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comics homophobia lgbtq misogyny transphobia

Superman comes out as bisexual, and some conservative critics are taking it personally

Superman and his new boyfriend

On Coming Out Day yesterday, DC comics made a big announcement: Superman is bisexual.

The DC Universe is a complicated place, and the Superman in question isn’t the original Superman, the Clark Kent one, but Superman’s son Jon Kent. But still, it’s Superman, and thus a big deal, and most who heard the news yesterday thought it was, well, sweet. DC also released a picture of Superman and his new boyfriend kissing, and thousands of people, I’m guessing, saved it to their hard drives.

But not everyone was thrilled by the news.

Some, er, critics reacted with sarcasm. Perpetual media asshole Piers Morgan tweeted:

Meanwhile, over on The Daily Stormer, Andrew Anglin joked that he was “glad that someone is willing to teach our children about anal sex with men.”

Other commenters were roused to full-blown hysteria, with one Republican Senate hopeful declaring flatly that DC Comics is “literally trying to destroy America.”

Meanwhile, Arizona state senator Wendy Rogers was so addled by the news that she made a glorious typo that was a great deal more hilarious than her gay lisp joke.

Fox News responded in its inimitable way:

But what was most striking to me, as I scrolled through the reactions of an assortment of right wing media sites I track, was how many of the critics seemed to take Superman’s bisexuality personally, as if he had just planted a big wet kiss on their own personal lips. (Not that the gentlemanly Superman would do that without their consent.)

On RedState, Mike Miller explained that

a close friend called me this morning to break the cataclysmic news about (the demise of) Superman as we know him. Not only is the “news” emblematic of the Left’s drive to destroy America as we know it, it is insidious. These people never stop, and they never get enough. Like spoiled children.

And they are eating the American elephant one bite at a time.

They’re eating the what now?

Over on Townhall, Tom Tradup reported that

it was with no little sadness I noted media reports this week that DC Comics … is launching a “coming out” for a new, gay Superman. With storyline featuring Jonathan Kent—“son” of the original Superman (don’t ask)—as a woke superhero who fights climate change—ugh—protests deportation of refugees in Metropolis—double ugh—and finally, has a same-sex relationship with another male. Only thing DC is missing is having the new Superman fix the increasingly-ratty hairstyles of MSNBC’s Joy Reid.

What does any of this have to do with Joy Reid?

“At this point, they’re just trolling me,” wrote Rob Dreher of the American Conservative.

Who asked for this? Who asked for superheroes to have sex lives, or gay sex lives? What does it mean that the ideological colonization of the superhero genre, the modern mythology of our times, means that transgressive sexual desire is now a definitive characteristic of our pop culture god figures?

Meanwhile, TheRightScoop declared that

DC is doing everything it can to ruin everything. They’ve done it on their TV shows, making Supergirl’s sister and several other characters gay, and now they are doing the same thing to the original Superman, making his son gay.

This is nothing but LGBT indoctrination and it’s disgusting. I’ve completely abandoned shows that I would have continued watching because of this and you can be sure I won’t be going anywhere near the latest DC comics.

Jonathon Van Maren of Lifesite has been keeping track of all the queer comic heroes.

Back in August, I wrote a column about the queering of DC Comics, with the announcement that Robin, Batman’s sidekick since 1940, was coming out as bi-sexual. I noted that as the LGBT revolution progresses, not a single major entertainment franchise will go untouched. America has a bi-sexual Robin, a gay Archie character, a lesbian Jo March, two moms in Clifford, a homosexual Mr. Ratburn, and an entire panoply of LGBT cartoon characters on TV. It was only a matter of time before America’s most iconic comic book character followed.

Wait, Clifford has two mommies?

On American Thinker, Andrea Widburg started off by assuring her readers that she’s not a homophobe or anything.

I’m libertarian enough to believe that, whether it’s nature or nurture, some people prefer their own sex. What I am not okay with is the left’s relentless efforts to get children to embrace non-normative sexual behaviors. … The most recent example is that DC Comics, which owns the Superman franchise, has made him—or rather, his son and heir—bisexual.

Then she threw in some transphobia, just because she could.

What’s finally crossed the line for [parents] after 13 years of relentless indoctrination [starting in the Obama administration] is transgenderism. It’s one thing to recognize an ancient (although not particularly salubrious) behavior. It’s another thing entirely for schools and popular culture to tell our children that they can magically change their basic biology just by wishing.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure no one is saying this. It does sound like an awesome premise for a superpower, though. I eagerly await the coming of Transman. In part because that would be cool, but mainly so I could see all of these critics’ heads explode at once.

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Allandrel
Allandrel
7 months ago

The mention of Batman and Talia has me thinking again…

Superhero comics have a history of handling rape very, very badly. This is hardly a secret. But particularly grating is that many people ARE unaware of how badly they handle male characters being raped, because, thanks to our ugly ideas about rape, many of those instances are not generally considered rape.

Who am I talking about? A short “off the top of my head” list:

Superman
Batman
Spider-Man
Wolverine
The Hulk
Green Arrow
Nightwing
Cyclops
Havok
Deadpool

You will seriously find people arguing that all of these characters’ rapes “were not really rape,” partly because most of them were raped by women, and because a number of these were “fantastical” (mind control, shapeshifting fraud, etc.) and that somehow “doesn’t count.”

