Tag Archives: Feminism

“Girlfrenzy” 1998

Nearly all of my most recent comic book purchase consists of female-led stories. This was by intent. I’m not entirely sure why or why now, but it was a conscious goal while making my selections, which is almost the only way this would happen; the great majority of comics including my own collection feature male characters. A little more variety seems all to the good.(1)

The majority of these female-led stories are from two DC… projects I guess we’ll call them, from 1998. This was not as much by intent, per se. But the “Girlfrenzy” and Tangent families offered known places to find a variety of complete-in-one-issue female-led stories, and the single examples of each which I owned already are satisfactory.(2) Plus, the dazzling cover design still feels remarkably fresh after 22 years.

I have already made comments on the individual comics in a previous post, but there are a few observations worth making about the whole assemblage.

First of all the fact that these projects existed at all, in 1998 no less, still seems a little astonishing. “Girlfrenzy” was an overt attempt to publish a family of female-led stories—something which as noted is rare enough in the world of comics publishing—and in the same year the Tangent project featured women in at least half of its lineup even though that was in no way required by the concept. Granted that both of these projects were also planned as one-offs and left that way, it’s still fascinating to me that someone greenlit even that much.

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The darker Back to the Future

Nine times out of ten, “Back to the Future Day” is about the last occasion I would choose to comment on the eponymous film cycle. I’m as fond of them as the average person I guess—which is apparently quite fond—but the presence of identical fluff “news” stories essentially advertising a commercial property on site after site after site just makes me wince.

As Doctor Emmett Brown said, though, “well… what the hell.”

I have one or two thoughts, stirred up by the long approach to October 21, 2015, which might also be a little different from the standard fare even if they aren’t absolutely unique. First, I’ve been holding this in for several months now, and I’m just going to say it: the treatment of Jennifer in Back to the Future 2 is just creepy and wrong.

I’ll acknowledge here that I haven’t seen any of the movies for at least a decade. I own the second movie on DVD, but haven’t taken it out of the case yet. Partly because I don’t want to watch it by itself, and I haven’t found part one or three on sale yet. But partly, also, because… excuse me, adolescent girl, could you just look at this for a second, thank you, splendid you’re so much more agreeable as an unconscious object whom we can stash somewhere at our leisure rather than being asked all of those questions great scott it was like she was never going to stop…

Just a lot creepy, hm? Just to make absolutely sure I’m not falsely remembering the scene, someone please inform me if Dr. Brown does not flash a “sleep-inducing alpha rhythm generator” in Jennifer’s face, explicitly because “she was asking too many questions,” after which he and Marty dump her body and forget about it while they proceed with their adventure unencumbered. Otherwise, though… I’m claiming this as just pretty much appalling.

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Ireland fine with gay marriage

I have had relatively little to say as America has, in 15 years, gone from “don’t ask don’t tell” to legal gay weddings in however many states it is at the moment. That’s hardly a credit to me; the best I can say for myself is that

  1. I’ve never had real opposition to marriage equality
  2. I recognized my lack of close investment in the issue, and generally stood aside trusting advocates to present their case best; and
  3. I have consistently voted for candidates either supportive or at least acquiescent, rather than those peddling repression and bigotry.

I am prompted to post now by the recent referendum in Ireland recognizing gay marriage (as marriage, i.e., not just civil partnerships). This is notable in itself, for a solidly Catholic country in which the church strongly opposed this result. In detail, it also underscores something that I recently concluded about why segregating marriage from same-sex relationships was probably not just wrongheaded but impossible, at least in any society where equality is taken seriously.

This took me way too long to realize, and it can hardly be regarded a great insight given the advantages of hindsight. Still, for what it’s worth…

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