Is Frank Cho The Last Champion Of Straight Men’s Boners In This Hellish Feminist Wasteland We Live In?
As you know, straight men are the most persecuted group in the world today. They used to live in a utopia where everything was tailored to meet their needs, but that’s changed. There’s a female Ghostbusters movie coming out! The video game Rust randomly assigns gender! Two different Star Wars movies have female leads! And also, sometimes there are naked women on Game of Thrones that they don’t want to bone!
The social justice warriors did all this, of course. They rode into town with their feminism and their rainbows, and they ruined everything, and suddenly people are expected to respect the essential humanity of all people. It’s political correctness gone mad! But perhaps the greatest crime of the SJW agenda was that time people suggested that using a sexualized image of Spider-Woman by acclaimed erotic artist Milo Manara (a tribute to one of his own Penthouse Comix covers) to help promote a book courting female readers was inappropriate. It’s censorship!
Thankfully Frank Cho was on hand to protect the struggling marginalized voices of men who want women’s bodies to be used to sell products regardless of intended audience. And though that Manara cover came out two years ago, Cho hasn’t given up the fight.
Cho started paying tribute to Manara’s Spider-Woman cover early in 2015, first with his own version of the original, and then with a cover that presented a teenage girl from an all-ages book — Spider-Gwen — in the same sexually objectified pose. This drawing of a teenager’s elevated buttocks was not well received by the character’s co-creator or many of the character’s fans.
But Cho is a maverick, and when people step to him to say, “this is creepy and weird,” he fights back by drawing more pictures of women with their butts in the air, and selling them on eBay and at conventions. Cho has now reproduced this pose — and generated others like it — over and over and over again for the benefit of paying fans, because he will not cave to the PC police. (Many of the sketches have a character shouting “outrage” in the background — usually Spider-Gwen — presumably to acknowledge the widespread outrage about an all-female Ghostbusters movie.)
If all of this stirs up controversy and drives up sales of Frank Cho’s sketch covers, well, he’ll take that hit. Because wherever there are people in need, Frank Cho is there, so long as what they specifically need is to buy a picture of a butt. Cho is an incredibly talented artist, of course, but rather than let that talent be his legacy, he wants to be known as the champion of a man’s right to look at a woman’s butt.
Art has been used to give voice to the voiceless and to chip away at authoritarian power structures for generations, and who could be more voiceless in our society than straight men? Aside from television, movies, music videos, magazines, advertising, the internet, and some clubs, bars, and restaurants, who is catering to the needs of men who like to jerk it while looking at women? These poor marginalized guys only have the entertainment industry, the history of art and commerce, the prevailing attitudes of our culture, and the continued primacy of straight men as both decision makers and the largest market sector, on their side. And also Frank Cho.
But Cho has not been content to fight back in the trenches of sketch covers. He recently created a new cover for a publisher of video game comics, which again features a female protagonist in the same butt-up pose. You can see it on his Facebook page. Cho claims that the company’s art director wanted Cho to recreate this pose (yet again) because he, like Cho, is “anti-censorship”.
Thank God for these brave men, willing to risk everything — or at least risk someone on Twitter saying they’re gross and sleazy — to ensure that there will still be women’s butts on comic book covers.
Yes it’s true that, just as Spider-Woman writer Dennis Hopeless publicly distanced himself from the Manara cover, the writer of this latest book, Jim Zub, has distanced himself from the new Cho cover, because in both cases the cover was out of sync with the message they wanted to send their readers. But are we only going to put pictures of women’s butts on covers where they might be appropriate? Oh no; that, my friends, is fascism. Artists must be able to put pictures of women’s butts on all comic covers, and every woman, no matter her story, genre, or personality, must be reducible down to a sexual object for the pleasure of straight men. This must be permitted, or tyranny will flourish.
Now, sure, being a straight man has never stopped anyone voting, or holding property, or getting married. There are no institutional disadvantages to being a man who is attracted to women, and innumerable institutional advantages. But on the other hand, sometimes people make things that aren’t aimed solely at their interests, and isn’t that the very definition of censorship? Let’s say it is. And still these valiant soldiers fight on, even though they don’t have a pride parade to call their own.
We must not silence Frank Cho. The whole world needs to know that he is willing to stand up for the indiscriminate objectification of women’s bodies to sell products, even in a world that unfairly asks straight men to treat women with respect and humanity.
It’s not enough to say, “I stand with Frank Cho”. We should get down on our haunches and squat with him too.