The Dark Knight Rises

July 19, 2012 by clownyprincess

OKAY SO. OMG. SO. DORK KNIGHT RISES. OMG.

NO SPOILERS

The scope of this film is MASSIVE!!!!! MASSIVE!!!! I thought The Avengers was big but this was ten times as big.

Great acting performances all round. Tears, the tears flowed at some points, very freely. Walked out with mascara down my cheeks. Hathaway impresses as Catwoman suited for the Nolanverse as we all knew she would even when we went UGH HATHAWAY AS CATWOMAN WOT? Nah, she’s great, truly. As is Bane. 

Fantastic intricate interweaving of classic comic storylines with new twists.

Some affectionate cliches played for familiar audience laughs, one in particular that is really fantastic (tell me what you think it was but make sure you mark it as a spoiler!!!)

Generally a very fitting and satisfying conclusion to this trilogy. It all felt in place and appropriate to what has come before with only a couple of quibbles, and upped the stakes by a thousand fold.  

In my perspective, way more “comic-book” than the other two, enough so that it stood out. This certainly wasn’t a flaw though, but it did stand out.

It made me like Bane. And to understand how big that is, I have HATED, truly deeply passionately HATED Bane since he first debuted as a character in the whole Knightfall saga.

Overall, really good. Just a good film. Some really incredibly impressive moments, poignant scenes, tense questions, beautiful action, intense drama, nail-biting suspense, etc. 

POTENTIAL SPOILERS BELOW DO NOT KEEP READING UNLESS YOU WANT SOME POTENTIAL ASPECTS SPOILED. NO MAJOR PLOT POINTS GIVEN AWAY, THINGS ONLY DISCUSSED IN VERY VAGUEST TERMS YET STILL SPOILER WARNING!

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Insight into the Comic Book Industry

Reblogged from eschergirls July 18, 2012 by clownyprincess

eschergirls:

selkiesiun submitted:

This is not so much a critique post as it is a conformation of how absurd the standards of art in the comic book industry have become.

I traveled to San Diego Comic Con this year and participated in the portfolio reviews they where holding from Thursday to Sunday. Although I will admit I am not the best artist in the world, I really wanted to try and show them that comic book art could be done in a realistic manor while still keeping the superhuman aesthetics of the art form.

This Batwoman piece was the work that I gained the most flack for from all the companies because the anatomy was as they quoted ‘not industry standard.’ At one company (which I shall choose to not name) I was given a full critique on the anatomical incorrections as the following.

“Her breasts are much too small and do not have the lift that superhero women should have. Her jawline is fat and her neck much too long. The style of her hair is clunky and does not flow in a sense that a super human would. Her hips, waist and thighs are too big and she honestly looks fat. No one is going to want to read a comic with a fat female protagonist. I honestly recommend looking at issues of Sport’s Illustrated to get the right anatomy. Those women are the peak of human perfection, and that is what we want in this industry.”

Peak of human perfection? I don’t know about you, but I don’t see living on salad and dietary pills as perfection.

I would like to say this was just the opinion of one editor from one company, but I found similar opinions at almost every review I went to. By the end I was pretty upset, having been following this blog for very long and trying hard to make my anatomy believable and human. But this is not something the comic book industry seems to want, and it’s something that I thought everyone deserved to be informed on.

Again, this is not to bring attention to me and my own art, but rather inform the community of just what their artistic standards are, and why so many what we deem ‘bad artists’ are able to get full careers working for these companies.

Your Batwoman pic is awesome, and it’s not like you didn’t give her curves or anything and her breasts aren’t small.  What do they think swimsuit models look like in a costume anyway?  And honestly, your piece is a lot closer to that SI cover than a lot of the “industry standard” art, but it is interesting that they consider Sports Illustrated swimsuit models as what superheroines should look like (even though they don’t end up looking like SI swimsuit models either.)

It doesn’t surprise me though, but it’s sad that that is considered the “peak of human perfection”.  I think they’re confusing “what I find attractive in women” and “a woman at the peak of athletic perfection” much less “human perfection.”

(As a note, I don’t think we should assume that professional models necessarily exist on diet pills and salads, nor that thin people are necessarily unhealthily starving themselves.  Also, SI images probably are quite touched up too.)

This is really seriously intense and shows how out of touch with reality these guys are. The Batwoman in the illustration doesn’t look fat at all - she looks very thin, just with defined curves. If there’s anything that does look odd about the picture, it’s that I think the proportions aren’t right. BUT it’s still a fucking lovely drawing and really… I mean, she looks like a thin girl with a pronounced waist. Which serves to emphasise her hips. I don’t know what they think slim girls look like once they’re in costumes which add some bulk and which have effect on shape and such. 

Also, painfully, she has bigger hips that the SI model - but really, otherwise she is just as slim!  Even her breasts don’t seem that much smaller. And they have a natural sit. I think they confused the drape of the material for not being the right “lift” to the actual breast.  To be honest, the style and shape drawn here is pretty damn similar to Bruce Timm’s favoured female form. I wonder if he gets comments about his girls being too fat? Or does he render such a cartoony style they overlook it? 

