“She has her faults of course but they only prove to make her perfect. Because when I’m with her I forget my own. I love her. I love. She makes me… human? No, I can’t be that. But she does make me… a man. I’m a man who can fly but it’s this woman who sweeps me off my feet. I’m home. In the only arms strong enough to hold me. Her breath smells like a prayer on my lips. Her taste? Peaches? Consumes me. And she looks like…god. How she looks. I’m in paradise…faults and all.” — For Tomorrow
So let’s talk about this for a minute. Let’s talk about the ways in which a woman’s sexuality can be presented in a fictional narrative something that she has full control and agency over—a choice that she makes because it’s something she truly wants and desires for her body. Let’s talk about what the OPPOSITE of sex positive narratives/imagery for women is—when women are portrayed as fuck toys. As sex objects. As possessions of men.
So let’s talk about THIS famous scene. And make no mistake—it’s a famous scene. For many people, this scene is the only thing that people even REMEMBER about Superman: For Tomorrow by Brian Azzarello and drawn by Jim Lee.
It’s such a famous scene that only a few short years ago, Smallville actually created an homage to it during sweeps between Tom Welling and Erica Durance as seen here at the beginning of the Lois centric episode, “Idol”. (One of the best reviewed episodes ever in the history of the series btw.) You can watch that here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lsO7c8psEE
The image of Lois Lane wrapped in Superman’s cape was already an immortalized image before this comic hit the stands. It was first immortalized by Margot Kidder in the 1970’s. In 1994, a picture of Teri Hatcher wearing Superman’s cape was the “most downloaded picture on the internet” and was part of the history of AOL taking over people’s lives as a commonplace tool. It was immortalized AGAIN when TVguide did a special lay out for Erica Durance to honor Smallville’s 10th and final season. All of those images can be found here: http://since1938.tumblr.com/post/23619205903/teamclarklois-lois-lane-wrapped-in-supermans
So what is it about THIS scene? Why did people remember this scene from a comic that was otherwise riddled with plot errors and problems? Why was it so famous that when Jim Lee was tasked with creating a cover for Justice League 12 for Superman and Wonder Woman he essentially just traced over the images of Superman and Lois Lane here to do it?
I know what you’re thinking—it’s because this scene is about sex, right? It has to be because of the sex. And you’d be wrong.
This scene is not just about sex. It’s about LOVE. It’s about the physical manifestation of love between two people who, by that point, were husband and wife.
When Lois Lane wore Superman’s cape, she wasn’t a sex toy. She wasn’t there for a man’s pleasure. She was a PERSON. A person with flaws and feelings and desires. She didn’t wear a sexy costume during the daytime—her “costume” was a business suit. Her “costume” was what many of us wear on a daily basis. So when she took off her clothes and put on the S-shield…it was a shedding of her own “armor” and a release and recognition of her own sexuality. She had agency. She had power. And she was loved.
It shouldn’t need to be explained to you why it’s a really shitty thing to present Wonder Woman, the most important female superhero in the DC arsenal, wearing a man’s shield. It shouldn’t need to be explained to you why that’s really damn offensive and so at odds with what Wonder Woman stands for that it blows the mind.
It shouldn’t need to be explained to you the difference between THIS comic above and the many ICONIC and famous images of Lois Lane wearing the Superman cape after lovemaking and that…disgusting, blank and dead eyed rip-off variant cover that dropped today for the Superman/Wonder Woman book.
Above is the example of a loving, committed relationship between two people who who had given themselves to each other completely. Their sexual relationship didn’t exist for MEN. Nor did it exist for the pleasure of male fans. It wasn’t rooted in a comics culture that treated women like fuck toys. It wasn’t a stunt. It wasn’t a ploy for men to think Superman was “cooler”. READ HIS WORDS. “I’m home in the only arms strong enough to hold me.” The Man of Steel submitting himself COMPLETELY to a mortal woman. That’s beautiful.
Sex was a huge part of the relationship between Superman and Lane Lane but it wasn’t the driving force. The driving force was love. Always has been. Always will be. And yeah, you can have sex without being in love. But in a genre and a culture that continually treats women as if they exist solely to be there for male pleasure, it was really damn refreshing to know that there was at least one relationship between a man and a woman in the DCU history—the FOUNDING relationship in DCU history—where that was not the case. Where the woman in question was a human being who was, FIRST AND FOREMOST, LOVED.
FUCK YOU if you think that street harassment is a “compliment” or “no big deal” or that it’s “irrational” of us to be afraid because “what’s actually gonna happen.” Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you some more.
This is terrorism.
Imagining something like this is why I never had the guts to respond to street harassment. On occasion, when I’m feeling especially gutsy, I flip them off as they drive away. Otherwise, I feel safest pretending I didn’t hear. :/
people really can’t grasp how violence can come out of cat calling. 2 years ago I lived in a place where I was cat called every time I left my dorm, and there was this one guy that would always target me specifically, and on one instance he grabbed my arm violently as I was trying to walk around him and squeezed it so tight that it hurt like crazy afterwards. I cursed him out and shook loose and he never talked to me again but that’s definitely not the case all the time, aparently. It’s just crazy to me that these man children will react this way to a simple “no” throw tempertantrums and turn to violence, yet the women are the irrational ones for rejecting the “compliment”.
In San Francisco last year, a man stabbed a woman in the face and arm after she didn’t respond positively to his sexually harassing her on the street.
In Bradenton, Fla., a man shot a high school senior to death after she and her friends refused to perform oral sex at his request.
In Chicago, a scared 15-year-old was hit by a car and died after she tried escaping from harassers on a bus.
Again, in Chicago, a man grabbed a 19-year-old walking on a public thoroughfare, pulled her onto a gangway and assaulted her.
In Savannah, Georgia, a woman was walking alone at night and three men approached her. She ignored them, but they pushed her to the ground and sexually assaulted her.
In Manhattan, a 29-year-old pregnant woman was killed when men catcalling from a van drove onto the sidewalk and hit her and her friend.
Last week, a runner in California — a woman — was stopped and asked, by a strange man in a car, if she wanted a ride. When she declined he ran her over twice.
The two smartest men on the planet.
Just one of those posts you can’t not reblog.
It’s nights like this that I miss you. It always sneaks up on me and then bam I’m in tears. I don’t know how you do this to me.