A Rant Against the Dual Nature of Marketing Towards Men and Women

In which our own RQ riffs off my Fifty Shades of Fucking Abuse post. (say something about the gender binary) The floor is hers:

I got to thinking about your post during the day, and on what it means regarding who is reading what, and what kind of reading is marketed to whom. Especially romance and/or sex-related stuff, or, hell, just books that might have sex in them somewhere.

Because all those tired housewives? What’s marketed to them? Insipid romance where the man saves the day (or is horribly abusively ‘romantic,’ right, because what woman doesn’t love a good stalker?), magazines on housewifery and how-to-keep-your-man-interested… What else? Not much – I read a pretty decent science magazine (GEO, not to be confused with NatGeo) that explicitly states in its subscription description that it is geared towards middle-income, successful men. And what is in this magazine? Well, it’s not women in any state of undress – it’s very interesting science and geography articles, with nary a nod towards ‘typical’ male interests (except in advertising, and even that – alcohol, watches, suits…). Why can this kind of stuff not be geared towards women, too? Those bored housewives who are so uninteresting to their husbands – wouldn’t this kind of thing be perfect for them? Educate themselves while gaining a broader perspective on the world (they’ve had some neat articles on transgender children and non-traditional relationships, plus a very feminist one on the role of fathers from a scientific perspective), while acquiring information useful in ordinary, daily conversation with their far more worldly husbands. Sounds great to me, so why not market it as such?

Then there are the women’s magazines, which are… well, cooking, interior design, and, on occasion, nicely dressed and fully clothed men (there was that one comparison of Hugh Jackman on the cover of men’s and women’s magazines a while back). And that’s all fine, until it’s the only thing ‘appropriate’ for married women with children, and the thought of showing a bare-chested man in a housewife magazine (YUMM) is considered racy and borderline non-permissible… Where’s the women’s equivalent to FHM and Playboy? And I don’t mean just erotic shots, I mean the intelligent interviews with the interviewee posing in his underwear as eye-candy. I can think of a few local candidate athletes who would be perfect for this.

But no.

Women, especially women in long-term, childed relationships, don’t have sexuality. Not one worth talking about, at least, except as a ‘haha I bet you never have sex’ joke. This is something that needs to die a very, very painful and quick death (I’d say slow, but I’ve had enough of slow).

And that leaves me to wonder, from whence do women get their ideas about their own sexuality, in a fairly puritanical society that deems them worthy only of having children and being satisfied only under the wing of a man?

And that is what leaves them wide open for books like 50 Shades – because, unfortunately, with all the abusive aspects of it, and the childish language (they can’t even talk dirty enough because it will hurt the sensitivities of women? what?), it does speak plainly and openly about sexual love within the bounds of a relationship. I mean, I read a lot when I was young, and my first awakenings into sexuality came through SF/Fantasy novels (Hel-lo, Lions of Al-Rassan). And then for a while I made sure that all the books I read had at least one sex scene in them, because that shit was awesome! Masturbation material! (Sorry if it’s TMI.) And it was in all kinds of books!

Which leaves me to wonder, are people really so limited in their reading choices (and more specifically, are housewives really so limited in their reading material) that they have to resort to such ridiculous trash as 50 Shades to re-awaken those feelings? To allow them to feel like sexual beings again, to let them know that it’s perfectly normal to want sex and love your body and have someone do wonderful, touchy-feely, hot things to it? Is it just the marketing this time around? Is it a lack of resources to know that, hey, having kids doesn’t automatically turn the pleasure-centres in your vagina and environs off? Because there’s so much literature out there that can get people hot and bothered – if they bothered to look at it that way. But I think I’m slowly discovering that, indeed, there’s a very narrow lane you have to walk when you’re set in a certain role, a very narrow set of interests you’re supposed to cultivate in order to be the right kind of wife/mother/girlfriend. Because the gods forbid you start having fantasies about imaginary characters or unattainable athletes or actors on-screen… Because Hugh Jackman would set a bad precedent by taking his shirt off in a women’s magazine, while being all bare-chested and manily aggressive is perfectly fine for the men to see (because that’s how they should be, too!), but there’s no reciprocating audience to accept him as such, from a sexual point of view (I feel like there’s some underlying homophobia here, too, because sexy pictures of men might be looked at by gay men, and ew, right???).

