they would like? That the only important voices of their market are the ones belonging to men? Do you think it sounds like a smart business strategy to adopt an exclusive attitude toward your customers rather than an inclusive one? I’m one more nerd with a bit of disposable income I could be spending on comics – what’s their rationale for not attempting to reach out to me?

    I like comics. I also think that there are areas that can and should be improved, and that said improvements would widen the market for the comics industry. There are plenty of prominent female comic book fans who feel the same way.

  85. Just_A_Lurker says

    Sigh.

    Count me as a geek girl. It’s completely off putting when things you like blatantly disregard and demean women. From games to comics, hell even book covers use unrealistic ridiculous depictions of women. God forbid you ever bring it up or you get hordes saying “there are beefcakes too!”, or “no one wants to look at a fugly”. Tell someone not use “raped” that way and you will be harassed and threatened.

    Fucking A.

    It’s not about profits or business. If it was, they would want more business from women. I know there are several things that I’ve had to just give up on because the depictions pissed me off and bummed me out every time I tried to enjoy it.

    Ugh.
    ——————–
    nonthinking (noncognitive?)

    All right, I give in. The only reason advertising that shows women who would be pleasing to men convinces women to buy things is because women are all socialized to want to be pleasing to men (which they clearly wouldn’t want to do otherwise).

    (this shows you clearly are an ass and don’t understand the difference.)
    Society tells women all their worth, purpose and goals should be geared towards being pleasing to men.
    Women are you know, actual people who can’t and shouldn’t be forced to starve and contort themselves to fit in that narrow suffocating little box.

    The great thing is, any possible response can just be shot down with “you just don’t understand.” Because these pressures are just so bad, and guys are pigs who don’t get pressured about looking, acting, or being pleasing to women. So, obviously, only women are sexualized in comics, and that is just wrong, and needs to be stopped.

    Men are sexualized and beefcakes in comics too! What about the Menz?!?
    Don’t bother to think or mention the fact those depictions are geared to please the male readers, not women. Cuz you know women don’t read comics. It’s all about the male fantasty of being this unbelievable beefcake who has hordes of gorgeous model women lining up to suck their huge cocks.

    But since I mentioned that there is possibly something else also at work, and that it might be partially a cause of things that are bad about female characters (like poses, horrid clothing, etc), I’m obviously on the wrong side of the argument.

    Why don’t you say what you think is the cause? This little screed is just goddamn pointless and put the blame on “weak willed women”.

    Cuz you know its not like from birth girls are made distinct from boys in every area, told to be princesses and how to please men to get the prince charming they deserve.

    You are on the wrong side of the argument because you are dismissing the concerns of women. You are not fucking listening or helping. You are doing the same damn thing. You are not a fucking ally. You may hate the depictions in comic but that is for different reasons, for your own damn concerns. You care as much as the comics do about the sexist shit against women. (Hint:nil) I bet money you will prove to be sexist too. Can’t wait to get my bingo..

    I just think there are a lot of weak-willed people out there, and I haven’t seen evidence that it’s particularly weighted towards one group unless testing for very specific ways in which they are weak-willed.

    Sure those sheeps are just weak willed. They should grow a spine and man up! It’s not like humans are social creatures that live in their own society and cultures or anything.

    ———
    BTW don’t give me shit about “what about the menz?!?”. Men have plenty of places and weight to throw around their concerns. Women do not and need people to shut the fuck up and listen. And here’s a hint dearie, take your straw feminist shouting “men are pigs!” and burn it instead of using it as a blow up doll.

    PHMT.The fight for equality of women would help get rid of this toxic masculinity as well. Feminist fight against that sexist bullshit too. Toxic masculinity and homophobia tie back to society’s hatred of women.

  86. The Swordfish, High Enlightened Grand Master Janitor of the Gayluminati says

    Exactly what is so terrible about sexism anyway?

    Well, at least this shitsmear has the decency to be perfectly honest about exactly what he is.

