The real story behind ‘The Hawkeye Initiative': Liberals bashing liberals 56

Hawkeye Initiative

Not familiar with The Hawkeye Initiative? You should be, especially if you’re into comics. It’s a somewhat-amusing attempt by artists to replace “strong female character poses” with Hawkeye.

We’ve seen a lot of clever responses to the spine-twisting, butt-baring poses so many female comic book characters are subjected to, but the Hawkeye Initiative is particularly fun. Their mission: to take those particularly awful poses and replace the female characters with Hawkeye.

Why Hawkeye? It seems it all began when artist Blue decided to switch the poses and positions of Hawkeye and the Black Widow on one of their comic book covers. …

Then Blue and Noelle Stevenson (also known as Gingerhaze and creator of the fabulous webcomic Nimona threw a challenge out to Tumblr: fix those “Strong Female Character” poses by replacing them with Hawkeye doing the same thing.

The problem with I09’s Lauren Davis’ take on The Hawkeye Initiative is that it misses the story behind the story. Who are all these artists and writers and editors in the comic industry? What kind of sexist jerks would try and hide their objectification of women behind false attempts to portray a “strong female character”? Given that there’s a “war on women,” any rational human being would conclude that the perps are all very white, very Republican men. Right? Wrong.

Matt Fraction  — liberal. Joe Quesada — liberal. Grant Morrison  — liberal.  Rick Veitch — 9/11 Conspiracy theory kook liberal. Geoff Johns — liberal. Dan Slott — liberal. Sara Pichelli — liberal. Brian Michael Bendis — liberal. Alex Ross — liberal. Mark Waid — liberal. And for many, many more you can visit the Four Color Media Monitor.

Is it possible that some of the allegedly-sexist poses these women are put in are in fact rather innocuous — but that critics are merely projecting their own sexual biases onto the images? I think so. Scrolling through the Tumblr account, anyone who has read Spider-Man knows that as a quick and agile  character, many of his contortions would be interpreted as “sexist” if a woman was drawn the same way. Women have different bodies than men, an inconvenient truth that the gender police don’t want to acknowledge.

Hawkeye Initiative

One of the biggest tells of The Hawkeye Initiative is that it doesn’t even require submissions to be from people who are actually fans of the work they’re criticizing. What if the image in question includes the Marvel equivalent of Ke$ha? What then? I guess it doesn’t matter, since all that counts to the self-righteous know-it-all are her intentions. “My statement about female empowerment matters more than my practical knowledge of the characters, their histories and their motivations.”

It may also be a shock to The Hawkeye Initiative crowd, but women are able to possess power, intelligence and sexuality at the same time. While even I get annoyed at the artist who is obviously obsessed with the porn-star-with-disturbingly-large-breast-implants look, I also don’t mind seeing  a female character whose strength and amazing figure are highlighted. (Apparently, the creators of The Hawkeye Initiative have never been to a bodybuilding competition, where men and women contort themselves in interesting ways to show off as many of their best assets in one pose to audience members and the judges.)

Regardless, the next time your friend talks to you about the “war on women,” go to your stash of comics created by liberal writers and artists. Show them a good butt-shot, and then ask them if they’d still buy the product if it was a known Republican who was devising such demeaning poses.

Update: If you’re coming here from Reddit, just a heads up: I’d comment in the thread, but my first tactful rebuttal was deleted because that’s how liberal Reddit goon moderators roll. We can’t have the conservative guy actually defending himself, can we?

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56 comments

  1. Indeed, even at my blog I talk about liberalism in the comic book industry these days from time to time. The only conservatives I can think of in the industry would be people like Chuck Dixon, Billy Tucci and Dan Jurgens.

    I haven’t touched upon this as much, largely because as a guy I like to see strong, beautiful superheroines who have a great figure and also have the wits and strengths to match. This Hawkeye Initiative is pure feminist nonsense if you ask me. Their aim isn’t female empowerment, it’s… well, I’m not sure what the hell it is, to be honest. It also sounds like something Atop the Fourth Wall would come up with, since its host is a feminist and often goes on rants about the objectification of women in comics, sometimes to the detriment of his otherwise funny reviews.

      • Don’t get me wrong, the show is often quite funny and his best review was of One More Day, which he absolutely thrashed. It’s just the feminist arguments that sometimes bother me.

      • Ha! I just checked. Yes, I have seen that before — but only his One More Day, massively long review. Yes, it was classic.

        I watched that one night after a long day at work. I wanted to go to bed, but I just couldn’t turn it off.

  2. “War on Women” is a phrase that makes me ill…I hate being violently co-opted, ex sexus, for the sake of poorly-conceived sound-byte politics. “Oh, no, please, hysterical media, come save me from my ability to have complex thoughts about things.”

    • Yes, I always thought that the phrase was rather insulting. It was frustrating for me as a conservative to watch two issues (i.e., abortion and contraceptives) that were decided by the Supreme Court decades ago be talked about as if the matter wasn’t basically done and settled.

      The media treat women as if they don’t care about things like … $16.4 trillion dollars in national debt and the effect it might have on their future.

