Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday, November 19


Oh, Zinda...

Power Girl and Cyclone discuss costumes


Gender Swap Meet: The Strangest Female Versions of Male Characters

You Never See the Sucker Punch Coming

In Defense of Lois Lane

Women Claim Marvel Comics in 2010

Irene Vartanoff and Romance Comics

Hump Day Rant: Women in Comics

If Wonder Woman Comics Were More Honest (and Awesome)


Gluey Tart: Two of Hearts

Race Issues in Comics

Oh Right, Gargy!

Stormbringers by Korby Marks

LGBT Issues in Comics

Coming out in Comics: Ordinary Folk in the DCU

Coming Out in Comics: Runaways

A Trans Superhero? A Lesbian Wonder Woman? Introducing the T
otally Queer Spandex Comic!

Gay superheroes star in new comic


King said...

The "If Wonder Woman Comics Were More Honest" is just the Irene Vartanoff link again, only wearing a disguise.

Bookwormwithanattitude said...

@ King: Fixed!

@ spammer: Go away.

Avalon's Willow said...

I've been meaning to ask - why do Race, Manga and 'Queer Issues' have their own little ghettos in the links?

Is the default for WFA all articles about white, straight, cis, characters? You don't differentiate between coverage of male white, cis, straight characters and female white, cis, straight characters.

Bookwormwithanattitude said...

Um, it's not a ghetto. Before we took over the place, WFA didn't even cover these issues. It was just a site with women's issues. The site didn't ever cover race issues or issues with sexuality.

It was Maddy's idea to cover issues like race and sexuality. We put them in categories so people can find them more easily. If they want articles about women in comics, they're at the top, because that's what this site was founded to be about, despite our new additions- If the article is about a black female character, for instance- but is focused on gender issues instead of race issues we put it under gender. But this way, by catrgorizing, people know where to go. If you want race issues, go here, lgbt issues, go here- it's about convenience, not prejudice.

It's the same reason we give posts with the same theme a separate category (for instance, if we have a lot of posts of sexual violence, or Batgirl, or a similar theme, they get a category)- to make things clearer, and not a super long, jumbled mess.

In fact, we've done so in the past- when people talked about Felicia Henderson and Angela Robinson coming on TV, that was under gender. We don't exclude them from gender issues because they're black, and we don't exclude Batwoman from gender issues because she's a lesbian- but if the post is about how DC is racist or homophobic, it goes in the racism or lgtb category because it's not dealing with gender issues (though sometimes they overlap, in which case, I usually leave it uncategorized)

There's no desire to exclude anyone, the idea was to be MORE inclusive- if you have a problem with it, sure, take it up with us. We're aware of privilege, and we're willing to work with anyone who feels slighted to make the necessary changes to make things more inclusive. But I'd appreciate it if you'd use less loaded language- categories don't equal ghettos and using that kind of metaphor is inflammatory and hurtful. Just tell us if you find something offensive, and we're always willing to listen to concerns and work with you.

Maddy said...

If you and/or others have interpreted our choice of categories as creating ghettos for characters that are not white/straight/cis-gendered, it wasn't our intention to do so and I'm sorry. I realize that intentions don't mean anything if someone is hurt or offended by our actions or just thinks we've been doing the wrong thing. I don't think we've been creating ghettos, but I would agree that some articles linked may run the risk of being oversimplified in that their content may sometimes span beyond just the one category under which they are placed.

I think it was around May or so that we decided to actively seek out links that weren't just limited to "women in comics", and we had started categorizing things pretty much since we started in March. I figured creating categories made our posts a bit more reader-friendly, breaking it up by topic as well as visually so that one isn't faced with just a wall of links. I have actually been wondering a bit whether or not people like that format or would prefer links without categories, as we don't get a lot of qualitative feedback usually.

In my mind, the divide between the miscellaneous pile of "women in comics" links and anything else is either A) specific to a character/book/event/incident/hot-topic-of-the-week or B) isn't just about women or gender. I think I started out by just adding "also of interest" at the bottom of posts, but as we started looking for more links outside of just women in comics, we often found enough that we could organize them. I will say that I do sometimes struggle with creating categories and deciding under what categories some links should be placed. With manga, I think a separate manga category came about because MangaManiac does "Manga Edition" posts.

I'm trying to think of alternatives to the way we categorize things now. It would certainly be less effort on our part to put links that aren't strictly about women in comics, but focus on other topics like race, sexual orientation, transgendered people, disability, etc, and lump them back together in an "also" category, or just in with the miscellaneous group. I suppose we never took the latter route because this blog literally has "women in comics" right up there in the URL. (Another idea would be to provide a brief description of each article we link to, but with the amount of time that would take I'm not sure we'd be up to it.)

