My concerns about DC’s handling of Wonder Woman, her reboot, and, most recently, the solicits for Flashpoint sometimes receive push back that imply or specifically state that I am a manhating feminist or a “conspiracy theorist”. Or that I just don’t “understand”. Of course, I also receive many comments that agree there is reason for concern.
Last week when Flashpoint #1 debuted I posted about the concerning panel where Captain Cold implies that the Amazons are castrating males following their take over of the UK:
I thought it was an unfortunate panel, but decided wait and see whether the claim was true and how it played out. But another blogger, Colin at “Too busy thinking about my comics” had another take. And it is smart and it is concerning.
Of course, in the real world, all acts of mass systematic sexual violence, including the mutilation of sexual organs, are organised by and executed by men. It’s men who undertake the beating, torturing, raping, maiming and murdering which such policies of sexual violence involve, and the victims, now as throughout history, are mostly, although of course very much not exclusively, women. It says so much about the Common Comics Culture that when the superhero narrative finally does touch upon an issue of such genuine social and political concern, it’s women who are presented as being to blame for mass murder and sexual mutilation, while it’s the men who are portrayed as the victims.(*1) Though that’s never been true for the whole of recorded history, and while precisely the opposite stands even today, in the DCU it’s those violent sword-wielding women who viciously persecute those helpless males.
And he goes on:
It’s also telling that the only independent nation of women in the superhero mainstream is here being associated so definitively with sexual abuse, to say the very least, and, once again, organised mass violence. Indeed, it’s not so very long ago that that DC had the Amazons invade the USA. Whether in an alternative DCU, where we might expect characters to be behaving atypically, or not, the message does seem to be one that finds the very idea of a state ruled by women rather than mostly by men to be deeply threatening. It’s as if the very idea of women who are powerful and independent simply has to be associated with men having their testicles cut off, with the sacred symbols of Washington D.C. and London’s Westminster being trampled on by armies of Nazi-Amazons. Those nasty vicious women just won’t listen to reason, and they’re going to emasculate poor helpless men too.
The writer also provides some insightful analysis about how women are presented in Flashpoint #1. I’ll warn you it is long. But take the time to read it. And let me know what you think. I want to thank people, including my pal Mart over at "Too dangerous for a girl" who forwarded me this article.