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  1. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe May 14, 2007 at 11:32 am |

    Yes, it’s sexist, but if you look at it a certain way, there’s a kind of weird internal consistency here. After all, comic-book superheroes have been depicted for decades with impossibly chiseled muscles. You could argue that this is just the female equivalent.

    Although that pose is pretty over-the-top. Besides, IIRC, doesn’t MJ have a job in TV news? You’d think she could afford a washing machine.

  2. Kristen
    Kristen May 14, 2007 at 11:50 am |

    What’s MJ’s power here?

    Apparently, hand washing without chipping her nail polish.

  3. everstar
    everstar May 14, 2007 at 11:59 am |

    zuzu said:

    The idea with the impossibly chiseled muscles is that they’re part of the package of having impossible powers. What’s MJ’s power here?

    The power to get out tough web stains, I guess.

    I know the comic industry has a somewhat high tolerance level for cheesecake, but wow, this thing just broke the tacky meter for me. Seriously, what’s the point of this thing other than to make her look domestic and fuckable at the same time? Are those really the only two “uses” Spidey has for her? Doesn’t she have an independent character worth celebrating with a little statue? I mean, jeez, Lois Lane is hung up on Superman, but I dare you to imagine her getting a little statuette where she’s pushing her ass out while scrubbing Supes’s cape.

    The thing that really pissed me off is Spiderman 3 just came out, so I bet there’s going to be a corresponding boom in Spidey paraphenalia. Including this thing. Sigh.

    (Disclaimer: Katherine Harris is me. No, I’m not that Katherine Harris.)

  4. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne May 14, 2007 at 11:59 am |

    Although that pose is pretty over-the-top. Besides, IIRC, doesn’t MJ have a job in TV news? You’d think she could afford a washing machine.

    Oh, it would be just like a man to make his superhero costume out of hand-wash-only material and then make his reporter wife do the washing.

    It’s definitely something Superman would do. Because he’s a dick.

  5. Karley
    Karley May 14, 2007 at 12:00 pm |

    If comic book men were portrayed like comic book women:

    http://odditycollector.livejournal.com/97166.html

    And this!

    http://vito-excalibur.livejournal.com/114588.html

  6. norbizness
    norbizness May 14, 2007 at 12:42 pm |

    Oh. My. God. Becky, look at her butt. It is so big. *scoff* She looks like,one of those superhero guys’ girlfriends. But, y’know, who understands those superhero guys? *scoff* They only talk to her, because, she looks like a total prostitute, ‘kay? I mean, her butt, is just so big. *scoff* I can’t believe it’s just so round, it’s like, out there, I mean – gross. Look! She’s just so … black comic-y!

  7. SeattleRaven
    SeattleRaven May 14, 2007 at 12:48 pm |

    Update. They’ve deleted my comment.

  8. Holly
    Holly May 14, 2007 at 1:01 pm |

    Yes, it’s sexist, but if you look at it a certain way, there’s a kind of weird internal consistency here. After all, comic-book superheroes have been depicted for decades with impossibly chiseled muscles. You could argue that this is just the female equivalent.

    Those livejournal links are a really great example of why there already has been a “female equivalent” for decades — giant boobs, arched back, hourglass figure, and all — and why it’s way more objectified and catering to the adolescent and eternally-post-adolescent US comic book crowd.

    Thank god the superhero comics market has been getting creamed for several years now by the arrival of comics from other countries that are designed for more than a handful of male readers. A lot of Japanese manga may be poorly produced sketchy pulp, but I’d rather have pulp that’s inclusive of girls than yet another muscle-and-boobs computer-shaded piece of garbage from the superhero guys.

  9. R. Lurker
    R. Lurker May 14, 2007 at 1:03 pm |

    Every time I see this thing, I just have to pause to complain about how disproportionate it is. Her waist is unnaturally long, she has the legs of a freakishly tall woman grafted onto an already FUBARed torso… it’s just.. does anyone actually find that attractive? Even extremely thin/tall supermodels still have proportions that obey the basic laws of human anatomy.

    What it reminds me of, actually, is the definition of beauty as body parts. If big boobs, a tiny waist, long legs, etc is OMG!BEAUTIFUL, then to your average idiot fanboy, the BIGGEST boobs, the TEENIEST waist and the LONGEST legs must be the most gorgeous thing ever. But to everyone else, the thing just looks freakish.

    So I guess I’m saying, it’s crude, blatant and sexist, but it’s also a big neon-bright example of the limited sexual imagination of your average porn-raised fandude.

  10. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne May 14, 2007 at 1:14 pm |

    Update. They’ve deleted my comment.

    Though I think the guy who was saying, “Sadly, women do not look like comic book characters” was going for more of a sarcastic “sadly,” not a genuine “sadly.”

    I’m getting way too involved in this whole thing, aren’t I?

  11. Lindsay
    Lindsay May 14, 2007 at 1:28 pm |

    Do they consider it to be complimentary since it’s a “modern” depiction of women? Take away her jeans and t-shirt and put on a housewife dress and it’s back to the 50’s.

  12. Marksman2000
    Marksman2000 May 14, 2007 at 1:29 pm |

    If you learn to be subtle in your critical comments, Slideshow might not delete them.

    Then again, this is coming from Marksman…

  13. DAS
    DAS May 14, 2007 at 1:43 pm |

    If big boobs, a tiny waist, long legs, etc is OMG!BEAUTIFUL, then to your average idiot fanboy, the BIGGEST boobs, the TEENIEST waist and the LONGEST legs must be the most gorgeous thing ever.

    As an aquaintance of mine who’s an engineering type put it, the thing about a certain kind of male pig is that he’s fundamentally a linear machine … if he finds X to have attractiveness Y, then 2X has attractiveness 2Y.

  14. Sycorax
    Sycorax May 14, 2007 at 1:46 pm |

    My favorite of the reactions to Wizard’s ridiculous tutorials on how to draw (pornerrific) women (don’t know how to hotlink, sorry):

    http://brown-betty.livejournal.com/215458.html

  15. Roy
    Roy May 14, 2007 at 1:47 pm |

    Yes, it’s sexist, but if you look at it a certain way, there’s a kind of weird internal consistency here. After all, comic-book superheroes have been depicted for decades with impossibly chiseled muscles. You could argue that this is just the female equivalent.

    Bunk. That’s nonsense, and has been for ages. Have superheroes been depicted with impossibly scultped muscles? Sure, a lot of them have. You’ll notice, however, that it’s generally a male concept of what constitutes perfection. I find it hard to believe that anyone looks at The Hulk and thinks “Oh, he’s dreamy.”

    You want to see the major difference between the ways that women are portrayed in comics versus men?

    Look at a picture of Superman.
    Now look at a picture of Supergirl.

    Notice anything different? You know… the way that she is hyper-sexualized in ways that her male cousin isn’t? The way that his pose depicts power and emphasizes him as a hero, but hers (all of them) emphasize her as a sex-object. Even her outfits are ridiculous. Her cousin gets a full body costume, she gets… skirts so short she can’t sit down without them riding up over her ass and midriffs, or red underwear and a plunging neckline. Yeah, those are practical for, you know, flying around fighting crime.

    I could go on and on… oh, right. I already have.

  16. mythago
    mythago May 14, 2007 at 1:53 pm |

    but if you look at it a certain way

    That “certain way” being “a desperately lame attempt to pretend that there’s no sexism in comics, nosirreebob”?

    Karley beat me to it.

  17. Blitzgal
    Blitzgal May 14, 2007 at 2:08 pm |

    And fanboys wonder why feminist comic book readers complain about the portrayal of women in comic books.

  18. Lynn Gazis-Sax
    Lynn Gazis-Sax May 14, 2007 at 2:13 pm |

    Doesn’t she have an independent character worth celebrating with a little statue?

    I actually remember her, from my childhood comic book reading in the late 60s, as appealing mainly because she seemed as if she had a little more spunk than the average superhero girl friend.

  19. SeattleRaven
    SeattleRaven May 14, 2007 at 2:26 pm |

    One of the definitions of forum is a public meeting place for open discussion.

    Deleting dissenting views and leaving up the fanboy drool is not a forum. If you look at the comment I attempted to leave, it pointed out the figurine is sexist in its portrayal. Agreeably, I used sarcasm, but there wasn’t even a dirty word in my comment. Why should I have to be the subtle one? I’m not going to censor myself when I’m telling the truth.

  20. Red Stapler
    Red Stapler May 14, 2007 at 2:46 pm |
  21. preying mantis
    preying mantis May 14, 2007 at 2:48 pm |

    “The idea with the impossibly chiseled muscles is that they’re part of the package of having impossible powers.”

    I don’t know if it’s quite as easily-dismissed these days. In the past ten, fifteen years I’ve noticed a lot of comics trending towards everybody being stupidly overblown. The superheroes have always had the chiseled abs and biceps o’ steel, but now even random, non-powered dudes are getting the freaky beefcake physiques.

    This is something like a decade behind the curve of this happening to female characters, though, and the guys, of course, aren’t automatically sexualized the way the women are.

  22. Nicole
    Nicole May 14, 2007 at 2:58 pm |

    I am awaiting the release of a figure of a naked Wolverine in nothing but an apron making pancakes, or Nightcrawler gardening. I wonder when those will come out…

    …oh, wait.

    The figure wouldn’t bother me so much (the original art for it actually isn’t too bad- she’s at least correctly proportioned) is it was one in a series of cheesecake-y depictions of superhero characters (female AND male) doing housework work. But the fact is that comic book companies continue to ignore (and piss off) half their market. We’ll never see male superheroes portrayed like this, for the consumption of a female audience (outside fan-produced art and writing).*

    *Marvel did release some “swimsuit” issues of male and female superheroes back in the 90s, I believe. They were cute and funny and sometimes sexy, but it doesn’t do justice for the mountains of material portraying female superheroes as blatant sex objects. *sigh*

  23. Kali
    Kali May 14, 2007 at 3:11 pm |

    Comment 16 wins everything. Thanks for posting that link!
    (anyone read Ways of Seeing? I feel I must, suddenly.

  24. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne May 14, 2007 at 3:15 pm |

    I am awaiting the release of a figure of a naked Wolverine in nothing but an apron making pancakes, or Nightcrawler gardening. I wonder when those will come out…

    Batman cleaning the gutters? I’d buy that one.

  25. Red Stapler
    Red Stapler May 14, 2007 at 3:17 pm |

    Nicole:The figure wouldn’t bother me so much (the original art for it actually isn’t too bad- she’s at least correctly proportioned) is it was one in a series of cheesecake-y depictions of superhero characters (female AND male) doing housework work

    Do you have a link? A commenter on my other blog took umbrage with the original drawing as well.

  26. blucas!
    blucas! May 14, 2007 at 3:21 pm |

    From the comments on Sideshow:

    “What kinda crap is THIS? It’s garbage like THIS that’s holding up my complete 12″ Fellowship of the Ring, isn’t it? Where’s my 12″ slave Leia? Where’s my 12″ Bespin fatigues Luke? I what to know why the hell I have to wait on my 12″ ANH fried & dead Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru!! Is it because of THIS unposeable heap of porn????!!?!?! You guys are USELESS!!!”

    Almost makes all of this worth it. Almost.

  27. Nicole
    Nicole May 14, 2007 at 3:27 pm |

    Red Stapler, here you go: http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a13/deantrippe/adamhughesmj.jpg

    It’s still cheesecake-y, but no where near as porno-riffic as the figure. I can see it as Mary Jane and Peter Parker sharing a laugh before Peter goes to clean his uniform and Mary goes to get ready for work. (She is the breadwinner in that couple!)

