Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 16:40 on 21-09-2011, valse de la lune
Oh wow guys, it's a men's rights activist. Is there anything you don't fail at, Gamer? Transphobic trolling, then what-about-the-men derailing. "What about white people" next, maybe?

because female bodybuilders aren't attractive at all.

Ah yes, add body-policing to the mix. Do I want to know what you think of larger women?

At the end of the day, the provocative superheroine is just another stylization - one no different than what male superheroes get.

Do you realize you're an insufferable mansplaining neckbeard?
at 16:16 on 21-09-2011, Gamer_2k4
For what it's worth, men are generally depicted in a heavily stylized light, too. Heck, just do an image search for "superman comic" and you'll get a ton of results showing a ridiculously muscled guy in clothes that are way tighter than any man would wear, just to show off those muscles. Superman might as well be naked with the way he dresses. It's a hyper-masculine portrayal, and while I'd don't necessarily feel "empowered" by it, I understand what they're going for.

I looked at both of your recent links, Melissa, and I think they both miss the point. Dressing men up like women assumes that they're judged the same way, and they're just not. What's sexually attractive in a man is simply not the same thing that's sexually attractive in a woman.

Disagree? Look at any picture of Conan or Tarzan. Neither wears any more than a loincloth, and yet neither is considered to be "dressing provocatively." But if that isn't, what is? If people are going to complain about the genders not being portrayed equally, they should have some (reasonable!) idea of what "equal" is. It's not fishnets, because we saw how badly that turned out. It's not a bodybuilder's physique, because female bodybuilders aren't attractive at all. What can we conclude but that there are intrinsically different standards?

Try to sexualize a man and you'll find it doesn't work. At the end of the day, the provocative superheroine is just another stylization - one no different than what male superheroes get.
at 16:01 on 21-09-2011, Sister Magpie
I find it fascinating that there's always a big resistance to making a woman's costume less revealing when the original is "iconic" (Wonder Woman's bathing suit, Black Canary/Zatanna's fishnets) yet when Robin was finally given a pair of tights in the 90s I don't remember anybody seriously protesting.
at 07:41 on 21-09-2011, Melissa G.
*confrontational not confrontation
at 07:40 on 21-09-2011, Melissa G.
Well there's this and this. Both entertaining.

@valse de la lune

Sorry if my phraseology caused offense. I was caught up in the sarcasm and just using confrontation language to further my point. I do see what you're saying though.
at 07:37 on 21-09-2011, Janne Kirjasniemi
Slut seems to be a very resistant word for change of tone from pejorative to descriptive pf behaviour, even if the whole 'ethical slut' thing has been around for some time and there was supposed to have been some sort of revolution related to this in the 60s. Its weird that when Kyra uses the word dudeslut in reviews, it just sounds funny, but slut retains an edge to it. Should there be a better word for it then? I think not, new words in these issues usually sound too academic with latin and greek and not like an organically evolved word. Liek the word cissexual that's been bandied around. I understand the meaning, but the word in itself sounds a bit clunky, although it does retain with it that certain air of victorian medicinal jargon that seems a requirement. I guess it could be a person that's plusphilolagnian or hyperpolykoinic. The hyper is there because proper new words should have some latin in them.
at 07:32 on 21-09-2011, Frank
Aargh, I forgot. The Martian Manhunter is also confidently dressed.
Confident men have non-human color.
at 07:26 on 21-09-2011, Frank
I would love to have seen or to see a confidently dressed Batman, Robin, Spidey (Parker and Morales), Aquaman (who should be in a fucking Speedo), and Magneto. And Daredevil, Prof X, Johnny Storm, and Northstar!

Too bad the only confidently dressed heroes(?) are The Hulk and The Creeper.
at 06:42 on 21-09-2011, valse de la lune
@Melissa: Because nudity=confidence you guys! Women dress like sluts because we're so confident! Sigh.

Not sure we should be going around using the phrase "like sluts" and such. But yes, the "she gets naked lots and wears ridiculous clothing/gets in hypersexualized poses because she's EMPOWERED and CONFIDENT okay" argument is pretty flimsy when you apply it to fictional characters.

Also, Bayonetta.
at 04:33 on 21-09-2011, Melissa G.
Thanks for the link, Sister M. Good read!
at 01:27 on 21-09-2011, Sister Magpie
OMG, I hate the "they're naked because they're confident!" And yet people have heard it so often they sometimes even think it makes sense. Even though for some reason men who are confident don't immediately strip down.

