Unsatisfying article about women in writing
now women are finally breaking into the boys' comics club.Except that women actually did get into the club years ago. Louise Simonson is one woman who'd gotten into writing years before, and Ann Nocenti was an editor and a writer, having once written a couple issues of Spider-Woman and quite a bit of Daredevil. According to this file at Anime Research, there have been women working in manga early as the late 1950s. And Karen Berger was one of the most prominent editors at DC during the 1980s.
For Wonder Woman to have a female scribe (Gail Simone) is certainly new, but women in the industry as a whole is not. Stateside, there have been women involved in comics writing and editing as early as the 1970s, including those that I mentioned.
Traditionally, comics have been by, for and about men. DC Comics won't release reader demographics, but industry insiders agree the readership remains overwhelmingly male.Funny thing about this line is that it signals their embarrassment in letting anybody know just how low their audience as a whole really is.
But it's the last part here where Newsweek's reporter - or Gail Simone - really blows:
But other writers embrace the constraints of traditional comics—or are working to enact change within the genre. Simone, "Wonder Woman's" new scribe, got her start when she published a blog titled Women in Refrigerators that argued that most female comics superheroes end up "depowered, raped, or cut up and stuck in the refrigerator." The blog led to a writing job for the all-female comic "Birds of Prey" for DC—which became a short-lived, live-action TV series—and in turn won her the "Wonder Woman" job. Simone says she sees a change since she wrote her "refrigerator" rant 10 years ago. "At that time, the trend was towards grim stories where female characters were killed," she says. "We only had a handful of female characters to look up to. Today we're not seeing those stories so much."First, WIR is not a blog, it's a site! But it's Simone who really lets down here by apologizing and obscuring even the most recent acts implemented by the very company she's working for, such as the death of Big Barda in Death of the New Gods, where she went down without even a fight, and which, for an "event" miniseries sure isn't burning up the charts. In fact, it's sold even less than Amazons Attack, which gets no mention here either. In fact, even Spider-Man's One More Day could also count on the list. And what about Identity Crisis, War Games, and Avengers: Disassembled? Those weren't standout examples of grim stories where women were either killed, or subjected to fates worse than death?
That's one of the problems here: rather than to write a longer article in which they quote an expert on the really meaty issues of sexism in scriptwriting, and give readers a clearer insight, they quote someone who's otherwise obscuring any examples still prevailing. Another problem is the sensationalistic title, "Holy Hot Flash, Batman!" Not a very good way to prove that they're going to discuss anything here seriously.
Update: after a bit of thought, and contemplating Tamora Pierce's argument in the comments, I've come to realize that Simone's line may have been taken out of context, if anything. I'm not letting Simone off the hook any more than any other writer whom I feel doesn't have a serious grass-roots standing, but it most certainly would be just like Newsweek to pull a trick like that.