The worst was probably Green Arrow, whose rape was treated by several writers as infidelity on his part.

Or Nightwing, where the writer insisted that it wasn’t rape, “just non-consensual sex.”

Alan Robertshaw
7 months ago
Full Metal Ox
7 months ago

@Allandrel:

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
7 months ago

@Acid Kritana

Bi men may be less trusted, but bi women still face extremely high rates of sexual violence. Like, EXTREMELY.

CW for descriptions of intimate partner violence
https://genderpolicyreport.umn.edu/bisexual-women-and-intimate-partner-violence/

Over their lifetimes, 61% of bisexual women reported being raped, assaulted or stalked by an intimate partner, compared to 44% of lesbian women and 35% of heterosexual women.

Other sources I’ve seen have put the rate at more than 80%. Either way, bi women are more likely to be survivors than not. And we get the usual misogynist baggage on top of that, plus being seen as traitors by a bunch of the L crowd and erased by a lot of the T-inclusive allies.

(Note: I say that last as a bi trans woman, I’ve lived it, I’m not comparing traumas here. I’m just saying, being a bi WLW is a different experience from being a lesbian WLW, and that experience gets hella erased. And furthermore, a lot of the people who object with us being lumped in with lesbians, object because they think we’re gross traitors who kiss up to maleness… and are often the same sorts who hate trans people. Fun stuff.)

Anyway I’m rambling. Point is, we do have it bad. Really bad. Not to say that you don’t have it bad yourself, but don’t go assuming like that.

Also, have to say – you opening with how you don’t like Elaine and then starting in about your fantasies strikes me as pretty fucking creepy. Being bi doesn’t exempt you from acting creepy. Maybe don’t do shit like that.

Acid Kritana
4 months ago

Apologies. Other people were talking about their fantasies, so I thought that I shall too, but it appears I put it in at the wrong time. Sorry.

Acid Kritana
4 months ago

@Cyborgette

@Acid Kritana

Bi men may be less trusted, but bi women still face extremely high rates of sexual violence. Like, EXTREMELY.

I am well aware of that statistic. I also have other statistics that show that bisexual men ALSO face high rates of violence, and face more anti-bi hate (though bi women also get a lot, so don’t erase their experience). I can provide them if you would like.

CW for descriptions of intimate partner violence

https://genderpolicyreport.umn.edu/bisexual-women-and-intimate-partner-violence/

> Over their lifetimes, 61% of bisexual women reported being raped, assaulted or stalked by an intimate partner, compared to 44% of lesbian women and 35% of heterosexual women.

Other sources I’ve seen have put the rate at more than 80%. Either way, bi women are more likely to be survivors than not.

Yes, I’ve heard of the NISVS one (which has been criticized time and again for erasing men’s experiences by underestimating their rates of victimization, by the way). I haven’t heard of 80%, and I would love it if you shared a link to that one for me. Thanks.

And we get the usual misogynist baggage on top of that, plus being seen as traitors by a bunch of the L crowd and erased by a lot of the T-inclusive allies.

Yes, bi women do face misogyny on top of that, and bi men also face misandry on top of the anti-bi-male hatred they face.

And yes, lesbian/t-inclusive I have found can exclude bi women often.

(Note: I say that last as a bi trans woman, I’ve lived it, I’m not comparing traumas here. I’m just saying, being a bi WLW is a different experience from being a lesbian WLW, and that experience gets hella erased. And furthermore, a lot of the people who object with us being lumped in with lesbians, object because they think we’re gross traitors who kiss up to maleness… and are often the same sorts who hate trans people. Fun stuff.)

I am well aware of the misogyny coming from the lesbian/t-inclusive communities towards bi women. I’ve actually done some research on it, before.

Anyway I’m rambling. Point is, we do have it bad. Really bad. Not to say that you don’t have it bad yourself, but don’t go assuming like that.

I’m sorry if it seemed I was assuming that only bi men had it bad previously, but I am correcting that now. Bi men face more hatred and erasure, but bi women also face a heavy amount and it’s not fair to erase that in my goal of trying to get more equality for bi men and men in general. I apologize.

Also, have to say – you opening with how you don’t like Elaine and then starting in about your fantasies strikes me as pretty fucking creepy. Being bi doesn’t exempt you from acting creepy. Maybe don’t do shit like that.

I’ve also apologized for this one. Sorry about that again.

just_a_nerd
just_a_nerd
1 month ago

Someone should show them One Piece (anime or manga, either one). There is a character, Ivankov, who along with being one of the leaders of the proletariat revolution against the planet’s super-evil capitalist overlords, has the power of hormone manipulation — like, ALL hormones. Usually he uses it (consensually) to screw around with his or his crew’s biological sex for funsies, but it is occasionally weaponized, which yeah, that’s problematic, but this was written like 20 years ago in a culture that isn’t my own so I cut them a little slack, and also it’s only ever the most blustering misogynistic jerk characters that get turned into women against their will, and even then it’s not presented like “being a woman is such a punishment” but rather “oh god now I’m going to get treated the way I treated women and also without my precious masculinity I am less than nothing WAAAAHHHH.”
I will admit, I have incorporated this into my little mini-fantasies. As in, I’m smiling and nodding while this jerk holds forth but on the inside I’m imagining him being forcibly turned into a pretty lady and it is very satisfying, that’s all.

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