      Why talk to women about inflation and the Federal Reserve when you can tell them the world will end if taxpayers don’t pay for their birth control. Sigh…

      • It’s a very old-fashioned approach, you know! “Oh, they’re only women. Just tell them some nonsense about their uterus, and they’ll get distracted and stop asking questions.”

  3. O.K., I just have to jump in here! My oldest daughter called me yesterday and said (laughing), “Um, mom…I did something, and it just…exploded!” Turns out, she was referring to “the Hawkeye Initiative” on Tumblr, which she had created on the spur of the moment, after seeing Blue’s re-imagining of the Marvel cover. She simply wanted to provide a space to act as a collection point/clearing house for this meme (a term I still struggle with–can’t we just say “topic”, or “theme”?). My daughter is a Conservative (mostly–maybe neocon), Christian, stay-at-home mom of 3, who developed an interest in comics thanks to her dh. She is stunned by the response this has garnered, which has included requests from college students to reference this or use it as the basis for their Women’s Studies research papers, and has resulted in “Wired” contacting her to ask for an interview.

    What’s my point here? Maybe just that you should be more careful before jumping to conclusions and assigning motives to people. My daughter had no underlying political agenda, is not a Feminazi, and is a bit bewildered herself at how this, like Topsy, “just growed”. Meanwhile, her dh is covering for her with the kids so that she can spend a few days collaborating with her writing partner on a book–some sort of alternate world adventure thing, where women can be conservative, strong, AND feminine! :)

    • jacTX,

      While I appreciate your addition to the dialogue, this line says it all:

      “She is stunned by the response this has garnered, which has included requests from college students to reference this or use it as the basis for their Women’s Studies research papers, and has resulted in “Wired” contacting her to ask for an interview.”

      Take a look at the reading list for any college’s “Women’s Studies” program. Also, as much as I love Wired (I purchase it regularly), it’s also a liberal magazine. And yes, most artists and writers in the comic industry ARE liberal. That is hard to deny.

      No matter what your daughter’s motivations, she is taking part in an exercise largely composed of a bunch of artists getting together and patting themselves on the back for how culturally progressive they are.

      My broader point is that the industry is filled with liberals. The biggest stars are essentially all on the left, which is fun to point out given the entertainment industry’s bizarre assertion that there is a “war on women” being waged by Republican men. If you asked the vast majority of those going gaga over “The Hawkeye Initiative” who they voted for … I’m willing to bet the ranch that most of them didn’t vote for the guy who understands Austrian economics.

  4. All I’m going to say is that dismissing something as ‘pure feminist nonsense’ implies first of all that OP may completely be missing the point of the Hawkeye Initiative, but more importantly, has no idea what feminism is. Feminism is the desire for equality between sexes. That’s it. Feminism isn’t misandry, it’s equality.

      • What of her? I’m not sure why that article was relevant at all, unless it was to define all members of a group by a single one. In reference to the article though, her point certainly is valid when it comes to the line, “but there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.” To demand point-blank an all-female group is a ludicrous idea; inclusion should be based off of ability.

        I think you may be relating this to the idea of ‘equal outcome’. Equal outcome is something that can only exist when equal opportunity is available. (Unless you truly believe that an abjectly male-dominated political environment is due solely to the higher abilities of men.)

      • Modern liberals do not care about equal opportunity. They care only about outcomes. They see any inequality as some sort of plot to oppress a particular race, religion or gender.

        They seem to think if 50% of the population is female, then there should be 50% female auto mechanics, doctors, NASA engineers, etc. Then they go about implementing public policy to realize their vision for the world, without a second thought to the individual liberties and freedoms they curb in the process.

        Do I care if I’ve only had Indian and Asian primary care physicians? No. Is there some sort of plot to keep white people from practicing medicine? No. But I promise you that in teachers’ lounges across the nation there are feminists wringing her hands because there are more men performing heart surgery than women.

        Conservatives understand that there will always be inequalities, and that not all inequalities are bad (and often times, they could be a good thing). Liberals generally are incapable of understanding this, which is why they advance policy ideas that The Borg would be proud of.

        Update: Just for giggles: http://mr-cappadocia.tumblr.com/post/36536594715/finally-a-little-honesty-in-feminism-please

      • Oh my. Well, I see you’re perfectly confident in your stance that all modern liberals (each and every one!) think a certain (completely asinine!) way and also that this has the slightest thing to do with feminism.

        There will absolutely always be inequalities, because the majority population is privileged in their opportunities. Equal outcome is not a natural occurrence even with equal opportunity, because people naturally have different inclinations, talents, interests, etc. Equal outcome is not the problem. Equal opportunity is, and if someone has been given priority in such opportunities their entire life, this is a difficult concept to grasp.

  5. How bout you ask a woman to do some of the poses that are represented in some of these covers and see how comfortable they are? You’re just going to take whatever I say and twist it anyway, so that’s all I’m going to say.

      • I don’t know what you saw, but I didn’t see the back breaking, both ass cheeks and breasts showing poses that you see in comic books. The initiative isn’t about getting rid of sexy women in comic books, it’s about toning it down a notch and drawing the poses realistically.

