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comics
05-01-2014, 10:06 AM
Hello folks,

I just want to say that I fully support Janelle Asselin and her critique of Teen Titans #1, published by DC Comics.

I wrote about it on my blog, Comics Grinder. You can read that here (http://comicsgrinder.com/2014/04/30/furor-over-basic-comics-criticism-janelle-asselin-and-the-attack-on-women/).

Some of you know me and I think you'll appreciate this. There are so many good people out there. And we're all in this together. Many of you want to make a difference, take a stand, but don't know where to begin.

I was thinking about these things. What are the great causes of today? We think of some of the great movements in our relatively recent past, like the Civil Rights Movement. Well, that struggle continues as do others. Consider how women are treated today. And I'm just thinking about America and the media. We could dig much deeper. But, just considering American media, which seems pretty shallow, but still, it has its influence and relates to what all of you mostly discuss here. Specifically, I am referring to that mighty topic of Women in Comics. We clearly have progress to make in this regard. The distorted and twisted image that appears on the cover of Teen Titans #1 is a sign of deeper problems that bubble up to the surface. It is an old boys mentality that deeply hurts people.

So, I present you with my virtual sit-in. It's too bad this should be so controversial for some of you readers. It won't be some day. That's the whole point. Think of the Civil Rights Movement. Some beliefs will someday be clearly seen as hateful and primitive. Well, they already are now. But more people will come around. And more progress will be made.

Michael P
05-01-2014, 10:07 AM
Frankly, even beyond concerns about sexism, it's just a fugly cover.

Ben_Miller
05-01-2014, 10:09 AM
While I don't like to talk bad about other people's work, I definitely support her right to do so without the awful backlash.

DDD
05-01-2014, 10:11 AM
I have been boycotting Detective Comics for years. It started with the complaints of sexual harassment against their employees. Then the books got progressively more disgustingly violent and, I felt, kind of mysoginist to the point it made me uneasy supporting them.

I feel that cover is small pickings compared to all the things that I find alarming about DC and while I believe anyone is free to enjoy those comics, I am not surprised they've attracted fans who would resort to personal threats when criticized.

50yearoldNovafan
05-01-2014, 10:12 AM
The world we live in has become very spooky. I hate this kind of crap. The poor woman did not deserve this.

Tangent Man
05-01-2014, 10:16 AM
Yeah, I agreed with Janelle...and loathed the hateful backlash she experienced as a result. She gave a reasonable critique, and didn't deserve the harassment and stalking.

vitruvian
05-01-2014, 10:24 AM
Frankly, even beyond concerns about sexism, it's just a fugly cover.

Yeah, some major problems with perspective there.

But I think the concerns about sexism were spot on as well.

And there's nothing either in the article itself or in this thread so far that breaks the new rules, so for what reason would the mods lock it?

StoneGold
05-01-2014, 10:31 AM
Yeah, some major problems with perspective there.

But I think the concerns about sexism were spot on as well.

And there's nothing either in the article itself or in this thread so far that breaks the new rules, so for what reason would the mods lock it?

I think some were a little overblown, but that's something that could be politely discussed. Not now, because frankly, I forget what they were.

MyriVerse
05-01-2014, 10:37 AM
I guess my problem is that I went to high school with several girls that looked very much like what's being complained about, and the complaints sound an awful lot like the undeserved, sexist labels they were given simply for having that body type.

zhris
05-01-2014, 10:38 AM
It's not the OP that worries me. It's what it could lead to.

GREAT! Then here we have the perfect litmus test; will the drastic changes make any difference? I'm excited to find out!

*sits back avec popcorn*

Michael P
05-01-2014, 10:41 AM
I guess my problem is that I went to high school with several girls that looked very much like what's being complained about, and the complaints sound an awful lot like the undeserved, sexist labels they were given simply for having that body type.

A lot of girls in your high school had bad boob jobs? Because that's the criticism I remember most from the article.

Hazard
05-01-2014, 10:41 AM
That's not how you take a Stand.

You aren't even named after a Song, Band Name or a Tarot Card.

Do you even Pose?



Yeah, only JoJo fans will get the joke. Anime forum I miss you.

CSTowle
05-01-2014, 10:43 AM
It's not taking a big stand to point out comics (like every other medium of popular entertainment) uses and overuses sex to sell content. Especially when the rest of the content is bad. Like cheap snack food, the more "sugar" you put in the less likely the average consumer is to notice your product isn't a quality one (or at least not to care, so long as you're stimulating their pleasure centers). Nobody "taking a stand" is a hero for pointing this out or rallying against it, and anyone comparing themselves to Civil Rights protestors seem more like trolls than anyone I've seen on these boards or the previous incarnation.

It should go without saying (sadly it can't) that the extreme fringe of entitled fandom who feel like threatening writers, artists, or anyone else associated with our little hobby because those people have done or said something they happen to disagree with should be dealt with in the harshest possible manner, up to and including reporting them to the authorities and pressing charges. But trying to lump everyone else who might disagree with those same creators/writers in with these disturbed individuals, or using it as an excuse to silence people you personally disagree with seems to be wrong to me as well.

I happen to disagree with the article in question not because I have a problem with the writer but because (like I said) I think this sort of thing is less a problem of sexist behavior among the companies and creators (though obviously that does exist), but more as a cheap distraction from lack of content. I lived through the '90s "Bad Girl" era where the shelves were full of covers that would make this one look tame. Heck, Zenescope does a pretty good job of keeping that tradition going every week. I get embarrassed bringing female friends to the comic shop and seeing the "Grimm Fairy Tales" covers lined up. But it's not much different from what you'd see on TV flipping through channels or watching movies (especially horror, fantasy, or sci-fi).

Michael P
05-01-2014, 10:46 AM
Well, it's not either/or. It can be a reflection of sexism in the culture AND editorial laziness. And there absolutely is sexism in the culture, both the comics subculture and the wider American culture at large. Pointing out how widespread it is isn't so much a refutation of the point as an amplification of it.

Jeremi
05-01-2014, 10:47 AM
It's a pretty generic cover, and I say that as someone who's a big fan of Rocafort.

I remember a few years ago I was hoping to myself that he would do some more stuff, the workload hasn't done him any favors at least.

StoneGold
05-01-2014, 10:47 AM
A lot of girls in your high school had bad boob jobs? Because that's the criticism I remember most from the article.

I think one of the problems of the article was her hyperfocusing on "titties don't look like that!" while ignoring the inhuman physiques existing on a bunch of 17 year olds. If you're wrapping it up as just a sexism thing, fine. But she kind of came at it from too many angles while ignoring other ones. I think. It's been a while.

Sighphi
05-01-2014, 10:49 AM
I guess my problem is that I went to high school with several girls that looked very much like what's being complained about, and the complaints sound an awful lot like the undeserved, sexist labels they were given simply for having that body type.

In Avengers: Academy i think pym explained that one you become a super your body sort goes the peak route and that's why heroes look all hot and stuff. He didnt actually say the last part this is what we are talking about. Anyway, is there something like that in DC? Also, im guessing that super hero women are going to wear very supportive clothing that stop things from bouncing around. Basically, just like olympic athletes and when you look at them stuff gets all squished.


That's not how you take a Stand.

You aren't even named after a Song, Band Name or a Tarot Card.

Do you even Pose?



Yeah, only JoJo fans will get the joke. Anime forum I miss you.

He didnt even say ora ora ora ora ora!

Hazard
05-01-2014, 10:50 AM
He didnt even say ora ora ora ora ora!

This guy gets it!

DDD
05-01-2014, 10:57 AM
It's an illustration, it's not a photograph and it's not a gym plan people need to adhere to.

Lax
05-01-2014, 11:02 AM
Of all the subjects that have been discussed the one that ultimately blew up CBR amounted to Wonder Girl's boobs being too large.


At any rate the cover is fine.

regomar
05-01-2014, 11:06 AM
I like the cover. I think the figures are very well drawn and exceptionally colored.

Am I allowed to say that these days without being attacked?

Hazard
05-01-2014, 11:08 AM
Of all the subjects that have been discussed the one that ultimately blew up CBR amounted to Wonder Girl's boobs being too large.


At any rate the cover is fine.

It wasn't so much that as it was the ensuing conflict.

Sometimes a discussion is like a ball bouncing between two walls, only the walls hit the ball harder each time. You kind of forget about listening and are more concerned with attacking the other side.

This time one of the walls went and got the other wall's personal info.



Yeah, that metaphor ran away pretty fast.

50yearoldNovafan
05-01-2014, 11:09 AM
Of all the subjects that have been discussed the one that ultimately blew up CBR amounted to Wonder Girl's boobs being too large.


At any rate the cover is fine.
I heard that!. I had no problem with the cover. Comic's are a form of fantasy, and shapely women is one of those fantasies. Just a few fans went too far with threats and intimidation.

George Caltsoudas
05-01-2014, 11:21 AM
It's awful what was done to her and, more to the point, what seems to happen to some women in the industry.

At the same time I felt her essay was too facetious and her criticism was not built upon her editorial expertise or any sort of inherent marketing knowledge.

vitruvian
05-01-2014, 11:30 AM
A lot of girls in your high school had bad boob jobs? Because that's the criticism I remember most from the article.

I don't know that the artist's style is photorealistic enough to conclude from their shape that they need to be implants... and even in the real world, I've seen a few (not many, mind you) exceptions to the general rule that real breasts aren't high and round like that, especially if supported properly. In somebody in a comic book world whose muscles might well be stronger than possible according to real world biology and physics... it's a bit of an assumption.

But only a bit, and I think overall her criticism of the cover was fair. Especially since regardless of whether there exist teenage girls with a bust that big, or even with that shape, it's still the artist's choice whether to use them as a model for the character or not, and strongly suggests (without being definitive) a certain degree of unacknowledged 'fan service'.

Lax
05-01-2014, 11:32 AM
It wasn't so much that as it was the ensuing conflict.

Sometimes a discussion is like a ball bouncing between two walls, only the walls hit the ball harder each time. You kind of forget about listening and are more concerned with attacking the other side.

This time one of the walls went and got the other wall's personal info.



Yeah, that metaphor ran away pretty fast.

Sure, but upon reflection it's just embarrassing that of all the issues with that kind of potential it's Wonder Girl's bust line that ultimately did the deed.

ExcelsiorPrime
05-01-2014, 11:34 AM
I stand by her statement so far as we are talking about a teens body. IF she were going to be that busty she should have been a bigger girl. They should have gotten one of the Hernandez bros to do the cover.

Lt Trouble
05-01-2014, 12:09 PM
Also, im guessing that super hero women are going to wear very supportive clothing that stop things from bouncing around. Basically, just like olympic athletes and when you look at them stuff gets all squished.

Yeah, they really would, at least if they're doing any jumping around and hand-to-hand fighting stuff. Everything would be strapped down tight under the uniform, and pretty covered up. Comfort would be essential. That's why I tend to roll my eyes when I see female heroes with massive cleavage, unzipped catsuits, etc. Emma Frost or Scarlet Witch could get away with that if they wanted to, because they use psychic and magic powers, but Black Widow, Wonder Woman, etc? Not so much.

king mob
05-01-2014, 12:12 PM
I heard that!. I had no problem with the cover. Comic's are a form of fantasy, and shapely women is one of those fantasies. Just a few fans went too far with threats and intimidation.

I've just spend half an hour looking around at what was said. It was by no stretch of the imagination a 'few fans'. There's hundreds out there who were part of this.

comics
05-01-2014, 12:13 PM
I did jump the gun a bit by assuming everyone to be familiar with all the particulars but that appears to have been corrected by other comments. I am thinking of one key fact, that Wonder Girl is very distorted: tiny waist with breasts that look like silicone implants. I think Janelle Asselin gave careful consideration to what needed to be said and I would just refer you back to her article at CBR. That explains it all quite well. And then, of course, there's the backlash that she writes about in an article at xojane.com.

I don't care if someone thinks I am taking a stand or not. In the culture we live in today, yeah, I think I am by showing support, by not dismissing the issue. There's definitely more to be done. It's always good to take a step in the right direction.

Lt Trouble
05-01-2014, 12:17 PM
I heard that!. I had no problem with the cover. Comic's are a form of fantasy, and shapely women is one of those fantasies. Just a few fans went too far with threats and intimidation.

I think the issue with that is.... that makes comics only a fantasy for certain people.

It's pretty rare that you see men in comics get a similar treatment (literally the only example I can think of is Noh-Varr in Young Avengers) - which is odd, because appealing to the fantasies of women has been part of why the Avengers movies have been so successful. ;) Heck, I'm primarily attracted to women, and these kind of portrayals have nothing to do with my fantasies. I'd much rather see a woman that looks strong and powerful, who looks like she could kick butt in her uniform.

Shawn Hopkins
05-01-2014, 12:21 PM
I don't think the right stand to take here is agreeing with her. I do agree with her, but people have a right to disagree.

The stand that that community should take is that even if you do disagree with her, calling for her rape or harassing her is unacceptable. There should be zero tolerance for that kind of behavior. Jonah is absolutely right to say that people who do things like that should not be welcome in our community.

king mob
05-01-2014, 12:23 PM
I think the issue with that is.... that makes comics only a fantasy for certain people.

You mean superhero comics, not comics. Comics are a medium with dozens of different genres. Superhero comics in the US are aimed mainly at pubescent to adult males and there's your problem.

Now in the old forums there were dozens of threads making this point which had dozens of posters disagreeing but the fact is that American superhero comics are pitched for and created by, mainly adult men. Diversify the product and pitch it at everyone, rather than a small group and you'll possibly lose some of the pornofication of superhero comics. If writers and artists read and exposed themselves to more than genre fiction and of course, the sort of porn that forms the basis for some artists reference material, then you might have a more diverse superhero market.

It's extraordinary that in 2014 when the superhero genre could not be more popular, that superhero comics are fighting to stay afloat. There's a number of reasons for that, but the lack of diversity in creators and readers is part of it.

The MunchKING
05-01-2014, 12:32 PM
So... Alright. What cover are we talking about? Google doesn't turn up anything especially egregious so I'm wondering if it is just the reactions are being overplayed or if I'm not seeing the right covers?

Shawn Hopkins
05-01-2014, 12:37 PM
http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=52103

I'm just posting the link instead of the image. No need to fight that fight again.

dupont2005
05-01-2014, 12:41 PM
Just one more example of why I can't read that garbage anymore.

Lax
05-01-2014, 12:47 PM
You mean superhero comics, not comics. Comics are a medium with dozens of different genres. Superhero comics in the US are aimed mainly at pubescent to adult males and there's your problem.

Now in the old forums there were dozens of threads making this point which had dozens of posters disagreeing but the fact is that American superhero comics are pitched for and created by, mainly adult men. Diversify the product and pitch it at everyone, rather than a small group and you'll possibly lose some of the pornofication of superhero comics. If writers and artists read and exposed themselves to more than genre fiction and of course, the sort of porn that forms the basis for some artists reference material, then you might have a more diverse superhero market.

It's extraordinary that in 2014 when the superhero genre could not be more popular, that superhero comics are fighting to stay afloat. There's a number of reasons for that, but the lack of diversity in creators and readers is part of it.


And just like that Wonder Girl's bust-line is equated with pornography.


It is not.

Lt Trouble
05-01-2014, 12:50 PM
You mean superhero comics, not comics. Comics are a medium with dozens of different genres. Superhero comics in the US are aimed mainly at pubescent to adult males and there's your problem.

Now in the old forums there were dozens of threads making this point which had dozens of posters disagreeing but the fact is that American superhero comics are pitched for and created by, mainly adult men. Diversify the product and pitch it at everyone, rather than a small group and you'll possibly lose some of the pornofication of superhero comics. If writers and artists read and exposed themselves to more than genre fiction and of course, the sort of porn that forms the basis for some artists reference material, then you might have a more diverse superhero market.

It's extraordinary that in 2014 when the superhero genre could not be more popular, that superhero comics are fighting to stay afloat. There's a number of reasons for that, but the lack of diversity in creators and readers is part of it.

I totally agree. And IIRC, that was a big part of Asselin's point - that Teen Titans should be a book aimed at teens, both boys and girls, but the way the cover art was drawn suggested that it was a sexy book for adult men.

I think Marvel's putting in a good try, with a number of female-lead titles that actually feel like real women/girls and have art that's not sleazy, with more PoC and LGBT characters, and I hope it's paying off for them.

Shawn Hopkins
05-01-2014, 12:51 PM
I just reread the original article. It's baffling that this could be in any way controversial. It actually makes very salient and informed points, and even if you disagree with them they aren't presented in an especially offensive or confrontational way. If a dude had written it, the article would have gone completely unnoticed.

The only thing I think she's a bit off base on is in having too high a standard for perspective and realism in superhero art. Since the start superhero readers have allowed for a certain crudity and unreality when it comes to such things, as you can see from looking at a Kirby drawing ignoring the constraints of realism is where much of superhero art's energy comes from.

But she's right on about the depiction of Wondergirl, and the missed marketing opportunities that DC could have had if they'd made something to appeal to fans of the TV show instead of guys looking for a stroke book.

It's unfortunate that stuff is so much a part of the background radiation of superhero comics now. I was re-reading Young Avengers a few days ago and I remember coming to the part where Cassie Lang says she's 14. Then I remember thinking, "Wow, there sure are a lot of shots of this 14-year-old in sexy poses."

davethebrave
05-01-2014, 12:52 PM
I also support Janelle Asselin's critique!

king mob
05-01-2014, 12:53 PM
And just like that Wonder Girl's bust-line is equated with pornography.


It is not.
Then explain why a teenage girls breasts look like that unless they've had implants? This is one of the points Asselin was making about turning teenage girls into porn fantasies. We discussed this in the old board in one of the many sexism in comics threads.

Lax
05-01-2014, 01:06 PM
Then explain why a teenage girls breasts look like that unless they've had implants? This is one of the points Asselin was making about turning teenage girls into porn fantasies. We discussed this in the old board in one of the many sexism in comics threads.

What's there to explain? Some girls are bustier than others and Wonder Girl is one of them.


She doesn't have a finger in her mouth while making a pouty face.

Michael P
05-01-2014, 01:08 PM
What's there to explain? Some girls are bustier than others and Wonder Girl is one of them.


You realize that she's not a real person, and the artist didn't draw her from life, right? Her breasts are big because he chose to make them that way.

king mob
05-01-2014, 01:12 PM
You realize that she's not a real person, and the artist didn't draw her from life, right? Her breasts are big because he chose to make them that way.

Indeed. He could have given her naturally large breasts, but he chose to give her porn star breasts. That's a choice.

