Starfire: Bimbo, or Merc?

Posted by lightfright12 (95 posts) - - Show Bio

I have been reading many blogs and forums about the new sexuality in the New 52, and one of the worst criticisms is against Starfire and her New Personality. After reading through the first issue of Red Hood and the Outlaws I have come to the conclusion that many of these criticisms are unjustified. First and foremost is the claim that Starfire is objectified by the artist. Starfire has always been objectified in one form of or another since her appearance. She has been DC's pinup girl and was even given a job as a fashion model. Is it right? No, but it has always been tasteful and balanced by her character, a balls out gregarious warrior princess, which brings me to my next point. Some comments basically say that Star is Jason and Roy's sex slave due to her memory loss and the way Jason orders her around. To me during the battle where she deffers to Jason I saw a hired gun asking for orders. As for her ability to give consent and how Jason and Roy are using her, SHE INITIATED IT. During the conversation between her and Roy regarding sex what I heard was her telling Roy to have sex with her and if he didn't she would find someone (most likely Jason) who would. I think what is shocking people is that Kory is acting like a cold, battle hardened mercanary under Jason's employ, and more importantly like a man. Lets face it, she asked Roy for sex the way a man would ask a woman. If the situation were reversed we would all go DUDE over Roy, but since it was starfire taking the dominant role, she's a slut, because women aren't supposed to be pushy and dominating when it comes to sex, and I think her new sex em and leave em attitude unsettles people.This new attitude also shows that she's more mercenary than she used to be. As for her memory loss, I don't know. Maybe the writers are trying to play with her alien physiology in new ways, maybe it's part of her new character. What I'm saying is that this is a whole new Starfire being taken in a new direction. As such lets not freak out over the first issue and see how she develops. Second don't freak out about her new sexuality. She's not a bimbo, a slut, or a sex doll, She's acting like man, with a mans sexual wants. Is it right? that's up to the individual, but rather than the old warrior princess we have a mercenary who lives how she want's, does what she want's and does who she wants like the character herself said.

#1 Posted by difficlus (10632 posts) - - Show Bio

@lightfright12: Pretty good points!!

#2 Posted by ComicMan24 (147032 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice post. People need to get over this whole thing.

#3 Posted by ssejllenrad (12790 posts) - - Show Bio

For a 1-poster, you make good points.

#4 Posted by Sner2000 (136 posts) - - Show Bio

It's true that she's acting LIKE A MAN would, regarding sex. I don't think men should act that way, either! I don't think ANYBODY should regard sex so casually, but that's just me. I am offended because even though people could say that Starfire's actions are EMPOWERING........they're not. I think the reason she is being written like this is because men would LOVE for a woman like that to exist. A woman who just has sex whenever and not only that, a woman who would ASK THE MEN to have sex. That's not empowering, that's just pandering to men's sexual fantasy. I liked and RESPECTED Starfire when she was sexually active, yet also loving and sympathetic and emotional. I liked that grown men could write a female character, who, WHILE OBVIOUSLY SEXY, also had a good personality. Now I feel like there's really no hope for women in comics. I feel like no matter how strong or smart they are, men will always think of them as one thing---- something to have sex with.

#5 Posted by Mercy_ (91871 posts) - - Show Bio
@Sner2000 Well said.
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#6 Posted by lykopis (10746 posts) - - Show Bio

@Sner2000: I second that.

#7 Posted by fifichiapet (19 posts) - - Show Bio

@Sner2000 said:

I liked that grown men could write a female character, who, WHILE OBVIOUSLY SEXY, also had a good personality. Now I feel like there's really no hope for women in comics. I feel like no matter how strong or smart they are, men will always think of them as one thing---- something to have sex with.

I think that's a tad hyperbolic.

