What Was DC Thinking?

This is disturbing. (Original link no longer available. Story was in reference to Chuck Dixon writing the Midnighter.) Why would you ask someone who doesn’t think homosexuality belongs in comics to write a character known as the gay Batman? That’s like asking a white supremacist to write Black Panther.

Then again, DC also had Bill Willingham, whose female characters are (let’s say) often traditional and stereotypical, write Thessaly, which explains why she was almost a supporting character in her own title, with the guy ghost taking lead. They don’t always bat 100% when it comes to matching up creators and characters.

Update: Why having gay heroes matters.

Similar Posts: Batgirl #12 § What Xena Meant to a Former Model § DC Anime-Influenced Action Figures § Fighting for Diversity in Comics § DC Spinner Rack: Secret Six #9, House of Mystery #13, New Krypton #3


47 Responses to “What Was DC Thinking?”

  1. Augie De Blieck Jr. Says:

    I imagine what you’ll get is an action series in which Midnighter’s powers are utilized for story points, not his sexuality.

    Bloggers everywhere will look for subtext at every possible turn. (“Ooh, Dixon had Midnighter miss a kick — he’s such a homophobe.” “Ooh, Dixon had Midnighter kill a guy. This is his analogy for AIDS, isn’t it? Homophobe!” etc. etc.)

    It oughta be fun for the first month or two.

  2. Mark Fossen Says:

    Maybe Dixon will simply ignore his sexuality, which I really don’t have a problem with. It’s a miniseries, I believe, and if we get six issues where Midnighter is just someone who kicks people in the face … that’s OK. How many Batman comics have there been where his sexuality is absent and other parts of the character are explored?

    I’d like Apollo and Midnighter to become something more than “The Queer World’s Finest”. I’d like to see Midnighter be a cool action hero who also is married and gay, where his sexuality isn’t the only facet of his character worth mentioning.

    If Dixon decides to go the other way and actively attack the character’s sexuality, that’s another thing entirely.

  3. Vic Vega Says:

    The bloggers in this case have every right to be concerned. When you have a character to who has a built in appeal to a LGBT fanbase (which can be proven to exist). Why hire someone who is not sensitive to those issues?

    D.C. the parent company for Wildstorm, has a history of craveness on this issue. Whether its the ugly parody that was Estrano in New Guardians or the begging the question of gay males in Legion of Super Heroes not once but twice, D.C.’s record gives cause for concern.

    Chuck Dixon is a competent writer of action-adventure heroes. I’m sure he’s capable of doing fine work on the book. However, if he de-empasizes Midnighter’s realationships as a commited spouse and foster parent in favor of more fight scenes, it would be as damaging as overt as hate-
    speech.

    I’m not calling for some kind of P.C. litmus test for writers of LGBT or minority characters, but something other than cluelessness would be nice.

  4. Johanna Says:

    Mark: If you consider any mention of the Bruce Wayne playboy persona, pictures of models hanging on his arm, etc. an indicator of Batman’s sexuality, then most if not all of the comics mention it. (Alternately, if you consider any mention of Robin an indicator… heh.)

    Midnighter should be more than his sexuality (although that’s the only part of the character I really like, personally), sure. But his sexuality is part of his character and should be handled as such. And the rules shouldn’t be different for gay characters in terms of what counts as a mention.

  5. Mark Fossen Says:

    Johanna:If you consider any mention of the Bruce Wayne playboy persona, pictures of models hanging on his arm, etc. an indicator of Batman’s sexuality, then most if not all of the comics mention it.
    I do consider those indicators. I think that, given the past few year’s abandonment of the Bruce Wayne personality, those comics that ignore it are not as rare as all that. Just flipping through the recently read pile that hasn’t hit the file cabinet yet, there’s this month’s Batman Confidential and November’s Detective.

    Do most comics reference Batman’s sexuality? Probably. As will most Midnighter books.