      • Again, I already acknowledged that some artists go too far. I’m not opposed to “turning it down a notch.”

        However, when a company creates a product for hordes of young men … I’m not going to blast them if they throw in a butt shot here or there.

        My main point in writing this — again — was to point out that an industry that is overwhelmingly liberal is putting out content that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that no one ideology has the market cornered on sexist ideas. Every day I’m told by men of Matt Fraction’s sensibilities that I’m some sort of racistbigotteabaggersexist (one word), and then something like The Hawkeye Initiative proves that the left’s philosophical house isn’t in order, either.

  6. I think you’re missing the point, and it’s a shame, because the initial picture shows it so perfectly.

    “Women have different bodies than men, an inconvenient truth that the gender police don’t want to acknowledge.”

    I’m going to assume you’re coming from a cisgendered place here, so I’ll use the same language.

    Well, sure, women have different bodies. Sometimes when women pose, breasts become more prominent, or the backside. That’s a fact, I’ll give you that. The issue becomes that comic book artists frequently have women in positions that would be difficult for any human outside of Cirque du Soleil to do comfortably, and positions that are by no means ideal in any form of martial arts (pushing your torso out and twisting it is not the easiest position to defend or attack from). There are plenty of powerful poses for female superheroes to make without needing to showcase their breasts or bottom; just take that first picture you posted. Black Widow looks a lot more formidable, prepared, and realistic falling feet-first with her knees slightly bent to keep her legs from shattering upon impact than she does falling like a starfish. Why does that have to be unsexy? And why does sexiness need to be a part of this in the first place?

    The Hawkeye Initiative has lots of questions, and they’re not hard to understand, one of which being: why, in order to be sexy, do women in comics have to be in unrealistic positions, ones that show off just how ridiculously impossible they are when a man does them? Not even touching the costumes and the need for women to be sexy in comics book in the first place, WHY is it too much to ask for a basis in anatomical and technical realism to show power? (And to be fair, this goes across the board, for males and females alike. I saw a tortuous originally-male pose in there somewhere that was physically impossible.)

    This isn’t a matter of political parties, so to assume that it is is laughable. I honestly have no idea where you got that impression.

    • Actually, it is very much about politics. You just don’t want to admit it. Almost every day I watch hours of news (as part of my job), and I get to hear guys like Al Sharpton and women like Rachel Maddow insinuate that because I’m a conservative that I’m a racist, bigot, homophobe, sexist jerk. So when I point out that an industry dominated by liberals engages in the kind of behavior I’d be dragged over the coals for … guys like you want to say it’s “not about politics.” How convenient.

      No dice, ‘no dice.’

      You also ignore that I acknowledge that there are artists who are “obviously obsessed” with drawing the kind of women that inspired The Hawkeye Initiative (and that those panels annoy me). Again, the story behind the story for me is that the vast majority of these artists and writers are liberal.

      • So what if they are liberal? It doesn’t change the fact that are a growing number of women that read comics that are showing their distaste in the status quo by the hawkeye initiative. The liberal artists and writers that make these comics are just making content for their perceived audience without any though about the women that want to consume their content as well. It’s just a growing up phase for the industry. They can either ignore it, or start to make a change if they think it’s worth it. Business is business after all. Also, mainstream media will always be like that, treating every issue like a sports game. I don’t like it, and now I don’t consume mainstream media anymore.

      • That’s fair enough, but as I said, it’s also legitimate to have a female character who is intelligent, strong and sexual at the same time. I would suggest that Black Cat is the kind of character who falls into that category.

        And yes, it’s probably a good thing if you don’t watch cable news. I do so for work, but I haven’t owned a television in two years and I’m happier for it.

  7. I agree, it is legitimate. It is also unfair to everyone about how divided politics can make people. I’ve been reading a lot of the internet news articles that are covering this, and I don’t feel a sense of blaming conservatives for this. It’s such a big topic because of things like posts about “fake geek girls” being a thing recently inside of “geek” culture. Not because of politics imho.

    • Of course no one is blaming conservatives for this … because conservatives are an endangered species in the comic industry. But leading up to the election, the whole topic of who essentially hates women and their bodies was talked about — a lot — and the conclusion (in the media) was that it was an offense primarily reserved for guys like me.

      Similarly, remember when Grant Morrison said that Batman was gay and “sexually deviant”? Can you imagine if a conservative writer said that? His career would be over. But again … because the industry is liberal it gets swept under the rug. Nothing to see here. Nothing to see here. Move along, people.

      http://douglasernstblog.com/2012/04/27/batman-is-not-gay-but-grant-morrison-is-liberal/

  8. I think you missed the entire point of the Hawk eye initiative, and find it hilarious you are making it to be political. No one called it anything- Simply mentioned it to be misogynistic and drawn by sexist male- (Notice: I didn’t use either white, nor republican). Its completely different. If looking at Hawkeye in these various positions make males uncomfortable, imagine what it does to women that had to sit through these for years.