More than anything, I think the comic is guilty of being bad. I don't know if Lobdell had good intentions, but if he did, he bit off more than he could chew. I think it's certainly possible to have Starfire be an alien creature only interested in humanity for sex and still be an interesting character. I can't personally imagine it and the writer has yet to do it here, but I've seen too many good writers create amazing work out of seemingly silly or stupid ideas to dismiss any concept out of hand.

There are very good female characters represented in comics today. I'm not going to say they're represented equal to men--they're not. But there is certainly hope for women in comics.

Also, men will always think of women as someone to have sex with--the heterosexual men, at least. I do think there are many men (hopefully most) that think of women as many other things as well. The thought of sex may be at the front of the brain more than it should, but that doesn't mean the other thoughts aren't there.

Please, don't lose hope. There is nothing to be gained from that.

#8 Posted by SC (13349 posts) - - Show Bio

Pretty sound reasoning nice *smile* welcome to CV, that being said, personally, I have found some criticisms unjustified, I have found many criticisms of criticisms or defenses of the book as unjustified. Like the much criticism isn't that the artist objectified Starfire, its how Starfire was objectified. Mogo, Galactus, Emma Frost, Starfire, Joker, all fictional characters used in comics, all objectified to some degree, usually in order to tell a story or sell something. None of these characters are real or actual people. So its a degree thing. Huge difference. Otherwise you could justify any crude act or depiction of any character in any comic under the basis of some former characteristic. 

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#9 Edited by fodigg (6136 posts) - - Show Bio

@Sner2000 said:

It's true that she's acting LIKE A MAN would, regarding sex. I don't think men should act that way, either! I don't think ANYBODY should regard sex so casually, but that's just me. I am offended because even though people could say that Starfire's actions are EMPOWERING........they're not. I think the reason she is being written like this is because men would LOVE for a woman like that to exist. A woman who just has sex whenever and not only that, a woman who would ASK THE MEN to have sex. That's not empowering, that's just pandering to men's sexual fantasy. I liked and RESPECTED Starfire when she was sexually active, yet also loving and sympathetic and emotional. I liked that grown men could write a female character, who, WHILE OBVIOUSLY SEXY, also had a good personality. Now I feel like there's really no hope for women in comics. I feel like no matter how strong or smart they are, men will always think of them as one thing---- something to have sex with.

@fifichiapet said:

More than anything, I think the comic is guilty of being bad. I don't know if Lobdell had good intentions, but if he did, he bit off more than he could chew. I think it's certainly possible to have Starfire be an alien creature only interested in humanity for sex and still be an interesting character. I can't personally imagine it and the writer has yet to do it here, but I've seen too many good writers create amazing work out of seemingly silly or stupid ideas to dismiss any concept out of hand.

QFT.

The critique of Lobdell's Starfire was never "she's sexy and promiscuous." She's been both of those things in the past. The critique is "everything interesting, engaging, and dynamic about her character has been abandoned in favor of making her ONLY those two things." And then of course there's the memory/sensory deficiency that brings her agency into question that makes the whole thing even weirder.

#10 Posted by Sner2000 (136 posts) - - Show Bio

@The Dark Huntress: Thank you. ^_^

@lykopis: Thank you. ^_^

@fifichiapet: Thank you. ^_^

It's so nice to be agreed with!!

#11 Posted by Billy Batson (58311 posts) - - Show Bio

She's a sexy merc.
BB

#12 Posted by God_Spawn (38293 posts) - - Show Bio

@lightfright12: That's actually an interesting way to look at it.

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#13 Posted by BlackArmor (6138 posts) - - Show Bio

All I know is that if Starfire is a slut Nightwing is a bigger one. and us lashing out at her acting this way while we've been living with Nightwing doing it without complaint is a double standard. Also all these people complainig about Starfire whining about the horrible things being done to her charecter going on and on about how her great charecter was ruined you can go back on the vine a couple of years and find almost all those people saying they hate her for being a slut one of the greatest examples of this is Starfire vs Barbra Gordon thread (caused by Nightwing being a slut). All these people don't care about starfire as a charecter or even as a sex simbel there just using her to launch there own personal campaighns.