I think, for my part at least, I'm maybe a bit hesitant to, say, change the description of the blog to stating that we compile links on those other topics as well as women and gender, because I'm not always able to find as much on those other topics as I am on women and gender. If we presented ourselves as doing so, then it wouldn't be good that we don't usually give equal weight to those other subjects. I didn't think it would be right to promise anything that I couldn't consistently deliver on.

At any rate, the fangirls are discussing it all now.

Maddy said...

(Also, I deleted the spam comment.)

Avalon's Willow said...

Bookwormwithanattitude: Considering that I got linked on WFA back in the day and the issues I write about, I'm looking at you rather askance that you have the audacity to say "It was just a site with women's issues. The site didn't ever cover race issues or issues with sexuality."

Also? Are you asking me to mind my tone in how I approach you and be grateful WFA is bothering to list anything at all? Cause if so - you have read me right?

Maddie: Catagorizing links is your choice and your intention to do so to make things easier to find is commendable; even though it also makes things easier to avoid. But given you are using catagories and catogory titles, but you are not labeling what you deem to be traditional WFA fare with a catogory of its own, it sets things up as 'Default' and 'Extra' and everything that isn't white, cis, TaB is 'extra'. Thus if your intention was to show WFA opening up to broader topics and acknowledging the intersectionality of gender issues with other issues in comics - there's an aspect of your presentation that's, well, skeezy.

I am far from insisting that you change the name or theme of the blog. By including other links to intersectional posts you're being a heck of a lot more inclusive than, oh say, Feministing, in acknowledging that for some women, race, disability, and queerness are also women's issues because women have to deal with them.

But how you've labeled things, in that some things are labeled and some things are not - Manga, Race, Queer Issues. Does Manga really fit in the other two catogories? Are Race and Queer issues a different but anamolous catagory? Is Manga code for Japanese? Are Manga, Race and Queer issues, separate but equal, with all that phrase implies?

Like I said earlier, by catagorizing titles, you make things as easy to avoid as to find, you set up default and 'other'. I appreciate knowing that was not your intention. But a little thing like everything, for example, having a catagory would make it seem less like you stick the non essentials at the bottom; which is a confusing impression to have, given you went to the trouble to title them and led, for me at least, to thoughts of 'Is it so people can know what to avoid?' - A scenario of appearing liberal and gaining brownie points, while not actually challenging your readers.

Anonymous said...

Avalon's Willow, while I certainly don't speak for or represent WFA in any way, I think in saying 'it sets things up as 'Default' and 'Extra' and everything that isn't white, cis, TaB is 'extra'.' you're misinterpreting what seems to be the intent(even including room for subconscious) behind the action. WFA is about women in comics and anything else is, technically, extra. 'Women' not being limited to straight/white/cis-gendered/able-bodied women.

The reason some links are included in other sections is because they focus on issues that, while they effect women, 'women' themselves aren't the focus. For example an article about Vixen that focuses on woman's issues rather/more than race issues would go in the general pile, an article about Batwoman that focuses on woman's issues rather/more than LGBT issues would go in the general pile, or an article about Oracle that focuses on woman's issues rather/more than disability would go in the general pile. BUT an article about Vixen that focuses on race issues would go under 'race in comics', an article on Batwoman that focuses on LGBT issues would go under that category, and an article about Oracle that... well, you get the general idea. Basically, that at the end of the day the blog's focus is on women in comics('comics' being why manga got a separate category) and anything else really is 'extra' but not in the exclusionary/separate-but-equal manner which you seem to read it as. Also note that sometimes the general pile is marked as such(

Though I might be biased. Personally, I like it because sometimes I just feel like focusing on reading the stuff on LGBT issues, other times race, or characters with disabilities, or Wonder Woman, or whatever else has a specific category that day, and other times the main topic(women). It isn't about avoiding anymore than the sections of a library, but about making things easier to read/find.

Bookwormwithanattitude said...

Avalon's Willow- I didn't ask you to be grateful, I was explaining the situation to you. And I apologize if my last paragraph offended you. Maddy pointed out that it was iffy, and I agree with her- I wasn't taking issue with your tone, you can be as angry as you want, I just felt that using less inflammatory metaphors would make it easier to discuss this. Anyway, I'm 18 and this isn't the first time I've inadvertently said offensive or wrong things when attempting to debate or explain, and I hope it will get better as I get older/learn more/work on it.

