Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I hope you all have a scary, scary time tonight!  As for me, I'm going to my local Occupy rally dressed in a 1776 American minuteman outfit and wearing a tricorne hat with teabags hanging off of it! 


Thin and Curvy blog

Just had to mention a blog that I'll be keeping an eye on, because it discusses topics that I've brought up before, but it's dedicated to the topic rather than as a once-in-a-while post that I do here.  I'm going to post it to my sidebar as well.

Thin and Curvy

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The hypersexualization of women in comics

I think discussing the issue of the hypersexualization of women in comics in a blog titled "Busty Superhero Chick" is probably a good place for such a discussion. :-)

Let's go ahead and start with an explanation of the name of my blog. First, it's meant to be something easy to remember, and I think it is.  Next, it's also a play on you guys and how you generally like your superhero women - with big boobs.  :-)

As for the issue of hypersexualization of women - in short, comics are largely geared to male readers, and the artists tend to be male - so basically it was an inevitability that women would be drawn in such a way as to have proportions that were impossible for a woman to have in real life.  Having female artists helps somewhat, since they would be familiar with what would be realistic and unrealistic in regards to women's body proportions, but the expectation of skimpy or otherwise degrading costumes is such that it's what they draw as well.

And since this question is likely going to come up - what about my costume?  Isn't it rather skimpy as well?  And the cleavage hole isn't exactly what most women would wear in their everyday clothing.  First, keep in mind that it is a superhero costume, so it's supposed to stand out from your regular everyday attire.  Also, I cover up more than most.  You'll note that most of my legs are covered, and my arms are covered entirely.   Initially, the costume design was going to have me wearing just shorts for bottoms, but we decided that the skirt adds a nice feminine touch.  I still wear the shorts that were intended all along, it's just now worn under the skirt.  As for the cleavage hole, it's meant to be a distraction - and the smiley face an additional distraction as well as being a memory device.  So as far as superhero costumes go, I think it's rather conservative, especially when compared to the sorts of costumes that are out there.

For instance, look at the Phantom Lady.  Her top is basically glorified suspenders!  She's a "wardrobe malfunction" waiting to happen.  Every. Single. Time. she goes out to do her hero thing!

Then there's impossible proportions, such as Rob Liefield women.  Most of his women have such strange, oddly proportioned torsos and limbs, and those impossibly tiny pinched-in waists!

And speaking of impossible proportions, consider the character Red Monika of Battle Chasers and her enormous boobs.  For a real woman to have such proportions, her boobs would literally have to be the size of watermelons!  Try strapping two watermelons to your chest and then see if you can get anything done - much less the expected superhero action stuff!

So yes, the hypersexualization of women gets very bad.  No woman can look like these superhero women - not through exercise and dieting, not through surgery, and certainly not through the combination of both.  I'm not sure how to say this without sounding like some mushy feminist, but these kinds of depictions sets unrealistic expectations of how women should look, both to boys and girls.

And yet, consider the market.  Very few readers, both male and female, want superhero women who are fat and ugly.  In order to attract - and keep - readers (who again, are mostly male), then the writers and artists need to make the female heroes attractive and their costumes flattering ("Flattering" can be done without being skimpy, BTW).  

There's also the question of their personalities.  How tough and badass can a superhero woman be and still be womanly?  When is she a woman, and not just a man with a hot bod and boobs?  You understand what I'm saying with that previous sentence?  What I mean is, if she walks like a man, talks like a man, can kick ass like a man, then what makes her a woman?  And yet, do you guys really want a "real" woman for your female superhero character?

That is, do you want her to be complaining about her "female problems" such as periods, cramps, hormonal imbalances, yeast infections, and the like?  Do you want her to be whining about her relationship problems with her significant others, her parents, her GFs, etc?  How much female "whinyness" are you willing to put up with?  Not much, I would bet.  My guess is that you would say, "I have that in real life with my wife/girlfriend/etc!  Why would I want it in my comics?"

So that presents a challenge to both the writers and the artists.  It's a balance to find the right amounts of what would be considered realistic vs the expected exaggerations of the superhero elements in a typical comic book story.  In other words, the unrealistic is expected in a comic book story.; after all, how many women do you know in real life that can lift fully loaded semis over their heads?  But I would also say that reading comic books isn't so much about seeing Wonder Woman lift boulders over her head and the reader expecting to be able to do the same with the right about of dieting/training/exercise; instead, the story is about the message that comes from the story.

We read comics not to learn how to imitate the super abilities of the heroes, but instead to absorb the lessons that are taught from their experiences.  Perhaps that's what the writers and artists should be concentrating on when it comes to the female characters - that is, what lesson will the reader come away with about humanity in general, and if applicable, women specifically?

