Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Modern Woman 2

You may or may not be aware of the DC Comics reboot. If you are not aware, DC Comics is issuing a reboot of their comics, all of them. In this reboot they have stated a desire to broaden their target markets and provide comics for more minorities. In an attempt to broaden the comic market to women they have rebooted the Catwoman and Red Hood and the Outlaws comics (among others I'm assuming, but these are the ones in the press). For more on this situation please check out these blogs:
Comics Alliance: the review getting the media attention, not particularly safe for work
Ms. Snarky: a slightly less vitriolic response but none the less powerful
Michele Lee: perhaps the most meaningful response DC could choose to listen to

In any event, Buddy Holly and I have been discussing this situation since 9:30 this evening (it's 1:00). He is now zonked out asleep because men seem to have the ability to go from 60mph to 0 in a few seconds flat. I meanwhile am wide awake. We discussed a lot of things both directly related to the DC reboot and wild, unrelated tangents but the reason I'm typing to you in a dark living room now is because one facet of this situation goes back to my previous post.

In this strange, transitional period where equality between the genders is, at once, a "Well, duh" situation and yet not widely practiced, I am bothered that equality for women has really just led to more work for us*. We are expected to not only be "chefs in the kitchen, ladies in the living room, and whores in the bedroom" but also well-adjusted, ball-busting, go-getting workforce powerhouses. Who has the time? I'd be delighted to make my living as wife/mother/mistress but give me the space to do so. Let's get one thing straight, being a homemaker is a career and being a mother is a full-time job. So if you want me to keep the house clean, rear the children, and have a nutritional supper on the table by six, then let me quit my day job. If you expect me to be woman enough to manage a household then be man enough to afford it. Because there is no way in hell you can expect me to work the same hours you do and come home to manage all the chores you are too tired to do.

Also, as a side note, Gentlemen, women generally have a running list of things that need to be done going in their heads. It is often distracting. If you helped check a few items off that list, we'd have more time to think about sex. It's hard to get your engine revving when you just remembered the towels need to be folded. And I'm sure you'd say that the towels could wait and they probably can but it will still be in the back of a woman's mind, niggling and distracting her from the pleasure at hand. Just something to think about.

As a final note, I would like to ensure the readers that Buddy Holly is not a chauvinistic prig. He felt the Comics Alliance article was a bit too harsh, especially in light that the artists/writers are at the whim of corporate marketing and marketing dictates that sex sells, especially to a predominantly male audience. We agree that the broader issue underlying this symptom is a problem (one not easily remedied) and that, while the execution of "sexually liberated" female characters was not well done, it is not fair to kill the artistic messengers (they don't know any better).

In the end, I am glad that articles and posts like the above-stated are being made. They are small steps in bringing equality to realization. Now is not the time to be quiet and compliant and I hope that DC will take these responses into consideration. There is already a female fan base and we have asked for strong, powerful, sexual heroines. Don't give us prudes, that's not what we're asking for, but don't feed us male fantasies and then tell us they should be our own. I don't need to see a Batman butt-shot but I also don't need to see Catwoman (or Starfire) shagging anything that moves. Give me a woman who is aware of her sexual prowess (and uses it to her advantage) but not one who is defined by it.

*I am also bothered that sexual liberation means that women can now be sluts without the previous shame consequences. Why didn't we instead raise the bar and expect male sexuality to be beholden to higher standards? An example, in Iron Man 2, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Natalie Rushman (Scarlett Johansson) are entering the expo center. Rather than viewing this from above or beside, we watch from behind and below. It is a deliberate cinematic choice to watch their tight, pencil-skirt clad asses ascend a set of stairs. Brief, entirely unnecessary, and it drives me crazy. To make this situation right, I do not want to see a towel-clad Robert Downey Jr. or his butt in a nice tuxedo. I don't need to be stooped to a lower sexual level to even the playing field. I'd rather they removed these altogether. I don't need to see any one's butt whatsoever and frankly, neither does anybody else.

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