No, pre-reboot Superman was a happy, loving, secure, mature man who was in a loving marriage with a woman he described as the love of his life. He was so happy, in fact, that DC Comics openly admitted that they went out of their way to destroy his happiness because they felt his life was too wonderful and needed more pain.
No, the masochists here are people like myself and other educated women who continue to waste our brain cells responding to the sexist and damaging behavior of people of your caliber. Like certain American politicians who degrade women on a daily basis with their sexist attempts at “humor” and outright lies you really aren’t worthy of my time or energy. Unfortunately, this cartoon that you posted is so ragingly sexist and offensive that I’m going to have to lower myself to actually respond to it because as an educated woman who cares deeply about the representation of women in our culture and media and is committed to equality for all, I can’t actually allow you to perpetuate such blinding and offensive sexism and try and pass it off as humor. Mind you, I don’t actually expect you to learn or change your behavior at this point. You and others like you have proven that like the Conservative Politicians going on and on about “legitimate rape” that you aren’t capable of truly learning what sexism really means and how you, as an individual, continue through your actions to contribute to a world that upholds it as the cultural norm. To that end, I feel very sorry for you because that is a truly sad place to be.
So let’s just break down the lies, misogyny and sexism in this piece of “humor” that you posted proudly on your blog for all the people out there who are capable of understanding damaging gender commentary and misogyny in pop culture and the very real world effect that has on women.
The sexism and lies present in Lana Lang’s description:
1.) Lana Lang is championed here for being a “homemaker” while Lois Lane is seemingly degraded for being a “career gal.” Degrading women as being less worthy of romantic love because they are committed to a job outside the home has been one of the core tenants of the feminist movement for decades. Mind you, women have the right to choose to be whatever they want and if a woman chooses to stay home that is her right. However, your attempt to paint Lana Lang as a better “lover” for Clark because she is a “homemaker” is extremely sexist and affront to feminism. Please go back to the 1950’s with your “binders full of women”, Mitt Romney.
2.) Lang Lang loving Superman as “just Clark” is not actually a positive thing as anyone with any true knowledge of Superman understands that he is never “just Clark” and always a combination of both Clark and Superman. Lana’s inability to truly accept both sides of this dual identity is part of the reason why Clark never returned her feelings.
3.) Lana is described here as a “passionate lover.” That’s quite an assumption on your part considering that Lana and Clark never had a sexual relationship. Of course, what you don’t reveal here is that Lois and Clark did have a passionate sexual relationship for decades. They had sex for the first time in the 1970’s in continuity according to Bronze Age Superman writer Martin Pasko who wrote the story.
4.) You describe Lana as the “most dependable best friend a man could ever ask for.” Huh. What part of “dependable” came into play when she pushed the button that released the Kryptonite into the atmosphere purposefully putting Clark’s life at risk? What was so honorable about her attempting to ruin and destroy Clark’s marriage even after he asked her to stop? Look, I like Lana Lang as a supporting players in Clark’s early life. She’s been portrayed many different ways over the years….some good and some bad. But attempting to simplify her like this as some kind of perfect, happy homemaker is insulting and sexist. And frankly, it does Lana no favors as she’s a much more complex woman than that. She doesn’t seem like a better love interest here she seems like a stepford. This doesn’t even take into account that Lana was never actually a viable love interest for the last 25 years because Clark was always clear that he didn’t return her feelings as anything other than a friend.
The BLINDING sexism and lies present in Wonder Woman’s Description:
For someone who claims to be such a “fan” of Wonder Woman, it’s startling and sad how poorly you treat the character. I love Wonder Woman very much and I truly wish she had better fans. Your commentary is a true disgrace to what she stands for.
1.) You attempt to raise Wonder Woman up here because she is “ageless.” Now, I imagine you are aware the intense pressure that women face in this world to maintain their youth and beauty and the double standards of age as they apply to men. So what point are you making here? Because it seems as though you are saying that a woman’s youth is one of the most worthy components in terms of self-worth, love and marriage. Of course, that would be damaging, sexist and misogynist.
2.) You attempt to raise Wonder Woman up here because she has a “perfect figure.” Again, you demean Wonder Woman by making the sum of her worth her physical body and you demean other women by implying that those women who aren’t born with perfect figures (AKA the rest of the human population) are less worthy and less valuable.
