An Open Letter to One Million Moms

I am a long term comic book reader and whilst I support your effort to protect children I am afraid I am somewhat confused about the campaign to write to DC and Marvel in objection to their depiction of gay characters. I would like to support any action to protect children but I can’t commit to something I feel I do not fully understand. As I am sure you feel the same way and would not incite such a campaign without becoming fully informed on the subject at hand I would appreciate it if you could clarify a few points for me before I agree to write a letter supporting your cause.

DC comics’ announcement that they will re-introduce a character as gay comes as part of a now nine-month old initiative to relaunch the brand. Many other things have happened in these nine months that, if homosexuality is a worryingly imitable and corrupting influence on children, are surely also of concern.

You speak of the concern that a child might want a boyfriend like Batman. This seems to imply that in other respects you are content that Batman is an acceptable role model. Does this mean that you support his having entirely anonymous, fetishised sex with a complete stranger in (what is effectively) public? In one of the first issues of the relaunched DC line a man had the skin of his face severed to create a grizzly skin-mask, without anaesthetic. This also happened in a Batman book. As did men and women being cut into pieces and then fashioned back together into patchwork corpse puppets.

Nor does it stop there. Wonder Woman, it has been revealed, is the descendant of a people who are serial mass-rapists and serial committers of mass-infanticide. The rape is even depicted, though not graphically. In their defence it’s made clear the Amazon women no longer commit infanticide of all males born of their rape-culture, simply sell them into heretical slavery to the false-god Hephaestus, but as mothers how can you condone either behaviour? And oh yes, that false god is one of many of the greek pantheon of heretical gods that is a regular character in the book, in violation not of a verse of the book of Romans but of the 1st commandment itself!

Catwoman is shown as not simply a villain instead she is presented as an anti-hero. She has a book series of her own in which she is seen fornicating, committing theft after theft and even beating a helpless man to a very violent, bloody and disfiguring death with a baseball bat. Whilst she also stands up for the defenceless in other regards, does that really make up for her other behaviours?

Even Bunker, a new character introduced to the Teen Titans, a book surely aimed at Teenagers by its’ very nature, is both gay and Catholic, conflating the subject of homosexuality and religion.

Now, seeing as all these and other issues exist I can come to only two conclusions. Either you are aware of these things and have concluded that they are all perfectly acceptable for your children whilst the idea of re-introducing a character as gay is not or rather than consider them perfectly acceptable for your children you give you children the credit that they are sufficiently complex individuals to not find these behaviours imitable or laudable but are concerned they will be encouraged to emulate this character’s coming out, despite the already existing characters of Bunker, Batwoman, Renee Montoya and others that they have successfully avoided following into homosexuality up until now.

I look forward to your answer and having my confusion assuaged so that I can confidently write in support of your campaign to protect children from the threatening idea that a man or woman might be gay and still be a good person.

Thank you,

Simon Aplin

We Wouldn’t Want Them To Get The Wrong Idea

“St Paul’s is a very important site. What we’re looking at is an image of the UK.”
– Theresa May, BBC Question Time 3/11/2011

This is a true statement, though taken out of context I don’t think I mean it the way Theresa May meant it. You see, when she said it the quotation was joined by these words:

“Personally, yes, I would like to see them go.”
– Theresa May, BBC Question Time 3/11/2011

The message I got from watching Mrs May’s appearance was that she was concerned that by occupying land outside a tourist landmark in our capital the protestors were giving the ‘wrong’ impression to visitors to our country. Tarnishing the ‘image of the UK’ she referred to in their eyes. I can certainly understand why the government wouldn’t want tourists to see a large number of people so disaffected with their country and their government that they have literally taken to abandoning their homes to live in public, that way able to express their disappointment and desire for a change 24/7 to anyone who might pass them by. I can’t see how this, in any way, would give tourists the wrong impression.

It seems to me that Theresa May was more on the money than even she meant to be when she said this was an ‘image of the UK’. Indeed it is. What tourists see outside St Paul’s Cathedral is the evidence that Britain is not working. Not for everyone. That people are disaffected and marginalised to such an extent by the current economic systems in place that they are left with camping in public as their best of all possible options. Maybe if they pick up a paper they’ll read about St Pauls’ Cathedral itself suspending legal action against them. Then they might get the impression there is broad and growing support for these protests.

So yes, Theresa, what we’re looking at IS an image of the UK. It’s the UK that successive governments, I won’t go so far as to lay the blame on any particular party, has worked for and got and whilst I’m sure you and your colleagues would like to see them go I’m glad they’re there. I’m glad they’re camping outside the council offices here in Bristol as well. I’m glad it’s happening in cities all over this and other countries. I am glad that when people visit London they won’t just see a Cathedral but an ‘image of the UK’, something notable, something reflective of our country and our society. Let them see it, let them reflect on it and let the message and the debate rise up in all those who see it.

As a politician these people are the ones to whom you should be answering. Happy people who aren’t protesting don’t necessarily need special consideration from their governments. The Occupy LSX camp provides a concentration of those members of society who clearly most want and need engagement with and representation from their politicians. Go there. Talk to them. Become part of the discussion rather than wishing their voices would be silenced.

As Ed Balls said on the same show:

“Politics has got to rise to a better level and say ‘we’re going to make this system work’.”
– Ed Balls, BBC Question Time, 03/11/2011

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