Fresh off their attempts to decide what clothes you’ll be allowed to wear, the Neo-Victorian scolds that make up the modern feminist movement have set their sights on a new target: deciding what art you’ll be allowed to buy. Using the hashtag #ChangeTheCover, they’re moving to get DC to withdraw the sale of an alternate cover for the June edition of Batgirl #41.
The cover, which can be seen in the title image above, shows a terrified Batgirl in the clutches of a sinister Joker, who’s painted her mouth with his signature grinning face paint. Feminists are calling it “torture porn” and saying that “trauma of abuse victims isn’t sexy,” as well as stating that DC must cancel their planned sale of this alternate cover. In their view, failure to do so would show that “violence against women is okay.”
A Brief History Of Moral Scolds
Comic book fans are familiar with the “Comics Code Authority,” a long running censor for the comics industry. For decades, the CCA controlled what you could and could not say in comics. For example, comics about vampires, werewolves, and zombies were banned, as was the use of the word “crime.” Sexual depictions were outright forbidden.
The CCA began in 1954, and by the 90’s was considered an obsolete relic of a more censorious age. By 2011, the only publishers that still adhered to it were DC and Archie, and both of them abandoned it shortly afterwards. Today, it’s viewed the same way we view the Spanish Inquisition or Jim Crow laws: something barbarous that our ancestors did, but that we, with our advanced and progressive culture, would never do. For example, here’s a post from liberal, pro-feminist site Vox about “the insane history of how American paranoia ruined and censored comic books.”
The Return Of The Comics Code Authority
With #ChangeTheCover, feminists have brought the Comics Code into the modern era. The similarities are obvious: where the old proponents of the Comics Code said that comics were “seducing the innocent” into a life of crime, our modern censors say that comics will make men think that violence against women is “okay.” Just as the old censors were never able to find any criminals who traced their start to a violent comic book, the rapists and abusers who justify themselves by pointing to a Batman cover remain mysteriously elusive.
Also just like with the CCA, #ChangeTheCover’s proponents buttress their arguments with pseudo-academic hogwash. For example, here’s one would-be censor, Comicosity columnist Keith Callback, who wants you to know that this art is “not okay” because “the image has no accompanying narrative of recovery, just the victimization.”
If you need any further evidence that modern-day feminists are just latter-day Puritans, here are four items from the 1954 Comics Code:
- Rape scenes as well as sexual abnormalities are unacceptable.
- Nudity with meretricious purpose and salacious postures shall not be permitted in the advertising of any product; clothed
figures shall never be presented in such a way as to be offensive or contrary to good taste or morals.
- Females shall be drawn realistically without exaggeration of any physical qualities.
- Suggestive and salacious illustration or suggestive posture is unacceptable.
Sound familiar? Any one of these could’ve shown up in Anita Sarkeesian’s demands for the gaming industry.
If you love freedom of expression and believe that authors have a right to say, write, and draw what they want, then feminists and social justice warriors are your enemy. Tell them to screw off, and support artistic freedom and the First Amendment.