Geek Girls Rule! #49 – My New Obsession and My Angry Feminist Rant

Yes, I know. I SAID I didn’t need another hobby. I SAID I wasn’t going to get all excited about anything else until I’d finished a few more projects. I know what I SAID.

What I did is pick up Voluptuous Panic: The erotic world of Weimar Berlin by Mel Gordon and become utterly enraptured with the sex and cabaret culture of a place and era that was called the most wicked on earth and a rival to the decadence of ancient Rome. I am so psyched. What I intend to do is find out what the color code of the “boot girls” was, and have myself an appropriate pair of boots made. No one else in the free world will get the joke, and I’ll get to be all smugly subversive. Voluptuous Panic is one hell of a good read and I highly recommend it to all of you who might be interested in sex work and the history thereof.

THAT said, I need a minute to go off on something that isn’t quite geeky, but has come up in my podcasts, in response to my podcasts and it’s something I say about myself fairly frequently that is not, in fact, true.

I am not a bad Feminist.

That’s right, you heard me. I’m not. I say it about myself jokingly and a little bitterly in podcast #3, which coincidentally enough, just happens to be the one at which the most criticisms have been aimed. Apparently being concerned with how women’s bodies are depicted in popular media is not a “hard” Feminist issue.

I really need a straight faced emoticon here.

Not only is that not a hard Feminist issue, but it’s also less deserving of discussion than the clothes worn by women in media or their hair and make up.

Now I need a “head-desk” emoticon.

Can I get an “infuriatingly homicidal” emoticon to go with those?

Nevermind that a large part of the discussion on breasts concerned itself with how those breasts are covered and what would actually work to cover, support and protect those breasts. No, apparently we should just be playing “What Not to Wear” with Supergirl and Powergirl. And, apparently stating that there are just some things that are not possible around those giganto-melons that comic artists keep drawing is anti-Feminist.

Insert “setting people on fire and eating the done bits” emoticon here.

Yes, we spent a lot of time talking about our boobs, because well, those are the boobs we have experience with. Each of us who happens to possess a pair of breasts knows intimately what can and cannot be done around, near or because of them.

We also know what they look like. For reals and everything. Something an awful lot of comic artists just don’t seem to get. Although I think I’ve unravelled the mystery of that one. Why they all draw these perfect globes of flesh that are smushed together like no bra ever has done. Even Wonderbras lift and separate.*

Back to Feminism.

People telling me I’m a bad Feminist really frost my cookies. Seriously. Because it’s bullshit, and that sort of divisive crap is what has women today saying crap like “Well, I’m all for equal rights, but I’m not a Feminist.”

Sweetie, if you vote and have a job, you’re a fucking Feminist. Get over it.

If you work in a male-dominated, or previously male-dominated career, you’re a Feminist.

Feminism is not a dirty word, and I refuse to let the Andrea Dworkin’s, Catherine MacKinnon’s, Rush Limbaughs and Chris Matthews of the world make it one and take it away from me.

“Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings.” –Cheris Kramerae

That’s it. That’s all. That we are human beings deserving of the same respect as other human beings, and I don’t care who tells you otherwise, they’re full of shit. And yes, I’m an angry Feminist. How can I not be? Look at the fact that women still make less than men on the average. Look at the rape rates.

And look at how we’re depicted in media, and yes, I’m talking to you comic books artists and writers.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I bitch about how women are depicted in comics, because I CARE. I don’t want to break up with comics. I like comics. I like superhero comics. I like them a lot. I’ve been reading them for a very long time now, and I just want them to quit being so fucking egregiously sexist and misogynist. That’s all, and how women’s bodies are depicted is part and parcel of that sexism. And us talking about our boobs and how they work is a perfectly acceptable means of expressing our concerns. See, the girls in the podcast KNOW how those really large breasts would be a hinderance because, well, they HAVE those really large breasts and can tell you first hand how they affect their ability to do even simple tasks.

So, yeah, the depictions of women’s bodies – a Feminist issue. Me, not a bad Feminist. And comic book artists, try to observe some actual women engaged in actual activities and in relaxed and casual poses. I for one do not sit with my biceps snugging my boobs up when sitting in a chair and reading a book.

Thank you, and good night.

*The answer: Porn mags. Start with the lack of natural boobs in those magazines, and then add the poses. Yup, arms positioned to most prominently display said breasts, to push them forward and up and make them squish together and, well, look sort of globe-like. Honestly guys, we don’t all walk around with our biceps held in to push our breasts up and out all the time. And looking at some of the comics made me realize just how many artists depict the majority of their female characters in that stance. And it’s not just porn mags, popular advertising does it, too. So I can’t say that every comic artist uses porn as a reference point, they may actually just be using print advertisements. But the pose is the same.

Ok, that mystery solved.

10 thoughts on “Geek Girls Rule! #49 – My New Obsession and My Angry Feminist Rant

  1. Is there a standing ovation emoticon, because I need one for this post!

    I often feel like a bad feminist for loving superhero comics so much, but I have the same issues with them that you do.

    Just when are the boys going to wake up and realize we’re reading, too?

  2. Gah, you made me all paranoid, so I had to go look it up.

    Yup, used it correctly, at least according to Merriam Webster Online. Whew!!!!

    I have the avid reader flaw (I believe it’s a 2 point disad in GURPS) of extrapolating meanings from context instead of actually looking them up, so sometimes words don’t actually mean what I think they mean.

  3. HELL YES.

    I am a feminist who wears skirts, a queer with a husband, a feminist pop culture critic who thinks that yes, the way women are portrayed on the pages funny books DOES and SHOULD matter to real-life humans.

    Víva la revolución!

  4. I’m a feminist – damned proud of it, too. I’m a weirdo with kids, a husband, and I’m fighting for a degree.

    If that makes me a bad feminist, f*** ’em.

  5. I’m going to bookmark this for future reference, so when there are people telling me how I should be looking at other “real” feminist issues, then I’ll just send them here.

    Though I would kind of feel bad for doing so, because they’d probably start trolling. -_-

  6. This is an awesome post. I couldn’t agree with you more. I grew up with brothers and we were all comic collectors. I think that one of the things that made me disinterested in them was the way that women were all portrayed. Can we get some variety, please? How about one girl with small breasts and small thighs? Maybe someone one could draw a woman who doesn’t look like she’s worn a corset for her entire life.


  7. Thank you for writing that. I couldn’t agree more…. can I say “Right On!”? Ok, well RIGHT ON!!!!

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