The recent furore that to quote Writer Scott Lobdell “almost melted the internet” concerning the overt sexuality of Starfire (Tameranian Slave, former princess and current heroine of Red Hood and the Outlaws affiliation) has finally been addressed by the writer fully in an interview with Newsarama.
To say I love the new series and Starfires character in it wiuld be an understatement. I picked up this book specifically to see what all the fuss was a bout and I’m glad I did, it’s a stonking read and Starfires character has been defamed more by backwards thinking than anything Lobdell put on the page. Here’s what the writer had to say:
When asked about the negative reaction to Issue #1 of Red Hood (due to Starfires portrayal) Lobdell said:
“It didn’t surprise me that there were some people who didn’t like it.
What surprised me was that it almost caused the Internet to melt.?? Mostly, what has surprised me has been the very vulgar way that people believe they are coming to the defense of Kori: they hurl words like “slut” and “whore” and expressions too disgusting to repeat here that are only used to demean women.
Lets consider an imaginary woman who has more than one or two lovers. Is it fair to label her with dismissive and derogatory language? Because we disagree with the choices she makes, to do what she wants with her own body? Are we still at a place in society where we’re going to call a woman — any woman — names that reinforce gender inequality?
The good thing is that the story has gotten people to talk about issues they are passionate about — and that can only ever lead to a better understanding on everyone’s part.”
On Kori’s overt sexiness:
“I’m not really sure one draws a Koriand’r in a bathing suit on a tropical island without making her sexy.
Also, I don’t think a beautiful and confident woman needs to apologize to anyone for the way she dresses, on a beach or off.?”
And on the whole short term memory thing:
“I love the fact that Kori is an alien. She and the rest of her race have been described of being descended from felines and we all know that humans and cats have different ways of perceiving our environment — so it stands to reason that Humans and people from Tamaran see things differently.
Now, as Humans we might fall into the prejudicial and xenophobic trap of applying a judgment onto other races that they are somehow lacking or even “stupid” because they see the world from another perspective. But I’d like to think that as comic book fans we can all accept that not everyone in the galaxy sees each other as we do.
I’m not sure how you draw your conclusion — she doesn’t remember things from her past — from your first question — does she view them as sights and sounds — but rest assured, Kori does possess the ability to remember events in her life. Having “a short attention span about all things human” and having the memory of a goldfish are two completely different things: like comparing apples and pipe wrenches.?”
Overall Lobdell makes his point well and I feel he really has raised the issue of inequality and negative labelling in comics (so much so I wrote an article about it). It’s one thing to degrade women in comics, but to negatively label women based on backwards thinking and preconceptions of a writers work is another thing entirely. So fair play Mr Lobdell. You raised and excellent issue, and I hope it continues to shake things up.
As for the title itself, it’s definitely one of my favourite of the New 52 relaunch and definitely worth your hard earned.Tags: gender inequality in comics, red hood and the outlaws, scott lobdell, starfire, the red hood