My culmination of frustrations about the Catwoman haters

22-SEP-2011 I read CATWOMAN last night. Hadn’t read a single review. Put the book down next to me and tweeted that I loved it and how out of the five new “52″ I read, it was the one I enjoyed most. I had no idea I was in the minority that would be put on the defensive side for Selina’s sexual rights by the end of business today.

When a certain blogger from gizmodo published her controversial column about online dating and her lame experience with the Magic: the Gathering World Champion, geeks united and said it was a “baiting tactic” used to drive hits to her article. Freelancers get paid more if they are more popular. Soon people realized not to click links to her article.

What’s the likelihood that comic media site do this as well? Bleeding Cool is rather noteworthy for causing rifts where none exist. But sometimes, you have a columnist that just wants to voice his or her opinion (as I’ve done here where I’ve faced flames of hatred and misunderstanding on my own site). I’m going to assume that Laura Hudson only wanted to genuinely voice her utter hatred of CATWOMAN #1 in her Comics Alliance post. We’re in the same social circles therefore I don’t want to judge her incorrectly and accuse her of baiting but I’m sure impressed with how her article has circulated all over the networks. It’s very well thought out and presented passionately. She doesn’t reduce her disdain for the issue into “it sucked, don’t buy it.” She provided various points and shows examples where sex didn’t offend her in comics.

One thing I find VERY insightful is that not once does someone call Laura fat or ugly and accuse of her hating Catwoman because she’s secretly jealous and wants to be just like that: just as uninhibited, just as sexy, just as skilled and dangerous… Hmmm… why is when I write my opinion, those are the remarks I get?

I took the time to comment over there and I want to share that comment along with my follow up remarks from Facebook and Twitter all in one place.

My reply to Comics Alliance: I respect all your points but I disagree strongly about Catwoman. I haven’t read the Starfire issue so I won’t comment on that.

People love Catwoman and Batman together. Even in the All Ages versions of The Animated Series, fans got to see Catwoman chasing after him. That’s right. She did the pursuing. She lets him know where she stands in her urges in every case I’ve ever seen. I’m certainly no expert on them.

The scene where readers don’t see her face is one that has been done classically in movies where viewers see a hero donning parts of a costume and it usually ends with the mask. A suit gets zipped. Boots get pulled up. Gloves go on. Then… after moments of anticipation, the mask. It builds up for a reveal of the character in full gear. It’s been done with “hero” wardrobe and very commonly with MEN donning fashionable suits. Haven’t we seen the likes of Bradley Cooper, Tom Cruise and countless other hunky MEN buttoning up a shirt, clipping a belt, pulling a sports jacket on over their broad shoulders, pulling out the sleeves at the wrists to show off expensive cuff links… all without seeing their faces? It happens all the time.

I understand where female readers can feel alienated for one reason or another but I think it’s often because they are not looking at books that turn them on. So what if this rooftop scene isn’t your cup of tea? There are thousands of comics made every year. I’m sure you can find one to substitute for it.

As for the marketing, DC was pretty up front that the main line of titles was not ALL AGES. The CW network makes its millions off of horny teen shows. Teens know what sex is and probably get it on a regular basis.

My Facebook thread: So I guess me and @ComixBookGurl are the only women to enjoy Catwoman & not think it’s gratuitous porn on panels. Interesting. If it were for a “boy’s” comic no one would bat an eye about a female character having a sex life. Women CAN come on to a person they find attractive; in fact, usually I make the first move. Why does that mean it makes for a bad story, bad art and a bad comic? I’m not sorry. I loved Catwoman. Apparently I disagree with most of my female social network… as usual. Maybe I should be a man. I knew there was something “wrong” with me.

My go-to comments are thus: 1) If you don’t like it, write up a pitch and send it into DC or Marvel or whatever. 2) If you don’t like it, read another book! There are TONS out there that most comic readers don’t bother exploring because it doesn’t have DC or Marvel logos.

And I’d like to add that the editor of CATWOMAN is named Rachel Gluckstern which sure does sound like a woman’s name to me.