At any rate, we're considering your comments and we're working on it. I alerted Maddy as soon as I got your comment because those concerns are important- At the very least we should label the general pile as Misc. Issues or somesuch, the only reason I didn't label it before was due to laziness.

Avalon's Willow said...

Firstly, I have no idea why Anonymous feels the need to explain to me how catogories, and these catogories in particular work. I explained my pov, and now a stranger gets to tell me 'Oh, you silly negro, you just don't understand sets and groups - let me majoritysplain it to you.'?


It's interesting that my initial question was interpretted (by you) as angry rather than inquisitive. When I consider how the conversation might have gone if that hadn't been the case it looks very much like:

AW: So what's up with the ghettos?

WFA: Laziness. Yeah, we should consider how it looks.

AW: Yeah, kind of... iffy.

WFA: Yeah thanks. Iffy sucks.


Anyway I pointed it out, got an explanation and it's up to WFA what you decide to do about it in future.

Another suggestion? Considering you say you want to learn more and work on things - Not using the defensive old bullsh*t: 'I apologize if you were offended.

Maddy said...

Guys, I just want to leave a comment letting you know that I've read these comments and plan to respond to them--I just don't have as much time today as I had anticipated.

I do have a batch of links that are almost ready to go up, the bulk of which I organized yesterday prior to reading Willow's comment, and I want to take the time to examine and possibly fiddle with them before posting.


nora said...

That MY GOD YOU GUYS seemed kind of personal and more about you than about women in comics.

Bookwormwithanattitude said...

It was about the founder of Project Girl Wonder and pointing out that a zine that explicitly examines Robins as a cultural phenomenon- including specifically the girl Robins- had gone into it's second edition, so I consider it relevant.

Honestly, we link posts that mention women in comics a lot less than that post did on request and what not- I was originally more rigid on the issue, but that started making me look like a hardass and Maddy wasn't doing the same thing, so now I consider any post that makes a statement that touches upon women in comics and can engender discussion about the subject to be relevant. And I extend those rules to my own posts as well.

Noah Berlatsky said...

I think it's cool that you've expanded coverage. I think the categories do make things more user-friendly. And I think it's perfectly reasonable to have the default be what the site is most known for (basically, gender issues and super-heroes.)

And I am grateful that you post links in general, and links to my site on occasion in particular. You're performing a service for both readers and writers, and I appreciate it. So thank you.

Maddy said...

Okay, sorry about the delayed response.

After some discussion, Bookworm and I have decided to change the "miscellaneous" category to "women in comics", as that is what the category has actually meant in our minds. As well, we'll be placing categories in an alphabetized order.


To be honest, I don't think I've always been consistent with how I categorize things. I wrote a post about Oracle and disability and WiR some months back, and when I linked to it, I'm pretty sure I included it in the miscellaneous pile. If there had been multiple posts about disability in comics that week, I might have put it with them under a disability category, or if it had been a post about a male character with a disability, I might have made a separate category.

@Avalon's Willow,

Thanks for the input.

Also, I think I should clarify something--I did point out to Bookworm privately that the last paragraph of her first comment (where I believe she was reacting to your equating the links categories with ghettos) might be seen as a "tone" argument. In explaining what I meant by "tone argument", I gave an example of how it'd be like if she got mad when a favourite character is killed/mistreated and someone telling her not to get angry and that people would listen to her more if she wasn't so angry/changed her tone. She may have taken that to mean I was saying that your initial question was an angry one, and if so that's my fault for not being clearer.


We are totally mad with power!


Thanks for the kind words.

Anonymous said...

@Avalon's Willow,
Are you honestly trying to say the only possible way my comment can be read is as coming from a position of privilege and with a hint of racism? If so, grow up. You don't know me, the color of my skin, what's between my legs, or who I sleep with. You don't know what I put up with in my life to be calling me on anything.

Avalon's Willow said...

Anonymous said: Stereotypical affronted denial of any possible racism. Strawman argument. Special Snowflake Statement of Individualism. Sign off of "You're the the racist."

Me: I don't do Racism 101.



I do have an idea of how much energy and effort goes into organizing something like WFA; Thank you for taking the time to see my point of view and clarifying yours. Thank you further for seeing my criticism as a possible step to make WFA better.

" ...I did point out to Bookworm privately...I gave an example...She may have taken that to mean I was saying that your initial question was an angry one..."

The possibility is noted. Though I think it is also likely my presentation online is not one with which she is used to interacting.