Kate Kotler writes for Bleeding Cool;
It's been a while since I've written one of these columns, and, my intention was fully to ease back into the world of Bleeding Cool by lobbing a couple of easy installments focusing on "cool geek girl things" happening this summer… However, for the past few days I have been ruminating on a problematic question which has risen (innocently enough) out of a Facebook meme.
So, first column in six months is gonna be one which causes a brewhaha. Oh well, BOOM goes the dynamite! Here we go:
The big to-do for early Summer 2012, of course, has been the release of the much anticipated Avengers movie. Supposedly, this is the best comic book movie to come out in a long time. I wouldn't know – I haven't had time to see it yet – but, lots of people I know (women and men) have and have reported as such… so, until I have proof otherwise, I'm operating on the thesis "The Avengers ROCKED." A fair enough assumption, given that Captain America was pretty damn good, as was (the first) Ironman.
Then this past Monday I was perusing my Facebook news feed and I came upon this graphic:
I liked this graphic. A lot. So much that I shared it on my own Facebook wall. And, of course, all my geek girl and pro-femme geek guy friends instantly liked it. But, then, one of my very bestus friends in the whole wide world posted this comment:
"In all fairness, at least 2% of that graph should be devoted to 'cute boys.'"
This comment literally made me sit back and go "DERP! Well… yeah… that's true. At least 2% should be devoted to 'cute boys.'"
It is also true that "girls are intelligent human beings who can enjoy comic books, too."
Which lead me to the question: Why does it seem like the two are presented as mutually exclusive? Why does it seem that women who enjoy comics, but openly admit to part of their enjoyment being characters they find sexually attractive are in some ways dismissed as not being "legit comic fans?"
I mean: No one questions whether the men who drool all over Anne Hathaway in her Catwoman suit are legit Batman fans.
To me it seems rather silly that some women go out of their way to protest or deny that the physical attractiveness of particular characters are part of what makes some stories compelling to them.
I know that I'm probably in danger of having my "feminist" membership card revoked for saying this, but physical attractiveness and sexuality of a character are legitimate components for story telling, as they mirror real life. Anyone who tries to claim that physical, sexual attraction isn't something that intelligent people experience is deluding themselves as to the true way that human beings are hard wired. We all want and desire – we may want and desire different things (men, women, men and women, women and men). I feel like society sure has fucked us up as a whole if, even for a moment, a woman feels ashamed of –or less intelligent after looking at Chris Evans with his shirt off and going "Phowar!"
I promise you guys don't feel any guilt or question their own intelligence after drooling all over Anne Hathaway or even a particularly salacious pinup of Wonder Woman. Why should we? Myself, I'm proud to state that not only am I an intelligent human being who can enjoy comic books, too – BUT – I recognize a hot hero (or, heroine) as dead sexy, and enjoy that aspect of comic culture.
I'd love to hear what you guys think. I'm sure you won't be shy about telling me.
Before I go, I wanted to give a shout out to a couple of really cool upcoming events relevant to the geek girl crowd:
Here in Chicago, Graham Crackers Comics is hosting a monthly Ladies Night at their downtown location. On the first Wednesday of each month, geeky gals (and supportive guys) are getting together to talk comics, etc. I'm told that they've already had a costume making workshop and this coming month are focusing on "geeky crafts."
Ladies Night at Graham Crackers Comics : June 6th, 6-8pm @ 77 East Madison Street Chicago, IL 60602 (312) 629-1810 Store website: http://www.grahamcrackers.com/chstore.htm, Ladies Night at GCC Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/GrahamCrackersLadiesNight
Next, something I've been waiting forever to be able to announce! Wonder Woman: The Untold Story of American Superheroines (an amazing documentary directed by Kristy Guevara-Flanagan that features some of my favorite women in the world, such as Jennifer Stuller, Gail Simone, Trina Robbins and more) is making its' West Coast premier this weekend at the Seattle International Film Festival. There are showings this weekend on the 26th, 27th and 28th. To find out how to grab tickets, please visit the SIFF website by clicking HERE.
East coast fans, don't be sad, you'll have a chance to see this amazing flick, too – next weekend Wonder Woman will be showing at one of two Philly Wizard World after parties (the one held at PhilMOCA)! You can find out more information about how to get into this screening by clicking HERE.
Until next time, stay geeky!
Kate Kotler is the co-author of Bleeding Cool's geeky dating advice column, Keep Your Pants On and a freelance writer. You can read her personal musings on her website and follow her on Twitter @adorkablegrrl.