[A follower asked, isn't this within Selina's character?] Yes it has. She is not super powered and uses her sexuality as a distraction. But she has historically also gone after Batman to satisfy her. She’s normally written with the “cat in heat” flare. It makes her who she is. Certain characters are sexual: Catwoman, Black Cat, Black Canary. Others are not like Wonder Woman, Red Sonja and Raven.

From Twitter: Some women like their sex aggressive and intense.

I don’t ever hear these women complaining about misogynistic stories/art like The Boys. Why? I’ll tell u. Bec it’s not DC or Marvel.

[In response to my response about writing your own pitch, two people said "they" meaning DC, don't take unsolicited pitches.] No, but there’s networking & breaking in. Those people there all started from the outside. … Or ya know, write your own book with your own character and sell it.

And I’d like to add that the editor of CATWOMAN is named Rachel Gluckstern which sure does sound like a woman’s name to me.

@dannimal: @elizabethamber And if I had bad service on a flight, I can complain or I can save up to buy my own plane and learn to fly.

@dannimal Do you realize how many people make comics? There is more comic reading than your DC/Marvel pull list.

@dannimal Fine. It takes money to produce a book (why I’m so slow at it). But I go to cons & see tons of work that I end up enjoying.

@dannimal If it’s also, as you put it “bad service” – that’s 1 book, 1 character. There are 51 others.

@dannimal: @elizabethamber Point is, both opinions are valid. I’d guess most of those unhappy won’t be buying #2. They can’t un-buy this one, though.

@dannimal And you can’t “unbuy” a bad flight, meal, or movie either.

6 comments on My culmination of frustrations about the Catwoman haters

  1. Comixbookgurl
    September 22, 2011 at 10:38 pm (3 years ago)

    Very well written. Thank you for standing up for Catwoman.

    Reply
  2. Jason Newcomb
    September 23, 2011 at 2:14 pm (3 years ago)

    I’m struck by the obvious sincerity of this post.

    Reply
  3. admin
    September 23, 2011 at 2:25 pm (3 years ago)

    It also dawned on me after looking closer at the issue, that they are not on the rooftop as people have been bitching. They are inside the penthouse on the carpet. Somehow, maybe that will make it less pornographic – I don’t know since I don’t see anything wrong with a little fantasy anyway.

    As I was thinking of images of men getting dressed in a similar film sequence, I remembered my favorite CASTLE episode where Nathan Fillion is shown getting into his “Halloween costume” which was his Malcolm Reynolds outfit from FIREFLY. Showing a man holding a handgun firmly then holstering it is traditionally considered a metaphor for sex.

    Many creators, like Jim Steranko, consider the imagery of a cold hard steel gun to be far more sexually suggestive.

    To quote Nathan Fillion’s other famous character, “The hammer is my penis.”

    Reply
  4. Jim
    September 27, 2011 at 3:24 pm (3 years ago)

    I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment that had this scene been in a men’s comic no one would have blinked. I can tell you that as a man I find Catwoman regardless of the medium (Comic, TV, Movie, etc) to be the ultimate take charge confident lady. Sexy from head to toe and she knows it. I am surprised that some folks are surprised that she would be sexy and bold. I look forward to seeing the next one.

    Reply
  5. Jason
    October 5, 2011 at 5:53 pm (3 years ago)

    Very good article. I find it strange that a lot of people are callign the sex out of place. Two things, she went through her house being firebombed (apparently not the first time she’d been chased from her home either) and she’s trying to not think about it. Bruce showing up gave her an opportunity to live in denial.

    Alternately, it seems to imply that she and Bruce are neck deep in a tryst, it isn’t some random hook up.

    Three, she’s what 25, 26? Are you telling me that people in their mid-twenties aren’t having ill-advised sex for reasons their not sure of? I’m calling BS on that.

    One of the things I’m starting to suspect by way of knowing how the internet works is that a lot of people were waiting to attack DC for the reboot.

    I have no real evidence but I believe this is true because it seems all the heat for CW 1 and Starfire is bypassing the writers and artists and landing on Dan Didio. They needed an opportunity to attack the Relaunch cause it’s hard to bash DC when it looked like their gamble was paying off, but with a cover of “Sexism in Comics” they could savage DC to their heart’s content.

    Reply

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