Oh Me Oh My

Friday, December 16, 2005

Because Misogyny is Endearing

The world of Archie comics is insanely sexist. The kicker is that it hasn't changed in over half a century and everyone still thinks of it fondly. I was flipping through some very old covers of the Archie series and came across this comic on the left. Upon learning that she is apparently an academic prodigy destined to change the world, Ms. Betty Cooper remarks that she'd give it all up to win Archie's heart. That's awesome! Who needs personal successes when you can be boned by a philandering carrot-top instead. "America's Typical Teen-Ager", really? Wow.

This one isn't so bad: "girls are easy to take"--Oh Archie, you're so clever. The illustration might be better if the girls were perhaps tied up or forced into some sort of deranged sex act or something. At least the subtext would be a lot clearer, but luckily the line at the top keeps us clued in: "Read How Archie Treats his Women Rough". How were people not offended by this kind of thing? Maybe if Veronica had a fat lip or Betty was wearing shades it might get more of a reaction.

I know what you're thinking. It's just a harmless comic. How could "America's Largest Selling Teen-Age Magazine" be all that bad? Truthfully, it's not. I don't think anyone was permanently warped by it, but the part that kills me is that it hasn't changed in all the decades it's been around. I came across a new one recently that is set at a bowling alley. Jughead has just finished his turn and enthusiastically tells his friend, "Hey Arch, I got a spare". Archie is walking away with his eternally lovelorn wenches (one on each arm) and comments, "So do I". This is made worse by the fact that Betty and Veronica are actually laughing at this. What the fuck is so funny? He pretty much just called you expendable you stupid bitches, why haven't you bitten his nuts off yet!?

Why are they so obsessed with him? You are two smokin' hot, (in one case smart and athletic and in once case rich and vengeful) girls. Why have you been wasting your time for 60+ years!? Every issue is the same--are you hoping for some sort of miraculous change. Let me get you up to speed. One of you will discover a cure for the common cold, or organize a giant charity fashion show or balance a live alligator on your tongue, all in a thinly veiled attempt to win his cheating heart. Then whichever one of you is not currently on the Nobel Prize short list will walk by in a bikini and say something coy and flirty and the other's efforts to change the world to impress that loser are all for naught.

Attempts were made at modernizing the girls: Betty worked on cars, and Veronica's business savvy was showcased and they both played in a high school band...as backup...and the band was called "The Archies" because he is the center of their universe. Did I mention Betty got to play tambourine; waita fight those gender roles girls.

The worst part is that Betty & Veronica are dull as dishwater unless they are in competition with eachother--then the brains and sass and personality come out; and all it takes is the hurtful sting of betrayal from your best friend. What kind of friends actively hurt eachother like Betty & Veronica anyway? Their greatest (and pretty much only) bonding time is when a third girl enters the picture and they join forces: 2 times the jealousy, 2 times the cattiness! This seems to be their all-too temporary wake-up call: the guy you love is an asshole and your insatiable need for abuse and neglect is pretty fucked up.

Cheryl Blossom was an awesome character. She was Archie's third love interest (and eventually discovers they're blood relatives - yuck!). Pop her Cherry..er Cheryl Blossom causes a rift between Betty & Veronica by flirting with Archie in her seductive probably his cousin way, and neither knows she exists, assuming that Archie has chosen the other, they declare war. Their weapons? Slutty dancing and Super Soakers. Yes, they'll win back his heart by making him pop a load. And that's the sound of the womens' movement falling through a black hole.

The sad part is that women in real life do act like this sometimes, and do go for the assholes who never stop treating them like shit. Except if comics were real life, Betty would be seeking child support she'll never get, and Veronica would have genital warts.

Actually scratch that. People have theorized it before, but any man who refuses to pick one or the other is probably not happy with his choices *wink wink*

Enough Said.


At 4:19 p.m., Anonymous sean said...

Moose was the best character... I have been looking for an oafish jealous teddy bear for years.

That slut Midge better watch her back!


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