My latest piece at the SF Weekly looks at criticisms of the much-lauded Tumblr blog The Hawkeye Initiative on grounds that they’re using femme-phobia or transphobia to mock the distorted images of women in superhero comics. Includes statements from Kitty Stryker and Natalie Reed.
Many of the images themselves play up Hawkeye’s feminized state for laughs; in one, he swoons against Black Widow declaring, “But I’m too fabulous to fight these peasants!” Blogger Ceridwen Alison Troy writes on Girl in Four Colors that some of the images redraw art that was originally neither oversexualized nor ridiculous, deriving their entire satirical content from homophobic or femme-phobic assumptions. She gives as one example which substitutes Hawkeye for Catwoman, locked in a passionate kiss with Batman. “A lot of the posts are okay-to-good,” she writes. “But there are a LOT of examples like this. And examples like these send the message loud and clear: Femininity is something to be mocked.”
Stryker sees that in the responses to the Initiative as well. She might see certain pictures as hot, but many other people instantly peg them as hilarious. “Here’s what I think it comes down to,” she says. “You know why it’s funny? Because femme is funny. We think femme is ridiculous. So it doesn’t matter whether it’s a man performing femininity or a woman, we will humiliate them in the same way.”
So. All those happy lesbian or gay couples who were going to get married AT a Chick-fil-A — and have Chick-fil-A do the catering too — I’m thinking that plan will be changing.
From an online forum that I frequent.