Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

February 22, 2012

Go Read: On Whether Everyone Objectified = No Objectification

Kelly Thompson has a piece up here on the routine objectification of women in superhero comics, using as a springboard the argument that seems to crop up whenever an article like this is written that men and women are both objectified by that genre's attention to the human form. Thompson points out clear and common differences that speak against this claim.

These articles tend to attract a full outing for the pathologies of mainstream North American comics fans and the vocal Internet sub-group of that crowd specifically, which makes it a target-rich environment for commentary. You could easily do several graphs on any number of tangential notions that spring up, for instance the construction that seems inherent to such articles where the peccadilloes of the One True Genre as exhibited by The Only Companies That Matter is conflated with all of comics or even all of a sub-section of comics.

Don't get me wrong: these are all fun arguments to have. Still, I think every once in a while it's good to be reminded -- no matter the swirl of opportunities to riff in multiple directions -- that some of these comics are indeed screwed up and depressing because no matter how you'd prefer to contextualize them they really do display these troubling qualities. Further, that there are clearly limits to any kind of sales repercussion for these kinds of common creative choices says something that's maybe not so nice about a specific portion of the North American comics market.
posted 6:00 am PST | Permalink

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