There it is

Ragnell:

I want to see both genders face the same trials, not inequality. I'm fucking tired of fucking inequality.

I'd be happy to shut the fuck up about rape in comic books if two conditions were fulfilled:

1) It must suddenly and immediately become as overtly present a threat in the lives of male superheroes as it is for female superheroes. If both Green Lantern and Black Canary are captured by a group of supervillains, and the writer chooses to have the villains leer and make sexualized threats -- they would be levied at both characters, not just Dinah.

2) A sexual assault scene for a female victim is drawn in exactly the same mood and manner as a sexual assault scene for the male victim. Meaning panel angles, point of view, emotions, and reasoning behind writing this.

(Please note: If you find these two options absurd because this treatment "emasculates" i.e. weakens a male character, do consider what it tells us about your attitudes towards women as a gender when it is perfectly acceptable for female superheroes.)


I keep hoping she's going to smarten up. Wise up. Grow up.

Apparently, I hope in vain.

First, I could very well be way out of touch, but if there's a mad frenzy of female characters being raped in superhero comics lately, or, y'know, ever, I've missed out on it. To the best of my knowledge, the only rape of a female character that has ever occurred in a superhero comic was the infamous Dr. Light/Sue Dibney rape that took place in IDENTITY CRISIS -- a rape which so shocked superhero comics as a gestalt that I have to believe it was at the time, and probably remains, a singular event. (Hold on -- the second Ms. Marvel, from back in the 1990s, was raped -- gang raped, apparently -- by some of the Power Broker's goons, I believe. So that's two I can remember. And, oddly, that's one that didn't get a lot of coverage at the time... although it took place in a fairly obscure title, I believe, and of course, the Internet wasn't the presence back then that it is now.)

But I admit, I could be wrong about that. Maybe female characters in superhero comics, powered and non-powered, have been getting raped right, left and sideways lately. If so, well, then, I shouldn't immediately point in appalled incredulity at just how amazingly fucking retarded the assertion that rape is 'an immediate and overtly present threat' in the lives of superheroines actually is.

But I'm going to anyway, because, well, I think it's an astonishingly dumb ass statement. Just how often do superheroines get raped, anyway? In the two examples of female characters being raped in superhero comics that I've been able to dredge up out of memory, Sue Dibney wasn't a superheroine, and the second Ms. Marvel was not, at that point, as far as I can recall, a superheroine yet. (I believe she was a professional wrestler, and I'm not sure, but I think the rape happened before she gained her super powers.)

I could go on to wonder just what kind of supervillain is going to be powerful enough to make characters like Supergirl, She-Hulk, Binary, Wonder Woman, Phoenix, Mary Marvel, Valkyrie, or Isis even worry about the possibility of rape, but it would be disingenous. There are many superheroines in the comics genre who are considerably less powerful than those particular women, and I suppose, if rape were a looming, ever-present shadow over the lives of all superheroines, then, yeah, Huntress and Black Canary and Storm and Tigra and Mockingbird and the Wasp would really be sweating it out every time they left home base to fight crime.

But, well... this simply doesn't seem to me to be the case. Any more than it seems to me to be the case that rape is 'an overtly present threat' to the average woman here in America. Is it something that can happen? Sure. Is it something that does happen? Absolutely, and it's a horror that it does. But I'm reasonably sure that the vast majority of women still get through their day to day lives from birth to death without being sexually assaulted, and as a comics fan of some vintage and reasonable expertise, I'm equally sure that most superheroines get through even very lengthy careers in superhero comics similarly.

But let's move on from that. Apparently, Ragnell is of the opinion that rape is this terrifying sword of Damocles hangin' over the head of all costumed superwomen, and while I think she's nuts, still, let's try to look at this through the deranged framework she oh so earnestly posits. What is it she demands? Not a cessation of the apparently incessant onslaught of ignominious erotic assualts against ultra-Eves being enacted every second in every panel of every superhero comic being published in the contemporary era... no. Ragnell thinks that's just peachy-keen, and will happily shut the fuck up about it immediately (yeah, I snorted at that, too) if only... if only... all the male superheroes were placed in exactly equal peril of sexual assault as the women are.