    This is all based on Dixon ignoring Midnighter’s sexuality. I have no idea what he’s going to do. But …

    Vic: However, if he de-empasizes Midnighter’s realationships as a commited spouse and foster parent in favor of more fight scenes, it would be as damaging as overt as hate-
    speech.

    It’s Chuck Dixon. Of course he’ll de-emphasize character traits in favor of plot and action, and in that he’s an equal opportunity employer. He doesn’t write character well, no matter what their orientation.

  6. Tyler O'Brien Says:

    In respponse to the first commenter: Of course readers are going to look for subtext in the book; DC hired a writer who has made public anti-gay statements to . The tone of your response makes it seem like readers shouldn’t do this, and that it will be “fun” to see people with legitimate concerns unable to simply enjoy a gay character in an interesting story.

    As much as I wish it weren’t the case, gay superheroes have to be treated differently than straight superheroes, by virtue of the surrounding society and circumstances they exist in. Since less than a handful of gay heroes are published by the major companies, it’s not okay to completely ignore their sexuality. That’s of course not to say that the character should only be defined by being gay and have stories that directly show that, but that in and of itself reveals a huge problem; stories of gay heroes can apparently only be envisioned as abandoning the sexuality completely, or over-emphasizing it.

  7. Augie De Blieck Jr. Says:

    Tyler – Of course it’ll be fun! I expect there will be bloggers bending over backwards to find subtext where none exists. (Looking back on that sentence after I wrote it, I’m sure they’re already finding it against me now.) I’m sure the usual Dixon-bashing will continue amongst those who champion the politically correct. Midnighter was never intended to be a Gay Champion. It was a minor plot point that got magnified and quickly took over the character, in part because of DC’s attempt to squash it after the fact.

    Dixon’s a political conservative; he’s not ever going to get the benefit of the doubt in the comics blogosphere. So you know what? I’m going to have fun watching the fall out whenever he gets hired to do something by those who look for reasons to skewer him.

    Look, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t in a situation like this, wherein a special interest group of fans with an ax to grind will find fault with just about anything that’s done. (See Tamora Pierce and the WHITE TIGER hub bub, too.) That’s what makes this so much fun — not the cause, but the rabid supporters looking for fights to pick.

  8. Craig Says:

    I have no problem with any particular writer taking on any particular character as long as it turns out to be a fun read. Men have been writing women in comics for decades upon decades with verrrry mixed results. In my recollection, the most positive depiction of female characters, for instance, in superhero comics was written by George Perez, who was edited carefully by Karen Berger. Which makes me wonder….where are the Karen Bergers of this generation? But I digress….

    I don’t necessarily agree that overly complicated scenarios involving sexuality or politics or other ‘hot button’ issues belong in Superhero comics. They belong in comics, certainly, but superhero comics are, at the end of the day, power fantasies. No matter how delicately these topics are handled, in most cases, it’s going to come across as soapboxing or fall completely flat.

    I’m not sure what people opposing homosexuality in comics expect when a gay character surfaces in their favourite comics. Perhaps there needs to be a mainstream comic that goes completely hardcore-porno so they’re distracted from the subtle and accurate portrayals in books like Manhunter.

    Gay people aren’t asking for explicit depictions of sex in their superhero comics (let’s leave the hetero lesbian fantasies of Wonder Woman out of this discussion for a bit….), they’re asking for fair depictions of people in fiction they can identify with… something straight people can take for granted. I mean, Midnighter? THAT’S what we have to settle for? Who cares if Dixon writes him as a crazy homo… weren’t the Authority meant to be militants bordering on villainy?

    I thought the ‘outing’ of Obsidian was handled well and nonchalantly enough. I wish I had a character like that to read about growing up, instead of crumbs from the table, like Marvel’s Northstar, who was an interesting character, but was so isolated and hostile, it wasn’t the most ideal situation for a homosexual, accurate though it might have been. If you picked up that he was gay at all, mind you.