I tend to believe that most of you won't be interested in stories in which hypersexualization is the message.  Yes, there's always going to be the weird perverts who get off on these hypersexualizations, but there aren't enough of them for most comic companies to make the kinds of profits that eventually finance blockbuster movies.  Instead, I think that most of you want good human interest stories with clear, understandable messages about the human condition, as well as giving the message that "with great power comes great responsibility" - which applies not just to those with super powers, but all of us. 

There's always going to be the hypersexualizations of women in the comics, but as a free-market advocate, I believe that those comics are always going to inhabit the margins of comic book sales, while the more realistic depictions of women are always going to be the bread-and-butter of comic sales.  So fear not, my friends.  But it also doesn't hurt to have the occasional reminder that these hypersexualizations exist, especially when these reminders come from men.  If it gets to the point that you guys can see it, then it must be pretty bad!  LOL

I was trying to think of some way to end this particular blog entry, but instead, I think I'll leave this open-ended in case I get some responses from you all.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Occupy Stormwind!

Yes, that's right, the "Occupy" movement has reached the fortress city of Stormwind!  I'm here in Stormwind as my level 75 human hunter reporting from the mob at Stormwind's entry gates.  I'm now talking to Ella Anderson of Gilneas, one of the founding members of the Occupy Stormwind Movement (OSM).  So Ella, what are you and your group protesting?

Ella:  The fact that the Alliance has been leading our good men and women into many battles costing us untold numbers of lives and taking a severe drain on the economy!  Our military forces are in the Outlands, at Northrend, in the various battlegrounds across Azeroth, and now we're sending our soldiers to fight in the Firelands!  When does it end?  Why can't we make peace with the Horde and all work together?

Me:  The leader of the Horde, Garrosh Hellscream is not exactly a peaceable man - in fact, he hates the Alliance equally as much as King Varian Wrynn of Stormwind hates the Horde.  How could peace be made between two equally hot-tempered leaders?

Ella: That I can't say, except to ask: Are they even trying?  It's like all the citizens of Azeroth are pawns in their little game of enormous egos!  But we are pawns only so long as we allow ourselves to be pawns!  We now want more control over what happens to our lives!  (turns to the crowd behind her):  Free Azeroth!  Free the people!  The citizens of the world demand to be heard! (roar of approval).

Me:  But what about the recent actions of the dragon Deathwing, and of the mysterious Twilight Cult?  How can King Wrynn deal with these problems while trying to satisfy the demands of OSM?

Ella:  That's just it!  The answer's always the same!  Throw our lives away so as to protect the pocketbooks of the Alliance's robber barons!  Who needs the Horde's greedy goblin cartels when we got our own greedy owners of the war industries?  Do you know how many orphans our constant wars create?  Do you know how much less life and coin we would be using up if we could at least work with the Horde?

Me:  So the answer is...

Ella: The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind - the answer my friend is in the winds of change!  And that change is that the people won't stand for being used and abused by its leaders any longer!  No more "For the Alliance" or "For the Horde"!  It's now "For the people of Azeroth!"

Me:  So what are you going to do if an invading Horde force comes down the road here?

(Voice from the crowd):  You know, we should totally connect with members of the Horde so that they can start an Occupy Orgrimmar movement!

(Another voice):  Yeah!  I bet they're even more pissed at Garrosh than we are at the king!

(Yet another voice):  Ella, you should totally get with Jaina Proudmoore about this!  She knows Thrall, and I bet she can convince Thrall to join our cause!

Me: Wait, so Jaina is part of this?

Ella:  Not officially, of course, but she keeps up with our cause. 

Me: Anything else you want to mention before I log off?

Ella:  Yeah!  We also want to protest the utter unoriginality of all the "mom" jokes in Trade Chat!  Dudes, can't you come up with better insults than to constantly be ragging on the moms?  And rape isn't funny, no matter what context you try to put it in!  Don't refer being wiped in a battleground as being raped - just say that you got your asses kicked!  And last, no more [Anal] jokes in Trade!  Damn, that's so juvenile!

Me:  Well, good luck with that.  Trade Chat is pretty much a subculture.  I'll report more on this story as it develops.  Now to log off and go back to reality - by logging on to Facebook!  See you there!

This has been Andromeda the level 75 hunter reporting from the gates of Stormwind!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Zombie month update: I need more zombies!

There's still time everyone, but I need more zombies if I'm gonna have a zombie apocalypse at the end of the month!  I didn't want to do this, but if I have to, I'll bring out the "big sad eyes".  O-O

The boss did offer a suggestion that I'll go ahead and mention.  If you don't want to have a depiction of yourself as a zombie, then how about as a zombie hunter?  What would you look like if you were the classic movie version of a zombie hunter?  That might be as fun to do as making yourself into a zombie!  :-D

Either way, I hope to see some art from you all.  :-)

(practicing her "big sad eyes" in the mirror)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Clues for the clueless demonstrators of Occupy Wall Street (and for free!)

