Thursday, May 22, 2008

Goodbye Cruel - Nah, Just Taking A Break

I started this post two days ago, before real offline life interrupted. I was typing out a post to request that people no longer deliberately send me images of Marvel and DC cocking up horrendously on issues of race - if I stumble over it, that's on me. But I don't need my pressure skyrocketing up like someone's trying to win a Carnival prize, no matter what their original intent was in showing me the image.

I never finished the post.

I was suddenly hit with this mental whirlpool.

There I was, comparing mainstream comics to the mainstream public feminisphere and there was this correlation of becoming what you hate the moment you have even a little bit of power - and my brain just spasmed.

The word cockslapped came to mind. As in, have I been raising my voice and fist for the dubious honor of being cockslapped? Considering how gross I find penises, the mental image was quite disruptive.

From the original non-published post:

Mainstream comics and mainstream (or at least prominent) feminism (oh so white) have a serious amount in common. Comics won't listen to the women won't listen to the minorities.

On and on the message goes "This is not for you. This is for everyone (male/the sisterhood). Why are you making so much noise? Can't you see what we're doing? Why don't you just have your own?

"Put aside your blackness for this cause, put aside your womanness for that step up. Are you more interested in having JL covers with frequent women on the cover? Or frequent minorities. Pick a side. We hold the power and we'll dribble and dole it out."

The honor of being cockslapped...

When mainstream comics decides to promote a character of colour; but said character is bleached, or made more 'palatable' with more and more white features; lighter skin, different nose, straighter hair. (Don't get me started about Misty and the blue eyes)...

When comics decide to promote a female character but she's busting out of her top, or waving her shiny latex ass to the viewer (Catwoman covers)...

When a prominient self-named feminist notices a problem that affects WoC and PoC and thinks the gratitude for her bringing it forward to attention should negate her lack of pointing out the work that came before - by women of colour...

The link on my blog under the graphic title: PoC MEANIE, leads to a comment thread on livejournal where appeasing white folk, or 'You always catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.'is described as:

Also known as "Listen n*****, watch your manners now boy. You be nice to me, and I won't put you in your darkie place like you should be. Why do you presume to attack me. If I want to call your worthless sp** or P*** ass a sp** or p*** I can. It's been used before and it'll be used again. If you want me to change, get down on your knees and suck my big white cock and make me feel good about adjusting my attitude. After all, everyone agrees with me and you're the minority after all.

Yes, that's it... more tongue... now SUCK MY BALLS BITCH, that's putting honey on it. That's sucking away the liberal guilt... now stay still while I come down your throat..

Yes... yes...

There, last drops in your eyes.

Now kiss it and zip me up.

Cocksucking, cocksucker, a term that's flung around as an insult that's used to describe an action with a focus on it being done only by women, or gay men.

Though at the time I was thinking of it more as oral rape. "Please me via the orifice you use to nurture yourself. My cock is out, your mouth should be on it. Pleasure me and receive whatever I give out, be my receptical and then maybe, MAYBE, I'll listen to you"

And please, no one come into my journal to discuss cooercion and rape and what is rape and what isn't. You won't get published for one thing. And I will do something horrible to you, for another.

The sum of it all is power-tripping. Power is a heady thing, especially when you've never had it, and you've been scratching and climbing to get it. The people in charge of mainstream comics right now? They used to be powerless fans, reading week to week and wishing they had the power to change things. Now they do. And they have.

Goodbye MaryJane.

Goodbye Crisis, hello Crisis. And Crisis. And...Crisis.

The femiblogsphere exists and now there are women, white women, who are getting heard and noticed etc, etc, etc,. Who are getting book deals - which I bring up because Marcotte did say that people were only criticizing her because they were jealous and wanted to ruin her career. She got a sniff of power and it was 'SCREW Y'ALL DARK BITCHES'. Though truthfully, given her attitude, she'd probably had that mentality for a very long time before.

In the two days since I started writing the original and likely now forever unpublished post, there have been several incidents like in this ongoing conversation, where I just ended up shaking my head.

If the sex of those self labeled feminists was changed to male and we put them on Newsarama...

