More Whedon/Avengers Thoughts

The issues surrounding Joss Whedon leaving Twitter and the threats and harassment he received that led to him leaving Twitter continue.

I’m seeing stuff like this on my feed; click this link for a bigger view if needed.

I think what bugs me most here are the people with Scarlet Witch avatars, both MCU and comics Wanda, participating in the harassment.

There may be problems with the way a creator, editor, executive, etc does something, or decisions they make. I still don’t believe problems in the Avengers films are Whedon’s fault, but if others believe it’s his fault, it’s fair to complain and criticize and demand positive change. I’d say it’s even fair to say very negative, possibly insulting things in general forums and discussion.

It’s another story when you’re sending direct messages to a person telling them they’re trash, or that they’re human scum, or that they ruined your life. You’re no longer criticizing or just airing grievances. At that point, you’re sending targeted harassment and trying to make a person feel bad.

I’m not a Scarlet Witch fan right now; I’m a Polaris fan that loves the idea of Lorna and Wanda spending time together as sisters, one that had hoped Marvel would turn me into a Wanda fan by exposing me to Wanda’s good qualities through Lorna. I didn’t see Age of Ultron, either. I don’t have any right to say if most of the complaints are justified or not.

But as a Polaris fan, I know I wouldn’t want to see other fans sending targeted harassment like the examples above at anyone no matter how shitty they treated her. This is why I and other Lorna fans on ComicBookResources (CBR) 3 years ago stopped discussing comments made by one of Marvel’s editors in the Polaris thread. Some people were directly harassing that editor over his responses to questions and comments about Lorna.

Make no mistake: I’m NOT saying to be gentle and defang criticism if you have it. I’ve made no secret that I consider Motomu Toriyama at Square-Enix to be a sexist hack that’s ruined many great franchises. I’m someone that left CBR when their admin threatened to ban me just for saying the higher-ups at Disney and Marvel IN GENERAL, not even naming names, are being greedy and selfish.

If your complaints are justified, you do not need to mob Joss Whedon or any other person with targeted harassment like this. All you need to do is spread word about why it’s wrong, not give the company money until they get their shit together, and urge others to follow your lead.

You don’t even have to boycott everything a company does. Don’t like what they did to your favorite character in Age of Ultron, but love the new female Thor? Then keep reading female Thor, which shows you support that direction, but refuse to see Age of Ultron, which shows you have a serious problem with what they did there. If it’s serious enough to you, you can boycott more; I’m refusing to touch anything Marvel right now unless it features Polaris, with possible exceptions to other X-Men comics, because of what they did to the Magnus family in the comics. It’s not all or nothing. You have options.

Marvel also likes to denigrate fan reaction to complaints, but don’t be fooled; they know the power fans have and they’re afraid. But there’s a “good” fear and a “bad” fear. You want the “good” fear, where they’re losing money and public perception of them is taking a serious hit until they shape up. You do NOT want “bad” fear, where you look like a bully trying to terrorize people until you get your way.

The latter is dangerous. It’s especially dangerous today, because people opposed to positive change, positive depictions use those latter cases as ammunition for the idea that culture should regress. Look at GamerGate.

I will probably have more to say in the future. This is all I have to say at the moment.

Whedon, Twitter, Attacks

Hello. I’d like to write a little something.

Joss Whedon deleted his Twitter account today. From what I can gather, it’s because of a lot of harassment and death threats he’s received, and Twitter’s continuing inability to stop such behavior.

There are at least two groups I’m aware of that are responsible for that behavior: GamerGate and its kind that hate any kind of positive depiction and treatment of women (as well as Whedon himself for speaking out against them), and some pro-diversity types that blame Whedon for Disney/Marvel’s decisions and are stupid and awful enough to send such attacks.

For GamerGate and its kind, taking Joss Whedon down is an achievement. His history with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and subsequent view of him as a major feminist icon, as well as his fame for Firefly and the Avengers films, have all made him a potential obstacle for GamerGate types to “neutralize.” Take him down, so the thinking goes, and a lot of feminists and women in general will be disheartened and more submissive to anything oppressive or that treats and depicts women poorly.

Of course, it would be horrible not to admit that some diversity and feminist people are in the mix too. I’ve seen tweets and Tumblr posts blaming Whedon and only Whedon for things like Wanda and Pietro getting whitewashed in Age of Ultron, or for Vision getting added and not Black Panther.

For that latter group, while it’s possible Whedon has some blame and at the very least permits such things in his film, you have to keep in mind that Whedon is not the one in control. Marvel is in control of the films, and Disney is in control of Marvel.

Whitewashing Wanda and Pietro isn’t something Whedon decided to do, it’s something Disney and Marvel decided to do. Just like Disney and Marvel decided to force a stupid retcon that suddenly made Wanda and Pietro not Magneto’s kids anymore. The heart of the problem isn’t one man that’s done with the Marvel films after Age of Ultron, the problem is the companies that hired him and set demands upon him, just like they set demands on Edward Norton, Mickey Rourke and Edgar Wright.

And even if Whedon had been responsible, that still does not in any way justify death threats and harassment.

Now that Joss Whedon left Twitter, the GamerGate crowd is doing something very predictable: they’re trying to make it look like they had no hand in running Joss Whedon off Twitter, and trying to make it sound like he left Twitter because people that support social justice “turned on him.”

If you’re just an average person, keep that in mind. The GamerGate crowd is one that’s far worse. They’ll doxx and SWAT people on top of sending death threats and harassment, then pretend they had absolutely no hand in it and try to pin the blame on their “enemies.” With the exception of good people tricked into supporting GamerGate by their spin and lies, GamerGaters are a slimy, horrid, manipulative bunch. They will do whatever it takes short of actually committing murder, rape or assault to get their way.

Though I will add that I think Joss Whedon receiving enough death threats and attacks for him to leave Twitter the immediate weekend after Age of Ultron is yet another of the many cracks in the Marvel Cinematic Universe plan starting to show.

That’s all I have to say at the moment.

I have no opinion on Age of Ultron or its depictions of Scarlet Witch or Quicksilver.

I have no opinion because I’m never going to see it.

Disney and Marvel guaranteed I would never see it when they forced a retcon of Wanda and Pietro out of being Magneto’s kids in the comics. Shitty actions motivated by selfishness and greed are VERY powerful turn-offs for me. It’s not even about not rewarding such behavior, though I sometimes do think of it that way. Largely, it’s about being so disgusted with a company’s behavior that I can’t bring myself to do things that lead to them making money.

Disney and Marvel are not special in this regard. I haven’t bought a Square-Enix product in years. I only buy things from Capcom that fit specific criteria now. The first DC thing I’ve bought since New 52 is Convergence: Harley Quinn #1.

What happens in Age of Ultron does not matter for me because I’m so “excited” to see it that it may as well not exist at all.

And the funny thing is, if not for the forced retcon, I would have been excited about the film and gone to see it. That one thing killed any chance of me seeing it, and I honestly don’t know anymore if I’ll ever want to even if they undo the forced retcon. At some point, it becomes virtually impossible to force yourself to do something if you’re too disgusted.

So while some people scream enthusiastically about Age of Ultron, and other people scream with outrage about it, I’ll be over in this corner not really giving a damn what it did or didn’t do to Random Character #2578.