Forums Forums Main Forum Gender-Reading Bias in Comic Books? Reply To: Gender-Reading Bias in Comic Books?

  • redheadeded

    July 11, 2021 at 9:25 am
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    I am similar to @MisterAnderSiN in this case. I rarely look at the sex/gender of a writer, artist, or creator until after I have read the book, but I am familiar with ‘guys’ who don’t think that content created by women has anything to offer or interest them. I haven’t experianced the reverse with women.

    I have challenaged this notion before, when it comes up in conversation. The guys in question usually respond “it’s not FOR me”. This belief is most often based on a single biased experiance where they where instructed to read or take in content about “women’s issues” or a “woman’s perspective” that was unpleasent or uncomfortable to them and as a result they refused to consume similar content again. This is faulty logic of course because not all women write only a woman’s perspective, and as more than half the people, on this planet at least, are women, it is unlikely we all have one or even the same ‘perspective’ on all things, saying nothing about the many women who can and do write stories about both sexes with many ideas and stories explored. Or the idea that they can’t consume content that isn’t expressly created ‘for them’.

    I think if you are serious about reading comics the gender of the author or artist shouldn’t interest you as much as the work they produce. That’s just my opinion. But it is an interesting issue to notice. Do we all see content as gendered? Either by the creator or by the content of the story?

    As a girl I was often told I wasn’t allow to read certain comics as a kid because “they were for boys”. I was ‘allowed’ to read Archie, and maybe Casper the Friendly Ghost, at the same time my brother was allowed to read Superman, X-men, Watchmen, and Maus. Looking back now, I can’t help but see the disparity in complex storylines, and metophical themes that were examined in “boy comics” vs, the simple misunderstandings in the wholesome “family” comics I was allow to read. My brother was only a year older than me, and was not restricted in the same way. We couldn’t ‘trade’ comics because I understood quickly to ask the question “Why would he want to read Betty and Veronica?” And the answer was simple, he wouldn’t. It didn’t interest him. My comics were seen in my house as “less than”. But any other ‘Romance comics’ or comics for girls were pratically non-exsistent. Let’s not even dive into the fact that “romance” was seen as a girls only comic, but Superhero and other ‘boy’ comics are litered with relationship experiances that are not seen as ‘romantic’ and there for somehow more masculine and appropreiate for male readers. In newstands they were overlooked and under represented because “girls don’t read comics as much as boys” and “Boys don’t read romance comics”… there is a lot to unpack in this subject matter. Not even getting into the fact that in my house it was always implied they were all for children anyway, but that’s a converstaion for another thread another time. Getting back to the topic at hand, let’s face it in the 1980’s gender was a highly profitable marketing construct. Even Howard Chaykin said go back and read the romance comics there is some dam good work there, in our Talent Talk, and I didn’t see a single person who could agree with him, because it seemed like none of us had ever read them?

    So I guess my question to the Men and boys and the Women and girls on this forum is
    – Do you read “girl” comics?
    – Do you differenciate between what content is written for each gender?
    – Does the sex and gender of the creator or the protaganist of the story deteremine if you are interested in the content of the story?
    – As any gender do you restrict your reading to only those books that you personally identify with?
    – Do you create comics with the idea that only one gender could/would/should enjoy?

    Thanks for the thoughts @buddyscalera

    D. Alley, the Redheadeded.