“If you don’t have anything nice to say, and you’re a girl …”

by look i have opinions

The absolute best part of Brett Booth’s recent tantrum was his invoking of the Bambi Rule. According to Booth, if you write an article criticizing a piece of commercial art on artistic, moral, and commercial grounds, you have to say some nice things too. Otherwise it’s “incredibly negative” and “biased” and “an attack.”

What made Janelle Asselin’s thoughtful, rather mild article stand out for him? It certainly doesn’t rise to the level of vitriol you see in any Twitter conversation about gender politics. It actually does offer a few words of praise for the artist, without getting personal. The only remarkable things about it are that 1) it’s written by a woman, 2) she openly criticizes the slightly ludicrous, fetishistic way women (even underage women) are drawn in a lot of superhero comix, and 3) she’s rooting for DC to target a more diverse audience, and specifically to appeal to more women. I think you can see where I’m going with this.