In response to my recent post about how not to engage in a feminist dialogue, Kalinara wrote the following:
"A ball-busting feminist doesn't have to understand where male complaints against accusations of feminism are coming from. We already know. Society shows us this every day, from the default comic book magazines highlighting T&A shots (and finally declaring themselves "for men") to the argument that a television show with a female lead is a risk because both men and women can identify with a male lead, but half the audience is lost with a female lead."
Hey, blaming society & the media is awesome. I get a lot of great posts out of it. But I'm not going to fool myself into thinking it's empowering me.
Blaming others doesn't empower you. I mean, the other party might really be "blame-worthy." But the act of blaming Jeff Robinov at Warner Brothers doesn't get me anything other than another few thousand hits on my blog. It doesn't accomplish anything real. And -- most importantly -- the act of blaming makes me feel helpless, at a disadvantage, not in control. It makes me feel like crap.
The only way I can feel empowered is if I say "the buck stops with me."
I have to say, "yeah, there are some shitty stuff in this world. how am I going to change it?"
Not how if the media changes, my life will be better. But how am I going to change things?
Not how if Jeff Robinov changes, the lives of women will be better. But how are women going to change things?
I can approach this comic book industry either with confidence and exultation at the accomplishments of myself and my gender, or as a Victim.
My forays into comic book feminism can either be a celebration of what my gender has contributed to the medium, or a dirge.
I can either navel-gaze or I can find ways to get funding for young female comic artists to hone their craft.
I can fill post after post about how women have been screwed in this business -- and in some cases they have -- or I could use that space to profile the work of females of distinction.
I've made my choice.
And if you define yourself as a "ball-busting feminist" and you notice that men are reacting to you poorly, maybe it's not all the media's fault. How much has a squashed nut -- or a demolished ego -- really accomplished?
I want solutions, and I want progress. I want measurable progress for women in this industry. Concrete progress. I am tired of splitting hairs over semantics.
Yeah, a man doesn't know what it is like to be a woman and my struggle. Understood. Does he like great comics? I like great comics. Hey, there are a lot of women who produce great comics; let me introduce you to some of their work...