Women in Refrigerators Women in Refrigerators


One of the most respected names in the industry, John Ostrander has left a considerable body of work for almost all of the major companies--including the Punisher, The Spectre, "Hawkworld," "GrimJack," "Suicide Squad," and the unique book he co-created with the now unfortunately deceased Del Close, Wasteland" (I loved that book!). Aside from being a writer of unusual subtlety, John also seems to be a genuinely nice guy, with a good relationship to net fandom. He's currently writing the "Martian Manhunter" series, and had absolutely nothing to do with the creation of Jar Jar Binks.

Or so he CLAIMS. (GS)

Some entries I would disagree with -- Enchantress, for example, was pretty much always a villainess. I would also say that this seems to me to be a VICTIMS list and, as such, ROGUE doesn't really belong on it, either.

As for some characters being dead and then alive again -- that happens to both genders in comics. Look at Wonder Man. The thing that, to my mind, separates the male and female characters are the sex crimes. Only the female characters are victims of sex crimes; male characters are never subjected to that. (There may be one or two exceptions when the male character was sexually abused as a child, but that's about it.) It is the number and frequency of THAT which troubles me.

Putting a character through physical dangers and misadventures is part of the genre. Again, it is pretty uniform for both male and female characters and reasonable, given the number of fights that they would get into. And, given the prevalence of rape in our culture, it could be argued that it would happen in the comics medium as well. The problem is -- it takes a character who is strong and capable and "takes her down" a notch or two. There is a message there that goes along with the act. Do I say never use it? I could never say that. But, if rape happens to a female character, then its ramifications should be shown as well. It should not be used as a plot device and then forgotten. And, before it is used, the writers have to question themselves and really ask if they want to do that and what sort of message they want it to send.

Also, the violence against women shown in the list -- how often is it a result of the normal activities, and how often is it because the character has been made helpless and tortured? Again, this sends a message. There has to be an AWARENESS of what is being said and the question raised, "Do we want to make that statement?"

A female soldier in battle may suffer wounds; that's different than a woman being stalked, kidnapped, and having violence done to her in civilian life. The former incurs the physical damage because of her occupation; the latter, strictly because of her gender. A female cop may be shot because she is a cop, not because she is a female. That, to me, is part of the difference.