Geek Girls Rule! #102 – Really, Marvel?

Oh for the love of little green apples… 

I first heard about this from Hoyden about Town.  Essentially, villian Chameleon impersonates Peter Parker and sleeps with Peter’s room-mate.  When people start to point out to the writer that this constitutes rape, his response is:

“My understanding of the definition of rape is that it requires force or the threat of force, so no. Using deception to trick someone into granting consent isn’t quite the same thing.
“Which is not to say it isn’t a horrible, evil, reprehensible thing that Chameleon did. He is a bad man.
“He insults parapelegics[sic] and dips people in acid too.”

Faith in humanity sinking… 

So, according to Fred Van Lente, someone being blackmailed into sex, isn’t rape.  Someone having the choice of losing their job or putting out, isn’t rape.  Someone drugged unconscious or passed out being penetrated (you need violence for rape, remember?), isn’t rape.  Someone thinking they’re with one person when it’s really another isn’t rape.

Actually, according to  courts in the US (you’ll want to check your specific state laws) and Canada, if you impersonate someone else  to gain sexual access to someone, it is indeed sexual assault.  If someone has not consented to sex with YOU, it is rape.  Period.  It doesn’t mean you can’t pretend to be a fighter pilot to impress a chick at a bar, although trust me, we aren’t ever fooled.  It does mean you can’t bang your twin brother’s girlfriend without her knowing which twin you are.

Fortunately, several folks over at i09 have been calling this guy on his bullshit.  Not all of them.  There are still a fair number of idiots who don’t get it, but at least some people are speaking out on this. 

The second offensive part of this is the fact that after sleeping with “Peter” once, the character in question immediately turns into the controlling girlfriend from Hell.  Really?  You think women do that?  Seriously?  Have you met one? 

Honestly, the most likely result of a tumble on the kitchen floor with a previously platonic room-mate would be some awkward silence, a lot of “um”-ing and “So, uh, where do we stand after this afternoon?”*  Shit, I can draw the panel in my head.  But I guess a hot Latina in Spiderman’s t-shirt is way more interesting than showing her fully clothed, rubbing the back of her neck and awkwardly not meeting Peter’s eyes. 

So, to paraphrase Keith Olbermann, “Mr. Fred Van Lente, today’s Worst Person in the World!!!”  Ok, not the world.  Just my small part of it.

*Yes, I speak from experience here.  Sigh.  My libido has ever been my Achilles’ heel, and hot geeky boys my kryptonite.

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6 thoughts on “Geek Girls Rule! #102 – Really, Marvel?

  1. Having read over the previous issues, Peter and his roommate, first off, had already slept together, when he was dead drunk, and basically, she already had the ‘controlling’ and ‘from hell’ bits down, only now added ‘girlfriend’.

    That said, on the rest? Totally with you.

  2. What nobody saw is how Hercules, passing off as Thor, slept with the Queen of the dark elves in his own title and nobody said anything about it.

  3. I could never get into Western comics, for this very reason. I loved the old X-Man cartoon, but that’s as far as I ever went into the fandom. The entire industry seems to go out of its way to alienate every woman they possibly can. Not to claim that manga (which I prefer) is without its -own- issues, but at least that genre acknowledges that women actually READ comics in the first place.

  4. Pai, I’m sorry you’ve had such lousy experiences with Western comics, and I agree that there’s a lot of misogyny in the industry.

    On the other hand, as a feminist, female comics professional who works her ass off to make sure that shit like this doesn’t happen on her watch, I’m kind of miffed that you’re dismissing an entire medium and everyone who works in it based on the hands-down worst examples. There’s a hell of a lot more out there than that–and a hell of a lot more to Western comics than the big two.

  5. I have to preface this with the comment that I haven’t read the issue. In fact, I don’t normally read Spider-Man. But, I’ve seen scans of the two pages – the first where Chameleon and Michelle get it on, and the second where Peter comes home to find Michelle apparently out of her shell.

    Which is one of the two things that strikes me as interesting that I haven’t seen anyone comment on.

    Thing 1) Apparently Michelle has secretly had the hots for Peter for a while now, and all it took was a tumble on the kitchen floor for her to (presumably gratefully) conclude they’re now a couple (ahem).

    Thing 2) What about Peter’s reaction? To me, he seems totally self-centred. He’s pissed at Chameleon, but the vibe I get is he’s pissed because Chameleon has just made Peter’s life way more complicated. There doesn’t seem to me to be any concern on Peter’s part about what happened to Michelle.

    I mean, what’s he going to do? Tell her the truth? Or is he going to continue to lie and pretend to be in love with her? But either way, it seems he’s only concerned about how this will impact him.

    I contrast this with the commentaries that were made about the scene between Green Lantern and Green Arrow about the threesome and the bottle of booze. Again, I haven’t read that comic, so I don’t know everything, and so anyone is free to say that I don’t know what I’m talking about.

    But, some people commented that GA had stormed out of a JLA meeting, pissed with GL. GL later shows up and GA tells him that everyone knows about the threesome. Various commentators took GA to task for praising GL’s exploits, but I took it as sarcastic. Sort of a, “You’re a horse’s ass, and everyone knows it. Well played, sir.” Certainly, GA telling GL that everyone knows about it makes GL embarrassed – which is what GA may have been setting out to do.

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