Michael P
05-01-2014, 01:14 PM
Indeed. He could have given her naturally large breasts, but he chose to give her porn star breasts. That's a choice.

It goes beyond that, though. The choice was made because big breasts = what straight men want to see. Wonder Girl, in this image, IS Kate Upton: A woman reduced to her sexual characteristics to satisfy the male gaze. THAT'S the problem.

bruceleegreyhulk
05-01-2014, 01:18 PM
there's Rachel Aldana who at the age of 18 was the largest naturally busty woman in Britain, even bigger now due to pregnancy .

not- there are women who tend to get bustier even past there teen years base on genetics like Stepmeber Carrino, pregnancy also a factor.

there are also another naturally busty women like Hitomi Tanaka, September Carrino, Jana Defi , Merilyn Sakova and etc.

Park Slope Pixie
05-01-2014, 01:20 PM
Less busty bosoms, more stunning boots on my heroines. The era of practicality is nigh over, no? Bring back the strut-worthy heels.

Lax
05-01-2014, 01:22 PM
You realize that she's not a real person, and the artist didn't draw her from life, right?

Yes.


Her breasts are big because he chose to make them that way.

Sure, and equating that decision to pornography is a gross exaggeration.

PwrdOn
05-01-2014, 01:23 PM
Also, as said many times, what sort of message are you sending out to girls if all the images of women and girls in your comics are of big breasted women with arse shots?

That superheroes make poor role models and that they should look elsewhere for inspiration? Even if they were all drawn with normal body proportions, the vast majority of comic book characters, male or female, would still be small-minded, self-absorbed children more concerned with being cool than helping people. This doesn't mean that they can't be entertaining to read about, but only given the proper perspective. Anyone who patterns their life after one of these characters is doing themselves and the people around them some great disservice.

Jonah Weiland
05-01-2014, 01:28 PM
I'll allow this thread to go on, but only if the conversation is kept civil and respectful. There are already examples in here of crude language. Discuss it intelligently, or get out. Anyone not adhering to these rules will be banned for 7 days.

bruceleegreyhulk
05-01-2014, 01:30 PM
there's Rachel Aldana who at the age of 18 was the largest naturally busty woman in Britain, even bigger now due to pregnancy .

not- there are women who tend to get bustier even past there teen years base on genetics like Stepmeber Carrino, pregnancy also a factor.

there are also another naturally busty women like Hitomi Tanaka, September Carrino, Jana Defi , Merilyn Sakova and etc.

of course none of these girls in their teen years would have look like Wonder Girl on the cover due to factors like physics, namely gravity.

ExcelsiorPrime
05-01-2014, 01:33 PM
Less busty bosoms, more stunning boots on my heroines. The era of practicality is nigh over, no? Bring back the strut-worthy heels.

cosigned. it would go along way to attract new readers. Lady Viper's new shoes..tho they would be green bottoms not red.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-i4Qo9hbbkfQ/UGQkOr6tFPI/AAAAAAAAAPo/i2IPRR4UsIg/s1600/snake-heel-red-bottom-shoes.jpg

Pinsir
05-01-2014, 01:40 PM
http://i1345.photobucket.com/albums/p664/Pinsir/Wonder%20Woman/LeftorRight1_zps2a583157.jpg (http://s1345.photobucket.com/user/Pinsir/media/Wonder%20Woman/LeftorRight1_zps2a583157.jpg.html)

Don C
05-01-2014, 01:41 PM
Janelle Asselin is entitled to her opinion. It doesn't matter whether you agree with her or not, no one should have been subjected to the harassment she was. It's freaking sick that people would act that way.

randomengine
05-01-2014, 01:43 PM
I repeat the point I made in the thank you thread. What has lead to the vitriol against the woman who critiqued the new Teen Titans cover is a sense of entitlement. It is no secret that our culture, American culture that is - I cannot speak for any other, has been dominated my male interests and attitudes. That status quo is changing and it should change. Some people have a problem with it because they felt entitled to whatever opinions they generated under this culture. Change is very scary to some people, but in many cases change is necessary.

More specifically to the Teen Titans cover, yes it objectifies Wonder Girl. Some males enjoy that. I know personally I enjoy it because I love the female body, but at the same time I understand where someone else would be offended by it and I defer to respecting others. However, I do not believe that in all cases we should aim to be non-offensive. I believe there is a place for it. Comics are an art form and as such even offensive content should exist - else how could we enjoy a good villain? The question though is should DC be aiming for offensive on their newly launching Teen Titans? Of course not. They should be setting an example. The cover fails to set a good example.

Dark Soul # 7
05-01-2014, 01:47 PM
The cover is generic, the whole team posing for the first issue cover has been done since the whole superhero team thing first came up.

The particulars that make it good or bad can be discussed as people will have different assements of it. Janelle Asselin presented hers as is right and job. Is her critque perfect and do you HAVE to agree. No, NOTHING is perfect, and you don't have to agree with her, I do personally as I would like to see the general visual representation of females in comics be more equivalent to how men are visually represented. But that's not the problem here.

The problem is the reaction her critique generated.

Threats of any kind for doing a critique are juvenile and assinine and EVERYBODY should be better than that. Sadly this seems to be a thing in general in geek culture, just look at the insane and horrid reactions to Anita Sarkeesian's videos about females in video games. Geek cultures apparently need to grow up.

Tangent Man
05-01-2014, 01:51 PM
Did one of G-Force defect to the Titans?!

Oh wait, that's just Nu-52 Raven!

bruceleegreyhulk
05-01-2014, 01:54 PM
Janelle Asselin indeed entitled to her opinion and didn't deserve the harassment she got.

Lax
05-01-2014, 01:55 PM
http://i1345.photobucket.com/albums/p664/Pinsir/Wonder%20Woman/LeftorRight1_zps2a583157.jpg (http://s1345.photobucket.com/user/Pinsir/media/Wonder%20Woman/LeftorRight1_zps2a583157.jpg.html)

I prefer the original.

George Caltsoudas
05-01-2014, 01:58 PM
http://i1345.photobucket.com/albums/p664/Pinsir/Wonder%20Woman/LeftorRight1_zps2a583157.jpg (http://s1345.photobucket.com/user/Pinsir/media/Wonder%20Woman/LeftorRight1_zps2a583157.jpg.html)

See THIS is one of the other major problems I had with Janelle Asselin's complaints about the thickness of Wonder Girl's thighs and YOU did it here too. Aside from the breasts, you just gave LIPOSUCTION to the thighs of a healthy looking teenager. You reduced the fat on the outside and thinned out the insides (which also inadvertently draws unnecessary attention to an area that attention shouldn't be given to).

Some girls and women might object to the criticism of fat thighs and larger breasts as being regarded too sexual and thin thighs/lanky legs being the ideal. Often times it's stated that the only acceptable alternative is if the female is drawn to be overweight.

Jeff Brady
05-01-2014, 01:58 PM
I prefer the original.

Can you explain why?


See THIS is one of the other major problems I had with Janelle Asselin's complaints about the thickness of Wonder Girl's thighs and YOU did it here too. Aside from the breasts, you just gave LIPOSUCTION to the thighs of a healthy looking teenager. You reduced the fat on the outside and thinned out the insides (which also inadvertently draws unnecessary attention to an area that attention shouldn't be given to.

Some girls and women might object to the criticism of fat thighs and larger breasts as being too sexual and thin thighs/lanky legs being the ideal. Often times stating that the only way it's "okay" is if the female is drawn to be overweight.

I like your assessment here on the thighs. I hadn't even noticed.

tcjohnson
05-01-2014, 01:59 PM
1st of all, what Asselin wasn't even that bad. It was a critique followed up by intelligent points. At no point did she insult the artist or anybody else.

2nd, even if what she said was that bad, even if she did insult the artists and their momma, the reaction was still insanely over the top. It was just words, and for that her bank account was hacked and she was threatened with rape.

People here have been talking about 1st amendment rights being taken away because posts were deleted. What about Ms. Asselin's right to speak her mind?

I really don't get the reaction she got. It was a cover!

PwrdOn
05-01-2014, 02:00 PM
Threats of any kind for doing a critique are juvenile and assinine and EVERYBODY should be better than that. Sadly this seems to be a thing in general in geek culture, just look at the insane and horrid reactions to Anita Sarkeesian's videos about females in video games. Geek cultures apparently need to grow up.

Geek culture is infantile almost by definition, if the material was acceptable for consumption by adults then there would be no social stigma associated with it in the first place. The reason that media like comic books and video games exists is to feed adolescent impulses, expecting the audience to react to a perceived intrusion with maturity and consideration is a bit unrealistic, no?

Lax
05-01-2014, 02:04 PM
Can you explain why?

The greater bust is more attractive, therefore I prefer it.

Tangent Man
05-01-2014, 02:04 PM
Yeah, the outrage was a grossly disproportionate reaction to a reasonable critique! I read her article after it posted, agreed with most, and shook my head at the initial backlash. When I heard about the escalation, though...just horrifying. I hope that Janelle keeps the articles coming!

George Caltsoudas
05-01-2014, 02:07 PM
Did one of G-Force defect to the Titans?!

Oh wait, that's just Nu-52 Raven!

Yeah I'm not a fan of that costume either. And isn't it just too much white for such a dark moody character?

Jeff Brady
05-01-2014, 02:08 PM
The greater bust is more attractive, therefore I prefer it.

Thank you.

Can you tell me why you prefer comic book characters originally created as disposable entertainment for kids to be sexually appealing, particularly 'underage' characters?

The Darknight Detective
05-01-2014, 02:10 PM
The world we live in has become very spooky. I hate this kind of crap. The poor woman did not deserve this.

Nobody deserves that garbage for making a comics-related opinion.

Tangent Man
05-01-2014, 02:12 PM
Yeah I'm not a fan of that costume either. And isn't it just too much white for such a dark moody character?

"Go, Gatchaman!"

Oh, Nu52...an exercise in 90's nostalgia and overall bad taste...

7thangel
05-01-2014, 02:23 PM
Geek culture is infantile almost by definition, if the material was acceptable for consumption by adults then there would be no social stigma associated with it in the first place. The reason that media like comic books and video games exists is to feed adolescent impulses, expecting the audience to react to a perceived intrusion with maturity and consideration is a bit unrealistic, no?

no, it's not unrealistic. i expect better from kids, so i expect even better from adults.

Xero Kaiser
05-01-2014, 02:25 PM
I find the comparison to the civil rights movement in the OP to be laughable at best.

Lax
05-01-2014, 02:26 PM
Thank you.

Can you tell me why you prefer comic book characters originally created as disposable entertainment for kids to be sexually appealing, particularly 'underage' characters?

Because I'm not in the habit of voting against my own interest or lying.


I suppose I could have said "Both images appeal to me equally" or "The image on the right is such an improvement" but that's not actually the case. Had the image on the right been the original work I wouldn't have complained, but do I actually prefer it? No.

dahllaz
05-01-2014, 02:53 PM
there's Rachel Aldana who at the age of 18 was the largest naturally busty woman in Britain, even bigger now due to pregnancy .

not- there are women who tend to get bustier even past there teen years base on genetics like Stepmeber Carrino, pregnancy also a factor.

there are also another naturally busty women like Hitomi Tanaka, September Carrino, Jana Defi , Merilyn Sakova and etc.

But, as was pointed out in the original article, naturally busty women don't have breasts that look like that. It's not that they're big, it's that they look like balloons.
And, as a naturally busty woman, I can attest that natural breasts don't look like balloons and they didn't when I was 17 either. That was what I understood to be a big point of the sexism portion of the article.

And I still want to know if that is a wee little door underneath Red Robin or not...

The Kid
05-01-2014, 03:00 PM
What this critic went through was absolutely ridiculous. And I've seen that these kind of thoughts are very subtle yet pretty big in the comic book community. There is no place for behavior like that ever

GMiller
05-01-2014, 03:10 PM
I'm surprised to see this thread hasn't taken a horrible turn...Good to see...Considering this situation was one of the big catalysts for the forum change...I'm shocked...

On topic: I think what people did to her is wrong, and I agree about the cover...It did look silly to me, especially the Wonder Anatomy....

tcjohnson
05-01-2014, 03:12 PM
And I still want to know if that is a wee little door underneath Red Robin or not...

It looked like a door to me, but think it is supposed to be one of those light sensors that turn on lights along a pathway when it gets dark. If you look behind wonder girl you can see the light.

Arvandor
05-01-2014, 03:14 PM
Frankly, even beyond concerns about sexism, it's just a fugly cover.

It is. And I say this as someone who usually appreciates cheesecake and I think some of Jannelle's criticisms (though not all) were off base. But I agree that is a bad cover.

Which is a shame. Rocafort can do and has done far better work. He should have stayed at Top Cow.

Zero Hunter
05-01-2014, 03:24 PM
Is there really anything left to say about this topic that was not said in the over 70 pages of the previous threads? If there is I don't know what it could be. The same points are going to be made again and again.

BumbleBecc
05-01-2014, 03:30 PM
I had intended to stay away from this thread because it will inevitably lead to subjects which are painful. A few points have been nagging at me, however.

Firstly, Janelle's critique. I believe it's fair, it's certainly nothing to cause the kind of monstrous attacks she received.
Is the representation of Wondergirl bad? Yes, to my mind it is, and no i don't feel that way because that is not my shape. (In addition there are other parts of the image that just don't work, but that has been the focal point of the rage.) No, i am not mortally offended by it, i am depressed though.

I'm depressed that objectification is still casually accepted.
I'm depressed that the non-modified version of the cover would be considered more desirable than the more realistic version.

But i'm most depressed that in 2014 after all these years of struggle an 'uppity woman' daring to express perfectly reasonable views can be subjected to the abuse, hatred, and threats that she was. That her identity, her phone number and address would be exposed to attempt to terrify her into acquiescence. Perhaps even for someone to act on the kind of behaviour that the mob was encouraging, is horrific beyond imagination.

I'm depressed that there are people so insecure and so desperate to cling onto their privilege that they will attack even the suggestion of dissent.

I'm depressed that despite what has been gained we've entered a world in which the resentment engendered by this progress, combined with the unaccountabilty and anonymity the internet affords means that hatred and rage is directed at us more than ever.

I could never feel safe posting my name and location online. I think sometimes it's hard for men to understand the levels of vulnerability many of us feel, or the levels of intimidation many of us experience almost routinely.
I don't mean that as a criticism, i hope you never do experience it. I just wish we didn't have to either.


I would like to think that there are some things on which we could all agree concerning this:
1) Regardless of whether you agree with her opinion or not... she is entitled to it, and to express it.
2) That no one should be subjected to the kind of abuse to which she was subjected.

heretic
05-01-2014, 03:31 PM
Speaking as one who had not even noticed the argument before the boards were rebooted over it, I must way that.

A) Asselin is correct, the art is underwealming on numerous levels. For the record I still think that were it not for the spine-warping porn poses and inhuman proportions observers would be more willing to swallow the generic cuteness and skimpy getups foisted on superheroines.

(one challenge for the artistically inclined. Keep the outfit on the cover in question but make WG look like a teenage athlete)

B) Disagreement is one thing, threats and stalking quite another.

Wild_1
05-01-2014, 03:32 PM
Thrilled that this has stayed firmly on the trolly tracks.

Thought her critique was very interesting and timely. I like to be exposed to many varying opinions (not that I hold a contrary opinion on this issue). Helps me grow as a person and develop empathy.

I'm glad this issue is seeing the light of day and leading to changes like we're seeing here. I'm also hopeful that it may be uncomfortable for the perpetrators of such awful behaviour.

Jonah Weiland
05-01-2014, 03:32 PM
I had intended to stay away from this thread because it will inevitably lead to subjects which are painful. A few points have been nagging at me, however.

Firstly, Janelle's critique. I believe it's fair, it's certainly nothing to cause the kind of monstrous attacks she received.
Is the representation of Wondergirl bad? Yes, to my mind it is, and no i don't feel that way because that is not my shape. (In addition there are other parts of the image that just don't work, but that has been the focal point of the rage.) No, i am not mortally offended by it, i am depressed though.

I'm depressed that objectification is still casually accepted.
I'm depressed that the non-modified version of the cover would be considered more desirable than the more realistic version.

But i'm most depressed that in 2014 after all these years of struggle an 'uppity woman' daring to express perfectly reasonable views can be subjected to the abuse, hatred, and threats that she was. That her identity, her phone number and address would be exposed to attempt to terrify her into acquiescence. Perhaps even for someone to act on the kind of behaviour that the mob was encouraging, is horrific beyond imagination.

I'm depressed that there are people so insecure and so desperate to cling onto their privilege that they will attack even the suggestion of dissent.

I'm depressed that despite what has been gained we've entered a world in which the resentment engendered by this progress, combined with the unaccountabilty and anonymity the internet affords means that hatred and rage is directed at us more than ever.

I could never feel safe posting my name and location online. I think sometimes it's hard for men to understand the levels of vulnerability many of us feel, or the levels of intimidation many of us experience almost routinely.
I don't mean that as a criticism, i hope you never do experience it. I just wish we didn't have to either.


I would like to think that there are some things on which we could all agree concerning this:
1) Regardless of whether you agree with her opinion or not... she is entitled to it, and to express it.
2) That no one should be subjected to the kind of abuse to which she was subjected.Thank you for sharing that with us all. Our goal with this community is to build a more accepting community where differing opinions can be expressed without it melting down completely. I hope you'll stick around and help us build that sort of community. It sounds like one you'd welcome.

BumbleBecc
05-01-2014, 03:40 PM
Thank you for sharing that with us all. Our goal with this community is to build a more accepting community where differing opinions can be expressed without it melting down completely. I hope you'll stick around and help us build that sort of community. It sounds like one you'd welcome.

It is

Thank you for making the stand here.
I had not intended to return, but i am glad to now.

Thank You.

tcjohnson
05-01-2014, 03:50 PM
I had intended to stay away from this thread because it will inevitably lead to subjects which are painful. A few points have been nagging at me, however.

Firstly, Janelle's critique. I believe it's fair, it's certainly nothing to cause the kind of monstrous attacks she received.


While I appreciate what you are saying, I would add that NOTHING anybody could say should cause the kind of monsterous attacks she received. Maybe is she actually killed somebody's puppy. But no words is worth al that.

That is what I find so horrific about this. It was an opinion of a comic book cover.

BumbleBecc
05-01-2014, 04:00 PM
While I appreciate what you are saying, I would add that NOTHING anybody could say should cause the kind of monsterous attacks she received. Maybe is she actually killed somebody's puppy. But no words is worth al that.

That is what I find so horrific about this. It was an opinion of a comic book cover.

