Gabriele Dell’Otto, for your appreciation.
Okay, look: “Don’t rape” and “don’t threaten rape” are pinpoint-specific parts of social compact, also known as “the bare minimum expectations for getting to be part of society.”
These are things that should be taken as a given. Don’t hold up ”don’t rape” and “don’t threaten rape” like they are gifts.
I mean, don’t do those things, and deter others from doing them, and talk about all of this, but, fuck, man.
The best way men can improve the lives of women and girls in geekdom is to do their damnedest to shift the balance of power. Geek dudes—especially white geek dudes—you have something the ladies do not: you have a platform from which to speak about issues of justice with relative impunity. Use it. Better yet, share it with or give it to someone who does not have that privilege.
Are you a pro on a panel that’s all white dudes? Give up your seat to a woman of color. Encourage other panelists to do the same. Straight-up refuse to be part of panels that do not work toward equal representation. Hold speaker and guest lists at cons to the same standard. And talk about what you are doing, and why.
If you are in a position that gives you hiring power, hire women—especially into positions where they will have power, not just low-level editorial and work-for-hire gigs. Actively seek and use the input of women, and go out of your way to make really damn sure they’re credited for those contributions.
Seek and vocally advocate for works by and about women, for female-friendly and generally diversity-friendly publishers, retailers, and fan communities. When someone does shit right, vote with your dollars and spread the word. When someone fucks up, call them out, and—if there’s any real potential for it and you’ve got the capacity—offer them impetus for and tools to change.
Buy girl books. Buy books with pink covers, and read them in public. Break down the box of geek masculinity, and live the geek culture you want to see and be part of. Subvert everything.
Meanwhile: Hold other men accountable. Don’t tell rape jokes. Call out bullshit.
And respect the anger of those of us who have been consistently marginalized. If you want to be an ally in this fight, recognize that the fight is not about you: sometimes solidarity means giving other people space to be frustrated and angry at a system from which you directly benefit, and sometimes that means that they will, by extension, be angry at you—and that this, along with everything else, means *that system* is your common enemy.
Speaking of systems: Educate yourself. Read How to Suppress Women’s Writing and call that shit out. Understand that in this fight, your voice is generally considered to mean more than mine. Fight that inequality as hard as you can—but meanwhile, while you’ve got that platform, use it.
My favorite comics.
They were/are still one of my favorites.
The Far Side has always been one of my favorite comics and this is exactly why.
Far Side love
1. Problematizing comics fandom: A multitude of textual universes
[1.1] The relationship between slash fan fiction and comics fandom is problematic not only because of the shift of medium from source text to fan text but also because of the shift of fan community. Comics fandom is often viewed as consisting of heterosexual white men and comics are often explicitly marketed to them, excluding and othering the rest of the audience. Comics fandom online subverts this expectation of audience because the majority of fan authors and creators are women. While canon plots privilege action and conflict, and the problematic depiction of women characters in them is so obvious it hardly need be discussed, comics fan fiction reverses these trends: stories privilege emotional arcs, and female characters are depicted as more recognizably human even when they are secondary to the male characters.
[1.2] Comics fan works thus become completely transformative because of the shift in both fan space and fan audience: texts that are homophobic become homophiliac, authors and readers who are male become female, and that which had previously been other becomes the new norm. For these reasons, the fans are not just aware but indeed hyperaware of their own identity as subaltern and subversive practitioners.
[1.3] “When the overwhelming presentations appear homophobic, where are the positive queer identities to be found in these works? That homophobia is used throughout these texts (and others within the comics genre) by the authors to establish queer identities has been made readily apparent. All too often these identities are crafted as a reaction to the homosexual’s interruption of society’s heteronormative homosocial. As a result, these homophobic identities regularly appear as threats to heterosexual society: gays as murderers, villains, rapists, and pedophiles. And yet we have also seen where the positive identities can exist. It is due to the very nature of comics’ physical attributes (their visual aspects, panel structures, and blank gutters) that we are allowed an alternative space where queer identities that are not saddled with homophobia can be formed. (Buso 2010, 79–80)”
[1.4] Through this lens, all of comics slash fandom becomes a resistant and even a queer reading, an insistence on enacting and creating a virtual safe space for fans. Further, this self-awareness of identity (as feminine, as queer) becomes explicitly politicized through its declaration of being, which is then often rewritten from within the fan texts themselves. Comics fandom and fan fiction in particular face an especially unusual challenge because of the difference of medium. While many comics fan works are themselves comics—some of which are of professional quality in both artwork and writing—many more are in the traditional fan fiction format of short stories or novels. In some ways, this format is at odds with the original medium, in which the interplay of illustration, textual narrative, and dialogue is as crucial to the form as the story itself. For instance, Scott McCloud explains what he calls closure by describing how the comics format invites the reader to acknowledge that comics (and thus, all texts) are artificial creations that our brains then rationalize to fill in the blanks:
[1.5] “See that space between the panels? That’s what comics aficionados have named “the gutter.” And despite its unceremonious title, the gutter plays host to much of the magic and mystery that are at the very heart of comics. Here in the limbo of the gutter, human imagination takes two separate images and transforms them into a single idea. Nothing is seen between the two panels, but experience tells you something must be there. Comics panels fracture both time and space, offering a jagged, staccato rhythm of unconnected moments. But closure allows us to connect these moments and mentally construct a continuous, unified reality. (1993, 67)”
[1.6] Fan fiction and other fan works are efforts to join these disconnected moments and make sense of them in another fashion, by piecing together those elements visually present in the text with those that are clearly not. Reconstructing these pieces to create new works is not only a part of reading comics textually but also a part of reading fan works.
The black women of Marvel
Misty Knight, Idie Okonkwo, Tilda Johnson (Nightshade), Tamara Devoux (Captain Universe), Monica Rambeau (Spectrum), Tamika Bowen (Wildstreak), and Ororo Munroe (Storm)
I FINALLY FOUND IT. That top panel, specifically. I tried so many word combos on Google Images…”bucky natasha sex” is what yielded it finally. I should learn to be more obvious with my keywords. ANYWAY. I found it. For science.
That panel is wonderful. A lamp is knocked over, and so is a plant. Her bra is hanging off another lamp, and his mask is sitting on the bed. These two, y’all.
In a world where “reading” has been diluted into turning on a tablet and scanning through a story while multitasking with 5 different other things, it is easy to say that real books will always be superior.
Most importantly: you’re stronger than you think.
WHY DOES THIS NOT HAVE MORE NOTES
The National Department of Poetry
Each year, billions of dollars are spent on our country’s vast, complex poetry system. Our goal: to promote the practice of poetry among our own people, and to share the joys of poetry with all the nations of the world.
Posters are available at my shop.
Fox’s Fantastic Four Rebot: What The FF?
The likely cast of next year’s rebooted Fantastic Four movie from 20th Century Fox and director Josh Trank was revealed to the world last night, causing the comics internet to crack in half this morning. (It cracks in half all the time, of course. I think it may actually come in two parts.)
Miles Teller is our Reed Richards. Kate Mara is our Sue Storm. Michael B. Jordan is our Johnny Storm. Jamie Bell is our Ben Grimm. It’s a weird and controversial cast — but do fans have cause for concern?