    Another point that completely misses the mark, [ " One of the biggest tells of The Hawkeye Initiative is that it doesn’t even require submissions to be from people who are actually fans of the work they’re criticizing. What if the image in question includes the Marvel equivalent of Ke$ha? What then? I guess it doesn’t matter, since all that counts to the self-righteous know-it-all are her intentions. “My statement about female empowerment matters more than my practical knowledge of the characters, their histories and their motivations.” " ] Why do you feel the need to even mention this? The majority of the male fanbase in comics has always assumed that the female counterpart doesn’t know the entire story of the characters themselves. Why? And why is this at all even relevant to the Mission? Are you that bothered by it, that you feel the need to look at this as a way to feel justified over your own incompetence?

    It might also come as a shock to you, but women who are though, strong, and comfortable in their sexuality don’t actually bend like that. Now, I wouldn’t mind either, to see Hawkeye in these particularly Cirque Du Soliel poses.

    • Shayla, I’ve explained multiple times in this thread while the political angle is important. If you choose to ignore it — or if you just don’t get it — at this point, I really can’t help you.

      Just because YOU assume a character wouldn’t bend or move in a certain way, apparently the rest of the world has to agree with you? As I said before, it is very much within reason to conclude Black Cat would carry herself (and fight) in a very sexual way. If you don’t like that, too bad.

      You should also note that the image I took from Tumblr comes from a woman who admits she doesn’t know a thing about the characters she drew — again, important details to know if you’re going to criticize the product.

      If you want to have a constructive conversation, fine. If you want to continue with personal attacks, go for it. Either way, I’m happy to embarrass you. This blog isn’t a ‘Gender Studies’ safe zone, where you parrot everything your professor says before they pat you on the head and give you a cracker.

      • It’s not the sexy that is at issue, it’s the lack of competence or concern in how sexy is portrayed. There are scores of women who enjoy the work of Adam Hughes and Amanda Conner, because they are very skilled at presenting sexy character in ways that are contextually and anatomically correct.

        This project is more about taking the piss out of artists who’d draw Black Cat twisting her spine around so the viewer can see her tits and ass while she turns on the television than it is about Black Cat being a sexy lady in general.

      • That’s a fair point, but you should also acknowledge that if the consumer base is composed of enough people who like such shots (e.g., young straight men with raging hormones), then the company will often cater to them.

        I agree with the person who said it should be “toned down,” but the idea that it needs to be erased altogether … not so much. Like any other product on the market, the best way to show your displeasure is not to buy it.

        I think ‘The Hawkeye Initiative’ is actually a good idea on many levels. As I said before, the double standards by the openly-liberal artists in the industry (and the liberal Tumblr comic fans who bash conservatives while their own ideological house is a mess) are what I’m calling attention to more than anything else.

      • I don’t think any (sensible) person is calling for sexiness to be erased altogether. Competency and appropriateness doesn’t equate to “nothing can ever be sexy ever,” readers are just fed up with ridiculously bad anatomy and posing that is neither mechanically possible or contextually nonsensical. Like I said, no one really minds that a character like Black Cat is sexy, it’s just off putting when a character is doing something not sexual at all but still being drawn like a porn star. If a character is supposed to be agile and acrobatic, then yeah poses that look acrobatic and agile while they’re fighting or moving around make sense. What doesn’t make sense is when an artist like Greg Land traces a still from a pornographic film to illustrate someone reacting to an explosion.

        Your other point though, I really don’t think someone who cares about the portrayal or treatment of women is going to care what someone’s political leanings are if they are saying or producing problematic stuff. The Hawkeye Initiative isn’t a political critique on anybody, it’s a critique of an industry that is apparently having a hard time adjusting to how their audience is changing. Speaking as someone who is a conservative, and has an active interest in this issue, it kind of seems like you’re “projecting your bias” onto this project.

        I don’t mean that harshly, either. It’s not an attack against you. I just really don’t see a liberal double-standard here. Its just some people who may like comics making fun of other people who are making some really bad artistic decisions.

      • Jela,

        I appreciate your measured response. It’s quite striking to see your replies juxtaposed with some of the others (as well as those on Tumbr). Regardless, I think you too are missing my point. Again, I’m not saying the creators of ‘The Hawkeye Initiative’ are targeting conservatives with this project. I just find it hilarious that artists (overwhelming a liberal bunch) have put together a stinging critique of an industry (overwhelmingly liberal) that touches on a subject that conservatives are routinely blasted for (i.e., the “war on women”).

        I went through some of the Tumblr accounts of fans of ‘The Hawkeye Initiative’ and found many of the stereotypical “Gender Studies” types. I then went to some of their posts from election day, and the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert fandom was on full display. Again, two media figures who love to perpetuate the idea that conservatives have some weird vendetta against women.

        The whole point of me writing on the subject was to highlight that no one ideology or political party has the market cornered on virtuousness. I can tell by the anger that was elicited by liberals that I hit a nerve. If half the liberals on Tumblr or here who responded with some variation of the “F**k you” personal attack simply tried to have a rational conversation with me (like you have done), they might have learned something.

