"The women of Bikini Kill let guitarist Billy Karren be in their feminist punk band, but only if he's willing to just "do some shit." Being a feminist dude is like that. We may ask you to "do some shit" for the band, but you don't get to be Kathleen Hannah."--@heatherurehere

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Gender in Comics: Reversals

As much as I talk about the ways in which comic strips help to solidify and perpetuate traditionally conceived gender roles, it's probably a good thing to note that they also sometimes manage to confound these stereotypes to some degree, or at least to allow gender to be slightly more complex than it is often thought to be.

Vanity, Thy Name Is Pirate Guy
Whereas women are more often portrayed as absurdly vain, this Overboard strip shows a pirate who is perhaps a little more interested in his image than perhaps he ought to be:

Susie + Lacrosse = Calvin On His Ass
This is one reason why Calvin can be more of a jerk than, say Dennis the Menace. He freaking throws rocks at people. Sure, Dennis had his slingshot, but did he use it to just sling rocks at people? I don't think so. Calvin can be more menacing, for sure. Ok, maybe it's a pinecone. In the first frame, it looks a lot like a caterpillar, which is a lot less menacing in some ways, more menacing in others (getting smacked in the face with a caterpillar? Not pleasant, I would guess.)

And, of course, if you're often the target of Calvin's thinly repressed rage, your Lacrosse training comes in handy from time to time:
I think it's the smug, happy, almost zen-like peacefulness on Susie's face that makes me love this one.
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