Don't hate the fandom, hate the fans.
I love comics, but some days I truly hate comics fans. Today I read about Janelle Asselin’s recent harassment on Twitter, so it’s definitely one of those days.
In case you missed it, Asselin wrote a critique online about how she found the cover for the relaunch of Teen Titans #1 offensive because Wonder Girl, a 16-17 year old character, is depicted as having Playmate proportions. Folks on the internet – including at least one DC Comics staffer – didn’t like that, and discussed the matter with her in a calm, reasoned, open dialog.
Ha! Just kidding. What actually happened was people called her stupid, attacked her credentials, dropped the old “fake geek girl” meme, and threatened to rape her. Then they cried out about how their rights to expression where being infringed upon whenever anyone tried to point out how they were being terrible human beings. Because the internet.
Seriously. There are people in this world who will threaten people with sexual assault because they disagree with their opinions on comic book boobs. This is why the universe keeps lobbing asteroids at our planet, people.
Not every comic book fan (whether male, female, or those who identify non-binary) is like this, of course, nor are these sorts of overly entitled, persecution complex-possessing, mouth breathing Men’s Rights Activist types limited just to our particular tribe. But ours seem so much more exclusionary and desperate to maintain some misguided view of a hierarchy in which they maintain some sort of power, and even the slightest perceived threat to that tiny existence of theirs sends them into apoplectic fits. It’s tiresome. It’s loathsome. And most of all, it’s embarrassing.
Nerds of a certain stripe like to rail against the things in society that they feel are keeping them down. Jocks. Girls. Pop cultural depictions of nerdy types like Steve Urkel or the guys from The Big Bang Theory. Well, if you’re one of the people who falls into this particular group, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Ledge Riprock, captain of your high school football team, isn’t the real problem. Sally Jenkins, the girl who laughed when you asked her to prom, isn’t the real problem. Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, and Raj aren’t the real problem.
You don’t get to complain about a lack of acceptance when you go out of your way to not accept anyone, set impossible barriers to keep them from entering “the club,” or threaten someone solely because their opinion differs from yours. You don’t want to let anyone into the kingdom? Fine. I can tell you with certainty that no one wants into your hateful, awful little kingdom anyway. Enjoy that palace you’re building around yourself; it’s going to be lonely.
You get the community you deserve. Don’t try and drag the rest of us down with you. If you have issues with how the rest of the world sees and presents you, it’s because you’re out there embodying the very worst traits possible. You hate yourselves, and we hate being associated with you. Smarten up, or get the hell away from the rest of us, because you’re trying to drag the rest of us down with you and we won’t have it.
You think you’re ostracized now? Brother, you don’t know the meaning of the word.