I think one of the most disturbing things about all of this is the marginalization of a woman’s opinion by other women…
…when you don’t’ toe the mob line about Lois, Starfire, Superman dating Wonder Woman or not dating Lois or whatever the outrage du jour of the day is.
I’ve seen this in different areas throughout my life. In the late 70s and early 80s I saw lesbians try to marginalize and outright ostracize bi sexual women who were met with outright hostility. In the mid to late 80s I saw it again while working at various breast cancer charities/non profits. You would have Christian women, Catholic women, Mormon women etc, all pro life women come in to lend their support to women‘s health issues. While I didn’t agree with these women on the issue of abortion and several other things, we were of like mind on issues such as breast cancer awareness, pap smears, spousal abuse, etc. However, there was a majority of women who were extremely hostile towards this group of religious women and did everything they could to exclude them and make them feel unwanted. In the end, most of these religious women ended up leaving and taking their money and support with them to other more accommodating charities.
Those who excluded them felt very satisfied with themselves, as though they had achieved some sort of victory when al they really did was weaken and undermine their own cause.
Now I see it again in the arena of comic fandom. Women who are so hostile about the direction that creators have taken Lois and Superman and Wonder Woman have gone out of their way to shout down other women who don’t agree with them. If you like shipping Clark and Diana then you are internalizing misogyny and sexism. Your opinion is not your own opinion, informed by years or perhaps decades of education, life lessons, role models, relationships, friendships, romances, tragic loss, trials and tribulations. Instead, you are simply another brainwashed slave to a misogynist culture.
Frankly I find this far more offensive than anything I’ve seen happen with Lois. This hostile sect of fandom is hostile for a reason and I get it. I‘ve been there. They feel marginalized. The irony here is that they, the hostile female fans, are marginalizing other female fans! Mr. Lobdell is a writer who has been hired to interpret his vision of Superman. Some like it (like me), some don’t. That’s going to happen when a new writer comes on board a title. I hated JMS Superman. I don’t care for Bendis Avengers. Mr. Lobdell won’t be on Superman forever. Eventually another writer will take the reigns and perhaps they’ll do something different from Mr. Lobdell. But Lobdell is under no obligation to take direction on how to write Lois from Gail Simone or anyone else at the behest of disgruntled fans. And I’m pretty sure that doesn’t make him the purveyor of “fan wank” or a misogynist. I’ve also heard certain women say that comics is a fandom like sports and that this is nothing more than talking smack. No, ladies. It’s not. In many cases this sort of hostility has gone beyond simple trash talk about the “opposing team“. It’s vitriolic and mean and intended to silence.
I like Superman dating Diana. I’ve never really cared one way or the other about Lois. She’s not the iconic role model for me that she has been for other girls and women. I’ve liked some interpretations of her and have not liked others. I happen to like Mr. Lobdell’s vision for the characters he’s currently writing at DC. And my opinion isn’t any less valid because it is at odds with my fellow female fans who do not like the current direction for Lois. But according to many in the tweeting and tumblr community, I hate Lois for thinking that. I’m internalizing misogyny, I’m brainwashed, I “don’t get it”. These women are not interested in having a dialogue. They’re only interested in shutting down the dialogue until they get their way. And once again I’m seeing it: women marginalizing other women who don’t “go along”.
Now, I’m older. Pushing 50. I’ve been involved in comic book fandom for decades. There have been times when I’ve been marginalized by my male counterparts. Had my nerd “cred” questioned. Been the object of misogynist comments by male comic fans. But I’m lucky in that I’ve always known who I was. I had no insecurities about my sexuality (lesbian) or my place as a devoted comic book fan girl or as an active advocate for feminist causes such as equal rights, womens health, abuse, etc. If a guy says something stupid to me, I call him out. But I get even angrier at the hostile, patronizing BS I see directed at me by my fellow women.
So a word of advice from someone older, who’s seen this before: stop it. Just stop. Lets come together on the things we agree on because that’s where our numbers are the greatest. Be angry about Lois if that’s what you need but don’t take that anger out on other women. Don’t let your passion turn to vitriol. Divided we fall. One day you’ll get your Lois back or your Oracle or your Starfire or your Stephanie or your Cass. Until that day comes, stop trivializing the opinions of other women who disagree. Be passionate but don’t exclude. Speak up, but don’t talk down. Be inclusive, be supporting of those women who disagree with you because they most likely agree with you on 99% of all the other stuff.
44 Notes/ Hide
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- themiddayhour said: Beautifully written article. I wish this article would reach out to some of the angry fans that constantly flood the hate mail inbox of any pairing community but I doubt it. Only a blind raging hate machine ready to strike.
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