(Thanks to my friend for this title, I wanted something a little witty)
I mentioned ages ago that I was going to make a separate post for the comics aspect part in my life. Well, after many drafts, here it is! Now, be prepared, this will be a long text post.
When I was a kid I went to a really small Catholic school. The classes were all about 30 kids big and the school went up to 6th grade. That was about it. Anyway, since the school was small and co-ed, we all pretty much knew each other and stuff. My mom also got me these old sticker albums, you know the ones with the numbers and the booklet that you needed to fill out. Depending on the thing, you could actually win a prize if you filled it out…Damn. I can’t believe I still remember that. Why do I bring this up? I usually had ones girls were meant to have. That would mean, Polly Pocket(I remember that one so vividly), Barbie and such. I had it at the time and didn’t recall it until much later, I also had a Batman one from the movie where Jack Nicholson was the Joker. I ended up finding the old stickers in a clean up.
What does this have to do with anything? A lot actually. The fact that I forgot I even had that sticker album is a big deal. It shows how much ‘girls’ toys were valued when I was a kid. All I could have were Barbies and Polly Pockets because those were the girl thing to have. I couldn’t like Batman or anything cause that was a boy’s thing. I still played video games, that was fairly gender neutral at my house. But Batman? oh no. That was a boy thing.
It was all basically the expected girl toys, video games and Nickelodeon that got me through my years up until I reached middle/high school (my school never divided the concepts) that I ended up hitting back onto the Batman curve. That’s right, Teen Titans! Ugh. I had such a huge fangirl crush on Robin. It was ridiculous. I loved him so much. Hell, I even read fanfiction. So much of it. I didn’t care. Considering how in my high school I was already a freak for liking my Game Boy Advance and not wanting to use fake IDs or whatever to get drunk in Old San Juan, I just liked this show and Robin and so I stuck. It didn’t stop people from poking fun at me though.
I also got into manga around then. It’s an entirely different concept, I know. Regardless, it’s also a thing that got me a lot of flack for too. I read shounen titles and guys would be shocked I’d read anything other than shoujo beat and tokypop manga that was tailored for girls. Some of the more popular shounen titles were written by women and I was still getting poked at for reading them and defending the women writers. I couldn’t pick up anything Batman then because considering the treatment I got for reading shounen manga, I didn’t even want to risk putting myself through that in high school. I was having a hard enough time as it was!
When I graduated high school, I managed to make friends in a basically judgement free zone. We had this corner and all of us played games, read comics, played Yu-Gi-Oh! for crying out loud. I finally found home. It was easier for me to be open about liking Batman and slowly things came back to me. I knew who Robin was but I’d forgotten all about him over the years. I recalled his name, I remembered what he became and I learned a lot along the way.
Now comes the rant part. I can’t step into a comic store, I’m stared and I’m devalued when I go. It’s harsh. I feel like they don’t see me as an equal fan. They see me as a fangirl (not that I’m denying it) but there’s more to me than that. I know things. I BUY some of these things. I read these books. I play the games! I watch this stuff! But then these people are denying that I’m here, I’m real. THEY CANCEL MY SHOWS BECAUSE I’M WATCHING THEM. How is that fair!? I’m helping you by doing exactly what you need to keep these things afloat. Just because I can’t buy all the action toys you ‘require’ doesn’t mean I don’t want to see my super heroes on TV.
I also have a huge bone to pick with some of the merchandise they make for women. I’m planning to make an actual vlog about that so link withheld until I actually upload it. Planning to film this week actually.
It’s still highly off putting that I’m not deemed a worthy fan all because of my gender. The ones who make these decisions are men in suits who totally have the wrong idea about girls and comics. They totally think that making these supers total players in their books is a good idea, totally appealing. What the hell is wrong with a monogamous relationship?! It gets a book cancelled. That’s what. Which is horrible, comics need happy stories. This type of thing cannot be set aside as a shoujo manga thing alone. It’s just worse! I have womanly needs when it comes to my books, that is true. But this goes beyond giving Grayson dat booty though! It’s also about story!!
Female characters in these books aren’t all that better either. I mean, the ones who date some of these supers turn out to be total bitches. They hurt these heroes. They damage them emotionally. It starts out cute and sweet but then the women turn on them. It’s a disaster. Nobody can have a happy relationship. You know what happens? I’m going to repeat myself, CANCELLED. You’re giving comic book readers that are socially awkward with girls and think that we’re out to get them worse. YOU’RE NOT HELPING. They end up treating me like one of three things. A goddess, a fake fan or a failure to my gender for liking these things. WHAT THE?! That hurts a lot. Being called a fake fan is one thing I can easily disprove but apparently I suck at being a girl for liking comics. I can’t like something because I like it?! You have to cancel my shows because I’m a female who happens to enjoy them!? WHAT THE HELL GUYS?! I am not affecting you guys negatively if I like these things.
Don’t even get me started on the movie versions. ‘Son of Batman’ was abysmal. What’s worse…HOW DO YOU SPEND A PANEL TALKING ABOUT HOW REVOLUTIONARY YOUR CLEAVAGE ANIMATION WAS. IT SUCKED. BOOBIES DON’T MOVE THAT WAY, SINCERELY SOMEONE WHO HAS A PAIR. The worst part was how much they went out of their way in that panel to talk about it! If you’re looking for more diversity in the movies based off comics fanbase, that is not the way to go about this. It’s worse. It’s alienating your potential expandable fanbase. Which they’re doing on purpose.
I’m sick of old people in suits in a high standing in the entertainment industry telling me that I can’t like what I like because I’m affecting their numbers negatively. That they don’t want me to like the stuff that they produce. I don’t even work in the industry and I can’t imagine how bad it is for the females who work there. It has to be worse. I can’t imagine. If i’m being forced out of the fandom by the executives, I don’t even want to picture how the women working there must feel. It’s got to be worse for them!
I don’t need these things to be fixed immediately but this isn’t going away anytime soon. My love of batman isn’t going away EVER. My family stopped poking at me for liking Batman and actually get me things related to that which I like (Batman makes it easier for them to shop for me as opposed to kpop). One more thing I’ll be honest about, if loving Dick Grayson is wrong…I don’t want to be right. To heck being right. I like my heroes. They’re one of my favorite things. I’m not giving them up. I would love for things to be better…but let’s just face it girls. Old men in suits don’t like us because we watch their shows that are aimed at boys…but they’re all for grown men watching ‘My Little Pony’. Sit on that.
And I’m done. I’m out.