Not that it's the only stupid excuse for dressing in strategically placed strings.
at 01:03 on 21-09-2011, Melissa G.
I think we just need more Gail Simones involved in the decision making. So much love for her.
at 00:33 on 21-09-2011, Alasdair Czyrnyj
I am beginning to believe that the best thing to happen to mainstream American comics at this point would be for the whole industry to be welded into a steel cask, shipped out to the Nevada desert, sunk into an abandoned copper mine, then have the mine filled with concrete and a series of ominous, garishly-colored stelae erected around the entrance to warn future civilizations from repeating our folly.

Then again, I am speaking as someone who doesn't much like superhero comics in general and tends to read angrily negative discussion of the industry, so I doubt this opinion carries much weight.

Had fun writing it, though. I loves me a good overblown metaphor.
at 23:20 on 20-09-2011, Melissa G.
What really gets me is that its always a bunch of men telling me (a woman) how I should feel empowered by a bunch of men drawing women in slutty outfits and poses. This...does not compute.
at 21:36 on 20-09-2011, Janne Kirjasniemi
That's always an interesting kind of argument. I mean is it reversible? Is confidence possible without being naked? I suppose most people aren't very confident, then, but I suppose that can be included in the original phrasing. Also, confidence is a matter of latitude and season. I wonder how there are so few politicians who've grasped this fundamental truth of human psychology.
at 21:17 on 20-09-2011, Melissa G.
I started out having a nice conversation with people about how women in comics were treated - even those who disagreed were civil. And now it's just devolved, and I'm getting the same old apologist excuses for how they dress. Because nudity=confidence you guys! Women dress like sluts because we're so confident! Sigh.

Here's the original picture I made that we're discussing.
at 15:33 on 20-09-2011, Arthur B
I just took two years to write a Serpentwar review so timeliness is most definitely not a factor. :)
at 15:06 on 20-09-2011, valse de la lune
@Arthur: Maaaaaaaybe.

(I don't know when I'll get around to it.)
at 14:36 on 20-09-2011, Shim
If I'm honest, the most likely outcome is that I buy it on release day and then pester you to come and try it out rather than game with complete strangers. I'm just being grumpy about it.
at 14:21 on 20-09-2011, Arthur B
@Shimmin: If it was anything like the Space Hulk release the Oxford Games Workshop will have a stack to sell on the day and you won't necessarily have to pre-order. (I wouldn't count on it filtering out to non-GW stores.) It might be worth asking them if they're going to be running any demo games on launch or before the launch day - they might well do, since this is an all-new game whereas Space Hulk was a rerelease (and so the gameplay was a known quantity to a good chunk of the audience).

@valse: We can has artikel?
at 14:02 on 20-09-2011, valse de la lune
@Kyra: I'm still holding out hope that it might be decent, but the knowledge that it was man-written taints things a bit. Will read and report back in due time.
at 13:59 on 20-09-2011, Shim
Initial reactions may be slightly over-the-top... :)

Honestly, it's a mixture of things, but mostly the limited stock. The game looks very cool, but it's £70, which is more than I'm usually prepared to drop on spec. There's also storage space to think about; I wouldn't want to acquire a game I might not use, so I would normally check reviews and word of mouth before buying. If a game's already out, that's easy enough, but this is a limited edition on preorder, so I've no idea bar it looks beast.

Basically, if it was half the price, I'd probably take a punt and just charitise it if it sucks. If it was a normal print run, I'd wait for some reviews and then pick it up if it seemed like something I'd enjoy. In the ideal situation of both, I could nip round the corner to the games shop and pick it up one lunchtime when I'm having a bad day. As it is, I can either seriously risk not getting a copy, or fork out a lot of money (and go through the faff of pre-ordering) without knowing a thing about it. If it does show up in games shops, I'll be under pressure to buy it immediately in case it sells out, rather than making a proper decision. So I am feeling hard-done-by and entitled to insult GW regardless of any economics in the case (I suppose "clueless rodents" may be misleading; substitute your profanity of choice).
at 13:10 on 20-09-2011, Arthur B
Oh hey and Black Crusade comes out at the end of this week so I guess it's time to fall to my knees and be thankful it's payday.
at 13:03 on 20-09-2011, Wardog
It comes with a dirigible!