  87. The Swordfish, High Enlightened Grand Master Janitor of the Gayluminati says

    Just_A_Lurker: *squee* That was awesome. }:D

  88. Just_A_Lurker says

    *hands JAL a brew of her choice*

    hehe Thanks guys. I definitely need it.

    I would first like to thank all the wonderful little people here who made this possible….

    XD sorry, couldn’t resist.

  89. Ichthyic says

    The best argument against “men are sexualized too” that I’ve seen (and forgive me if this is mentioned in either of the articles) is that the men who are sexualized are done to appeal to the inner wishes of the men who want to be like them, while the women who are sexualized are done… to appeal to the inner wishes of those same men. It’s still patriarchal and man-centric.

    that indeed is an excellent point.

  90. Ichthyic says

    These comic book companies have been around since the 1930s

    this is a logical fallacy.

    something is not right simply because it has been done for a long time.

    see, re: Slavery.

  91. shadowbroke says

    I’m reminded of the discussion about sexism that followed DC’s “new 52″ relaunch last year. Two pieces from that discussion that I especially appreciated were Laura Hudson’s “The Big Sexy Problem with Superheroines and Their ‘Liberated Sexuality'” (http://tiny.cc/1g55dw), and Ms. Snarky’s “A Response from a Female Comic Book Fan” (http://tiny.cc/tj55dw). They’re still relevant and worth mentioning here I think.

  92. nonentity says

    Oh boy.

    Cipher, Brownian… just, no. It’s not victim blaming to say that I think better of women in general than to believe they only like these advertisements because society says they’re supposed to.

    Obviously I’m in a minority on this, but claiming that *I* am blaming anyone in that is just silly.

    Just_A_Lurker @99:

    Open right up with a direct insult, classy.

    Society tells women all their worth, purpose and goals should be geared towards being pleasing to men.

    I disagree. Perhaps I’m seeing a different part of society than you, but that doesn’t make me an ass. You’re an ass for claiming my social experience doesn’t matter, though.

    Cuz you know women don’t read comics.

    Of course, you blithely ignore the point I made about that earlier.

    You are on the wrong side of the argument because you are dismissing the concerns of women.

    Wow… you just didn’t fucking read a thing, did you? Just charged in to attack.

    Here, I’ll make it plain to you: I said I agreed there was a problem, but that I also think characterization is a big part of the problem and that possibly the horrible costumes and poses were partly a symptom of that rather than a thing of their own.

    Someone else somehow took my mention of fantasies (both sexual and otherwise) to mean I was *insisting* that comics must have “soft-core porn,” specifically for men.

    I countered with the example (which I now regret) of the aforementioned magazines… which, even if you accept that they are a product of social brainwashing towards women, any reasonable person would agree qualify as “sexual fantasy”.

    So, no, I didn’t dismiss women’s concerns. And I tried very hard to avoid saying anything about men, because I was fully aware someone like you would come along and write a screed about “what about the mens” and “mansplaining” as though that was all I had said. Go ahead, check how many sentences I wrote that have anything at all about men. I’ll wait.

    Ye flipping gods, I get jumped all over for a throwaway comment about types of fantasy, and then get jumped even further for trying to explain that I wasn’t fucking talking about porn. Sure, I dug it deeper after that by shrugging on the social brainwashing thing, but really… what is wrong with you???

  93. Esteleth, Raging Dyke of Fuck Mountain says

    nonentity:

    [blather, justifications]

    *snarl*

    Fuck off, Cupcake.

  94. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I disagree. Perhaps I’m seeing a different part of society than you, but that doesn’t make me an ass.

    Citation needed, or you are an ass.

    So, no, I didn’t dismiss women’s concerns.

    Had me fooled.

    Go ahead, check how many sentences I wrote that have anything at all about men. I’ll wait.

    Why bother, mansplainers can be very careful covering their tracks. I will presume you did the same.

    Sure, I dug it deeper after that by shrugging on the social brainwashing thing, but really… what is wrong with you???