  28. Thomas2
    Thomas2 May 14, 2007 at 3:28 pm |

    http://www.toymania.com/customcorner/cc16/locker.shtml

    I saw this immediately after I read this post and thought, hey, why not share. Perhaps it’s interesting that, within the context of comics, eyebrows would be raised if those figures were female characters, (a Birds of Prey set to keep the team shower logic) but as male characters, it’s mostly just amusing.

    Or maybe that’s only my immediate reaction.

  29. Sniper
    Sniper May 14, 2007 at 3:32 pm |

    I am awaiting the release of a figure of a naked Wolverine in nothing but an apron making pancakes, or Nightcrawler gardening. I wonder when those will come out…

    Is is really so wrong that I would probably buy the Wolverine figure?

  30. Halloween Jack
    Halloween Jack May 14, 2007 at 3:33 pm |

    As someone who’s been reading and collecting comics for thirty years now, I’m afraid to say: it’s getting worse, at least as far as mainstream comics publishers (DC, Marvel, Image) are concerned. As I told another comics reader recently, with regards to the recently-skankified Supergirl, I have the same reaction to her that I have to almost all porn: not only do I not like it, I don’t want to meet the sort of person that does. (The link goes to another one of these “comiquettes.”)

    My collection of comics-related toys includes two female dolls that are both alternate universe versions of Batman: they don’t have back-breaking bosoms and their costumes cover them from head to toe. Notice that I said “alternate universe”, though; in the main DC Comics continuity, the first Batgirl was shot by the Joker and permanently paralyzed, the second one is now a murderous assassin, and Batwoman, who was recently revived as a character, was stabbed in the chest after a very short crimefighting career.

    For more on this subject (and feminism–or the lack thereof–in superhero comics), there are some good sites: Sequential Tart, which deals with comics in general; Girl Wonder, which started out in protest of DC’s shabby treatment of yet another one of Batman’s female associates (seeing a pattern here?); and Women in Refrigerators, an older site created by one of the very few female writers in superhero comics, Gail Simone, who likewise saw a pattern emerging.

  31. Red Stapler
    Red Stapler May 14, 2007 at 3:34 pm |

    Nicole: I’ve seen the Adam Hughes original. I kinda like it. ;)

    You mentioned others in the series, though. Do you know where I can see them?

  32. Nicole
    Nicole May 14, 2007 at 3:37 pm |

    Which series? The MJ figure is one of a line of figures depicting female comic book characters (all of them pretty bad as the MJ one). The Wolverince and Nightcrawler ones I mentioned were just speculation (brought about by annoyance that comic book companies never put out stuff for their obviously-pervy female audience).

    The swimsuit issue thing I mentioned can be found here:

    http://community.livejournal.com/scans_daily/2885267.html#cutid1
    http://community.livejournal.com/scans_daily/2881386.html?page=3#comments

  33. Red Stapler
    Red Stapler May 14, 2007 at 3:43 pm |

    Nicole: HAHAHAHA.

    I forgot about Swimsuit week at S_D.

    Thank you. :-D

    I was referring, though to the series you said the Hughes drawing was from: …it was one in a series of cheesecake-y depictions of superhero characters (female AND male) doing housework work

  34. lou
    lou May 14, 2007 at 3:44 pm |

    Actually, why is it surprising? The first two Spidies showed MJ as a shrieking, passive doll who couldn’t save herself and had to be rescued by Spiderman. Her big career was to be an actress — ugh. the figurine is consistent with that image.
    Her portrayal is why I hate those movies (watching the second through netflix) and why I refuse to go see #3.

  35. amanda312
    amanda312 May 14, 2007 at 3:45 pm |

    RedStapler,
    I think you misunderstood Nicole’s post, she said she wouldn’t be so upset about the MJ statue IF it had been a series of male and female comic book characters doing housework.

  36. Betty
    Betty May 14, 2007 at 3:49 pm |

    The fanboy response to that that’s making steam come out of my ears can be found here, near the bottom, under the heading “comics culture.” Not only does he take a literal footnote from my post and pretend it was my point, but his main argument is that because gay porn exists, objectification of women is nullified, and meaningless.

  37. Reb
    Reb May 14, 2007 at 3:53 pm |

    Also worth a look, awhile ago the wonderful people at Girl Wonder put together a gallery of male superheroes drawn in the same poses female superheroes are often twisted into.

    They also have an article that counters the “But men are all muscle-y and objectified, too!” argument, though it’s mostly with regards to costumes of female characters: Talking Points.

    (I’d say something original, but it’s all already been said, more eloquently than I would.)

  38. Nicole
    Nicole May 14, 2007 at 3:54 pm |

    The household work series doesn’t exist, though I wish it did.

  39. Alix
    Alix May 14, 2007 at 3:54 pm |

    Yes, it’s sexist, but if you look at it a certain way, there’s a kind of weird internal consistency here. After all, comic-book superheroes have been depicted for decades with impossibly chiseled muscles. You could argue that this is just the female equivalent.

    Erm … no. The big difference is that the depiction of men with huge muscles fulfills the (or a) male power fantasy.

    This statue, and other similar comic-book depictions of women? They don’t fulfill female power fantasies, but male sexual fantasies.

    There’s the difference. There’s the reason this isn’t ok.

  40. Roy
    Roy May 14, 2007 at 4:09 pm |

    I don’t know if it’s quite as easily-dismissed these days. In the past ten, fifteen years I’ve noticed a lot of comics trending towards everybody being stupidly overblown. The superheroes have always had the chiseled abs and biceps o’ steel, but now even random, non-powered dudes are getting the freaky beefcake physiques.

    Honestly, I feel the opposite- I think it’s interesting that we’re getting more and more characters of different bodytypes and builds- are most of them still pretty built? Sure. But look at a lot of the supporting cast in the mutant books, or look at the New Warriors book from a few years back, or Wesley Dodds Sandman, or Mary Jane Loves, or books like Top Ten, Planetary, or League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, or… the list goes on and on. Some artists are crazy freaky about drawing massive meat-headed heroes, but they’re doing so, as others have pointed out, to fulfill male power fantasies, not because they’re trying to appeal to women.

  41. BStu
    BStu May 14, 2007 at 4:13 pm |

    Well, at least they aren’t making an Alex Dewitt in a refridgerator figure. Wait, are they making that? I shouldn’t give them any ideas.

    See, this is one of the reasons that while I like superheros, I don’t read comics. I generally did like the Bruce Timm version of DC’s heros, though. His Supergirl was youthful, sure, but her character was consistantly defined by her strength and power, as well. Yeah, her costume was revealing, but they did have a couple male heroes who were quick to show skin, too. But maybe I’m giving them more credit than they deserve as I’ve never really tried to take a close look at their treatment. It just generally seemed more positive than what I’d see in comics whenever I picked one up.

  42. Nicole
    Nicole May 14, 2007 at 4:14 pm |

    “I think you misunderstood Nicole’s post, she said she wouldn’t be so upset about the MJ statue IF it had been a series of male and female comic book characters doing housework. ”

    Right. Equal opportunity objectification. Women make a up large portion of the comic-reading population, yet most comics created cater to the male gaze. At least within Western comics (outside comics created for a gay male audience), there are rarely portrayals of men as sexual objects. (Japanese comics have this, though -yaoi- but not Western comics. For my degree project next semester, actually, I’ll be studying this topic. Yay for being a fangirl!)

  43. jayunderscorezero
    jayunderscorezero May 14, 2007 at 5:19 pm |

    A friend of mine who is more of a manga fan than an american comic fan laughed when I showed him the fan reaction against this statue (helpfully collected at this site), saying that its nowhere near as bad as the stuff that’s produced to tie in with manga.

    I of course pointed out that he’d used the comic-book-criticism equivalent of “Men get raped too!”: i.e. an argument that really makes the overall problem (here, of objectifying merchandise) worse, rather than better.

    In the end though, we agreed on the fact that both american and japanese comics publishers are often blatantly sexist, and whilst sometimes, people may overreact (as some of the critics on the above link are saying), its usually good to call them on it.

  44. R. Stanton Scott
    R. Stanton Scott May 14, 2007 at 5:22 pm |

    This statuette is clearly designed to appeal to thirteen year old boys.

    And that, really, is the problem, isn’t it?

  45. jayunderscorezero
    jayunderscorezero May 14, 2007 at 5:32 pm |

    Besides, IIRC, doesn’t MJ have a job in TV news?

    I’m showing my geeky colours a bit (and going slightly off-topic) here, but I’m convinced she’s a model/actress (or simply an actress in the film adaptations). I’m not sure where you got the TV news idea, but it would be nice; if only because she would probably then be then bread-winner, what with Peter Parker being a photographer/teacher (depending on when you happen to be reading the comics).

  46. Ragnell
    Ragnell May 14, 2007 at 5:37 pm |

    jayunderscorezero –You should tell him about the people swearing off American comics, then, because they’re manga-readers who somehow think what they have is better and therefore all female superhero fans should jump ship and buy Manga.

    Anyway, Devil Doll missed the Marvel complaints address, in case anyone wants to send a complaint to them as well:

    Marvel Licensing Department
    Marvel Entertainment, Inc.
    417 5th Avenue
    New York, NY 10016

    Alan Fine, President and Chief Executive Officer of Toy Biz and Publishing Division (same address)
    PR rep Jeff Klein (jeff_klein@dkcnews.com), Executive Vice President Dan Klores Communications.

  47. Tinderblast
    Tinderblast May 14, 2007 at 6:01 pm |

    So, following in SeattleRaven’s footsteps, I decided to leave a critical comment – but I wanted to see if it would stay up if I was honest but framed my words in such careful terms as to pass as *gag* one of the guys. Haven’t figured out how to screencap on a MacBook running Windows, but here’s what I wrote earlier this afternoon:

    tb Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. May 14th, 2007 at 2:16 pm Personally, I like my women sexy, and I like my sexy with internal organs. This statue barely even makes MJ look like a human being, much less “as rendered by Adam Hughes.” I’ll pass, thanks!

    Nope, it was deleted! I, uh, don’t know whether that’s reassuring or not? I dunno, maybe I’m just really bad at faking male-privileged misogyny, which would be reassuring to me but doesn’t tell us an awful lot about whether Sideshow blocks all critical comments or just certain kinds.

    I feel all dirty now.

    Clarifying some continuity points above as a huuuuuuge spider-geek, MJ started out as a go-go dancer way back in the sixties, then became a low-budget actress, then a model, then an actress/model, and is now finally on the cusp of attaining her dreams as a theater actress (albeit one who has to work against some preconceptions of her as an ex-supermodel). Peter, apart from a brief, lame stint as a research scientist and a less brief, awesome stint as an idealistic science teacher at his old high school, has primarily been a news photographer and tertiary student. Right now, though, both of them are fugitives at large. Yay, comics?

  48. Michael Hussey
    Michael Hussey May 14, 2007 at 6:17 pm |

    It’s definitely something Superman would do. Because he’s a dick.

    Who knew Superman had to battle Pat Boone for Lois Lane’s affection?

  49. Danyell
    Danyell May 14, 2007 at 7:49 pm |

    That suit can withstand fire and explosion. I don’t think it’s too delicate for the washer machine.

    I’m sort of at a loss for words here. I do know how sexist comics can be, but wtf? This is completely unnecessary. And frankly, I don’t recall MJ ever being that stacked.

    I just want to meet the guy who’d BUY this. And, like, have it on DISPLAY.

  50. Danyell
    Danyell May 14, 2007 at 7:53 pm |

    I agree that it differs in leaps and bounds from the concept drawing. But let’s be honest, we’d all still be offended if it were more like the drawing anyway.