After one month, the dirty, horny dumbasses of Occupy Wall Street still don't have a clue as to what they're protesting!  It's unbelievable that such an allegedly wired and social media-connected group of protestors still don't know what they're doing there!  Don't you people read your own damn Twitter page?

Well morons, let me help you out!  Here's What The Wall Street Protesters Are So Angry About

Take it to heart and memorize it, so that you don't sound like an idiot when the press asks what you've been doing for a month other than being a public health hazard with your month-long drinking, doping, f**king, defecating, urinating, etc out in public!

Now don't say that I never did anything for you!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

John Lennon the conservative?

This article asks the question if John Lennon was a closet conservative

Not only that, he rewrites some of Lennon's songs to reflect this possible conservative bent, including a remake of Imagine.

Well, I did that already!  And I think mine version was better! 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Challenge to the artists! Oscar the Grouch moves to Wall Street

Okay, I am issuing a challenge to the artists based on the photo art above, which I got from a FB friend. 

Imagine this scenario:  Oscar the Grouch hears that there is now tons of trash on Wall Street because of the Wall Street Occupiers, so he decides to move there.  Upon arriving, the potheads there see him and in their stoned state, believe that he is a marijuana bush.  My challenge to you is to capture what happens next in a cartoon or artwork.  >:-D

If you take up my challenge, post it to your FB page and let me know.  I'll then post it here. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Stupiddist prowtestilers evar!

Not only are the Wall Street Occupiers clueless, they're also stupid!

Werst portessturs evah!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Vegan and pro-life? Why the hell not?

If there were ever a liberal group that could eventually be swung to the pro-life side, it would be vegans and animal-rights activists.  It's a very short leap in logic that if it's wrong to slaughter animals for our consumption, then it's wrong to slaughter unborn children in the womb.

This blog entry is coming out of a discussion with one of my vegan GFs, who's always trying to work me into adopting her dietary lifestyle.  I have been countering with trying to get her to adopt my pro-life views.  We are at an impasse, because I can eat a hamburger with no guilt and still believe that we must end our massive slaughter of unborn infants, while she can see the abortion issue as a "woman's decision" and not blink an eye to the end result of a life snuffed out before it takes its first breath, and yet she can be moved to tears with mere images of emaciated and caged animals.

She accuses me of an illogical inconsistency because of my views of the unborn and their inherent value of life, and yet not be moved as she is with the slaughterhouse imagery that are often part of the discussions we have.  Not to sound flippant, but cows make damn fine hamburgers.  Yes, it SOUNDS flippant, but I am actually making a point.  My point is, we are a meat eating society - it's ingrained in our history and our culture - so her cause is an uphill battle.  VERY uphill. 

It's so uphill that when she embraces the logical inconsistency of being vegan and yet pro-choice, it undermines her credibility of just how much she values life.  What her actions are saying that life is valuable and sacrosanct so long as it's animal life.  Human life, meanwhile, is ours to use and dispose of as we see fit.  While she may genuinely feel that responding with "I support a woman's desire to make decisions about her own body" is a perfectly legitimate response, it's actually a cop-out from an opportunity to demonstrate just how much she values life. 

In other words, her arguments about the worth of animal life would be a LOT stronger if she also had the same burning desire of the worth of unborn human life.  When I type that out, it seems kinda goofy that anyone couldn't see that logical flaw of viewing animal life as sacrosanct and not human life, but for her, she doesn't see it.  Now don't get me wrong about her - she's a beautiful and wonderful person; otherwise, she wouldn't be one of my GFs!

But, so long as she is unable to see this contradiction, then she will be undermining her arguments with meat-eating prolifers like me.  I think I have a pretty good idea on what you're thinking:  Maybe if I become a vegan, then she'll become prolife.  Trust me, it won't work.  As embedded as being a carnivore is in my psyche, her pro-choice views are even more embedded.  That is, I can give up meat much easier than she can give up her pro-choice views - so radically liberal is she.

No, if this is going to work and she is going to change the hearts of steak-lovers everywhere, then she'll need to make the shocking conversion of becoming a prolifer, and I mean full-bore, marching-at-Planned-Parenthood prolifer - and not a mere "I personally oppose abortion, but..." types, because "personally oppose" prolifers are in truth de facto pro-choicers. 

The thing is, while she is in the process of adopting prolife views, she will find that she loses absolutely nothing in regards to her vegan views.  In fact, in light of what she'll come to learn along the way, she'll find that being prolife and vegan is not only entirely consistent, but actually go hand-in-hand - it will actually complete what she believes about life and its worth.  She will then see that if she is going to be changing hearts and minds, then she must be willing to view the lives of babies as beautiful and wonderful - just as much as the cuddly little forest critters or little lambs and baby chicks that are often stock imagery for vegan literature. 