I’ve never been the precise lean shape of a SI model, but there have been heaps of industry pros - at DC too, and very big names - who have told me I have the perfect body for Harley. I’ve got the hour glass with the slightly bigger hips and I’ve never had a completely absolutely flat stomach (though it’s been pretty much) and that sorta thing is hard to hide in form-fitting spandex. So I dunno, I think these guys are really out of touch and actually unable to perceive how things translate from the page to the living flesh and then back into photography. Also it just indicates subjectivity cos I’m sure heaps of other pros would think I am too fat, even at my smallest. 

And what eschergirls said about the SI models likely being touched up. 


Ask Maridee: Women Don't Read Comics Says DC and Kevin Smith

Reblogged from gailsimone February 18, 2012

gailsimone:

ddelphinium:

gailsimone:

askmaridee:

The rising discontent with the treatment of female comic book readers and creators by the comics mainstream bubbled over on social networks this week after two new releases: the results of DC’s Neilsen Survey on their New 52 reboot and the premiere of Kevin Smith’s Comic Book Men. DC’s…

This is a great response to the whole controversy thing. And I agree, I did ask a more open ended question than the survey did, it was completely off the cuff.

However, stores were routinely saying that their comics buying customers were up to 30%. I don’t think it necessarily suggests that it means those customers aren’t buying DCnU titles, it is just as likely, if not more so, that it suggests that the survey was flawed.

Which I absolutely think it was. We need a much, much wider in store sampling. 167 in store surveys is statistically too few to pay attention to.

There are anecdotal questions as well, and methodological ones. First, my friends who were hit up for surveys said the questioners were incredibly aggressive. That may well have been a turn-off for potential female participants. I also want to know when these surveys took place, as several store owners said their female customers are much less rigid about showing up on new release day.

I think the survey was very flawed. It’s possible that retailers who saw my question are biased somewhat towards female customers being significant, but when stores are routinely saying women are 20-30 percent of their base, it would be a fatal flaw to allow the idea of a 7% female readership take hold without scrutiny.

I think it would be more useful to ask the retailers directly. They are there every day, they know their customer base.

But I am deeply skeptical.

I live in China mainland. I’m a woman. This is the imported comics I purchased through Amazon. cn last year. You can even see the Chinese version of Green Lantern: Secret Origin. (It was officially introduced into China last year.) This stack of comics made me SVIP of Amazon. cn last year, because exchange rate made them cost me dearly.

Thank you Mr. Smith, for letting me know that since I own such a stack, I’m just not any kind of female humanbeing. Thank you. I might just buy a tablet instead to maintain my SVIP, and read some serious English novel or professional books.

I’m sorry that comment made you feel that way, I don’t blame you a bit. All the work that’s been done to promote and celebrate the wider readership, which included people of all genders, and we still have goofyass comments like this. It’s ridiculous, and the justifications for it (“It’s reality!”) are insulting.

I have never had a beef with Kevin Smith, he does what he does and that’s fine for the people who want that.

But Kevin Smith does not speak for the industry or all of us IN the industry or for all comic shops, many of whom are run by women, owned by women, and supported by women.

And THAT’S reality, Kevin.

ALL I want to know is why ANYONE is allowing Kevin Smith to continue to write comics. He seems to be universally derided as incredibly, unbelievably BAD AT IT.  Certainly my experience of him as a comic writer has been: HE IS FUCKING ATROCIOUS. 

I got bored of Kevin Smith over three years ago. Guys? His work reflects his incredibly limited mentality: misogynistic, homophobic, racist, superficial, contrivedly ‘edgy’ and juvenile. Stop fucking paying money for it. FFS.

(Source: boatbuildercomic.com)


Memo to Marvel: McDuffie style

Reblogged from leonineantiheroine-deactivated2 February 15, 2012 by clownyprincess

georgethecat:

Via @DavidUzumeri, an internal memo proposal by Dwayne McDuffie to Marvel to highlight stereotypes of black characters. The proposal was called Teenage Negro Ninja Thrashers. He wrote the proposal in 1989. 

Thank you, Dwayne, for challenging those around you and never giving up. 

Forever reblog.


Reblogged from dcwomenshowingass-deactivated20 January 9, 2012 by clownyprincess

dcwomenshowingass:

renamok:

georgethecat:

dcwomenshowingass:

Frumpy costumes make girls look frumpy.
Being a bitch at panels make feminists look bad. 
Hope she enjoyed her 5 minutes of fame.

Wow, asshole much OP? 

A few things:
* If memory serves, this is the kickass woman who kept raising issues of women working in and being portrayed in comics during panels. Already, she’s a trillion times better than the sexist and insipid OP. * Frumpy and slutty are words used by people in the kyriarchy to reinforce the idea that a woman is only worthy if she looks a certain way… which is ridiculous, insulting, and infuriating. * If this woman is a ‘bitch’, then the OP is a neanderthal dipshit with a tired, disgusting and pointless ~sexy cosplay~ blog and is probably a basement dwelling troll with all the charms of a medical cadaver. * She may have only gotten ~five minutes of fame~, but that’s far more than the OP will ever get or deserves. Suck a sick dick and choke on it.
Hey asshole, my point was that sdcc batgirl hijacked panels and made feminists everywhere look like idiots. Im a female comic fan and ive gotten a lot of shit at my LCS because of this so excuse me while i blame her.   My comment on her frumpiness is aimed at her shitty costume, not her body.   Lastly, fuck YO COUCH
You say you’re a female comic fan like you expect us to believe you.

dcwomenshowingass:

renamok:

georgethecat:

dcwomenshowingass:

Frumpy costumes make girls look frumpy.

