We Made a Wonder Woman Jacket… and Guys Hate It

by Tony B. Kim | Originally posted at Hero Within

On Monday morning we released our summer collection that included our new Wonder Woman Denim Jacket. Out of everything new we are creating this year, this is the one piece I am most excited for. Wonder Woman is FINALLY getting her own live action film after almost 40 years since Linda Carter’s iconic TV version. Fortunately, in the past few years, we have seen more social advocating for equal representation of gender, orientation, and race in our favorite comics, TV, and films. Much has changed. Much has not.

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How Diverse is the Marvel Cinematic Universe? The Movies: Phase One

The Doctor Strange controversy — combined with the push to cast an Asian American actor as the title character Danny Rand aka Iron Fist —  has been buzzing for the last couple months. With the release of the first official trailer for Doctor Strange, Marvel’s next would-be blockbuster movie after Captain America: Civil War, the controversy has reached an all time high. So much so that a Marvel spokesperson gave this statement to Mashable regarding the casting of Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One in Doctor Strange:

Marvel has a very strong record of diversity in its casting of films and regularly departs from stereotypes and source material to bring its MCU to life. The Ancient One is a title that is not exclusively held by any one character, but rather a moniker passed down through time, and in this particular film the embodiment is Celtic. We are very proud to have the enormously talented Tilda Swinton portray this unique and complex character alongside our richly diverse cast.

Is this statement true though? Has Marvel Studios really pushed diversity in their movies? Have they increased the visibility of marginalized peoples in their film franchise or television properties? Has Marvel Studios subverted stereotypes? Enough to supposedly excuse recent controversies surrounding Doctor Strange and Iron Fist?

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White Virgin/Whore of Color: #DaredevilProblems

I wasn’t gonna do this, but in a conversation on twitter, @BlackGirlNerds asked me to expand on what I recently called “Daredevil‘s White Virgin/Whore of Color Complex” and I would hate to disappoint. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not just trying to dump on Daredevs. I still love the first season, and the second season, despite serious problems, is still great television in a lot of ways.

But I hope — on this site especially — I don’t need to go over again why/how problematic representations of POC and women spread like mayonnaise over a beloved television property can be like an all-day, all-you-can-take, face-slapping machine. And Arthur Chu has already shown you the wasabi-infused mayo currently salmonellizing on Daredevil‘s bread.

I’m here to show you the ketchup.

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Ex-Machina Abuses Women to Show that Abuse is Sick

I saw Ex-Machina a few months ago at a special pre-screening here in Los Angeles. Now that it’s out on video, I’m going to jump right in and address some points critics have made against how women — specifically women of color — are treated in the film. I disagree with many of these views and this is why.

Also, SPOILERS — and expletives — ahead. Consider yourself warned.

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Our Toxic Remake Culture: Why Do We Insist on Making the Same Old White-Guy Movies?

Originally posted on Salon.com

Like it or not — despite the many, many hectoring jeremiads by the people who fall on the “not” side of the argument — “remake culture” seems to be here to stay. The most anticipated films of the upcoming year are all adaptations of or sequels to works that are decades old.

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Beyond the Cape: Batgirl and the State of Women in Comics

by CG | Originally posted at Black Girl in Media

[Trigger warning in these posts for mention & discussion of: sexual violence, molestation, rape, and violence against women]

Fiction always reflects the cultural temperature of the times. This could be a good thing, and sometimes be a great thing. But most of the time, it leads to us uncovering not so pleasant parts of our society. Comics have always been an accessible part of that cultural narrative, as their mix of visual and written storytelling have led to them being embraced by fans for decades. Comics and superhero culture are very much at the center of dictating societal norms.

So when we have instances of dictating women’s dress, allowing for female oppression and violence against women for book sales, the issue goes beyond just the individual books or characters in question. It’s about questioning the system that we’ve allowed for this behavior and thinking to flourish enough to reach the success that it has with the comics industry.

This is the state of women in comics.

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People on the Internet Get Things Wrong: Comic Book Cover Edition

by William Evans | Originally posted on Black Nerd Problems

Trigger Warning: Some of the images pulled from comic books depict assault and violence towards women.

DC is celebrating the Joker next month with a plethora of variant covers devoted to him. The Joker, who by definition is a deranged, sinister and disturbed individual is shown on most of these covers the way he’s always been: scaring the shit out of somebody. One specifically that sparked a lot of outrage was where the Joker is cozied up to a frightened Batgirl for her cover. After a lot of people voiced their displeasure with the cover AND RECEIVED THREATS OF VIOLENCE FOR IT, the artist Rafael Albuquerque asked DC to pull the cover. Now of course, there’s the backlash to the backlash as many fans and creators are crying foul and constructing this as an evil feminist argument that ruins everything. Sigh.

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Much Ado About Batgirl

Originally posted at WilliamBruceWest.com

So, usually I’d just let this kind of thing go, or just drop a casual mention of it in West Week Ever, but I was inspired to say more about this particular thing. Last week, DC Comics revealed a variant cover for the upcoming Batgirl #41, which can be seen here:

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Barbarians at the (Gamer)Gate

The latest Hard NOC Life dives headfirst into the internet controversy that is #GamerGate. Joining guest host N’Jaila Rhee (@BlasianBytch) are Jeopardy! champion Arthur Chu (@arthur_affect), from This Week in Blackness Aaron Rand Freeman  (@ANSFreeman), #StopGamerGate2014 creator Veerender Jubbal (@Veeren_Jubbal), and Tanya (@INeedDivGms), creator of the #INeedDiverseGames hashtag.

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Don’t Be Silent! Things You Can Do about GamerGate

by Patrick Miller | Originally posted on Tumblr

I have spoken to a lot of people in the games industry who are frustrated about GamerGate but shaky on the prospect of speaking out themselves; they’re worried about receiving death threats, or drawing unwanted attention to their employer, or just overextending themselves getting involved in an exhausting conversation.

All of these are valid concerns! The problem is that good people being silent on the matter is what enables this to continue; many of the folks who organize under the GamerGate banner (both harassers and non-harassers) genuinely believe that they’re speaking up for the silent majority who share their beliefs but aren’t brave enough to speak out. (Personally, I tend to assume that people are jerks despite their good intentions until proven otherwise; IMO the hard part of being a good person isn’t thinking the right thing, it’s doing the right thing). In other words, silence is interpreted as implicit permission to continue.

So, here’s the thing. Speaking out doesn’t mean you have to wake up every morning and only get out of bed after reading the previous night’s GamerGate stuff for twenty minutes and getting angry. (I will say it’s pretty good at getting me out of bed, though). There are a bunch of different ways that you can make your voice heard, depending on how your personal HP/MP are doing.

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