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  1. #1
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    Default Articles About The Problem with Superheroines and Their 'Liberated Sexuality'

    http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/0...#ixzz2BrVWKJpw

    What you all think of this article?

  2. #2
    Power Corrupts Jabare's Avatar
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    It's generally for fanservice, but its comics so people will put whatever spin on it they want to. If you see this a lot throughout one issue I either consider it filler cause the story is lacking or in the service of the story. For Voodoo I didn't think it was bad as it was specifically in the service of the story. And it is staying true to the character.

    For Red Hood and Catwoman it was more for filler purposes, fan service etc. Catwoman's appearances have skirted this line over the years from time to time.

    StarFire's debatable I think and a lot of it has to do with the art. Just look at Perez compared to Kenneth Rocafort. And it's hard to say if its the writer telling the artist to portray characters a certain way or the artist simply doing thing on their own.

    I don't see this changing to much in the future either for various reasons.

    A lot of this stems from how society views sexuality especially in regards to men and women. I'd say men are also objectified to an extent in this medium as well.


  3. #3
    Veteran Member El Sombrero's Avatar
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    I thought it was a well-written article with valid points. The stuff she references did not really bother me, but I do think it was stupid of DC to have a tremendous opportunity to appeal to new female readers, and then present stuff like this. I'm guessing they were hoping that controversy would generate sales, but pretty much all New 52 #1s sold like crazy, so I doubt it made much difference.

    The problem is that one (or in this case, two or three) bad things can really take away from what good you do. Nobody is going to remember the positive portrayal of a lesbian relationship in Batwoman, they'll remember Starfire on the beach.
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    Senior Member ascended's Avatar
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    I think it's a well thought out article that makes a number of perfectly valid points. Valid points that were made over a year ago, endlessly, across the 'net. So why is it being brought up again?

    Yes, there is a double standard where sex is concerned. Has been, likely will be, for a long time. I can sleep around, and be considered an alpha male. But a woman? Nah, that chick's a slut. And comics are just as guilty of this cultural injustice as anyone/thing else.

    And there are tons of ways to explain away both of the examples she listed. I myself accepted some of those and took a "wait and see how it plays" attitude at the time. And the author here listed some of those same examples. But regardless there are no excuses for this sort of treatment beyond the obvious.

    Comics are, almost universally, written by men. I can think of....maybe three or four female authors, and maybe as many artists. Its a difficult task to think, feel, and speak with a woman's voice and put that to page. Now, plenty of male authors can do that. But lets be honest here, comics are not exactly high literature and just about all of the writers out there are not going to win any grand awards for their insight and literary skill.

    Basically, we're men and we dont know any better. Again, its not an excuse, and it doesnt help stereotypes. But its still true. I like to think we're trying, and making improvements in how we see and treat women, and how women see and treat themselves. We are, but its still a work in progress.

    And you know what? This might offend some people, but it would be easier to write a confident, intelligent, sexually open and comfortable woman if women themselves would stop sending such conflicting messages about what that actually entails. Im a smart man. Not genius smart, but pretty damned smart. And the only thing I know about women is that I dont know anything about women.

  5. #5
    Completely sauced... klinton's Avatar
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    I think this is up to the perception of the person reading. I don't consider someone like Selina or Kor to be lesser women for thier sexuality. The idea seems absurd to me, like the reader is looking for reasons to be offended.

    As someone more interested in oggling Jason than Kor though, perhaps my take on it all is going to be more liberal than the average.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Zagreus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwhh View Post
    http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/0...#ixzz2BrVWKJpw

    What you all think of this article?
    Sounds like DC has a major problem. My impression: DC is a stale, old, boys club, and won't change until they get some new leadership. It's a shame.

    One thing that always struck me: NO female GREEN lanterns from earth. Only males have powerful will and imagination, eh? Oh, women have love- that's not a steryeotype (sarcasm). They should've made this new GL a woman.

  7. #7

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    A Sexually liberated character or a pornographic caricature?

    Theres a big difference between the two.

    The biggest of which is that one is for the arousal and titillation of the reader and the other is a character trait among others that form a 3 dimensional portrait of a fictional person.

    One seems human and the other is there to serve a certain role for certain needs.

    Sure you could say that all fiction is meant to entertain and that all fictional characters are means to an end anyway, but theres a big line between pornography and general storytelling.