I suppose this is a rant against the dual nature of marketing towards men and women (and never mind those who aren’t straight and cis, because… well, because, right?), how men are allowed to be sexual, women are too nurturing to understand, and women who want sex for the sake of sex and pleasure are sluts and shouldn’t be treated with respect… Yes, that’s rape culture. But is it really so ingrained that it subtly limits everyone’s reading choices? That it denies such self-examination and acceptance of all of one’s self?

I’m sad to think that the answer is yes – that the only way to awaken women’s ‘lost’ sexuality is through aggressive marketing piggy-backing on the coattails of an already-terrible romance. That there’s so much beautiful, sexy stuff written out there, that would appeal to both men and women without resorting to silly cliches and harmful stereotypes of romance that doesn’t get a single note of attention because… because it doesn’t fall neatly into a box. Because it doesn’t fall under the definition of ‘housewife’ or ‘husband’ or ‘sex after marriage’ (I’m pretty sure there isn’t even a box for that last one). And this is only in the context of plain, vanilla relationships (which can be pretty hot too).

The Lions of Al-Rassan isn’t marketed or ever described as a romance novel – even though, in essence, that’s what it is. No? And it’s not the only book that avoids the ‘romance’ label even though it is chock-full of romance.

Anyway. I’m not sure how to end this in a good way, because it’s saddening and slightly angering that this is what women have to resort to – that this is what is pushed at men as a model – because society is too afraid to acknowledge sex and sexuality as a real, living aspect of all adults, whether single, married, with or without kids, of any orientation or sexual proclivity. Sex is too awesome to be demeaned and swept under the rug like that – why does it happen?

(And yes, I have some idea… I just wish there was a better way to stand against it and make a change.)

*sigh*

Sigh indeed.

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A Rant Against the Dual Nature of Marketing Towards Men and Women
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24 thoughts on “A Rant Against the Dual Nature of Marketing Towards Men and Women

  1. 1

    I wish I had more to say to this OP than just “yes!!!!” – but oh yes, so much this. The only thing of FSoG I’ve read is the blurb on the cover in an airport bookshop (it was a long wait). And it’s horrible and heartbreaking that this exploitative dreck is what’s available and massively marketed to women in the mainstream world.
    It’s also sad to me that this is the biggest and best-known example of fanfiction (with the serial numbers filed off) being successful in the mainstream. There is imaginative, well-written fanfiction out there, and yes of course it may take a bit of finding – but there is plenty that doesn’t rely on this kind of all-red-flags-all-the-time sick rape-murder relationship. Mostly written by and for women (and all of it for free online or at cost on paper – more of a shared storytelling in which many readers actively participate than a commercial exchange for one-way consumption only. It annoys me when people often look no further than the inevitable large volume of poor-to-awful writing, and don’t bother to find anything else).
    But FSoG, this harmful, woman-hating, unresearched, dangerous dross – this is what gets a massive marketing budget delivering it to a huge audience, and becomes the kind of thing that shapes people’s fantasy life?
    What rq said. All of it.

  2. 2

    Women, especially women in long-term, childed relationships, don’t have sexuality. Not one worth talking about, at least, except as a ‘haha I bet you never have sex’ joke.

    I was *just* talking about this with respect to the phrase “mom jeans” and why it drives me fucking crazy, since it’s incredibly sexist but I still see some of the most ardent feminists I know or read use it as though it were entirely unproblematic. Why are mom jeans “mom” jeans? Because they’re unflattering/unsexy. “Moms” aren’t sexy, and that is a sexist view. Consider also “motherfucker”, which I’ve been working to remove from my vocabulary along with “cocksucker”, as the first is sexist and the second sexist or homophobic (“butthurt” similarly needs to go away, though I was lucky enough to have never incorporated it into my vocabulary in the first place). This ties into (is an expression of or mutually constituative with) the BS Madonna/whore dichotomy – the Madonna is a sexless wife/mother/helpmeet, idealized as a mythical virgin mother (unlike any real woman ever, she managed to achieve the proper mother role without any of that awful sexytimes business, not even once!) in Christian-heavy cultural discourses. It’s fucked up, but sadly, as I noted, it’s so deeply ingrained in many of our concepts of normative culture and lifestyle and gendered identity and sexuality that it remains invisible even to many feminists as well as most of the general population.

  3. 3

    Given the importance of intersectionality, I should also note that “mom jeqns” is also obviously heterosexist, potentially cissexist, and implicitly racist or classist, as it relies on a particular, normatively White-and-middle-class-as-default-or-universal construction of a “mom” – a mother who is a sex worker or a mother from a cultural background for which frumpy jeans are not a common article of clothing are excluded from the category “mom” in that construction.