  51. Brad Jackson
    Brad Jackson May 14, 2007 at 8:07 pm |

    Well, speaking as a male feminist who likes porn, I think the statue is pretty damn pathetic, and definately not a bright move on Marvel’s part. And, as a feminist, I’ll agree that there are already far too many “woman as domestic servant” type images out there.

    I like porn, but I don’t keep my porn out and pretend that its a conversation piece. Of course, the statue isn’t really porn, but it does seem to be an insanely expensive “Hi, I’m a virgin and a creep” sort of conversation piece.

    As for US comics in general, I gave ‘em up when I was around 15 and Prof. Xavier got killed and brought back for the three or four hundredth time. Bad stories and bad writing.

  52. shfree
    shfree May 14, 2007 at 8:19 pm |

    I think that if the sculpture had the same sassiness that the drawing did, I would be less annoyed from an artistic point of view.

    Because I like the attitude of the MJ drawing, it looks like she is being silly and playful, and not even really washing his outfit, just pretending to. Essentially mocking the whole concept of doing his laundry, albeit in a very cheesecakey manner. To me she has a lot of life, and I honestly can’t see her actually finishing washing it, just plopping it back in the bucket for the next person to put in with the load of darks.

    Whereas in the sculpture, she has this whole “Am I doing this right baby?” tentative half-smile that pisses me off. There is no sassy, there is no life. This is some dead eyed sculpture with bad proportions that make the original art look awesome by comparison.

    As far as the general concept, right now there is so much that irritates me about comic books and comic book culture that it gets barely a blip from me. All I can think about is at least she has pants on, and isn’t in heels. Sigh.

  53. Torri
    Torri May 14, 2007 at 8:56 pm |

    The sad thing is I always really like spider-man because of certain aspects that differed him from your usual muscle bound superman. I want a statue of Peter sewing up the holes in his spider-man costume! He had to make that thing and maintain it on his own and in secret before anyone learned his secret identity. I remember a great scene from the old cartoon that had him lamenting that he couldn’t ask for help with sewing.
    I don’t know why they did this… I mean as it was said earlier MJ has a MODEL CAREER she could be doing any number of sexy model poses to appeal to the fan boys…. instead she’s doing laundry……. is the idea that she has a career so traumatic they have to make her look like a trailer trash house-wife?

  54. Red Stapler
    Red Stapler May 14, 2007 at 9:09 pm |

    Shfree: I think that if the sculpture had the same sassiness that the drawing did, I would be less annoyed from an artistic point of view.

    EXACTLY.

    There’s a difference between self-aware (the drawing), and self-conscious (the statue.)

    That difference is *crucial.*

  55. The Sin City Siren
    The Sin City Siren May 14, 2007 at 10:03 pm |

    Well I guess we can be glad that at least she has clothes on (torn as they are). And at least it’s not Wonder Woman suggestively doing laundry. But really, that doesn’t help much. Actually, I always found the MJ character to be one of the most annoying male super-hero girlfriends in comics. She grew up in a life that suggested she had an abusive father. She dated abusive boys before Peter Parker. And in the movies she’s constantly the screaming, helpless victim. (Granted I haven’t seen the new one yet, so it could be different this time around.) While I think Lois Lane made some poor choices, at least she was a woman who worked outside the home (and presumably had gone to school). Not that any of that excuses this pitiful nicknack.

  56. lily cain
    lily cain May 14, 2007 at 10:03 pm |

    when fangirls attack has collected a shitload of reactions to this statue. some of them were really great, but a few of them pretty much made my head explode, like this one:

    Just the other night I cooked dinner while wearing a sexy little black halter-neck, my tight jeans, and a pair of stripper heels. It was really quite fun, I put on some old 80s dance tunes, and danced around the kitchen while cooking; and I felt damn right sexy! I also wear things like that while cleaning, and doing the laundry.
    You know what guys? I also LOVE doing those things. It’s my way of helping my partner. Rowan is the main bread-winner in our relationship, and he’s the reason I’m able to get a start drawing comics because he’s supporting me while I get started / don’t have much money. Showing my gratitude I quite happily do the housework, it makes me feel strong as a woman because I know that I am also contributing to the house doing something that Rowan can’t do because he’s at work all day. Why shouldn’t Mary Jane feel the same way about Peter? He’s off saving the world all day, why can’t she feel happy / sexy / strong and independant while at home cleaning his Spidey suit when she’s not working?

    there’s more. but don’t read it if you like your brains inside your head and not leaking out of your ears.

  57. Chet
    Chet May 14, 2007 at 11:33 pm |

    Look, I share the sense that this is ridiculous, sexist pandering – but what are you going to do next? Walk into a strip club and complain about the safety and comfort of the footwear?

    Superhero comics are still an area where sexism is the rule. Until we’ve made some major inroads into that culture, this is a little bit like complaining about the lawn jockey sitting next to the all-white lunch counter at Woolworth’s. Isn’t it?

  58. Chet
    Chet May 14, 2007 at 11:35 pm |

    Just to add – I hope everybody who reads this and reacts the same way and is active in comics culture expresses their displeasure to their friends, hell, to strangers at the comic store. I think it’s important that criticisms of things like this emerge within the culture – not just among outsiders looking in.

  59. Tinderblast
    Tinderblast May 14, 2007 at 11:40 pm |

    Chet, ironically, those of us IN comics culture who’ve been complaining about things like this for a while now are going, “Oh, hey, publicity! Maybe something’ll come of this if someone points out to Marvel how many easily reachable female nerds they just lost as potential customers with this fiasco!”

    For a look at some criticisms within the culture, check out the frequently-mentioned-above linkblog When Fangirls Attack and girl-wonder.org, just for starters.

  60. everstar
    everstar May 14, 2007 at 11:49 pm |

    Until we’ve made some major inroads into that culture, this is a little bit like complaining about the lawn jockey sitting next to the all-white lunch counter at Woolworth’s. Isn’t it?

    I have this crazy idea that maybe we can protest both at the same time. Like, “Hey, not only are your lunch counter policies racist, you have really objectionable art.” Same thing here. “You write sexist comics and you license crap like this, so I’m not reading your comics and I’m not buying your knickknacks, and I’m sure as hell not seeing your movie.”

    How are we supposed to make “inroads into that culture” if we don’t pick a place to start, after all?

  61. Ragnell
    Ragnell May 15, 2007 at 12:05 am |

    Until we’ve made some major inroads into that culture, this is a little bit like complaining about the lawn jockey sitting next to the all-white lunch counter at Woolworth’s

    Hey, Chet. Check out my link. Check out some of the comics sites linked. There are feminists in that culture. We’ve been there a long time. We’ve been complaining, analyzing and rejoicing along time. (Please note, the woman who made that site there is now a writer at DC Comics, she made herself a major road into the culture and is working at changing some of the problems.)

    Say we’re wasting our energy if you will, but don’t go around saying we don’t exist and we don’t draw attention to these problems because that’s plain insulting.

    And don’t go around saying sexism in comics culture is unchangeable and hopeless, because we simply won’t believe you.

  62. philosophizer
    philosophizer May 15, 2007 at 12:08 am |

    I have to pimp my dear friend and comicboy’s blog post on this from a feminist ally/comic geek perspective, so go to the Fortress and visit Tomzilla. It’s where I first read about this, and he cracked me up.

  63. mythago
    mythago May 15, 2007 at 12:15 am |

    Shorter Chet: Bitches who complain about sexist comics are not true fans. Nuff said!

    lily cain, if the person who posted that really is a fangirl and really does do housework in ‘stripper heels’, I’ll eat my keyboard.

  64. Kyra
    Kyra May 15, 2007 at 12:52 am |

    Ugh.

    What, Spiderman’s a superhero and he can’t manage to wash his own damn clothes?

    I think I’ll stick with Pirates of the Caribbean. (Where it seems like nobody does the laundry, but what the hell, a step up is a step up.)

  65. Anna
    Anna May 15, 2007 at 2:51 am |

    Here’s some stuff from napalmnancy, who drew the Spiderman version of the statue.

    http://logansrogue.livejournal.com/947905.html

    Her comments have also been deleted.

    I just want to scream, because I’m also getting the “Why do you care about this, it’s just comics!” reaction from people, along with links to “real” problems.

    *sigh*

  66. KPhoebe
    KPhoebe May 15, 2007 at 3:41 am |

    Kyra:

    Canonically, Spiderman *does* wash his own clothes – at one point, in the laundromat – which is yet another reason why that statue is so very, very dreadful.

  67. Blunderbuss
    Blunderbuss May 15, 2007 at 5:56 am |

    Man, I really do hate tackling the issue of sexism in comics. The SHEER AMOUNT of fanboy entitlement is staggering. Because gosh, how dare a girl complain that something is sexist! Comics aren’t for girls, therefore she has no right to complain.

    It’s bizarre logic. If you follow that line of thought – there should be no campaigning for more black/gay/diversified characters, because the comics aren’t meant solely for them either!

    Not to mention the circular reasoning – girls can’t complain about sexism because girls don’t read comics. Gee, wonder why.

  68. StarStorm
    StarStorm May 15, 2007 at 6:22 am |

    As for the Spiderman in the (near) buff…

    Just seeing that picture was a hoot, and made it all worth it.

    And if this gets double-posted, forgive me. Wonky dialup.

  69. Moira
    Moira May 15, 2007 at 8:00 am |

    Yeah. There are reasons that my appreciation for comics is strictly limited. This is one of them.

    There are some glorious exceptions (e.g. Doom Patrol), but, y’know. Exceptions.

  70. evil fizz
    evil fizz May 15, 2007 at 8:21 am | *

    Here’s some stuff from napalmnancy, who drew the Spiderman version of the statue.

    She’s my hero. That is an awesome drawing.

  71. Thomas
    Thomas May 15, 2007 at 9:14 am |

    Public Service Announcement:

    The person commenting as Thomas at #30 above is not me, the person who has been commenting and occasionally guest-blogging here since it was Lauren’s solo blog.

    That is all.

  72. Chet
    Chet May 15, 2007 at 11:12 am |

    Say we’re wasting our energy if you will, but don’t go around saying we don’t exist and we don’t draw attention to these problems because that’s plain insulting.

    And don’t go around saying sexism in comics culture is unchangeable and hopeless, because we simply won’t believe you.

    I’m sorry if you think I said either of those things, although I can’t find what possible remarks I may have made that you could have misconstrued in those ways.

    Shorter Chet: Bitches who complain about sexist comics are not true fans. Nuff said!

    That would be another remark I didn’t make. I’m not a comics fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ve read enough superhero comics to understand that the major historic tropes of the genre are cosmically sexist.

    There’s a whole avalanche of sexist shit that pours out of that culture and panders to its audience; I just see it as basically meaningless to get worked up over a single turd. I’m not trying to justify it. But what on Earth is shocking or surprising about the face that such a statuette would be cheesecakey and sexist? When they come out with a line of Ghost World statues, and they still look like something you’d paint on the nose of a B-42, that’s worth complaining about.

    Why am I out on left field about this?

  73. Roy
    Roy May 15, 2007 at 11:27 am |

    There’s a whole avalanche of sexist shit that pours out of that culture and panders to its audience; I just see it as basically meaningless to get worked up over a single turd.

    I think that’s a major difference between you and me, then. The sexism in the industry needs to be called. It has to start somewhere, and every time something like this causes a shitstorm, it adds to the voices. There are people who’ve been trying to get the industry to recognize some of the sexism that takes place and make changes, and when something like this causes this much uproar, it’s a good thing. The more voices that get worked up about this, and the louder those voices get, the more likely we are to see some changes, and the more likely the industry is to sit up and take notice.

