I just got done reading "There is Another Hellmouth in Comics" over at Occasional Superheroine. Basically it comes down to this: our lovely commentator there is done blogging about Women in comics. It is an issue that she is so passionate about that it gets her stressed to the point of a stroke. Because of this and a need for new perspective, she is going to walk away from the issue and focus on news and light opinion.
I don't blame her one bit. I feel the same way at times.
It does make me sad though. I appreciate Occasional Superheroine's opinion on many things. She is whip smart and she has a unique perspective. Since she was in the industry, and has a love for comics that may even exceed mine, I enjoy reading her thoughts.
But I still don't blame her for wanting to change her focus.
Sometimes the issue of women in comics makes me want to scream and pull all my hair out. I get the same emotions that things will never change unless there are more women in positions of authority. Then I remember Renae Geerlings's tenure at Top Cow and get a bit sad again. Geerlings disappeared without a trace to go into acting and not much was said about it. I also remember feeling a bit guilty about her moving on because I was worried that she wasn't the right person for the job.
BUT SHE IS A WOMAN, SO I SHOULD SUPPORT HER, RIGHT? Go Renae!
That is a bit off subject, but I guess where I am going with this is that it is easy to pander to the pack mentality associated with females in and around the industry.That is the quickest and easiest way to get hits on your site, right? Heh heh. Hey everyone, I am pissed off and female, come see me lose my mind! That is how I feel things have come to at times. I hate like hell that at times it comes down to snark and anger. I try so hard to separate my emotions from the problems I see and come up with a rational solution rather then sacrifice myself on the altar of the blog counter. If only five people come here, I would rather it be the people that want to talk rationally and solve problems rather then the people who are looking for a fight and possible hype.
That being said, I think that for the most part, the women that blog would like to see changes that focus around the way female super heroes are portrayed without so much emphasis on the bimbo mentality. I think that there are varying degrees to which we take our arguments, and I think that we are similarly hoping for books we want to read. I appreciate these women who speak out, and though I don't always agree, I love the fact that we can speak to the issues. I just don't like it when bloggers get so mad they lose sight of the problems at hand. I believe that is part of what the lovely Occasional Superheroine speaks to that is so frustrating.
That doesn't change the fact that the industry in general still caters to it's target audience. I sometimes think that even with women in positions of authority, things would be extremely slow to change. The demographic is still going to be the same. That being said, I am DYING to see any statistics that either Marvel or DC may have about female readers and their interests. Has there ever been a poll taken? I know I have brought this up before, but I would really like to see that data. If not, I would love to figure out how to take a poll to get significant numbers. The problem with this is the amount to money it would take to make it happen.
The bottom line for me is that I am sad to see my fellow female blogger change target, but I respect and understand her need to. God knows my blood pressure hits the ceiling sometimes. I get so upset that I want to SCREAM and tell my fellow internet users to piss off. Thank God for my workouts, or I don't know what I would do. Seriously. Then I remember the First Amendment and I calm down considerably.
The industry and the comic book internet are in a flux right now. With the disaster of division that is Supergirl #20 at our forefront and the past battles for more female-focused product all around us, something has to give. It may be that some of our strongest voices fade. It may also cause permanent hard feelings between humans that have NEVER EVEN met yet feel deep hurt over hopeless arguments of difference of opinion. That makes me saddest at all.
That being said, I will continue to talk about issues of gender as I see fit and I will always try and come up with a solution if possible. It may not be a change I can foster, but when I see the incomparable Lisa at Sequentially Speaking start up a passionate voice for change in P.O.W.E.R. in Comics, I couldn't be prouder. Good on you, Lisa- you are my hero! Occasional Superheroine, I will continue to haunt your site, whatever you decide to talk about.
The rest of you ladies: I understand your frustrations. I feel it too. I have over 35 years invested in my love of comic books and I am not going away anytime soon. Keep speaking in your unique voice, and with conviction. BUT don't let the feeling that every post must be about a female related issue get you down either. Speak from the heart and speak your mind. If it is a post about something you loved, I want to see that so badly. Focus on what you like and don't worry about the rest of the "pack". We are allowed our own opinions even if we don't always agree.
Men out there: Don't get frustrated and run away, or feel you have to speak in anonymity to make your voice heard. We have to find some middle ground, and I offer that here. I may not always agree but I will hear you out. Even if our stress level gets a bit high, and things aren't going well, know that I will treat you with the same respect I would like to have from you.
Whew. I feel better now. How about you?
Love and respect all around, Bartender!