    In the former the point is not for the people involved to have any depth or a lot of thought to them, but to have certain motifs that adhere to certain fetishes. They are CARICATURES not characters, theres nothing human or real about them.

    In most fiction the fictional people involved are meant invoke real people and have rational and realistic responses (or else be caricatures revealing some other truths by generalizing an issue) They are meant to be like an actual person, and thus should be treated like actual people. And what are actual people like? We aren't 2 dimensional beings with one or two notes about us. We are a collection of events and experiences taking effect on a human mind. We are not who we are in a generalized sense,but we are who we are in terms of what has effected us as individuals. (if that makes any sense)

    A culture does not define us, it effects us. Religious beliefs do not define us, it effects us. And more importantly to this topic, Sexuality does not define us, it is merely a part of our richer human existence over time, namely how certain events have lead us to finding our own personal comfort (or lack thereof) in terms of physical intimacy.

    People miss this fact all the god damned time and it annoys me, in fact it angers me more than anything else in this world. Yes, I hate Generalizations more than anything else because I believe it to be the seed of all hatred and conflict. And I REALLY want to hold the media accountable for how it portrays people in fiction because, even though intolerant thoughts aren't always started in perceptions spurned from media portrayals, it can certainly reenforce ignorant generalizations, which causes people to see others as less than people. No instead they just see them as the generalizations they've come to know, which thusly causes one group to be broadly painted as a certain type of person from an ignorant narrow minded perspective, rather than as a human with any other layers.

    Painting sexually liberated women in the form that RHatO and Catwoman did in the first issues of their series fits the bill, or rather it really undermines the more human and in depth factors that go into ones sexual identity and just paints it in broad strokes as simply having a lot of sex.

    Now I'm not saying theres anything wrong with pornography or that there can't be anything revealing abut the human condition within a story containing vast amounts of explicit sexual content, but rather that there are times and places for it, and that making characters into, lets call them "Fap fodder", really doesn't fit in a world like the DCU. These ladies weren't acting like sexually liberated women but rather a horny audiences view of a sexually liberated woman; somebody that dresses and acts sexy not for themselves but for the READERS.

    Yeah I know Catwoman actively TRIES to wow others with her appearance but the framing of that opening wasn't a part of that. It wasn't this character trying to lull her opponents into a sense of emotional fragility, this was the WRITER attempting to give something sexually appealing to the AUDIENCE. The same can be said for Kory's actions, which were really poorly conceived attempts at making her sexually liberated but fell flat on its face when they gave her little cause for it and preceded to objectify her body for nobody else but the READER. And that my friends is crossing the line into Pornographic territory which, while not a bad thing init of itself, has NO PLACE in the DCU.

    That and it further dehumanizes people with this trait by not letting the characters be anything more than eye candy. Simply saying they're comfortable with sex is not enough, especially when all we're given is that they strut around sexy and have a lot of sex. A better example of a sexually liberated character would be Emma Frost or Zola from wonder woman, wherein there is a little more to them than just I LIKE SEX.(or in Emmas case "I like looking sexy")
    Last edited by T.M. Anthony; 11-11-2012 at 12:25 PM.
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  8. #8
    The Dark Knight Returns DonC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwhh View Post
    http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/0...#ixzz2BrVWKJpw

    What you all think of this article?

    It reads an awful lot like one people were talking about back in September, 2011.
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  9. #9
    Completely sauced... klinton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.M. Anthony View Post
    Painting sexually liberated women in the form that RHatO and Catwoman did in the first issues of their series fits the bill, or rather it really undermines the more human and in depth factors that go into ones sexual identity and just paints it in broad strokes as simply having a lot of sex.
    Clearly, you haven't read wither book. Selina, as Winik was writing her, is probably the most real person in the DCnU. Sex was a crutch, a ways of staving off deeper issues....which he spent the rest of his run exploring. I can identify with her more closely as a character than Wonder Woman (who is indeed a charicature of female perfection).

    Kor has received the most character development of the three leads in that book. If anyone comes off as a senseless nympho at this point, it's Roy.

    Like I said: if you're offended here it's because you're looking to be offended. Even a basic reading of the issues with a desire to appreciate these women as characters will reap satisfying results.