    The worst thing we can do is sit down and say “Well, this is par for the course… so what’s the point of complaining?” It’s not meaningless, unless we sit down and shut up and pretend that there’s not a problem.

    But what on Earth is shocking or surprising about the face that such a statuette would be cheesecakey and sexist?

    The fact that it’s not shocking that the industry makes cheesecakey sexist statues doesn’t mean that it’s not worth raising our voices about. I’m not sure why this particular statue set off the storm, but I don’t care, either. I, for one, am glad that people trying to take Marvel to task over this kind of shit.

    When they come out with a line of Ghost World statues, and they still look like something you’d paint on the nose of a B-42, that’s worth complaining about.

    Why am I out on left field about this?

    Because you’re coming off as kind of an apologist. “Hey, this is just run-of-the-mill sexism for the industry, so what’s the big deal? Why is everyone getting all upset, when it’s not as bad as it could be?”

  74. Nomie
    Nomie May 15, 2007 at 11:44 am |

    I was wondering if this was going to make it to the feminist blogs. There are over a thousand comments on the Fandom Wank post about it; maybe a hundred of those are commenting on napalmnacey’s awesome Spidey drawing, but there’s also a lot of thrashing. And a lot of “I’m a woman and I don’t mind, so why are you all offended?” Which is as bad, in its own way, as Chet’s “this is endemic to the industry, so why get upset?”

  75. 79soul  » Blog Archive   » Oh, MJ! What have you done?!

    […] If you read comic related blogs or feminist blogs, you’ve probably seen the […]

  76. everstar
    everstar May 15, 2007 at 1:42 pm |

    I was wondering if this was going to make it to the feminist blogs.

    When I saw it still wasn’t here, I decided to pass it along.

  77. Ledasmom
    Ledasmom May 15, 2007 at 2:34 pm |

    In the original drawing, she looks like she’s basically telling Peter Parker “Oh, you think you’re going out webswinging for the next couple of hours, do you? Not with your costume in the laundry you’re not!”
    The statue? Not so much.

  78. Spidey’s bitch : smartarded
    Spidey’s bitch : smartarded May 15, 2007 at 9:47 pm |

    […]   Spidey’s bitch […]

  79. kadmonprime
    kadmonprime May 16, 2007 at 4:30 am |

    If you people don’t like the way women are portrayed in comics then make your own comics that portray women in the way which you see fit. Fact is, you can’t enforce your personal ideas about the role of men and women on society as a whole. Everyone is going to have a thier own idea about what a man is good for and what a woman is good for and none of those ideas are going to be the same. I remember the show Xena warrior princess being quite popular with feminists, and I liked the show myself. True it had adolescent sidekick gabrielle in midriff and short skirt and plunging neckline similiar to the modern supergirl, true it had her as a submissive role to the more dominant Xena, who in any other comic would have been a man perhaps. And for god sakes it had suggestive cheesecake “poses” out the wazoo. Only difference is, Xena was a female comic book heroine in a position of power, thus making it more likeable to “feminists”. So I really think that shifting male/female power fantasies are the real battle here. The blanket statements you make about the comic industry are all invalid because you fail to realize that each time a woman is portrayed in a comic it is a subjective portrayal. You may not like it, but I or any other drooling fanboy is quite entitled to his own subjective “sexual fantasies” and there is nothing you can do about it, especially if said fanboy is given the vehicle of a job at a major comic company. I think the drawings on this site that portray superman and batman make them look like homosexuals, more than women, but what can I do about it? Nothing. It’s a free country and people are going to do things that I don’t like and I can bitch all I want, life isn’t going to change. So, my point is, you don’t like the way women are portrayed in comics? Easy solution: Get a job in comics and portray them in your own subjective manner that you see fit. Even better start your own comic company. If you don’t like comics and statues don’t buy them.

  80. Progressive Gold  » Blog Archive   » Comment Of The Day

    […] is brought up ‘liberal’ have a doomed passion for an ersatz Althouse? And will […]

  81. Roy
    Roy May 16, 2007 at 10:13 am |

    kadmonprime = booooring.

    Those “criticisms” (and I use the term lightly) have been addressed time and again. Nothing you’ve said there is even slightly damning. It’s the same tired sexist apologetics that come up any time someone dares to speak out against misogyny or bigotry. They’re no more valid this time than they were any other time some small minded moron brought them up.

  82. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne May 16, 2007 at 10:35 am |

    Kadmonprime: Paragraphs are your friend. Learn to use them.

    I read about two sentences and gave up because life is too short to read a huge block of rambling text.

  83. purpleshoes
    purpleshoes May 16, 2007 at 10:35 am |

    Man, I’m sorry some of this is descending into wank, because fandom + feministe = the greatest crossover thread ever. I’m sorry it took something as godawful as that maquette to bring us together, though.

    Ironically, this whole thing made me pull out my sketchbook from its dusty grave under my bed. Somehow being reminded that Marvel can’t be trusted with female characters is galvanizing.

  84. Aaron
    Aaron May 16, 2007 at 11:48 am |

    Yes I’m a guy, yes i think it’s over the top only because of the pose. There are women out there that look like that in real life with little exaggeration. The majority of them (like Mary Jane in the spiderman series) are the primary bread winners in the family. Superheroes don’t get paid shit, but actresses do.

    Honestly I think that making a big deal out of it will only bring more attention to it as most people don’t care.

  85. LaidBackGuy
    LaidBackGuy May 16, 2007 at 12:45 pm |

    It’s a statue…of a character based off of a comic. It’s a stylized rendering of a stylized rendering. Are her breasts too large? Sure. Is she in a very “strange” pose? Absolutely. Do I care? Not really.

    There will always be art someone will find offensive. What you find offensive I may find enjoyable. What you find enjoyable I may find offensive.

    The existence of Clothes-Washing-Mary Jane isn’t going to destroy the universe. It’s just a statue…there are things in the world that actually mean something and matter…this is not one of them.

    By the way, Mary Jane is a very fleshed out character in the comics, not just a floating pair of breasts.

  86. The only sensible person here
    The only sensible person here May 16, 2007 at 12:47 pm |

    It is a comic book character. If you truly disapprove of the item don’t purchase it. The artists behind the product are free to express their creation in any means they please. As long as the item isn’t of derrogatory nature there is nothing you wasteful twats can do/or say that will prevent the item from selling.

    I’m sure you all would love to see comic books erased from history seeing as all female characters are depicted as large busted, skinny, etc. Seriously you all need to get outside and let such hearsay issues go. You’re wasting people’s time.

  87. no-one-special
    no-one-special May 16, 2007 at 1:20 pm |

    I’m sorry, I feel what Kadmonprime had to say was good, isn’t the whole point of a site like this to create discussion?
    I do agree that MJ here is portrayed in a manner many would not approve of, but may I ask, if she was portrayed less sexually do you think anyone would buy it? Would you? No offense, but I doubt it, many of you are not buyers of these products, so why not just leave it to the people who would want to buy it, I bet they like it just the way it is…..

  88. Nomie
    Nomie May 16, 2007 at 2:11 pm |

    *reads through kadmonprime’s post*

    Aw, man, I was so close to getting bingo!

  89. Lamia
    Lamia May 16, 2007 at 2:41 pm |

    no-one-special, way to miss the whole point. Your point is moot because no figurine of MJ portrayed nonsexually is being manufactured based on the assumption that nobody would buy it. Well, sorry, some fans like MJ for reasons that have nothing to do with cheesecake. Way to show your sexist heteronormative point of view. That’s so blind. On top of that, that’s not MJ. It is not, it’s some “modern” Stepford wife bent over showing off her thong. MJ’s a model, right? Why not show her in a snappy, sexy, avaunt garde outfit, strutting her stuff down a runway, completely confident in her good looks as is? Because basement virgins don’t get fashion, or some other stereotype like that.

    MJ’s good looks are bankable. Or else the character would not be a model/actress. This is just plain insulting.

    But you and the rest of the basement virgins that give us comic book fans a bad name can keep on bleating for the status quo, why don’t you?

  90. Sailorman
    Sailorman May 16, 2007 at 2:56 pm |

    Personally, I’m glad they made the statue.

    Otherwise I never would have see that totally, absolutely, wonderfully fucking HILARIOUS spidey equivalent. Leaving just the mask on was brilliant.

    Still… solid blue underwear? i would have expected a bit more color.

  91. Roy
    Roy May 16, 2007 at 3:46 pm |

    By the way, Mary Jane is a very fleshed out character in the comics, not just a floating pair of breasts.

    EXACTLY!
    And yet, they decided to market her… how?

    Oh, right, as a piece of meat. They’re not marketing the character. In fact, this statue is noticably out of character. They’re trying to sell tits and ass, not MJ.

    The artists behind the product are free to express their creation in any means they please.

    And yet, so are we. As a comic fan and a feminst, I think it’s absolutely important for me to voice my dislike of things like this, and to be critical of an industry that I think has a lot of potential but continues to embrace sexism on so many levels.

    As long as the item isn’t of derrogatory nature there is nothing you wasteful twats can do/or say that will prevent the item from selling.

    Did someone on here call for the government to step in and ban the sale?
    No?
    So what, exactly, is your point?
    Also, I think that the argument is that the statue is rather derrogatory. Just to clarify.

    I’m sure you all would love to see comic books erased from history seeing as all female characters are depicted as large busted, skinny, etc.

    And you’d be dead wrong. What I’d love is for the industry to grow up and start treating female characters with the respect that they give the male characters. I’m tired of the women in comic books being treated like their most important contributions to the books are their tits.

    Seriously you all need to get outside and let such hearsay issues go. You’re wasting people’s time.

    I always love it when people take the time to tell other people that the thing they’re posting about is a waste of time. If it was a waste of time to post about the original subject… doesn’t that make it twice as wasteful to post a complaint about the original waste of time?

  92. Flo
    Flo May 16, 2007 at 4:46 pm |

    I hate when people say things like “oh well, its not that serious”. Things are never ‘that serious’ when it comes to gender, yet had this statuette had to do with something related to race, there’d be no question on whether its worth the discussion. I wish more people would find sexism just as offensive when inappropriate displayed such as this.

  93. MikeEss
    MikeEss May 16, 2007 at 4:57 pm |

    “And Mr. “Wasteful Twats” up there is banned with the rest of them.”

    I hadn’t seen or heard the word “twat” in so long I had forgotten about it. Oh well, no loss…

  94. Brauly
    Brauly May 16, 2007 at 7:53 pm |

    The statue IS pretty disgusting.

    The worst part is that this is, for a large part, a horrible caricature of the state of comic books.

    No one will deny that comic books have and continue to be sexist. Things are getting better, though it’s hard to see. Female characters are being treated like more than damsels in distress or inept side kicks. Look at a character like Renee Montoya, who is an incredibaly well concieved and crafted character, with many qualities that are generally reserved for a strong male lead. This is somewhat clouded by the fact that she just had to be a lesbian. And therin lies the problem, often it’s as if we take two steps forward and one step back.
    Comic books are no more sexist than any otther media. I’m not making excuses, i just want to make that perfectly clear becuase everyone seems to be sporting a bit of a comic book hate on. It’s easy to see this sort of blatant sexism, but there is a lot of good in comic books, even within the mainstream DC/Marvel universe.

    I don’t know, I just hope that the same sort of impassioned uproar follows any other medium’s meretricious sexist distaster. .

    Unfortunately there seems to be this continued belief that the only people that read comic books are horny teenagers or horny older losers. Both by the industry and by most people that don’t read comics. Shit, even by many who do. Marvel is banking on this selling like hot cakes, which it probably will.

    It makes me sad and almost ashamed of loving comic books as much as i do.