Being a bitch at panels make feminists look bad. 

Hope she enjoyed her 5 minutes of fame.

Wow, asshole much OP? 

A few things:


* If memory serves, this is the kickass woman who kept raising issues of women working in and being portrayed in comics during panels. Already, she’s a trillion times better than the sexist and insipid OP.
* Frumpy and slutty are words used by people in the kyriarchy to reinforce the idea that a woman is only worthy if she looks a certain way… which is ridiculous, insulting, and infuriating.
* If this woman is a ‘bitch’, then the OP is a neanderthal dipshit with a tired, disgusting and pointless ~sexy cosplay~ blog and is probably a basement dwelling troll with all the charms of a medical cadaver.
* She may have only gotten ~five minutes of fame~, but that’s far more than the OP will ever get or deserves. Suck a sick dick and choke on it.
Hey asshole, my point was that sdcc batgirl hijacked panels and made feminists everywhere look like idiots. Im a female comic fan and ive gotten a lot of shit at my LCS because of this so excuse me while i blame her. My comment on her frumpiness is aimed at her shitty costume, not her body. Lastly, fuck YO COUCH

You say you’re a female comic fan like you expect us to believe you.


Comics Alliance roundtable critique of the new DCU fashion

August 10, 2011

(submitted by someone else)

This is utterly hilarious and I think you’ll like it. Most of their ire is directed deservedly at that wretched Harley costume.

My notes: I think most everyone will have read this by now (someone submitted it to me weeks ago but I only just got around to it) and I don’t think there’s anything said there everyone else hasn’t been saying, but it is pretty fun and makes some great points AND is a great way to see all the awful costumes stacked up one after the other! UGH!

One quote which sums it all up real well:

"There seems to be a very deliberate effort to move as many DC icons away from any look that seems retro or classic in favor of something that seems modern. But modern to whose sensibilities? As we’ve observed, most of these new looks are already 20 years old."

and:

"Chris: Also, those classic looks tell you a lot about the characters.

Bethany: Exactly — there’s a huge visual narrative in the classic costumes.”

And here’s a few choice quotes about Harley’s new look:

"Stepho: This is a 14-year-old Goth Topic kid’s doodle. Talk about dated. Some chick probably wore this identical outfit to a Marilyn Manson concert in the ’90s.

Chris: I think maybe they just wanted to make the Arkham Asylum version look good by comparison. It looks like the Suicide Squad’s first mission is going to be infiltrating the Gathering of the Juggalos.

Laura: Also can we talk about the hair? She has dyed one half of her hair a totally different color, I assume with Manic Panic.

Chris: I also like that her big clown-hammer has been replaced with an actual sledgehammer, which is missing the point so badly that I can’t even process it.

Bethany: Honestly, what is it about Harley Quinn that everyone feels the need to give her a new costume in every entity outside of comics (and I guess, now within comics)? Her original costume is absolutely gorgeous, and I understand wanting to make fun redesigns with the black-and-red color blocking (many of which can be really cute). However, all of the licensed redesigned incarnations of Harley are just absurd.

Laura: This is what I’m talking about. It’s like the two-tone theme is a hammer and they have to hit everything with it.

Bethany: A SLEDGEHAMMER. I also realized that her makeup is meant to emulate her domino mask. Which CAN look pretty cool sometimes… however it really just adds to the Jugalette feel of this.

Andy: Bruce Timm’s Harley Quinn design was one of the best costumes EVER. This design undermines everything about Harley’s personality. She would never wear this. Harley is not Catwoman; she doesn’t carry it like this.

Stepho: Most ridiculous of all, nothing about this resembles a harlequin doll. So what’s the point?

Laura: I like the idea of danger and precariousness, and I like the playful sexuality she often has but here — they wanted to turn the sexy up to 11 and superhero comics only knows one way to do that, and it is to take off clothes.

Andy: She’d still look like a raver at Burning Man.

Chris: I don’t think the costume itself isn’t salvageable, but it’s still wrong for the character and nowhere near as good as what they had.

Laura: I’m okay with her being a little wackier when it comes to style but the skin just doesn’t ring true. And isn’t that what so many complaints about how women are drawn in comics come down to? The fact that they are drawn this way so men can look at them and not because it makes any sense or because anyone has thought for five seconds about how the character might want to dress?

Laura: I really wish we had artists who were thinking about how these characters would dress themselves. I bet a lot of them would dress sexy! But this is like — did you ever watch Beauty and the Geek? These women look how the girls did when the guys went shopping for them. Female superheroes always have the guys going shopping for them. Well, almost always.

Andy: The problem has gotten worse over time when it should have gotten better. The classic looks of Black Canary, Wonder Woman, Zatanna, etc. were all so much more iconic and sexy and worked for those characters than the modern reinterpretations have.

Chris: I think the Harley Quinn redesign also has a problem in that it’s so obviously angling for a specific goal. That’s not always a bad thing — Superman’s costume should look heroic, Batman’s costume should look scary — but I think this one is really going for pandering towards an audience that wants a “grown-up” sexy version that isn’t what was in a kids’ cartoon. In their comic books. About super-heroes.