    If you're seeing a 'fap fest', that says more about you than these women.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonC View Post
    It reads an awful lot like one people were talking about back in September, 2011.
    Looks like someone just created an alt because they had something they wanted to say and knew no one was going to bring this up again...
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by klinton View Post
    Clearly, you haven't read wither book. Selina, as Winik was writing her, is probably the most real person in the DCnU. Sex was a crutch, a ways of staving off deeper issues....which he spent the rest of his run exploring. I can identify with her more closely as a character than Wonder Woman (who is indeed a charicature of female perfection).

    Kor has received the most character development of the three leads in that book. If anyone comes off as a senseless nympho at this point, it's Roy.

    Like I said: if you're offended here it's because you're looking to be offended. Even a basic reading of the issues with a desire to appreciate these women as characters will reap satisfying results.

    If you're seeing a 'fap fest', that says more about you than these women.
    I really was only talking about the first issues.

    Mid way through the post I realized that I was merely going off issue 1 for both series. I think I meant to make a comment about that but I was too into it to bring it up.

    from what I've heard winiks run was disappointing, but I'll take you're word for it that things went better explored. The same goes for RHatO. But the first issues were REALLY clumsy and thats what I was using as an example of what i was saying.

    As for the thought that I'm offended for the sake of being offended, thats not true at all. I saw an undertone that concerns me and undermined the two as characters to me. That just happens when you get unnecessarily cheesy shots for no reason. That doesn't help me think the writer thinks anything of the characters past how good looking they are and how they have a lot of sex and how appealing that should be to readers. It sends the wrong message from the outset.

    It just feels cheap when things like that happen. Like all the writer wants us to see is how sexy they are, not how they are as characters. Things can be better developed as time goes, but I can't help but question why the hell something like that was done. I feel offended as a male reader frankly, since I can't help but think that the writer is trying to "throw me a bone" because I'm so shallow that this is what I wanted to see in my comics. And yeah I'm going to feel offended when I think I'm being offended. Characters shouldn't be sexualized for the sake of the readers getting their jollies (which is all that shot of Kory was for). Sexuality happens in fiction as it should, and people will always be attracted to certain characters(fan crushes and all that) but to actively attempt to do that is all around insulting and out of place, at least in the DCU.

    Though yeah, I'm sure theres more to them than that as time went on.
    Last edited by T.M. Anthony; 11-11-2012 at 01:18 PM.
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by klinton View Post
    As someone more interested in oggling Jason than Kor though, perhaps my take on it all is going to be more liberal than the average.
    And they thoughtfully provided an issue with Jason running around essentially naked the entire time. :)
    And don't tell me he wasn't sexualised every bit as Starfire during it.
    The only problem is that with women the sexualisation takes the form of "Isn't she gorgeous?" and with men it's "He's naked! How embarrasing."

    Quote Originally Posted by Zagreus View Post
    One thing that always struck me: NO female GREEN lanterns from earth. Only males have powerful will and imagination, eh? Oh, women have love- that's not a steryeotype (sarcasm). They should've made this new GL a woman.
    I think that a fair number of people were annoyed. Not that it's another male, but another American male. You would think that a possible space cop detection device could extend its search parameters across the entire planet.
    Mind you, I don't think imagination was ever a prerequisite for being a green lantern.
    Equally, quite some people dislike the Women-only policy of the Star Saphires. It was even sort of adressed in a recent issue of Red Lanterns.

  13. #13
    Power Corrupts Jabare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zagreus View Post
    Sounds like DC has a major problem. My impression: DC is a stale, old, boys club, and won't change until they get some new leadership. It's a shame.

    Marvels basically the same


  14. #14
    Senior Member Sterling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NexusTenebrare View Post
    I think that a fair number of people were annoyed. Not that it's another male, but another American male. You would think that a possible space cop detection device could extend its search parameters across the entire planet.
    Mind you, I don't think imagination was ever a prerequisite for being a green lantern.
    I'm pretty sure the reason all Earth Lanterns are Americans is because the comic is American.

  15. #15
    Completely sauced... klinton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NexusTenebrare View Post
    The only problem is that with women the sexualisation takes the form of "Isn't she gorgeous?" and with men it's "He's naked! How embarrasing."
    I don't understand the problem? Sexuality is a very real power in this world. The fact that the female form is universally coveted is not a negative thing.

    But in a genre where everyone is running about in skin tight clothing, sexualization and objectification occurs on both sides of the gender divide.

    The problem isn't in the presentation, but in the discourse and reaction to it.
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