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    Offensive Comic Book T-Shirts?

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    Paeter
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    Offensive Comic Book T-Shirts?

    Post  Paeter on October 2nd 2014, 10:40 am

    Okay, I don't get a lot of this.

    https://www.yahoo.com/style/sexist-superhero-t-shirts-cause-controvery-98910258588.html

    Okay, I mean I GET it. I understand what they are saying, and in some cases I would agree. But in many of these T-Shirts I don't see a problem.

    "I'm Training To Be Batman's Wife" could be a young teen girl's way of expressing that she doesn't plan to settle for anything less than a "real man" (for which "Batman" is the stand-in representative icon). Or just the expression of a geeky girl's silly fantasy crush. That's how I took it. There is certainly a time I would have worn a shirt that says "I'm training To Marry Wonder Woman". Can girls not dream of having a spouse who can sweep them off their feet and "rescue" them?

    The Superman Kissing Wonder Woman shirt is pretty shallow, I'll give you that. It hurts the integrity of both characters. (Though DC is already doing a fine job of that without these shirts.)

    Again, the "I Only Date Heroes" could be another expression of a girl's desire to call potential suitors up to being something greater than what they naturally are by instinct. Again, that's how I read it. As a challenge to boys who may be eye-balling her. Can girls not ask their potential mates to be real men, who strive to be the ideal on her behalf?

    The Avengers "Be A Hero" vs "I Need A Hero" boys and girls shirts maybe brings out more of the central issue, which is the comparison of the messages for boys and girls on these matching sets of clothes. Personally, I still don't see a problem with the "I Need A Hero" shirt, but it would be good for the girls to ALSO have a "Be A Hero" shirt. And though I don't think America can handle it in her obsession with self-reliance, I'd ALSO like a boys/men's shirt that says "I Need A Hero", because we do. We all need a hero. Humanity at large just hasn't acknowledged that yet.

    I don't want women to be trampled on, undervalued or overlooked, but I'm wondering if this is a case of people being too quick to anger, assuming the worst possible interpretation of the motive and intended meaning of these shirts.

    Proverns 11:27- Whoever diligently seeks good seeks favor,
    but evil comes to him who searches for it.

    Proverbs 12:16- The vexation of a fool is known at once,
    but the prudent ignores an insult.

    Proverbs 19:11- Good sense makes one slow to anger,
    and it is his glory to overlook an offense.


    Any thoughts? How do these shirts strike you?



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    mindspike
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    Re: Offensive Comic Book T-Shirts?

    Post  mindspike on October 4th 2014, 11:01 pm

    I saw these, and have a couple of responses:

    1) Superman scores.
    Offensive? I'm offended at pretty much everything they've done with the characters post New 52.

    2) Batman's wife.
    The same people screaming about this would be cheering it if the exact same shirt were marketed to boys. And I would totally wear a shirt reading "Training to be Supergirl's boyfriend." On second thought, at my age that's decidedly creepy. Point stands.

    3) Haters gonna hate.
    I've studied the feminist movement for years. The current generation screaming about sexism and discrimination has no idea what they're on about. Doris Lessing would be proud to see a fandom for girls that emphasized their difference from male fandom, especially as the object of male attention. People get fixated on male physical strength as an indicator of superiority without understanding that control of that strength belongs not to the owner but to the person upon whom the owner fixes his attention. There's a reason that "Frankenstein" is the preeminent feminist literary text.

    4) Genesis 3:16


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    Re: Offensive Comic Book T-Shirts?

    Post  Battlemech37 on October 11th 2014, 9:32 pm

    I bet whoever designed these shirts is pretty happy about the controversy, as it will help sell them more shirts.

    These days, I think being offended has developed into a kind of career path for a lot of people. It not only gets them a lot of attention, but sometimes even makes them money.

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    Re: Offensive Comic Book T-Shirts?

    Post  Battlemech37 on October 11th 2014, 9:36 pm

    Also, this certainly isn't the first time Superman and Wonder Woman have kissed. I think they were kissing as far back as 1969.

    Check out this interesting article on the Many Kisses of Superman and Wonder Woman.

    http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=40724

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    Re: Offensive Comic Book T-Shirts?

    Post  ComiKate on October 21st 2014, 3:57 pm

    Well, I'm not quick to feel offended, especially not about decidedly lame t-shirts, but to answer Paeter's question: the Batman's wife training thing? That really cannot be anything I would ever encourage any young woman to wear. Same goes for I need a hero.

    First let me stress: I am NOT a feminist. I love, admire and respect God's design and creation of men and I love how men reflect distinct aspects of the Lord Himself. And yes, that includes strength, honour, protecting, providing, the ultimate loving sacrifice of self and the total acceptance and forgiveness of a very fallible and imperfect bride.

