Forget about Whacklemore. Here’s Ten Queer Rappers You Should Know About.
(Above: I bet you any one of them was thinking this after Mr. More’s VMA win. Especially Le1f.)
By Andy Khouri
In a posting to JH Williams III’s website late Wednesday night, the acclaimed artist and his Batwoman co-writer W. Haden Blackman announced that due to what they described as a preponderance of “eleventh-hour changes” to stories that had been planned a year or more in advance, they’re walking off the book. Among the grievances alleged by Williams and Blackman was publisher DC Comics’ refusal to allow principal characters Batwoman (aka Kate Kane) and her fiancé Maggie Sawyer to get married.
Asked to expand on the marriage note, Williams said the following via Twitter: “Not wanting to be inflammatory, only factual — We fought to get [Kate and Maggie] engaged, but were told emphatically no marriage can result.” He added, “But must clarify— [the decision] was never put to us as being anti-gay marriage.”
Look, as much as my little lesbian heart was squeeing at the idea of a Kane/Sawyer wedding, if you’ve actually been reading the book, you have to know that it was doomed to fail. Kate Kane, at least as written by J.H. Williams, III and W. Haden Blackman, has been far too erratic, unstable, and emotionally manipulative to be healthy for anyone to be in a relationship with, and Maggie was always going to get hurt, and hurt badly, at the end of this story.
For this to have a happy ending would be wildly out of character. I’m not saying that Williams and Blackman wouldn’t have handled it honestly, but I can see why DC (who are already wary of how marriage “ages” a character in the public’s eyes) would be hesitant to have their “groundbreaking lesbian wedding that attracts media attention” event ultimately turn out to be about a highly dysfunctional and possibly abusive relationship.
This isn’t a Vertigo book, and while it would be an interesting artistic take on the character, it could also be really misguided and potentially just reinforce all the messed up stuff the heterosexist patriarchy says about us.
If Greg Rucka were still on the book, I would feel worse about this. But if Greg Rucka were still on the book, we wouldn’t have had the stories we’ve had the last two years. And after two years, I still don’t know that I trust this creative team to have handled it well. I know they’ve faced editorial interference, but there’s still some really disturbing subtext to their work, and I just can’t figure out where I stand on it.
Or have we forgotten that Wonder Woman was introduced to the book with an awkwardly patriarchal declaration that she is “not a daughter of Sappho,” though she might have a reputation as one. Or that Kate and Maggie’s first sex scene takes place on the same night that Kate’s cousin and sidekick Bette Kane, Flamebird, was was brutally gutted by a literal meathook. I don’t know why these elements are being juxtaposed. If I’m feeling generous, I could say that I don’t understand it because editorial interference stripped away its later relevance. But I don’t know that, and with what’s on the page, I do not trust this creative team to handle it well.
I guess what I’m saying is, this might not have actually been a bad move on DC’s part.
Do we really need to have another discussion about how problematic it is that our society considers clearly depicted sex to be more “explicit” than intense violence? That it considers depictions of sexual pleasure more explicit than negative, creepy, or deformed depictions of sex and genitalia? That it considers gay sex to be more “explicit” than heterosexual sex? That it frequently gives depictions of lesbian sex a pass because it can be presented for objectification and consumption by the assumed straight male audience where the tiniest bit of gay sex is considered to massively impinge on the fragile masculinity of that assumed straight male audience?
I object to the idea that censors give lesbian sex a pass. This has been documented in several cases, but the one that springs most chiefly to mind right now comes from the interviews in THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED. The mere depiction of a woman character having an orgasm is often enough to give a film an NC-17 rating. When the person giving or inspiring that orgasm is a woman, the odds increase dramatically.
Yes, implied lesbianism for male titillation is often given a pass. But depictions of women’s pleasure (whether she is with a man or a woman) are astonishingly rare, and lesbian sex is overwhelmingly censored.
oh no help this is adorable
Fun historical fact, there used to be more gay and lesbian content in early silent films until religious groups protested resulting in “decency standards.”
aren’t they just SO ADORABLE?
They really, really are. I don’t know the film to know whether or not these two are lovers in the narrative (“gay” and “lesbian” would be ahistorical terms to use, and physical affection between friends was a lot more common in the United States prior to the 1950s) but I’m going to pretend they are for now because this makes my heart smile.
“Barbara Gordon made me realize I was Bisexual and If she was real I would do anything to be with her”
While the first part of this confession doesn’t apply to me so much…
Damn, can I relate to this.
The art, comics, and pop culture ramblings of Ceridwen Alison Troy.