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long post: why yes some sexuality quotas might help even - erstwhile comix fiend...
January 24th, 2011
05:00 pm

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long post: why yes some sexuality quotas might help even
(xposted from tumblr)
I am bemused that this: (joverfield doesn't want quotas for sexually deviant characters blah blah) was triggered by this:


'Cos I saw that & I was like, "point."

I know that I have heterosexist biases; that I know I have them doesn't mean I don't have them. And I'm not trying to be all self-flagellating about privilege here; no, I really do think it's more important to have images of strong straight females than to have images of strong queer characters. Given my own childhood gender angst, I sympathize with the transgendered, sure, but I get annoyed at people who want to talk up queer gender issues as if they were more important than the ongoing matter of simply treating the majority of (boring, regular, straight) women decently. I know that makes me a jerk by the standards of some of y'all. So be it.

I'm not trying to argue that position today; I bring it up to say, I'm a bit heterosexist.

But I saw that macro, And I said, "point." Because it is.

I'm not going to say that the way token-writer-of-lesbian-characters Greg Rucka writes his protags is wonderful; I find Rucka's spiral-of-gloom tropes a bit cringe-inducing. But DC at least begins to accept the idea of strong lesbian leads now. (I hope.)

On the gay-lad side, we had Midnighter. Who was all right, but was conceived as half of a joke on Superman/Batman, & was off in the Wildstorm continuity, which went to pot after (as?) Midnighter hit big. I mean, I liked Apollo, but he got turned into "the other half" after a while. But even if you count both, after a while Wildstorm turned into "the alternative line for you alternative people," & then dropped altogether by a company run by obsessive fans of much older characters. (grr argh)

We don't have a strong gay(-lad) character in the mainline. Don't talk to me about Tasmanian Devil or the blue Starman; they're also-rans. And (the also ridiculously obscure, & not really that kick-ass anyway) Bluejay was just put on a bus, like, last week.

I would argue that straight women aren't doing so hot at DC either. Been a while since Jen Hayden headlined Green Lantern, and the majority of female leads who might be presumed to default to straight aren't given love interests much.

The present Supergirl started out straight, but I guess that's being downplayed. Power Girl is a sex object, not a character given a lot of positive sexual agency. Wonder Woman seems to be back to celibacy. But at least they have occasionally had straight relationships in the past. Then again, so has Renee Montoya, & maybe more recently than Peege has.

Granted that Steph-Batgirl, Huntress, Donna Troy, & even , yes, Babs & Dinah are canonically straight, there's not a lot of giving female characters male love interests--which was normal for Spider-Woman, Wonder Woman, & Dazzler thirty years ago. If your "straight" female characters don't actually have male love interests, doesn't that imply a discomfort with female sexuality (other than in a weaker-partner, superdude's girlfriend, way)?

There's not a lot of male-supporting-cast-love-interest either way. Obsidian's husband(?) is a relief in this regard, but then, unlike his sister, Todd's never been a headliner.

So yeah, I'd like some quotas, specifically this one: I just want to see characters with boyfriends who are not other superheroes. Yeah, I'm weird.

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[User Picture]
From:peur_evol
Date:January 25th, 2011 12:35 am (UTC)
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I read Joven Tolentino's blog post in it's entirety (because you linked to it), and I have to say that, honestly, I felt everything he said was perfectly on point.
Creating a good character who just happens to be gay is much more readable than making a gay character just for the sake of making a gay character.
Marvel and DC both are filled with worthless token female/black/asian/hispanic/misc-ethnic characters already. A truly good character that's gay or ethnic will sell more comix than another token.
Pro-LGBT writers need to work on their storytelling and character development skills before we'll ever see a popular LGBT sell thru into a second printing.
[User Picture]
From:leftarrow
Date:January 25th, 2011 01:00 am (UTC)
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wow, this post is exploding with overlapping themes and issues. I have a couple of counterpoints and/or questions about it that I'm not sure I'll have time to get down, but the post you linked to made me uneasy and tired in the way that anti-quota rhetoric usually does, so I'm at least glad that you've provided some counter statements here.

*hopes to drop back by a little later*
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