        Did I downplay some of my own feelings on the subject? Sure. I did it for a reason. When you poke the hornet’s nest the drones show themselves for who they really are, and naturally inquisitive and intelligent people will try and figure out what I really mean. A quick look at the comments section shows that I have succeeded with my intended goals.

        Again, thanks for the feedback.

      • Sorry, meant to type “…readers are just fed up with ridiculously bad anatomy and posing that are either mechanically impossible or contextually nonsensical.”

      • The latter is a pretty funny lampooning of the original. If I purchased a comic and it was regularly filled with the kind of blatant “I’m a nerdy overweight artist who lives out my boyhood fantasies through my work” material, I’d move on to something else. I think there’s always going to be a market for sophomoric nipple-pics, but as more women buy comics and enter into the industry these things will become less common. That’s the beauty of the free market.

    • Oh, look, it’s another ‘Hawkeye Initiative’ poster who has nothing to add to the conversation except pot shots. Or perhaps you’re refusing to step up the to adult table for a discussion because you know you’ll be exposed as an immature child. Either way, congrats.

  9. Had The Hawkeye Initiative presented itself as a critique of Republican ideology, then your comments would be salient. As it is you’re effectively saying “you grumpy liberal wimmin are so dumb y’all don’t realise you’re attacking your fellow liberals! Ha ha!” which is pure straw man pontification, since at no point has the blog laid claim to being founded by Liberals or to be pitched at attacking Republicans. You’re imposing YOUR OWN imaginary agenda on them in order to shoot holes in it, and this just makes you look daft.

    Here’s the thing: by and large, women who read comics aren’t saying superheroines shouldn’t be hot. It’s okay. We AREN’T actually trying to get comicbook heroines dressed up in nun outfits. We don’t have an evil feminazi mission to take away all your spankbank material just because we are humourless old harpies.

    What we’re drawing attention to is the fact that there is, and should be, a difference between a superhero and a porn star. Surely this isn’t rocket science?

    Yes, by all means draw Batman and Spidey and Storm and Wonderwoman et al as fit and toned and buff and hot like woah, leaping around being action-tastic badasses in skintight outfits. They can look sexy, yes.

    But they should also look competent.

    And if you draw the women (but not the men) in gratuitously orgasmic poses when they’re supposed to be kicking ass, or in poses that reek of BDSM and rape imagery, and if you dress them in outfits that look like stripperwear, then to those readers who are actually looking at the women as PEOPLE (rather than idealised fuck-toys), you are going to look like an idiot. An idiot who is trying to draw one-handed, with the other hand stuffed down his pants, and is, as a result, producing cheap tat.

    The cognitive dissonance for the reader is like buying a ticket for Nolan’s latest bat flick, walking into the cinema and finding, instead of Christian Bale & co, Ron Jeremy in a saggy Batsuit from Target, busy humping some silicone-filled starlet in a pleather catsuit in front of dodgy 80s bluescreen. That isn’t what i paid for. If I want porn, I can go buy porn; if I want superheroes battling the forces of evil then stop crowbarring crappy stupid porn into it. Stop reducing my badass superheroes to pouting inflatable dolls with splayed thighs and spines like Mobius strips.

    I do not care even a tiny bit whether said comic book artists voted Liberal, Republican or Monster Raving Loony. I care whether they have a decent grasp of the logistics of female anatomy and whether they are under the impression that female empowerment simply means drawing the occasional dominatrix to counterbalance the sexily helpless victims.

    • Fay,

      The deep-seated anger in your post is fascinating. You must have really strong legs; walking around with that much weight in anger would necessitate that the individual afflicted have huge quads.

      Since all the blood being allocated to your legs has prevented enough oxygen to your brain to allow for a close reading of this post and the discussion that has ensued, I will provide you with the bare-bones details.

      “Again, I’m not saying the creators of ‘The Hawkeye Initiative’ are targeting conservatives with this project. I just find it hilarious that artists (overwhelming a liberal bunch) have put together a stinging critique of an industry (overwhelmingly liberal) that touches on a subject that conservatives are routinely blasted for (i.e., the “war on women”),” (Douglas Ernst).

  10. That loud whooshing sound that you heard the moment you hit post? That was the sound of the point, going over your head. I’d congratulate you for hitting so wide of the mark, but I’m not in the habit of encouraging idiocy. I suppose I should adopt a live and let live policy, and leave you alone to ogle the pornographic poses the “strong” female characters are posed in, but here’s the thing: I like to read comics, too, and I don’t particularly like seeing these characters portrayed as nothing but spank bank material and overinflated sex dolls. There’s a difference between “sexy” and “grotesque,” and the way the male artists portray them has nothing to do with their political affiliation. It does, however, have everything to do with the overwhelming lack of realism in these comic books and the insistence that “strong” and “empowered” means “stripped down to barely nothing and sexualized as much as possible without actually being made into porn stars.

    • Hi, my name is Paulina,

      If I actually read the article or the discussion that followed I’d realize how silly I was going off the handle before I knew what I was talking about, as Doug clearly explains the motivation for his post:

      “Again, I’m not saying the creators of ‘The Hawkeye Initiative’ are targeting conservatives with this project. I just find it hilarious that artists (overwhelming a liberal bunch) have put together a stinging critique of an industry (overwhelmingly liberal) that touches on a subject that conservatives are routinely blasted for (i.e., the “war on women”),” (Douglas Ernst).

