Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Men are from Talos IV, Women are from Metebelis 3

Lord Dingsi had this to rant about over at his live journal, regarding the gender divide and all the feminist thought currently making the rounds on the comic boards:
First, if women were a monolithic block of people with a similar mindset and the same goals and desires, targeting them as a market would be easy, right?
But they aren't. And we should all know that, because even if some of us aren't women ourselves, we still have girlfriends, or sisters, or mothers, or daughters, or female buddies and friends and workmates. They are no friggin' ALIENS, they are LIVING NEXT TO YOU. ON THE SAME PLANET. Stop pretending they were a different species.

"Comics" doesn't mean "genre", it's a medium, and people who love that medium pick the genres -- and the themes and artists and writers -- they like.
And this classic comment followed:
I don't know what's up with this 'the female market!' as though there really is a hive vagina, but I'm kinda sick of it!
Heh, heh. First off, the "hive vagina" phrase had me laughing for a whole minute and half, its such a good term to coin. Secondly, I appreciate the thoughts from Dingsi about the diversity
in the female population, as well as the diversity of their likes and dislikes.

The distinction between the medium and the work in crucial here. Just because you like going to see the movie does not mean that every movie is for you. Just because you like to read a book doesn't mean that the entire bookstore will appeal to you.

I certainly I know that my wife wouldn't be caught dead reading a single superhero comic book in the house, and yet I know a woman who can quote, verbatim, Scarlet Witch dialog from the
wilds of Wundagore Mountain, and clearly neither of them got the email to join the hive vagina. What comics do they like to read? I've yet to find a comic that grabs my wife's attention, period, so clearly the medium doesn't grab everyone, yet she loved Calvin and Hobbes, and we were devoted followers of the first time Shtinky Puddin' got lost in the snow in Mutts all those years ago. So its not the medium, but the work. My friend deeply loves the Avengers and superheroes, and I have no idea which, in any, of the alternative works have caught her attention. Does she like Andi Watson? I think that Breakfast Before Noon is a great work, but I've never asked her whether she's read it.

We are clearly at the growing pain stages of having all this diverse work exist out there, but with spotty distribution, and even spottier availability. Think about it, there is more great work of differing nature than we've every had before. Period. Maus can coexist with Cerebus, Strangers in Paradise, Powers, the Fantastic Four and Stagger Lee quite well thank you, but unfortunately, not everyone has equal access that, just as movie goers in NY and LA have more short run stuff, more art theatres, more access to the films than someone in a small town in Kansas does.

Distribution and availability will determine choices, as well as marketing by the companies, not just Diamond. After all, if you don't know that its out there, you're not going to go look for it. We would have less of discussion of the Hive Vagina if everyone could find work that they liked. Then we could get back to discussing important subjects, like Hulk versus Thor... er... sorry, old habits die hard.

Bonus points for anyone who knows both planets referred to in title of the post.


Steve Flanagan said...

So are you saying that women most closely resemble:

(a) giant spiders;
(b) glowing blue crystals; or
(c) Gareth Hunt in a headband?

Sleestak said...

Women buddies?

inkdestroyedmybrush said...

women are giant spiders that leap onto your back and take over your... er... well, never mind.

the headband is hot, however.