    That was disjointed and long, sorry.

    – For the record Montoya being a lesbian was not something tacked on it was acctually very well handled. Seriously, I hope someone else has read Gotham Central and can back me up.

  95. Danyell
    Danyell May 16, 2007 at 8:29 pm |

    I really get a kick when certain people see a lot of angry women and decide to make a big speech about how their issue isn’t worth making a fuss over.
    Note to those people:
    If OUR ranting is making YOU come HERE to rant, obviously it matters enough to all of us. Duh.
    It’s so hilarious when people say “Hey, why are you wasting your time commenting?” As if their comment isn’t also a comment. Duh (again. A lot of “duh” moments occurring here, actually.)

    Btw, calling a bunch of feminists “twats”…? Psh, you’ll have to do better than that. What’s wrong, do you not have the guts to say “cunt” in public forum? Loser.

  96. Allie
    Allie May 16, 2007 at 9:37 pm |

    Sayth the paragraphless wonder “If you don’t like comics and statues don’t buy them.”

    See, I can do that. I can even avoid looking at websites that post pictures of them. What I CAN’T do is stop living in the culture where this shit is acceptable. I can’t bail out of a world where women are sex objects, and I can’t opt to not have my ass grabbed in public places, and I can’t choose not to be raped.

    That is the problem here. Not the statue. The culture that formed the statue and thinks it’s no big deal. The stuff I can’t avoid.

  97. Dace
    Dace May 16, 2007 at 11:05 pm |

    Wonderfully put, Allie. There’s so much subtext (and not so subtext) in our culture that incourages sexism. We seem to be moving backwards in time these days.

  98. NewsMonster
    NewsMonster May 17, 2007 at 9:43 am |

    Ok, here’s the part I don’t get, feminists seem to be ragin’ at nerds here. I’m pretty sure that nerds, or at least the socially funcional nerds, are in general less misoginistic than most other groups. Responding with misandry against nerds in general, when a few of them are shown to be misoginists, is not ultimately an approach which a rational indivigual would expect success from.

  99. Lamia
    Lamia May 17, 2007 at 10:54 am |

    NewsMonster: I’m a nerd. I’m also female. And I am heartily sick and tired of being excluded from the club because I’m a girl and I can’t possibly know what I’m talking about or having unwanted attention showered on me because I have tits and omg! I’m interested in whatever estoric geek subject they are interested in!

    Marketing this statue and its subsequent selling out shows me that yes, there’s a demand for such tasteless schlock and that there are sexist attitudes that must be called out.

  100. Roy
    Roy May 17, 2007 at 10:59 am |

    Ok, here’s the part I don’t get, feminists seem to be ragin’ at nerds here. I’m pretty sure that nerds, or at least the socially funcional nerds, are in general less misoginistic than most other groups.

    1. When did criticism of an object become the same as criticism of nerds?
    2. Why would you assume that nerds are less misogynistic than most other social groups?
    3. If you’re a socially functional nerd, and think that the statue is in poor taste, then nothing that’s being said her is addressed to you. Criticism of this statue, and of the sexism that much of the comic industry continues to perpetuate is not the same as criticism of comic fans.

    Responding with misandry against nerds in general, when a few of them are shown to be misoginists, is not ultimately an approach which a rational indivigual would expect success from.

    I don’t see how saying that this statue is sexist, or that the industry itself perpetuates and encourages sexism, is responding with misandry against nerds in general. I am a nerd, and I’m tired of the way that the industry continues to embrace sexism like it’s a good thing. If you’re a comic geek, you should be every bit as offended as I am about crap like this. It makes comic fans look like a bunch of immature, sexist, morons when stuff like this is put out, and, personally, I think it’s insulting to the fans of comic books to think that the best or only way to get our attention and to get us to buy books is by showing us dehumanized images of scantily clad women, as though we’re incapable of appreciating stories. I don’t read comics to drool over deformed looking representations of trashily dressed comic women- I read them because I love the intersection between visual art and story telling, and I’m absolutely tired of crap like this keeping the genre down.

  101. NewsMonster
    NewsMonster May 17, 2007 at 11:17 am |

    Thanks for the generalization! Pick better friends.

  102. willa
    willa May 17, 2007 at 11:20 am |

    I dunno, NewsMonster, most of the “nerds” I’ve ever hung out with have been just as quick to objectify women and consider them “Other” as jocks and frat boys. Liking science/comic books/math/chess doesn’t make guys less sexist or misogynistic, as far as I can tell.

  103. Holly
    Holly May 17, 2007 at 11:26 am |

    Are you kidding? There’s plenty of sexism all over the world of nerds. I’m a nerd too, and I’ve been working in a nerdy field catering to a whole bunch of nerds for six years now. There might be less frat-house misogyny but there are a lot of nerdy guys who have their own brand of misogyny, regardless of how socially functional they are, not to mention closed-minded stubbornness where they think they’ve got how the world works all figured out, which is a rampant problem in a lot of nerd circles. You’re generalizing just as much, and incorrectly, if you really think nerds, male or female, are more immune to being misogynist. And misandry? Nerd does not equal male.

  104. Designated Sidekick: The Candy Floss Aneurism. » Money talks II: The Mary Jane Statue sells all 900 copies (Boromir sold 2000 copies without a g-string in sight)

    […] d the negative response to the statue. Their readership? Over 95,000 unique users per day. […]

  105. NewsMonster
    NewsMonster May 17, 2007 at 12:10 pm |

    Nerd does not equal male.

    When was the last time you were in an engineering, math, physics, chemistry, atronomy, or other science based class?

    Don’t get me wrong, women can and do excel in these fields, but they do so in far fewer numbers then males, not for lack of aptitude, but for lack of applicants. Don’t blame the schools either, they desperately try to increase female enrollment and keep them there. So, I’m legitimately stumped as to why there aren’t more women in these fields, but the fact is there aren’t. Can you explain why? (and if you intend to call it an old boys club, that argument fails because the schools try so hard to increase female enrollment)

    1. When did criticism of an object become the same as criticism of nerds?

    strawman argument, I’ll prove it with quotes from this thread:

    the adolescent and eternally-post-adolescent US comic book crowd

    speaks for itself

    muscle-and-boobs computer-shaded piece of garbage from the superhero guys

    not a particular group of ‘superhero guys,’ all of them

    example of the limited sexual imagination of your average porn-raised fandude

    all fandudes are pornoholics with poor immagination eh?

    The SHEER AMOUNT of fanboy entitlement is staggering.

    all fanboys feel the same way apparently

    I think you get my point..
    Confronting sexism with sexism only diminishes both sides.

    If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. If you care about comics enough to complain, why don’t you buy some comics where women are represented in an equitable fassion?

  106. willa
    willa May 17, 2007 at 12:45 pm |

    If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. If you care about comics enough to complain, why don’t you buy some comics where women are represented in an equitable fassion?

    Wha? Does not compute!

    “Don’t like it, don’t buy it” is the easiest way to silence dissent about a product. It’s also nonsensical. The phrase is used for books that people object to (“don’t read it”), movies that people object to (“don’t watch it”), music that people object to (“don’t listen to it”). Usually the phrase can be rebutted with, “But if I don’t read/watch/listen to it, how will I know if I like it or not?” In this case, you’re telling people, “don’t buy it,” which is also nonsensical, because whether we buy the product or not, its message is still being spread. How is a group of feminists not buying the statue going to solve the problem that the statue represents? It sounds like you’re essentially saying what people object to about the statue is a matter of taste. It’s not. It’s what the statue means, which should be objected to, and not just with people’s wallets.

    As for your suggestion to buy more women-positive comic books, how do you know some of us haven’t?

    Bleh. Hope that made sense.

  107. Emo Crap » Time to be offended
    Emo Crap » Time to be offended May 17, 2007 at 1:01 pm |

    […] . Ooh, housework is soooo sexy! She’s like a pornified June Cleaver. – Zuzu of Feministe[ […]

  108. NewsMonster
    NewsMonster May 17, 2007 at 1:07 pm |

    Sorry, it didn’t make sense, I think you meant well, but you’re not realizing I agree with you, so your attributing to me a position and countering that position, when I don’t hold it. (If that sentence made any sense :D)

    Ultimately the goal would be to change the comic industry to remove the misogny correct? I’m going to assume the answer is yes (I figure that’s a safe bet).

    Is what they are doing illegal? Nope, nor should it be, they have a right to free speech and expression.

    How then can someone effect change on the industry, if they can’t complain until someone acts? Well it is an INDUSTRY, they care about profits, so support your opinions with your wallets.

    So long as the American comics are made by Amerian companies, the bottom line is the capitalist free market. So ya, tell people, but don’t just complain, suggest they support the cause of more accurate portrayals of women through buying power.

    By the way willa, I never said you DON’T buy more ‘women-positive’ (shouldn’t that be ‘gender-neutral’?) comics, I said that doing so is the solution. If you already do, then you are causing change already, if you don’t then you should. you don’t need to read between the lines to find a disagreement where I’m fairly sure, none exists.

  109. Sailorman
    Sailorman May 17, 2007 at 1:46 pm |

    Me? Nerd. So I’ll address this:

    NewsMonster Says:
    May 17th, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    Nerd does not equal male.

    When was the last time you were in an engineering, math, physics, chemistry, atronomy, or other science based class?

    Don’t get me wrong, women can and do excel in these fields, but they do so in far fewer numbers then males, not for lack of aptitude, but for lack of applicants. Don’t blame the schools either, they desperately try to increase female enrollment and keep them there. So, I’m legitimately stumped as to why there aren’t more women in these fields, but the fact is there aren’t. Can you explain why? (and if you intend to call it an old boys club, that argument fails because the schools try so hard to increase female enrollment)

    Well, hmm. Why WOULDN’T a girl want to be an engineer?

    Could it be because she gets sick of people saying “no, REALLY, what’s your major?” when she tells them?

    Could it be that she eventually tires of being the only girl in her class full of boys?

    Could it be that every now and the she wishes she had a woman as an instructor?

    Could it be that she would rather be in a field where her teachers and classmates are less likely to assume she’s less intelligent because of her sex?

    Could it be… hell, I could go on all day. When you say “that argument fails” you are just SO far wrong.

  110. NewsMonster
    NewsMonster May 17, 2007 at 2:49 pm |

    Could it be that she would rather be in a field where her teachers and classmates are less likely to assume she’s less intelligent because of her sex?

    Way to make assumptions there, misandrist. No really, this statement boggles the mind through sheer unintentional sexism.

    Could it be that every now and the she wishes she had a woman as an instructor?

    Women can’t learn from male instructors? Could it be that there are more male instructors because more males study in these fields?

    The only justification for your argument would be that women are to weak to overcome the obstacles you listed (many of which don’t exist, or shouldn’t be a problem), and I refuse to believe that. When you say “I could go on all day,” I despair for the future of feminism.

  111. Deus Ex Machinae
    Deus Ex Machinae May 17, 2007 at 4:39 pm |

    Who cares if it’s sexist? That’s the problem with feminists these days, is that they think that they all have to conform to the mass beliefs of women all around. What about personal choice? I’m sure Mary Jane loves Peter Parker enough that she’s glad to do his laundry.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the basis of feminism about choice? It seems rather ironic that feminists would try to complain about somebody’s choice, just because they don’t agree, wouldn’t you say?

  112. Allie
    Allie May 17, 2007 at 4:48 pm |

    NewsMonster, how would you feel if you had no role models who were like you? I think it’s pretty established that it’s intimidating for ethnic minorities to enter white-dominated fields, and that having successful people of their own ethnicity to look up to means a lot. The case is the same here. For a young woman to look around and realise that she is the only woman she knows in her engineering classes, that she has no female professors, that all the people she’s looking to for job interviews are male…it’s awfully hard to picture yourself doing well somewhere when no-one like you is.

