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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:57 pm 
The Artist formerly known as Rhoenix
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I'm posting this in Fantasy and Comics, since it primarily concerns the character Thor, but it operates nicely as a lens through which to see how anti-feminists basically have shot their cause in the foot, particularly thanks to things like Gamergate.

Over the summer, Marvel announced that, in the comics at least, the long-running character of Thor was going to be replaced by a woman. The writer, Jason Aaron, made it clear that this woman is not going to be like a She-Hulk or Spider-Woman, both of which are entirely separate characters who co-exist with their male counterparts, but an actual replacement for Thor. “”This is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR,” he wrote in the Marvel press release. “This is the THOR of the Marvel Universe. But it’s unlike any Thor we’ve ever seen before.”

For people who read a lot of Marvel comics, this wasn’t too surprising. It’s common for superheroes to die or retire or get promoted and leave their mask and mission to someone entirely new, much as you see with your ordinary desk jobs where different people can hold the same title over the years. Thor has, for instance, been a frog in the past. But since it’s a lady and there’s a loud and shameless sexist corps in the geek world, there was a major and irritating hue and cry from some corners.

Well the he man woman haters club of online geekdom isn’t going to be too happy to see these new panels that Marvel has released to tease the upcoming comic. Thor isn’t just a lady, but a feminist, and her nemesis, the Absorbing Man, has dialogue that could have been culled from the comment section underneath any feminist article on the internet.

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These panels look cool and female Thor seems badass. But the real takeaway lesson, one that I think should hearten most of the non-troll readership here, is that it appears that “men’s rights” goons and Gamergate and other assorted online efforts to organize misogyny may see their efforts to squelch feminism backfiring. Oh, there’s no doubt their ability to swarm like ants whenever a woman offers an opinion other than “me fuck you now?” has intimidated a lot of women and probably silenced quite a few opinions, particularly of a feminist bent. But it’s also had the effect of showing those who are observing this one overwhelming, salient fact: Anti-feminists are assholes. Every goddamn last one of them.

The effect is particularly notable in geek circles. I think there were a lot of geeky dudes who actually like women but who, because they didn’t see how it affected them, were not particularly involved in feminism or cognizant of the way it shapes women’s lives and, in this particular case, shapes their ability to participate in the fandom. But watching women you like get absolutely hammered by an endless stream of assholes online for daring to say that sexual harassment isn’t cool or that nipples on breastplates look stupid, well, it’s bound to wake a few guys up.

I have no idea what the inspiration here is, but it’s hard not to wonder if feminist Thor is a direct response to the endless amount of sexist bullshit some dudes in the geek world constantly churn out. If so, well done, guys. Becoming a cartoon villain is exactly the opposite of what you want to happen if you’re trying to convince people of the righteousness of your cause.


Personally, though I don't read comics much, I think this was a brilliant move on the part of the writer. Anti-feminists get the comic book villain treatment, and all is more right with the world.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:15 am 
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They kinda ruined it in the next couple panels, when they have Titania of all people lay down for Thor. You know, the girl who tried to kill She Hulk a couple of times.

Otherwise it was a pretty good fight.

That said I do have to echo some of the thoughts here. The idea of Thor being a woman isn't a problem. If the mantle can be taken on by a giant orange horse looking fucker, then why not a lady? But... Thor isn't an office. It's his bloody name. This is like someone suddenly declaring that you couldn't be called by your name anymore, because it now belonged to this lady no one had ever heard about over here.

That said I am withholding final opinions until I can track down the issues dealing with it. I figure the writers deserve a chance to make their case.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:25 am 
The Artist formerly known as Rhoenix
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frigidmagi wrote:
The idea of Thor being a woman isn't a problem. If the mantle can be taken on by a giant orange horse looking fucker, then why not a lady? But... Thor isn't an office. It's his bloody name. This is like someone suddenly declaring that you couldn't be called by your name anymore, because it now belonged to this lady no one had ever heard about over here.


That's pretty much the one legitimate gripe I've heard about Thor being a woman now, and it makes perfect sense. Thor has been a name that had become a title unto itself over time, one that was worn like a badge at certain points for people representing him (see: FrogThor). For it to go to someone else, who is just called Thor is a little off-putting, but the main reason I'm okay with it is that from my (very basic) understanding, the character Thor was willing for his job to become the title, and pass it along now that he's retired for a while.

And if that's the case, then I'm fine with it. If not, well, I look forward to hearing about the specifics at least.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:08 am 
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Well not exactly, the Frog-Thor... Was Thor and the other guys were pretending to be Thor. My understanding is this lady is making it clear that she is a completely different person and is taking the office of Thor.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:16 am 
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frigidmagi wrote:
Well not exactly, the Frog-Thor... Was Thor and the other guys were pretending to be Thor. My understanding is this lady is making it clear that she is a completely different person and is taking the office of Thor.


If that's the case, then yeah, I see your point about it being better if she got a different title.

On the other hand, as a direct "what if?" character study as to how a a woman who is not Thor would find the job of being Thor, it could still be interesting.

With that said, I've no idea of what her title should be in this case.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:31 am 
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Well, remember, Caesar was a name too once.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:00 pm 
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Not only does the follow-on have Titania laying down, but it also has a gratuitous fanservice ass shot, which heftily undermines the "message".

Which is delivered in the most boring, lecturing fashion possible. I'll pass. I want my entertainment to entertain, not make childish 101 statements at me.

Furthermore, I agree with Absorbing Man's point there. To me it's actually insulting to the people you're trying to, ah, en-privilege to just give a woman the name Thor and therefore all the assumed prestige. Luke fucking Cage doesn't need to be given the title of Hulk to be a badass mofo. Characters can be built with their own identities and elevated by good writing and dynamic artwork, not head-pats "Oh look Thor is totally a girl now!" bullshit.

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