As I said, it’s nothing the HQ fan contingent hasn’t already been saying, but it’s nice to see points made well and succinctly!


The Little Cosplay Things: Slut-Shaming, Body Policing & Misogyny

May 5, 2011

In response to the increasingly disgusting and judgemental ‘tips’ posted on this blog and particularly to the ignorant and obnoxious way the owner of the blog responded to the very valid and gently-worded criticism in the link above, I immediately unfollowed and sent the below message:

Notions of ‘classy’ are bullshit smokescreens intended to set up elitism through unfavourable comparison because people cannot take charge of their own self-esteem. So long as they can make themselves feel better by thinking to themselves: “well, she looks like a slut and I am classy!” they never have to critically self-examine why they’re so down on themselves anyway or why they have internalised such misogynistic ideas around how women are ‘allowed’ to dress. 

And actually, since we live in a rape culture in which many people believe it is okay to NON-CONSENSUALLY touch others - particularly people in costume - no, NEVER take it for granted people will automatically tack an ‘with permission’ onto the end. Because a lot of people DON’T. So just cop responsibility for the lack of care with which you phrased things.

This is a description of rape culture:

http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/rape-culture-101/

This is slut-shaming, that also has a section on double-standards:

http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2010/04/04/what-is-slut-shaming/#more-484

And here’s a slam on body policing, for good measure:

http://themagicsquarefoundation.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/ffb-network-body-policing/

They’re useful things to read, for the expansion of your own understanding and the elimination of your own ignorance.

This blog started cute and turned into a piece of elitist, normative, judgemental shit really quickly. 

Stop victim-blaming. Stop erecting heirarchies to undermine others. Stop policing women’s freedom of expression. Just stop all your misogynistic, classist, sex-negative regurgitation and just flush it once and for all. 


Reblogged from pseudicide-deactivated20110630 April 28, 2011 by clownyprincess

pseudicide:

thehappysorceress:

pseudicide:

Whoo unemployment and bills to pay. 
I’m thinking of taking some plushie commissions to try and pay for things.  They’d be $30 for the 6inch ones and $50 for the 10inch.  And those are both ten inch, extras like superpets would be by negotiation, likely around $10.  Shipping extra, but they’re light and wouldn’t be more than about $10 AUD.  Payment by paypal would be the idea.  Faces are handpainted, bodies are made in a combo of felt and calico.
Things I could do: DCU, Marvel, Doctor Who, in fact, most Sci-fi shows.  Anime if you send me images. 
Any thoughts people? 
Would you be interested? 

It’s almost Mother’s day in the US…talk about a one-of-a-kind gift!!

I LIKE HOW YOU THINK!

These little plushies are seriously cute, lovingly made, very detailed and each one is absolutely unique. Dee is, in addition to seeking employment to balance the cost of every day living, seeking out just $250 more to get her to Dragon*Con this year as well. Commissioning her for one of these adorable plushies would really help her out as well as net you a very original item of adoration for the fandom of your choice!!
You may have seen both Gail Simone and Nicola Scott proudly sporting their own OOAK plushies by Dee.
Gowaaaaannn! 

pseudicide:

thehappysorceress:

pseudicide:

Whoo unemployment and bills to pay. 

I’m thinking of taking some plushie commissions to try and pay for things.  They’d be $30 for the 6inch ones and $50 for the 10inch.  And those are both ten inch, extras like superpets would be by negotiation, likely around $10.  Shipping extra, but they’re light and wouldn’t be more than about $10 AUD.  Payment by paypal would be the idea.  Faces are handpainted, bodies are made in a combo of felt and calico.

Things I could do: DCU, Marvel, Doctor Who, in fact, most Sci-fi shows.  Anime if you send me images. 

Any thoughts people? 

Would you be interested? 

It’s almost Mother’s day in the US…talk about a one-of-a-kind gift!!

I LIKE HOW YOU THINK!

These little plushies are seriously cute, lovingly made, very detailed and each one is absolutely unique. Dee is, in addition to seeking employment to balance the cost of every day living, seeking out just $250 more to get her to Dragon*Con this year as well. Commissioning her for one of these adorable plushies would really help her out as well as net you a very original item of adoration for the fandom of your choice!!

You may have seen both Gail Simone and Nicola Scott proudly sporting their own OOAK plushies by Dee.

Gowaaaaannn! 


Female comic readers help a college student and take this survey on comics

Reblogged from pinchepeaches-deactivated201108 March 17, 2011 by clownyprincess

dcwomenkickingass:

Please take a moment and fill-out this survey for a university student’s project. She says, “The data collected in this survey will be used in a student research project and documentary exploring the subculture of female comic book fans.
Survey participants will remain anonymous unless you choose to give your name at the end of the survey.”

Again, only female readers for this one.

Thanks!


Harley Quinn Aid!

March 12, 2011 by clownyprincess

gailsimone asked: You are awesome. By the way, I DID give Liana a stalker, so I broke one of those rules...:(

Yes and I can’t pretend that I’m excited by or happy about that storyline, to be very honest. :/ It’s funny, I started writing this list a couple of weeks ago but only sat down with that issue of Secret Six a couple days ago and yes, my heart did sink.

