Yesterday was a bad day to be a female geek. I’m feeling the need to rant a bit so we will now take a bit of a detour.
So the makers of Lara Croft are apparently going to create character by recasting her as a tragic victim who’s threatened with rape by Bad Guys ™. Really? To make this thing not about rape as such, let me recast rape in a male context; forcible castration. It is similar to rape in the violation and depowerement, it happens in real life, I would imagine that it psychologically scars anyone who comes into contact with it even if not everyone remains in the victim headspace. As a mental image it also has the immediate dislikability to men as rape has to at least most women. It is also about as far from BDSM as rape is from actual sex. For both the victim and the perp.
So let’s talk. Imagine that we live in a world where pretty much every male superhero has had their balls forcibly removed by random enemies during their history as a character development trick. Batman is pretty much the only one who still has his nethers in tact. Then DC releases news of yet another reboot and starts talking about how they’re going to take this character in a completely new, more realistic direction, starting Bruce Wayne off as a teenager years before he became Batman. Oh and they’re going to make him more human by having pirates kidnap him and threaten him with castration, basically forcing him to become a caged animal, who you’re just really going to want to protect. It’s gonna be epic, yo!
Yeah. You should also read Chuck Wendig’s take on the whole thing.
The thing about that forcible castration too is that it has become a sacred cow of gaming. So a dude starts a kickstarter to make videos about this and other problematic representations that are the only ways men are represented in videogames. So in essense he just wants to share excercise his right to free speech to share his opinion on stuff and now he’s just asking if people want him to share his opinion enough that they would support him financially in doing so. Except what follows is some 5000 women on youtube threatening him with death and castration with racial slurs thrown in just for fun because how dare he suggest that there might be something wrong with this medium?
And then there’s this:
I used to love Catwoman. She used to be what a lot of people would call a slut and she was unashamed about it. She knew what she wanted and she took it. Gotham City Seirens: Strange Fruit may well be the best non-Gaiman DC produced comic I’ve ever read. She was a fabulous character who was more than a match to Batman not to mention everyone else. AND she was sexy while kicking ass. Then came the New 52 and the image above represents pretty much everything that’s wrong with the development. A fabulous character has been replaced by an airhead whose main character trait so far seems to be being a vehicle to deliver T & A to mouthbreathers who are too dense to find porn on the internet (also, can I just mention how much Cameron Stewart rocks? Just putting that out there.). Women are a huge untapped market for comic books. Why on Earth would you purposely go so far to drive them away from your product? I mean, I wonder how much of Girl Genius‘ readership is female? I’d be willing to bet that it’s quite a lot that it’s a lot more than the sad 8% of the New 52. And it has a sexy heroine doing cool things. No one’s asking for angry lesbian superheroes, just… don’t work so hard at driving us away mmmkay?
So yeah. Not feeling too good about geek culture right now. Back to normally scheduled programming as of Saturday.