I said I wasn’t going to comment more on the DC reboot, but when I was pointed to this by a friend, I couldn’t not repost it.
Ever since I heard that Barbara Gordon would be suiting up as Batgirl again, I have been having a difficult time with that premise. So, I started reading the Boards, and have been pretty dismayed by what I have seen. I decided that I should write this up, since it can give you all a slightly “different” perspective.
15 years ago, I was in a car accident which left me unable to walk. Before the accident, I was a die hard athlete (worked out about 2 hours a day, got into college on an athletic scholarship, etc.). Afterwards, I couldn’t even stand up on my own. It was not an easy time for me, and it was something which is really very isolating (honestly, I hope no one on these boards ever has to know what that feels like).
Now, I had always been sort of an “on-again-off-again” comic book reader, so I knew a little bit about what happened to Barbara Gordon. However, after I was hurt I started to read all of the stories concerning her. It was amazing, there was actually a character out there that knew something of what I was going through. I always like Batgirl, but here was a character I could relate to; it was someone who couldn’t be what they were, but made themselves into someone else. At that time, I needed someone like that, and I became a huge Oracle fan. The character helped me move past a lot of the grief and sadness, and helped me move on with my life. So, I religiously bought all of the books she was in (and moved ahead with my life too).
When I heard that Barbara was going to be Batgirl again, I wasn’t totally surprised. After all, these are fictional characters, and I knew that it was bound to happen sooner or later. However, I was almost heartbroken to hear people on these boards say Batgirl was “better” than Oracle, or that they “missed” Barbara Gordon as Batgirl.
I know it wasn’t intentional, but I got the message from all of you that “old me” is somehow better than “new me” (in fact, some of you reading this may be heartbroken because you sent me that message - I know you are all good people). Believe me, I get it. There isn’t a day that goes by which I don’t “miss” being able to go jogging, and in some of those harder moments I do believe that the old me who could walk is somehow “better” than the one who really can’t. But unlike the comic books, I don’t get a reset button or a retcon. I get to know that in 5 years, my situation will not change.
So, I have decided that its time for me to be done with DC comics. I have canceled all of my standing book orders, and will probably stop acquiring new comic books (it feels like a good end point for me). I really hope the new Batgirl is amazing (I love Gail, I know she will do a good job). But I just can’t buy these new books - It hits too close to home for me.
I just want to that all of the writers, artists, editors, and even the other fans of DC comics for giving me such an inspirational character and helping me become something other than who I was. I wish you all nothing but the best.
So, because I’m a sucker for emotional self-abuse, here are some questions. Please reblog this with your answers.
Would you consider a romantic relationship with a trans* woman? How about a trans* man or non-binary? Why or why not?
What is your gender identity and/or expression? How does that relate to your potential attraction to a woman or other gender who is trans*?
How do you relate or react to my statements above?
1. No, the question is: would I consider a romantic relationship with a cis woman?
(In theory I would, but I’m not really looking in that direction right now, so she’d probably have to initiate at the very least.)
2. In some ways my preference for trans women does come from being a trans woman myself. I love knowing that I won’t have to do 101 in bed, that it’s less likely that a partner will give me a hard time about my body, and that it’s less likely that my being trans is an issue. And seeing firsthand how amazingly beautiful someone else’s trans body is cuts through all my internalized cissexism like a hot knife through butter and makes a space where I can feel beautiful and sexy and entirely comfortable in my own (wonderful) body.
But also, trans women are just hot. The end.
3. I definitely understand the need for validation from a cis woman. I actively try to not look for any sort of validation from a cis person, but of course I feel that too sometimes. In a society that tells us that cis people’s opinions are the only ones that matter, how can anyone not take a little of the poison in? I think we all make our own compromises with our internalized prejudices where we have to, and if that’s one you need to make right now, that’s legit.
And of course I sympathize with your anxieties about the difficulties of cis/trans relationships (as you might have guessed from the fact that half of my answer to #2 was a list of things that seem like too much trouble to deal with).
But most of all I think that things are going to be fine, even if it doesn’t always seem that way now: regardless of where you set the boundaries of your dating pool, you’re a smart, beautiful, charismatic woman, and it’s only a matter of time before someone you’re into who’ll treat you the way you deserve to be treated notices that. :)
I think the reason I most dislike the DC reboot putting all the women in pants is that it seems like DC thinks that’s all it takes to eliminate sexism in comics. It seems they think the equation is “Women - pants = sexist, therefor women + pants = not sexist.” I don’t know if that’s their actual mindset, but that’s how it looks to me. And while it is (kind of) a step in the right direction towards being more sympathetic to women comics reader’s tastes, getting rid of misogyny is not as simple as adding pants. It’s so not that simple, and I’m worried DC is patting themselves on the back like they just completely fixed the problem. I’m worried DC is going to see all the complaints from readers about the pants and think “God, they’re so nitpicky. We give them what they want and they still complain!”
Hire more women writers. Hire more women artists. Have more female characters, with more interesting plotlines and fewer refrigerators. Put some support behind your female characters. Make a goddamn Wonder Woman movie. Make a movie with a female in it who isn’t a superhero’s girlfriend at the very least. Make more comics like Batwoman. Make more female characters of color. Court female dollars. I want to eat some goddamn Hostess snacks with a chick on the box. I’ll shut up when my mouth is full of officially licensed Batwoman snack cakes.
I want Batwoman snack cakes right now, please and thank you