  4. rq
    4

    Yeah, this past summer, my sister called my entirely practical, quite smart-looking sandals ‘mom sandals’. Because I wouldn’t have chosen them if I wasn’t a mom, and they’re not sexy enough to just be sandals. As moms, I guess we automatically lose our sense of style – even if we’ve never had it ever, before.

  5. Pen
    5

    It’s kind of silly to suppose a woman’s sexuality just ‘goes away’ because she’s in a long term relationship with kids. It’s like supposing someone stops being gay/straight when they happen not to have a partner.

    As for the so-called literary outlets for that sexuality, I’ve never been able to relate to them in any way whatsoever, so either I’m an outlier or someone’s doing something wrong.

  6. 6

    RQ says:

    Because all those tired housewives? What’s marketed to them? Insipid romance where the man saves the day (or is horribly abusively ‘romantic,’ right, because what woman doesn’t love a good stalker?), magazines on housewifery and how-to-keep-your-man-interested… What else?

    This is a tangent, but your line of questioning here reminds me of the uproar over the sexist category in a recent Jeopardy episode. It reminds me of that because as several of the Tweets in response to Jeopardy pointed out, if you listen to what women say, you’ll learn what what women want (that was the category on Jeopardy). If publishers paid attention to what women say they want, and actively tried to produce such content, I think there might be better novels out there. Of course there would still be romance novels. I’m sure there are women who want to read that stuff. But I’m equally sure that not all women want to read romance novels. I’m sure there are women who would like to read other genres that are geared towards them (and even novels that aren’t necessarily geared towards them, but that do not contain offensive sexist or misogynistic tropes).
    To drift a bit more, this is a lesson that Marvel Comics has been slowly receiving, which is why they have, for the first time in the publishers’ existence, 10 titles on the stands headlined by women (with, IIRC, more on the way). Marvel started listening to what women wanted, so they put out Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, the all female X-Men team, Storm, Elektra, She-Hulk, Spiderwoman ( grrr…), Thor, Black Widow, and Angela (male Thor’s long lost sister from Heaven).

    *Listening* to what women say and what they want. That should be such a non-controversial idea.

  7. 7

    John:
    Over at Lousy Canuck, Jason did a post months ago about the word ‘stupid’. IIRC (and my memory may be failing me here), he was arguing that the word ought to not be used because it’s not exactly clear what it’s meant to convey. Thinking about that word made me start looking at other words, and what they mean. I began looking at the many variations of ‘FUCK’ (or even just the word itself), with an eye aimed at trying to understand what was being conveyed when one says FUCK YOU or FUCK OFF. I found that the word fuck has so many variations that it’s lost some meaning, IMHO. It can literally mean anything, and the context determines its meaning.
    My curiosity about words didn’t end there. I also began looking at the word motherfucker and thinking about its connotations. When used as an insult, and taken as the sum of the two words that make up the compound word, it comes across as insult by shaming someone. Who would want to be a mother fucker? Going further though, it seems to treat mothers as people for whom sex is not desirable. As if mothers aren’t supposed to want sex, and no one is supposed to want sex with a mother. Why? Who knows the etymology of the word, but it sure looks like there’s some shaming going on there that I’m increasingly uncomfortable with

  8. 8

    Anyway. I’m not sure how to end this in a good way, because it’s saddening and slightly angering that this is what women have to resort to – that this is what is pushed at men as a model – because society is too afraid to acknowledge sex and sexuality as a real, living aspect of all adults, whether single, married, with or without kids, of any orientation or sexual proclivity. Sex is too awesome to be demeaned and swept under the rug like that – why does it happen?

    I suspect it happens because – at least in my experience – some parents feel that being sexual with aware and alert children in the house will send the “wrong message” to the kids.

    I’m a mother. My kids are young adults now, but when they were younger, I stayed home with them and did the whole Parent-Teacher organization/volunteer thing at my kids’ public schools. This, of course, put me in touch with plenty of other stay-at-home mothers.

    For some of them, it seemed, good parenting meant protecting their children’s “innocence,” sometimes to ridiculous extremes. For example, I vividly recall a Scholastic book fair at my kids’ elementary school, which I was supervising with another mother. My (then) 3rd grade daughter approached us to purchase one of Dav Pilkey’s “Adventures of Captain Underpants” books (I forget which one). The other mother looked gravely at the cover as my daughter handed it over, and then asked me what the book was about. I explained that it was all juvenile, slapstick humor, about a couple of kids who hypnotize their uptight school principal into thinking he’s a superhero, “Captain Underpants,” who runs around fighting various super-villains in his tighty-whities. She looked at me VERY gravely while I was speaking, and then slowly responded, “I don’t think I’d like my daughter to be reading about underwear. I mean, they grow up so fast already.”

