Sunday, 8 November 2015

Editorial: Esoteric Equality

I can still remember, quite vividly, the first time that I was told I wasn't cool enough for something. I was eleven years old, new at 'big' school and somewhat socially awkward. That shouldn't predispose me to being banned from anything at all, but this girl of the same age had obviously decided that it did. The something in question was the song 'bleed American' by Jimmy Eat World. The fact that to this day I cannot hear the song with what can only be allowed as indignant rage slowly swelling inside me, is testament to the damage that this sort of behaviour perpetuates.
Now I'm fully grown and equipped enough to take care of myself, I've got a mortgage and everything, I still find it saddening at the prevalence of intolerance that people face; simply for liking different things. For liking comics, warhammer, anime, manga, heroclix, yu-gi-oh, anything a little different or outside the norm. Of course there are a huge range of wider issues around inequality, race, gender or socioeconomic state to name a few, but these issues are too involved to delve into on my humble comics blog. Especially in the wake of all the global atrocities in Paris, Syria and a long list of countries, but all these issues can be boiled down to one thing; intolerance.

Now this is a blog about comics, so as I've said, I'm not going to go off on a tangent and rant about the state of worldwide political affairs- there's a great deal of saturation around this subject already, rather I'll stay on topic.

No one should be made to feel terrible because they like different things. The wonderful things about comics is the wider audience they attract, my local comic book shop is a melting pot of culture, a wonderful blend of gender, race, lifestyle, religions and creed. There is something to be found for everyone and if they go in unsure of what they want, there is something to be discovered. 
Now I'm not going to pretend that this was always the case, comics did have a tendency (maybe sometimes they still do) to perpetuate stereotypes, especially surrounding women. But look at all the change that is happening, the comic book landscape is transforming and comics are benefiting from this, ergo the fans are benefiting too. The number of women writers is growing and their work is, quite frankly, excellent. At the minute I'm a fan of Gail Simone, Margueritte Bennet and Noelle Stevenson, whose work is an example many could learn from. 
Looking further at diversity, the level of ethnic diversity to be found. Now I'll be honest, when thinking about race, I'm a big advocate of not seeing someone black, white, Asian, Arabic or any of the other multitude of humans on the planet, rather I see a person, not a colour. That being said it's fantastic that the number is different background being represented is growing in size. 

I suppose the point I'm trying to make is that comics are accepting. They won't judge you, nothing you love doing will judge you, so you shouldn't be bothered by the people who feel they have a right to; because, they don't. The fact is whoever chooses to do so is afraid of you, afraid of your ability to enjoy something so completely, afraid of your ability to do what you want with your life. 

So like the age old addage, they're more scared of you, than you are of them.

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