      I think ‘The Hawkeye Initiative’ is actually a good idea on many levels. As I said before, the double standards by the openly-liberal artists in the industry (and the liberal Tumblr comic fans who bash conservatives while their own ideological house is a mess) are what I’m calling attention to more than anything else,” (Douglas Ernst — comments section).

      In Paulina’s world, empowered also means “impulsive.”

      Thanks for reading,

      Paulina.

  11. Wow, an entire post full of nothing but MRA nonsense and ad hominem attacks on those who dare to disagree with the Truth. Nothing to see here, move along.

    (See how stupid it sounds when someone says it about YOU? It sounds just as stupid when you not only say it, but brush off all evidence to the contrary. Wotta maroon.)

    • Did you really use an acronym that stands for “Mens Rights Activism”? Can you get a degree in MRA like you can in “Gender Studies”? Do people actually try and sell this to employers? Thanks for the laugh…

      • LOL.

        On the subject of Dragon Con, isn’t that in Atlanta? I’ve never been to any conventions before, not even the ones here in Minnesota like Fallcon at the State Fairgrounds.

  12. The deep-seated anger in your post is fascinating.

    Ooookay. Wasn’t actually feeling particularly angry, but if playing the rather tired “you little laydees are SO overemotional” card (with a dash of surreal ad hominem nonsense about my body just for good measure) makes you feel better, then knock yourself out. I gather that you can’t actually disagree with a single one of my sensible and cogently argued points, however. Good to know!

    “Again, I’m not saying the creators of ‘The Hawkeye Initiative’ are targeting conservatives with this project. I just find it hilarious that artists (overwhelming a liberal bunch) have put together a stinging critique of an industry (overwhelmingly liberal) that touches on a subject that conservatives are routinely blasted for (i.e., the “war on women”),” (Douglas Ernst).

    Yes, I read that; reading is actually one of my superpowers! This is the straw man argument to which I referred. Alas, if only we weren’t limited to text, my impressively taut quads could perhaps help me communicate with interpretive dance; instead, using the frail vehicle of the English language, I’ll try to break it down for you:

    You see, this situation you outline only works as hilarious if you start off from the rather solipsistic position that Everyone One Disagrees With should be bundled up into one homogenous mass, stuffed into a box labelled “Leftist Philosophical House” and expected to all sing the same tune. Disagreements between diverse groups of people whom you’ve decided are All Basically The Same then strike you as loltastic and inconsistent.

    But, you see, despite the fact that you’ve mentally shovelled a massive array of people with diverse views, values, privileges and prejudices into that same mental box, none of those people HAVE actually signed a pledge to support one another. There isn’t actually a massive leftist conspiracy to piss you off and undermine you. Some people may be considered by you (or consider themselves) to be liberal because of their position on gun control, others because of their position on drugs, others because of their position on gender etc etc ad nauseum. Saying, effectively “Ha ha! See, liberals don’t all think the same thing!” is…well, it’s not actually the hilarious moment of insight that you seem to think it is. This is why we’re side-eyeing your Snoopy Dance of victory, and trying to draw your attention back to the actual point of the critique you’re hamhandedly disparaging.

    What’s more, you’ve already been told that the person who started the Hawkeye Initiative is a conservative. You have actually ZERO knowledge of the political positions of the artists contributing to the project. So more accurately you could have written:

    “Again, I’m not saying the creators of ‘The Hawkeye Initiative’ are targeting conservatives with this project. I just find it hilarious that artists (about whose individual politics I am completely ignorant) have put together a stinging critique of an industry (which I think of as overwhelmingly liberal, despite the fact that liberals have been criticising its endemic misogyny and racism and homophobia for decades) that touches on a subject that conservatives are routinely blasted for (i.e., the “war on women”).”

    ….not ACTUALLY all that hilarious or ironic at all, is it? Bordering on “duh” material, in fact. Indeed, it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that what you’ve been doing is trying to crow-bar this into something that will fit with your preconceived agenda (“the story behind the story”/ “Liberals suck! As do uppity wimmin!”), rather than bothering to look at the story itself.

    Might I suggest that you try a thought experiment? Instead of engaging in this reductive and sadly misleading binary thinking, whereby you divide the world into Us and Them, you could try thinking of the world as comprising a vast Venn diagram of millions of interlocking and overlapping circles.

    When you try this paradigm, the discovery that some people whom you consider liberal (because they recognise, deal with and comment upon misogyny) are critiquing an art form that you consider liberal (because…actually, I’m not sure why you think the comic book industry is overwhelmingly liberal, but I’m hazarding a guess it’s not because of its track record with gender issues, or the work of Frank Miller) is actually as ironic as a completely unironic thing bereft of irony on International No Irony Here day.

    I look forward to your next round of school yard insults. Or, you know, you could surprise me and start engaging in the discussion like an intelligent adult. Your call.

