Retail Therapy #1 Sequential Tart

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic

While working in retail, there are times that customers say or do something that I don't agree with, that kind of bugs me but I'm not in a position to say anything at the time. Rather than stew about it, I decided to deal with it in the form of poetry.

Sequential Tart


To the man in the comic store that told the woman with him,
presumably someone that he loved
that there was nothing in here for her
I would respectfully like to disagree.

You are right that comics are not made for women.
Yet, in spite of the fact that they contain so much misogynistic crap
there are women out there who insist on reading them
and beyond that… even liking them.

I love comic books.

They are super powered, time travel rock-em sock-em fun.
They are warp speed excitement.
Where heroes and villains are conveniently clichéd
And easy to tell apart.

And my life isn’t like that.

I love the fantasy that there is someone out there
actually fighting for us for a change.

Wouldn’t it be nice if all we had to do was shine a light up into the sky
To summon someone that would help us?
My signal though wouldn’t be a bat. It would be a dollar sign.
Because times are tough and we could really use the money.

Forget kryptonite. You put a woman with real hips in front of Superman
He doesn’t know what to do. He doesn’t know where to look.
He’s got x-ray vision but he can’t see through this bullshit.

I don’t care if you can’t draw feet, Rob Liefeld.
But maybe you could try drawing a C-cup instead?

What are we saying to our daughters when they look inside a comic
And every woman is just big breasts stretched in tight spandex?

Are we not saying that women are an object
to be displayed for the gratification of men?
And I don’t care if you’re green and as strong as ten guys.
If you can bench press a mountain or shoot laser beams from your eyes
If you’re objectifying women then you are not helping us.

Are we not also giving this exact same message to our sons
when they open the exact same comic book?

And how can we pretend to be surprised when they take that message to heart?

I want to see the story where Super Model Mary Jane Watson
confronts the abuse of diet pills in the fashion industry
because of the unreal expectations for what is beautiful.

I want to see Peter Parker holding her face in his hands
telling her that she doesn’t have to throw up anymore.
That she is beautiful the way that she is.

And then I will know that he is a hero.
“Face it tiger, You just hit the jackpot.”

The Green Goblin can only blow up buildings.
Comic books can tear down egos.


Responsibility isn’t just for those with great power.

I’ve sat with other comic store retailers and listened to them lament
The lack of female customers in their stores.
Trying to dream up marketing schemes that will cement
increased Traffic flow and profitability.

“Women make up about 45% of our clientele” I say softly.
And they want to know my secret.

You want to know my secret?

I don’t assume that they are lost and wandered in by accident.
I don’t ignore them or speak around them because the other person
That they happened to come in with is male.

I assume that they love comics as much as I do. Or more.
I assume that they can name the original Avengers.
And if they can’t? I don’t look down on them for it.

There are lots of stories out there that don’t have people
dancing around in tights.
And maybe one of those would interest them more.

I treat them with respect.

We are all geeks searching for our fandoms.
And it’s not so random that they happened into this store.
They come in looking for an oasis where they have the freedom
To be who they are –without judgment.

Aren’t we all looking for just such a place?

So, sir I hope that someday you will never run into someone
Looking to define you and limit you,
ascribe to you what you can and cannot enjoy.

That said, Sir, with all due respect,
I think maybe there is nothing in here for you.

Submitted: October 04, 2018

© Copyright 2021 Michael Porter. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



Yeah, it is all down to perspective. Can't say that I ever thought of comic books as being sexist, any more than any other type of media. Nicely written, Michael.

Thu, October 4th, 2018 8:22pm


Anything can be sexist. Comic books I think, are just supposed to be fun. There's a tendency to weigh down comics these days with politics and political correctness but I'm not convinced that's what the reader actually wants. Fun escapism. That's what we're looking for. Good stories with good characters.Give us that and we're happy.

Thu, October 4th, 2018 1:39pm

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