I mean, even the two sex workers I’ve known over ten years who’ve had stalkers… they were just clients who started crossing the professional/personal boundary and who were deterred by a stern letter from a lawyer… nothing so dramatic as fanatical convictions about morals and ethics… which, to be honest, is always the angle the stalker storyline seems to take. But it’s rarely ever as… theatrical as that. Usually, clients who become stalkery or outright stalkers have just become so ‘enamoured’ or possessive they simply want to be a part of the worker’s personal life and use creepy and inappropriate tactics in order to do so.  But they’re also often concerned enough with their own privacy that the threat of publicity will send them running.

Even serial killers and other predators who DO target sex workers are not doing so - most of the time - out of a psychotic mission. They’re doing it because they know sex workers are more vulnerable members of the population due to the fact that everyone hates them and so police are unlikely to persue the crimes with particular dedication. It’s about choosing ‘easy’ victims to increase the likelihood of getting away with their crime.


{ firecrackers & maple syrup }: Sex Worker Characters in Comics: What NOT To Do

Reblogged from them-witches March 11, 2011

spectralradiance:

clownyprincess:

This list is not intended to be exhaustive, more a crash-course in the simplest things you can do to avoid coming across as a vile whorephobe in your work.

What this list deals with is overused tropes and cliches that contribute to widespread misinformation and…


Important stuff, people.

I’m reblogging this to add a couple of things. I’ll edit the original post to include them, too.

Do not have your non-sex worker characters use words like ‘whore’, ‘ho’, ‘hooker’, etc

I know it tends to invite ridicule to say things like ‘don’t use those words! Those are our words!’ but - well - how else to say it? 

Like racial or homophobic or ableist slurs, or any other slurs focused on a particular aspect that is the direct reason for discrimination against a marginalised group, the ownership of those words with the purpose to reclaim is exclusively that of the group they are used against. 

This is not your language. It’s OURS. You don’t get to use it. No, not even through your characters unless your point is to draw attention to the fact your character is a whorephobic douchebag.

And THAT has to be very clear.

Words like ‘ho’ and ‘whore’ are offlimits. We use them amongst ourselves (though, like any reclaimed slur, there is debate around this), but it’s really not okay for people outside the community to adopt them, certainly not in the grotesquely casual way that so rarely goes challenged.

And no, don’t go telling me that will make your character’s dialogue ‘unrealistic’. Comics are unrealistic!!! By nature!! In intent! No one reads comics for realism!

And don’t try and flip THAT around by arguing that ‘if comics are unrealistic, you have no obligation to not write seedy, gross & exploitative stories about sex workers’. Both the issue of language and of plot choices comes back to the fact that they reinforce negative stereotypes which feeds into a broader attitude of active discrimination that has real negative impacts on sex workers’ lives. And that’s not acceptable.

Don’t give them HIV/AIDS

The rate of transmission of HIV/AIDS between sex workers and clients is so miniscule it doesn’t even register.

That’s not to say there are no sex workers with HIV/AIDS, but the likelihood of them having contracted it on the job is extremely low, as is the likelihood of them contracting Hep C or STIs. 

Why?

Because a sex worker’s body is literally OUR BUSINESS in most forms of sex work, excepting phone sex. Without our health, we cannot work. And we live in a capitalist society. We gotta be able to work.

Furthermore, because of the pervasiveness of discriminatory laws against us, we are obliged to take measures on our own initiative to protect ourselves.

This means that sex workers aggressively and consistently practice safe sex. We are educated, informed and aware about the risks, we supply our own condoms and other PPEs (personal protective equipment) such as gloves and dams, and we use them in our work with our clients, often times educating them along the way as well.

Sure, accidents happen, as they can do to anyone. But, overwhelmingly, sex workers have better sexual health than the rest of the population.

(Incidentally, in places where this isn’t true, there is also a marked lack of condoms & safe sex education available to access - which is the fault of archaic law and governments, not sex workers)

So once again this trope is perpetuating false information and actively contributing to the ongoing negative stereotypes about sex workers and sex work.


Sex Worker Characters in Comics: What NOT To Do

March 11, 2011 by clownyprincess

This list is not intended to be exhaustive, more a crash-course in the simplest things you can do to avoid coming across as a vile whorephobe in your work.

What this list deals with is overused tropes and cliches that contribute to widespread misinformation and pathologisation of sex workers.

It’s not that these things never happen or are beyond the scope of possibility.

It’s that these things are depicted to the exclusion of all other experiences and that has a negative overall effect on society’s perceptions and understanding of sex workers and the sex industry.

When you come from a marginalised group of people who are discriminated against and oppressed within society, depicting them in a very limited and narrow range ultimately has a hugely detrimental impact because people begin to overwhelmingly believe this is the default experience.

And when that perceived default experience is also overwhelmingly NEGATIVE, it enables society to continue to marginalise and oppress, to pathologise and VICTIMISE. 

And this plays into an overall culture that perpetuates the discrimination far beyond Law & Order: SVU - but into the very laws and governings that impact the daily lives of sex workers. The laws that create unsafe environments for sex workers to work in. The laws that mean sex workers have to be terrified of being outed as it may uproot their entire life. The laws that mean sex workers have no legal recourse if something bad DOES happen. 

