I’d like to begin this week by stating explicitly that I’m not writing about anyone in particular. I’m not writing about anything that happened this weekend and I’m absolutely not writing about a specific incident.
But what I am writing about is the objectification of women.
I am a heterosexual man and I find women attractive. I dig the feminine form. I find something inherent beautiful about womanhood. I can’t explain it, it’s just how I feel.
But I’m also a guy who has a sister and nieces. I have female cousins and second cousins. My best friends are fathers to daughters. Some of the people that I care about most in the world and that I’m the most protective of are female.
Maybe I’m hyper empathetic, but I find it hard to be disrespectful to a woman, because I know how I’d feel if someone did that to a female that I cared about. It irks me when women are objectified.
I don’t like when it happens in a strip club (which pretty much only exists for the objectification of women) or, oh for the sake of the column, during the Q&A portion of a panel at a comic book convention.
I’m sure if I were ever in a situation like that I’d be disgusted and probably disappointed, particularly if something like that happened at a comic convention. After all, theoretically, comic book conventions are traditionally safe places.
At a comic book convention people walk around among like minded individuals, freely. Attendees feel secure enough to literally wear their love on their sleeves, by dressing up as their favorite characters, without fear of being ridiculed or singled out for anything other than praise.
In fact comic book conventions are so safe that they’re about the only place where you could see someone dressed up as The Joker and still feel 100% comfortable. That’s the level of safety a comic book convention provides.
And another level of security that a comic book convention provides is that women are comfortable enough to dress as their favorite characters, who usually tend to be scantily clad. Some might even describe them as “half naked.” Still, there’s that level of respect that’s expected.
But I suppose you might have the occasional person who crosses the line. Maybe someone thinks they’re being funny or doing a caricature, so what’s the harm? But that’s the thing; objectifying women really isn’t all that funny.
Think about it like this; you know how if you love comics and you want to comic books to thrive, you’ve got to spread them around? If you’ve got kids, you share your comics with your kids. If you’ve got buddies who don’t read comics, you share them with your buddies.
Well, behavior is spread pretty much the same way. If you’re really respectful of women, you don’t objectify them, even as a joke, and especially not to entertain others. You share your behavior with others and they pick up on it.
Obviously, the comic book industry has issues with the objectification of women. One look at the original cover for Catwoman’s zero issue shines a light on that problem. And the fact that female characters tend to wear more revealing costumes than their male counterparts, it equally disturbing.
But things will hopefully get better and women won’t be objectified as much.
Anyway, it’s Wednesday, so you should go and pick up some comics. I know I’m really looking forward to the zero issue of Batman by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo.
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