    Women can learn from male instrutors, but it’s pretty depressing not to have any female ones, semester in and semester out.

    Also, your own sexism is showing. You claim not to want to accept women’s inferiority, and yet you ignore evidence that might allow you to do so — like all the obstacles that *do* exist. Stop fooling yourself.

  113. NewsMonster
    NewsMonster May 17, 2007 at 5:12 pm |

    You claim not to want to accept women’s inferiority, and yet you ignore evidence that might allow you to do so

    Wrong, I jsut won’t accept the easy answers. Stop fooling yourself, the issues involved are far more complex and intwined with social expectations and stereotypes. The bottom line is women don’t WANT to go into these fields, and looking at why is much more inormative, and a much more useful tool for those who seek to correct the imalance, than making scapegoats. Seriously, Universities are desperate to keep and recruit female science students, they hire proportionately more women than the total number of women in these science fields, and scholarship programs exist just for females in the sciences. Its mucheasier to blame anecdotal reasosn as you and Silorman have, but the real problme is a culture which doesn’t foster interest in the sciences for girls.

  114. jayunderscorezero
    jayunderscorezero May 17, 2007 at 5:50 pm |

    Man, I’m sorry some of this is descending into wank, because fandom + feministe = the greatest crossover thread ever.

    I completely agree. I was pleasantly surprised to see this issue make the jump from (primarily) comic book blogs to here.

    And once again: wonderfully put indeed, Allie.

  115. Chet
    Chet May 17, 2007 at 7:45 pm |

    So, I’m legitimately stumped as to why there aren’t more women in these fields, but the fact is there aren’t. Can you explain why?

    According to the research, it’s because there’s not enough women in those fields. Kind of a catch-22, but it’s pretty clear that when a person surveys the people in a field and sees hardly anyone like themselves, they tend to go into other fields. It’s the same phenomenon with male nurses, really. A given demographic needs a certain “critical mass” of successful trailblazers before others will follow.

    It’s not hard to understand, I guess. Not everybody wants to be the bellweather or the “token female.” I’m sure you’ll find it “misandrist” to state a simple fact, but groups of men don’t tend to react welcomingly to an “invasion” of a woman into a field they tend to consider “theirs”, and they have a whole host of charming passive-aggressive harassment behaviors they use to frost out such women. See the Citadel, or basically any woman who succeeded in a traditionally male endeavor ever.

    I’m pretty sure that nerds, or at least the socially funcional nerds, are in general less misoginistic than most other groups.

    Well that’s pretty much horseshit. As a nerd, I know better – there’s a huge streak of misogyny in nerd culture.

  116. NewsMonster
    NewsMonster May 17, 2007 at 7:55 pm |

    whatever, I’m out, clearly the deep dark secret is that everyone is a misogynist, misandry isn’t real, lets continue to hypocritically generalize men, the simplest answer we can complain about is correct, yada yada yada. /sarcasm

    This new wave of feminism is rediculously counter productive. The suffrageettes are probably spinning in their graves.

  117. Virginia
    Virginia May 17, 2007 at 8:05 pm |

    Jesus Christ, NewsMonster, go read a freakin’ book. Or several. You need to boost your knowledge of power relations and structural inequality before you go around posting on a feminist blog. No one here wants to hold your freakin’ hand and guide you through 150 years of feminism.

    (Okay, so I kinda pulled that number out of my ass, but it sounds reasonable.)

  118. Allie
    Allie May 17, 2007 at 8:10 pm |

    Sigh. My apologies. I’m not trying to attack you, newsmonster, and my previous comment went a bit far. Would you like to continue to attempt discussion, or just snipe at each other? I’m down for either.

  119. the15th
    the15th May 17, 2007 at 8:11 pm |

    When was the last time you were in an engineering, math, physics, chemistry, atronomy, or other science based class?

    Don’t get me wrong, women can and do excel in these fields, but they do so in far fewer numbers then males, not for lack of aptitude, but for lack of applicants

    Heh, biology would have been on this list a couple decades ago, but now there’s so many women in it that it can’t be real science anymore!

  120. Danyell
    Danyell May 17, 2007 at 8:32 pm |

    NewsMonster:

    I’m a little confused by the logic of you saying (paraphrasing here) “Why do you think ‘nerds’ are sexist?” and “Girls can’t be ‘nerds'” in the same breathe.

    The fact that you equate ‘nerds’ to men is sexist. ‘Nerd’ is a term applied to people who are usually socially outcasted by larger cliques because they’re too smart. It has nothing to do with being make or female. Which is saying that girls don’t have to deal with social pressures or that girls aren’t smart (or at least, not smart enough to be outcasted). ‘Nerds’ also tend to like comics and sci fi. Hmm, I guess Spiderman keeps being a #1 film because only men see it? And I guess I was the only girl in line at midnight at the first showing of Batman Begins?

    And plenty of male nerds are sexist. Granted, not all of them. (Hell, my boyfriend is a HUGE nerd and he hates this kind of tokenist, sexist, Tn’A just for it’s own sake crap). But if none of them enjoyed this kind of crap, then it wouldn’t get made. Period.

  121. NewsMonster
    NewsMonster May 17, 2007 at 8:54 pm |

    came back to see if cooler heads would prevail. but see more accusations. Ok, Ill take the bait, last time though.

    Where did I say ALL nerds are men? I didn’t.

    Straw man argument.

    Seems like people here are going to continue to attribute viewpoints to me that I don’t hold, just so they can make their personal arguments. Real classy.

  122. Allie
    Allie May 17, 2007 at 9:55 pm |

    …it would appear the answer to my question is “just snipe at each other”. Gotcha.

    Also, when you replied to “nerd does not equal male” with “When was the last time you were in an engineering, math, physics, chemistry, atronomy, or other science based class?” you pretty heavily implied that a) science classes are representative of if not equal to the general popoulation of nerds and b) you think that the statement “nerd != male” is false. That’s why people are assuming you think all nerds are male.

    Also also, stop saying “strawman argument” like it’s a sentence, or like it proves something. One might even say that here you are committing one yourself: you lump the statements of those you’re talking to in with strawmen, which have been conveniently pre-discredited for you, and then based on the obvious falsity of strawman arguments, you can discard anything someone says against you as not worth reading.

    Sigh. I always hope for real discussion with people who disagree with me, and I am so often disappointed. When will I learn to look elsewhere than the internet for my intelligent debate?

  123. Danyell
    Danyell May 17, 2007 at 10:53 pm |

    Also also, stop saying “strawman argument” like it’s a sentence, or like it proves something.

    Ha. Allie, I think now would be a good time to pull out Pricess Brides quotes:

    “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means…”

    Btw, NewsMonster, you seemed to miss the point when I said “paraphrasing”. Meaning, you didn’t say those exact words, but you intentionally implied it- for the same reasons Allie just said.

  124. Quelyn
    Quelyn May 17, 2007 at 10:53 pm |

    If you think archetypes of male figures do not turn women on then you’re wrong. Women get turned on by their imaginations more than literally. reading Spiderman or Superman makes you wish that you were MaryJane or Lois Lane and some broad male would come and rescue you.

    Comic Superheroes can surely turn women on. Sure, we don’t beat off over them, just like men don’t read danielle steele novels. Different things turn on men than turn on women. And you know what, I don’t care if she’s got huge boobs and is over-sexualized. because I know deep down inside every girl wishes they could look like that. Also deep down inside every male wishes he could look like superman.

    Do you see men putting this superimposed pressure on themselves to be more like Spiderman, Superman, Namor, Captain America? No, they don’t. They look up to them as heroes, but they’re not complaining because they are an unreachable goal.

    Yet women complain about Supergirl, Emma Frost and now MaryJane. Why? Why do you care so much what they look like. Is it making men not want to date you? is it making people treat you different? Are sexualized representations in comic books making adolescent boys have unrealistic expectations? You know because as a nerd in your basement fapping to comics, you might just think that you’re out of some girls league if she doesn’t look like this.

    This whole thing is a huge over-reaction.

  125. garnetfury
    garnetfury May 17, 2007 at 11:23 pm |

    [quote/] Sigh. I always hope for real discussion with people who disagree with me, and I am so often disappointed.[quote/]

    It’s no wonder when people with different views are banned from this site, made to feel intellectually inferior. (another form of bigotry that is hardly ever addressed.) Or like in my case when I write a post and it doean’t even get posted. Just goes to show you how dangerous it is, no matter the agenda, when a group wants to control other peoples thoughts. The hypocrisy of the “feminist” on this site makes this whole argument look like a joke.

  126. Sjofn
    Sjofn May 18, 2007 at 12:56 am |

    Anyone who responds to, “Could it be that she would rather be in a field where her teachers and classmates are less likely to assume she’s less intelligent because of her sex?” by squealing about misandry is either just being a pain in the ass or is truly so blind to their own priviledge that I’m not sure they’re really worth even trying to engage at all.

    By the way, I’m another nerd woman who thinks the notion that nerds aren’t as sexist highly amusing. Nothin’ like walking into a game store and having everyone in the store turn and stare at you like you’re some sort of goddamn alien. Being the token sucks, and just because some of them want to put me on a pedestal instead of harrass me out of their secret nerd club doesn’t make them less sexist. It just means they’re sexist in a different, and still annoying, way.

    It really is a catch-22. There aren’t as many female nerds because the male nerds act like they’re Alien Creatures and treat them as such because there aren’t as many female nerds.

  127. Quelyn
    Quelyn May 18, 2007 at 1:07 am |

    I just re-read the comment I just submitted and it might come across a little more harsh than I mean. I am in no way stating that every woman wants to be over-sexualized and look like MJ does in that statue. What I am saying, however, is that i believe all Comic Book Characters are exaggerations of reality. Men are stronger, tougher, more valiant, musclebound, chiseled jaw. Women are sultrier, sexier, more strong in most cases with large breasts. Men don’t really have an overt feature that is considered “Dirty” other than their penis, and drawing a huge bulge would just turn women OFF and not on.

    Six pack abs are a huge part of Male Sex appeal, and every male superhero for the most part has then, except for like Reed Richards.

    I just think that saying that women are the only people that can be cheesecaked is unfair. The things that “turn women on” also happen to entertain men, and not be as overtly sexual as what turns a guy on. So because of that people make some sort of distinction that’s unfair.

  128. Quelyn
    Quelyn May 18, 2007 at 1:11 am |

    Being the token sucks, and just because some of them want to put me on a pedestal instead of harrass me out of their secret nerd club doesn’t make them less sexist.

    Oh c’mon. It IS shocking to see a girl into nerdy things like that. As a girl myself I too am pretty amazed when I see a girl walk into a comic store, or play a video game. and I get excited thinking that perhaps we can be friends. For the MOST PART girls are not into those things. Just like for the most part, girls are not really super into cars. When you meet someone that is really into your interests then it pique’s your interests and makes you want to get to know that person.

    To make an assumption based on the majority, and facts of life, doesn’t make you sexist. Because someone is surprised & happy that you like the same things that they do doesn’t make them a sexist.

    A lot of nerds might feel the same way if the Captain of the Football team came into the Comic Store too. And in my experience after just being myself for a few minutes around these “nerds” i get treated like a person, and not some sort of freakshow. I’ve never felt like an “Alien on display”

  129. Allie
    Allie May 18, 2007 at 1:14 am |

    “Nothin’ like walking into a game store and having everyone in the store turn and stare at you like you’re some sort of goddamn alien.”