    Cupcake, what is wrong with you? Always ask that before you embarrass yourself with idiocy. Maybe even read your post aloud to yourself. If you are sympathetic, you will see the problems before they are public…

  95. Ichthyic says

    I disagree.

    do you speak from experience, or privilege?

    and if you don’t know what I mean by that, your opinion really ain’t worth much.

  96. nonentity says

    I think better of women in general than to believe they only like these advertisements because society says they’re supposed to.

    And it’s probably to late to clarify this before someone jumps on it, but I also sure as hell don’t mean to say women in general like that kind of advertising. It’s got its audience, though, regardless of the reason. I know I sure wish there were less of that crap.

  97. mythbri says

    @nonentity #113

    And I think better of men in general than that they’re only interested in blatantly sexualized female characters in comic books. I think that they might actually appreciate more characterization, instead of sexualization. It’d be nice if the big publishers thought better of men in this way.

  98. Cipher, OM, MQ says

    It’s not victim blaming to say that I think better of women in general than to believe they only like these advertisements because society says they’re supposed to.

    You’re very stupid. It is, in fact, victim-blaming to say that women only believe society’s constant messaging toward them if they’re weak-willed.

  99. nonentity says

    Citation needed, or you are an ass.

    I need to cite the society I have kept throughout my life? You’re funny, and an ass.

    Why bother, mansplainers can be very careful covering their tracks.

    Yep. Why bother seeing if I actually did what you’re accusing of, when you can just call me names and dismiss me?

    do you speak from experience, or privilege?

    Yeah, I covered that. I’m not going to go over it again, because it’s just going to be used as an excuse to start this whole thing all over. Considering that the only reason the question is coming up is due to the whole “you insist on soft-core porn!!!!1!!eleventyone” sideshow, I could care less?

  100. Cipher, OM, MQ says

    Yeah, I covered that.

    It’s true: the answer is “From privilege.”

  101. Just_A_Lurker says

    *Beward Teal Deer Crossing!*
    nonenity (oh how I wish that were true)

    what is wrong with you???

    People like you

    Cipher, Brownian… just, no. It’s not victim blaming to say that I think better of women in general than to believe they only like these advertisements because society says they’re supposed to.

    Obviously I’m in a minority on this, but claiming that *I* am blaming anyone in that is just silly.

    Oh yes, its just those weak ones who fall for it. It’s so because they are weak. It’s their own fault because they are too weak to resist societal pressure from
    Look, you admitted it!

    #76

    Yeah, and with some women, that’s a problem.

    76 I happen to have grown up living in a lot of different places with a lot of different women who really weren’t touched by that, so I’m not really stressed about it as horrors of society go.

    And no, you’re not the minority on this. You are right up in the majority shoving women into little boxes. Nice way to totally dismiss away concerns about societal pressure on women.

    Oh, looky, men in #66

    I rarely see guys actually trying to defend the spine-breaking poses as natural.

    Defend those men. Totally ignore the point that they don’t give a shit that they aren’t natural. They want them to be natural. In their fantasies it is natural and that’s what it is about. Bring up the fact that it’s unnatural or unrealistic and all you will hear is “it’s fantasy duh”. Unnatural and sexy is a feature for them, not a bug.

    You in #66

    I agree there 100%. It’s just that this message gets drowned out with the people who drag out every example of a spine-breaking pose or exposed flesh

    It’s not like you can complain about both, or that they are both intertwined.

    Look more men in #66

    I definitely think there’s a lot of crazy/silly costuming on women in comics that can be toned down. I also feel like concentrating on this could be rather solidly missing the actual causes of frustration. Men and women tend to handle fantasies (both sexual and otherwise) differently, so it wouldn’t surprise me if the way to get women more into comics had more to do with characterization… and things like posing were somewhat of a symptom rather than a cause.

    Fuck your concerns! Focus on what I want to focus on! You silly women are wrong about the cause of this, I will bravely show you the way with my giant head. Spout some bullshit about men vs women fantasies. Keep the status quo and feel like you are an ally cuz my chill girl friend totally agrees with me.

    Here, I’ll make it plain to you: I said I agreed there was a problem, but that I also think characterization is a big part of the problem and that possibly the horrible costumes and poses were partly a symptom of that rather than a thing of their own.

