In the latest issue of New Avengers #35, C-list hero Tigra (sorry, email@example.com) is severely beaten by The Hood, a new supervillian and Kingpin wannabe. What's sexist about that, you say? Well, nothing necessarily, but a couple of things set this apart from your typical superhero battle and made it legitimately questionable. First, the beating happens in Tigra's apartment because she's been targeted for a beating. She's not beaten in the line of duty or anything like that -- The Hood breaks into her place, waits for her to get home, and jumps her. Second, perennial Punisher punching bag, Jigsaw, records the whole thing. Y'know, for home viewing pleasure. Creepy. It didn't help that Tigra's costume is literally fur skin and a bikini.
Reading that story made me wonder if it was okay. And judging from the online reaction, I wasn't the only one. Some readers thought it crossed the line and others thought those people were overreacting. Me, I'm not sure. Any story involving violence and women has to walk a very fine line. If you're going to accept female superheroes, then yes, they're going to get hurt. Like I said, as a home assault this was different than a slam-bang fight with a giant robot, but I wondered if it was any different than Luke Cage getting attacked in his home during Marvel's Civil War. Is it just that he escaped? Would people even be talking about this if Tigra had won? If not, why not? Shouldn't the point be that she was attacked, and not the outcome of the attack?
I have no doubt that there are plenty of examples of misogyny in comics, but I don't know if this is one of them. But I think we can all agree that hating on women is dumb. Chris Rock said it best: "I like women. My mom's a woman -- that helps."
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