    I enjoyed Chuck Dixon’s Birds of Prey, but do agree that it was light on characterization and took some idiotic turns when Black Canary hooked up with Ra’s Al Ghul. If he wants to insert his conservatism in his books, fine. Fair shakes. I never got radiated with hate-mongering reading Birds of Prey. If he doesn’t want to write about gays, he doesn’t have to. But times are changing and will forever BE changing and attitudes change with the times. Instead of drawing (pardon the lameass pun) lines in the sand, let’s continue discussion and come up with some healthy compromises.

    And keep Obsidian gay! Everybody ELSE knew it anyway, even if Alex Ross didn’t ;)…and I wouldn’t file his comments under homophobia. I’d put them under the headline of Fanboy Whining. His misuse of the word ‘molestation’ is right alongside the rampant misuse of the word ‘rape’ in regards to characterization, etc. It’s spoken/typed from a place of ignorance. THAT’S the issue that should be addressed with Mr. Ross, not the very thin argument that he’s a homophobe. He could be exactly that, for all I know, but what he said isn’t homophobia, it’s a kneejerk reaction with questionable taste in wording. Words like ‘molestation’ and ‘rape’ have very direct and explicit meanings and to casually throw them around as commentary on superhero characterization…. well, that’s a whole ‘nother comment thread, isn’t it?
    c.

  9. Vic Vega Says:

    1) Dixon’s a minor fan favorite because of his work on Batman, Robin and Nightwing among others. If anything, the online community is disposed to giving him the benefit of the doubt. You want to see online hate? Google Bendis’s name some time.

    2) Being half of a Gay couple is pretty much Midnighter’s defining characteristic these days. Being really good at beating people up may have been Ellis’ take, but from Millar to present that hasn’t been the case.

    3) The Forces Of Potical Correctness haven’t done very much except saying “We’re not sure if we like this”. It’s hardly the retorical equivalent of gathering up the lynch mob.

  10. Johanna Says:

    Mark: True enough. So maybe Dixon’s lack of character skill will compensate for his biased politics? That’s an interesting counterbalance.

    Augie: You’re beginning to engage in more stereotyping than anyone else here. Your knee is jerking.

    Craig: The Bergers of this generation have been driven out of the old-school comic book companies. But that’s a whole ‘nother discussion.

    It’s hard to compromise with those who say “you shouldn’t show this at all, even their existence.”

    Vic: No argument here. Good points.

  11. Mark Fossen Says:

    And keep Obsidian gay! Everybody ELSE knew it anyway, even if Alex Ross didn’t ;)…and I wouldn’t file his comments under homophobia. I’d put them under the headline of Fanboy Whining.
    Well put. Due to timing, these two issues are linked in my mind.

    In Ross’ case, it feels like more of his “every development since I was 9 is crap” drivel. In Ross’ case, I don’t think it’s about Obsidian being gay as much as it’s about Obsidian having changed from what Roy Thomas did with him.

  12. Kaherine Keller Says:

    {sarcasm}
    Hey, perhaps DC/Wildstorm will go for the homerun by having Alex Ross covers
    {/sarcasm}

  13. Opinion8 Says:

    Is being neutral on the politics of homosexual activism, or not being gay friendly, now considered
    homophobia?

  14. Craig Says:

    Johanna…I don’t think it’s even a matter of compromising, after all, with the ones who say ‘you shouldn’t show this at all, even their existence.’ As long as there are discerning readers, like yourself, who have opinions and recognize the full breadth of the world, bigoted opinion will always be labelled as such…’bigoted.’ I have never heard anyone describe Chuck Dixon as ‘enlightened.’ Maybe that’s his cross to bear?

    All I’m saying is, I’m willing to put up with people who say I don’t exist because, clearly, judging by my existence, they’re wrong! ;) (and i swear that’s the last winking smiley face i will ever type!!!)

