Skepchick Quickies 5.24

  • How do you write such strong female characters? – “…Those attempting to defend their mistreatment of women within the industry have revealed a staggering lack of understanding, empathy, and self-awareness, while seeming to rejoice in an arrogance that is near heart-stopping in its naked sexism and condescension. To say there are those who don’t get it is an understatement; it would be like describing the Japanese tsunami as ‘minor flooding.’” From Chris.
  • Women writing pilots: Nice work if you can get it – TV pilots, that is.
  • Princess Scientist is back! – And she’s making a baking soda volcano with Grant Baciocco from the Henson Alternative puppet show, Stuffed and Unstrung.
  • Chicks rule? – Information Is Beautiful has a new infographic on women on the internet. From Tom.


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. When reading the comic book story (mostly the comments) I was put in mind of a quote from As Good as it Gets.

    Jack Nicholson’s misogynist asshole of a writer is asked how he writes women so well and answers with the witty-to-only-him line of “I think of a man, then take away reason and accountability”.

    I see this touted as one of the best lines in movies buy too many MRA types to count. Yuck.

    1. Well it is a fantastic line I think, perfectly illustrating the character’s old-fashioned misogyny (and probably, as a direct result, the women he has typically found himself involved with).

      Once upon a time I fiercely defended superhero comics’ treatment of women, arguing that they had vastly improved in the last decade, even if they had not quite reached a point that you could call “good.” This was in the early ‘aughts. Sadly I have had to give up that defense, and even give up some comics as their depiction of women became more and more despicable. I don’t know what’s going on at DC, but they seem absolutely committed to churning out garbage aimed at stereotypical comic book fans: fat, angry man-children who live in their mother’s basement, care more about continuity minutiae than a decent story, and despise women for being unimpressed by immature “nice guys” like themselves. I try to avoid judging people by their reading material, but I tried to read some DC comics recently and all I could think was that I would probably despise anybody who enjoyed that crap. (Greg Rucka is good exception to this rule.)

      Marvel is significantly better in my opinion, but still not great. See their treatment of Mary Jane Watson over the years. It’s not so much that she was personally treated badly in every case so much as that they seemed absolutely convinced that their audience couldn’t handle an adult superhero with adult problems, which might include being in love with, in a committed relationship with, and married to an adult and mature woman. I can count at least three times that she was written out of the comics in order to create sexual tension between Peter Parker and random, personality-devoid chicks-of-the-week, as well as several instances where her frustration with his most annoying trait (a type of vanity that causes him to feel personally responsible for EVERYTHING, which makes him a great superhero but a terrible husband) was depicted as petty and shrewish. Ultimately she was written out of continuity entirely when the writers realized she had ample reason to seek a divorce but worried that might make Peter look like a “bad guy.”

      Luckily there are a few strong women in Marvel’s comics, although even fan-favorites like Rogue, Shadowcat, and Storm are prone to have their personalities completely rewritten when their writer decides to hook them up with his favorite Marty Stu. Of course rewriting people’s personalities to make your Marty Stu look good is kind of the essence of superhero comic book writing, so what are you gonna do.

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