3.) You say that Wonder Woman has “strong convictions.” I agree. She does. Then again, so does Lois Lane. In fact, one of the most famous comic stories of the last decade written by Phil Jiminez and Joe Kelly celebrated the fact that both of these women have similarly strong convictions in what they believe in and found common ground and respect with each other over that shared power and conviction.
4.) You say that Wonder Woman “loves him as both Clark and Superman and sees you as a the equivalent of a greek god!” Hmm. Well that’s not right either. Now, I’m starting to wonder if you actually have trouble reading because whoever created this “humor” piece clearly hasn’t actually read Superman comics. Wonder Woman was not raised as a human like Superman was nor did she work side by side with him in his human identity as Clark Kent. There was a reason why Wonder Woman called Superman, “Kal.” In fact, prior to the reboot, Wonder Woman was rarely ever even involved with Superman’s life as Clark Kent. She rarely spoke to him when he was wearing the glasses or acting as a farmboy. She interacted with him exclusively in hero mode which was only half of his identity. The only woman who interacted with Superman in both of his identities on a regular basis was his wife, Lois Lane. Lois had a relationship with both Clark and Superman. She worked side-by-side with Clark Kent and she served as a voice and a partner for Superman’s message in the community. This doesn’t negate the fact that Superman and Wonder Woman had a beautiful friendship.
You’d also have to really have a misunderstanding of Superman to think that anyone seeing him as a “greek god” would be a compliment. Superman always loved humanity and never thought of himself as being above them. He didn’t wish to be viewed as a god—he wished to be viewed as a “friend.” A woman viewing Clark as a “god’ would be to completely miss the point of who he was.
5.) You claim he wouldn’t have to worry about her “having his back during a fight.” Your definition of “fight” is very narrow. Of course, Batman always has Superman’s back in a physical fight too. Lois Lane always had Superman’s back in ever way it counted. The entire premise of both Superman:Birthright and Superman: Secret Origins (the accepted origin stories for the character prior to the reboot) hinged on Lois’s role as the defender of Superman to the public and his partner and ally spreading his message of hope when others turned away from him. Of course, if you are treating these characters on solely physical terms again then I truly hope you take the time to talk to all the spouses who are in the military and explain to them that their marriages are invalid unless their partner is physically in Iraq and Afghanistan with them at this very moment. My brother is actually there now. I’m happy to provide his wife’s address to you if you’d like to spread that message around the military bases.
6.) Lastly, you celebrate Wonder Woman because she “doesn’t mind wearing a thong bustier all day.” Again, you reduce Wonder Woman to a sex object and degrade her as being more worthy and more valuable based solely on her physical appearance through the male gaze.
Again, as a fan of Wonder Woman, I find your behavior truly shameful and pathetic. The character deserves a much better class of fan. Of course, again, this entire exchange is null and void as Wonder Woman was never actually a love interest for Superman post-crisis. They went on one date and decided on that date that they were not well suited as mates and made much better friends. That friendship was celebrated and reaffirmed many times by both parties over the years. How sad that you feel the need to degrade it now.
The BLINDING sexism and lies present in Lois Lane’s description
1.) You describe Lois here as “bull busting” and “abrasive.” First off, as a professional woman myself in a male dominated job, I don’t find the word “bull busting” the insult that you seem to think it is. It takes a very strong woman to survive in a professional arena where she is outnumbered. It requires incredible inner strength and self-esteem. Of course, both of these terms are heavily GENDERED terms that are thrown at women who assert their power in a male dominated field. They are words use to silence women and shut them down and are words that are at the root of sexism intended to oppress women in difficult situations.
2.) You shun Lois Lane for being a “career gal.” Hmm. Interesting (and by interesting I mean sexist) that you see this as being something to degrade when millions of women across the world always found this so inspiring as we attempted to establish ourselves in jobs and receive equal rights. Are you also under the impression that women shouldn’t receive equal pay? Please keep your binders full of women, Mitt Romney. Womenz are here in the job world and we are here to stay.