What NOT To Do When Writing Sex Workers

1. Give them a childhood filled with sexual abuse

No really, this is paint-by-numbers pathology. Not everyone who works in the sex industry was abused as a child and not every person who was abused as a child goes onto become a sex worker. By giving your sex worker characters an abused childhood you are basically saying you believe that sex is so broken, ugly and wrong a thing that only damaged and broken people can do it commercially. This is bullshit. 

Were some sex workers abused as children?

Sure. 

But so were some lawyers and some doctors and some psychologists and some hairdressers and some salespeople and some jewellery makers and so on and so on.

The idea that abused people become so denigrated that they end up ‘selling themselves’ is offensive on a couple of levels - it demonstrates the most superficial understanding of what is a very complex reality which is dealt with in myriad ways AND it demonstrates that you believe sex work is the last refuge of the degraded, which means you have no respect for sex workers.

So how the fuck do you expect to write about them in any sort of real and sensitive way?

It also means you have some pretty fucked up ideas about sex.

No, really. If you believe sex is inherently corrupting and degrading simply because an exchange of money is involved you have some really fucked up paranoid, phobic ideas around sex. And guess what? That’s about YOU, NOT sex workers. So. Stop projecting, okay?

Either way, you clearly don’t regard sex workers as human beings enough to give them anything but a lazy and cliche background in lieu of actual character development. -Insert tragic childhood here- is just as sloppy and unconvincing a way to build character as we have all discussed ad nauseum that having a female character be raped to give her an agenda is.

2. Have them raped by a client and/or a pimp

Believe it or not, hookers and strippers do not get raped on a nightly basis. What happens between a client and a worker is negotiated beforehand and the entire process usually involves an ongoing negotiation if necessary (just like recreational sex generally does!). Sex workers develop methods of communication with clients in order to maintain boundaries. If drunk or disrespectful clients are pushing boundaries, sex workers have ways of distracting them and their attention in other ways to maintain control of the situation. Flirtation and coyness is a tactic, not a default state of being. Sex workers are not obligated or forced to see clients. Sex workers can walk out of a booking without giving a refund if the client is disrespectful. 

More sex workers work without pimps than do. Pimps are largely an overblown media fantasy. They exist, but they are nowhere near as prevalent as media would have you believe NOR are the relationships between hookers and pimps always as simplistically abusive as is ALWAYS portrayed.

But once again it is reinforcing dangerous, harmful and bluntly insulting preconceptions about sex workers because it is placing us into the fixed state of perpetual ‘victim’. And we’re NOT. Okay? We’re REAL people, with agency, with complexity, with diversity, with varied lives and experiences. Stop imagining our lives as this grotesque excursion into endlessly-violated depravity for your own sheer VOYEURISTIC satisfaction. Because that’s what it is. You like to imagine us as constantly raped because rape culture has characterised sexual abuse as something almost fucking *sexy*, something *juicy* and it’s easier to imagine it happening to sex workers because you don’t think of us as truly human, not really. 

The other reason not to do these things, apart from the fact this ‘plot’ device once again forces sex workers into a permanent victim position, is that it demonises clients and pimps. 

Now, MOST clients are just average people who want a service.

No, really. It’s really as simple as that.

They’re not base, grotesque, anti-social, disgusting perverts who just want to degrade women, trans* folk and other ‘cast-offs’ of society.

They’re just regular shmoes who want to get their rocks off. Or who want to talk. Or who want to be taught something. Or who want to experiment with something they have no one else to ask about. Or who just need a goddamn hug.

No. REALLY.

3. Give them a stalker

This also reflects the ‘permanent victim’ fixation and again demonises clients.

Stalkers, it has been proven time and time again, do not simply fixate on ‘loose’ women. Anyone at all for any reason at all can become the target of a stalker. 

Do sex workers get stalkers? Sure. And yes, they’re often clients who have become obsessed.

BUT once again, it’s about BALANCE. 

I SHOULDN’T have to be afraid of admitting that sometimes, now and again, some sex workers (out of the millions worldwide) will get a stalker. I shouldn’t have to be afraid of admitting that, but I am because I KNOW a whorephobic audience is going to pounce on that one concession and conflate it with reality. 

And when you are CONSTANTLY depicting sex workers with inherently negative lives - lives that are constantly violated in one way or another by boogeymen like stalkers and pimps and drugs - and associating those lives with our work, YOU ARE contributing to the ingrained societal mindset that sex work itself is inherently negative and that is really, really dangerous. Because it allows people to continue to justify their pathologising, victimising attitudes to sex workers, allows unfair laws and discrimination to remain intact and protected, allows the continued popularisation of false information and allows fantasy to stand in the way of fact.

And this allows the world to continue to not think of us as really human. 

AND it ALSO is just another facet of the old virgin/whore dichotomy - of rape culture. The patently FALSE notion that if you lead a certain kind of life, you will naturally attract violation and assault. That such terrible things can be avoided if only you toe the line like a good virtuous, well-behaved, complacent little virgin - but is only to be EXPECTED if you are ‘loose’, ‘slutty’, ‘trampy’ - indeed, if you’re any of the latter, well, you just DESERVE it, don’t you? Not only is this dehumanising of sex workers and permitting people to hold discriminatory and prejudicial attitudes towards us, it creates a false perception of reality, a blame-the-victim mentality that deceives people. The truth is, predators like stalkers and rapists are not exclusively ‘attracted’ to sex workers. Anyone could be targeted by them at any time. It just allows society to ignore the real problem - that BEHAVIOUR by predators and how it is nurtured and perpetuated by society - which just loves to blame the victim.