    And very very verrrry slowly, the diversity within the adolescent world of superheroes is widening, whether bigots like it or not! The more obvious cases are of course going to be characters like the uberviolent Midnighter or the uberlipstick lesbiany Batwoman, but for every Midnighter, there’s an Obsidian. I prefer the subtle characterizations when it comes to superheroes’ private lives….kind of like what Wolfman and Perez did with their Day In The Life issues. You’d have 10 issues of punch-hit-hit and then one of plain-clothes drama. That’s enough, I think. Having one panel showing Obsidian kissing his boyfriend? Perfectly acceptable! I’ve put up with years of Reed and Sue getting all gooey over each other.
    And I ramble on again!
    c.

  15. Ed Sizemore Says:

    Craig, If I don’t believe that homosexuality is a valid lifestyle choice am I automatically a “bigot”? I’m asking that as an honest question.

  16. Beau Smith Says:

    Having known Chuck for over 20 years and working with him both as a co-writer and a VP of marketing with various publishers I would like to state that Chuck is a A-List writer with incredible skills and the best work ethic I have ever seen. Never has he ever let his politics or views tint the color of the characters. He has too much respect as a creator to ever do something like that.

    I would also like to remind folks that when working for a large publisher like Marvel or DC Comics and using their characters, you are also as a writer “playing with their toys” so editorial almost always has a heavy hand in what comes out. Yes, the writer usually gets the praise as well as the spitballs, but please remember that when it’s spitballs there is always someone wiping their fingerprints off the dead body.

    Your amigo,

    Beau

  17. Johanna Says:

    Opinion (?), what exactly is the neutral position between “comics should include gay characters” and “comics should never show gay characters”?

    Ed, that’s a very difficult question, and one that may not be well-suited to a comic discussion board.

    Beau, thank you for the reminder of the corporate nature of the work.

  18. Ed Sizemore Says:

    Sorry, Johanna. Just wanted to clarify some of the language being used here. I withdrawal the question and will take the discussion elsewhere. I don’t want to get the thread off-topic.

  19. Johanna Says:

    Ed, you’re welcome to talk about whatever you want… Since you’re a friend, I didn’t want to see potentially hurtful things happening or it taking an unpleasant direction, though.

  20. Craig Says:

    Apologies on my behalf, also, for any misunderstanding my comments may have created, and for veering the conversation off-topic. In trying to show how gay people refuse to be marginalized, I ended up marginalizing. Not my intent, but maybe how it came across.

    I really just wanted to point out that there are a lot of comics out there, so there should be room for everyone, be they straight, gay, liberal, conservative, etc etc.

    Again, sorry, Johanna!!!

  21. Ralf Haring Says:

    Given the characters and writer involved, I expect this story will be a full-on action tale, with little or no down time where characters’ sexual orientations would be relevant.

  22. Katherine Keller Says:

    Here’s the thing. It’s not so much that Dixon is/isn’t a competent, even good sometimes, writer.

    It’s just that I could name dozens of equally competent action-adventure comics writers who don’t have a documented record of making statements that more or less boil down to saying “gay is wrong.” (I mean, would/does CD object to his children seeing a non-explicit heterosexual romance? Or to his children reading/seeing materials with non-explicit heterosexual sexual innuendo?)

    So, WTF was DC/Wildstorm expecting or thinking when they put him on a mini-series with a groundbreaking, flagship, GAY character.

    ‘Cause Midnighter is not viewed as that guy who can kick your ass.

    He’s viewed as that GAY guy who can kick your ass.

    (And I have a lot of GLBT friends who *loved* finally having one of their own be a top tier action character.)

  23. Briareos Says:

    I have a problem with homosexuality being a positive character trait so I’d be perfectly fine not seeing it in comics. Besides if you get too many gay characters in comics people will start to wonder why half of them don’t have aids (and even more obvious when the most recent publicized character to have it is a heterosexual). Reminds me of a class I took in college. You were required to take a public health class and one day a couple of people involved in gay activism came in to talk about aids. They had one guy who was gay and had aids and he talked about when he first realized he was gay he was glad he found this group to help him and they took good care of him. Well I couldn’t see how they did since he got aids. It just seemed really tragic to me.

