Monday, November 27, 2006

Occasional Superheroine: Valerie D'Orazio

You read superhero comics? You need care about women being as equal human beings? You don't get off thinking about Moulton's Wonder Woman losing her powers when her wrists are bound (wink, wink)? Then you need to read this: Occasional Superheroine

File this under, well, wherever you wish, but horrendous “treatment of a woman” would be suitable key phrase, as would horrible corporate politics, and misogynist as well. Perhaps you could find a hundred different ways to look at this, but should you take the time to read through the posts and see Valerie’s story, it is one of a woman in the comics industry, and it follows the worst possible path that you can think of. It is also, thank god, a survivor’s tale, and brilliantly written, with enough humor to leaven what is almost an unbelievable amount of misfortune, and enough self knowing to acknowledge her own mistakes along the way.

We all are aware that this industry is certainly not bastion of feminism, and, sadly, the Simpson’s comic book guy remains a stereotype that is all too often proven rather than not, but Valerie’s story certainly shows of the inherent sexism in a way that, as a man, I’m aware of but not the victim of.

Valerie uses fake names throughout the piece, but has come public with her own name and so I feel comfortable using it here. She makes many, many salient points on the misogynist origins of many female heroes, and makes a great many points on what the industry could do to improve things. And they’re not all that drastic, but they would involve a rethinking of the "little boys club" mentality that has pervaded the industry for far too long.

Has this had any effect in the offices up at DC? As someone who worked for both Acclaim and DC as a freelancer, I have to imagine that it would be... discussed.

I feel terrible that Valerie had this happen to her, and she deserves our full support as community of readers. That's what I think.


Corgi said...

Thank you for the link to 'Occasional Superheroine'. She's valuable, valuable reading.

inkdestroyedmybrush said...

my pleasure!