#14 Posted by Sner2000 (136 posts) - - Show Bio

@BlackArmor: I don't really care who Nightwing dates. I'm not a Dick+Kory supporter OR a Dick+Babs supporter. This has nothing to do with Nightwing (though, I admit, I wish ALL characters in comics, both men and women, didn't have so much sex, but that's not going to happen because SEX SELLS. And I accept that). For me, this is about seeing a fully-dimensional character, who was ALWAYS a sex symbol, but still had a good personality, being turned into JUST a sex symbol. It frustrates me because I could identify with Starfire on an emotional level, but now she's completely unrelatable. She just seems cold, slutty and uncaring. Nothing about that is likable.

#15 Posted by BlackArmor (6138 posts) - - Show Bio

@Sner2000: I mentioned Nightwing because what everyones so mad at Starfire for doing dick does two fold without complaint making it a double standard. But how can everyone be saying her charecters been destroyed after one book? we haven't seen enough to know anything about her charecter or how three dementional she is in the new 52 so saying they sacrificed her personality or what made her intresting is seriously jumping the gun, unless 4 or 5 issues of Outlaws has come out and i haven't been told or everyone gets an early copy but me. Starfire was in what 7 pages and she only talked or commented on stuff for what 5 pages and yet everyone is assuming we've seen all there is to her if your going to complain about her personality wait 4 or 5 issues first

#16 Posted by God_Spawn (38293 posts) - - Show Bio

Woot more double standard posts. Seriously though wait for the series to pan out a bit before getting so pumped up people.

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#17 Posted by God_Spawn (38293 posts) - - Show Bio

@BlackArmor said:

@Sner2000: I mentioned Nightwing because what everyones so mad at Starfire for doing dick does two fold without complaint making it a double standard. But how can everyone be saying her charecters been destroyed after one book? we haven't seen enough to know anything about her charecter or how three dementional she is in the new 52 so saying they sacrificed her personality or what made her intresting is seriously jumping the gun, unless 4 or 5 issues of Outlaws has come out and i haven't been told or everyone gets an early copy but me. Starfire was in what 7 pages and she only talked or commented on stuff for what 5 pages and yet everyone is assuming we've seen all there is to her if your going to complain about her personality wait 4 or 5 issues first

Buddy we agree on something for once.

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#18 Posted by Sner2000 (136 posts) - - Show Bio

@god_spawn: Valid point you're making. Maybe in future issues she won't be so skanky. As for the double standard arguement...yeah, why SHOULDN'T women enjoy sex and be the ones to initiate it? Well...women just don't think like that. I'm all for equality, but I don't think women will EVER be as obsessed with sex as men are. Frankly, I'd like it if both genders toned it down a little, but like I said (on a different thread), I'm conservative about that stuff and I don't expect the world to change at all. But we fans should express our opinions so the writers can know their audience and find out if what they do is offending us. This isn't something I want to turn into a huge, explosive fight. I just write what I think and explain why I think it.

#19 Edited by God_Spawn (38293 posts) - - Show Bio

@Sner2000 said:

@god_spawn: Valid point you're making. Maybe in future issues she won't be so skanky. As for the double standard arguement...yeah, why SHOULDN'T women enjoy sex and be the ones to initiate it? Well...women just don't think like that. I'm all for equality, but I don't think women will EVER be as obsessed with sex as men are. Frankly, I'd like it if both genders toned it down a little, but like I said (on a different thread), I'm conservative about that stuff and I don't expect the world to change at all. But we fans should express our opinions so the writers can know their audience and find out if what they do is offending us. This isn't something I want to turn into a huge, explosive fight. I just write what I think and explain why I think it.

