Occupation: Girl

Please close the door and switch on the fun without fail.

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it said something about the way that Loki sees humans, and particularly human women - the weakest of the weak, a subcreature only good for its parts,

I am legit curious -- where there other parts of "The Avengers" (or "Thor," for that matter) where you got the feel that Loki views human women as "the weakest of the weak, a subcreature only good for its parts"? Because, for instance, in "Thor," he doesn't seem to have any extra particular loathing for That One Female Demigod BECAUSE she's female, or anything like that. I know she was a female demigod and not a female human -- but I'm looking in overall terms at Loki's general attitude towards women.

Because (and granted, I've only see "The Avengers" once and "Thor" twice, which is why I'm asking) I don't remember ANY other moment where Loki comes off as sexist towards women. He's "-ist" against humans in GENERAL, to be sure, that's all over "The Avengers" -- but I honestly can't think of any other examples of his character being particularly sexist and misogynist except for that one sudden, sexist slur.
(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread)

You are correct in that attitude is not in Thor, nor in the rest of the Avengers. It's never been in the classic Avengers comics or the scads of alternate universe Lokis (heck, half the time in those, he was in a woman's body). However, there's always been a trope in the comic book world of writers taking major characters and revamping them. It's been done to more effect in DC than Marvel. I'm thinking of Miller's "The Killing Joke," in which The Joker raped Barbara Gordon before shooting her in the spine. The Joker in other incarnations was a cheerful killer clown, and even a rather silly goofball. Not so with Miller. His Joker was nightmare-inducing.

Essentially, Whedon Miller-fied Loki.

On another note, the Norse were pretty free with the sexual insults. Hand to gawd, a documentable last name in the medieval period translates to "seal ****er." WTF?

(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread)

See -- I'll give you that writers revamp comic book characters all the time, but I feel like if Whedon was trying to revamp Loki as a misogynistic pig who sees women as lesser subcreatures, Whedon didn't do a very good job of it. One throwaway sexist slur does not add up to a revamped misogynistic character trope. It's just a line that comes out of left field, and that doesn't even necessarily fit in with Loki's character to me. (Loki hates HUMANS; why are we suddenly, and with no other context, adding shades of degrees to that?) If you're going to revamp, you have to _revamp_, not just throw in one line and then pass it off as a complete character overhaul.

I'm thinking of Miller's "The Killing Joke," in which The Joker raped Barbara Gordon before shooting her in the spine

WHOA did I not ever read "The Killing Joke" in that way. First off, the Joker shoots Barbara Gordon in the spine first thing (it's the first thing he does when she opens the door; he doesn't do anything to her beforehand). He does then undress Barbara before taking pictures of her, in order to further humiliate her. But there's never been any indication in "The Killing Joke," nor in any of the follow-up comics that I'm aware of (up to and including Simone's rebooted current work on "Batgirl"), that suggests that he then _rapes_ her. He had no REASON to rape her, because the Joker wasn't shooting her to hurt _her_, he was shooting her to hurt her father. I mean, I guess he could have raped her and taken pictures of him raping her to show Jim Gordon, to further drive Gordon over the edge, but the pictures only show Barbara naked and shot. I really don't think the Joker raped her. And the Joker wasn't doing it because the character was getting revamped into a sexual attacker; there was something of a revamping going on with the character with that graphic novel, but it had nothing to do with gender portrayals. (Unless there's a follow-up comic book where Barbara says something about being raped that I'm not aware of? But I've seriously never heard anybody anywhere on the 'net ever say anything about the Joker raping Barbara.)

"The Killing Joke" is actually Alan Moore, not Frank Miller. I'll give you that if Frank Miller HAD written "The Killing Joke," the Joker probably WOULD have raped Barbara. ;-) (Oh, MILLER ...)

Edited at 2012-05-10 12:20 pm (UTC)
(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread)

For the longest time I would have agreed with you about "The Killing Joke" but after reading more of Moore's work and seeing how women are generally treated, I don't know. I wouldn't put it past him.
(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread)

Well, it's not so much that I think Alan Moore wouldn't ever write a story wherein the Joker rapes somebody (because I can see that happening, too) -- it's that I don't think he DID write it in "The Killing Joke." His problems with female characters aside (and "The Killing Joke" does have other problems with female characters), I still don't see any evidence that the Joker was meant to have raped Barbara Gordon in "The Killing Joke." That's all.

Edited at 2012-05-10 05:40 pm (UTC)
(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread)

It was Alan Moore who wrote The Killing Joke.

You're right. There was nothing like that in Thor. I still haven't seen The Avengers but I don't like this at all. Then again, I don't know why I ever expected better from Whedon.
(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread)

I didn't see anything specific, but there were hints in the Thor movie about misogyny being present in Asgard, like Sif being the only warrior woman we see, and Thor mentioning that "no one believed she could do it". I think it's possible that Loki might hate women for being all up in his golden brother, as I imagine they were. And it might not even be entirely out of character, since Loki is a iteral trickster god of chaos and routinely changes his overall attitude and demeanor on a dime.

Be that as it may, I now think that line was totally sexist and unnecessary, as well as discordant in tone with the rest of the movie. Especially since Loki seems far too urbane and intelligent to resort to, as one commenter put it, "fratboy insults". Joss's comments just cement that claim.
(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread)

In marvel and norse canon Loki has, on several occasions shown himself to be a-not sexist-but fully mysogynistic asshole. His treatment of Sif, in particular, has never been good. Norse mythos has him cutting off Sif's hair while she sleeps (a move designed to humiliate her and bring her low, since part of her power was bound up in her hair--as well as being a rape metaphor)--and Marvel's canon has him permanently dying her hair black--again, while she sleeps and as a way of humiliating her/showing himself to be better/smarter/what have you and could be read as paying homage to the original rape metaphor.

Now, I don't know if the movie canon can be directly applied to the comic book canon, but I know that Joss would be fully aware of the comic canon, and that will influence his writing of the character.

I guess I conflate the norse and marvel mythos, so it didn't bother me--it is something I would expect a god like him to say. He IS a canon sexist asshole.
(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread)

I have never in all of my readings seen anyone speak of the cutting of Sif's hair as a metaphor for rape, at least not the real Loki, as opposed to the Marvel Loki - where are you reading that?

I have seen some posit it as being symbolic of the harvesting of grain (which can be logical given Sif is seen as a summer/grain/harvest goddess). Now, is is likely true that Loki and Sif had sexual relations - Loki states quite clearly that he and Sif had sexual relations (and this may be how he managed to get close enough to her to cut her hair in the first place) in the Lokasenna. Odin also hints at Sif's unfaithfulness in the Hárbarðsljóð. But sexual relations does not equate to rape.

As for being misogynistic - seeing as Loki has absolutely no issues with switching genders multiple times, and not just for a few moments, but long enough to bear children, it would be difficult to believe he is a misogynist.

Edited at 2012-05-11 12:01 am (UTC)
(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread)

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