How hard is it to really imagine a sex worker without some constantly horrible thing happening to them, just leading an average life, working hard to pay the mortgage and the bills and the kid’s school tuition. Truth? That’s the most common reality. Oh, but that lacks drama, right?

You know, if you REALLY want to violate your sex worker character over and over, how about you examine how that is done LEGALLY, within the very infrastructure of the law? How about you look at the laws and institutionalised statutes that make a sex workers life and work harder for them, the stupid rules and obstructions we have to navigate just to make a living? That’s a violation too! A violation of human rights and freedom to work. But I guess that’s just not as sexy as a crying woman in her underwear tied to a bed whilst getting threatened with a knife. Vomit.

4. Have your hero save them from a stalker/rapist/serial killer/pimp

To put your sex worker character in a horribly abusive situation just to have your hero be more heroic is one of the more petty, grotesque, lazy and discriminatory plot devices you can come up with.

It’s become colloquially known as ‘fridging’. For fuck’s sake, don’t do it.

5. Kill them

Another dehumanising technique, used with rash abandon over the years on promiscuous women, queers, trans* people and sex workers alike. Even in ‘sympathetic’ stories, these ‘underdogs’ must die tragically and preferably horribly for their cause - to make a point. And that point is? To atone for their sinful lives by being scrubbed out of existence. 

GOD, IT’S SO FUCKING BORING, TRITE, ARCHAIC AND UNCREATIVE!!!!

6. Do not have your non-sex worker characters use words like ‘whore’, ‘ho’, ‘hooker’, etc

I know it tends to invite ridicule to say things like ‘don’t use those words! Those are our words!’ but - well - how else to say it? 

Like racial or homophobic or ableist slurs, or any other slurs focused on a particular aspect that is the direct reason for discrimination against a marginalised group, the ownership of those words with the purpose to reclaim is exclusively that of the group they are used against. 

This is not your language. It’s OURS. You don’t get to use it. No, not even through your characters unless your point is to draw attention to the fact your character is a whorephobic douchebag.

And THAT has to be very clear.

Words like ‘ho’ and ‘whore’ are offlimits. We use them amongst ourselves (though, like any reclaimed slur, there is debate around this), but it’s really not okay for people outside the community to adopt them, certainly not in the grotesquely casual way that so rarely goes challenged.

And no, don’t go telling me that will make your character’s dialogue ‘unrealistic’.Comics are unrealistic!!! By nature!! In intent! No one reads comics for realism!

And don’t try and flip THAT around by arguing that ‘if comics are unrealistic, you have no obligation to not write seedy, gross & exploitative stories about sex workers’. Both the issue of language and of plot choices comes back to the fact that they reinforce negative stereotypes which feeds into a broader attitude of active discrimination that has real negative impacts on sex workers’ lives. And that’s not acceptable.

7. Don’t give them HIV/AIDS

The rate of transmission of HIV/AIDS between sex workers and clients is so miniscule it doesn’t even register.

That’s not to say there are no sex workers with HIV/AIDS, but the likelihood of them having contracted it on the job is extremely low, as is the likelihood of them contracting Hep C or STIs. 

Why?

Because a sex worker’s body is literally OUR BUSINESS in most forms of sex work, excepting phone sex. Without our health, we cannot work. And we live in a capitalist society. We gotta be able to work.

Furthermore, because of the pervasiveness of discriminatory laws against us, we are obliged to take measures on our own initiative to protect ourselves.

This means that sex workers aggressively and consistently practice safe sex. We are educated, informed and aware about the risks, we supply our own condoms and other PPEs (personal protective equipment) such as gloves and dams, and we use them in our work with our clients, often times educating them along the way as well.

Sure, accidents happen, as they can do to anyone. But, overwhelmingly, sex workers have better sexual health than the rest of the population.

(Incidentally, in places where this isn’t true, there is also a marked lack of condoms & safe sex education available to access - which is the fault of archaic law and governments, not sex workers)

So once again this trope is perpetuating false information and actively contributing to the ongoing negative stereotypes about sex workers and sex work.

8. Write them with respect

All of the above are crucial factors in depicting sex worker characters with respect, but considering how you place them within a story and how they interact with other characters all contributes to the sense of respect shown for the sex worker character - by the other characters and by YOU. 

If you have your other characters-  particularly your leading characters, the ones the audience is meant to empathise/symapthise with - making snide/discriminatory/abusive remarks to the sex worker character about their ‘sluttiness’, about their work, about their lifestyle - without those remarks being corrected/chided/called-out/slammed and without that character facing any sort of censure or exile for their whorephobia you are sending a pretty fucking strong message to your reader and that is that it’s totally okay to debase and degrade a sex worker because of their work.

So WHAT if some stripper did topless movies? So. Fucking. What? If you have to write a character being evidently offended by that, rather than pass it off as comic relief - or worse, as righteous moralising - why not have another character ask them what their fucking issue is? Point out how fucking ridiculous they are being.

