411 Mania lists 8 examples of "rape culture" in comics
As much as we like to think we have come some so far as a society –see Hilary Clinton’s Presidential nomination this past week– when you take a look at some of the comic industry’s stories, it highlights something alarming that remains within it: rape culture.Is the writer of this piece aware of Clinton's past career as a lawyer, when she defended a child rapist who was knowingly guilty? Plus, there's her husband's past misdeeds she apparently ignored to consider. How can we be coming far as a society when such awful incidents are swept under the rug and minimized?
Today, rape is still being used as a trope to advance a storyline or give a (male) hero motivation to seek justice or vengeance. There are very really repercussions from this terrible, mental as much physical. Some writers have tastefully explored this dynamic. It’s not truly their fault, as patriarchy makes the largely male dominated field blind to the true horrors of this vile act. [...]Yes, some writers have. There was even a story in the 1987-90 series of The Question involving a rape that was written well without making light of the subject. But there's others where it's been handled very, VERY badly, Identity Crisis being a standout example, and the worst part is that some of these stories involved fetishizing. But it's idiotic to think only men could possibly be blind to the horrors. Even women are capable of making light of a serious issue (again, let's ponder Hilary Clinton's ignorance), and the DC editor Jann Jones is one person who certainly did.
Now, if there's any example on the list here I'd like to comment about, it's what the writer says about Identity Crisis:
Why It Made the List: When people speak of violence against women being used to motivate a male protagonist, they can look to this story as exhibit A. It’s an excellent story that reveals dark secrets within the pristine Justice League. However, the treatment of Sue Dibny is atrocious. She is murdered to spark the entire six-issue story and then it is revealed that Dr. Light raped her at the Justice League Watchtower. Not satisfied with just simply sending him to jail, the League and Zatanna neuter his mind as punishment for his actions, so the rapist gets to have all memories of his action erased. Wow!Now he's correct that the treatment of Elongated Man's wife is disgusting. Biggest, grossest error: it fetishizes the anal rape, depicting it from an almost 1st-person viewpoint, as though the reader was meant to join in, which is truly offensive. But "excellent"? What's so excellent about depicting a superhero team covering up a serious felony? All that does is make them look more like childish cowards than need be. And erasing his mind is hardly a punishment, because he otherwise went free. The description is actually rather absurd. If they'd really wanted to do justice, they'd storm the airwaves on TV and radio letting know what Dr. Light did to Sue, and even supervillains could shun him. Covering up the crime only makes them look monumentally stupid. Nobody's saying superheroes shouldn't be depicted with flaws, moral or otherwise, but to make them look so ridiculous in their approach to a serious issue crosses a line.
Furthermore, anybody who read the New Teen Titans/Outsiders crossover of 1983 would know that, at the time, the Fearsome Five turned against him and Psimon's formidable powers are what instilled any fear inside of Arthur Light. The whole claim that Zatanna and the Justice League were at fault is pure hogwash. And worst of all is how the IC miniseries avoided serious focus on the issue altogether, reducing Dibny, as plenty have noted before, to a plot device.
The topic of cheap sensationalism in comicdom is certainly important, but if the writer's excusing Bill and Hilary Clinton's own disturbing activities in the past, then his own argument may not have much impact to begin with, ditto if he thinks a story replete with a blame-America metaphor is "excellent" in any way.