    Seriously. I just smiled and turned to help another kid with a purchase. But inside, I was thinking “did that just happen?”

    I also recall another incident, where a donated Dorling-Kindersley book on human anatomy was abruptly removed from the library shelves by the principal in response to a parent complaint: the book featured a cross-section drawing of the male urogenital system and the complaining mother did NOT want her daughter seeing a picture of a penis.

    I saw this sort of weird, “gotta protect the kids from learning anything about sex” on the part of parents even after high school… at one point, we invited a group of my kids’ friends up to visit us after we moved to a larger city approx. 100 miles away. I actually had the mother of one of the young men call me for assurances before she’d allow him to come – even though her son was over 18 and 2 months away from entering the Navy. I assured her that – since we lived in a split level house – we had the capacity to keep the boys and girls separated at night. She heaved an audible sigh of relief: “Oh Good!” and then gave permission for her son to visit us. When my daughter and I picked him up, I told him about the conversation, adding: “I didn’t tell your mom that I WOULD separate you – just that I could. But you’re an adult now, and it’s not my job to police your sex life. If you weren’t fucking before now, simply sleeping in a room with girls present isn’t going to make you start. And if you were, me separating you would be nothing more than an inconvenience. Personally, I don’t give a damn where – or with whom – you sleep… just don’t be rude about it.” He laughed and turned to my daughter: “Your mom gets it!”

    Sorry to be long-winded, but that’s part of the reason that moms are considered “sexless,” IMHO – ’cause we’re supposed to protect our kids from knowing about sexy-times until they’re old enough to understand. Problem is, once you get used to concealing your sexual feelings, it can become a habit that’s hard to break.

  9. rq
    9

    But I want the romance novels to be more well-rounded than just bad romance. (a) Women will read anything, given the chance and the choice and individual taste; (b) Men will rarely read anything labelled romance. Thus, no matter how much romance is in a book, if men are supposed to read it too, it will not be labelled romance (see Lions of Al-Rassan example above – sword-fights, politics, and romance).
    And sorry, Tony, but a genre should never be ‘geared towards’ men or women – it should be a genre. For everyone, because that’s what genres are. Within each genre, authors should be able to express themselves as they like, with the knowledge that their work will be presented more-or-less equally to everyone.
    The problem is marketing and how those genres are presented, as “For Women” or “For Men” (or sometimes “For Both”), with divisions within each (e.g. “Married Women”, “Businessmen”, etc.). Marvel definitely has the right idea: It does come back to listening to what women want, but regarding books, the variety is out there already – it just happens to be difficult to find, in the end limiting everyone’s reading choices by some weird fact of their biology.

  10. rq
    10

    This is interesting. I suppose my kids aren’t old enough for me to be thinking along these lines yet – this was really informative. Thank you!
    I think that can definitely contribute, but of course, the general attitude of society towards the feeling women are allowed to have and express is part of it all, too. It’s all one giant mess.
    (As for me, I read Lions at something like 12 or 13, but my parents never read any of the books I read and never really asked about them, and the only time they tried to limit my reading (or sharing it with my younger brother) was when I lent him a (pretty terrible) sci-fi novel with a scantily clad buxom young woman on the cover in the company of wolves or something, but there was no sex in the book… I think I spent half an hour explaining this to my dad*).

    * Dads are also supposed to police their children. Does this influence their perceived access to sex? I suppose, see: all those jokes about the wife not giving any, or seeking out younger women for excitement. But I think there’s a different dynamic there, in the sense that men are deserving of sex and married men who don’t participate in any are allowed to seek it out, whereas women – not so much.

  11. 11

    Another issue with mothers expressing their sexuality is good old-fashioned body shaming about “baby fat.” It’s the rare woman who fails to add some body fat during pregnancy, and post-partum, the societal pressure to lose it is everywhere. You can’t even go to the grocery store without seeing the mags at the checkout stand celebrating various female celebrity mothers’ post-baby bodies and offering up their “secrets” (like having the money to hire personal trainers and chefs). And the message is: “you are not ‘sexy’ unless you get your pre-pregnancy body back. Problem is, this is incredibly difficult for many women to do, for a number of different reasons.

