It took me longer than I’m proud of to read issue #1 of Bitch Planet, my relatively new shero Kelly Sue DeConnick’s feminist comic opus.
And by “longer than I’m proud of,” I mean that I didn’t rush home from the comic book story and read it immediately, because, I don’t know, life happens.
But I did read it. I sat in my office yesterday the door closed and sat and read it and I was floored. I was floored the same way I was earlier in the month when I read Bad Feminist. I was reminded of sitting in classes arguing about bell hooks, about Mary Wollstencraft, about the implication of the patriarchy and the idea of dismantling things.
Bitch Planet is a really remarkable piece of work. The general idea is that in a dystopian future, the battle is lost, the patriarchy rules full speed and any women deemed, “non compliant” are shipped off to an off planet prison facility, colloquially called “Bitch Planet.”
The book is amazing. It’s incredible, the kind of crazy that very few people in my life would like or even relate to. (Which is what you’re here for!) But I’m so glad it’s here.
But as usual, I started thinking about my own feminism and how often I fail to live up my priciples. I don’t know that I am “non compliant” or if I want to be. I generally keep quiet about things that push my buttons, because I live in a house where tempers often run high, and I’d rather just be left alone. I blow up occasionally, when things just push me to my limit, although it’s something that I’ve been working on.
I’m not an assertive person by nature, I’m fairly non confrontational. I’m also, well, I’m kind of lazy. Sometimes, it’s just easier to not be bothered.
I have this feeling that Bitch Planet is going to be challenging for me, in a lot of ways. It’s certainly a more complicated narrative than I’m used to in comics, and I’ve generally stayed away from serious feminist text since I graduated. But I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to engaging in it, to thinking about things and expectations that I haven’t thought about it a long time.
Hearing Kelly Sue DeConnick speak at New York Comic Con set me on fire. It reminded me about why I love cultural feminism as much as I do, when I self identify as a cultural feminist. Stories can change people, can engage people, can change the world.
I hope that this story does. Or at least one little corner of it.