I won't disagree with you, quite frankly I think both you and the OP do make valid points but I'm not here to argue I. I said the double standard comment because it just seems like a recurring issue a lot lately on these boards. I don't really care if Starfire has casual sex to be honest as long as I'm entertained by the story and it runs deeper in the long run. Basing opinions off one issue which a lot of people I just don't get it. I'm pissed for other reasons of the reboot, Starfire having sex isn't one of them. Lobdell already said she's probably be like this throughout the series but he also said many of Jason's remarks about her were sarcastic and that she herself was being sarcastic if I'm not mistaken so to me things aren't set in stone yet and they shouldn't be. If it's 10 issues down the line and she's banged more guys than I can count on my hands and feet then sure I would have a problem with them throwing her to characters like that and it would just be a pointless thing to do and yeah it would be very degrading to women and I wouldn't want to support a book that does so to such a level. But there has been 1 issue released maybe the second one came out yet I don't know, I haven't looked and I think people are blowing this out of proportion too soon and Lobdell has been pressing people to ask questions so he is opening himself up to his fans and not just turning the other way and going deal with it. That's my two cents.

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#20 Posted by Sner2000 (136 posts) - - Show Bio

Somewhere down the line, someone might notice my comments on Ravager, and how she's so slutty, and they'll probably say "How come you hate it when Starfire is slutty but you think it's FUNNY when Ravager is?" And I guess my answer to that would be...Starfire was a loving, emotional, free-spirited heroine who had sex, but only if she was truly in love. Ravager on the other hand, is skanky just because she likes messing with people. I don't think that's a GOOD thing, but Ravager's not a good person, either. Half the time she's a villain, so I don't really expect her to be pure and innocent. But back to Starfire....I hope she goes back to her old sensible self soon. But as long as she isn't, I won't be buying the comics she's in.

#21 Posted by xkoenig (385 posts) - - Show Bio

First off, I'm pretty sure Scott Lobdell has stated that Starfire does not have memory loss. In my opinion that means she is just SAYING she doesn't remember Dick and the others because she doesn't want to talk about her past. As far as being bossed around by Jason, I'm not sure exactly what their relationship is. I think it's pretty clear that Jason idea of who's in charge (i.e. him) is probably NOT what Starfire thinks of it at all. She is teaming up with the two guys for her own reasons. I hope these will become clearer soon.

#22 Posted by BlackArmor (6138 posts) - - Show Bio

@Sner2000 said:

@god_spawn: Valid point you're making. Maybe in future issues she won't be so skanky. As for the double standard arguement...yeah, why SHOULDN'T women enjoy sex and be the ones to initiate it? Well...women just don't think like that. I'm all for equality, but I don't think women will EVER be as obsessed with sex as men are. Frankly, I'd like it if both genders toned it down a little, but like I said (on a different thread), I'm conservative about that stuff and I don't expect the world to change at all. But we fans should express our opinions so the writers can know their audience and find out if what they do is offending us. This isn't something I want to turn into a huge, explosive fight. I just write what I think and explain why I think it.

The first thing i learned on comic vine is not to apply real world principles to comics so applying the real snsibilitys of the common women to starfire isn't really valid for multiple reasons. First sexually speaking Starfire has had outragous sexual experiences that we can only guess at the phsicological effeccts, She was of course sold into slavery where she was raped repeatedly and then in her still canon relationship with dick she was dumped by the only man she loved like 3 times and returned for sex after each even if she was human these two things would undoubtadly alter her perception of sex and it's value.Second as stated by Lobdell many times she is an alian with a naturally diffrent view and feeling from sex and comes from a culture where it is treated diffrently and based on other comic book aliens probably experienced diffrently while she has matching parts it is likely that not everything is the same an example of this is despite the fact that that superman and lois can match up they cannot genetically have kids so even if she outwardly ressembles a women biologically there are almost certinally diffrences that alter how she percieves the sensation of sex. fourth she's an alein princess even with alien women we can't expect her to hold the same views and attitudes towards sex let alone can we equate what she desires to the common earth woman. fifth your claim that no woman will "EVER be as obseesed with sex as men " is untrue because not only are there billions of women and 100eds of cultures that view sex in there each indivisual way there are also indivisual women who feel like starfie despite outside affect let me use an historical example (i apologise that it's vauge it's been a long time since i learned this) there were fundamentally three women who lead early feminism and womens right laws one of these the mot powerful of the three once ran for president with Fredrick Douglas as a running mate this woman (i was a bad history student and forgot her name if you want PM me and i'll look it up) was defamed even by her fellow feminist because she believed that a woman should have the right to "free love" meaning a woman could have sex with anyone she wanted to any time any place. In conclusion we haven't seen enough of starfires personality to know who she is and just because it's not common for women to be as obsessed with sex as men starfire issn't a common woman and even if she was it doesn't matter because this is a comic aka a fantasy and there have been and probably are (with the billions of personalitys diffrent women have) women as obsessed or more obsessed with sex than the average man