    Ha, I went to a newly-opened game store near my house lately with a few female friends, and the guys playing smashbrothers stared at us in this mixture of fear and absolute astonishment, like it was the first time they’d ever seen a chick within fifty feet of a set of dice. It was pretty hysterical, but only because I was lucky enough to have a supportive environment in the blossoming of my geekdom, leading to a certain amount of security (and the burning desire to keep doing nerdy things just to prove I can).

  130. garnetfury
    garnetfury May 18, 2007 at 6:34 am |

    So, I guess basically you believe that no matter how a guy responds to you, that you think that he is sexist. To me that seems like a no win situation. Not only do you hate men, but you hate yourself. I would say most geeks are accustomed to being shunned by women, mainly because they pass their boredom in a “nerdy” way that doesnt involve buying two expensive cars and a 300,000 dollar house. (Or comin on the internet and bitching about a cartoon character that somehow is the origin of all rape.)

    As a woman I think it’s quite innocent that geeks would want to meet a girl who is also a geek and who shares similiar interests that would accept them. Life sucks, if love is all that they can find to make it all worthwhile, then why not? How is this sexist? But yeah, I forgot you want to eradicate love, forget about any peace at all between the genders, perpetuate a bunch of negative bullshit that isn’t real, place a huge gap between the sexes, give men no hope whatsoever of finding a woman that will love them and all because you aren’t even using your own mind but just following some feminist “cult” that has given you a false deification of your own vain and shallow ego?

    No one gives a damn how intelligent any of us are. Get over it. No one cares what anyone else man or woman does for a living. Get over it..No one gives a shit if you want to be an engineer (god knows why anyone would want to be?) Get over it. No one really cares all that much about your tits and ass either…I’m sure they are nice and get all the fanboys drooling, but there are about 8 pairs of each to every 1 man in the world…Get over it. Everyone is just trying to live thier life, they probably have little concern over what you are doing. Get over it. Enjoy your life and move on.

    You say that if he treats you like an alien, he is sexist. If he puts you on a pedestal he is sexist. I’m sure even if he humors you and goes along with your feminist propaganda bullshit he is still sexist? Just when will anyone find the magic key to your rusty lock-ed heart? O what would make you happy? Where is the enchanted key maker???!!! I want to know so you can quit bitching and do somthing useful…anything.

    You all need to just lighten up and quit over thinking everyones “foul” intentions where there are none. (Not to say that there aren’t male pigs, but they usually have no shortage of women in thier love life, so that should tell you somthing about the folly of your agenda.) You bitch and you bitch and you bitch, but you don’t even have your utopia down on paper so that rest of us can even begin to wonder what it is exactly that you want out of society to fill your own egotistical political greed?

    Most of you feminists are all cowards that live in fear and attempt to use a silly statue as a vehicle for your message of hate towards men and general repression of free thought. There is only love and only fear. You need to start loving men or whoever it is that you hate and quit putting so much importance on your own ego. There is only two things that are real love and fear. You are choosing fear. Learn to love or just make fun of me for being an “enslaved woman” or whatever.There are 8 women to every 1 man. Start appreciating them more.

  131. tps12
    tps12 May 18, 2007 at 7:01 am |

    NewsMonster, I have trouble believing that you give two shits about the future of feminism. Misandry indeed.

    Who linked to this story and let all the 14-year-olds in? The discussion was so good for a while.

  132. Blog@Newsarama » MJ Madness: Sideshow deleting negative comments

    […] ht moderation, which meant many comments disliking the statue were magically swept away, as […]

  133. Nomie
    Nomie May 18, 2007 at 8:55 am |

    Quelyn, there’s the stylization inherent in comics and there’s this. There’s a really good post on maquettes that maintain comics style and either succeed or fail at portraying heroines as strong at Girls Read Comics. Featuring Big Barda the coatrack!

    And as far as the rest of your first post… I never wanted to be Lois Lane or Mary Jane (though MJ was pretty cool, because she was fiercely independent and was rarely the actual damsel in distress). I wanted to be Storm or Rogue or Jean Grey or a superhero. I wanted to be able to throw a jerk into a dumpster, to fly, to teleport. I didn’t really think about having incredibly long legs or giant balloon boobs.

  134. purpleshoes
    purpleshoes May 18, 2007 at 9:01 am |

    Y’all know that traditional news outlets have been reporting on the internet dustup, right? That would be part of the influx of, I will state it courteously, new commentors. If anyone wants to go wish Devildoll, who got linked from the Fox article, good luck with the giant influx of fappers on her lj, she’s disabled anonymous comments but I’m sure there’re ways for a supportive word or two to reach her. (Trolls, she’ll just screen your comment before it even hits the thread. Stay put. Or I will reach through the internet and slap you upside the head

    ::prepares for people to blow that last bit way out of proportion. No, I am not serious. Sheesh::

  135. piny
    piny May 18, 2007 at 9:14 am |

    Yeah, we covered how lame that argument is about 120 comments ago. The six-pack abs come with the extraordinary powers. MJ’s superpower is her ability to dislocate her spine, apparently.

    Yeah, also? Men have butts, too. Sometimes, women stare at them.

    What happened to that re-gendering of the comic-book covers in order to show the male equivalent of the Wonder Woman booty-shaking collectible cover? Anyone know where to find that?

  136. piny
    piny May 18, 2007 at 9:17 am |

    Or you know what else would be a really good example of “male bodies displayed as stroke fodder?” Check out some gay erotica.

  137. Nick D.
    Nick D. May 18, 2007 at 9:39 am |

    I think it’s a great depiction of women. MJ doing housework is great, after all it’s what she should be doing considering she’s a woman. After all, that’s why women have smaller feet: So they can stand closer to the sink/washing machine/”insert other household appliance here”.

    Otherwise she is an exemplary figure of a woman. Sexy clothes, looking good while she works, ripped jeans for easy access, the “powned” tatoo inked above her butt-crack… The only problem is that her posture is going to give her lower back problems in the near future, but that’s a small price to pay to keep her hubby smelling Spring Fresh when he faces down the evil in the world!

    *Go MJ, go MJ, go MJ…”

  138. quelyn
    quelyn May 18, 2007 at 9:57 am |

    The argument is lame because it doesn’t suit your needs.

    Okay, how about this.

    WHAT DAMAGE HAPPENS WITH SUPER SEXUAL COMIC WOMEN CHARACTERS? Seriously.

    You know women in the middle east have escapes where they get together just to put makeup on each other which they have to quickly wash off before they leave to put their burka’s back on & hide themselves again.

    We live in a society where people are free to choose how they represent themselves. There’s plenty of examples good and bad for that. People in the entertainment industry usually get breast enhancement surgeries & work out all the time so that they can try to look like the character drawn of MJ. Are they a detriment to women everywhere? Does a woman choosing to be sexy demean the cause? Does a man drawing a Supermodel/actress in such a way that is consistent with a lot of model actress in the real world really offend you?

    Come on already. What is it, what is the real problem here? It’s a statue of a comic character. It’s not supposed to be real, it’s not setting some invisible standard to wash superhero outfits and arch your back and be sexy. What negative impact does this have on the feminist movement, seriously? None, None whatsoever.

    Would you feel better if someone drew a model/actress in the Marvel Universe with a little gut? With smaller boobs? With a more average body that would look like someone who would NOT be a model/actress?

    When you present people with two images. One of a Brad Pitt esque male who is “perfect physically” according to standards of women for the most part, does anyone have a problem? NO! And why.. Because he can be standing there in a sweater & a trenchcoat and women will still find him sexy! But still, put him in a speedo or tights, and no one is going to have a problem. . . because “he’s a guy and that’s different”. Then you take a female, Angelina Jolie and you put her in a skin tight superhero outfit & parade her around for her sex appeal, just the same. And all of a sudden it’s “OMG WHY DOES THAT GIRL HAVE TO BE SO SLUTTY, AND WHY DOES SHE HAVE TO BE SO UNREALISTIC WHAT A BAD IMAGE FOR WOMEN’.

    Do men care that Superman is chisled & muscular? No, they don’t. But for some reason, women have a problem with unrealistic expectations of FANTASY CHARACTERS on themselves.

    Think about it. It really makes no sense, no sense whatsoever.

  139. Terensque
    Terensque May 18, 2007 at 1:59 pm |

    Does feminist mean “large unpleasant person who will shout at you” or “someone who believes women are human beings”? To me it’s the latter, so I sign up. –Margaret Atwood

    I think that the bottom line here is that oversexualized men (as seen in the hilarious Spidey re-imagining) are funny. They are an object of humor. No one looks at the spidey thing as a piece of meat, no one looks at it and thinks “Man, I want me a piece of that”.

    People look at the Mary Jane statue, and they see an image which projects and aura of sexuality. An object of sexual desire. Why does it work that way for women and not for men? I don’t know. Do you? Why does long hair work on women, but on men it makes them look like a biker, or Jesus?

    It just does. I’m sure my argument won’t make a dent in the massive wall of “large unpleasant person who will shout at you” taking place in this thread. In fact, I’m certain that somewhere, there is a handy little list of pre-generated responses which will allow many of you to ignore it completely. And that’s fine, it’s important that some people be allowed to slumber peacefully in their impenatrable cocoons of lies and slander.

    The bottom line is that men and women are different. Yes, these differences should not prevent us from seeking an equitable relation between the two, but ignoring the existence of those differences is no less dangerous or stupid.

  140. Allie
    Allie May 18, 2007 at 2:57 pm |

    “It’s not supposed to be real, it’s not setting some invisible standard to wash superhero outfits and arch your back and be sexy.”

    It’s not setting a standard for me to wash superhero costumes, true. I would argue that it *is* contributing to the standard that expects me to be attractive for male consumption. Which, I am sure, you deny the existence of, having never experienced it.

    “Do men care that Superman is chisled & muscular? No, they don’t. But for some reason, women have a problem with unrealistic expectations of FANTASY CHARACTERS on themselves.”

    You’ve never run across men who feel inferior because they have potbellies? Who feel unattractive because they don’t measure up to movie stars? I think you may not be paying attention.

    I do have a problem with the unrealistic expectations that fantasy characters place on me — fashion models, actresses, and comic statuettes alike. I have a big problem with being expected to weigh a hundred pounds. I have a problem with men who think my tits are an appropriate conversational partner because they’ve been conditioned to view women as sex objects and nothing more.

  141. Terensque
    Terensque May 18, 2007 at 3:20 pm |

    “It’s not setting a standard for me to wash superhero costumes, true. I would argue that it *is* contributing to the standard that expects me to be attractive for male consumption. Which, I am sure, you deny the existence of, having never experienced it.”

    Phew. I sure wish I did though. I wish that men were consumpted, sadly we’re expected to do all the consumpting.

  142. Kristen
    Kristen May 18, 2007 at 3:25 pm |

    ::Can’t not feed the troll::

    Quelyn,

    You completely and utterly miss the point. Does this statue directly hurt me? Nope. I don’t actually care about this particular statue. It is just some guy (I’m assuming) trying to make a buck. Maybe he views women as objects, maybe he doesn’t. In the end his *personal* beliefs interest me very little and affect me not at all.

    The issue is not that a particular image of a woman acting in service to a man (or a particular woman actually providing something to man – after all I do half the laundry in my house). The issue is a society that believes that the role of women is one of servitude, sexual or otherwise.