    There is no characterization because women are just meat bags meant to beg for dick. That’s why they have no personality, dressed that way and posed that way. They are both symptoms of sexism! It’s not bad characterization lead to bad costumes/poses or vice versa. They are there and have been there together because bitches aint shit.

    What you want better characters but just “tone down the costumes”? That would shut those whiny women up! Totally solve one symptom without address the full issue of sexism in comics.
    It’s not possible to have such a women character treated like a person while still dressed the way they are.
    Even if such a thing was possible, the clothing and poses will still be a problem even if the characters were better. You know why it’s still a problem? Because its unrealistic, dismissive, demeaning and like that specifically for the purposes of turning on male readers, women readers be damned.

  102. vaiyt says

    “Men want her and to be him.”

    Wiser words haven’t been yet spoken on the subject.

  103. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/wp-admin/user/profile.php

    You’re funny, and an ass.

    And you aren’t for you inability to provide a citation? Try here. Citations is one way to separate the serious discussion from trolls like you.

    Why bother seeing if I actually did what you’re accusing of, when you can just call me names and dismiss me?

    Tone trolling, not proving me wrong with evidence. Typical of those trolling and mansplaining.

    I’m not going to go over it again, because it’s just going to be used as an excuse to start this whole thing all over.

    Why? You have nothing but OPINION, and no evidence? That is our point. Your OPINION is worthless, show us the evidence.

  104. nonentity says

    Defend those men. Totally ignore the point that they don’t give a shit that they aren’t natural. In their fantasies it is natural and that’s what it is about. Bring up the fact that it’s unnatural or unrealistic and all you will hear is “it’s fantasy duh”.

    There’s this wonderful thing called context. It can do great things for reading comprehension. Ya see, I was replying to the idea that the reason for bringing those out (and applying them to men) was because men would realize they were absurd.

    So, you accuse me of defending men, when what I actually said in context supports the very idea you then slam at me.

    I’m not even going to bother with the rest, it’s clear you’ve got a good hate-on going. Have fun with that.

  105. mythbri says

    @nonentity, in general

    If you’ve lurked at Pharyngula for any length of time, I’m surprised at YOUR surprise that the regular commentors here hold EVERYONE to a certain standard of awareness. Part of that standard is your awareness of privilege of different kinds. White privilege, heterosexual privilege, and male privilege, to name just a few.

    No one here is arguing that you are lying about your experience when you say that you haven’t noticed the pervasive societal messages of which women are all too aware. You’re speaking from a place of privilege, that this hasn’t been part of your experience. That’s fine – you just need to believe people when they tell you (like right now) that your experience doesn’t make others’ experiences magically unreal. Especially when the experiences are coming from people who are not part of the privileged class you belong to.

  106. Cipher, OM, MQ says

    I’m not even going to bother with the rest, it’s clear you’ve got a good hate-on going. Have fun with that.

    Yeah, it’s just outrageous that we would be pissed at your claim that only weak-willed women fall for, you know, what the mainstream society tells them over and over. Especially when the particular message you’re saying only affects weak-willed women often leads to horrible consequences for women affected by it.

  107. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Nonentity, we question everything, including each other. Which is why when your OPINION is questioned, it helps if you can back it up with citations (links). If you can’t, we tend to see such folks as liars and bullshitters. Think about that, and think about why we would think that, especially with somebody without a history of providing said links.

  108. nonentity says

    Why bother seeing if I actually did what you’re accusing of, when you can just call me names and dismiss me?

    Tone trolling, not proving me wrong with evidence.

    That’s not tone trolling. That’s pointing out that you were refusing to even consider the accusation you made towards me. Nice try at accusing me of your failure, though.

  109. Cipher, OM, MQ says

    That’s not tone trolling. That’s pointing out that you were refusing to even consider the accusation you made towards me.

    Followed by tone trolling.

  110. vaiyt says

    @nonentity

    Not being aware of privilege before does not excuse you from putting your hands to your ears and going LALALALA when other people point it out.

