"And those particular fans who pop up on WFA periodically to denounce and decry feminist fans, female fans and the hive vagina? Well...think about it this way, would they be so vocal or so adamant if there wasn't the element of threat involved. If, on some level, they didn't think we might win."
That's the gist of a post by Kalinara explaining that, no, she and others aren't about to give up on superhero comics or the mainstream, and they're not going to stop protesting, either, because it has an effect.
And this because Tamora Pierce wrote about creating a new, establishment-free market, inspired (according to her) by the Elizabeth Bear column I praised last post as well as my own post on the subject. There's a flurry of posts besides Kalinara's that say much the same: nobody's going to give up their favorite characters, in fact everybody loves mainstream comics, despite how much complaining goes on.
Well, okay, and honestly, that's about what I expected.
The thing that strikes me about Kalinara's post, however, is the conviction that creators and fans responding to charges of misogyny and sexism is a sign of progress, and that the naysayers fear the Woman Power. This may all be true.
But that sort of thing goes both ways.
When I discovered the existence of WFA and the various controversies going on at the time, it seemed to me that there was quite a lot of sentiment on the order of Changing Society For The Better By Weeding Out Comics Sexism So That Nobody Could Have It. Since then, there's been a bit of discussion, prompted by critics of fangirl feminism, along the lines of Wait, That's Kind Of Repressive Talk, There And How Are You Defining Sexism Anyway, and sure, while some posts along those lines have been combative, if not downright hostile, it seems to me there's been a subtle reorganization: Okay, Have Your Sexist Crap But Give Me More Stuff That Doesn't Piss Me Off. The "changing society" bit hasn't gone away, but it seems to me to be less prominent than it was.
Someone gripes about a statue or something, someone calls for its elimination, someone else says "you're trying to remove anything sexy", someone else says "no, we don't actually want to remove the sexy", and so on. Stances shift as these details get hammered out.
Even those of us who are labeled as being "against" feminism have our place. Without resistance, any stance or philosophy becomes unthinking dogma. Without dissent, flaws in a philosophy go unrevealed, unchecked. And if, for example, Brian Bendis having to speak up and defend himself against charges of misogyny is a sign of the power of the feminist movement, then it certainly must be a sign of the power of the dissenters when someone like Mad Thinker Scott is routinely labeled as a troll and his arguments dismissed without even discussing the merits of his statements. Doesn't that indicate every bit as much a sense of fear that he might be right after all?...