You also bash Lois for having “serious paternal issues.” LOL Oh man, there’s some major irony there. Hey remind me….what is going on with Wonder Woman now in the Azzarello book? Cause last time I checked, Wonder Woman now has a daddy and her own host of “daddy issues.” Huh. Interesting. Either way, I’m not sure how it’s relevant as a woman being emotionally abandoned by her father doesn’t prevent her from being capable of entering into a relationship with a man. Just funny that you seem to hold the “daddy issues” against Lois but don’t seem to have a problem with DC giving them to WW.
3.) “Refuses to listen to anyone if they disagree with her.” Again, that’s a startling false generalization not at all based on canon, isn’t it? I can think of dozens of examples right off the top of my head when Lois sought mentorship from Martha Kent and Perry White and was only too happy to listen to their wisdom. I also recall, on more occasions than I can count, Lois Lane listening to the wisdom of her husband, Clark Kent, and ultimately changing her course after he convinced her to try a different route.
4.) You say she “loves Superman but resents Clark.” LOL LOL. Ok, now this one almost isn’t even worth responding to because it’s such a dated, factually incorrect statement at this point. Lois Lane fell in love with Clark Kent before she even knew he was Superman. She agreed to marry him in 1990 before she even knew. She had no problem staying married to him even after he seemingly lost his powers after the crisis. She loved him as both Clark and Superman. That was the whole point. Honestly….if you are going to make insulting, sexist cartoons and try and pass them off as humor it might help if you gave even the faintest suggestion that you had actually read Superman for the last 30 years. Lois Lane always loves the real person. Period.
5.) Lois is described here as “fiery.” Well, no problem there. That’s a compliment. In fact, I seem to recall that Clark himself described Lois that way for years and meant it as a loving compliment and not an insult.
The rest of the description “drama queen” strife into every day things’—-that’s a sexist rant. Those are generalizations hurled at women on a regular basis from men intended to shut them the hell up and put them in their place. It’s just another way of sending women back to the kitchen—-by implying that if they don’t fit into some kind of perfect mold that they are not worth the attention or the effort.
Look, I got news for you. (This shouldn’t be news but clearly it is for you so I’ll use small words.) Marriage is really hard work. Even couples who are madly in love with each other have tough days. Even couples who are madly in love with each other fight. Even couples who are madly in love with each other say the wrong things sometimes and get angry and cry and aren’t their best selves. This is life. This is love. This is the reality of love and marriage and relationships.
Love isn’t a formula. It’s not a check list. It’s not based on sexist descriptors like how “perfect” a woman’s body is or overly generalized statements about her life and work. No woman is so simple that she can be summed up in a two sentence statement on a freaking dating show.
Love is about living and learning and loving a person through it all—-the good, the bad, the awesome, the horrible. It’s about loving someone not in spite of their flaws but because the flaws make them the complex, intense person that they are. Most importantly, it’s about what is INSIDE. It’s not about what is outside. And most of the time…it’s not about what the world sees. It’s about what the two of YOU experience when you are together—-things that other people might not understand. It’s not always pretty. It’s not always perfect. But it’s real.
This was what Lois and Clark had pre-reboot before DC Comics set out to purposefully destroy it. What they had wasn’t perfect because NOTHING in this world is. But it was real. They loved each other not because they were “perfect on paper” and not due to some generalization or anything that you can fit into a blurb on a dating website. The loved each other like millions of other people in this world love each other—-by loving an imperfect person and loving them through it all in the best possible way that you can.
I don’t care what you ship or what you personally like. Your personal preference is your own and you have the right to it. If your personal preference is to ship Superman and Wonder Woman…then that is your right.
But this continued, repeated, gross sexist behavior is damaging to the fandom culture and it’s contributing to a environment in comics that is unwelcoming and insulting to women. Posting something like this on your blog and passing it off as “humor” for the people that follow you is you participating in a culture that degrades and generalizes women in a startling and damaging way. It also does nothing to improve the reputation that your fandom already has in the comics community.
And frankly, as a woman who not only loves Lois Lane but also truly loves Wonder Woman….I find your behavior a disgrace to her message about womanhood and her legacy as an icon. I can’t imagine that any true fan of Wonder Woman would repeatedly behave in such a poor and damaging way. She deserves better and the entire comics community—-a community still raging with sexism and inequality—-deserves better than this behavior. It’s not funny. It’s damaging.