misogynist much?

A recent io9 story about Wonder Woman quotes Marvel Comics’ Brian Michael Bendis’ tweet:

Spider-Woman has better hair, better costume, frank cho implants and a fucked up origin. Wonder Woman is a walking std farm!!

This bothers me in so many ways. Not to diss Spiderwoman (who was one of my favourites), but wtf? Since when is it even a little bit ok to call anyone a ‘walking STD farm’? It’s at moments like these that I despair of superhero comics writers. FAIL.
In antidote, let’s have a little badass Wonder Woman wonderfulness:
ww1.jpg
That’s a great pic, but part of me worries about the violence.
But the io9 article is interesting, if only because it discusses the tension between violence and pacifism in super beings – as they’re depicted in comicland. I’m not sure I buy the discussion of Wonder Woman letting a man beat the shit out of her to make a moral point (I think you need to engage with gender and the way WW is sexualised before you can make claims about the visual depiction of this sort of violence/victim stuff). This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a powerful woman brought low with sexualised violence (WW is wearing a bustierre, for the goddess’ sake!) – think of the (fucked up) episode of Buffy where Spike tries to rape her and she can’t fight him off*. WTF was going on there?! Since when could some lamearse vamp take Buffy down? The implication in that particular story line (as with the WW one) is that this badass chick was complicit in her own assault – she wanted to be assaulted/punished/whatever. The linking of sex and violence, the implication that all women (particularly the badass ones) want to be controlled or beaten down and of course the whole ‘man brings low strong woman’ fantasy really get up my arse. I sure as fuck wouldn’t be writing any of that shit in my stories.
So here’s something a little better:
ww2.jpg
I like this image because – in the simplest sense – she returns the gaze. She’s not laid out as a body to be devoured by teenage male eyes, she’s bringing it. The pose is iconic WW, centering her bracelets. But the returned gaze (not a sensual beckoning from below coy, lowered lids) is something interesting. There is the problem of the bustiere, but it’s so iconic, I think it’d be very difficult to not feature it in this sort of WW cover art.
ww3.jpg
Again, the bustiere and bracelets, but no returned gaze. I like the fist, but I’m still having trouble with the bustiere.
There’s lots more to say, of course, and WW’s history as a character is interesting, as is the history of the comic. But I don’t know enough to make any more than these few comments.
*This is one of those moments where Joss Whedon FAILS. Don’t give me any bullshit arguments about how he didn’t write or direct that ep. HE IS RESPONSIBLE.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *