What’s it like being a woman in comics? What’s it like being a woman in comics who writes an article criticizing a comic book cover for among other things featuring a teenage girl with breasts as big as her head? What’s it like being a woman in comics who responds to aggressive (shall we say) reactions to her criticism of a comic book cover?
About what you’d expect.
I was called a whiny bitch, a feminazi, a feminist bitch, a bitter cunt, and then the rape threats started rolling in.
You see, I’m also doing a survey about sexual harassment in comics. (If you’d like to take this survey, you can find it here.) And so as soon as the angry fanboys started looking me up after the CBR article, they discovered this survey and started answering my questions and using the open box at the end to write in all sorts of awfulness.
Because if you talk about sexism or sexual harassment then the only proper and sensible thing to do is to attack in sexist, harassing terms, by way of demonstrating that it’s wrong to talk about sexism or sexual harassment because there is no such thing.
When the survey was posted on a blog, one of the comments included “If you have a entrenched ideology then it’s nigh impossible to be objective, and according to Ms. Asselin’s Twitter tag, she’s a self described feminist.”
Let’s talk about that for a second. Feminist is not a bad word. People who think feminism is a negative often run in two very different directions – either they misunderstand what it is or are outright misogynists. Feminism is defined by Dictionary.com as “the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.” If it’s an “entrenched ideology” to wish to be treated as an equal human along side men, then so be it.
Speaking of entrenched ideology – you know what really is an entrenched ideology? The idea that feminism is – automatically, always, necessarily – an entrenched ideology.
There are too many people, including professionals, who think it’s okay to condescend, harass, berate, etc. women in comics simply because they’ve espoused a belief that revolves around women being treated more as equals. I want women and girls to be seen as an equally promising demographic for comics as males; I want major companies with an easy opportunity to reach out to women to not feature art that is disgusting and objectifying; I want women to be hired as much as men to create comics; I want to not know so many people who have been violated in an industry I still love despite it all.
There are men in comics who understand how not to be a condescending asshole. But right now, the problem is that too many other men think that they are in a crowd of like-minded men who are super sick of this feminazi bullshit. The truth is that you are on the losing side. Women in comics aren’t going away. Even if you continue to talk to us like this. Your threats and insults do nothing more than make me want to stick around and shout even louder. So thank you for that.
Feminism isn’t going away. Also? The last thing that would make it go away is condescending assholes calling it feminazi bullshit and threatening to rape all the feminists. All that does is show how desperately it’s needed.