    All that being said, I would still say no to those shirts. Why would I be training to be anybody's wife? Unless it's meant purely in a fitness/sportive sense, you know, to fit into my bridal dress which, apparently, I would have bought too small? scratch But I'm taking the word training here to be broader, to include character, fitness, martial arts, detective skills etc. And then it would truly be ridiculous. For then Batman would apparently only marry me if I became Robin, or, maybe, Batwoman. Why? Why should I need to train to become adept at my husband's profession? Let's all make our own career choices and marry eachother anyway shall we.
    That is also the difference with a male version of this shirt: training to become wonder woman's husband would clearly mean fitness, to gain the physical prowess you would need to win her hand. Again, big difference.

    As for the I need a hero.
    Yes, of course we all need a hero if you take 'hero' to mean the Messiah, like Paeter said. But I think no one would read it to refer to our personal Saviour if a young woman wore such a shirt. Almost everyone would read that to refer to a man.
    And yes, of course a girl can long for her hero to save her (we all do, including me: I'm still dreaming of a knight in shining armor coming for me). But then the shirt should perhaps read something else, like Looking for my hero. Or Have you seen my hero? Or maybe: I'm dreaming of my hero (yuk, tacky). Or Waiting for my hero and getting on with my life in the meantime. Or even, if it must be, I need my hero.
    But not I need A hero. I'm sorry, but that just won't do, not for me, nor would I encourage young women to wear that. It sounds weak and helpless, and even if that is what I am, why, WHY, would I wear that on my own shirt? What, would it hang in my closet next to the I'm sinful, I want a friend and I'm broke shirts? So yeah, even though I'm definitely no feminist, I do think that this shirt is not very female-friendly.

    And I don't care what alternate versions men would or would not wear on their shirts, for it will always be read differently simply because they are male. It just will be, it's how the world works, at least in this life.

    So, those were my, admittedly very measly, two cents.
    Your turn! clown

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    Re: Offensive Comic Book T-Shirts?

    Post  Paeter on October 21st 2014, 5:51 pm

    ComiKate wrote: training to become wonder woman's husband would clearly mean fitness, to gain the physical prowess you would need to win her hand. Again, big difference.

    If I would have worn that shirt in college (and before meeting Holly I TOTALLY would have), I wouldn't have had any specific kind of training in mind. To my mind it would just mean "I'll do or be whatever I have to to marry Wonder Woman!!!" Of course that's ridiculous, but that would strike me as the purpose of the shirt. To express a ridiculous degree of fandom.

    ComiKate wrote:
    But then the shirt should perhaps read something else, like Looking for my hero. Or Have you seen my hero? Or maybe: I'm dreaming of my hero (yuk, tacky). Or Waiting for my hero and getting on with my life in the meantime. Or even, if it must be, I need my hero.
    But not I need A hero.

    Thanks for pointing this out. I think you've hit on a distinction here. "My" makes a much better shirt than "A".

    Maybe the take-away for the folks who made these shirts is to choose their words more carefully. They may have not, in every case, had a chauvenistic(sp?) worldview they were expressing, but their imprecise words at the very least left the door wide open for the material to be interpreted that way.


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    Re: Offensive Comic Book T-Shirts?

    Post  mindspike on October 22nd 2014, 12:32 pm

    Thanks for sharing that perspective, ComiKate. It's clear that we are coming to this material from different angles, but I think I see something in common and I think it stems from the way all of us are hardwired.

    We both consider these T-shirts to be directed at us.

    You seem to be saying that these shirts reflect upon your own ability.
    1) "Batman's wife" implies that you must become like your prospective husband.
    2) "I need a hero" implies that you are unable to be strong on your own.
    That's my read, and I apologize if I'm getting it wrong.

    When I look at these shirts I see something different. I see a woman sending me a message.
    1) "Batman's wife" tells me that unless I measure up to Batman, I'm not good enough for her.
    2) "I need a hero" tells me that unless I am a hero, I'm not good enough for her.
    To me, these shirts don't demean a woman who wears them, they inform the men around her of the standards to which she aspires.

    I would buy either of these shirts for my daughter, because not only do they reflect her expectations of those around her, but they reflect her attitude towards me. Her perspective of what it means to be a husband and father come directly from her observations of my behavior. If she sets the standard of superhero for the boys in her life, it's because she sees me treating her mother that way.

    I don't think these shirts were created with the intent to sell through controversy. I think they were designed by a male fandom for women because that's the shirt they would want their girlfriend to wear. After all, if my wife is wearing one of these and she is walking on my arm what does that say about me? I do want to be hero. I do want to be Batman.


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