    Frye said it best, if you’ll excuse the length quote:

    Consider a birdcage. If you look very closely at just one wire in the cage, you cannot see the other wires. If your conception of what is before you is determined by this myopic focus, you could look at that one wire, up and down the length of it, and be unable to see why a bird would not just fly around the wire any time it wanted to go somewhere. Furthermore, even if, one day at a time, you myopically inspected each wire, you still could not see why a bird would gave trouble going past the wires to get anywhere. There is no physical property of any one wire, nothing that the closest scrutiny could discover, that will reveal how a bird could be inhibited or harmed by it except in the most accidental way. It is only when you step back, stop looking at the wires one by one, microscopically, and take a macroscopic view of the whole cage, that you can see why the bird does not go anywhere; and then you will see it in a moment. It will require no great subtlety of mental powers. It is perfectly obvious that the bird is surrounded by a network of systematically related barriers, no one of which would be the least hindrance to its flight, but which, by their relations to each other, are as confining as the solid walls of a dungeon.

    Feminism (In my own view) is about removing the gender cage. It isn’t about calling Angelina Jolie a slut because she fits the patriarchal ideal, rather its about accepting and embracing her as a person irrespective of how she looks. [And yes…some of us do cry foul when the male image is shaped to conform to feminine expectations (i.e., being “ambitious” or a “breadwinner”)]

    But clearly, you don’t believe the cage exists. You don’t believe women are systematically molded to fit a social expectation. I understand that disbelief. But I encourage you to take a moment to think about from a completely different perspective. Think about what would happen to you if you decided to break all the “feminine” social rules (even if you like some of them which I certainly do). Think about what all of those rules are. Name each and every one of them. And reflect on what it must feel like to a woman who doesn’t want to live in that cage.

    I’ll start you off with some:

    1. Smile.
    2. Don’t swear
    3. State things in the form of a question when speaking to me
    4. Listen first
    5. Speak softly

  143. Kristen
    Kristen May 18, 2007 at 3:40 pm |

    You say that if he treats you like an alien, he is sexist. If he puts you on a pedestal he is sexist. I’m sure even if he humors you and goes along with your feminist propaganda bullshit he is still sexist? Just when will anyone find the magic key to your rusty lock-ed heart? O what would make you happy? Where is the enchanted key maker???!!! I want to know so you can quit bitching and do somthing useful…anything.

    Wow, ridiculous much?

    Well, since you asked. I have a man who treats me as a….person.

    ::pause for shock and awe::

    No pedestal or wash bucket required.

  144. garnetfury
    garnetfury May 18, 2007 at 4:14 pm |

    This is the last comment I am going to make.
    This statue is limited to 900.
    There are alot more REAL women on the planet.
    Plenty of them are hookers, strippers pornographers.
    At least these men are spending a huge amount of money on an inanimate obect instead of spending it degrading a REAL woman who ultimately degrades herself, because in that instant she is in the drivers seat..
    When you think about that way, doing the laundry may not be such an un-noble deed? Not that it is set in stone that that is your role in society…but why is it a bad role? It’s not self depriciation or anything to do the laundry for your man.

  145. garnetfury
    garnetfury May 18, 2007 at 4:27 pm |

    And kristen who are all of these people who treat you like you aren’t a person? It’s a fact of life that men are going to stare at your boobs, mainly because they were raised by boobs and feel nostalgic for them. Does that mean that you aren’t a person in thier eyes? No. That means they simply put, like you as person and think you have nice boobs that bring them HAPPINESS!

    What’s so bad about happy?

  146. Kristen
    Kristen May 18, 2007 at 5:12 pm |

    Garnetfury,

    Have you ever had a conversation with a woman about her life? Seriously. I’m not being snide. I’m curious as to whether you’ve actually spoken, with no preconceived notions, with a stranger about how her life has evolved.

    It’s hard for me to believe that you don’t understand. I don’t give a damn if some guy looks at my breasts. In my single days I probably checked out his tush. We’re all sexual beings and we see each other as sexual beings. Fine.

    The issues is when someone I’m talking to can’t see beyond my breasts.

    When I am dismissed and ignored because I have breasts.
    1. People assuming I’m the secretary, not the boss
    2. Not being able to lease a condo because the owner didn’t think a “little lady” could make that much money

    When my wishes are dismissed and ignored because I have breasts.
    1. Nearly being raped by a guy I dated who insists (to this day) that I should have just sat back and learned to “relax” (thank you to the guy who taught me jujitsu)
    2. The numerous times, I’ve been groped at concerts or in clubs by men who failed to even introduce themselves.
    3. Not being able to get my tubes tied without my husband’s permission

    These are just the big things. The ones that stand out in my mind as particularly hurtful. Not the daily grind of “why won’t you be the woman who….[insert servile role here]” that gets pumped into every woman’s subconscious.

  147. garnetfury
    garnetfury May 19, 2007 at 12:22 am |

    Zuzu: Obviously most men are somewhat Oedipal. Oedipus was just an archetype or a symbol for a man’s subconscious. I don’t see anything wrong or disturbing about this as most of our early sexuality is somewhat influenced by our parents’ behavior. You have to learn it from somewhere don’t you? Hopefully most people can learn from thier parents in a healthy way, I think that is really the key.

    Kristen: Like I said in a previous post that was evidently overlooked; I think it is a woman’s resposibility and a man’s for that matter to learn to defend themselves somehow. It’s an ugly world out there, for men and women. I am glad you are learning jujitsu. But like I said in the aforementioned post, my son can get shot or stabbed every time he leaves the house. He is obviously male. I just attribute this more to the dangerous environmental factors in the world rather than sexism.

    Rape is just an unfortuneate from of violence that women have to deal with and I understand the way you feel about it. My point is that it really has nothing to do with our culture or this statue. Rape happens in nature without any statues, comic books or even porn. There are too many good female role models in comics, and yes they dress sexy and have nice bodies but that isn’t the point, they can kick ass. I think what many of you have taken offense to in comics, you may have had good reason to. i.e. the green lantern who found his woman in the fridge.

    But do I think the writer of this particular green lantern issue had any bad sexist intentions against women? No. I think he just simply was trying to address or bring awareness to the issue of violence against women and it may have turned out as being somewhat unintentionally insensitive. I do not think that the artist really wanted people to treat women this way, and I think you know this. I think the good intentions were there, it just somehow turned out wrong. I think maybe from your perspective you are taking it the wrong way.

    As far as people looking down on your status because you are woman, I understand. I have a female friend who is a musician and people think that it is stranget thing that this girl carries a guitar around and plays music with the boys. Perhaps it truly is somewhat of a novelty to people? There aren’t many women rockers out there that aren’t poppy. Why? Who knows you can’t blame people for being intrigued by somthing out of the ordinary

    I never looked much into status, and especially what other people thought of me. It is your duty to believe in yourself and you don’t need confirmation from anyone else. Obviously you made it on your own, who cares what some dimwits may think about your status? What do they know? All that matters is what you think about yourself.

    I’m glad we are having discussion now and at least listening to each other.

  148. garnetfury
    garnetfury May 19, 2007 at 12:37 am |

    And I am sorry to ramble, but I also want to add that I think those things that you mentioned hurting you ARE wrong, and I completely agree with you. I never said that I didn’t think that women should have rights. I am not here to defend stupid ignorant people. I am only here to defend comics, and even this silly statue. Because I think that it is very well sculpted and I respect that, not everyone can sculpt. I don’t think anyone intended to degrade anyone by making it, and I don’t think that doing the laundry is self deprication to a woman. Prostitution yes, pornography yes, One could even argue that fashion modeling reduces women to a human coat hanger, but not laundry.

    I wish I could say what I wanted in a shorter space, but I can’t. Sorry.

  149. Terensque
    Terensque May 19, 2007 at 12:50 am |

    1. Smile.
    2. Don’t swear
    3. State things in the form of a question when speaking to me
    4. Listen first
    5. Speak softly

    1. Women who smile too much (or men for that matter) come off as a bit airheaded.
    2. Women who swear are hot.
    3. Women on Jeopardy?
    4. Fairly good advice for everyone? I fail to see what you’re implying I guess.
    5. And carry a big stick?

    Man, I really want to know where these rules are written down, and what punishment awaits all the women I see breaking them every day.

    I guess the bottom line is that you’re only limited by the rules you accept?

  150. Kristen
    Kristen May 19, 2007 at 2:56 am |

    1. Women who smile too much (or men for that matter) come off as a bit airheaded.
    2. Women who swear are hot.
    3. Women on Jeopardy?
    4. Fairly good advice for everyone? I fail to see what you’re implying I guess.
    5. And carry a big stick?

    I guess we must work in different industries. These things don’t work for female lawyers. I am often criticized by the men I work for because I do these very things. At times it has harmed my career.

    I guess the bottom line is that you’re only limited by the rules you accept?

    What a trite thing to say. Yes, I may do what ever the f*ck I want. But all activities have consequences. If I refuse to wear a pants suit to a board meeting, that is my choice. If my supervising partner chooses not to allow me to go to any additional client meetings as a result, that’s her decision. There was a rule. I didn’t let it limit me, but I have to live with the consequences of someone else’s bias. Your answer is oh well? That’s unsatisfactory.

  151. Mickle
    Mickle May 19, 2007 at 5:08 pm |

    “Ok, here’s the part I don’t get, feminists seem to be ragin’ at nerds here. I’m pretty sure that nerds, or at least the socially funcional nerds, are in general less misoginistic than most other groups.”

    1) “nerds” and “feminists” (including those on this site) are not mutually exclusive terms

    2) You are so very wrong I don’t even know where to begin. Yes, there are all kinds of great guys who happen to be nerds. But male nerds tend to be into all kinds of things that many people consider to be “guy” things: comics, electronics, etc and can become insanely abusive and annoying when defending what they consider to be their turf.

    “When was the last time you were in an engineering, math, physics, chemistry, atronomy, or other science based class?”

    Um, lemme think, when did I graduate from college…?

    “”The SHEER AMOUNT of fanboy entitlement is staggering.”

    all fanboys feel the same way apparently.”

    Dear person who so excels at logical thought, a short quiz for you:

    A teacher proclaims that that “the sheer amount of reading aptitude in my class is amazing!”

    Assuming the teacher is correct, are all the students in the class good at reading? Can one even tell that from this statement? What does the teacher likely mean by such a statement?

    “It IS shocking to see a girl into nerdy things like that.”

    (Well, that depends on if you’re the nerdy “girl” or not.)

    It’s also shocking to see a guy walk into a scrapbooking store, and while I don’t doubt that many employees of said store would make possibly false assumptions about the nature of his business and aptitude, I can pretty much promise you that he will never be given some of the ruder looks I’ve gotten in similar circumstances.

    (quote marks added to blockquotes just in case – bc blockquote doesn’t show up in preview)

  152. Bunny
    Bunny May 19, 2007 at 5:51 pm |

    Okay…

    It really is NOT just the statue. It is, totally, the culture which has spawned the statue.

    I am, I suppose, naturally somewhat closer to the comic book stereotype than most women. I have a normal size 12 waist, and a size 16 rear end and FF cup breasts.

    Do you know what? The last time I went to a pub wearing a slightly low-cut top a man actually SHOVED HIS HAND INTO MY CLEAVAGE to have a rummage about in there!

    We have gone full circle. Women are expected to be unrealistically beautiful, to be sexy and slutty and, in addition, to be pleased with any advance men make, to have careers and do all the housework at the same time and to not act like a “bitch” by complaining about it. That statue embodies all of this.

    Not only does MJ look trashy with her thong hanging out and her jeans so loose they could be pulled of without undoing the belt, not only does she look meek and needy and not only is she doing laundry, but its clear from the entire pose that, where Spiderman to grab her arse and grunt she would probably either giggle and be pleased with the attention, or at most look shy and ashamed at the contact in a non-aggressive manner.

    Gah…

    Okay that’s enough ranting for me. I’m gonna go do what all the fanboys keep telling us to do and draw me some comics with real women in.

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