I agree completely. NOTHING warrants that kind of response. That it could be a reaction to something so ultimately unimportant makes it all the more frightening.

Dark Soul # 7
05-01-2014, 04:33 PM
Geek culture is infantile almost by definition, if the material was acceptable for consumption by adults then there would be no social stigma associated with it in the first place. The reason that media like comic books and video games exists is to feed adolescent impulses, expecting the audience to react to a perceived intrusion with maturity and consideration is a bit unrealistic, no?
Maybe it is.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't ask for and expect it of each other.

wjowski
05-01-2014, 04:36 PM
Not to deflect criticism of the cover (I find it...kinda tasteless) but people who run around spouting off about 'lowest common denominator' outside of arithmetic really need to stop.

Cipher
05-01-2014, 04:36 PM
Throw in my support is well, on all her points.

And I like Kenneth Rocafort's art on the whole. But she made some excellent points about how ingrained sexist anatomy is into mainstream comic art, and about DC's approach to marketing its titles (and, in this case, how both played against each other). At best, dissenters should have expressed their disagreement and moved on. The fact she received any personal threats is horrible and baffling.

gregyo
05-01-2014, 04:42 PM
Anyone have a link to this infamous critique?

Don C
05-01-2014, 04:45 PM
And I still want to know if that is a wee little door underneath Red Robin or not...


Most people seem to think he's on a short wall, so it's doubtful that that's a door.

gregyo
05-01-2014, 04:52 PM
Just read it. Yeah, that cover is pretty bad. My favorite bits are where she pointed out that the girl's thighs were bigger than her waist and the weird building that RR was perched on.

Charles RB
05-01-2014, 05:14 PM
Frankly, even beyond concerns about sexism, it's just a fugly cover.


Yeah, some major problems with perspective there.




But she's right on about the depiction of Wondergirl, and the missed marketing opportunities that DC could have had if they'd made something to appeal to fans of the TV show instead of guys looking for a stroke book.


All that: it's a cover with messy perspective and odd-looking characters who are standing around doing bog all, giving us nothing that establishes what the plot/tone/premise is but it sure establishes BEWBS. That's what DC wants from a comic cover, let alone a Teen Titans relaunch that's running at the same time as a popular cartoon? Asselin was right to criticise it.

gregyo
05-01-2014, 05:18 PM
I don't find the cover offensive either. Just bad.

Shawn Hopkins
05-01-2014, 05:24 PM
But, as was pointed out in the original article, naturally busty women don't have breasts that look like that. It's not that they're big, it's that they look like balloons.
And, as a naturally busty woman, I can attest that natural breasts don't look like balloons and they didn't when I was 17 either. That was what I understood to be a big point of the sexism portion of the article.

And I still want to know if that is a wee little door underneath Red Robin or not...

It's just some kind of lightpost. Robin is also on a wall at an angle from the building, not the building.

vitruvian
05-01-2014, 05:27 PM
Personally i don't find this cover offensive, here in Australia most females are developed just as Wonder Girl is depicted. I find it strange that everyone is up in arms about the cover when this depiction has been happening for years for both sexes.
Should I be offended by the oversized muscles, arms and bodies of the male characters being portrayed? I know that a teenage boy will never be as built as they are shown on the New Teen Titans cover (below)461
Robin and Kid Flash are clearly not kids here.
The other issue I find hard to believe is that nobody ever complains about the violence that these 'teen' characters are exposed to. There are teen and child characters exposed to death, violence, abuse featured month in month out in but nobody seems to think this is inappropriate???
I think the 'wont somebody think of the children' mentality is hypocritical for one issue and not another.

I've known teenage gymnasts who were exactly as built as Robin was on that cover, which given that he was the kid of circus acrobats, seems just about right.

vitruvian
05-01-2014, 05:33 PM
I agree completely. NOTHING warrants that kind of response. That it could be a reaction to something so ultimately unimportant makes it all the more frightening.

Absolutely agreed. Even if she'd made the most unfair and overblown critique of a fantastic cover ever, there was no call for even a fraction of the flak she got. Even just on the boards themselves, let alone the offline bad behavior with tracking down her RL information. Somebody says something grossly unfair, critique their argument. Even, under some circumstances, maybe speculate about motives for such unfairness, but even that is stretching it. But attacks and threats? Never, ever, no sirree.

Which should all ideally be able to go without being said, so unfortunate that's not always the world we live in. I think some of us were just focusing on the original article in an attempt to model how discussion of such a critique ought to be able to go, absent all the nastiness.

electr1cgoblin
05-01-2014, 05:36 PM
The world we live in has become very spooky. I hate this kind of crap. The poor woman did not deserve this.

Seconded. Makes me angry, sick and depressed at the same time.

vitruvian
05-01-2014, 05:37 PM
Not to deflect criticism of the cover (I find it...kinda tasteless) but people who run around spouting off about 'lowest common denominator' outside of arithmetic really need to stop.

Not really. The phrase has a perfectly accepted (metaphorical) meaning in terms of discussions of social and cultural issues, and I don't see where she misused it in the slightest.

klinton
05-01-2014, 06:10 PM
I find the idea that this all went as far as it did rather horrifying. I didn't realize the extent of the harassment until I read the letter from CBR's founder. It was rather disgusting.

I completely disagree with her opinions, mind, but she is entitled to express them without fear of anything more than a little debate.

I'm actually kinda glad that CBR took a bit of a stand on the issue. Overhauling the boards was something we all took notice of, and the point was made: fandom, no matter how passionate, is one thing; that stort of BS is quite another.

Here's hoping that people actually take this all to heart and realize that it's possible to dissagree and still be civil. If you dissagree strongly, then just switch off the computer and walk away. :D

Star-Lord
05-01-2014, 06:35 PM
I seriously don't see the problem with the cover.

gregyo
05-01-2014, 06:39 PM
I seriously don't see the problem with the cover.

She goes over it in the article.

The Raven/paper plane bit was really funny too.

tcjohnson
05-01-2014, 06:42 PM
I don't want to speak for Ms. Asselin (she deserves some respect after all of that) and it has been a week or two since I read the critique, but one thing to keep in mind is that she wasn't even really complaining about the over objectification of women, or even saying that cover was offensive. She never said there was no room for beefcake in comics.

The point of the article was that Teen Titans would be a great book to attract a female audience, and having covers like that would be a turn off. And yes, I am seeing a lot of guys are saying they are fine with it. Ok, great, but most of comics is marketed with you. Ms. Asselin pointed out that Teen Titan should be marketed to a different audience and it is not.

Star-Lord
05-01-2014, 06:43 PM
She goes over it in the article.

The Raven/paper plane bit was really funny too.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but are her two points:

1. Her boobs aren't realistic enough. They look like they're implants and not actual boobs. Realism in comic books.
2. She's a teenage girl. Even though she's 16, the legal age of consent for most of the entire world.

Probably for the best I don't even touch this topic with a 40 foot pole seeing as I don't agree with her. Especially with the reboot to the forum and all.

gregyo
05-01-2014, 06:48 PM
Those are two of her points, yes, but far from her only ones. Hell, I wouldn't even call them her most salient points.

DDD
05-01-2014, 06:55 PM
I don't want to speak for Ms. Asselin (she deserves some respect after all of that) and it has been a week or two since I read the critique, but one thing to keep in mind is that she wasn't even really complaining about the over objectification of women, or even saying that cover was offensive. She never said there was no room for beefcake in comics.

The point of the article was that Teen Titans would be a great book to attract a female audience, and having covers like that would be a turn off. And yes, I am seeing a lot of guys are saying they are fine with it. Ok, great, but most of comics is marketed with you. Ms. Asselin pointed out that Teen Titan should be marketed to a different audience and it is not.


Thanks for reeling me back to sanity. I think the boat has sailed for classy comics with the 90s. It's crazy to think about New Mutants back in the 80s. The characters were initially drawn as proper kids/teens. They weren't creepily sexualized until the series turned to * with Bret Blevins drawing them practically nude (I was a young teen then and I thought it was creepy an adult would draw a 12 year old like Rahne that way) and then Rob Liefeld giving Boomboom huge knockers... I guess I didn't react to the TT cover because as far as I remember, the TT's from Wolfman/Perez were 18 year old/college,plus I don't really care about DC.

Now you know what, I DO agree. It would be nice. I guess I have given up on super hero comics being "mature".

dupont2005
05-01-2014, 07:04 PM
Nevermind. The ignore function is my new friend

skyvolt2000
05-01-2014, 07:08 PM
But i'm most depressed that in 2014 after all these years of struggle an 'uppity woman' daring to express perfectly reasonable views can be subjected to the abuse, hatred, and threats that she was. That her identity, her phone number and address would be exposed to attempt to terrify her into acquiescence. Perhaps even for someone to act on the kind of behaviour that the mob was encouraging, is horrific beyond imagination.


The thing is the Internet allows folks to be ANONYMOUS and get away with it.


t's extraordinary that in 2014 when the superhero genre could not be more popular, that superhero comics are fighting to stay afloat. There's a number of reasons for that, but the lack of diversity in creators and readers is part of it.

Well why would diverse writers & fans even both when you see the attacks? How many times have we seen a Marvel/DC a minority, female or LGBT book comes out or a writer gets hired?

You see flat out attacks before you get done reading the press release.

What is even more worst is it appears that some companies would rather rely on that faction then try to break out and attract others.


You realize that she's not a real person, and the artist didn't draw her from life, right? Her breasts are big because he chose to make them that way.

I work in the school system. I have seen girls who would put Wonder Girl to SHAME.

CSTowle
05-01-2014, 07:11 PM
I don't find the cover offensive either. Just bad.

See, this is what I should have said rather than my wall of text.

DDD
05-01-2014, 07:17 PM
It's offensive, it says "Teens" on the cover, they should look like teens, they should not be objectified.


The thing is the Internet allows folks to be ANONYMOUS and get away with it.


Have you ever been to college? Or worked in a male dominated environment? Because I have.

If so, have you ever stood up for a female colleague or classmate being heckled by sexist pigs? Because I have.

It's not just on the internet. It's EVERYWHERE. This is a never ending fight. The internet is only the beginning.

ceruleantea
05-01-2014, 08:55 PM
I don't want to speak for Ms. Asselin (she deserves some respect after all of that) and it has been a week or two since I read the critique, but one thing to keep in mind is that she wasn't even really complaining about the over objectification of women, or even saying that cover was offensive. She never said there was no room for beefcake in comics.

The point of the article was that Teen Titans would be a great book to attract a female audience, and having covers like that would be a turn off. And yes, I am seeing a lot of guys are saying they are fine with it. Ok, great, but most of comics is marketed with you. Ms. Asselin pointed out that Teen Titan should be marketed to a different audience and it is not.

That was actually my favorite part of the article. It was nice to have an industry professional address this. I'm totally a part of the demographic she was talking about(female, grew up watching B:TAS, JLU, TT, etc.) but have found DC's comic offerings less than inviting.(And have felt even less welcome after hearing reasons why the Young Justice cartoon was canceled, but I digress.) Anyway, I love some of these characters and would totally be buying the comics if I could get into their stories. I just wish more people would notice that part of her article.

Sirnotappearinginthisthread
05-01-2014, 09:03 PM
http://i1345.photobucket.com/albums/p664/Pinsir/Wonder%20Woman/LeftorRight1_zps2a583157.jpg (http://s1345.photobucket.com/user/Pinsir/media/Wonder%20Woman/LeftorRight1_zps2a583157.jpg.html)

Both of these are fine and I see nothing wrong with either. To each his own. No one should be shamed because they like art with attractive females. No one should be attacked for expressing their dislike of said art. The fact that this "debate" is still going on reflects poorly on both sides. It's time to let it go. You're not going to change anyone's mind and any point that you want to make has probably been made several times over.

Sirnotappearinginthisthread
05-01-2014, 09:11 PM
That was actually my favorite part of the article. It was nice to have an industry professional address this. I'm totally a part of the demographic she was talking about(female, grew up watching B:TAS, JLU, TT, etc.) but have found DC's comic offerings less than inviting.(And have felt even less welcome after hearing reasons why the Young Justice cartoon was canceled, but I digress.) Anyway, I love some of these characters and would totally be buying the comics if I could get into their stories. I just wish more people would notice that part of her article.

This argument was also covered ad nauseum. At it's height the TT book that tied into the cartoon was only selling about 14,000, barely cracking the top 150. To compare, last month's TT sold 25,000 copies. There wasn't an audience back then, so the thought that there would be one a decade later is a bit of a stretch.

Pinsir
05-01-2014, 09:13 PM
Here is the real problem;

> I make an article that says X cover is bad

Well I disagree, but I can see your point

> I make an article that says X cover is bad with even a slight feminist perspective

HOW DARE YOU BITCH! TRYING TO CENSOR US! FEMINAZI!

Sirnotappearinginthisthread
05-01-2014, 09:39 PM
Here is the real problem;

> I make an article that says X cover is bad

Well I disagree, but I can see your point

> I make an article that says X cover is bad with even a slight feminist perspective

HOW DARE YOU BITCH! TRYING TO CENSOR US! FEMINAZI!

That's the worst and those guys should be neutered. But honestly was that the prevailing argument? For me I just saw it as
"you're dumb"
"no you"
"nuh uh"
"uh huh"

I never saw any threats and any fedoras were quickly shot down by all sides. But I wasn't on very much in the last couple of weeks.

TheFearlessDefender89
05-01-2014, 09:51 PM
Hello folks,

I just want to say that I fully support Janelle Asselin and her critique of Teen Titans #1, published by DC Comics.

I wrote about it on my blog, Comics Grinder. You can read that here (http://comicsgrinder.com/2014/04/30/furor-over-basic-comics-criticism-janelle-asselin-and-the-attack-on-women/).

Some of you know me and I think you'll appreciate this. There are so many good people out there. And we're all in this together. Many of you want to make a difference, take a stand, but don't know where to begin.

I was thinking about these things. What are the great causes of today? We think of some of the great movements in our relatively recent past, like the Civil Rights Movement. Well, that struggle continues as do others. Consider how women are treated today. And I'm just thinking about America and the media. We could dig much deeper. But, just considering American media, which seems pretty shallow, but still, it has its influence and relates to what all of you mostly discuss here. Specifically, I am referring to that mighty topic of Women in Comics. We clearly have progress to make in this regard. The distorted and twisted image that appears on the cover of Teen Titans #1 is a sign of deeper problems that bubble up to the surface. It is an old boys mentality that deeply hurts people.

So, I present you with my virtual sit-in. It's too bad this should be so controversial for some of you readers. It won't be some day. That's the whole point. Think of the Civil Rights Movement. Some beliefs will someday be clearly seen as hateful and primitive. Well, they already are now. But more people will come around. And more progress will be made.

As a feminist and a woman of color, I wholeheartedly agree with your message and concerns. I like the post you made and I think you are courageous for doing so as it has inspired me to be proactive instead of reactive towards the mistreatment of female characters and women working in comic books . I'm sitting in with you, and I know it will change to our favor. It's simply a matter of time.

t hedge coke
05-01-2014, 09:52 PM
That's the worst and those guys should be neutered. But honestly was that the prevailing argument? For me I just saw it as
"you're dumb"
"no you"
"nuh uh"
"uh huh"

I never saw any threats and any fedoras were quickly shot down by all sides. But I wasn't on very much in the last couple of weeks.

There were obvious rape threats made publicly. She was being harassed privately. And, people continue to pretend that the boobs comments were the whole of her criticism, that she was only using the innocent cover to harp on her pre-arranged point, that she doesn't know enough about comics, that she was trying to take their balls for criticizing it, she was censoring fans, she was hurting the talent, big mean feminazi meany mean gggiiiiiiirrrl!, "didn't she make the coffee at DC for two seconds," that as a woman she shouldn't even be talking about what clearly wasn't a comic for women... and similar sexist, paranoid nonsense. "I guess I can't have sexy things now!" and "People who don't even read comics," etc. The word "feminazi" came up (well, it's always too often, but) too often.

dahllaz
05-01-2014, 09:55 PM
That's the worst and those guys should be neutered. But honestly was that the prevailing argument? For me I just saw it as
"you're dumb"
"no you"
"nuh uh"
"uh huh"

I never saw any threats and any fedoras were quickly shot down by all sides. But I wasn't on very much in the last couple of weeks.
I don't know what would make it the prevailing argument or not, but apparently CBR thought it was close enough that they decided rebooting the whole forum system was warranted.

Cipher
05-01-2014, 10:18 PM
That's the worst and those guys should be neutered. But honestly was that the prevailing argument? For me I just saw it as
"you're dumb"
"no you"
"nuh uh"
"uh huh"

I never saw any threats and any fedoras were quickly shot down by all sides. But I wasn't on very much in the last couple of weeks.
No, there was definitely a lot of the latter. Or, if not outright misogyny, a lot of the typical sexism and dismissal by way of ignorance you see whenever, as Pinsir pointed out, a critique with an even remotely feminist argument crops up: "Well, I don't see the big deal; why's she throwing such a fit; what about muscly guys; why can nothing be sexy, etc."

There was also, bafflingly, the argument that people who watch cartoons as kids never check out the comics later on (which no doubt the many posters here brought in by the DCAU can debate), but yeah, primarily the type of stuff above. Really just anything to undercut the feminist pieces and debate why being more aware of, and appealing to, a potential female audience wasn't hugely necessary.

Pinsir
05-01-2014, 10:45 PM
This backlash against 'feminism' for a community is not new. Neither are the results

> Anita Sarkesian makes videos about Video games and feminism ---> receives death and rape threats, photographed into porn, flash game made where player beats her up, personal info hacked into
> Rebecca Watson expresses discontent about a man who flirts with her on a elevator at a atheist convention ---> receives death and rape threats, personal info hacked into
> Janelle Asselin criticizes a comic book cover for ---> receives death and rape threats, personal info hacked into

None of these women were radical in any of their position and I dont even know Asselin is a feminist, but there is something that drives a certain group of people into a frenzy when a women with even mild feminist views criticizes 'their' hobby.

Dr. Jay
05-01-2014, 11:01 PM
--I think Janelle Asselin made some great points. I do however like "good girl" or "bad girl" art in my comics. I realize it makes me somewhat childish or sexist in my appreciation, but hyper realized sexy depictions of women have been in comics for years and years and years---even the code didn't totally push it out. You can tell me to go to some porn site or something along those lines, but I don't want to look a porn. It is different. I am unapologetic in this.

Hell, one of the reasons that many male artists become artists is because they like to draw the female form and I think a great many female artists enjoy drawing a sexy female form. I don't even see Wonder Girl's large breasts in that drawing to be that egregious.

