Why It Still Matters

I’m not gonna talk about the Mary Jane Watson Parker Comiquette statue. Honestly, everything that can be said about it has, at this point. But I am gonna talk about Occasional Superheroine’s oh-so-novel suggestions in response to that discussion:
I mean, the MJ and Stephanie and Power Girl discussions, they’re a good start. It’s like school. Graduate from school, and apply all that passion and sense of social justice towards something in our reality. You can still discuss Power Girl. But break it up a little bit. Maybe devote 50% of your bandwith to Stephanie getting her trophy case, and 50% to Afghan women setting themselves on fire because their lives are so damn miserable. Or maybe 75% Stephanie, 25% Russian sex slaves. Or maybe two pages of posts on ‘Fangirls Attack’ on MJ, one page on domestic violence in Canada. Maybe I’ll stop being such a self-absorbed snarky blogger myself. You don’t think I read about the real st that goes on in this world and feel like a jackass sometimes for the stupid fangirl st I write about?
I don’t think Occasional Supeheroine is dumb, so I have to assume that she knows it’s not as simple as she’s making it look. First of all, anyone who doesn’t live in a box can recognize that there’s a relationship between the portrayal of women in media and the treatment of women in real life. And she is technically correct: Stephanie’s trophy case and MJ’s egregiously awful statue aren’t nearly as important as the lives, rights, and dignity of real women. If I had to choose one and only one to agitate about, the choice would be simple.
But it’s not a matter of either/or. If I canvass for reproductive rights, it doesn’t mean that I am no longer allowed to write to my senator in support of same-sex marriage, or volunteer at a rape crisis center. My Feminist Majority, ACLU, Friends of Lulu, and Apostrophe Protection Society memberships do not cancel each other out.
Maybe I find Occasional Superheroine’s comments so damn offensive because I’ve just finished a month of columns that are all about the intersections between comics and other feminist issues. Maybe it’s because when it comes down to it, Inside Out is all about the intersections between comics and real life. Maybe it’s because I know that many feminist comics bloggers are publicly active in feminism outside of comics, and that Girl-Wonder devotes one of its five main boards to discussion of ‘real world’ feminism and gender issues. Or maybe it’s the hours I spent researching and compiling information for our Sexual Assault Awareness Month resource page. Maybe it’s because I find comparing the validity of activist movements kind of offputting in itself, like comparing types of abuse on a linear scale.
Should feminist comics bloggers and columnistsmany of whom write for multiple blogs and sites, on a range of issuesbe vilified because of compartmentalization, the choice to have a column or a site specifically devoted to feminism and women in comics rather than more general and pressing ‘real-world’ issues? Occasional Superheroine seems to think so. I don’t.
If you want me, I’ll be in the comic-book shop, dancing with Emma Goldman. You can join our revolution any time.
Come dance with me.
Edited to add:
This is not, not, not an invitation to go flame Occasional Superheroine. While I’m still angry about what she said, I also recognize that there’s some merit to it, and that she also had the right to be pissed. If you feel like you have something useful to add to the conversation, do so. If not, keep your vitriol off the webthere’s already more than enough to go around.