Confession: My favorite genre of movies is super hero films. (Preferably Marvel.) Yes, they're full of racism and sexism and generally everything bad... but still, I find them awesome. I read a few comics, but I don't really have the time or money to keep up with the series I like regularly, so instead I enjoy the movies.
So I was really excited to read Fanboy by Alexander Chee, an absolutely awesome article about why he loved X-Men as a kid. But it's not just about that - it's about race and politics and ability and culture and how all of those things are reflected in comics, both when he was reading them as a kid and now.
Though, in talking about the problem of race in contemporary comic books, he didn't point out my favorite character Dust who is the token Muslim woman in Young X-Men, so I want to give her a shout-out, because she's a fantastic character.
Thus ends my fangirling. Seriously, read the whole thing.
I don't think I have noticed the racism as much as the sexism, but maybe that is because, given the era the majority of marvel comics came from, there wasn't many non-White American characters (and straight)in mainstream culture anyways.
Anyways, never stop fangirling. ;) You are exceptionally good at it.
My problem with many mainstream comics is the sexism as well. Comics have both helped and hurt women. On the one hand is the damsel in distress, the foil to the superhero who is only able to appear strong to the extent that the love interest/female character is weak. However, badass female heroes appear strong all on their own. But I would actually like to read more comics with men who need to be rescued. Only strong boys like strong girls ;) Of course, this is catering to heterosexualism, but I'd love to see more homosexuality in mainstream comics.
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