Like any marginalised group, sex workers simply need more balance in the way we are depicted. Overwhelmingly, our depiction is done in the most negative, fetishising and trivialising way possible, preventing any understanding of the true diversity of our experience and reducing it to one exoticised, voyeuristic cliche, used mainly to satiate some perverse ‘normal*’ person need to see horrible things happen to those they conceptualise as sub-human as well as reassure their own smug and complacent sense of self-satisfaction in what they believe to be their superior lifestyles. 

If you want to ring the bell for anti-racism, anti-homophobia, anti-transphobia, anti-misogyny, anti-ableism, anti-classism and anti-fatphobia, then know this: SEX WORKERS ARE OVERWHELMINGLY OF COLOUR, QUEER, TRANS*, FEMALE, DIFFERENTLY-ABLED, POOR AND WITH A WIDE VARIETY OF BODY TYPES.

Sex work offers a flexibility and income for people with varying intersections of marginalisation that many other industries simply do NOT. In the sex industry, people can make a good income for being ‘different’ compared to other industries where that ‘difference’ will see them discriminated against. It is VERY complex and not at all perfect but part of the solution is TO NOT:

- demonise

- pathologise

- victimise

us, not to reduce our existence to the easiest and simplest trope to write.

And all you tumbloggers out there, the ones who are sharp enough to see the subtlest discrimination in comics when it comes in form of homophobia, racism, transphobia, misogyny, ableism, classism and fatphobia then I am, as of right now, calling on you TO SEE THE WHOREPHOBIA AS WELL. If you are really serious with this anti-discrimination, struggle-for-equality objective, then you need to broaden your gaze still further and that may involve taking a really hard look at some of your own preconceptions and ideas. I am sick of feeling like I am the only person to see this stuff. It is just as important and just as relevant and just as intersectional. 

And you know what? It’s great to like this but… reblog it. This issue gets nowhere near the exposure that other issues do and it SHOULD because it intersects with all of them AND deals with humans being treated as sub-human in a variety of ways. Get it out there and try and participate. Put your politics where your mouths are.


REBLOG IF YOU’RE A WOMAN WHO LIKES COMIC BOOKS

Reblogged from pinchepeaches-deactivated201108 January 4, 2011 by clownyprincess

pinchepeaches:

justanothercomicgeek:

only-misunderstood:

dcwomenkickingass:

rraaaarrl:

theresapattern:

alliterate:

comic-relief:

lettersfromtheattic suggested a roll call. I think that’s a brilliant idea!

*\o/*

YOU KNOW I DO!


The Reunite Joker & Harley Quinn Campaign

October 7, 2010 by clownyprincess

PLEEEEEEEEEASE REBLOG THIS! GET IT OUT THERE! Don’t just ‘like’ it, please reblog!

Now that the Joker has officially “returned from the dead” and Harley has been established as a once-again recurring character in Gotham City Sirens, it is well passed due time that DC reunited the crazy couple.

It would seem that DC are at least somewhat aware of how popular the two are as a couple as evidenced in the continued release of complementary collectibles and that they are frequently seen joined in flashbacks, elseworlds and in other media (such as video games).

But fans are sick and tired of seeing them only on the periphery in this way. It’s been years since they were properly together within the mainstream continuity and as characters they are far more interesting when they have each other to play off of and further them as characters.

The only way to make DC listen is if we get organised and actively campaign them and make them aware of our desires.

The best way to do that is proactively - to get off our butts and do things OLD-SCHOOL.

DC pay attention to fans’ feedback if fans go the extra step to contact them personally. Forget email, forget online petitions, forget just bitching on message boards and in forums - the best way to garner DC’s attention is with good, old-fashioned LETTER WRITING!

GUIDELINES FOR LETTER WRITING:

These have been proven to be the most effective way of getting DC to take notice of feedback:

1. WRITE IT ON THE BACK OF A POSTCARD
Think about DC’s incoming daily mail. Insane. Don’t waste your time or theirs with envelopes - a single piece of paper that can be picked up and its message read instantly is the way to go.

2. KEEP IT SHORT
Hey, if anyone loves to ramble about these two, it’s me. You all know that! But DC, by and large, just doesn’t care. The creative teams & editors are too busy to read long, rambling, philosophical meta essays. Many DC staff trawl the internet and read fans’ websites, but they do that on their own time. SO. Don’t carry on. Tell them simply: I miss Joker and Harley being together as a couple. They really add something unique to the Batman world. When will we see them back together again? Soon, I hope!

3. DON’T CRITICISE
Yeah, I’m angry, you’re angry, we’re all angry. Save it for the internet. Keep it upbeat, light-hearted, friendly. Keep it to the basic information. Mention how much you enjoyed past stories with the two together and how you can’t wait to read some more - they’re such a great couple and their stories are always so fun and entertaining.

4. SEND IT
Seriously, get up off the couch now, find a postcard and a stamp and do it. Don’t talk, take action.

If we FLOOD DC with hundreds of postcards all saying the same thing - PUT JOKER & HARLEY BACK TOGTEHER - they are going to take notice.

WE CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN.

So - let’s do so.

The address to write to:
Dan Didio
DC Comics
1700 Broadway
New York, NY 10019
USA


Reblogged from alliterate-deactivated20120901 September 1, 2010 by clownyprincess

alliterate:

Sometimes you just need to post a picture of animals dressed as superheroes.

 I’ll co-sign that.

alliterate:

Sometimes you just need to post a picture of animals dressed as superheroes.

 I’ll co-sign that.


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