Now how the hell is Red Robin sitting in mid air like that? I am wondering about that myself

Jonah Weiland
05-01-2014, 11:15 PM
There were obvious rape threats made publicly. She was being harassed privately. And, people continue to pretend that the boobs comments were the whole of her criticism, that she was only using the innocent cover to harp on her pre-arranged point, that she doesn't know enough about comics, that she was trying to take their balls for criticizing it, she was censoring fans, she was hurting the talent, big mean feminazi meany mean gggiiiiiiirrrl!, "didn't she make the coffee at DC for two seconds," that as a woman she shouldn't even be talking about what clearly wasn't a comic for women... and similar sexist, paranoid nonsense. "I guess I can't have sexy things now!" and "People who don't even read comics," etc. The word "feminazi" came up (well, it's always too often, but) too often.Actually the threats were made via her sexual harassment survey. She actually posted about it and what steps she's been able to take to find the assholes who did this here:

http://gimpnelly.tumblr.com/post/84474600280/an-explanation-no-one-is-owed

Jonah Weiland
05-01-2014, 11:17 PM
No, there was definitely a lot of the latter. Or, if not outright misogyny, a lot of the typical sexism and dismissal by way of ignorance you see whenever, as Pinsir pointed out, a critique with an even remotely feminist argument crops up: "Well, I don't see the big deal; why's she throwing such a fit; what about muscly guys; why can nothing be sexy, etc."

There was also, bafflingly, the argument that people who watch cartoons as kids never check out the comics later on (which no doubt the many posters here brought in by the DCAU can debate), but yeah, primarily the type of stuff above. Really just anything to undercut the feminist pieces and debate why being more aware of, and appealing to, a potential female audience wasn't hugely necessary.This is just one example of many as to why we did what we did with the forums. There's no place for that kind of stuff here. Civil discourse is the only approach.

Jonah Weiland
05-01-2014, 11:17 PM
...but there is something that drives a certain group of people into a frenzy when a women with even mild feminist views criticizes 'their' hobby.And we aim to keep them out.

dupont2005
05-01-2014, 11:18 PM
That's fine, but there's a time and place for everything. And there's no need for 100% of the two biggest publishers to choose to publish nothing but that, in every panel of every page a female appears in.

t hedge coke
05-01-2014, 11:27 PM
Actually the threats were made via her sexual harassment survey. She actually posted about it and what steps she's been able to take to find the assholes who did this here:

http://gimpnelly.tumblr.com/post/84474600280/an-explanation-no-one-is-owed

I didn't mean just here, but in general public. I may've misunderstood if the poster meant strictly on CBR.

(As it was, I was mostly avoiding the thread that got locked, here, because it was too nuts for me and I had recently received a rapey email from someone mad at something I posted in a Batgirl thread. So how bad the relevant threads here got, I really don 't know, outside of "bad enough.")

Thanks for the link, btw. It does clarify some things nicely.

friendly-fire-press
05-02-2014, 12:08 AM
I didn't agree with Janelle's critique then ... and I still don't. Her points were valid but I thought they were also quite exaggerated (then again, maybe I'm desensitised to that kind of thing)

However, I think most of us can agree that everyone is entitled to express their views without being threatened, bullied, etc. That kind of behaviour is just plain wrong.

Jonah Weiland
05-02-2014, 12:10 AM
I didn't mean just here, but in general public. I may've misunderstood if the poster meant strictly on CBR.

(As it was, I was mostly avoiding the thread that got locked, here, because it was too nuts for me and I had recently received a rapey email from someone mad at something I posted in a Batgirl thread. So how bad the relevant threads here got, I really don 't know, outside of "bad enough.")

Thanks for the link, btw. It does clarify some things nicely.If you got a disturbing e-mail from someone on this forum, I'd like to hear more. I want to at least make sure that user is banned, but would also take legal action if necessary. Please PM me with any details you're willing to share.

Sirnotappearinginthisthread
05-02-2014, 12:23 AM
There were obvious rape threats made publicly. She was being harassed privately. And, people continue to pretend that the boobs comments were the whole of her criticism, that she was only using the innocent cover to harp on her pre-arranged point, that she doesn't know enough about comics, that she was trying to take their balls for criticizing it, she was censoring fans, she was hurting the talent, big mean feminazi meany mean gggiiiiiiirrrl!, "didn't she make the coffee at DC for two seconds," that as a woman she shouldn't even be talking about what clearly wasn't a comic for women... and similar sexist, paranoid nonsense. "I guess I can't have sexy things now!" and "People who don't even read comics," etc. The word "feminazi" came up (well, it's always too often, but) too often.


I didn't mean just here, but in general public. I may've misunderstood if the poster meant strictly on CBR.

(As it was, I was mostly avoiding the thread that got locked, here, because it was too nuts for me and I had recently received a rapey email from someone mad at something I posted in a Batgirl thread. So how bad the relevant threads here got, I really don 't know, outside of "bad enough.")

Thanks for the link, btw. It does clarify some things nicely.

Yeah I meant in the CBR thread specifically. That's what has been confusing me. I mainly pop in here late, after work and school, and didn't see much of the nastiness. Also I would be out for a day and come back to an extra ten to twenty pages of nonsense. That is terrible that you have received those types of messages. It's a shame that people can't take criticism (and criticism not at all aimed at them!). I vehemently disagree with the piece but I can see where she is coming from.

t hedge coke
05-02-2014, 12:31 AM
Yeah I meant in the CBR thread specifically. That's what has been confusing me. I mainly pop in here late, after work and school, and didn't see much of the nastiness.

That makes a lot of sense. Sorry to help confuse things.

WestPhillyPunisher
05-02-2014, 02:03 AM
It's beyond pathetic that a bunch of basement dwelling trolls who clearly have no life saw fit to heap all that revolting abuse upon Ms. Asselin for her review on a comic book....A COMIC BOOK. It's dirtbags like them who give all comic book fans a horribly bad name.

Ghostwise
05-02-2014, 02:27 AM
But hyper realized sexy depictions of women have been in comics for years and years and years---even the code didn't totally push it out.

The kind of depictions that were addressed in Ms. Asselin's column are actually much more recent. The demeaning depictions that seem based on never having seen a woman outside of commercial porn emerge during the 1990s. Prior to that most female characters are drawn and framed in an idealised manner, but compared to later practices it is not nakedly exploitative. 1980s Susan Richards has a perfect body and an impossibly tight costume, but compared to drawing of teenage girls with very large breast implants that'll get exposed if they breathe hard that was downright respectful.


I am unapologetic in this.

That would make sense. It's not you who gets treated like a sexual object. The situation exists to your benefit - you've explained that to us. The question is whether your stance will remain "I like it, and screw everyone else" or if you will listen to the people who are harmed by these depictions. "I have no problem with things that harm people who aren't me" isn't a hugely valuable statement, TBH.

friendly-fire-press
05-02-2014, 05:24 AM
It's beyond pathetic that a bunch of basement dwelling trolls who clearly have no life saw fit to heap all that revolting abuse upon Ms. Asselin for her review on a comic book....A COMIC BOOK. It's dirtbags like them who give all comic book fans a horribly bad name.

Very true.

At the same time, we should probably remind ourselves that trolling, cyber abuse, etc isn't just restricted to the comic community ... I'm not saying that that's what you were implying, I just thought I'd mention it

vitruvian
05-02-2014, 06:58 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but are her two points:

1. Her boobs aren't realistic enough. They look like they're implants and not actual boobs. Realism in comic books.
2. She's a teenage girl. Even though she's 16, the legal age of consent for most of the entire world.

Probably for the best I don't even touch this topic with a 40 foot pole seeing as I don't agree with her. Especially with the reboot to the forum and all.

As long as you're going to civilly disagree, not rant and rave and insult and attack and take scary actions like looking up her info in the real world and disseminating it.... then it should be fine. Although there's not much point to repeating the same points of disagreement ad nauseam, either, I suppose.

vitruvian
05-02-2014, 07:05 AM
That was actually my favorite part of the article. It was nice to have an industry professional address this. I'm totally a part of the demographic she was talking about(female, grew up watching B:TAS, JLU, TT, etc.) but have found DC's comic offerings less than inviting.(And have felt even less welcome after hearing reasons why the Young Justice cartoon was canceled, but I digress.) Anyway, I love some of these characters and would totally be buying the comics if I could get into their stories. I just wish more people would notice that part of her article.

It was a good point, wasn't it? The window for capturing folks who loved the fairly recent Teen Titans cartoon is rapidly closing, if not already gone.

Doc Sonic
05-02-2014, 07:44 AM
It was a good point, wasn't it? The window for capturing folks who loved the fairly recent Teen Titans cartoon is rapidly closing, if not already gone.

I agree it's a good point and in some respects the most important point in regards to DC and the comics industry as a whole. The cover is pretty bad, but is by no means the most egregious example of a hyper-sexualized female character you'll see on the stands. And yet the Teen Titans/Young Justice cartoons had such a huge female viewership... a significant group of potential readers. Launching the series with this cover basically tells all those potential readers that this is a 'boys' comic' and they need not check it out.
This isn't something that is just going to hurt female Titans fans, but also male fans, because the title is likely to have too small a readership to survive and will end up cancelled. Appealing to a greater demographic, making itself attractive and friendlier to female readers, people of color, people of the LGBT community could expand the audience, increase readership and allow the book to survive in the current marketplace.
It didn't and I doubt the book will make it past twenty issues before it's axed.

Overhazard
05-02-2014, 07:46 AM
She shouldn't have been harassed the way she was, to say it was uncalled for is an understatement. That being said, I didn't entirely agree with her. I didn't think cassie's breasts were bigger, I just thought rocafort made her waist smaller and her chest looked bigger in comparison. The cover also didn't look very dynamic, they're just hanging out, they don't look like they're rushing into battle or anything like that. They don't even look like a team, it looks like a superpowered ambecrombie ad.

Ghostwise
05-02-2014, 07:55 AM
Appealing to a greater demographic, making itself attractive and friendlier to female readers, people of color, people of the LGBT community could expand the audience, increase readership and allow the book to survive in the current marketplace.

Straight white dudes who want to read super-hero stuff without being embarrassed by the demeaning art are also a significant demo. :p

Doc Sonic
05-02-2014, 08:08 AM
She shouldn't have been harassed the way she was, to say it was uncalled for is an understatement. That being said, I didn't entirely agree with her. I didn't think cassie's breasts were bigger, I just thought rocafort made her waist smaller and her chest looked bigger in comparison. The cover also didn't look very dynamic, they're just hanging out, they don't look like they're rushing into battle or anything like that. They don't even look like a team, it looks like a superpowered ambecrombie ad.

But that's besides the point. The cover is not 'out of control' sexually objectifying, rather it is standard variety sexually objectifying.. it's business as usual... i.e. a book that is directed toward the ever shrinking straight white guy demographic. Titans should among DC's flagship titles... it has the largest character exposure to a more diversified audience. And the fact that they decided to go standard portaging procedure with the cover is just a slap in the face, underscoring the message that these comics are for boys and for boys only.


Straight white dudes who want to read super-hero stuff without being embarrassed by the demeaning art are also a significant demo. :p

lol. I guess there's that too.

galaxygnome
05-02-2014, 08:23 AM
It doesn't matter what anyone's personal opinion is. There's no reason to nitpick over what you liked or didn't like about the cover, what you liked or didn't like about how Cassie was drawn (ew). If you're on this board, you are most likely not the perspective Asselin was writing to analyze.

Her point was that DC had an opportunity to seize a pre-existing market of teenage girl teen titans fans and instead they continued to market to... well, I imagine, some of the people we are seeing in this thread. It's not about your personal interests in how covers or female bodies can/should look (ew). It doesn't really matter what anyone here thinks, it's what would a teenage girl think? what would attract her to this cover? and the answer Asselin proposes is "Nothing."

It's about what kind of cover would have been appealing to girls that were fans of the show. And this cover was not made for those girls. It was made to tittilate. While yes, some teenagers develop early and that has its own kind of humiliation, imo as a former teenage girl, a cover of a womanly-looking girl in a tube top spandex body suit with breasts defying the laws of physics (yo tube tops don't work that way, no matter how big you are) would not attract me or help me work through that humiliation, it'd only make me feel more self conscious about myself... thus avoiding it when I already feel uncomfortable with the genre. The cover deviated totally from what could have been an entirely new comics audience, instead servicing the same old audience it already has in its pocket. Beyond Wonder Girl, as Asselin notes, there was very little about the cover that would be exciting or inviting for a potential new comics fan (it doesn't give the feel of a team, it is cluttered visually, there wasn't really a coherent narrative to draw the viewer in, some of the most interesting and different characters were pushed to the back...).

It is really telling that people would rather debate ONE of Asselin's points, the point about a sexualized portrayal of a teenage body, than the actual content of what she is saying - a critique of DC's marketing direction. It doesn't matter of the cover is "business as usual." If there is any book DC could be trying harder on, it's one with so ripe of a potential market.

Star-Lord
05-02-2014, 08:25 AM
I just looked at that cover and it seemed pretty tame looking. It seems things like this draw extra attention in comics if it was music or a movie I don't even think people would pay attention.

People would pay attention if it was a video game too. There's something about video games and comics that brings out the worst in people.

Pinsir
05-02-2014, 08:26 AM
I just looked at that cover and it seemed pretty tame looking. It seems things like this draw extra attention in comics if it was music or a movie I don't even think people would pay attention.

It is a tame cover and I admit to liking it myself (though I prefer the modified version), as was Asselin's criticism. However the anti-feminists have a history of taking mild criticisms and over reacting. Attempting to break into a bank account is not a rational response to a critic to a comic book cover for a series that hasn't been good since the 80's.

Doc Sonic
05-02-2014, 08:32 AM
It doesn't matter what anyone's personal opinion is. There's no reason to nitpick over what you liked or didn't like about the cover, what you liked or didn't like about how Cassie was drawn (ew). If you're on this board, you are most likely not the perspective Asselin was writing to analyze.
Her point was that DC had an opportunity to seize a pre-existing market of teenage girl teen titans fans and instead they continued to market to... well, I imagine, some of the people we are seeing in this thread. It's not about your personal interests in how covers or female bodies can/should look (ew). It doesn't really matter what anyone here thinks, it's what would a teenage girl think? what would attract her to this cover? and the answer Asselin proposes is "Nothing."
It's about what kind of cover would have been appealing to girls that were fans of the show. And this cover was not made for those girls. It was made to tittilate. While yes, some teenagers develop early and that has its own kind of humiliation, imo as a former teenage girl, a cover of a womanly-looking girl in a tube top spandex body suit with breasts defying the laws of physics (yo tube tops don't work that way, no matter how big you are) would not attract me or help me work through that humiliation, it'd only make me feel more self conscious about myself... thus avoiding it when I already feel uncomfortable with the genre. The cover deviated totally from what could have been an entirely new comics audience, instead servicing the same old audience it already has in its pocket. Beyond Wonder Girl, as Asselin notes, there was very little about the cover that would be exciting or inviting for a potential new comics fan (it doesn't give the feel of a team, it is cluttered visually, there wasn't really a coherent narrative to draw the viewer in, some of the most interesting and different characters were pushed to the back...).
It is really telling that people would rather debate ONE of Asselin's points, the point about a sexualized portrayal of a teenage body, than the actual content of what she is saying - a critique of DC's marketing direction. It doesn't matter of the cover is "business as usual." If there is any book DC could be trying harder on, it's one with so ripe of a potential market.

yes, exactly. I 100% agree.
And white male comic fans (like myself) need to be just as upset because attaining a greater female readership is absolutely essential to the industry's ongoing survival.

Charles RB
05-02-2014, 08:42 AM
Those are two of her points, yes, but far from her only ones. Hell, I wouldn't even call them her most salient points.

The boobs certainly were the bit that got a lot of focus. She wanted to take all sex and attractiveness out of comics!, seemed to be the line a lot of people were taking. Because I guess more realistic breasts on a teenage character would be the death of all attractive people in all comics everywhere, there is nothing else you can do to make a character attractive except huge, partially exposed tits.

Ghostwise
05-02-2014, 08:43 AM
People would pay attention if it was a video game too. There's something about video games and comics that brings out the worst in people.

And there is likewise a strong backlash building up in video games about objectifying crap and its effects on a/ sales and b/ cultural norms among video game enthusiasts.

The parallels between the recent incidents at CBR and the deluge of threats and hostile actions against Ms. Hepler at Bioware last years are numerous.

Mr MajestiK
05-02-2014, 08:51 AM
It doesn't matter what anyone's personal opinion is. There's no reason to nitpick over what you liked or didn't like about the cover, what you liked or didn't like about how Cassie was drawn (ew). If you're on this board, you are most likely not the perspective Asselin was writing to analyze.

Her point was that DC had an opportunity to seize a pre-existing market of teenage girl teen titans fans and instead they continued to market to... well, I imagine, some of the people we are seeing in this thread. It's not about your personal interests in how covers or female bodies can/should look (ew). It doesn't really matter what anyone here thinks, it's what would a teenage girl think? what would attract her to this cover? and the answer Asselin proposes is "Nothing."

It's about what kind of cover would have been appealing to girls that were fans of the show. And this cover was not made for those girls. It was made to tittilate. While yes, some teenagers develop early and that has its own kind of humiliation, imo as a former teenage girl, a cover of a womanly-looking girl in a tube top spandex body suit with breasts defying the laws of physics (yo tube tops don't work that way, no matter how big you are) would not attract me or help me work through that humiliation, it'd only make me feel more self conscious about myself... thus avoiding it when I already feel uncomfortable with the genre. The cover deviated totally from what could have been an entirely new comics audience, instead servicing the same old audience it already has in its pocket. Beyond Wonder Girl, as Asselin notes, there was very little about the cover that would be exciting or inviting for a potential new comics fan (it doesn't give the feel of a team, it is cluttered visually, there wasn't really a coherent narrative to draw the viewer in, some of the most interesting and different characters were pushed to the back...).

It is really telling that people would rather debate ONE of Asselin's points, the point about a sexualized portrayal of a teenage body, than the actual content of what she is saying - a critique of DC's marketing direction. It doesn't matter of the cover is "business as usual." If there is any book DC could be trying harder on, it's one with so ripe of a potential market.

One of the biggest issues I had with the DC52 reboot was the sad fact that books like Red Mask & The Outlaws and Catwoman both had depictions of women that were intensely oversexualized in depiction and character.

Lobdell's treatment of the Stafire character was atrocious to say the least and now with the cover of the soon to be released Teen Titans #1, it would appear that DC (and Marvel to a slightly lesser degree) are yet to come to terms with the fact that they really can't keep pandering to the same demographic that they've been catering to for decades.

