In my weekly column on Newsarama, Hey, That’s My Cape!, I talk about pretty much anything having to do with comics. This week I had to start my column with the words, “It’s a tough time to be a woman who likes superhero comics.”
I’m fortunate to know a diverse group of people whose eyes are open to what’s going on in the world around us. Sexism, not just in comic books, but in the media at large. Of course comics are my main focus and something that has been in the news even more as of late.
People wonder why women like myself get so angry when we see things like this happen. I have a good guy friend who listens to his geeky girl friends when they tell him all the terrible things that are spewed at them on a daily basis (usually anonymously online). I will have to remind myself to think about what he just said to me, “You can’t fix stupid.”
But it’s difficult.
It’s difficult when someone says, “Who cares?” about something you care a great deal about. If they don’t care at all, why are they bothering to fruitlessly add to the discussion? They say, “Go read something else.” But I *like* these characters. I want to read about *them*. “Males are demeaned just as much as females in comics.” If you really thought that, you wouldn’t be reading them or you’d be online complaining about it like we are. How about, “Comics will never be for women?”
Hello, my name is Jill. I like comics. I like them so much I made a career out of them. Are they perfect? No, but I can certainly do my part to help make them better or more accessible for other women to read.
I don’t necessarily think people who don’t see sexism in comics at all or that don’t see it as a problem are stupid or neanderthals that need a few more centuries to evolve. Ok, maybe I do think that but I also like to give those people the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps they just need to hear or see it in a certain way and then it will finally click? Or maybe their minds will never see it the way we do. It’s a hard thing to accept when you are so strongly in the opposite corner of the ring.
But then you run into someone (of any gender) online who does get it and who is or has become enlightened and it gives you hope. Yes, we’re not just spinning our wheels here, we’re not making things up and we’re not the only ones who want change. When the naysayers are calling you names or saying what you’re doing doesn’t count for anything, try and remember that.
(x-posted on TheNerdyBird.com)