A Marvel Editor Is Being Harassed for a Selfie
We already know that trolls react monstrously when women explicitly advocate for diversity. Chelsea Cain, the writer of Mockingbird, had to quit Twitter after daring to write this innocuous, now-deleted tweet: “Please buy Mockingbird #8 this Wed. Send a message to @marvel that there’s room in comics for super hero stories about grown-up women.” Zainab Akhtar was driven to shut down her Eisner-winning comics criticism site, Comics & Cola, because of racist, sexist, and Islamophobic attacks. Anita Sarkeesian received bomb threats for exploring sexism in video games. Leslie Jones was hounded by racists on Twitter and hacked because she dared to play a black woman Ghostbuster.
When this sort of harassment happens, the devils’ advocates come out of the woodwork, saying that the harassers are reacting to changes to their favorite characters, or legitimately critiquing the woman’s politics, or simply voicing their opinions, too. This is always an obvious attempt to provide a more palatable excuse for rampant misogyny and/or racism. But the harassment around Antos’ selfie makes it even more damningly obvious what the real motivation is. It’s harassment for existing. For daring to smile and enjoy making comics as a woman. It’s harassment that’s fueled by sheer rage at seeing a bunch of women who are editing comics and having fun at their job.