I want to be treated as a person. It’s a strange way to start a series of columns about girls and all things geeky but bear with me. I want to be represented. I want to open a comic and not have to go through three pages of T&A before I get to a face. I want to see the girls kicking ass and it be normal. The boys should need rescuing by the girls as often as the girls do by the boys. I want equality in the media I am paying for and I don’t want to shot down or brushed off when I complain about being represented as merely a sex toy or prize.
A few months ago I went to New York Comic Con as the photographer for this site. During the Q&A portion of one of the DC panels I asked Dan Didio and Jim Lee about the giant “No Girls Allowed” sign their company had hung during the reboot. I received some applause from the audience and a brush off from Mr. Lee. I could deal with, and expected, the talking points. The “As for Catwoman, she has always been a character that has used her sexuality as a weapon,” was unexpected, disappointing, and insulting. Redefining Catwoman’s classic femme fatale as pseudo-porn and then defending it as “using her sexuality” is either a fundamental misunderstanding of the classic trope or a deliberate attempt to paint those of us who find parts of DC’s reboot continuity offensive as overreacting fangirls (and boys).
I am a DC girl. My wedding gift from my husband was a Catwoman bank. I own more bags and wallets with female DC characters than I know what to do with and once spent $20 on eyeliner because it was a special Wonder Woman edition. I have a Harley Quinn tattoo. I have permanently pledged my allegiance to this company; is it so wrong that I did not want the years of progress to pull the girls out of the refrigerators to be rescinded? Is asking for the characters that most closely represent me to be treated like more than masturbation fodder excessive?
DC was on a good track before the reboot. They were far from perfect, but they were making progress. Somewhere in the process of attempting to get more readers there was a decision to undo much of this progress in favor of making those who see comic book girls as damsels in tight outfits with big titties happy. I hope this decision will come to be as maligned as the removal of Wonder Woman’s powers in the 70s is now. While there are those who continue to write interesting and powerful stories featuring female characters, Gail Simone’s awesomeness does not excuse other writers insulting portrayals of my gender (I know there are others as wonderful as Gail Simone so please excuse my using her as shorthand).
Over the past decade of going to comic books conventions I have watched the female population explode. There is a surge of nerd girls who may not look or behave they way the nerd boys do. They may not act out their fandom in the same way, but they are fans. And us nerd girls, we have money too. It’s as good as the boys money and we’re as loyal. We are half the population and more than half of the work force. DC, when you’re ready to take the “No Girls Allowed” sign off your company, come find us. We’ve been ready.