Okay went ahead and looked up the woman i was talking about : Victoria Woodhull

heres ask. com on her free love thing: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/sexualityandsex/a/free_love.htm

#23 Posted by Sner2000 (136 posts) - - Show Bio

It was not a "claim" that women will never be as obsessed with sex as men, it was an OPINION. Notice that I wrote "I don't think" before writing it. I try to begin all my sentences with "I believe" or "I think" so people will KNOW that it's just MY OPINION. And yeah, Starfire probably does have different views on sex, but that doesn't mean it doesn't offend me. Even if she is a fictional character and an ALIEN at that, doesn't mean I don't relate to her. At least, I used to...but now she's been so warped I can't even think of her as one of my favorite characters anymore.

#24 Posted by SC (13349 posts) - - Show Bio
@BlackArmor said:

@Sner2000: I mentioned Nightwing because what everyones so mad at Starfire for doing dick does two fold without complaint making it a double standard. But how can everyone be saying her charecters been destroyed after one book? we haven't seen enough to know anything about her charecter or how three dementional she is in the new 52 so saying they sacrificed her personality or what made her intresting is seriously jumping the gun, unless 4 or 5 issues of Outlaws has come out and i haven't been told or everyone gets an early copy but me. Starfire was in what 7 pages and she only talked or commented on stuff for what 5 pages and yet everyone is assuming we've seen all there is to her if your going to complain about her personality wait 4 or 5 issues first

 
Possibly because not many people aren't actually mad at Starfire for that but for the context and so its not a double standard and rather a lack of understanding of the actual argument?  
 
People have 100 plus comic books to choose from each month, people have the right to complain about whatever they want, if you want double standards, why actually have an opinion about a persons criticism when you can just wait for "4 or 5 issues first" for them to change it lol (thats not me saying you shouldn't, mind you, you should if you want give your opinion/criticism/defense) but its the same logic. Unless your actually buying every comic released, then chances are their are comics you prefer more than others and you have reasons for that, are you jumping the gun or just exercising the ability to know what you like and don't like? 
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#25 Posted by SC (13349 posts) - - Show Bio

CON TEXT - its like CON AIR, but without John Malkovich in it.  
 
If one can't understand an argument competently, how can one address it?  

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#26 Posted by Sner2000 (136 posts) - - Show Bio

I did not purchase the first issue of Red Hood & The Outlaws. I saw a few scans from it ON THIS WEBSITE, and that's how I know what Starfire's been up to. And yeah, people can say "How can you judge a comic book that you refuse to read?" Well, to me, that's the best way to fight something. DON'T SPEND YOUR MONEY ON IT. If you buy the comics only to analyze and criticize them, the company is still GETTING YOUR MONEY. If you have a problem with something, don't buy it.

