The Life & Times of an Auteur.

Commentary on Pop Culture, and maybe creating some of my own.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Misogynous Comic Book Readers...

Some times I shouldn't read the internet.

Sadly, I have noticed a lot of hate directed at female comic book characters. No, not all of them. But just the ones that are sexually active and not in committed relationships.

Most recently, I've seen a lot of hatred for the character of Jessica Jones. For those who don't know, Jessica Jones was one of Brian Michael Bendis' better additions to the Marvel Universe. She was the protagonist of a Marvel MAX series called "Alias," a series for the seventeen and older crowd. And in that series, she was sexually active with both Luke Cage and Scott Lang. In the first issue she has anal sex with Luke Cage, and we learn later on that she becomes pregnant with his child. But after that one night stand, she dates Scott Lang for a little while. Eventually Jessica and Luke get together, and their child is born. They get married after the child's birth. The baby is born out of wedlock.

And apparently too many comic book fans still live in the 19th century. Guess what people who don't care for the character focus on? That's right, the anal sex, the one night stand, and they call her a "Baby Mama."

If they don't like the character, that's fine. But their comments about her expose a bitter hatred for women. I don't see male characters in comic books held to these standards. Hell, I don't see Luke Cage getting any hate for being sexually active and having one night stands.

Jessica Jones is not the only example. Let's take a look back at Gwen Stacy. A few years ago we learned that she had a one night stand with Norman Osborn, and then became pregnant via that one night stand. And the reaction that got... you would think the Virgin Mary was desecrated.

Never mind that when the tryst happened, Peter and Gwen were broken up; never mind that Norman Osborn had just saved her life from the Kingpin; never mind that Norman Osborn had amnesia at the time and didn't remember being the Green Goblin; never mind that both were in a very vulnerable state at the encounter; and never mind Gwen's daddy issues. All of a sudden Gwen became a slut, a whore, a terrible person. Why? Because she had sex.

Did I mention nobody hates Peter Parker for having a one night stand with Betty Brant when Betty was still married to Ned Leeds?

There is also Emma Frost, who has easily slept with half the Marvel Universe (okay, that's an exaggeration), and is currently in a committed relationship with Scott Summers of the X-Men. The two had an affair while Jean Grey was still alive, and then hooked up for good after Jean died. Okay, I will admit, that is pretty damn tasteless. But no one hates Scott Summers for it.

Scott was in love with Jean Grey for years. Then she died, and he married and had a child with a woman who looked just like her, and then when Jean returned from the grave, he ran out on his wife and child to be with her. Nobody hates Scott Summers for this. Why not? I suspect it's because he has a penis.

And, I'll never forget all the hate Shayera got in "Justice League Unlimited" after she had sex with Hawkman on their first date. Why? What is so offensive to people?

The thing of it is, there is nothing wrong with being sexually active. There is nothing wrong with being promiscuous. I would like to see more comic book characters who have open relationships, or are even swingers and not be treated as deviants. We don't live in the 19th century anymore, and there is nothing wrong with these lifestyles. There are great people in them.

But, more than that, I am sick of this poorly disguised hatred for women in the halls of comic book fandom. Is this because the stereotype is true and most comic book fans can't get laid? Well, I don't think the fact that they read comics is the problem.

Nobody hates James Bond for being sexually active.

1 comment:

  1. I generally agree with this, it's sad and arbitrary double standard that holds promiscuous men as demi-gods and promiscuous women as beneath contempt. If you're going to be judgemental, at least be consistant in your judgements.

    My own problem with "Sins Past" wasn't so much concept as execution. Mainly that the whole "Gewn slept with Norman" bombshell was dropped without much attemped to explain or justify it beyond Norman's "animal magnetism".

    Much of that stuff you cited was extrapolated by J.R. in his excellent "DeFlowering Gwen" article rather them being in the story itself.
    And while JR did a great job of tying it in to existing Spidey-lore, that should have been JMS's job.

    I've sometimes wondered if the story would have worked better with Harry as the father.

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