  24. Evan Waters Says:

    I feel compelled to apologize for the above comment.

  25. Johanna Says:

    Ed, to get back to your earlier question, the stereotypes and ignorance spewed by people like Briareos are why many people consider anti-gay proponents bigots. Not fair to the more thoughtful and sincere believers, but there it is.

  26. Augie De Blieck Jr. Says:

    Johanna – Not a knee jerk and not a stereotype. We’re seeing everything I said in action here already.

  27. Craig Says:

    Just letting everyone know that Newsarama has posted Alex Ross’ clarification of his statement. Which pretty much amounts to kvetching in the form of ‘but that’s not how they USED to do it!’

    It may end this particular angle, but I’m glad so many people feel passionate enough to post their thoughts on the matter. Thanks for the forum, Johanna.

  28. Johanna Says:

    Craig, you’re welcome. I’m lucky to have such intelligent and thoughtful posters.

    Augie, saying those who are concerned about what might happen are “championing the political correct” is bias-speak. (I’m suspicious of anyone who uses the term “politically correct” serious, since it’s a way to shut down discussion by stereotyping and marginalizing the opponent.)

    Attributing opinions about Dixon’s work to a blog bias against the conservative is similarly incorrect and reductionist — thus my description of you as reacting by knee jerk. You’ve already made up your mind regardless of what anyone says… ironically enough, you’re doing exactly what you’re accusing others of.

  29. Tyler Says:

    I understand that this is corporate work, and I’m not saying that Dixon is a complete hack or anything. But, given his well-known statements about homosexuality, wouldn’t he expect people to be a bit skeptical when they find out he’s writing one of DC’s few gay characters? Is there no other character he can use to tell a regular action-adventure story? If anything, it seems that he is the one “picking a fight” here. If the issues come out, and it turns out that the series is not demeaning to Midnighter’s homosexuality in any way, and people still complain just for the sake of complaining, that’s one thing. However, the online reaction of uneasiness and skepticism to begin with seems to me to be extremely logical and appropriate.

  30. david brothers Says:

    Saying that Dixon is “picking a fight” isn’t really fair at all. Warren Ellis has made more than a few negative remarks about superheroes, but that doesn’t mean that he’s picking a fight when he writes Ult Fantastic Four or whatever. It just means that he was given a job and the editor felt he was the best for that job.

    Regardless, Dixon has said nothing about this series in the press, and I can’t quite see Wildstorm letting someone denigrate one of their new A-list characters (part of a high-profile team book and star of his own monthly series by a well-respected writer) just because their politics or opinions don’t line up.

    At this point, we know nothing about the series beside Chuck Dixon is writing, another fellow is drawing, and it stars Midnighter and Grifter in what’s sure to be a straightforward action picture. Dixon’s Team Zero miniseries last year was good enough that I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, crap statements aside.

  31. Journalista » Blog Archive » Dec. 12, 2006: Howard’s End? Says:

    [...] You already knew the American comics industry was dumber than a bag of hammers, right? Here’s further proof: DC Comics’ Wildstorm imprint has hired an anti-gay social conservative to write a book co-starring Midnighter, a gay superhero. Chuck Dixon, a longtime scripter well-known for his distain for homosexuals, will be writing a Grifter/Midnighter miniseries. The fuck…? Reaction to this bizarre bit of hiring news can be found from Lyle Misaki, Johanna Draper Carlson, Loren Javier and Dorian Wright. (Right: publicity image and possible cover for the Grifter/Midnighter miniseries, ©2006 DC Comics.) [...]

  32. Opinion8 Says:

    “what exactly is the neutral position between “comics should include gay characters” and “comics should never show gay characters”?

    Maybe “Comics should reflect the real world, which includes men and women who are attracted to and fall in love with those of their same sex, but
    comics doesn’t have to reflect the political exquisiteness that treats these men and women as
    Panda bears, to be protected and shielded from any perceived slight.

    Because that’s condescending and patronizing, even if some of those men and women choose to have the political and cultural status of Ming-Ming
    and Ling Ling.

