Tagged: Feminism

Marc Alan Fishman and the Rise of the Meninists

Meninist: A (satirical) belief showing the hypocrisy of first world feminism by flipping the sexes and complaining about men’s rights in a similar way to what first world feminists do.

Tip of the hat to ComicMix’s Adriane Nash for introducing me to the term via her always well-observed, vitriolic Facebook posts where she often denotes an active war being fought against stupidity – not just against meninists, but idiots from all genders and persuasions. And a polite nod to my comic book compatriot Danny Limor for the inspiration this week.

Is there something in the water these days? With DC finally enjoying both fan praise and box office dollars with the release of Wonder Woman, there’s been a definitive rise in the empowerment of women – if not in actual practice certainly at least via mentions and discussions on all the social feeds I frequent. And everyone is rightfully justified in the celebration of women. Wonder Woman was a phenomenal accomplishment – not because it is a well-written movie that is helmed stem to stern by a woman, but because it was finally a DC release that didn’t rely solely on gritty destruction and seething angst. It was a celebration of compassion and love – two concepts missing from anything else produced by the studio to date.

In our post-modern world, what is loved must also be reviled by the counter-masses. Hence the coined term at the beginning of this article. My feed has been popped here and there with “WTF” posts linking to articles that complain about Gal Gadot’s minuscule paycheck, screeds that posit Warner Bros installed some kind of glass ceiling to prevent the movie from succeeding, to backlash for having the utter gall to offer a presser of the movie to just women. It’s enough to drive me to carve out my Y chromosome in disgust.

Wonder Woman aside, the meninist agenda even crept its way into professional wrestling. At the Money In the Bank pay-per-view not a week back, a history-making titular ladder match specifically booked with just female performers was won by a man. The goal, clearly, to elicit heel heat – unabashed anger against the villains – but transparent enough to be unaccepted by smart fans. It was evident from the finish of the match that Vince McMahon’s creative team sought to be protective of their female talent, but in doing so missed the very point they celebrated with a video package pre-match! To have specifically called out that this was the first time the Money In the Bank Ladder match would have all female participants… only to cause the victor (The Queen of Staten Island, Carmella) to claim her prize by way of a male manager, reduces history to something fans will pray for retconning.

For those following along, the WWE heard the backlash loud and clear and stripped their superstar of her newly-acquired briefcase of doom. But much like the butthurt bloggers denied access to the all-lady Wonder Woman screening, it comes as too little, too late.

So, what gives? For every victory, there is defeat. Perhaps it’s a sign of the times, but seemingly everyone these days feels compelled to take a side – creating these now more vocal outliers who decry things that need no opposition. Wonder Woman was fantastic. The WWE’s female divisions – that’s right they have enough talent to field no fewer than three decent rosters full of femmes fatale – have literally never been more capable and captivating. To see a group of men who actively shun these things puts a knot in my stomach right next to the one formed by Trump supporters.

Women writ-large face a tougher time garnering the same riches (be it fame, fortune, or good old-fashioned respect). It’s a proven fact. One so well documented, I need not even provide you with an errant Google link’s worth of response. It doesn’t matter to a select few idiots, who thanks to the internet whose voice now carries louder and larger than ever necessary.

To proclaim the victories of women as an unbalancing is as absurd as electing a four-time bankruptee to the highest position of governing…

Nevermind. This is why we can’t have nice things, my fellow nerds.

Mike Gold: Breasts & Politics & Comics, Oh My!

Diary of a FemenTime to hurl a hand grenade.

Some portions of the modern American feminist movement – which is not and has never been a monolithic force – conflate sex with sexism. Others in this movement think they are two different things. To me, it’s all about choice and, as Margo St. James said, “call off your old tired ethics.” At the very least, stop telling consenting adults what they can and cannot do with their own bodies, lest you be thought of as a Republican.

For those still with me, I’d like to bring to your attention a graphic novel published in Europe two years ago but just made available digitally by Europe Comics called Diary Of A Femen, by artist Séverine Lefebvre and writer Michel Dufranne. Europe Comics describes the story as “A fascinating album (we call ‘em graphic novels out here in Americanland) that helps us understand the inner workings of the controversial feminist organization… Five female characters combating stereotypes.” The story is based upon the real and controversial Femen movement(s) and the creators’ involvement with some movement members.

And, check this out, boys! It’s got naked titties! Whereas that might alienate some of its potential readership here in the States, I maintain that breasts are not inherently sexist and, hey, maybe those boys will learn some important stuff. I know I did, and I’ve been a fellow traveler with the feminist movement for, gasp, about a half-century.

Sverine Lefebvre

Sverine Lefebvre

Diary Of A Femen is about a young woman named Apolline, and it is her story. It is not the story of the movement and certainly not of feminism in general: this is a story about a real woman who endures the real travails of life. As such, the first 12 story pages detail the routine life of a young, attractive woman and, despite all outward appearances, that routine is pretty dreadful. If you’ve never fully understood the day-to-day meaning of being a sex object – being objectified by people (notice I didn’t say “men”) who are so accustomed to the societal perception of women that they don’t understand how they’re at fault. Apolline has a routinely bad day, but this time she decides to check out an organization that purports to change that.

Their mission has real meaning to Apolline, filling a hole in her life she knew was always there but hadn’t done anything about – as of yet. Joining a Femen meeting to see what it’s all about, she is warned that by becoming an activist she will take on the very, very real risks of losing her job, her friends, her family and, possibly, her freedom. She takes on these risks and goes through the intensive training one must go through to be a functioning street activist. She then joins the group for public protest… and that is where the proverbial shit hits the fan.

Apolline comes off very, very real, and what happens to her and the decisions she makes are equally real. So is the activist training, planning and risk-taking; I found that to be surprisingly accurate. And her story might not end the way you expect.

This is a very worthy book that tells a fascinating story in profoundly professional terms. So call off your old tired ethics, buy Diary Of A Femen, download it onto your computer or tablet, and read it with the intention of learning something. You will.

And yes, kids. It’s in English.