Monday, June 15, 2009

ComicCon 2009: Are you kidding me?

Women don't play video games.

Women don't like action movies.

Women don't know about computers.

Women can't paint fantasy art.

And to add a new one to that list, apparently women don't go to comic conventions. At least they don't go to San Diego's Comic Con, according to the video game site IGN and the LA Times.

This will be news to Leigh Brackett and Katherine Kurtz, who were attending the convention way back in the early seventies. I guess they were just figments of the imagination? I mean, if women don't read comics then they surely don't write science fiction and fantasy. And whoever heard of a chick working on Star Wars? Come on!

Apparently IGN didn't get the memo that women would be in attendance, or perhaps they did, because their promotional contest for the film District 9 originally went out of its way to exclude women.

This sweepstakes is open only to males who are both legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and Washington D.C. and who are at least between 18-24 years of age as of July 23, 2009.

Thank you to the articles at io9 and, firstly for bringing this to my attention and secondly for capturing the original rules of the contest. As of Sunday, IGN amended the contest rules to include a separate drawing for female contestents, but not before they tried to blame the whole fiasco on their marketing team.

The eligibility requirements for this contest were determined by Columbia TriStar Marketing, the marketing team behind the District 9 film, and were passed on as a directive to IGN as Sponsor of this particular Sweepstakes running on the site. While IGN supports gamers of all ages, genders, shapes and sizes, these guidelines were created to foster a buzz for the film among a very narrow target group that the film’s promoters felt would be extremely passionate about the film’s subject matter.

Boys, if you're so proud of having balls, you'd better be prepared to use 'em. Passing this off on the marketing team? Yes, they should be fired for even thinking that kind of sexism would fly, but you are the idiots who approved it for publication.

(The subject matter of said film, by the way, is a sci-fi approach to bigotry and the segregation of those who are different and (in this case literally) alien. Because men as a gender have a long history of being treated as second class citizens and women couldn't possibly identify with that stuff.)

At least IGN had the sense (or the screaming lawyers at least) to try and make things better. I've yet to see an apology for this stunning piece of journalism from the LA Times: The Girls Guide to Comic Con 2009! Yes, women apparently need a manual now to go to a convention. You see, while they aren't "just for nerdy guys anymore" (again, I refer you back to the early freaking seventies, catch up already!), there's a twist!

And it's not all just about the influx of squealing "Twilight" girls, either.

Yay! Wow, that's a relief. Er, except...

But we've got a pretty good idea of what eager girls can expect (aside from one heck of a line for the "New Moon" session)...

Edward and Jacob appear shirtless in the upcoming "Twilight" sequel, so arrive to Hall H early – as in a week or two before...

For the poor girls who couldn't cram themselves into the "New Moon" panel...

Since the writer can't stop mentioning Twilight, apparently they're convinced that it really is all we're interested in and any extra stuff is just a bonus for us to check out from a distance while we wait in line to get Robert Pattinson to autograph our forehead.

Repeat after me. Not. All. Girls. Love. Fucking. Twilight.

Ok, perhaps that was a little harsh - the purposes of this little article/photo gallery actually is to reassure us girls that there is plenty of variety at Comic Con to entertain us. For example!

Women will be rushing the stage, offering to do star Jake Gyllenhaal's laundry on those washboard abs that he acquired for the film, since he spends much of it fighting, shirtless or both.

Yes, you read that right - offering to do his laundry. Yes, that's the first event on the list that we should be looking forward to. The film? Oh, it's the Prince of Persia something - forget about that. Focus on what's important, which is apparently being overcome with such a frenzy of lust for Jake that we will rush straight into the kitchen to wash his fucking clothes. Because THAT'S how good women show love!

There's more. Oh, how there is more.

Picture the wonderful sappiness of "The Notebook,"

Oh yes, bring on the bittersweet tears.

Plus, you know the wardrobe of Rebecca Romijn, Sara Rue and Lindsay Price is going to give those "Desperate" housefraus a run for their money.

"Battlestar Galactica" taught us that there are girls galore watching sci-fi...

"Caprica" adds an element of family drama and even soap opera addiction...

And some girls may steer clear of high-testosterone action films...

The words "female empowerment" make it into this little guide once (it was swiftly followed by that quip about the fabulous wardrobe) and while they manage to sprinkle in the odd reference to ass kicking female heroines, my ability to appreciate them was lost in the surge of bile and overwhelming rage I felt while reading this tripe. Normally I'd appreciate the nod to all the hot men in science fiction and fantasy but frankly the whole idea seems to be that the shirtless guys are the ONLY things we could possibly appreciate in "high-testosterone" action movies. This is what they think the attraction for women is? Tissues, relationship drama, and giggling over hot boys to entertain ourselves through the boring car chases and gun fights? This is how they think to get women to walk into comic, sci-fi and fantasy cons with their heads held high?

And they have the nerve to call Echo from Dollhouse "a bit of an airhead".


  1. wow...I stopped reading the girl's guide to San Diego Comicon when it got to the part about the werewolf being able to sympathize with our monthly curse and also sniffing out lost keys.

    Because ya know, that's exactly what women care about (and apparently we lose our keys a lot)

    Really, who approved this crap?

  2. Just read this myself, and it's enough to boil the blood. I frickin' HATE LOATHE DETEST twilight, moreso even than I do HP. And god forbid I should want to watch Fast and Furious because I actually happen to like kit and customised cars, not just to dribble over Vin Diesel or any other hunk.

    I despise most chick flicks. They're generally brainless... but I love brainless car chase and action flicks. The more guns, men in suits and curvaceous women in a film the better!

    God forbid we actually are able to look past a pretty face or a solid set of abs (Hugh Jackman, wolverine *swoon*) and appreicate the story or history of a comic book character, or sci fi film, or whatever. Just cause guys sometimes can't see past a nice ass or giant set of boobs, don't mean they can belittle women in the same fashion.

    Meh. Makes me so mad. Especially given the license I'm doing concepts for. it's one of the more male-oriented franchises. I'd like to rub it in that damned LA Times writer's face and then maybe shoot the frickin' shit out of him with my Sig 226, and then run the get over in my Pontiac GTO. Mysogynistic bastard. Pardon my french.

  3. Ya know, I can think of a whole of things to do with a hot guy. His laundry is not one of them.

    What mysogynistic asshole wrote this?

  4. heh, I want Jake to do my laundry ;)

    Thanks for the great info, I had no idea we were so low on the marketing totem pole!

  5. It's like a lot of those "girls' guides to gaming" articles, that tell me I should only be playing The Sims, Nintendogs, and Wii Fit. And while I do enjoy those titles a lot - I'm also not above playing a lot of "boy" titles.


  6. OMG. How horrible.

    Thank you for bringing attention to this.

  7. OMG, I can't believe the LATimes would write such shit like this. SHAME!