  111. nonentity says

    Nerd of Redhead, Cipher, mythbri:

    I already admitted I dug myself in deeper with that. Mea culpa for that.

    I’m not advancing my disagreement as an argument, or expecting it to carry weight as an opinion. My disagreement on that point was not relevant in the slightest to where the thread started, it was not meant as a blanket dismissal, and I apologize deeply for even starting down the thread that lead that topic.

  112. John Morales says

    [meta]

    nonentity, you can either apologise or you can double-down.

    (Why do you try to do both)

  113. nonentity says

    Followed by tone trolling.

    I’m sorry, I missed the definition of tone trolling that included pointing out what someone was doing in lieu of an actual response. I always got the feeling it was something more active, like perhaps, “how dare you call me names, rather than defend your accusation? And in such language! You wound me, [madam/sir]!”

    Feel free to cite the actual definition to me.

  114. John Morales says

    [meta]

    mythbri, your nym might not be familiar to me, but what you write exhibits cognisance consistent with true lurkerdom.

    (Welcome!)

  115. mythbri says

    @nonentity #129

    Awesome. It’s hard to admit when you’re in the wrong, so kudos to you.

    Now, can you see how women, being exposed to all of these pervasive societal messaging, telling them that their purpose in life is to please men first and pursue their own interests second, wouldn’t be able to relate to female superheroes that are drawn in such a way as to please men? That’s the whole point, really. I’ve rejected the idea that pleasing anyone but myself has to be any kind of priority for me, and when I see that kind of idea appearing in things that I like (comics, movies, books, etc.), it hurts and alienates me. That’s why it’s important for the people who produce these things to hear this kind of criticism, so that changes can be made.

  116. mythbri says

    @John Morales #132

    My nym isn’t familiar because I’ve just made the transition from long-time lurker to occasional commentor. Thanks for the welcome – I enjoy the discussions here, and hope to be able to contribute to them in an intelligent way.

  117. Pteryxx says

    nonentity: I used to have a few starter links handy. I just found this one, which looks excellent:

    http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/05/failure-to-communicate-an-ongoing-problem

    This column has a goal. It’s going to keep women front and centre.

    Never fear, boys: I like you too, but if you want to play, I recommend you go read Finally, A Feminism 101 Blog, Shakesville’s “Feminism 101,” particularly this one, and have a skim through the Geek Feminism wiki first. People have put a lot of work into analysing the factors that reinforce and perpetuate institutional sexism. Whether or not you agree with those analyses, I’m disinclined to repeat them regularly. Go! Read!

    That’s going to be more convenient than a massive Google search.

    The (extremely) short version: Things being done a certain way for seventy years doesn’t mean they’re correct. Women focusing on their own appearance doesn’t mean everything’s fine; often they’re making the best of a bad set of options. And men being told they’re incomplete without high-value female hood ornaments is an example of Sexism Hurts Men Too.

  118. nonentity says

    mythbri, under the circumstances, no kudos are deserved. Thank you, though.

    Now, can you see how women […] wouldn’t be able to relate to female superheroes that are drawn in such a way as to please men?

    As far as I’m concerned, this was never in question. If anyone feels otherwise, my answer would be “yes, of course!”. Like I said, many of my close friends do relate to such superheroes, but that is in no way a reason to not want much more realistic, relatable, and kick-ass female superheroes.

  119. mythbri says

    @nonentity #137

    It’s true – my experience as a female comic book fan is not the same as any female comic book fan’s. But I think that it’s a cop-out to claim that the sexualization of female superheroes is somehow empowering, and that people who object to it are the REAL sexists (not that I’m attributing that attitude to your friends).

    Here’s a link to what I think is an amusing take on that cop-out:

    http://harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=311

  120. nonentity says

    And, re-reading that, my attempt to be thorough makes it sound as though I’m equivocating. To be (I hope) more clear:

    I absolutely understand how women would not be able to relate to these female superheroes, and I believe that many of the existing ones should be toned down or scrapped and that better characterized ones should be created.