    Because, a Chuck Dixon “Midnighter” should be evaluated on its merits, not on his politics of some litmus test.

    I don’t care if Chuck Dixon wants to edit what his children are exposed to. I care about his work.

    Female/female sex is going to disquiet some people, and male/male sex is going to make people, especially straight guys, squirmy. That is not a hate crime.

    Judge the man on his narrative and storyline, not because he’s not EM Forster, or Gore Vidal, or Edmund White or because his politics aren’t Larry Kramer’s.

  33. notintheface Says:

    At first glance, it seems like having Dave Sim write BIRDS OF PREY. But Dixon’s a good writer, so maybe he’ll get over himself as far as homosexual characters are concerned. Besides, sexuality is far from all there is to the Midnighter. He’s also a magnificent bastard who kicks ass.

  34. Johanna Says:

    Opinion, you say gay people shouldn’t be treated as protected animals (?), and then you say it’s ok for Dixon to want to keep the knowledge of the existence of gays from his kids. What’s Dixon doing but trying to treat gays as something that can be locked away and only visited when you choose to go to the zoo? Your position is inconsistent.

    David: you make a good point: the complaint might should be with the editors that hired Dixon for this job.

  35. one diverse comic book nation » THE SHORT STACK: Diversity On The ‘Net - December 13, 2006 Says:

    [...] What Was DC Thinking? – Johanna from Comics Worth Reading wonders why Chuck Dixon! (from Comics Worth Reading) [...]

  36. Opinion8 Says:

    Johanna – I think the Dixon household has the right to educate its children as it seems fit – there are an awful lot of parents who would prefer that the children they are responsible for mature in their sexuality at their own pace, not in response to a popular culture that is near transgressive in its saturation with commercialized sexuality.

    I don’t think young kids need to have an opinion of what adult humans do in their bedrooms, because they’ll develop their own as they mature. As far as for those humans who are attracted to and fall in love him their those of their own sex, playgrounds seemed to have their knowledge of that in the antedeluvian age when I was a child. Knowledge of their existance doesn’t flow from parents.

    Good parents will educate their children to respect other humans, period.

    “What’s Dixon doing but trying to treat gays as something that can be locked away” Here’s what annoys me -it’s the Panda bear syndrome. You speak of “gays” as some monolithic bloc,as though
    “gayness” defines a separate tribe of humanity.

    Isaac Mizrahi, Roy Cohn, Alan Turing, Fran Lebowitz, Miceal Judge,Batwoman, Banky from “Chasing Amy”—this is a cohesive community that needs defending from Chuck Dixon treating ‘them’ as something to be marginalized?

    Because maybe he doesn’t want his young kids to be conversant about the specifics of male/male or female/female sexual practices?

    I suppose I just don’t cotton to the orthodoxy about “the knowledge of the existence of gays”. Do you think Dixon wants to keep the existance of Turing, or of “Banky” from his kids? The specifics of what these adults’ sexual dynamics are? If the latter, then that family’s opinions on sexual morality are none of my business, nor anyone else opinionating here.

    Well brought up children will respect other humans,
    and it’s incredibly patronizing for people to fault Dixon just because his opinions are different from theirs.

    You don’t want Dixon defining those who are drawn to others of their same sex for his children? I don’t want you defining my experience to fit into your politics, or speaking for me. I can speak for myself.
    I’m not in a zoo eating bamboo.

    I’m not scared of Chuck Dixon. his politics, or what he’ll do with a cliched Batman-manque of note only because Mark Millar or Warren Ellis or Garth Ennis had him gettin’ it on with a Superman-manque character.

    And I certainly don’t need the politically-correct orthodoxy handwringers to speak for me.

  37. Johanna Says:

    No, I don’t agree that a household has the right to teach its kids that “gay people don’t exist”, regardless of how well you think the playground will cover for that lack.