GF, you asked what it would take to win me over to your side.  Well, here ya go.  Do this, and you will win me over to your side.  Now my question to you is this:  Is your dedication to the animal rights cause deep and true and strong enough for you to venture exploring the pro-life side of the abortion debate?  I promise you that it will be worth the struggle.  :-)

And who knows - you might even change my mind one day on the vegan issue.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Zombie Apocalypse! Interview of a Zombie

Yes, dear friends, the Zombie Apocalypse has invaded my blog!  And through the magic of reckless use of the time/space continuum, I shall now interview - Zombie Me!  Say hello, ZM!

ZM:  Hrrrr...  He-hellooo...

Me:  As most of you might imagine with zombies, ZM has a bit of a difficulty speaking, so bear with her!  She's trying!  Now ZM, I understand that the only reason that you're not eating my brain right now is because you just ate, am I right?

ZM:  Y- yesss....   Just ate Mi-michael Mmoore's brraainnzz....  

Me:  Ew.  And how was that?

ZM:  Hi-high fat content.  But oth-otherwise, juicy... because it - it was barely used...

Me:  And I understand that you favor the brains of liberals because of that, right?

ZM:  Y-yess...   Lib-liberalzz  don't use - brainzz much....  And...  liberalz brainzz...easier to get to...

Me:  Why is that?

ZM:  B-because they're so open-minded... their brainzz fall ouuut....

Me:  (rimshot sound)  So let me ask, how did I end up like you?  Because of my super strength and healing, I'm very hard to injure, much less kill, so what finally did me in?

ZM: Hrrr...

Me:  Or is this one of those things that I shouldn't know, because it would affect my future?

ZM:  Future... already affected... by meeting meee nowww.....

Me:  Ah, good point - and a moot point too, I suppose...

(Note: To speed things up, I have consolidated her next few responses as well as eliminated her "hrrrs" and long pauses, as well as eliminated my constant prodding for her to continue)

ZM:  It was December 2012, and the country was celebrating the recent election of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.  The liberals went insane, and many fled to Canada and Mexico.  Others were so outraged that they managed to shut down YouTube several times with their endless video postings of their rants.  To discuss the election results, Elizabeth Hasselbeck invited me to be her guest on The View.  Also invited by the other hostesses were Janeane Garafalo, Matt Damon, Alec Baldwin, Michael Moore, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, and many others.  Hasselbeck was allowed to invite only one guest while the other hostesses were allowed to invite as many as they wanted, so me and Hasselbeck smelled a set-up, and we were right.  We were only a couple of minutes into the show before all the exits were suddenly sealed shut with thick metal plates and then we were mobbed.  I punched a hole in the wall for Hasselbeck to escape, and then I stood my ground as long as I could before I was taken down.  As it turns out, some of these well known liberals are superhuman, which is how they killed me.  John Kerry, who has the ability to turn people into zombies, felt that it would add insult to injury to zombify me, so he did.  It never occurred to him or any of the others of what a superhuman zombie could do, and I ate the brains of most of them before they could escape.  The zombie apocalypse started from there, and has spread since then.

(We are now resuming her normal speech patterns)

Me:  Wow.  So in the process of retaliation for the 2012 election results, the liberals all got together and ended up making things worse.  Sounds like the usual MO for them!

ZM:  Hrrr... hehe....

Me:  So if I'm invited to The View next December,  I should decline, and then tell Elizabeth Hasselbeck to call in sick that day. 

ZM:  Y- yesss....

Me:  Well, thank you for coming, Zombie Me.  I need you to stick around for the rest of this month during my Zombie Apocalypse promotion, so let me think of where you could go.  Hmm...

ZM:  Hrrr... brainzzz....

Me:  Yes, I imagine you must be hungry now after all that talking you did.  Well, we can't exactly have you start another zombie apocalypse here in your past, and certainly not before Sarah Palin gets elected!  Tell you what:  I'll snap a pic of you to post in my blog, and then send you back to the future.  (snaps pic)

ZM:  Brainzz....

Me:  Yes, dear.  I'm working on it.  Ah!  Here we go!  I'll plop you right into a meeting of the National Democratic Convention!  Lots of unused liberal brains there!

ZM:  Hmmm...  Yummm..... 

Me:  Yeah, I thought you might like that.  I would wish you well, but how well can a zombie's existence be?  I guess I wish you - lots of brains to eat!  See ya!  (zaps ZM back to the future).

Well, there you have it, folks - a glimpse of the future that might come to pass!  And at least now I know not to accept an invitation to The View!

And a great thanks to Rocio Zucchi for that most excellent artwork of undead me!  I thank her for being able to draw her while ignoring the smell of undead flesh!  I don't know how you did it without gagging, Rocio!  Here's her deviantArt site to check out the rest of her stuff!

I hope I get a lot of you guys to join in on the fun this month!  :-)