There is a great deal of emotion kicking around the internet right now over a decision from Marvel for two of their male comic book characters to get married. Subsequently, DC Comics have announced that one of their main characters, who has always been assumed straight, will come out soon. Naturally the anti-gay folk ate this up with outcries of “I use comics to escape real life, I don’t want to have to do deal with that in my fantasy world” and “why should my children be exposed to this?”
The organization called OneMillionMoms, who have a grand total of 47,308 likes on their Facebook page which, to me, suggests they are just a little shy of their goal, are even writing letters to the publications to let them know how strongly they disagree. On their website they state:
“Unfortunately, children are now being exposed to homosexuality at an early age. Comic books would be one of the last places a parent would expect their child to be confronted with homosexual topics that are too complicated for them to understand. Children do not know what straight, homosexual, or coming out of the closet even means, but DC Comics and Marvel are using superheroes to confuse them on this topic to raise questions and awareness of an alternative lifestyle choice. These companies are prompting a premature discussion on sexual orientation.”
Now, while I try to clean up the wall behind me from where my head just exploded, I want to look at just two of the key flaws this statement has.
Firstly, LessThan50kMoms attempted to sound open-minded with their last comment about “a premature discussion” for children. They attempt to sound like they merely want to throttle exposure to sexuality, the birds and the bees and lifestyle but we know this is not the case. Earlier this year the same organization were up in arms on comedian and talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres‘ appointment to become the spokesperson for JC Penny. They cited that she did not represent the American people who shop at the store because she is gay and suggested a boycott would take place. So we can rule out that they have any sort of open-minded approach and that their concern isn’t for the premature discussion – they don’t want any discussion on the subject matter.
Secondly, and the biggest and most amusing flaw here is, well, that they are talking about children being exposed to this while reading these comics. They say one picture speaks a thousand words – and I believe it is quite possible that OneMillionMoms used this calculation to equate their title – so let us look at just a few images we can find in comic books:
Okay, okay. So it could be rightly argued that I just extracted some scantily clad babes from a graphic novel which is clearly for
pubescent kids adults. So let us return to Marvel then, y’know that family promoting comic book that you can give to your children and let babysit for you while you log on to teh interwebz and build your little right-wing, close-minded soapbox:
Oh, but you want to talk about the golden age of comics? Because comics these days are just slutty and non-family oriented, right? I mean, you’d let your kids read the old comic books because they are safe and only promote a fantasy away from reality. That is what one argument was against this – comics help them escape reality and…
Gwen Stacy, who knew how to tingle Peter Parkers ‘spidey-senses’ fell from a building in ’73. Oh but it is okay because Spidey saved her and HOLY SHIT-BALLS – a SNAP? Did I just see the word ‘snap’ and… and… why is her head all limp. Spiderman was never the same again – the comic world was never the same again. A harsh reality became a part of the web-slingers story almost 40 years ago with a tragic death.
So much for trying to escape the real world. It is crazy to think people happily expose their kids to all of this so willingly but cannot handle a couple of characters having a same-sex relationship. But then, I’ll never fully understand why people in this world continue to pretend to be the hero but really just like being the bully. Comics have – and always will – give a commentary on real world issues. They provide excellent opportunities to educate young and old over what matters in this world: that actions and words lead to opportunities and consequences – something I think a lot of these narrow-mind folk need to experience.