Today was pretty weird.
At about 2pm this afternoon, I was in the middle of explaining Kafka’s Metamorphosis to a tenth grader of my acquaintance, when suddenly my phone started BLOWING THE FUCK UP. I took a second to look at my phone and saw that I was getting Twitter alert after Twitter alert in response to a tweet by Noelle Stevenson.
I check out her tweet and it’s a screencap of a blog comment calling her a feminazi (sidenote: hey, dudes, if you use the word “feminazi,” literally all you are doing is telling me two things: 1) you don’t know anything about feminists and b) you don’t know anything about Nazis), but also embedded in that comment is an oblique reference to me being really mad about how ladies used and abused my comic book knowledge?
Look, trying to understand this comment with zero context while at the same time answering questions about how Gregor Samsa’s physical condition reflect what was happening to him spiritually was not super easy. (Another sidenote: look, I’m not trying to grammarshame someone or whatever the fuck, but this comment would have been WAY easier to understand if this dude had had less ideas about how women should act and more ideas about where periods should go.)
Anyway, I finally got home about half an hour ago, and I’ve finally read the blog post on which the comment was made, and at last I understand that my name wasn’t pulled out of obscurity at random as an “internet person”; rather, I was mentioned in the post specifically because of my "Batman for the Uninitiated" post.
And so now I know the comment meant this: I would be mad that a woman used my advice on how to get into comics and then complained that it’s hard to get into comics.
If there is any ambiguity on the matter, allow me to clarify:
I do not in any way agree with that shitlord’s opinion.
The VERY REASON I wrote a “Batman for the Uninitiated” post (and a Superman one &c.) is because there are numerous barriers to entry in comics, not only within the continuity itself, but literally in the physical act of walking into a comic store and buying a book, especially if you are a woman. I feel like that is clear in the subtext—if not the text—of the post itself; there’s a reason I try to warn about books that feature sexual violence and talk about the ready availability of digital comics.
I WANT women reading comics. I WANT women making comics. I WANT women starring in comics. If you don’t, you’re a piece of shit, and I’m not sorry for saying that.
(Sidenote: so what if she got into Batman via the Christopher Nolan movies? There are, what—optimistically—500k regular comics readers? The Christopher Nolan movies made LITERAL BILLIONS of dollars. Statistically, they are going to be someone’s introduction to Batman. That’s mathematics, fake nerd.)
If I may borrow from Chris Sims, whose name also got invoked in this discussion: “keep my name out of your mouth, son.”
Don’t make me the arbiter of who’s a fake geek.
Changed my mind. DO make me the arbiter of who’s a real geek and who’s fake.
All right, all you adult women who are just getting into comics and like to cosplay, line up on the left. All you dudes who think these ladies should have to pass some kind of superhero LSAT to wear a cute Batman outfit, line up on the right. Now, everyone who’s a real geek, step forward.
Not so fast, guys on the right.
If you have, as this guy claims, “dedicated a lot of time and money and actual effort to study and dedicate [your]selves to comic books,” and the lesson you took away from a lifetime of Superman, Batman and Spider-Man comics is that it is a cool idea to make someone feel like shit, you don’t know ANYTHING about comic books.