Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Helpin the kids out of their coats...

October has me excited for a lot of reasons-the main one being the onset of winter. That means a few things:

Hot Chocolate
Snow?
Electric Blankets
The Feeling of being a giant bear in a den when you are under an electric blanket.

Also, in winter, I get really thoughtful about various silly things so I am excited for that. I also get to stay in hotels. I love hotels. Turn the thermostat down and snuggle. But I feel like I'm starting this post off on the wrong foot. I think I need to change a few things because the last horoscope I had said "Artful change, etc, etc, gonna hook up with a girl throw some spice in there, etc. etc." Well. I've failed on that last part once more so I guess I should do something about the former.
Thinking I'll rasterbate (that is, to blow up a single image and print it out as a giant poster) a picture and get it on my wall. Sometimes I hate having such a small space but during winter I do not really mind. I like living in an uncivilized cave.
More money coming in this week means more useless stuff. This week it goes to-
Viking Helmets
Viking Stuff
Viking Boat
Maybe some comic books.

I figured with the last one that I at least owe it to myself to read the rest of Astonishing X-men's current volumes. Or to the point in which Emma White (Frost Queen) becomes a sniveling bitch of a traitor. I was reading a few comic blogs the other day and manages to regret falling upon a page in which the author thought the world was ending because of sexism in comic books. Seriously. She (I presume because I am sexist) was flipping her shit thinking that the sexual exploitation of a woman's body fictionally and artistically was something new or exciting. Let's take a look at a few examples of pretty blantant sexism in comic books-

1. Emma Frost is Marvel's attempt at not-so-subtly sneaking softcore (oh who am I kidding?) porn into comic books. She's a pretty funny chickadee, and had a bit of a spine while she played her part in the socialite-parent-country-club-organization the Hellfire Club, but jesus christ do I find her beyond redemption much of the time. Marvel did a short (I think 4 half page comic book volumes) series where Emma was a youngster and was pretty much discovering her powers. It was good stuff for the most part, save for the short story where Emma proceeds to earn money cheating in gambling casinos. (She reads minds, all of that jazz.) But in Astonishing and New X-Men, you can expect a few golden nuggets of dialogue that read out as such-

Cyclops-"Hey team we need to split this up and go at it as such."
Beast-"okay I have your back man let me just fuck around on a computer also I admit I am gay"
Emma Frost-"SHUT UP YOU SILLY BOYS I NEED TO PAINT MY NAILS I ALSO HAD PLASTIC SURGERY"

or

Shadowcat-"You're a huge bitch"
Emma Frost-"lol im so much hotter than u and I can steal ur boyfriend"

Not to mention she dresses like she is about to do a spread for Hustler.


2. Wonder Woman-Wonder Woman is a product of an older generation and I had a pretty big problem with the aforementioned blogger bringing her up in the conflict of sexism in comic books. The whole "She is a woman but she is tough and merciless" shtick is very transparent (but still there) and she certainly has a dubious upbringing in regards to fairness and equality. (she was raised by lesbian amazonian chickadees, basically.) But Wonder Woman has stayed pretty fair in terms of how she is looked at by both sexes. Sure, she has brought a lot of the clout from WW2 era thinking into comic books, but she has stayed pretty pure for the most part-look at her costume. Same as it ever was. Now I'm not saying her costume defends her being a big boobed gal who is into bondage, but I think Wonder Woman is at fault for starting a lot of the fair view hooplah, mainly because she is so popular. When people think of female super heroes, those who are uninitiated think of Wonder Woman.


3. Superman. Yep! It's a guy. This one is a bit more hypothetical than the other two, but it works like this-if people are tired of seeing women in comics who play the role of eye candy yet are saviours of worlds, why don't people flip out over Superman? I cannot even *think* of a more metafictionally superficial character. I hate superman due to the lack of creativity powerwise and plot wise, but I feel I need to use him to get this point across since he is so flawed in his own being. Superman is very strong and can make tornadoes from his breath and he has heat vision and x-ray vision and can fly and probably is not lacking anywhere at all. (Har har har.) He also has an alterego that is soft spoken and capable and looks good and does as he is told. Using this frame of mind, let's impose that a bit onto a blanker slate-
Superhero who is totally good looking and can do whatever he wants and has a cool alterego
Female superhero who is totally good looking and can do whatever she wants and has a cool alterego.

Oh fuck. It starts making sense. Superman is a product of inverse sexism, albeit quiet in demeanor. I don't think sexism is a problem in comics as much as superficiality. A lot of writers and artists write characters as strong and well balanced because many people don't like seeing flaws in a person at initial inception-Would we be interested in a skinny superman who is just as old and has the same powers but sometimes complains about seeing his ribs? Not really. Instead we get characters that are relatively okay and are then given problems to solve or deal with.

All I'm saying is that women in comics *can* fall under the banner of products of sexism, but you must carefully inspect what does and does not make something sexist. A fully capable female who can take care of herself and is attractive is not sexist-it's just something people like to see. How can a hero be so muddled up and lackadaisical and still carry interest, otherwise? People also need to take a step back and realize much of the dilemma arises because of superficiality, and I am okay with that. Emma Frost *is* a bit ridiculous (but don't tell anyone that I enjoy it) and *does* need to be toned down both in aesthetical and philosophical forms. But this is not a problem of sexism-it's of stupid, stupid writers. People like big boobs and blonde hair universally-to take it out in rage upon comic books is silly because I can assure you that is everywhere around you and has simply seeped into another type of media.
But I digress.
Bottom Line-Sexism is flaunting balance in a female/falling under the need of dependence of a male. Sexism is NOT fulfulling aspects of society that make people attractive and being a super hero on the side.

People need to rethink why they hate that-half of the time it is just shitty writing.

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