    And on that note, I’m going to stop (hopefully) before starting down another unfortunate side trip.

  121. nonentity says

    Well, I’ll delay that for two things:

    First, thank you for not reading that answer in the horrible way it could have been read.

    Second, the friends I know are the very definition of not worrying about pleasing men, aside from in very specific mutual circumstances. They still think some specific characters are “kick-ass” (direct quote) and have even made plans for costumes based on them. I have to assume it’s something specific about those characters, though I personally think the usual costumes for those characters are more revealing than other ones that are complained about. (Well, strike that: I *thought* they were more revealing, but then I saw the “Sapphire Guard Wonder Woman” in the first article.. bleh.) So.. I guess I have to leave it at “people vary,” as unsatisfying as that it.

  122. John Morales says

    [meta]

    nonentity, no need to stop: you can, should you wish to, just pause and reflect.

    (But no cheating!)

  123. mythbri says

    @nonentity #139

    The great thing about comics is that long-established characters are scrapped and reborn all the time – that was the whole point of the DCnU releases. Unfortunately, aside from Wonder Woman, I think DC completely dropped the ball on empowerment in favor of blatant sexualization (see Catwoman and Starfire). That’s why I stick with the genre, in the hope that eventually some artist/writer team will come along to revolutionize a character that has had poor treatment in the past. And the previous incarnations of those characters aren’t wiped from the face of the planet – those previous issues can always be re-read by the people that prefer them.

  124. Just_A_Lurker says

    Wonder Woman could use some help out too. Starfire is indeed the worst of the bunch in my mind.

  125. Krasnaya Koshka says

    Brownian @95: Perfect.

    And I feel like a jerk for saying “no women” when I should have said “no one”.

  126. Cipher, OM, MQ says

    nonentity, no need to stop: you can, should you wish to, just pause and reflect.

    I am clearly getting tired and loopy. When I read this earlier today I understood it correctly, but this time it took me a few seconds to figure out that you didn’t mean, like, press pause on the conversation, as though it were a video game.

  127. says

    Regarding bjtunwarm’s comment it’s pretty obvious the “Big Two,” Marvel and DC, are pretty damn clueless. They’ve been consistently losing readers for decades, and the demographics of the remaning readers have been getting progressively older. Which is ironic when you get things like the One More Day ffiasco, where Peter Paker’/Spider Man’s marriage to Mary Jane Watson was literally made not to have existed because Marvel Editor in Chief Joe Quesada claimed readers couldn’t relate to a married Peter Parker. But they also couldn’t end the marriage via divorce, because Quesada said it would “age” the character. So instead they had Peter agree to let Satan stand in Mephisto make the marriage magically retroactively never happen, in exchange for saving Peter’s dying Aunt May.

    How bad are sales? I was told recently that what would have been considered poor selling Marvel titles in the mid 70s had several times more readers than any of Marvel’s current top sellers.

  128. anotheratheist says

    This OP is just another piece of evidence that feminism is just an appendix to this left-wing ideology where people don’t know the first thing about economics. These comics are porn with the only significant difference that the women wear more clothes than they usually do in porn. And porn is bad we know that.

    But people and particularly men want porn and this is why it exists. You are not going to change the kind of porn that people consume by telling them that what they consume right now is bad for the same reason you cannot reprogram a homosexual. The simple reason why there are not more comics with less scantily dressed super heroines is that there isn’t the demand for that. Start to deal with reality.

  129. lpetrich says

    I find it curious that nobody ever complains about male stereotypes that might be considered insulting. Who has ever complained about what an insulting male stereotype Duke Nukem is?

  130. David Marjanović says

    and this guy was soon almost in tears asking me what was so wrong with him that girls wouldn’t just ignore him but actively sneer at him when he went to go talk to them. I mean this dude was seriously intelligent, nice enough but awkward, and would go far in his field, yet here he was telling me how he’d rather be ‘a dumb brick layer cos at least he’d have a girlfriend.’

    What does “go talk to them” mean in this case? How did he do that?