#27 Posted by BlackArmor (6138 posts) - - Show Bio

@SC: It's true people can complain about whatever they want but complaining doesn't mean they have any knowledge on the subject. imagine if someone saw you walking down the street and spent a month complaining from whatever they saw you doing for that minute or so with only one issue of Outlaws out and some people not even having read that that is the equivolant of what people are doing to starfire. give her a chance or don't comment i think we all would like that for ourselves right? if you saw me on the street i would like you to at least talk to me before blogging about how terrible i am online well do onto others as you would have done on to you and don't complain if you don't know anything about a charecter yet

#28 Posted by lykopis (10746 posts) - - Show Bio

Well, I read it - cover to cover - and decided to NOT pick up #2. This is what happens. Some fans will not like it. Some fans will not want to purchase the next book because of it. Some fans might change their minds should things change in future (based on reviews left by others on sites like this.) I might be one of those fans. Or I might not. We'll see. *shrugs*

#29 Posted by SC (13349 posts) - - Show Bio
@BlackArmor said:

@SC: It's true people can complain about whatever they want but complaining doesn't mean they have any knowledge on the subject. imagine if someone saw you walking down the street and spent a month complaining from whatever they saw you doing for that minute or so with only one issue of Outlaws out and some people not even having read that that is the equivolant of what people are doing to starfire. give her a chance or don't comment i think we all would like that for ourselves right? if you saw me on the street i would like you to at least talk to me before blogging about how terrible i am online well do onto others as you would have done on to you and don't complain if you don't know anything about a charecter yet

 
Sure, but your first point isn't exclusive to anything (and I mean this with respect) it applies to criticism of criticism obviously. So its somewhat of a redundant point, if not for the fact you also have some people complaining about a comic book... and some people complaining about others complaining? Seems like there is some =/= logic imbalance there.  
 
Actually, its not a false dichotomy, if an individual thinks there only choices are between waiting and giving a book a chance or voicing criticism, that is solely on themselves, they actually don't get to extend that to other people, hell some people actually enjoy criticizing things, criticizing things is one of the best way to make things improve. I wouldn't care about someone complaining about me for a month for what I did for a minute. Are they paying me to do a job? Different story. They become the customer. Its in my interest to be aware of complaints that might cost me, or at least be aware. In any case its a flawed analogy.  
 
Your a real person.. on the street? If you were a comic and I paid money for you? Like a SUPER MASSIVEly Massive, massive Giafreakinggantic difference lol If I was a comic issue people paid money for, I would insist to my dying breath they voice their opinion no matter what. If that means silence? Dandy, if that means critiquing? Even better. So now your assuming that everyone should follow your mindset? People should complain about absolutely anything they want to. That's what opinions are. Right now, your doing the same thing. Sharing your opinions on how others have their own. Again, sometimes all a person needs to know, is an issues worth. 100 Comics per month, are you going to buy everyone a 100 comics each month, so they can get to know a character better? Most people defending this issue I have talked to, I have realized don't actually understand or know what the main criticisms are, 10 indie comic books came out with characters you don't know... did you buy them? Even though you didn't know the character?
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#30 Posted by Sner2000 (136 posts) - - Show Bio

@SC: Yeah...I don't think that's what BlackArmor meant...treating a comic book like a human being and all. Anyway, yeah, comic books are tangible objects that we read for our amusement. If we are not amused, we have the right NOT to read them. Comic books don't have feelings. They're paper and pictures. We're allowed to express our hatred and annoyance of things. The comic book itself is not going to get offended.

#31 Posted by SC (13349 posts) - - Show Bio
@Sner2000 said:

@SC: Yeah...I don't think that's what BlackArmor meant...treating a comic book like a human being and all. Anyway, yeah, comic books are tangible objects that we read for our amusement. If we are not amused, we have the right NOT to read them. Comic books don't have feelings. They're paper and pictures. We're allowed to express our hatred and annoyance of things. The comic book itself is not going to get offended.

 
.... I know its not? lol I was just going with their analogy *smile* Sorry if it was... confusing to read?!?!
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#32 Posted by Sner2000 (136 posts) - - Show Bio

@SC: Uh...sorry, I think I didn't mean to reply specifically to YOU, but more to BlackArmor. *sweatdrop*

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