    • Fay,

      I’m so glad that you came up with “Frank Miller” to counter the fact that the industry is overwhelmingly liberal. I suppose next you’ll tell me that Hollywood isn’t, either?

      I responded to you with the tone you deserve. Whereas Jela was able to discuss the issue like a rational human being who disagrees with me, yours was soaking in the kind of condescension I remember well from my college days. Oddly enough, most liberal feminists and Gender Studies “experts” congregate there because where else is one suppose to go when bitching and complaining about how oppressed they are turns out not to be a marketable skill? I think they’d be better off focusing their attention in the Middle East, but that would entail admitting that Western Civilization is pretty darn cool.

      Again, your reading comprehension skills are lacking:

      I agree with the person who said it should be “toned down,” but the idea that it needs to be erased altogether … not so much. Like any other product on the market, the best way to show your displeasure is not to buy it.

      I think ‘The Hawkeye Initiative’ is actually a good idea on many levels. As I said before, the double standards by the openly-liberal artists in the industry (and the liberal Tumblr comic fans who bash conservatives while their own ideological house is a mess) are what I’m calling attention to more than anything else.

      You’d rather talk about how people are just so much more complex than the little box I’ve apparently put them in. Yes, I know people are complex, but some generalizations are true. When I was at USC I was the only (open) conservative in a major filled with creative types. Artists are by and large a liberal bunch. I’m not sure why you’re trying to dispute that. Want to pool our money together for a PPP poll of the industry? Maybe we could place a wager on their 2012 presidential vote? I know who my money is on.

      I see you’ve mentioned “privileges.” Would one of those be “White Privilege”? Please tell me it was. I’d love to hear you rant about that. I might have to really break into a “Snoopy Dance” if you went there.

      And if you really want to get into school yard insults, you were the one who started off the conversation by characterizing my argument as “you grumpy liberal wimmin are so dumb y’all don’t realize…” — as if you just knew I was a backwoods hick.

      On your own blog you wrote: “Not sure if my comment will be posted, but this is it…” Why would your comment not be posted with all the other critical feedback, Fay? Oh, I get it — because your response was so brilliant that a close-minded conservative like myself would rather censor it than let others see the truth.

      So please, get off your moral pedestal. It’s quite high, you fell off it from the get go, and instead of realizing that your face is battered and bloody you keep climbing back up again. I’ll be happy to knock you off it as many times as necessary. (Insert Fay response about how subconsciously I hate women and really want to batter them).

      More remedial reading for Fay:

      “Did I downplay some of my own feelings on the subject? Sure. I did it for a reason. When you poke the hornet’s nest the drones show themselves for who they really are, and naturally inquisitive and intelligent people will try and figure out what I really mean. A quick look at the comments section shows that I have succeeded with my intended goals, (Douglas Ernst).

      Yes Fay, you are a drone. You are a smart drone, but a drone nonetheless. We have seen women like Jela, and we have seen women like you. I hate to quote the Joker, but I will: “It’s all part of the plan.”

  13. I think the guy who runs this blog is a huge whining tool, and I like many things about the Hawkeye Initiative, but it’s not immune to criticism. The biggest problem with the blog is the submissions that are ignorant of the comic in question. Not because girls are “fake geeks”, but because it leads to context-free submissions such as the Empowered one: http://thehawkeyeinitiative.com/post/37651647078/empowered-hawkeye The point of Adam Warren’s creation has been entirely missed. It is a criticism of the way female superheroes are portrayed in mainstream comics along the same lines as the Hawkeye Initiative itself! Secondly, the Initiative does not credit the artists of the original pieces, which despite the content is most certainly not fair.

  14. We’re well aware that females can be sexy, smart and empowered at the same time! The point of the hawkeye initiative isn’t targeting sexists, it’s showing that some of the stuff in comic books binds the laws of physics like one cover where a man was doing some pose that would brake his spine in real life

    • “…it’s showing that some of the stuff in comic books binds the laws of physics.”

      You might want to recalibrate your official position. Guys with the power of 10,000 suns also bend the laws of physics.

  15. You’re an ass. This has nothing to do with any of the things you said in your article! The problem we have is that we’re being sexualized! How would you like it if magizines started printing stuff like that and everyone started thinking man were whores who were looking for a goodtime that needed to be sexual! That’s the Hawkeye initiative! Women against their gender being labeled as an ‘only good for sex, should look good’ gender

  16. Even ignoring the ‘sexualised’ angle, a lot of these poses are just plain ridiculous. People, women just don’t bend that way.

    • You have a point. But then again, if a female character is able to take a punch in the face from the Hulk — or dodge one from The Flash — I will assume that she’s pretty damn flexible and that her joints and ligaments might function just a tad differently than my wife’s. You have to be careful when the argument you’re making hinges on an understanding of biology that would not apply to, say, the Marvel and DC Universes.

  17. “The whole point of me writing on the subject was to highlight that no one ideology or political party has the market cornered on virtuousness.”

    “I think ‘The Hawkeye Initiative’ is actually a good idea on many levels. As I said before, the double standards by the openly-liberal artists in the industry (and the liberal Tumblr comic fans who bash conservatives while their own ideological house is a mess) are what I’m calling attention to more than anything else.”