It's... I... ::staring at the wall gibbering::

Okay. Let me collect my thoughts, here:

Well. First, the only way I can make this work is if suddenly at least half of the male supervillains in comics become gay, or at least, bisexual. Well, no, more than half. Because some of them, regardless of orientation, just aren't groaty enough to rape anyone, male or female. So, yeah, more than half of the supervillains out there must now become just as enamored of the taut rippling buttocks of their potential superhuman male captives as they necessarily must be (being, you know, evil men) of the ripe jiggling boobies, delectable flat tummies, and luscious tight assglobes of the superhuman females they may well at some point have helpless in chains before them.

Um. Wait. Now, the relatively few FEMALE baddies in comics could step up to the plate here, I guess. I suppose they could all start capturing and raping every superhero within a thousand mile radius of their secret lairs, just to make Ragnell happy. Forced cunnilingus from and vehement dildoings for every penisized member of the Avengers, JLA, Teen Titans, Defenders, and Legion should amply redress any perceived inequities in the super sexual assault columns, and by God, if anything is going to make the boys club respect & fear the bad girls in comics, it's the sight of Circe, Cheetah, Poison Ivy, or the Enchantress coming at them with a three foot strap on jutting menacingly from between their shapely thighs. It's enough to make super-strong men shudder and caped boys weep. And that, by God, will teach them.

Okay. No. I'm sorry, it's all just retarded. Here's the haps:

Here in the real world, which Ragnell and her fangirl coterie seem to so resolutely want to see superhero comics reflect more accurately, until, you know, they get offended by it, in which case, they don't, women tend to be sexualized more often than men are. (In fact, that's pretty much what they are bitching about.) An unfortunate effect of this is that women tend to be raped more often than men are. It's an awful truth, but it is indeed a truth. Now, women aren't raped so often that they dasn't stir outside their own home, as Ragnell seems to think they must be, but, the fact remains, when rape occurs, it happens more often to women than it does to men.

Therefore, demanding that male superheroes (or male firefighters, or male chicken pluckers, for that matter) immediately and from this point forward be placed in just as much danger of being raped as female superheroines are (however much danger that may be; until and unless Garth Ennis or Warren Ellis start writing every mainstream superhero comic, I doubt it adds up to much) is pretty goddam stupid. It's not even remotely reflective of reality as it exists around us, or as feminist fangirls claim they want it to exist in superhero comics, when it comes to things like how superwomen are portrayed.

I'll close this by noting that I've thought of two more rape sequences in comics as I typed all this -- the infamous arc in the 1970s when Ms. Marvel was mind controlled into being sexual playtoy to some dweeb named Marcus off in Limbo (it was in some truly horrible AVENGERS ANNUAL that I wish to God Kurt Busiek had expunged from comics history during his run on the team), and an obscure, barely noticed sequence, also in AVENGERS, in the early 1980s, where Moondragon similarly mind controlled Thor into enthusiastic sexual submission.

So, that's three instances in superhero comics where women have been raped by men, one where a man was raped by a woman... which, yeah, seems unbalanced. But, I'd have to say, it also seems reflective of actual reality.

Personally, I liked the Silver Age, where nobody was raping nobody. But I'm an old fuddy duddy, I frankly admit it. The Modern Age has been about many, many things, most of them having to do with money, but at least a few of them have been about breaking down the artificial taboos that kept superhero comics from being 'realistic'. Thus and so, we've seen drug addiction, divorce, torture, vampirism, Satanism, the word 'zombie', and, yes, rape, all become part of superhero metarealities... or, at least, we've seen them portrayed in mainstream superhero comics; those of us who think about such things must presume that these elements were, however regrettably, always a part of those worlds, we simply didn't see them prior to recently.

But if rape has to be part of a 'realistic' superhero universe, then, you know, it should be realistically portrayed. And if it's realistically portrayed, then, well, awful though it is, it happens to women much much more than it happens to men.

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