    Point being, it can be tough for a woman to swim against the current, and celebrate her body, no matter what shape it’s in. And the “sexy == skinny” mindset is very insidious. I thought I was one of the “lucky” ones: I shed my baby weight fairly easily after each of my (2) pregnancies, without dieting. But later on, when I took up amateur bodybuilding and my trainer mandated a bulking program, it took every scrap of will that I possessed to let myself eat 3,000 calories a day and deliberately gain weight. I had so deeply internalized the societal message that “weight gain == fat gain == woman-who-has-let-herself-go” that I would grit my teeth every time I approached the scale and emit a silent scream over each new pound added. The only thing that kept my nose to the grindstone was the thought that my trainer, Jerry, would laugh at me if I balked (and he would have – we had that kind of relationship, lol). It also pissed me off royally to discover I had that “thing” implanted so deeply in my brain, that I never knew it was there until I was forced to confront it.

  12. 12

    @John Hortsman 2- Actually I think butthurt is a reference to spanking/falling on one’s ass and then whining about it. I always assumed it was homophobic in nature as well but recently had the origin pointed out to me. Since then I’ve noticed it pretty consistently applied (at least in the political blogs I read where people are pretty careful about avoiding any ____ist language) to mean “mountain-out-of-molehill, playing-the-victim, cry-baby” or some variation, usually aimed at examples of conservative fauxtrage. That said, I’m sure it’s used with homophobic intent too since the internet is vast and people are jerks.

    http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/butthurt

  13. rq
    14

    Yes, this. Not doing any body-building, but it’s gotten tough to just enjoy a simple, yummy pastry. And after the third, the weight just doesn’t come off as easily anymore.
    I hope you keep up the fight against the internalized messages, your determination is awesome.

  14. 16

    I know many of you already know this, but there is a type of fiction that is available free. It is largely, though certainly not only written by women. Much of it is romantic fiction, with degrees of descriptions of sexual contact that range from casual mentions of off-screen sex to extremely explicit sex scenes. Many many many mothers both read and write it.

    Did I mention it is free?

    There is a lot of it. No, I mean a LOT of it. On a single site there are more than 47,000 stories about the Avengers. On the same site there are more than 6,000 N.C.I.S. stories. There are almost 6,000 Criminal Minds stories. Hell, there are more than 2,000 Man from U.N.C.L.E. stories. On one site. There are dozens of major sites like that and hundreds of minor sites. There is even My Little Pony fan fiction (I don’t understand that either, but it’s out there)

    Some stories are as short as a hundred words. Novel-length stories are not uncommon. Some stories stick strictly to the “canon” of the show or movie or game they are being written about. Others vary enormously from the original. Of course, Sturgeon’s Law applies, but with a little looking and a quick back button, you can find authors you enjoy. In my opinion, if you are looking for light fiction, this is the way to go–even though some of the best is far from light. And the authors do it for free (they have to, they can’t make money from it).

    There is no marketing. At all.

    I don’t buy much fiction these days. I just read fan fiction. Sure, some of it is pretty bad, but if you think it is all the work of teenagers all pretending that Harry Potter will sleep with them or whether vampires sparkle, you are very sadly mistaken. I can’t even begin to tell you how pissed off people are that it was a very badly written Twilight fic that had it’s serial numbers filed off and is now this big hit. Especially offended are people who like BDSM (bondage, dominant/submissive, etc.) stories because 50 shade is a HORRIBLE example of the genre. Or at least, so I am reliably informed.

    So pick a show or movie you like and type “[the show or movie] fan fiction” into Google. Then enjoy.

    P.S. A lot of it is slash (male/male relationships). There is, however lots that is not, if that is not your thing–though this a a great way to experiment a little with your ideas about sexuality. Just look for “gen” (concentration on the story, with little or no sex involved) and “het” (the major love interests are male/female) instead. The nice thing is that most sites tag stories, so you have a pretty good idea what you are getting into before you start. It has become common practice to warn for the types of scenes that may trigger people.

  15. 17

    OT:

    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    I also began looking at the word motherfucker and thinking about its connotations. When used as an insult, and taken as the sum of the two words that make up the compound word, it comes across as insult by shaming someone. Who would want to be a mother fucker? Going further though, it seems to treat mothers as people for whom sex is not desirable. As if mothers aren’t supposed to want sex, and no one is supposed to want sex with a mother. Why? Who knows the etymology of the word, but it sure looks like there’s some shaming going on there that I’m increasingly uncomfortable with

    Well, you got me curious as well. I always assumed the word referred to incest–a motherfucker was somebody who fucked his (or her?) own mother.

