29 September 2011

STOP

There's been a low-boiling furor over sexism in comics the last couple weeks, stemming from the portrayal of female superheroes in some of DC's New 52 books. When I first saw a link to an article about all this on the Google new homepage, my first instinct was to roll my eyes and shudder.

"This again?" I thought.

And not because I necessarily disagree with the stated opinions, but because I feel the whole practice of reading some of these comics is akin to whacking yourself in the hand with a hammer and then screaming that it hurts.

There is most definitely a sexist element to how certain female superheroes are portrayed in comics, but it's not a secret. You don't look at a character like Power Girl and wonder, "Hmmm, could it be that tawdry costume she's in has a purpose other than drawing attention to her ridiculously enormous tits?" (And in case you do, here's a hint: No.) By and large, the types of comics creating all this uproar practically celebrate what they're doing.

Meaning, it's not at all difficult to ignore them.

And if you're offended by the portrayal of women in these comics, that's the best recourse: Ignore them. Starve them out. Stop supporting them.

There are plenty of other comics to read, by a wide variety of publishers, and a lot of them are even superhero comics. I actually just re-read Joss Whedon's wonderful run on Astonishing X-Men. That work, or indeed the series Joss is best known for, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, stands head and shoulders above the books generating all this vitriol. There's a new Buffy the Vampire Slayer series out right now. Support that instead. iZ0mbie is another one that comes to mind. Or Invincible by Robert Kirkman. And actually, from DC's New 52, there's Batwoman.

I'm not going to sit here and rattle off a whole list. That's boring and dumb and unless you're boring and dumb, too, you get my point. Support the books that do it right. Stop calling attention to all the offensive material, because seriously? What you're really doing is helping the very things you hate find a wider audience. So, stop.

Unless, of course, that's what you want.

If you're just complaining about this stuff to hear yourself complain, with no intention of changing your reading or buying habits, because you somehow need the security blanket of the same ol' superhero comics you've always read, knock yourself out. You will get more of the same, and you can make yourself feel important by denouncing these creepy, cringe-worthy comics whilst continuing to support them like the good little fangirl you are.

Otherwise, really, stop.