The points raised by Janelle Asselin remain even more valid especially in light of the vile online attacks that were maliciously inflicted upon her.

As far as individual opinions on the subject are concerned, I'd like to believe that everyone's opinion matters in the long run especially as regards what lessons are to be learned from this debacle and how each of us choose to conduct ourselves and treat others regardless of the inevitable differences in opinion that usually inform the human condition.

Peace.

Kevin Davis
05-02-2014, 08:59 AM
The kind of depictions that were addressed in Ms. Asselin's column are actually much more recent. The demeaning depictions that seem based on never having seen a woman outside of commercial porn emerge during the 1990s. Prior to that most female characters are drawn and framed in an idealised manner, but compared to later practices it is not nakedly exploitative. 1980s Susan Richards has a perfect body and an impossibly tight costume, but compared to drawing of teenage girls with very large breast implants that'll get exposed if they breathe hard that was downright respectful.

That would make sense. It's not you who gets treated like a sexual object. The situation exists to your benefit - you've explained that to us. The question is whether your stance will remain "I like it, and screw everyone else" or if you will listen to the people who are harmed by these depictions. "I have no problem with things that harm people who aren't me" isn't a hugely valuable statement, TBH.


As far as I can tell, no one was actually harmed because of the way Wonder Girl was drawn, so I personally don't see an intrinsic problem with it. Some might say that that sort of portrayal of a female is demeaning, but I think that's a pretty broad stroke because not everyone feels demeaned by the same things. Going strictly by anatomical inaccuracies, you could make the same argument for virtually every male character with impossibly drawn muscles (yeah, guys can get self-conscious too). Some might see these larger-than-life depictions as demeaning, but others might see them as empowering or even inspiring. I'm not saying that one is right and the other's wrong, but I don't think it's right to dismiss any of those opinions. Obviously, an artist can't cater to everyone's views, so it seems to me that the best recourse is to accept or reject an artist's work as your personal tastes allow. Basically, if you don't like it, don't read it. But there's no need to demand that something changes or to call it harmful and demeaning simply because it doesn't fit into your personal tastes.

As far as "I like it, and screw everyone else" goes, isn't that the nature of a personal opinion? If I like a particular book, is it really my problem what anyone else thinks of it? The wording of "screw everyone else" is harsh, but is it really that inaccurate? If you pick up a book for the first time and enjoy it, do you really take the time to consider everyone who might not enjoy it? Again, we're not talking about something that's causing anyone any physical harm, just drawn images that some people find distasteful. Anyone who doesn't like them is perfectly free to avoid them.

dahllaz
05-02-2014, 09:18 AM
She shouldn't have been harassed the way she was, to say it was uncalled for is an understatement. That being said, I didn't entirely agree with her. I didn't think cassie's breasts were bigger, I just thought rocafort made her waist smaller and her chest looked bigger in comparison. The cover also didn't look very dynamic, they're just hanging out, they don't look like they're rushing into battle or anything like that. They don't even look like a team, it looks like a superpowered ambecrombie ad.
Emphasis mine.
Because this was one of the big points of her critique. She still would have had issues with how Wonder Girl was portrayed (me too!), but her main point was that this was a bad cover for a #1 issue. I'm pretty sure I remember her writing it would be a big difference if this was a #40something issue, versus the first issue of a re-launched title.

The series was doing bad enough that it was canceled - why keep doing the same old same old?

It also bothered me that an industry professional and his twitter followers were implying that she had no business daring to critique the cover, had no understanding of comics in general and the business specifically and hadn't she just made coffee at DC for a few months hurr hurr, and that she had obviously never been in a comic store.
It was really disapointing for me to read how he reacted to her article. Oh, not that he disagreed, but that because he disagreed that meant she had no knowledge or experience.

Was it as bad as the threats and hacking? No, of course not. But it's still pretty crappy and part of the culture that creates an atmosphere that is unwelcoming to women fans and professionals.
On the other hand, it was cool to see how many spoke out in support, so that balanced it out some.

Michael P
05-02-2014, 09:20 AM
It also bothered me that an industry professional and his twitter followers were implying that she had no business daring to critique the cover, had no understanding of comics in general and the business specifically and hadn't she just made coffee at DC for a few months hurr hurr, and that she had obviously never been in a comic store.
It was really disapointing for me to read how he reacted to her article. Oh, not that he disagreed, but that because he disagreed that meant she had no knowledge or experience.

Seriously. This was someone who works in comics. Who works for DC, the same company she worked for. That this behavior was seen as anything other than a disgrace is a serious black mark on the comics community.

CliffHanger2
05-02-2014, 09:26 AM
It is a tame cover and I admit to liking it myself (though I prefer the modified version), as was Asselin's criticism. However the anti-feminists have a history of taking mild criticisms and over reacting. Attempting to break into a bank account is not a rational response to a critic to a comic book cover for a series that hasn't been good since the 80's.

Yeah there's no excuse for what was done to her. I mean don't wholly agree with her stance but trying to hurt someone like that is just crazy.

Ghostwise
05-02-2014, 09:34 AM
As far as I can tell, no one was actually harmed because of the way Wonder Girl was drawn

If you define "harm" by physical harm, then yes. However, that would be in absurdly bad faith so I don't think it is a worthwhile angle to explore.


As far as "I like it, and screw everyone else" goes, isn't that the nature of a personal opinion?

Misogyny, racism, homophobia, transphobia, antisemitism, etc. aren't "opinions". They are a cancer making my life, the life of most of my friends, and the life of most of Earth's population significantly worse than it should.

It has also considerably hurt the medium by giving the impression that comic books are primarily meant for sexually frustrated straight male nerds and that nobody else needs to apply. Stepping away from this perception is going to take years if not decades.

There certainly have been decades' worth of comics depicting African-American as childish superstitious imbeciles, gay men as unnaturally perverted predators, women as vapid sex objects existing for the gratification and service of men, Asians as cowardly scheming aliens, etc. This has been changing - though not always quite gracefully - and will continue to change, as the amount of people who protest "but this isn't *our* problem !" continues to diminish.

50yearoldNovafan
05-02-2014, 09:37 AM
I've just spend half an hour looking around at what was said. It was by no stretch of the imagination a 'few fans'. There's hundreds out there who were part of this.

Well, that is even sadder.

50yearoldNovafan
05-02-2014, 09:43 AM
What's there to explain? Some girls are bustier than others and Wonder Girl is one of them.


She doesn't have a finger in her mouth while making a pouty face.

You are quite right. My wife and I have commented on how body shapes have changed over the years. Some young girls are super busty. Many of them are more busty than their older counterparts could hope to be. Many of us believe it is environmental.

Cipher
05-02-2014, 09:52 AM
Misogyny, racism, homophobia, transphobia, antisemitism, etc. aren't "opinions". They are a cancer making my life, the life of most of my friends, and the life of most of Earth's population significantly worse than it should.

It has also considerably hurt the medium by giving the impression that comic books are primarily meant for sexually frustrated straight male nerds and that nobody else needs to apply. Stepping away from this perception is going to take years if not decades.
Absolutely agreed.

As a straight, white male reader between 18 and 34 (the target demographic), I'm distressed through projection that women and other demographics feel less comfortable doing so for these kind of depictions.

As a straight, white male reader, I'm distressed through personal experience with the way these practices being so ingrained makes it harder for comics to be taken seriously, and makes it harder to enjoy them with a clean conscience. The change would be as simple as encouraging artists to be more aware of their depictions.

I'm tired of otherwise wanting to buy comics that wouldn't pass the girlfriend test (as in, "Do I honestly think I could show this to a girlfriend and have her think it was a positive portrayal of her gender?"). I also can't imagine it's worth it from DC's perspective to not only push away the potential female interest they might have for something like Teen Titans (one of Janelle's points with this being a #1), but also existing readership uncomfortable with these trends. Surely those two groups outnumber those who would only buy it for the cheesecake element. More likely, all those planning on buying a book would still pick it up if it had less sexualized drawings, and you wouldn't put off those other interested parties as well.

Re: Posts above: Her point wasn't that the cover featured breasts that were impossibly large, or too "perfect" or anything. It's that they were drawn in a way (height, shape, etc.) that resembled augmentation surgery and was out of step with the otherwise fairly realistic proportions the artist uses. And, even if they weren't, were in step with the hyper-sexualized female anatomy that has been ingrained into comics for the last twenty years (big, impossible breasts, waists smaller than thighs, etc.) That it was unintentional makes it even worse; DC and publishers in general need to start being aware of the messages those styles send, lest they continue to undercut interest in IPs that otherwise have broader appeal. And they just shouldn't be there to begin with.

Michael P
05-02-2014, 09:54 AM
As a straight, white male reader, I'm distressed that crap like this is what DC thinks I find sexy.

Cipher
05-02-2014, 09:58 AM
As a straight, white male reader, I'm distressed that crap like this is what DC thinks I find sexy.
Ah, yes! Also this.

Jonah Weiland
05-02-2014, 10:05 AM
It is really telling that people would rather debate ONE of Asselin's points, the point about a sexualized portrayal of a teenage body, than the actual content of what she is saying - a critique of DC's marketing direction. It doesn't matter of the cover is "business as usual." If there is any book DC could be trying harder on, it's one with so ripe of a potential market.Well said -- welcome to the new CBR Community!

50yearoldNovafan
05-02-2014, 10:06 AM
That's part of the problem.


See previous answer.


No, some artists for superhero comics don't. As this is a new forum it's not possible to refer to the previous sexism in comics threads, but there's a line between cheesecake and sexy, with just plain crude porn designed to make masturbatory fantasies.

Also, as said many times, what sort of message are you sending out to girls if all the images of women and girls in your comics are of big breasted women with arse shots?


I'm sure who ever she is has, but whether she's had work done to make that the case is the question. Considering how real women's breasts look, then the answer is obvious.

I will say again. Some folks have super huge breasts. My wife and I are taking care of my niece, who just turned sixteen, last week. Her chest has been huge for years. She can not get a bra from just any store. She has to have them special ordered or go to a store like Victoria Secret. She is a sweet and innocent girl. Her mother has no chest at all (and neither does her father), but this is the way it is. There are many young girls like this, and, to a degree, I feel bad for them because what they may have to go through.

I just don't want to see us try to act all "the artists are just drawing pornstars, women aren't built like this unless they are augmented." That is just wrong.

And FYI, I don't think Wondergirl's breasts are all that big. This is what a push-up bra or a bustier does. If there is anything most artists augment, IT IS THE SIZE OF THE WAIST! The boobs are quite often correct, if the hero is wearing something to support them or hold them up. Just the waist is drawn too small for the body.

But it is a comic, it is not real life.

Jonah Weiland
05-02-2014, 10:07 AM
As far as I can tell, no one was actually harmed because of the way Wonder Girl was drawn, so I personally don't see an intrinsic problem with it. Some might say that that sort of portrayal of a female is demeaning, but I think that's a pretty broad stroke because not everyone feels demeaned by the same things.I do hope you realize how absolutely dismissive that statement is. No one was physically harmed, but that discounts the many stereotypes that it perpetrates. Sexism and misogyny are REAL harm.

And you know what? It is demeaning. Fact. Not an opinion.

thespianphryne
05-02-2014, 10:12 AM
I agree with this. I can dig her stance that comics should have a broader range of marketing but it's debatable to me whether that cover would have turned a teenage girl off to it. I mean those types of images are advertised to them all the time. The part about the boob job just seemed like reading too much into it. It's like well look her nose is perfect too does she have a nose job?

I think there was a Teen Titans comic in the original vein of the cartoon. I'm not sure how well it was marketed though.
And you don't think that this is a problem?

The world of comics and mainstream comics publishing is small enough that speaking up about it should have a positive effect on behaviours. We don't need to run out and ask the whole blessed world to change at one time. But we can surely campaign to seek change change in our own little corners.

Crimson Knight
05-02-2014, 10:13 AM
I've known teenage gymnasts who were exactly as built as Robin was on that cover, which given that he was the kid of circus acrobats, seems just about right.

Isn't Tim Drake the Red Robin here, while Dick Grayson is now an Agent of SPYRAL?

Gee-EL
05-02-2014, 10:18 AM
Isn't Tim Drake the Red Robin here, while Dick Grayson is now an Agent of SPYRAL?

Oh, thank goodness that while surveying this vast forest I wasn't the only one to notice that oddly placed tree....

BumbleBecc
05-02-2014, 10:24 AM
As far as I can tell, no one was actually harmed because of the way Wonder Girl was drawn, so I personally don't see an intrinsic problem with it.

There are a few points i would like to address.

Firstly the question of harm.
It really depends on the definition one chooses to take of harm.

Has it physically harmed anyone, probably not, is it part of a general sexualised attitude that makes a substantial part of the potential female readership uncomfortable and alienated. Then yes.



Going strictly by anatomical inaccuracies, you could make the same argument for virtually every male character with impossibly drawn muscles (yeah, guys can get self-conscious too). Some might see these larger-than-life depictions as demeaning, but others might see them as empowering or even inspiring.

This is the very crux of the false equivalence argument. The problem is that the female characters are drawn in a sexualised manner in order to appeal to the male gaze. The male characters are drawn not in a sexualised manner to appeal to female readership, but in a strong manner in order to appeal to male power fantasy. In both cases the physical inaccuracies are drawn to appeal to men. You might say this is because more men read comics, and that is true, but it is a vicious circle, if comics appeal mainly to men, and the produces gear them more towards the male audience, then the female audience becomes more disenfranchised, and the product becomes more focussed again on the male readership.

You might claim that the female readership likes the same exaggerations, but studies have shown that in general we don't favour the overly muscular male characters, nor do we feel empowered by images of female characters with breasts larger than their heads, and waists smaller than their thighs. I know speaking for myself that i don't.


Basically, if you don't like it, don't read it. But there's no need to demand that something changes or to call it harmful and demeaning simply because it doesn't fit into your personal tastes.

Here again we have the argument, which amounts to little more than this is our clubhouse, girls can go to their own. We've been shut out of the boys clubhouses for a very long time, and unfortunately when one of us dares to say so the reaction can be as strong as that to which Janelle was subjected.

We should be able to share the clubhouse, and when the clubhouse contains objectionable attitudes, we should be able to point that out.
Do you know whats really sad? The first time i wrote this line i wrote allowed.. as if it was a favour. In some ways i think that is the way it is seen, that we have graciously been accepted into the 'male world' but now we're getting too demanding.



As far as "I like it, and screw everyone else" goes, isn't that the nature of a personal opinion?

No, it is only the nature of the insensitive. The entirely self focussed nature of much of modern society is not something to be proud of. It's more responsible to have some degree of compassion and care as to what effect one's attitudes may have on others.
There are for example bigotted opinions on race, gender, religion, that cause untold misery and are often backed up by groups who act on those opinions. People like them. Is that ok? Sc**w anyone who doesn't like those opinions?


If you pick up a book for the first time and enjoy it, do you really take the time to consider everyone who might not enjoy it? Again, we're not talking about something that's causing anyone any physical harm, just drawn images that some people find distasteful. Anyone who doesn't like them is perfectly free to avoid them.

Again one does not have to break someone's arm to cause them harm. Harm is not restricted to the solely physical. Mental pain and anguish can be even harder to endure. I'm not saying this image is guilty of causing that, to me it's part of the static of sexist attitudes that make up the background noise of my and countless other women's lives.





I should very much like to thank Cipher and Ghostwise for their comments.

Lt Trouble
05-02-2014, 10:28 AM
What's there to explain? Some girls are bustier than others and Wonder Girl is one of them.

Not in comics. In superhero comics, almost every woman and teenage girl is that busty. In real life, few young women are tall with very large breasts and very petite everything else. It happens, but it's rare without having plastic surgery. If comics had more body diversity, women who were tall and short, stocky and skinny, curvy and not curvy, lean or stacked with muscles, some who were overweight or had glasses.... this wouldn't be so much of an issue.

It's also not just that she's got large breasts. It's that she's wearing a top who's only purpose is to show them off. It's not something you could fight in. Women with breasts that large need a serious sports bra to do anything athletic, which squishes everything down (which makes the breasts look smaller) and covers up most/all of the cleavage. If she was drawn that way, it also wouldn't be so much of a problem.

Kevin Davis
05-02-2014, 10:28 AM
I do hope you realize how absolutely dismissive that statement is. No one was physically harmed, but that discounts the many stereotypes that it perpetrates. Sexism and misogyny are REAL harm.

And you know what? It is demeaning. Fact. Not an opinion.

Sexism and misogyny are absolutely real harm. I would never try to deny that. I would question, however, whether that image qualifies as either. As shown by this thread alone, there are different opinions on that. To me, that suggests it's far from a concrete fact.

I would also question whether or not that padticular image perpetrated sexism or misogyny. It seems like an impossible thing to prove, so it falls back to opinion.

I'm not sure what you mean by your last statement. Are you saying that the image is demeaning and that's a fact? That's completely false because facts are provable. Are you saying that sexism and misogyny in general are demeaning? Again, that's not quite fact. You could say that they are demeaning based on the consensus of the general American moral code, but that's hardly a universal fact.

As an aside, I haven't offered my opinion on the image of Wonder Girl. I'm simply talking about the tendency of both sides of the debate to be unfairly dismissive of the other.

Jonah Weiland
05-02-2014, 10:33 AM
Sexism and misogyny are absolutely real harm. I would never try to deny that. I would question, however, whether that image qualifies as either. As shown by this thread alone, there are different opinions on that. To me, that suggests it's far from a concrete fact.

I would also question whether or not that padticular image perpetrated sexism or misogyny. It seems like an impossible thing to prove, so it falls back to opinion.

I'm not sure what you mean by your last statement. Are you saying that the image is demeaning and that's a fact? That's completely false because facts are provable. Are you saying that sexism and misogyny in general are demeaning? Again, that's not quite fact. You could say that they are demeaning based on the consensus of the general American moral code, but that's hardly a universal fact.

As an aside, I haven't offered my opinion on the image of Wonder Girl. I'm simply talking about the tendency of both sides of the debate to be unfairly dismissive of the other.Showing your true colors here. It IS fact that misogyny and sexism are demeaning. It is the definition of prejudice and discrimination. Frankly, if you can't see that I'm not sure I want you in our community. This is exactly the type of thinking we're trying to remove.