  131. Cipher, OM, MQ says

    I find it curious that nobody ever complains about male stereotypes that might be considered insulting.

    I find it curious that someone who clearly hasn’t done the slightest fucking bit of research to see if a claim is true still thinks it’s okay to waltz into public and make that claim.

  132. Cipher, OM, MQ says

    These comics are porn with the only significant difference that the women wear more clothes than they usually do in porn.

    And the numerous comics fans who are in this thread (and indeed all over the fucking internet) telling you otherwise are completely imaginary.

  133. says

    This OP is just another piece of evidence that feminism is just an appendix to this left-wing ideology where people don’t know the first thing about economics. These comics are porn with the only significant difference that the women wear more clothes than they usually do in porn. And porn is bad we know that.

    But people and particularly men want porn and this is why it exists. You are not going to change the kind of porn that people consume by telling them that what they consume right now is bad for the same reason you cannot reprogram a homosexual. The simple reason why there are not more comics with less scantily dressed super heroines is that there isn’t the demand for that. Start to deal with reality.

    Just another piece of evidence that conservatism is not just divorced from reality but utterly hostile to it.

    http://img705.imageshack.us/img705/408/20110926math.png

  134. Amphiox says

    Did you even bother to read the Cracked article referenced in the OP, lpetrich? Because your “point”, or pale facsimile thereof, was DIRECTLY ADDRESSED therein. A stereotype Duke Nukem might be, muscle-bound phallic-symbol toting meathead who is almost always seen with at least 3 voluptuous semi-naked females hanging off his biceps that he is, but the stereotype is a wet-dream wish fulfillment for the male audience targeted by that game.

    IE, The Duke = NAMOR (please refer back to the Cracked article you clearly failed to read to the end).

  135. Cipher, OM, MQ says

    lpetrich, in an attempt to be helpful rather than simply pissed off (I’m irritable right now), I’ll give you this: google “Toxic Masculinity.” It’s an ongoing feminist concern. Concerns that are re-wordings of “NOBODY CARES ABOUT THE MEN!” are typically brought up in the context of feminist conversations as a derailing tactic, because people make stupid assumptions and then don’t bother to research them, and it has gotten to the point that most of them are met with justified frustration and the acronym PHMT (Patriarchy Hurts Men Too).

  136. says

    If you want more fun, consider the sex ratio in movies. Even in “daily life,” it’s about 5:1 men:women. Or count the male and female figures around an architectural model: same ratio. Compare to on the street, where it’s about 1:1. Odd, isn’t it?

  137. A. Noyd says

    anotheratheist (#147)

    And porn is bad we know that.

    No, making things that aren’t porn into the type of porn that alienates people who would otherwise buy it is bad.

    But people and particularly men want porn and this is why it exists.

    Except, comics aren’t porn. Pornographic comics are porn. And, as far as that sort of thing goes, there are plenty of women who produce and read porn comics. We just don’t want the women characters in non-porn comics to be pornified. However, if turning all comics into porn to make a buck is such a good strategy, shouldn’t companies be appealing to the pornographic sensibilities of women readers in addition to those of men? Why not take a cue from the pornographic fan comics women write for other women and start adding elements of those to the canon?

  138. says

    I’d like to point out that I actually notice BETTER anatomy (and on occasion BETTER writing and more mature handing of themes) in actual porn comics!

    I think that was mentioned on Escher Girls

    Also you might want to check out the ComicsAlliance segment on showcasing erotic comics. porn/erotica =/= automatic surrender of quality.

  139. says

    Wonder Woman could use some help out too. Starfire is indeed the worst of the bunch in my mind.

    You know.. I almost have less of a problem with Starfire than Wonder Women. Why? Because the former is supposedly from some society that is radically against objectification, and bloody well wouldn’t have even thought of dressing like that, logically. She is the epitome of what is done wrong, when dressing up someone that isn’t supposed to come of a culture where sex is highly open, and externalized. Sadly, the same formula that says that all female superheroes are under dressed would make Starfire a total impossibility in a universe where everyone *was* dressed normally. She would be, due to her background, the freak, the one that isn’t just over the top, but “beyond” the acceptable. She would be a live stripper at a 700 Club convention, in any comic universe where half the rest of the cast didn’t already dress almost as provocatively as she does.