    All in all, I don’t disagree with you. I don’t believe that any political party can or should be stereotyped in such a way; with so many millions of people belonging to each one, any generalization is bound to be false – especially when questioning things like moral character. I can see why being discriminated against, and being called names purely based on your political beliefs is irritating, and I think it’s as equally stupid behavior as when I’ve seen directed at liberals.

    That said.

    Your article, as written, doesn’t accurately portray that viewpoint. Most of the comments I’ve seen here are aimed at what you … regardless of what you in your mind when you wrote it. And what you seems to attack the Initiative, and defend the posing of women as the way they are.

    “Is it possible that some of the allegedly-sexist poses these women are put in are in fact rather innocuous — but that critics are merely projecting their own sexual biases onto the images? I think so. Scrolling through the Tumblr account, anyone who has read Spider-Man knows that as a quick and agile character, many of his contortions would be interpreted as “sexist” if a woman was drawn the same way. Women have different bodies than men, an inconvenient truth that the gender police don’t want to acknowledge.”

    [Artists who take part in the initiative seem to think] “My statement about female empowerment matters more than my practical knowledge of the characters, their histories and their motivations.”

    “It may also be a shock to The Hawkeye Initiative crowd, but women are able to possess power, intelligence and sexuality at the same time.”

    “Apparently, the creators of The Hawkeye Initiative have never been to a bodybuilding competition, where men and women contort themselves in interesting ways to show off as many of their best assets in one pose to audience members and the judges.”

    Most of the comments I’ve read are attacking THAT viewpoint. And quite honestly, I don’t blame them at all. Very little of what you wrote actually mentions what you insist your actual point was, and I was only able to find them when I read your article specifically for things that hinted at it.

    “any rational human being would conclude that the perps are all very white, very Republican men. Right? Wrong.”

    “the next time your friend talks to you about the “war on women,” go to your stash of comics created by liberal writers and artists.”

    Even in the comments, you spend a lot more time defending (or seeming to defend) what is going on, and insulting the Initiative, than you do telling people that they missed your point and stating that all you wanted was to point out that both conservatives and liberals engage in this, and so conservatives shouldn’t hold all the blame for it.

    It doesn’t do much good to claim you think the Initiative is a great idea, then bash/misrepresent what it’s trying to do, then claim all who don’t understand you are idiots.

    • You were only able to find what I said was there after I told people to actually pay attention to the text? Bravo.

      My post covered a wide range of ideas, and if you don’t like the distribution of them throughout, that doesn’t really concern me.

      You don’t like how I responded to people in the comments section? Oh well.

      Write me back when you want to debate a specific point instead of just generally complaining that because you had to tease the motivation for this piece out then it wasn’t properly constructed.

      It’s rather obvious that many Initiative fans missed my main point because they were blinded by anger or itching for a fight over other things I said. If they approached it with a clearer mind they would have been able to have a much more productive exchange.

      • The main point of my entire comment was that your main point was missed, not because of the fault of any readers, not because they were angry… but because your supposed “main point” was almost non-existent in your article.

        It wasn’t complaining so much as trying to inform as to you why you’re having so many issues with people.

        A main point is supposed to be just that – the main point you’re trying to make. Clear, easy to see, and preferably with arguments that support it.

        If your main point has to be “teased out”, if it can’t be found unless you tell people what it is, then I would say yes, that does actually make it poorly constructed. That isn’t as much of an issue when you can tell people later what you actually meant, as you did in the comments. However, it doesn’t really make any sense to fault other people for not seeing it in the first place. If one person out of everyone misses it, then it’s probably their fault.

        If almost everyone misses it? Maybe they had a legitimate reason for missing it beyond “they were all just so angry that they were no longer able to think straight”. Especially when the arguments were more logical and calm than the typical person literally blind with anger is able to produce… which is usually some kind of illiterate response like ZOMG YOUR SO DUM HOW COULD YOU EVEN THINK THAT OBVIOUSLY YOUR SO WRONG AND U MUST BE UGLY TO BE SO WRONG. I’d recommend Youtube to see examples, if you can stomach them.

      • My WordPress stats tell me where people are coming from, so I saw that many of them were indeed blinded by their own allegiance to the Hawkey Initiative by the blog or accounts that sent them here. We’ll agree to disagree.

        Regardless, my other points still stand. I defended them then and I will defend them now. So in that sense It doesn’t matter what they take issue with; I will defend my positions.

        Let me put this in a way you might better understand:

        My WordPress stats also tell me indigo is important to you. Fine. But there is also red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. Just because your ‘point’ seems to be indigo, is it really that much more important than the others? If it is, I hope not by far because balance is essential.

        You have viewed this post through a single lens based on one comment about my ‘main’ point, and that is something akin to a student who wrote a term paper for his professor instead of a blogger with many objectives to fulfill.

        I do appreciate your feedback. It is well spoken, but not very holistic. This blog is more like a painting and less like a writing assignment than you seem to think.

        Again, feel free to ask away or not. Another point of the piece was to generate discussion. I think it was successful.

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