Assorted Thoughts & Reactions
I haven't really sat down and read the comments & the emails & the reactions until the last couple of days. When I first wrote the memoir, I was scared to death of the reaction I would receive. Now, after reading nearly a hundred emails and general reactions to the piece, I have come to this conclusion --
--that I sorely underestimated the support male comic book fans have for women in comics.
Every single message I received from men was positive and reaffirming not only of my blog but on the need to have respect for women both in the industry and in the comics themselves.
I wrote a couple of blog postings a while back basically saying "it's a lost cause why fight it" regarding comics feminism. "Give the market what it wants," I wrote, lying passive on the ground and prepared to let whatever rebellious spark I had left in me twinkle away into nothingness. It's very easy to do this, to retreat into the cave of what has always been familiar to you, to parrot the same talking points and fantasize that one day you'll be let back into the "club" because all you know is that goddamned club.
Oh, yes, give the market what it wants. The Market. The answer to everything.
But what exactly does this market -- male comic fans -- want?
I read a hell of a lot more voices in favor of women's rights in comics and against the depiction of sexualized violence against female characters than I ever dreamed of. Voices from across the comic-collecting spectrum -- bloggers, Comicon/Newsarama/CBR crowd, alternative comix fans, mainstream comic fans. Surely they are all part of this Market.
I also received emails from many professionals in the industry, including one that just about made me sail out of my chair at work. Imagine looking at a flashing button on your phone and having the receptionist say: "Hi, you have God on line 4, would you like to take it?" This particular person's email just about made my millennium; the mere fact of receiving it and the kind words within gave me a tremendously renewed hope about comics, and about the people within in the industry.
But actually, getting the words of support from every person that dropped a line my way made my millennium; touched me deeper than I know how to express. It has made all that happened before...if not "worth" it, at least something I can process.
While I still feel that a degree of "cheesecake" in comics is ok, I am also no longer naive enough to believe that it has no effect on the way men see women, or that it doesn't objectify them. It is a very complicated subject and I don't feel I am the best objective judge to make these "calls" or to suggest concrete solutions. I have inhabited a mostly male social circle for my entire life. So as a "feminist" blogger all I can really do at the moment for the cause is tell my personal story. Since my name has entered Google Eternity twinned with "vaginal mishap" and other such topics I feel I've paid my dues in this respect.
My friend's health is doing much better, thanks to all who've asked.
I was going to post this when Robert Altman died a couple of days ago, but after just reading a comment by Elayne referencing it now I've just got to do it. It's from one of my all-time favorite movies, Popeye. Enjoy.