    A brief Google search assures me I was wrong. Also wrong is a folk etymology that traces the word to American slaves, who used it to refer to slave masters (who raped their mothers). I found another story that alleges that “motherfuckers” were GIs who had sex with desperately poor European women in the aftermath of WWII–in other words, guys so low they’d take advantage of starving widows. Unfortunately for that theory, the word predates WWII.

    It seems to be just an intensifier of “fucker.”

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2013/02/14/_motherfucker_etymology_and_origins_how_it_became_badass_to_be_a_mofo.html

  16. rq
    18

    The issue is not available literature – we all know it’s out there. The issue is what is marketed to people – and the fact that there is this huge site full of all kinds of readable stuff out there, that doesn’t get promoted? This is the issue.
    When the mainstream takes something and makes it ‘the way it should be’ and doesn’t offer any options at the same level of publicity – this is the issue. Especially when it’s harmful crap that is seen and read by people who, unfortunately, don’t have the mindset, opportunity or resources (time- and energy-wise, mostly) to search out their own little niche somewhere. The fact that 50 Shades has more influence on (a lot of) women’s ideas about relationships (many of whom don’t even know what fanfic is – trust me, a lot of people don’t) – that is the issue.

  17. rq
    19

    Actually I think what I would like to respond to this is that Marvel shouldn’t have to create new female heroes to satisfy their readership. Why not seek out one of the amazing, inclusive women-protagonist stories already out there, and offering to include them in the universe somehow? Because it’s not like there aren’t books written by women or with women in lead roles doing awesome things – they don’t have to be created out of nothing, they don’t necessarily need to be male characters replaced with female ones. They just have to be found and promoted the right way.
    It’s part of the problem to think that these stories don’t exist and thus need to be invented all over again – I think that’s partially Marvel’s solution, and while it’s one that works, it completely ignores the massive amounts of work already put in by people still invisible to the general public.

  18. 20

    I don’t know much about women and sexuality today, but there was in the 70s and 80’s a whole slew of books aimed generally at women, with fairly graphic sex scenes and actual love interests. THe one that comes to mind most is Noel Barber, both my mother and grandmother had copies of his books, and I am sure my granny read them too.

    Mind you my grandmother used to read all sorts of books with very adult and graphic content, e.g. Lusbader’s “The Ninja”.
    So I suppose the question is has the provision of books with sex and love and suchlike changed over the last 30 years?

  19. 22

    rq:

    Actually I think what I would like to respond to this is that Marvel shouldn’t have to create new female heroes to satisfy their readership. Why not seek out one of the amazing, inclusive women-protagonist stories already out there, and offering to include them in the universe somehow? Because it’s not like there aren’t books written by women or with women in lead roles doing awesome things – they don’t have to be created out of nothing, they don’t necessarily need to be male characters replaced with female ones. They just have to be found and promoted the right way.

    That’s actually what Marvel has been doing. Ms Marvel was a new creation. The female Thor is replacing the male Thor. They retooled Captain Marvel (she used to go by the name Ms Marvel). They gave several existing female X-Men their own book. They gave several long established female characters their own books (She-Hulk, Elektra, Black Widow, Storm). Seems like they’re trying different things. It may be cynicism on my part, but I don’t think they’ll be creating too many new characters and giving them books though.

  20. 23

    There’s another side to ‘butthurt’:

    http://persephonemagazine.com/2013/01/can-we-please-stop-using-the-term-butthurt/
    Just think about it. The term implies less of “pain in the ass, I sat on something unpleasant” and something far more sexist and homophobic. This is mostly because of the context the word is typically used in. Sandra is in a bad mood because Hugo took her parking spot? She’s just butthurt. Mike won’t stop complaining that his bro beat him playing video games? Butthurt. Essentially, the term is used when someone is upset that someone else has gotten the better or them or beaten them or bested them in some way. That is to say, they dominated them. You know, like when someone is raped. This just isn’t funny. Not only is the term sexist, because it hinges on domination and anal rape, which is primarily a male device, but it is also homophobic. I’m pretty sure that gay men don’t think the threat of anal rape is hilarious, and I’m also pretty sure they don’t enjoy an act they enjoy once again being used as a display of cruelty, disgust, and derision.

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