    And kids grasp love and relationships without needing to go into bedroom behavior just fine when it comes to boy/girl relationships (we were playing weddings at six years old without knowing anything about sex). I’m leery of the double standard applied when anyone immediately starts talking about keeping them protected from sex when it comes to “the gays”. I think it says more about what that person obsesses on than what really applies to the kids.

    You’re ducking my other points to ride your own, clearly familiar hobbyhorses.

    In short, “he loves him” can be said without reference to sex, and it should be said in comics. I do fault Dixon for making bigoted statements. I use “bigoted” because it sets homosexuals apart solely because of that quality, defining them only by their sexual inclination. Since you don’t want them to be “pandas” (an odd fixation), I’m sure you agree with me that that would be wrong.

  38. Robert Says:

    Why is Augie De Blieck Jr. on every message board defending Mr. Dixon’s homophobia? That seem curious. I find it odd that one would put so much effort into justifying intolerance.

  39. Johanna Says:

    Augie is a conservative, as is Mr. Dixon, and he seems to buy into the (imo crackpot) idea that there’s some kind of conspiracy/liberal bias against them in comics.

  40. Opinion8 Says:

    “From E&P news that a right-leaning cartooner was arrested for a family unfriendly activity:”

    From Kim’s THE BEAT: yeah, why would anyone think there’s a bias against those not of the political orthodoxy in the creative community?

    “I use “bigoted” because it sets homosexuals apart solely because of that quality, defining them only by their sexual inclination.”

    But, Johanna, the term “homosexual” was used explicitly to define humans by their sexual desires.

    I included a link to a blog by a young guy who blogs on comics,

    [JDC edit: this link includes NSFW pictures]

    http://dudetube.blogspot.com/2006/12/alex-ross-responds-to-obsidian.html

    and other aspects of his life, which you deleted,
    I’m guessing because one if his preocupations is sex and attractive men.

    You edit that out of your blog, but then decry Dixon for wanting to edit what his children are exposed to?

    A guy saying “I love him” about another guy is not a homosexual issue, and, as I’ve stated, my opinion is that children who are well-raised will have respect for ALL humans. Kids that learn about loving relationships will de facto learn about loving same-sex relationships

    If you want to present an image of “homosexuals” as some sort of fuzzy, adorable,
    Nathan Laney Ewoks who can’t speak for themselves and must be defended by politically-correct-outraged women as the cause celebre du jour, carry on. That’s no different with Japanese girls being into romantic schoolboys-in-love manga. If you can’t see why that’s patronizing and condescending…

    And if you think you can separate out lust and horniness and those thing in Dudetube that make you uncomfortable from the “gay” experience, you’re
    exhibiting the same tunnel vision you decry in Dixon.

    Keep in mind: “homosexuality” was actually a diagnosis in the US, in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), until it was removed by lobbying by Charles Silverstein, PhD—who went on to write THE JOY OF GAY SEX
    (“covers the ins and outs of gay life alphabetically from “anus” to “wrestling.”) with Edmund White soon after.

    Some people will tell you that kids out to be able to read Silverstein & White’s book. If I’m supposed to think that Dixon is a fiend because maybe he and his spouse find that inappropriate for the children they’re responsible for–unless they’re letting the kids read HUSTLER, I don’t buy it.

  41. Johanna Says:

    I edited out that link originally because it wasn’t specific as to how it related to comics and this discussion, and when I visited it, the first thing I saw was an erect naked penis. Linking to non-comic-related explicit pictures says “spam” to me, and not-safe-for-work links should be labeled as such. (Your guess as to why it was eliminated is completely wrong: I am very interested in attractive men. :) )

    You said “Kids that learn about loving relationships will de facto learn about loving same-sex relationships” which indicates that you have a lot more faith in bigots doing the right thing than I do.

    I can no longer follow your reversals and lack of logic (suddenly I’m anti-sex because I think the gay experience *should* be represented in comics?), so I’m done.

