My Response to “The Fall of Batgirl & The Financial Cost of Political Correctness”
****Every once in a while I read something that kind of gets my hackles up. Today is one of those days. Women in Comics NYC Collective International posted an essay written about the Batgirl cover from last year that sparked conversation when DC opted to change the cover at the last minute. As I don’t want to drive traffic to the author’s page, here is the link to the essay reposted on Women in Comics NYC Collective International Facebook page. My response is below. ****
I don’t know why I’m responding to this. People who use the phrase “political correctness” are often the most bigoted, irresponsible, and intellectually lazy people ever. Many times they are people high up in the social hierarchy and feel that respecting people who don’t share their social, racial, economic, able-bodied privilege shouldn’t have a voice in anything.
These are the “go make your own but don’t expect to have access to anything we have when you do it” folks who then go out of their way to trash what you build because how dare you create something that isn’t for them without their input. These are the “you’re being divisive even though we told you to go away” folks.
So, here we have a group of people who voiced their opinion and DC Comics listened and chose to make a change. That’s amazing and awesome.
Now, can we draw the conclusion that this choice cost DC Comics money? Yes, because the cost of changing the cover in the 11th hour cost them money. Can we say that the readers were lost because of this change? It’s possible. People are vindictive and will protest by refusing to purchase a comic that chose to respect some of its readership. People protest artists for expressing themselves all the time. We’re seeing it now with Beyoncé for daring to express pride in her Blackness.
This all comes down to choice. And the post’s author is basically saying that the vocal majority should always get what they want. Because money.
It has nothing to do with “political correctness.” It has to do with choice. People, artists, companies can choose to listen to large groups of their fans or small groups of their fans. It’s just interesting that when they choose to listen to small groups of their fans, suddenly it’s a violation of free speech of political correctness run amok. People are so used to the bottom line being the only voice heard that they forget that at some point, ethics, morality, and humanity are a part of art, too. Many times, it’s the unfinanced part, sadly.
All of this is to say that this post isn’t about art. It never was. It’s about maintaining the status quo where those with the money have the power to dictate what is and isn’t seen.
It’s about making an argument against being inclusive.
It’s about ensuring that the white, hetero, cis male perspective continues being the norm and anything else being other.
It’s about shaking a finger at people who stepped outside the box and reminding them of the potential cost.
It’s about that time that DC Comics didn’t choose them.