DDD
05-02-2014, 10:35 AM
We can argue about a lot of things. I'm sure there are LOADS of men who grow health problems and body image issues working out trying to look like muscle bound heroes and nobody really is upset over that. You have to understand that they are idealized images. Men and women have been idealized taller for thoulsands of years, it's never going to change. Before the ultra thin fashion photos, there were the ultra thin, elongated fashion illustrations at the beginning of the century and probably before that. All of the early century art instruction books encourage exagerrating figures in such ways. Even dolls from ancient Rome are thin and elongated. Also, remember when girdles to make the waist extra thin were the norm... anyone?

What I agree is that super hero covers should be action oriented, and it would be nice to have teen books were the kids look like kids having action adventure fun, and are not used to tantalize readers.

BumbleBecc
05-02-2014, 10:38 AM
Sexism and misogyny are absolutely real harm. I would never try to deny that. I would question, however, whether that image qualifies as either. As shown by this thread alone, there are different opinions on that. To me, that suggests it's far from a concrete fact.


There are differences of opinion on EVERYTHING.
Even the most monstrous ideologies have people who agree with them. That does not mean that they are not demonstrably malignant... and the appalling nature of the way Janelle was treated for pointing out her opinions on this show EXACTLY how close to the surface the sexism and misogyny was bubbling.

Michael P
05-02-2014, 10:44 AM
Are you saying that sexism and misogyny in general are demeaning? Again, that's not quite fact.

It's absolutely a fact. It's a linguistic fact. Sexism and misogyny are the words we use to describe stuff that's demeaning and/or hostile to women.

Gee-EL
05-02-2014, 10:45 AM
And you don't think that this is a problem?

The world of comics and mainstream comics publishing is small enough that speaking up about it should have a positive effect on behaviours. We don't need to run out and ask the whole blessed world to change at one time. But we can surely campaign to seek change change in our own little corners.

This. Just because it happens elsewhere doesn't make it alright. I know it's hopelessly naive of me, but I'm always a little bit surprised when superhero fans can see these sorts of problems and respond with apathy. You don't need to punch out every sexist depiction you see, but our community is small enough that speaking up and saying "this isn't right" might well help to make a difference. I always expect that a little of that fighting for truth and justice would rub off, silly me I guess.

Kevin Davis
05-02-2014, 10:50 AM
If you define "harm" by physical harm, then yes. However, that would be in absurdly bad faith so I don't think it is a worthwhile angle to explore.

I wasn't strictly talking about physical harm. Mental harm, emotional harm, etc. are possible, but these are also extremely difficult to measure. They're also not universal. To say that that particular image of Wonder Girl is harmful is taking a big leap, and it's virtually impossible to prove.


Misogyny, racism, homophobia, transphobia, antisemitism, etc. aren't "opinions". They are a cancer making my life, the life of most of my friends, and the life of most of Earth's population significantly worse than it should.

Actually, they are opinions, or at least they're ideologies. They don't happen to be opinions that I subscribe to, but they are opinions.


It has also considerably hurt the medium by giving the impression that comic books are primarily meant for sexually frustrated straight male nerds and that nobody else needs to apply. Stepping away from this perception is going to take years if not decades.

Do you have any proof that this specific image of Wonder Girl has hurt the comic book medium? Do you also have any proof that the image was "meant for sexually frustrated male nerds?"



There certainly have been decades' worth of comics depicting African-American as childish superstitious imbeciles, gay men as unnaturally perverted predators, women as vapid sex objects existing for the gratification and service of men, Asians as cowardly scheming aliens, etc. This has been changing - though not always quite gracefully - and will continue to change, as the amount of people who protest "but this isn't *our* problem !" continues to diminish.

This is all certainly true, but there have also been decades worth of comics depicting blacks, gays, Asians, and women as strong role models.

Kevin Davis
05-02-2014, 10:55 AM
Showing your true colors here. It IS fact that misogyny and sexism are demeaning. It is the definition of prejudice and discrimination. Frankly, if you can't see that I'm not sure I want you in our community. This is exactly the type of thinking we're trying to remove.

I haven't said anything about my opinions on the matter. I'm simply exploring alternative trains of thought. You neglected to highlight my last sentence there, and that's the major qualifier. In the western world, misogyny and sexism are considered harmful, but what about in the eastern world? Or the middle east? In these areas, sexism and misogyny are often cultural norms.

Anyway, we're getting way off topic. Suffice it to say that, yes, I am an American who was brought up to believe that women are and should be treated as equals. I do not believe in wanton exploitation of anyone. I just question people who are quick to paint anything they don't agree with as "bad" or "harmful."

Michael P
05-02-2014, 10:57 AM
In the western world, misogyny and sexism are considered harmful, but what about in the eastern world? Or the middle east? In these areas, sexism and misogyny are often cultural norms.

They're cultural norms here, too. Or are you really na´ve enough to think that sexism still isn't embedded in modern culture?

thespianphryne
05-02-2014, 11:01 AM
Oh, it's a cultural norm? Then it must be okay.

So is slavery, bonded labour, and rape in the very same cultures you mention. Those must be okay, too.

Ghostwise
05-02-2014, 11:03 AM
I'm sure there are LOADS of men who grow health problems and body image issues working out trying to look like muscle bound heroes and nobody really is upset over that.

It is a developing problem among young Americans (less so in other Western countries, but give it time), and I'm sure that it will worsen as people find better ways to make money out of that. And there are people upset over that - most people who are concerned over harm caused by rigid gender roles.

However, let's go back to the mid-1990s in super-hero comic books. This is the point where we go from idealised characters to over-the-top exaggeration of masculinity and femininity. Women have colossal busts that do not resemble actual breasts in any way (and costumes with less fabric than my handkerchief), and men have enormous, veiny musculatures that very strongly evoke steroid abuse (and shoulders that wouldn't fit in most elevators). See the era I have in mind ?

The two points I have about this era are :

the depiction of men eventually gravitated back to less over-the-top idealisation, except for some specific characters like the Hulk or Savage Dragon, who are not meant to have a human body. The depiction of the women didn't, and I'd argue it has become even more over-the-top in some areas. Plus, you know, porn tracing.
it corresponds to an area where the comics stopped being a mass media and experienced a huge commercial crash. I'm not saying that this is the *cause*, far from it. The cause is much more complex, and its roots came years before. But it corresponds to super-hero comic books doubling down to sell stuff to an increasingly narrow public, chasing away those who weren't interested in that, doubling down again because the buying public was smaller, etc.

dupont2005
05-02-2014, 11:10 AM
We can argue about a lot of things. I'm sure there are LOADS of men who grow health problems and body image issues working out trying to look like muscle bound heroes and nobody really is upset over that.

Plenty of people are upset over that, the thing is though, it's not by default expected by women at large. Or even preferred. Studies have been done. You know who is impressed with giant muscles on guys? Other guys, for the most part.

http://foxhoundstudio.com/blog/fitness-lifestyle/the-ideal-male-physique-%E2%80%94-what-girls-want-want-guys-want-to-be/

Not to say men don't have body issues, and men don't want to be muscular, just that it's not necessarily because of women.

Jonah Weiland
05-02-2014, 11:11 AM
I haven't said anything about my opinions on the matter. I'm simply exploring alternative trains of thought. You neglected to highlight my last sentence there, and that's the major qualifier. In the western world, misogyny and sexism are considered harmful, but what about in the eastern world? Or the middle east? In these areas, sexism and misogyny are often cultural norms.

Anyway, we're getting way off topic. Suffice it to say that, yes, I am an American who was brought up to believe that women are and should be treated as equals. I do not believe in wanton exploitation of anyone. I just question people who are quick to paint anything they don't agree with as "bad" or "harmful."Tired of this kind of silliness. Adios.

Lt Trouble
05-02-2014, 11:16 AM
http://i1345.photobucket.com/albums/p664/Pinsir/Wonder%20Woman/LeftorRight1_zps2a583157.jpg (http://s1345.photobucket.com/user/Pinsir/media/Wonder%20Woman/LeftorRight1_zps2a583157.jpg.html)

That's a good start, but I'd take it a little farther:

585

Still attractive, but way less sexual and more athletic and realistic. Just a few minor changes, and this might actually get some teenage girls to buy the comic.

Somebody else made a good point about her thighs, but fixing that would take a lot more time in Photoshop than I'm prepared to do this afternoon, haha.

dahllaz
05-02-2014, 11:17 AM
That so many felt empowered enough to harrass and threaten a woman does not happen in a vacuum. The attitude that it's just opinions so who cares, I'm just being a devils advocate, this is the way superhero woman have always been drawn, is what creates the culture that women should just shut up already or go away.
It's what creates the culture that lets hundreds of people feel it's okay to then tell a woman to shut up, to threaten rape, to hack into bank accounts.

Telling me that I should just accept these attitudes may not be as scary as being told I deserve to be raped, but it sure as hell is hurtful.

*edited because I can't spell

Ghostwise
05-02-2014, 11:27 AM
I wasn't strictly talking about physical harm. Mental harm, emotional harm, etc. are possible, but these are also extremely difficult to measure. They're also not universal. To say that that particular image of Wonder Girl is harmful is taking a big leap, and it's virtually impossible to prove.

It's not about a specific image, it's about an entire corpus (heh, I made a pun) of images of girls, women and green-skinned killer space vixens wearing a skull on their crotch. Within super-hero comics, and without super-hero comics.

Which, if I'm not mistaken, was one of the points of the CBR column question and has been the point of most posts in this here forum.

Your remarks seem to indicate that you are yourself aware that reducing the exchange to "yeah, but what about this *specific* image" is setting an impossible standard of proof through reduction.



This is all certainly true, but there have also been decades worth of comics depicting blacks, gays, Asians, and women as strong role models.

And people like Stan Lee or Tony Isabella or whoever had to agitate every step of the way to have these characters. And often time these early tries were terribly embarrassing - I can give many examples if people want to be embarrassed :p .

And they were all greeted by plenty of people declaring "what's wrong with (slur about Black folks) being all buffoons ? It's funny ! I LIKE to laugh at this stuff" or "what's wrong with female super-heroes being utterly dependent on males and only thinking about clothes and marriage ? It's the eternal nature of womanhood, this is realistic !" and of course "but I don't want my children to be reading about heroic gay people ! You have to make clear that homosexuality is EVIL !".

(Or "no, I don't see the problem with the villain being an evil underhanded hawk-nosed Jewish kabalistic magician trying to destroy the wealth of America to enrich international concerns, there is no pattern here !").

Ghostwise
05-02-2014, 11:33 AM
Somebody else made a good point about her thighs, but fixing that would take a lot more time in Photoshop than I'm prepared to do this afternoon, haha.

Sometimes, it feels like half the world population is better with Photoshop(TM) than I am. And that makes me cry bitter tears as I shake my impotent fist toward the Heavens before I return practising.

The Darknight Detective
05-02-2014, 11:34 AM
That's a good start, but I'd take it a little farther:

585

Still attractive, but way less sexual and more athletic and realistic. Just a few minor changes, and this might actually get some teenage girls to buy the comic.

Somebody else made a good point about her thighs, but fixing that would take a lot more time in Photoshop than I'm prepared to do this afternoon, haha.

I would have actually preferred the altered version of Cassie in reality as a teen than the original version myself.

galaxygnome
05-02-2014, 12:22 PM
Well said -- welcome to the new CBR Community!

Thank you so much! :)


One of the biggest issues I had with the DC52 reboot was the sad fact that books like Red Mask & The Outlaws and Catwoman both had depictions of women that were intensely oversexualized in depiction and character.

Lobdell's treatment of the Stafire character was atrocious to say the least and now with the cover of the soon to be released Teen Titans #1, it would appear that DC (and Marvel to a slightly lesser degree) are yet to come to terms with the fact that they really can't keep pandering to the same demographic that they've been catering to for decades.

The art on these books was grossly gratuitious and upset me too. I actually really enjoyed Winick's character, I think he was doing some interesting and subversive things with Selina that, had he had a different artist, might have been read a little differently. Lobdell & Starfire though... lol. Just totally empty. These books were totally problematic and deserve to be talked about, but imo not because they were graphic - that was, after all, the intention for those two titles, a mature audience. rather, let's talk about the way they chose to express that graphic nature, especially the body contortions featured in both & the totally 2D male fantasy portrayed in red mask & the outlaws. Even still though, the teen titans cover represented something much worse...

A) it's a youth-oriented book, presumably not intended to be graphic, and is portraying its primary female character in a way not dissimilar to Catwoman/Outlaws soft-porn-esque scenes, right on the cover...

B) unlike the ladies of the afore-mentioned title, Cassie is placed in a high school age range and is being drawn to still attract middle-aged male audiences. what?? feels like lolita without any of the social commentary. or for a more modern reference point, american beauty. it's gross. it's symbolic of hugely messed up processes happening in our wider culture that even the idea to sexualize a child comes up, much less passes through many eyes - editorial etc - and is okayed.

I don't take a BIG issue with porny comics as a sub-forum of comics as a whole, I even know of a few that are female owned and produced, and I think that whole process can be pretty interesting. but keep the porn and the porn-ified bodies in the porn, and keep them out of the children's books... it seems like a pretty simple and harmless proposition to me.

I also realize that a similar argument can be posed for Outlaws since it also had an opportunity to attract Teen Titans fans - via Starfire's inclusion - but with Red Hood they were clearly going a different direction, so while I don't think THAT was a sublime marketing decision by a long stretch, it's still not exactly the context we are discussing here.

krelyan
05-02-2014, 01:09 PM
--I think Janelle Asselin made some great points. I do however like "good girl" or "bad girl" art in my comics. I realize it makes me somewhat childish or sexist in my appreciation, but hyper realized sexy depictions of women have been in comics for years and years and years---even the code didn't totally push it out. You can tell me to go to some porn site or something along those lines, but I don't want to look a porn. It is different. I am unapologetic in this.

Hell, one of the reasons that many male artists become artists is because they like to draw the female form and I think a great many female artists enjoy drawing a sexy female form. I don't even see Wonder Girl's large breasts in that drawing to be that egregious.

Now how the hell is Red Robin sitting in mid air like that? I am wondering about that myself

I think the bolded part is the problem. Comics (ie. superhero comics) didn't become a boy's club overnight. It's due to this imagery going on for so long and being so pervasive it's pushed out a lot of readers. You can't just focus on a small core audience and expect to be successful over a long period of time. Look at how other mediums that cull from the same material downplay these stereotypical elements and achieve much more mainstream success. At least that's what I took away from Asselin's article.

The Darknight Detective
05-02-2014, 01:23 PM
I think the bolded part is the problem. Comics (ie. superhero comics) didn't become a boy's club overnight. It's due to this imagery going on for so long and being so pervasive it's pushed out a lot of readers. You can't just focus on a small core audience and expect to be successful over a long period of time. Look at how other mediums that cull from the same material downplay these stereotypical elements and achieve much more mainstream success. At least that's what I took away from Asselin's article.

At this point, though, DC and the industry as a whole can't change things overnight without creating a backlash among their fanbase. A gradual transformation would be the only way to go at this time.

krelyan
05-02-2014, 01:50 PM
Going strictly by anatomical inaccuracies, you could make the same argument for virtually every male character with impossibly drawn muscles (yeah, guys can get self-conscious too). Some might see these larger-than-life depictions as demeaning, but others might see them as empowering or even inspiring.

1) As been stated many times super-muscular superheroes are a male power fantasy, not generally a female sexual fantasy (or you'd have a lot more compromising poses of the men). Look at the comments complaining about Scott's portrayal of Nightwing when that issue came out, which was fairly beefcake-y. 2) Men are not inundated with more-or-less one body type image as they grow up which leads to a lot of eating disorders. There is a large variety of male body types that are positively portrayed in media. When do you ever see the overweight woman with super hunky husband represented?

For example, I grew up as a scrawny white guy. I will never have the body builder frame represented in a fair amount of superhero comics. But that's ok because there were dozens and dozens of characters that I could latch onto. That kind of variety is vastly limited in representation of females.


Basically, if you don't like it, don't read it. But there's no need to demand that something changes or to call it harmful and demeaning simply because it doesn't fit into your personal tastes.

There would be very, very little art produced if no one ever offered feedback/criticism.

Mikekerr3
05-02-2014, 02:02 PM
Well, it's not either/or. It can be a reflection of sexism in the culture AND editorial laziness. And there absolutely is sexism in the culture, both the comics subculture and the wider American culture at large. Pointing out how widespread it is isn't so much a refutation of the point as an amplification of it.

And in finanicail incentive, sexy teens on covers sell comic books regrettably

Jonah Weiland
05-02-2014, 02:14 PM
And in finanicail incentive, sexy teens on covers sell comic books regrettablyYou know what sells comics even better? Great stories and great art.

Hod
05-02-2014, 02:18 PM
You know what sells comics even better? Great stories and great art.

Now that's just crazy talk.

galaxygnome
05-02-2014, 02:20 PM
At this point, though, DC and the industry as a whole can't change things overnight without creating a backlash among their fanbase. A gradual transformation would be the only way to go at this time.

I don't understand this. Do you honestly think anyone would have noticed and started a protest if the uniform had straps and the breasts were a little more accurately drawn? Do people violently protest Batgirl (who even is older than Cassie..) and her armored, unrevealing costume? Are people threatening to drop anything with the All-New Ultimates because their female (teen!) characters are typically drawn proportionately and realistically for their age?

Maybe I'm not spending enough time in the 7th circle of the internet, but I have never seen a "backlash" against any of these characters. Cassie had a costume change, and a costume change that was weirdly more revealing and more sexualized than it had been before. If she had a comparable suit, I can't imagine anyone would have thought to reject the character in the first place.

DC doesn't need to sexualize their characters in order to prevent a "backlash" from male fans. DC, I imagine, sexualizes in order to further knit those individuals into the fold. ie "I know people like this are spending $$$ on comics every month. How can we make sure they include this title in their pull? Follow the mold." but really i think (while far from innocent) Marvel is showing the same sales numbers can be achieved by good writers, novel ideas, and, idk, giving a damn about reaching out to new markets.

Long time teen titans fans aren't gonna be like "zomg i can't see the tits, i'm dropping this title for the first time ever!! tits or gtfo" and if they are, they need to spend some time in therapy thinking about why they need teen girls to be sexualized in order to enjoy their stories. This was a DC decision to attract the market of their current fans buying books with sex-ified covers to make sure they bought this book too - not to bother attracting anyone new, being attractive to anyone reading any other kind of comic, etc.

They weren't going to "lose" people who would have bought the title anyway - they were still trying to attract someone, it just, as Asselin asserts, wasn't the right person. I don't know if I'm explaining myself well, does that make sense?

DDD
05-02-2014, 02:21 PM
You know what sells comics even better? Great stories and great art.

My collection was full of such cancelled series.