  42. Michael Denton Says:

    I’m quite tired of the “political correct” dismissal. It’s a term that has no meaning and is used almost exclusively by people in dominant societal positions to continue to keep people in subordinate groups silent and further marginalized. It is essential an ad hominem attack – it says nothing about the validity of an argument and implies that the arguer is him/herself some type of oppressor of free speech (when in fact the accuser is actually trying to shut down the dissident, subordinate viewpoint). “PC” implies that the perspective lacks validity; that it is somehow intrinsically corrupt without bothering to explain why that may be.

    In America today there is no political correctness. It’s perfectly okay for not only the average citizen to express anti-gay sentiment, but our elected officials as well. When so many states are writing discrimination into their constitutions, it’s hardly a climate of any type of correctness, political or not.

    Being gay is as much about sex as being straight is. Most parents are not only comfortable with displays of straight sexuality that their children are exposed to on a regular basis, but actually think nothing of it and are active participants in promoting that sexuality. Parents who rightly see nothing wrong with various displays of kissing and maybe even a chaste grope in front of their children recoil in horror at simple hand-holding by same-sex couples.

    People who intuitively understand that straight couples kissing doesn’t lead one to having to explain sexual mechanics to children continuously assert that this same type of display forces them to explain anal and oral sex. It’s ignorance, hypocrisy and it’s homophobic.

    Opinion, as you rightly point out that homosexuality USED to be a diagnosed mental disorder, but it hasn’t been for decades now, so I’m not sure what your point is. As a matter of fact, the APA actively stands against so-called reparative therapy and even lately the US military’s incorrect labeling of homosexuality as a mental defect. So, if you are trying to imply that the APA changed just because one person was trying to sell a book, then you’re way off base. Clearly, an entire body of professionals realize that the previous categorization was a mistake based on incomplete or bad information and firmly stand against bad science.

  43. Opinion8 Says:

    Johanna: sorry you find my perspective illogical: the term “the gay experience” is meaningless to me, because there are countless individual experiences.

    Denton: Political Correctness has a very specific, historical context, whether you like it or not:

    “Historically, the term “politically correct” originates in Germany in the 1930s. It was fostered by a group of Marxist intellectuals at Frankfurt University’s School of Social Research. They believed that images and words were powerful conveyers of political intentions. They also held that people should self-censor their language in order to avoid offending or creating hostile social climates that might jeopardize social cohesion, collective cooperation, work production, and other Marxist economic and societal concerns. Of course, Adolf Hitler closed the school, claiming that it was both Jewish and Marxist. Several Frankfurt School faculty members wisely departed Germany for New York, where they joined the ‘University in Exile,’ eventually inspiring the rise of the New School of Social Research, NYC. Over time, the Frankfurt School’s ideas evolved into the chic leftist doctrine of being “politically correct.”

    Historically, polygamy is a much more accepted standard than same-sex couples: do you think that polygamist activists who complain that society oppresses them by forcing the monogamous male/female couple as the standard have the same grievance as you express?

  44. Tyler Says:

    Opinion8, wow, you were able to go a whole five posts without comparing homosexuality to polygamy. That must have taken a lot of restraint!

  45. Opinion8 Says:

    So, Tyler, you’re bigoted against the polygamist community, who have to sit and take it as the popular culture crams the duocentric ideal down their throat?
    Oppressing them by flooding them with images of man/woman, woman/woman, and man/man mates,
    so that young budding polygamists don’t see themselves represented in the media, save for tales set in the distant past when plural marriage was the standard?

    Why should duos be priviliged with tax breaks, inheritance rights, social acceptance, while polygamy is persecutied and demonized by small- minded oppressors shoving their monogamy-centric values down our throats?

    Why is two the magic number, anymore than man/woman should get all the breaks. All we wantis our fair share…

  46. Opinion8 Says:

    And, btw Tyler, there’s no comparison drawn between homosexuality and polygamy in the comments – just a question as to whether polygamy activists should expect the same societal redress as the same-sex marriage activists?

  47. Johanna Says:

    Ok, that’s it. Now you’re just trying to cause trouble.




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