hon-hon-baguette-eiffel-tower asked: Hey i don't want to be rude or ignorant but i agree with the nerd guy from your last post. hes talking about how comics were his escape from a world where no one wanted him. He could read a comic and have an adventure that he couldn't have in real life. I realize there's often a lot of sexualization in comic but that was always part of it, its not fair to the readers to change that huge part of it now. That's altering the escapes these kids had/have, and the whole comics universe in general
and it’s never occurred to you that maybe more than straight white men want that escape?!!?
Problems with the things this asker said:
1. “escape from a world where no one wanted him” look, I get that being overweight can be hard and I get that being a nerd can be hard, and there might be other issues like income or health that affect his life that I don’t know about, but if the dude you’re talking about is straight, white and most importantly, MALE then society awards him so much just for fucking existing and if he thinks he has it hard then I would wager that he may be too much of an escapist because if he pulled his head out of his ass he would realize he’s sitting at the top of the social hierarchy.
2. “He could read a comic and have an adventure that he couldn’t have in real life” And what, no one else gets to have that? This is exclusive to him and he gets to be the gatekeeper of who does and doesn’t get to escape in this specific way? Nah, that’s not how shit works. I could go to a bookstore and nobody’s gonna be standing in the Harry Potter section or manga section waiting to ridicule me for not knowing who said what when and on which page in which version. I could go online and read the entirety of homestuck without the artist telling me that a girl like me is only reading it because it’s gotten “popular”, and I could marathon Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones or the LOTR movies for fucking days and netflix isn’t gonna stop midway and say “sorry, you wouldn’t be interested in such a masculine show/movie”. I GET TO CHOOSE WHAT I LIKE, NOT YOU.
3. “There’s often a lot of sexualization in comic but that was always part of it, it’s not fair to the readers to change that huge part of it now”
I’m reading this as “dudebros get pandered to with misinterpretations of female sexuality and are literally bombarded with sexual or graphic images, cry when anyone tries to criticize it” because that’s literally what you’re doing here. You’re making half your readers uncomfortable and doing damage to society, but the poor ~~~male fan~~~ just can’t stand to lose their sexy images.
4. “That’s altering the escapes these kids had/have”
Ah yes, the children. You’re seriously thinking telling me we should leave sexual and graphic images in comics because the children need it to escape this way? First of all, if it’s sexualization/sexual then it shouldn’t be in the hands of children AT ALL. Further, we’re seeing and have seen the results of you assholes who grew up with your hands all of over this shit and let me tell you, it does need to change.
TL:DR You’re gross.
Also, the concept that comics have “always” been sexualized to the extent they are today is really not accurate at all. The 90s really marks a clear turning point in comics, where the sexualization and objectification was REALLY ramped up to an absurd degree. This of course reflects a larger trend in US culture towards incredibly overt sexualization in all forms of media, but I think it’s especially bad in comics.
One of the issues with mainstream comics is that they are, inherently, INCREDIBLY stagnant, since they have no over-arcing plot line and have no chance of ever concluding. This sort of structure was fine when comics were first developed as they weren’t really meant to be anything other than entertainment for children. Then, as they became more sophisticated and the characters took on real personalities and began to have actual character arcs, there was still plenty of fresh material that could be covered. As the years wore on, however, it was inevitable that the writers would run out of material because there is literally only so much you can write about a character who is never allowed to deliberately grow or change beyond a certain point. The end result is that the only way to make these stories “interesting” is to simply add shock value and gratuitous titillation. These things do nothing to enhance the story, but of course the problem is that the story itself just isn’t very good or interesting. The only way to keep an audience is basically to offer a subpar visual handjob and hope that they don’t notice that nothing worthwhile is happening….and so far that has worked, apparently. Although not THAT well, given how comics are struggling to stay afloat these days.
This isn’t to say that all comics are terribly written or that no one is doing interesting stuff with these characters, but the over all trend is that there is less and less to say about many of them, because it really has all been done. Ironically, the solution to this would be to focus more on characters whose stories have not been completely played out, by which of course I mean focusing on characters who aren’t white men.
Meanwhile, in older comics, while there’s still a lot of sexism and even a bit of sexualization, I’ve often found that there are a lot of really fun, compelling female characters. And, quite frankly, if I have to choose between the almost hostile, leering sexualization of modern comics or the rather toothless sexism of older comics, I’ll take the latter every time.