“If you were offended”

Sep 14, 2013 | Comics

DC has apologised in the usual, weasely, non-apology way for the Harley Quinn panel contest.

The usual inane responses have filtered through, including but not limited to:

  • “Of COURSE people were overreacting!”
  • “They didn’t really do anything wrong!” and its variant, “What are you so upset about? It’s just a comic book.”
  • “Look at how many women think Suicide Grrls is empowering! Look at this other comic book that also references suicide, why aren’t people upset about that?”
  • “What about the male characters who have killed themselves?”
  • “DC shouldn’t apologize because context makes it okay!”

As you might imagine, I have a problem with all these excuses – and they are excuses, make no mistake about it. DC isn’t stopping the contest. They just offered this shitty apology and they expect to continue on their merry way.

Let’s have a little perspective, shall we?

If you were offended


Goddamn but I hate non-apologies. This is par for the course, a statement carefully crafted by lawyers with no actual heart or meaning. Fuck them for thinking that that’s enough.

Because it’s not.

Do you want to know why people got offended?

It’s because of Women in Refrigerators. And the World’s Most Common SuperPower. And shit like this.

It’s because, and I can’t shout this any louder…


It’s because women in comics are constantly – CONSTANTLY – oversexualized, killed off, and used as convenient plot devices. It is because DC especially doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt and we’d have to be fucking idiots to give it to them, considering their history. It’s because putting out a call for panels of a female character killing herself in a jokey, stupid way when you’ve already over-sexualized her character (see the New 52 Harley for reference) does not happen in a fucking void. It’s another in a long, long line of shitty or questionable things that DC has done to its female characters.

You see those excuses up there? The context doesn’t mean shit. Neither does Harley’s history, which a few other people have been talking about. And the fact that male characters sometimes kill themselves isn’t relevant either, because, last I heard, there isn’t a longstanding fucking trend of them being offed to provide character development for the women.

So I am offended. I am offended. And fuck you if you think I shouldn’t be, because you, personally, were not offended or you think it’s no big deal.

It’s going to be a ‘no big deal’ when it happens the next time, and the next time. But it’s a big deal to me.