Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ami, you didn't look hard enough...

"And what’s worse than that is that this sexualization of superheroines doesn’t seem to revolve around them as some sort of goddesses to be worshipped (though that would also be annoying) but as obstacles to be brought down." (Quote from a column by Ami Angelwings)

Weeeellll, maybe it isn't a trend that is heavily reflected in mainstream comics, but there are sites that sexualize superheroines in "dominating goddess" fashion. Although, you could say that, for example, Wonder Woman or Supergirl are by nature super-powerful women who could dominate most normal mortal men, so they already tilt towards the goddess nature by default. If "captured helpless superheroine" scenes in mainstream comics are reflected by more extreme sexual fetish sites, so perhaps are the super-goddess sites reflections of the heroines' natural states.

Ami does point out Phantom Lady's death scene in Infinite Crisis as an example of a superheroine becoming less-clothed in a moment of defeat, but I'd like to point out that Phantom Lady (or at least that particular incarnation) didn't have much covering to begin with. Her costume was a glorified v-type swimsuit, open in the middle, and it wasn't the fatal blow that opened it up any. The costume does appear tattered a bit, but really, she had about as much skin exposed normally.

Aside from all that: Doesn't this read like what I was saying a few posts back, about how people are worried about what other people are thinking? The whole ominous "I don't know what these people are thinking, but I'm worried it's not at all good" tone?



Ami Angelwings said...

You missed the point of my column entirely Anon. :(

I wasn't saying that the fetish was bad or that the ppl behind it are "up to no good". I'm merely pointing out how much that mirrors what's in our mainstream books. And asking what it means :)

As for the Phantom Lady pic, it was the easiest one I could get my hands on since I was writing this on deadline day xDDD

I wasn't making conclusions, I was asking questions :)

Anon, A Mouse said...

Ami, "asking questions" like that is essentially doing everything EXCEPT outright making an accusation, but leaving leading questions hanging in the air.

You know, like: "Well, that guy, why does he hang around the school playground so much? Don't you think he watches the kids a little TOO long? I don't know what all that means..." You don't have to SAY "I think that guy is a perv" to paint him like a perv.

The tone of your piece suggests that you think SOMETHING'S wrong with all the sexualization and fetishy stuff. Sure, you start out saying "My point isn’t that men shouldn’t have sexual fantasies or that this stuff is bad or whatever," but then you go on at length about how the comics have all this STUFF in it that you consider "creepy", "demeaning", and "unfair". The very questions you ask are along the lines of "this is bad, WHY do they DO it like this, I don't get it?"

Which, okay, fair enough, I'm not saying you can't feel that way or ask those questions.

MY point is that you ARE showing a lot of concern about what other people think, what kind of stuff they read. That may be because what they like to read is being produced using characters you like and admire. Or it may be what I was saying a few posts back, about how some people just don't like it when other people have fantasies they don't approve of.

And so, I will ask some questions of my own, and possibly help sort out what's going on:

1) If all this was going on with only either second or third-tier characters, or characters specifically created to be sexualized and fetishized (in other words, they leave the "big guns" like Wonder Woman and Supergirl alone), would it still bother you?

2) Does bad treatment of Wonder Woman in one comic ruin another comic in which she is treated properly?

3) If DC made some outright bondage-fetish comic featuring their iconic heroines, but put a big stamp on it that said "INTENDED FOR MEN ONLY", would that still bother you?

How you answer questions like these will quickly sort out whether you're simply looking to get stuff you dislike moved out of the mainstream, or whether you're more concerned about some guy getting a thrill out of seeing Wonder Woman defeated or something.

Scott (The Mad Thinker) Anderson said...

You missed the point of my column entirely Anon. :(

Actually, I think Ami missed the point of her column and you hit it on the head.

Ami has insisted that what she writes about isn't supposed to be an effort to change things, but I think we can see from her column that she is trying to change things. I'm not sure she's really self-aware when it comes to her own writing. There's some sort of disconnect between what she thinks her intentions are and what they obviously are.