Y'know it's ok to love an ideal. I love America the ideal. But at the same time I am not burying my head in the sand, ass up, ignoring the things America, the country, government, citizenry is doing and have done in the past that go against the ideal of what this country could be.

But apparently when it comes to feminism, when it comes to comics, specifically the big two superhero universe comics, that's exactly what their proponents are doing. To point out what is wrong, is to attack, is to not really care about it in the first place, is to have no love for it at all. To point out what is wrong and to get fed up with explaining over and over again and with spoon feeding over and over again is to be an irrational and angry NOT TRUE FAN.

And damn, if using that term doesn't make me think of Laurell K Hamilton Troobies who will defend to the end an adventure series turned plotless and extremely bad written porno. Now I realized that that the Troobies identify with the books so much and that the books may have helped them explore areas wherein they felt shy and lost and had no where to start looking, that criticism of the books feels like an attack on them personally. But I don't believe every comics fan is some basement dwelling mouth breather who has no self identity other than through comics. And it's a ridiculous image to have about white women (and others) and feminism - no matter what their actions say.

It's just plain. Power. Tripping.

And I'm fed up with it.

My calling out the big two specifically has always been about equality. I want to see everyone get a power fantasy, hopefully at least three. I want said power fantasies to have flush support casts and interesting backgrounds. I want those universes to reflect the diversity of the world. I want equality.

And I'm calling out comics because popular culture reaches a large group of people. Popular culture can TEACH and expand minds. It's why I think movies and tv should be held accountable for misrepresenting cultures and peoples. Without preaching, popular culture can show you a different world, tilt your mind about a concept.

Popular culture IS the real world. It's the slang you speak, the clothes you wear, the products you buy, the concepts you integrate into your sense of self and your place in and around the world!

But don't talk to me about the big two unless it has something to do with DAZZLER. I'm going to take a break and explore other universes, other characters. It hurts, because these two universes were what I cut my teeth on, what I learned to read on, how I associated the concept of a punch with Batman sending a villain back three steps to smack up against a brick wall.

It hurts.

But there are other universes, other characters I could be pointing out. There are other modern myths I can embrace. So I'm going to do that for a while. It's time to regroup and praise while I figure out what my next step forward will be. Because seeing comics and the feminisphere as equal in their power tripping and ignoring is a big deal for me. I mean feminisarchy is a damn stupid made up word and doesn't even say what I want it to mean. WWS says that (White Woman Syndrome). Seeing a ladder and comics and the feminisphere as one tugging on the leg of the other to be noticed while mashing the hands and heads of anyone trying to climb up alongside is just...

Mind. Blown.

It's like this XKCD Comic except there should be a third panel where the girl stick figure tells a darker male or female stick figure "Wow, PoC suck at Math."

Becoming. What. You. Say. You. Hate.

Note: To anyone who'd been paying attention I'm going to switch FACES OF COLOUR, from the PoC Carnival Blog, to here.

Extra Note: I'll be moderating comments as usual but I don't know if I'll be replying.


  1. Yes. Exactly. Privilege may have different channels but STFU is the same no matter the reason.

    What gets me THE MOST, is the "wait your turn, things will get better" from what effectively are small groups of mass media producers- in other words, it's not like they have to wrestle through dozens of committees and studios and stockholders to make things right.

    We've been patient. We've seen you (mainstream comics and feminists) DO BETTER IN THE PAST, and now y'all are backsliding deep. When will you get it right? When will you listen? If you are losing the lessons you had before, why should we believe it will ever get better in the future?

    When will you do what you say you're going to do, AND PAY BACK the people who've supported you this whole time, with nothing more than basic, human respect?

    No excuses, no waiting, and no bullshit.

    That's pretty much how I feel about the shit.

  2. Hey Artesia, I'm sorry to hear that you'll be leaving the C&C of the Big 2 for a spell, although I understand the need for a rest. I mean, while I have not really dealt with issues of race and sex as you have, I do remember once trying to be a part of this one online community and realizing that I was turning into someone I hated.

    So, yeah, similar, sorta... (cough)

    I do want to thank you for recommending Artesia to me, and I've gone ahead and ordered it. It'll be in sometime next month, and it'll be great to read, I'm sure. Thanks again for putting me onto this title, as frankly, I enjoy stories like this.