Mikekerr3
05-02-2014, 02:27 PM
You know what sells comics even better? Great stories and great art.

Sadly I would not bet on that. I don't think the big two have any intention of betting on that

The Darknight Detective
05-02-2014, 02:29 PM
I don't understand this. Do you honestly think anyone would have noticed and started a protest if the uniform had straps and the breasts were a little more accurately drawn? Do people violently protest Batgirl (who even is older than Cassie..) and her armored, unrevealing costume? Are people threatening to drop anything with the All-New Ultimates because their female (teen!) characters are typically drawn proportionately and realistically for their age?

Maybe I'm not spending enough time in the 7th circle of the internet, but I have never seen a "backlash" against any of these characters. Cassie had a costume change, and a costume change that was weirdly more revealing and more sexualized than it had been before. If she had a comparable suit, I can't imagine anyone would have thought to reject the character in the first place.

DC doesn't need to sexualize their characters in order to prevent a "backlash" from male fans. DC, I imagine, sexualizes in order to further knit those individuals into the fold. ie "I know people like this are spending $$$ on comics every month. How can we make sure they include this title in their pull? Follow the mold." but really i think (while far from innocent) Marvel is showing the same sales numbers can be achieved by good writers, novel ideas, and, idk, giving a damn about reaching out to new markets.

Long time teen titans fans aren't gonna be like "zomg i can't see the tits, i'm dropping this title for the first time ever!! tits or gtfo" and if they are, they need to spend some time in therapy thinking about why they need teen girls to be sexualized in order to enjoy their stories. This was a DC decision to attract the market of their current fans buying books with sex-ified covers to make sure they bought this book too - not to bother attracting anyone new, being attractive to anyone reading any other kind of comic, etc.

They weren't going to "lose" people who would have bought the title anyway - they were still trying to attract someone, it just, as Asselin asserts, wasn't the right person. I don't know if I'm explaining myself well, does that make sense?

You're speaking to the choir, galaxygnome. Personally, I would have no problems changing things tomorrow. I'm just not sure the market could handle it, though. Don't know for sure, however.

DDD
05-02-2014, 02:31 PM
If they had an artist like Roquaford on the Minx line, I think it would have sold.

kane
05-02-2014, 02:32 PM
The cover is okay. Nothing breathtaking but also nothing bad or offensive about it, imo.

Attacking the woman who critized it was not okay, of course. It is amazing how aggresive and vile people can get on the internet.

galaxygnome
05-02-2014, 02:41 PM
Sadly I would not bet on that. I don't think the big two have any intention of betting on that

I think that's kind of the problem though, right? That they haven't bet on that much before? I think Marvel is betting on it now, there seems to be a lot of interesting work done around the refusal of a "house style" for art... but I can't think of any visually distinct utterly unique DC ongoing right now. Maybe Manapul? That's all I've got.

I'm not typically interested in big name team books [Avengers, Justice League, etc...] but wow if they put someone crazy like Noto on it, imagine how that would sell! I mean, isn't that essentially the case of Kingdom Come (w/Alex Ross), and now it's one of the most classic stories DC has?

Charles RB
05-02-2014, 03:07 PM
I think the bolded part is the problem. Comics (ie. superhero comics) didn't become a boy's club overnight. It's due to this imagery going on for so long and being so pervasive it's pushed out a lot of readers.

It's true too - most women in comics didn't have huge breasts. They were all drawn as physically attractive (and usually thin) but in a way that your average living woman could look like. Now it's all pornstar breasts. If it could change to that, why can't it change back? It won't bring in a wider audience on its own but it couldn't hurt.

The Darknight Detective
05-02-2014, 03:10 PM
It's true too - most women in comics didn't have huge breasts. They were all drawn as physically attractive (and usually thin) but in a way that your average living woman could look like. Now it's all pornstar breasts. If it could change to that, why can't it change back? It won't bring in a wider audience on its own but it couldn't hurt.

At the very least, it would be nice to have more variety in that regard. Not every heterosexual guy is fixated on size.

Lt Trouble
05-02-2014, 03:34 PM
1) As been stated many times super-muscular superheroes are a male power fantasy, not generally a female sexual fantasy (or you'd have a lot more compromising poses of the men).

When I get home from work in a few hours, I think I'm going to post a scan from the last Young Avengers #1, with Noh-Varr basically doing a sexy dance for Kate, which is one of the very very few examples I can think of where a guy is drawn to be a sexual fantasy. I was startled when I saw that, because it's so, so rare. I think it could illustrate the difference between male power fantasy and female (or gay male, since the series is pretty LGBT-friendly) sexual fantasy.

It also might be good to have some examples of female power fantasies, for contrast. My first nominee would be Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers.

Charles RB
05-02-2014, 03:41 PM
At the very least, it would be nice to have more variety in that regard. Not every heterosexual guy is fixated on size.

And that too!

t hedge coke
05-02-2014, 09:57 PM
One thing I can say for the comics market here in Weihai, is that there is a much better balance in terms of male and female sexualization. Not that every individual comic does it, but the overall market gives more range, for objectified attractiveness, less objectified varieties, and for comics where nobody needs to be super sexed up. Partly, because more people are reading comics (though the American-comics market here is almost entirely digital, legit or less-than-legit), and in part because, culturally, once certain social inequalities are pointed out, there will be legitimate efforts, at least publicly and in the short term, to correct the problem. When something is addressed as unequal and no adjustments are made, that interest or social quarter is not being treated equally, as has been a big thing recently with queer representation (which, in comics, mostly comes down to imports/translations) or black characters (a hot button subject re TV right now), it's noticeable in a different way than, as an American citizen, I talk about "Where are the lgbt in Star Trek" or "How are there only two black guys in all of space and the only Leia my niece can buy at the store is 'slave girl'?" The answer, in my head, is "That's the market they're pursuing."

China's less likely to pursue a market that's distinct from the base market the thing is initially aimed at. Kids products don't get sexy Halloween costumes; it just doesn't seem to register that way, culturally and socially.

The entertainment markets, here, are artificially sustained, though, in the sense that it's not raw capitalism at work. (Why do I think this is "artificial," if I know better? I blame being American. ;) Capitalism is real! Cultural negotiations are artificial!) Coupled with the comics market being a mix of comics from various countries and cultures, that social stimulus keeps things from being boiled down to one idiosyncratic gaze where "we" all want to be generic-man-bodytype A or see "ourselves" as generic-boy-bodytype B who's kind of a dope, slumped shoulders, no good job, but the hot ladies will luv him, while generic-woman-and-girl-bodytypes are stapled together in awkward positions to show off as much as they can of what could be available to "us." The individual products, every comic on the market, has to come to a more significant whole, because the look of the market, the feel of the whole, is seen as more important than the excesses or idiosyncrasies of individual titles. An individual comic may still present a variety of intense stereotypes or massive exploitative sexualization, but it's a drop in the bucket, not the entire bucket. The bucket's got to be for everybody.

Cipher
05-02-2014, 10:09 PM
At this point, though, DC and the industry as a whole can't change things overnight without creating a backlash among their fanbase. A gradual transformation would be the only way to go at this time.
I don't think this is entirely true, because I don't think things like the hyper-sexualized depictions of women are even an intentional marketing gimmick. They've just become so ingrained into the industry that they've become "how you draw a woman." (For another aspect of this that bothers the sh*t out of me, see how many line artists/inkers/colorists give women auto-lipstick, even if they wouldn't wear it. It's just how you draw them (http://www.pencilkings.com/how-to-draw-a-mouth-03-drawing-male-and-female-mouths/)™, even if it's distinctly unrealistic and just there as a shorthand for femininity/to play up the sexual aspects. Here's a rare and wonderful image (https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&docid=ol3qT31lxKrw3M&tbnid=njCsT7ksiygBeM:&ved=0CAUQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fredcell6.tumblr.com%2Fpost%2F7466 3379810%2Fjustice-league-3-variant-by-greg-capullo&ei=QHpkU7zuCsm8yAGGv4CYAQ&psig=AFQjCNH81HvknwetI_oi9Nb6iE31xtNWHw&ust=1399180220219337) in which Wonder Woman's mouth isn't colored any differently from the males', for example.)

Since I fully believe the amount of people who would only buy the material for the T&A aspect (as in, they wouldn't pick up the book otherwise) to be negligible, and certainly fewer in number than those put off by it and less valuable than opening the book up to broader audiences: Yes. Things really could change overnight. It would just require a group of editors, artists and executives being more aware of what needs to change.

dupont2005
05-02-2014, 10:44 PM
It's true too - most women in comics didn't have huge breasts. They were all drawn as physically attractive (and usually thin) but in a way that your average living woman could look like. Now it's all pornstar breasts. If it could change to that, why can't it change back? It won't bring in a wider audience on its own but it couldn't hurt.

Also getting rid of the constant posing, the constant spread eagle shots, the brokeback poses. The panel composition didn't used to be all about crotch shots and upskirts. It is terribly distracting.

t hedge coke
05-02-2014, 10:50 PM
I don't think this is entirely true, because I don't think things like the hyper-sexualized depictions of women are even an intentional marketing gimmick. They've just become so ingrained into the industry that they've become "how you draw a woman." (For another aspect of this that bothers the sh*t out of me, see how many line artists/inkers/colorists give women auto-lipstick, even if they wouldn't wear it.

Heck, we've had in-story reference to Wonder Woman not wearing lipstick or any makeup, but that won't stop a colorist from painting on colors that clearly denote makeup.

It's always reflex or choice, but I do think with a number of comics artists, it comes down to that trained-reflex or expectation. A lot of it does come down to culture, but there's always personal expectation.

Anarchy for the Masses, the book on The Invisibles, is quite good for its interviews especially, but in the annotations, they refer to the way Phil Jimenez draws King Mob with a flat butt as "human," implying that the more rounded rear on Robin is somehow inhuman. They're not criticizing her body language, posing, etc, but the actual shape of her butt as somehow non-human because it looks more conventionally attractive than Mob's or something. And, that's just as sexist a critique of the visualizations as anything the artist could have done. They're not seeing Robin as a woman, at that point, but men as human and fictional women as unreal props. (The talent were facetiously sexing up Robin during that time, so the Anarchy authors could've criticized that, the leathers, the pretend submissiveness, but no, they went for a physiological aspect.)

Rocafort, who I think is a talented artist, has a tendency way beyond that cover to draw women differently than his men, often detached from physical action o situational reality. My niece was just reading some of his Superman stuff from a crossover and had to show me on video how silly it is when the heroes are lifting something and every man is hunched forward, strained arms, working hard, and Supergirl has her back bent back, skirt flying up (always the skirt flying up), arms raised but loose ("she's not lifting, she's just doing raise the roof"), passive face. I know Rocafort is talented enough not to have done that, so he either made the choice or did so unconsidered, based on expectation. It's "the thong helps her be a ninja" deal.

Pinsir
05-02-2014, 11:04 PM
I don't think this is entirely true, because I don't think things like the hyper-sexualized depictions of women are even an intentional marketing gimmick. They've just become so ingrained into the industry that they've become "how you draw a woman." (For another aspect of this that bothers the sh*t out of me, see how many line artists/inkers/colorists give women auto-lipstick, even if they wouldn't wear it. It's just how you draw them (http://www.pencilkings.com/how-to-draw-a-mouth-03-drawing-male-and-female-mouths/)™, even if it's distinctly unrealistic and just there as a shorthand for femininity/to play up the sexual aspects. Here's a rare and wonderful image (https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&docid=ol3qT31lxKrw3M&tbnid=njCsT7ksiygBeM:&ved=0CAUQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fredcell6.tumblr.com%2Fpost%2F7466 3379810%2Fjustice-league-3-variant-by-greg-capullo&ei=QHpkU7zuCsm8yAGGv4CYAQ&psig=AFQjCNH81HvknwetI_oi9Nb6iE31xtNWHw&ust=1399180220219337) in which Wonder Woman's mouth isn't colored any differently from the males', for example.)

Since I fully believe the amount of people who would only buy the material for the T&A aspect (as in, they wouldn't pick up the book otherwise) to be negligible, and certainly fewer in number than those put off by it less valuable than opening the book up to broader audiences: Yes. Things really could change overnight. It would just require a group of editors, artists and executives being more aware of what needs to change.

I gave a quike overview of my Supergirl collection and yep. Interestingly all those anime girls do not have visible lips. So this is clearly a Western thing.

I'm skeptical that this motif can be uprooted so easily...Sure it can happen, but I'd prefer women have appropriate bodies first.

dupont2005
05-02-2014, 11:30 PM
I know Rocafort is talented enough not to have done that, so he either made the choice or did so unconsidered, based on expectation. It's "the thong helps her be a ninja" deal.

I'm also sensing two other possibilities. One is some sort of editorial mandate, either written or unwritten, that the sexy women always be posing sexy. Another is something I've heard on CBR a while back that explains the prevalence of the brokeback pose, which is that sexy splash pages, and even panels with lots of T&A, the original art sells for more, or sells quicker, has a strong collectors market. The people buying up the OA favor the pages with the T&A. So the artist (whose paycheck may be lower than it should be) makes a little extra side income by factoring in his OA clients wishes while composing a page of art to a story, even if the art doesn't follow the script, or runs contradictory to the context. I think I also heard of an artist who included a dinosaur into as many pages as he could, because he had a dinosaur collector buying his OA. So no matter the situation called for in the script, there's gonna be some dinosaurs. Or apes, whatever it was.

Cipher
05-02-2014, 11:41 PM
I gave a quike overview of my Supergirl collection and yep. Interestingly all those anime girls do not have visible lips. So this is clearly a Western thing.

I'm skeptical that this motif can be uprooted so easily...Sure it can happen, but I'd prefer women have appropriate bodies first.
Oh, yeah. I agree; the anatomy needs to be looked at first. It's just all part and parcel.

And the way manga approaches lips, which is either to leave them out or to draw them the same way on both men and women, (and far be it from me to hold up manga as a bastion of positive female portrayals, although it's at least a vastly more varied field) was on my mind when I first started noticing that. There's definitely no need for it.

There's nothing preventing any of this from ceasing other than people just not caring about it. It all starts with awareness, which, to go aaaaaall the way back to the points of the article that inspired this thread, is why these elements are important to point out.

Donald M.
05-02-2014, 11:43 PM
Sorry if this has already been addressed, but the critique doesn't need supporting. The critique is beside the point.

Pinsir
05-03-2014, 12:00 AM
Sorry if this has already been addressed, but the critique doesn't need supporting. The critique is beside the point.

I actually don't think that has been brought up. The title should be "I Support Janelle Asselin"

Pinsir
05-03-2014, 12:04 AM
Anyway, my question is why does this push back only exist for women? These communities (video game, atheism, comics) have few issues with racism and homophobia, but they have huge women issues!

Donald M.
05-03-2014, 12:08 AM
I actually don't think that has been brought up. The title should be "I Support Janelle Asselin"

Yeah, I mean the critique wasn't the reason for the treatment she got. If a guy posted that critique there would have been a few nasty comments about White Knights and that's it.

Donald M.
05-03-2014, 12:11 AM
Anyway, my question is why does this push back only exist for women? These communities (video game, atheism, comics) have few issues with racism and homophobia, but they have huge women issues!

I forget where, but in the comments thread for one article I read about this mess some apologist came in to remind everyone that being rejected by women is a serious issue! He had a point, though perhaps not the one he was trying to make. A lot of these guys are gross troglodytes who would rather look outward than inward for reasons the world rejects them.

Donald M.
05-03-2014, 12:12 AM
Also:

http://addicted-gamers.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/greater-internet-fwad.jpg

Cipher
05-03-2014, 12:33 AM
Part of it is because the elements that make media (and hell, just society in general) more difficult for women are often more invisible than racism, homophobia, etc. Though to say comics fandom doesn't have a problem with those as well seems a little iffy (see Wally West just the other week).

Unlike for racism and homophobia, there's a general societal attitude that sexism is over. That we've moved on. That when women complain about these things, they're overreacting or, I don't know and I truly don't understand this sentiment, for some reason lying about how it makes them feel. Obviously none of this is true; these elements have just become more covert and ingrained. It's ridiculous to not listen when complaints come from the very demographic they affect.

Throw in these hobbies' tendencies to attract social malcontents who have bad history with the opposite gender, a natural resistance to change and, of course, the transformative properties of anonymity, and you get the kind of push-back you see. It's gross and needs to be called out as being unacceptable whenever it occurs.

I'm really happy to see so much positive discussion this time around, by the way. Previously, CBR had felt as if it were among the more resistant communities; I really hope this iteration can be on the bleeding edge of inclusion and change.

Spike-X
05-03-2014, 12:38 AM
At this point, though, DC and the industry as a whole can't change things overnight without creating a backlash among their fanbase. A gradual transformation would be the only way to go at this time.

Drawing their female characters in realistic poses, with realistic body types and parts, would create a backlash among their fanbase?

Wow. Their fanbase must suck.

Pinsir
05-03-2014, 12:40 AM
I forget where, but in the comments thread for one article I read about this mess some apologist came in to remind everyone that being rejected by women is a serious issue! He had a point, though perhaps not the one he was trying to make. A lot of these guys are gross troglodytes who would rather look outward than inward for reasons the world rejects them.

So the friendzone reason. I know its not true and is obviously an ad hominem, but I have gone to some anti-feminist Youtube channels and accused people of being virgins and being sexually frustrated. Some of the responses I got back confirmed my suspicions...Its not proof and it is widely inappropriate to do. Still I think there is a sexual aspect to this debate as all three of these groups I mentioned (video game, atheism, comics) have had sexual harassment problems during conventions too.

I have heard feminist atheist podcasts about the issue and for that community in particular men use clubs/conventions as a hunting ground for potential love interests. We all want to find a partner with similar interests, but in communities where there are few women they have to fend off advances all the time. The result is that these women feel like meat and the men feel rejected and desperate. This is probably where the rage from 'Fake geek girls' comes from. I have literally heard someone say about these women, "If you want to have sex with guys who like football, why do you dress up in a comic book cosplay?"

Now that I think of it; why is it communities such as the Anime one don't have these problems?

StoneGold
05-03-2014, 12:42 AM
Since I fully believe the amount of people who would only buy the material for the T&A aspect (as in, they wouldn't pick up the book otherwise) to be negligible, and certainly fewer in number than those put off by it and less valuable than opening the book up to broader audiences: Yes. Things really could change overnight. It would just require a group of editors, artists and executives being more aware of what needs to change.

Hoo boy, Zenescope must hope you're wrong.

