- Posted by Johanna on March 21, 2008 at 11:06 am
- Category: LinkBlogging
This post is totally gossipy.
Valerie D’Orazio has announced (link no longer available) that she’s removing linkblog When Fangirls Attack from her blogroll because she’s stopped reading it. Of course, there’s a personal component:
Perhaps it’s my support of their occasional critic Dirk Deppey that soured them; to which I say that, despite the fact that Dirk has disagreed with some of my opinions (and has even been quite snarky with me on occasion), he has never addressed me with the sort of personal attacks that I have experienced from Ragnell at WFA.
My reaction: Ditto! And what took her so long to notice?
Although the WFA Mission Statement talks about their desire to cover the subjects of women and misogyny in comics, the reality is that the blog often makes the common mistake of assuming comics equals superheroes. That’s understandable, since the two authors’ tastes run firmly in that vein.
The result, though, is that some post where a woman puts up two lines about a guy-starring and -focused superhero comic with no female-oriented content will get linked, while substantive posts about the role of female characters in manga (for example) will be ignored. They’re not covering comics or the increasing female readership (which has happened outside of their favored genre); instead, they’re trying to draw more attention to girls who read superheroes. They’re not reporting even-handedly, they’re selecting to fit their political position — just as most bloggers do.
Given my notorious opinions on the subject, you won’t be surprised to find out that I’ve had my own run-ins with one of that team, nor that I am rarely linked by them. Likely, that’s because they don’t read this site, so they only notice me when one of the sites they do read point me out. And I’m not part of that circle, since I’ve moved far away from superhero comics as regular content here.
Now, announcing such a decision prominently may not be the best way to go about it. Reasons for: to encourage others to support you or agree or do the same thing. Against: it riles up those who want to “take sides” or love drama. But since Valerie recently said she’s started moderating comments, she’s ready, although I’m left wondering what didn’t make it through. Because I love drama when it happens to other people.
I don’t read Fangirls because I’m not interested in most of what they cover. But I do have sympathy for them, because doing such a thing (for over two years now, if I’ve got it right) is wearying. And constantly focusing on the outrage — oh, no, another sexist cover/story/image/piece of merchandise — gives one tunnel vision, a brittle temper, and a leathery shell. It’s hard to recover from. (And when you reach the point of wanting to talk only to those who agree with you, you may be subconsciously crying out for someone to make you take a break. Sample quote:
I would like the commenters who don’t like it to avoid pissing in my cheerios when I’m happy over Green Lantern. There is precious little that I get joyful about, and I would like these feelings of joy to be sustained as long as possible.)
I’d encourage them to find more comics that they could enjoy better, because now, there’s a whole wide world of them out there, but they want to stick to the franchised trademarks they’ve read most of their lives. Ok, their choice. But the rest is waiting for them whenever they’re ready. And it would be nice if their mission statement was more accurate, to avoiding perpetuating the mistake that one particular genre = the entire medium.