Kudos to Moore

I went to the graphic novel class library to see what different types of articles my fellow students had looked at for our annotated bibliography assignment. I saw many similar articles on the symbolism of superheroes and how comics help children learn but one struck my attention about feminism and race. I am aware that any topic no matter how controversial can be addressed in any type of literature or media but comics always seemed a bit lighter to me. Granted I am not a comic book fan or expert to say the least so my knowledge is limited. I clicked on the article by Megan Condis titled The Saga of the Swamp Thing: Feminism and Race on the Comic Book Stand.

Condis takes an in depth look at Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing #40, The Curse. It is about a woman, Phoebe, who struggles with common issues among women while living in a male dominated society. Condis points out that the comic book readers are 92% male and they are not accustom to reading a heavily feminist literature. Moore chose to ignore those statistics and take a further look at the stereotypes around woman and menstruation.  My first reaction to this approach was surprised because I cannot imagine many men wanting to read about that and it would shock me that Moore would assume they would. After learning about all the misconceptions around the concept I understood why he created a story around it.

Moore shows Phoebe experience different emotions about being a woman and many are of a stressful nature. She has to go to a supermarket to purchase feminine products and feels self conscious doing so, on her way home she passes pornographic images of women that are being portrayed as sex objects. She returns home and is abused by her husband for not making dinner quick enough. These are all issues women have faced for many years but I think it is amazing that Moore chose to write a comic strip about them. Men may turn their cheek when a women is on the news speaking out for her rights, or skip over a newspaper article about the feminist movement but they are already captivated by the comic book genre and he has found a medium to speak out for women.  It is commendable that he had the courage to write a comic on such a different topic considering he is a mainstream author and placed among other classic superhero comics. With that being said I am in no way arguing that all men treat and think of women in this way or that unless they read this comic they are uninformed but I found it to be a contemporary and innovative way to get a message across and to spread knowledge.




  2 comments for “Kudos to Moore

  1. alliecat
    April 18, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    Like you, I am surprised Moore decided to create a comic based on a woman and her common struggles. I haven’t read Condis’ article or Swamp Thing #40 but I am interested now, especially to compare that comic to Watchmen. Sometimes in Watchmen, his portrayal of woman and their position in society just seemed sexist, like Laurie’s identity relying on her relationship with a man. On the other hand, he was trying to illuminate a delicate psyche. It’s hard to draw the line. To get back to your article, I’m amazed that 92% of comic readers are male (though I guess I shouldn’t be) and wonder how they reacted to Phoebe!

  2. rpatters
    April 18, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    This article is a pretty good one and is interesting. I feel may want to read it so they can also learn more about how women see things. Wonder Woman may also be seen as an object of feminism. Maybe the author also tried to get more female readers into comics as well. It is indeed interesting though when you hardly see any comics were men are being treated the way Phoebe is treated within the comic.

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