Spike-X
05-03-2014, 12:42 AM
Also getting rid of the constant posing, the constant spread eagle shots, the brokeback poses. The panel composition didn't used to be all about crotch shots and upskirts. It is terribly distracting.

Not to mention embarrassing.

Cipher
05-03-2014, 12:45 AM
Hoo boy, Zenescope must hope you're wrong.
I had to look up what Zenescope was.

There's a difference between publishers and series whose entire raison d'etre is very clearly T&A (and that's fine! porn is fine) and publishers like DC, for whom those elements aren't the primary draw and don't even seem to be intentional.


Now that I think of it; why is it communities such as the Anime one don't have these problems?
That's an interesting point and, completely anecdotally, it also seems true that it's less present there than in the others you mentioned.

I'd venture that that's likely because women were more a part of that niche from its very inception in North America, and because the content of that field is broad enough to not be defined by one sexist tone.

Which is just proof that the same could happen for the Western comics industry in time if people actually commit to buying and producing less offensive content.

Pinsir
05-03-2014, 12:47 AM
I had to look up what Zenescope was.

There's a difference between publishers and series whose entire raison d'etre is very clearly T&A (and that's fine! porn is fine) and publishers like DC, for whom those elements aren't the primary draw and don't even seem to be intentional.

The funny thing is Zenoscope has a large female fanbase too...

StoneGold
05-03-2014, 12:50 AM
I had to look up what Zenescope was.

There's a difference between publishers and series whose entire raison d'etre is very clearly T&A (and that's fine! porn is fine) and publishers like DC, for whom those elements aren't the primary draw and don't even seem to be intentional.

It's probably even fine for DC, depending on the book. Teen Titans doesn't seem like that book -- I don't really know, I read like an issue or two before Lobdell ran me off. I didn't like his writing in the 90s, don't like it now. But like, if Jimmy and Amanda Palmiotti are on a book, I expect some extra T&A. It's what they do. Maybe not so much with Teen Titans. But then, I fall somewhere in the middle of a lot of arguments over the cover.

StoneGold
05-03-2014, 12:52 AM
The funny thing is Zenoscope has a large female fanbase too...

Totally. Girl power and what not. Suicide Girls have a big female following as well. If Cosmo covers have taught me anything, women like looking at other pretty women.

dupont2005
05-03-2014, 12:56 AM
Anyway, my question is why does this push back only exist for women? These communities (video game, atheism, comics) have few issues with racism and homophobia, but they have huge women issues!
Atheism isn't a community. It's a lack of belief. If it was a community, it would be one of the few without a book banning women from being equal though.

StoneGold
05-03-2014, 01:00 AM
Atheism isn't a community. It's a lack of belief. If it was a community, it would be one of the few without a book banning women from being equal though.

You've never gone through some of the atheism threads on Reddit, obviously.

Although that's less atheists, more atheists who happen to have women issues. So, you know, Reddit.

dupont2005
05-03-2014, 01:04 AM
Despite what goes on in Reddit, atheism is a lack of belief. No dogma, no rules, no shared ideology or membership of any kind. It's exactly like not believing in unicorns. I'm kind of surprised it was singled out as sexist, assuming by someone who isn't an atheist, and probably reveres a book that says women must submit to their husband, if the husband gets tired of her the town should gather round and kill her, and if he rapes a chick his punishment is to have to marry her.

Cipher
05-03-2014, 01:08 AM
Despite what goes on in Reddit, atheism is a lack of belief. No dogma, no rules, no shared ideology or membership of any kind. It's exactly like not believing in unicorns. I'm kind of surprised it was singled out as sexist, assuming by someone who isn't an atheist, and probably reveres a book that says women must submit to their husband, if the husband gets tired of her the town should gather round and kill her, and if he rapes a chick his punishment is to have to marry her.
Pinsir was referring to the organized atheist/skeptic community, though, insofar as it holds conventions and confers on Youtube and Reddit, which does have a documented history of some pretty vicious sexism.

Obviously that isn't representative of all atheists (I'm one and I wouldn't touch that community with a ten-foot pole), but that's what he was getting at.

StoneGold
05-03-2014, 01:10 AM
Despite what goes on in Reddit, atheism is a lack of belief. No dogma, no rules, no shared ideology or membership of any kind. It's exactly like not believing in unicorns. I'm kind of surprised it was singled out as sexist, assuming by someone who isn't an atheist, and probably reveres a book that says women must submit to their husband, if the husband gets tired of her the town should gather round and kill her, and if he rapes a chick his punishment is to have to marry her.

Oh, I get it, read the second sentence. But as far as the book goes, it really just depends on who is writing the book.

dupont2005
05-03-2014, 01:13 AM
Oh, I get it, read the second sentence. But as far as the book goes, it really just depends on who is writing the book.
There is no book though. Some people like Dawkins, I've never read a single one of his books, and don't plan to. I don't need to be convinced, I already am. But I can think of a group that holds a convention every Sunday that DOES have a book saying women need to stfu in these Sunday conventions. If I were to speak about groups with problems with sexism, I'd probably mention the one with an actual establishment with built in systematic gender based inequality rather than one where there is no actual establishment.

t hedge coke
05-03-2014, 01:15 AM
Fabio D'aurio and Emma Rios did pretty good on the make up/lipstick front with their Elektra oneshot (written by Zeb Wells). Fabio D'aurio, in general, has a good sense of coloring appropriate to character or scene in ways a number of colorists (sorry!) don't evince. Most folks wash that stuff off before bed, but people look "better" made up, so if a woman wakes up at three a.m. she'll sit up in bed with her hair styled and eyeshadow perfect.


The funny thing is Zenoscope has a large female fanbase too...

Zenoscope's an odd one. Their covers and the comics inside them don't usually line up stylistically, for one thing.

There's a difference between that and something with a prebuilt young fanbase like Titans has right now, too.

Pinsir
05-03-2014, 01:15 AM
Atheism isn't a community. It's a lack of belief. If it was a community, it would be one of the few without a book banning women from being equal though.

I'm not speaking ignorantly on this subject. There certainly is an atheist community with conventions, literature, lobbying groups, ideologies, etc.

The irony is that the topic of feminism within the athiest community has been particularly divisive. This was a community that spent years calling out religion for being oppressive to women, yet when members of that community pointed out that they were not a shining city on a hill either...it split into two. The Reddit/Youtube front have been anti-feminist, but its from these groups people began to notice a similiarity between them all and thus the first true stereotype was born (Im joking...probably)

http://i1345.photobucket.com/albums/p664/Pinsir/Neckbeard/0_zps2adfa794.png (http://s1345.photobucket.com/user/Pinsir/media/Neckbeard/0_zps2adfa794.png.html)

StoneGold
05-03-2014, 01:16 AM
There is no book though.

You brought up the book, not me. Here's the problem -- you start by saying atheists are not a group. Then you try to lump them together as a group. All I'm saying is that doesn't really work, because of your first statement. There are some total jerkwad atheists out there. And some that are not. Just how it works.

Ghostwise
05-03-2014, 01:21 AM
My collection was full of such cancelled series.

The vast majority of series get cancelled, yes. But one can imagine that if the medium itself was viewed as less insular and... connoted, and thus had a larger and wider readership, more series would be sustainable since there'd be more people to buy them.

It seemed to work for the Marvel movies.

dupont2005
05-03-2014, 01:21 AM
Then you try to lump them together as a group.When?
What group did I lump them in?
They may or may not have any shared beliefs at all. They have a shared disbelief, and that's it. They can be liberal, conservative, racist, not racist, but all that they believe is incidental to their atheism, not an accessory to it. That's not a group any more than not liking anime is a group. People can not like anime, and some of them will like Classic Rock, some won't One has nothing to do with each other, because there isn't a canon shared by everyone who doesn't like anime telling them what women's role in life is. It's a lack of group, basically. That's why I brought up the book. If someone is criticizing gender issues, and on their nightstand is a book with directions on how to beat your wife, and they consider the book to be a source of morality and wisdom to live by, they're not in the best position to judge.

Pinsir
05-03-2014, 01:29 AM
There is no book though. Some people like Dawkins, I've never read a single one of his books, and don't plan to. I don't need to be convinced, I already am. But I can think of a group that holds a convention every Sunday that DOES have a book saying women need to stfu in these Sunday conventions. If I were to speak about groups with problems with sexism, I'd probably mention the one with an actual establishment with built in systematic gender based inequality rather than one where there is no actual establishment.

The idea of 'the book' is really only something Abrahamic religions do. Most religions dont have sacred texts, and those that do have multiple competing ones.

t hedge coke
05-03-2014, 01:30 AM
There is no book though. Some people like Dawkins, I've never read a single one of his books, and don't plan to. I don't need to be convinced, I already am. But I can think of a group that holds a convention every Sunday that DOES have a book saying women need to stfu in these Sunday conventions. If I were to speak about groups with problems with sexism, I'd probably mention the one with an actual establishment with built in systematic gender based inequality rather than one where there is no actual establishment.

There are obvious branches and subcultures of atheism that do have an establishment, though, and Dawkins' cult is one of those. They have their own jargon, their own philosophies and social conventions, and they have dogma. In the same way that not all self-described anarchist groups are responsible anarchists, nor do they all forego dominance structures. Totalitarian democracies, peaceniks who beat their kids.

Any group that identifies as anything can still develop adherent philosophies, secondary or dogmatic practices. Any group. And, it's rare that any group, once grouped, don't start to develop such a community and cultural norms/expectations. Everyone's got to be vigilant on their own.

dupont2005
05-03-2014, 01:31 AM
The idea of 'the book' is really only something Abrahamic religions do. Most religions dont have sacred texts, and those that do have multiple competing ones.

I know. A religion that didn't have one of those texts I wouldn't consider to be inherently sexist either. They may or may not be sexist, but I'd hesitate to label it such without further research. Also, I don't mean to imply you belong to any group of any kind, I just thought it really odd that atheism was singled out as sexist when in the western hemisphere it's the least likely demographic to find systematic actual inequality being justified or ignored.

dupont2005
05-03-2014, 01:33 AM
There are obvious branches and subcultures of atheism that do have an establishment, though, and Dawkins' cult is one of those. They have their own jargon, their own philosophies and social conventions, and they have dogma. In the same way that not all self-described anarchist groups are responsible anarchists, nor do they all forego dominance structures. Totalitarian democracies, peaceniks who beat their kids.

Any group that identifies as anything can still develop adherent philosophies, secondary or dogmatic practices. Any group. And, it's rare that any group, once grouped, don't start to develop such a community and cultural norms/expectations. Everyone's got to be vigilant on their own.

It would be prudent to specify the group then, since atheism itself is not a group. It would be kind of like talking about the Klan and just saying "Christians," when the Klan is actually just a tiny fraction of the Christian population.

I'm an atheist and I am not in any sort of group good or bad. I just am not convinced magic and magical beings are real. I don't go to conventions about it, never read a book on it, and until right now didn't know any such convention existed.

StoneGold
05-03-2014, 01:35 AM
When?
What group did I lump them in?.

"If it was a community..."

And then you go on to describe what this thing that does not exist would do. Except the fact that they do not exist would kind of preclude you from knowing that.

dupont2005
05-03-2014, 01:40 AM
"If it was a community..."

And then you go on to describe what this thing that does not exist would do. Except the fact that they do not exist would kind of preclude you from knowing that.
If it was a community is kind of exactly like saying it isn't a community. I can speculate on what a unicorn would do if it were real as well, but it's not. I can say, for example, that since unicorns wouldn't have fingers they wouldn't be great with tools. But unicorns aren't real, so of course they don't have fingers.

StoneGold
05-03-2014, 01:47 AM
If it was a community is kind of exactly like saying it isn't a community. I can speculate on what a unicorn would do if it were real as well, but it's not. I can say, for example, that since unicorns wouldn't have fingers they wouldn't be great with tools. But unicorns aren't real, so of course they don't have fingers.

And if you speculate what a unicorn is, you know what you are? That's right, you're wrong. Well, that or lying. Because you don't know what a unicorn is like, and yet you're trying to act like an expert about it.


See, if you're telling a story, lying is OK, because that's the point. When you're trying to portray yourself as an expert in a non-fictional setting? Not the same thing. Not in the slightest.

dupont2005
05-03-2014, 01:49 AM
And if you speculate what a unicorn is, you know what you are? That's right, you're wrong. Well, that or lying. Because you don't know what a unicorn is like, and yet you're trying to act like an expert about it.

How do I know they aren't real if I don't know their characteristics? How do I know this isn't a unicorn?
Link because image is huge
http://animalkingdomz00.com/images/chinese-shar-pei-1.jpg

Pinsir
05-03-2014, 01:49 AM
I know. A religion that didn't have one of those texts I wouldn't consider to be inherently sexist either. They may or may not be sexist, but I'd hesitate to label it such without further research. Also, I don't mean to imply you belong to any group of any kind, I just thought it really odd that atheism was singled out as sexist when in the western hemisphere it's the least likely demographic to find systematic actual inequality being justified or ignored.

Okay I got yeah. I think it honestly has to do with sex again though. Males are more likely to be atheistic then women so there is a gender imbalance, but if your an atheist you have an impetus more than someone else (say comic book people) to find a partner that shares your views. If you date a Christian woman how you raise your children suddenly becomes much more difficult. So the stakes are higher.

Ironically the big event that started the schism was over this issue. A woman named Rebecca Watson was at an atheist convention. She was a speaker there and she had been partying at a bar until very late in the morning. She took an elevator to her room and was joined by an attendee who admired her work and asked if she wanted to join him for coffee in his room. Later she made a blog post about the incident and how it made her uncomfortable (it was late, she was alone on a elevator). It wasn't even that big a deal to her, but many men got mad, the rape and death threats began, the major leaders of the movement took sides (Dawkins said she was lucky not to be a muslim woman) and the community has been divided since.

dupont2005
05-03-2014, 01:51 AM
Okay I got yeah. I think it honestly has to do with sex again though. Males are more likely to be atheistic then women so there is a gender imbalance, but if your an atheist you have an impetus more than someone else (say comic book people) to find a partner that shares your views. If you date a Christian woman how you raise your children suddenly becomes much more difficult. So the stakes are higher.

Ironically the big event that started the schism was over this issue. A woman named Rebecca Watson was at an atheist convention. She was a speaker there and she had been partying at a bar until very late in the morning. She took an elevator to her room and was joined by an attendee who admired her work and asked if she wanted to join him for coffee in his room. Later she made a blog post about the incident and how it made her uncomfortable (it was late, she was alone on a elevator). It wasn't even that big a deal to her, but many men got mad, the rape and death threats began, the major leaders of the movement took sides (Dawkins said she was lucky not to be a muslim woman) and the community has been divided since.
I actually think I heard of that before. Or the same exact thing happened at a comic convention or something.

Donald M.
05-03-2014, 02:02 AM
Ironically the big event that started the schism was over this issue. A woman named Rebecca Watson was at an atheist convention. She was a speaker there and she had been partying at a bar until very late in the morning. She took an elevator to her room and was joined by an attendee who admired her work and asked if she wanted to join him for coffee in his room. Later she made a blog post about the incident and how it made her uncomfortable (it was late, she was alone on a elevator). It wasn't even that big a deal to her, but many men got mad, the rape and death threats began, the major leaders of the movement took sides (Dawkins said she was lucky not to be a muslim woman) and the community has been divided since.

He deserved a chance!

Seriously though, that seems to be a big issue. Guys - usually the really sleazy ones but sometimes the genuinely nice ones too, if they don't know any better - think they deserve a chance and feel slighted if they aren't given it. Women reasonably feel they have the right not to be interested in someone or even to be kind of creeped out depending on the context and no one is owed an explanation as to way. If you're rejected, move the fuck on like an adult. If you realize a woman is a little weirded out by you, accept that while the two of you were alone on an elevator at 2am probably wasn't the best time to hit on her.

king mob
05-03-2014, 02:06 AM
That superheroes make poor role models and that they should look elsewhere for inspiration? Even if they were all drawn with normal body proportions, the vast majority of comic book characters, male or female, would still be small-minded, self-absorbed children more concerned with being cool than helping people. This doesn't mean that they can't be entertaining to read about, but only given the proper perspective. Anyone who patterns their life after one of these characters is doing themselves and the people around them some great disservice.

These were designed to be children's characters and they're marketed towards children, not to mention that it's true that people will look at fictional characters not only for inspiration but to see a representation of themselves. If the representation of women is this pornofied, blow up doll vision of women (as many DC Comics seem to do now) that are aimed at heterosexual males only. It's sending a message that women are excluded from this because these characters aren't for them.

StoneGold
05-03-2014, 02:07 AM
There's more to women than just big tits. Reducing women to 'who has the biggest tits' is kind of proving the point here.

Butts, too.

Donald M.
05-03-2014, 02:09 AM
There's more to women than just big tits. Reducing women to 'who has the biggest tits' is kind of proving the point here.

Yeah, seriously. "But there are really women with breasts that big," misses the point that in superhero comics, there are barely any women WITHOUT breasts that big. Also, if you have to pull out a bunch of porn stars to make your point about women, you automatically lose.

Donald M.
05-03-2014, 02:09 AM
Butts, too.

And legs. I'm fond of legs.

king mob
05-03-2014, 02:13 AM
More specifically to the Teen Titans cover, yes it objectifies Wonder Girl. Some males enjoy that. I know personally I enjoy it because I love the female body, but at the same time I understand where someone else would be offended by it and I defer to respecting others. However, I do not believe that in all cases we should aim to be non-offensive. I believe there is a place for it. Comics are an art form and as such even offensive content should exist - else how could we enjoy a good villain? The question though is should DC be aiming for offensive on their newly launching Teen Titans? Of course not. They should be setting an example. The cover fails to set a good example.

There's a difference between cheesecake of the type say, Wally Wood or Dave Stevens drew (which featured natural looking women) to what's in a lot of superhero comics. I don't mind cheesecake. It's fine. This is just as far removed from anything remotely fun as you can get. This is just part of a larger problem of objectifying young girls and normalising porn star standards as the 'norm' for young women. Considering how many young people struggle with body image, and many of those are young girls then this isn't helping.

king mob
05-03-2014, 02:18 AM
What this critic went through was absolutely ridiculous. And I've seen that these kind of thoughts are very subtle yet pretty big in the comic book community. There is no place for behavior like that ever
It needs to be pointed out that it's not the 'comic book community' here. It's a smallish but still large enough group of superhero fans who are vocal across the internet and especially on social media who see Asselin as somehow 'attacking' 'their' comic characters. There also seems to be some of the 'men's rights' lot involved with this.

Donald M.
05-03-2014, 02:20 AM
'men's rights'

Blergh. What a pack of deluded assholes.