    So.. She is about the only one that **should** be like she is. Yet, if the rest where not like they where, she couldn’t even exist. Which, imho, is just as bloody stupid as the more widespread problem.

  140. anotheratheist says

    @ A. Noyd

    Since you showed at least some willingness to engage I’m gonna elaborate:
    Imho there are two possible avenues (one claim that implicitly is made very often and one secret point of agenda):
    1) Either people claim that there is an economical exploitable demand (in this case for less pornified or more female friendly or whatever comics) that currently is not met. This is a testable claim but experience tells us that more often than not these kind of claims are false. (I know that on a left-leaning blog like this most people won’t agree but it is mostly futile to discuss it so I’m leaving it at that.)
    2) What people really want is to change the demand structure (i.e. convince men to consume less pornified comics). The hypotheses that this is possible to a meaningful degree requires evidence and the persistence of pornography throughout human history does not really support the hypotheses.

  141. says

    Anotheratheist is beyond stupid. He understands nothing of the realities of comic publishing or indeed commercial art. Such as artists are not in direct control and that biases and “common sense” of what people want dominate and drive the direction of publishing, flying against polling and reader input. He apparently knows nothing of Dan Didio (DC’s) history of temper tantrums when it comes to feed back from the question “how can we get more female readers”

    He worships the market and apparently can’t even comprehend the idea that people will give you what they think you should have, not what you want.

    ((Fuck I wish it worked the way he said it would, then I could be confident I’d be getting a new ME3 ending))

  142. A. Noyd says

    anotheratheist (#161)

    Imho there are two possible avenues (one claim that implicitly is made very often and one secret point of agenda):

    Your opinion may be honest, but it’s also incoherent. Two possible avenues for what? When people talk about “two possible avenues” they mean alternative ways of achieving a goal. You’ve neither stated (or even implied) a goal nor come up with two things that might lead to one.

    Either people claim that there is an economical exploitable demand…that currently is not met. This is a testable claim but experience tells us that more often than not these kind of claims are false. (I know that on a left-leaning blog like this most people won’t agree but it is mostly futile to discuss it so I’m leaving it at that.)

    One, an ad hominem just makes you look like a moron. It does not, as you seem to think, get you out of supporting the stuff you pull out of your ass. Such as the above assertions. Two, what fuck does this even have to do with what I was saying?

    What people really want is to change the demand structure (i.e. convince men to consume less pornified comics). [Blah blah] the persistence of pornography throughout human history [blah blah].

    Dude, I can tell you didn’t read anything I wrote beyond picking up the word “pornified.” I said “comics aren’t porn” and that “if turning all comics into porn to make a buck is such a good strategy, shouldn’t companies be appealing to the pornographic sensibilities of women readers in addition to those of men?” Care to approach either of those?

  143. anotheratheist says

    Two, what fuck does this even have to do with what I was saying?

    shouldn’t companies be appealing to the pornographic sensibilities of women readers

    I was interpreting this as an economic “should” (the only interpretation I’m willing to argue with) and was replying to that.

  144. A. Noyd says

    anotheratheist (#165)

    I was interpreting this as an economic “should” (the only interpretation I’m willing to argue with) and was replying to that.

    But neither points in your reply actually addressed that! In the first you assume that pornifying women characters comes from a straight up economic demand for that sort of thing (which it doesn’t) and take it on faith that there’s not a sufficient demand for comics that cater to women readers (or that avoid alienating us). That just shows how ignorant you are of comics fandom and of the actual impediments blocking attempts to increase the number of women readers.

    In the second you talk about trying to get men to change their preferences when, in my question, I explicitly proposed not changing that. Your quote of me conveniently leaves off the “in addition to those of men” bit. You don’t even come close to addressing why, if making everything porn is economically sensible, women’s sexual fantasies shouldn’t be included.