Joss Quits Twitter

I take it by now that most of you have seen the news about Joss quitting Twitter. If not, here’s a news item from the BBC: – and you can find others by googling.

What’s interesting is that Joss’s latest movie has been criticised for being sexist. Now, I haven’t seen it, so I’m not in a position to judge, but I do have a couple of thoughts:

  1. I can’t believe Joss would be sexist, and
  2. The Marvel superhero universe is inherently sexist

so it seems to me that Joss and Marvel Superheroes were never a good fit.

What are other people’s thoughts? Please comment.


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9 Responses to Joss Quits Twitter

  1. Nick Edwards

    Well Joss himself has called horseshit on all the “forced out by rabid feminists” crap.

    I think that he’s quite sensibly just taking a clean break from what must be a cacophony of mostly rubbish (I have to declare that the entire concept of Twatter fills me with deep loathing – FB has its uses and I tread very carefully, but the other…shudder)

    1. Totally agree – have the idiots saying that been watching the same shows/films we have? Well, yes, but they’re *idiots*/zealots/arseholes – rationality or reasonable behavior from folk with that “mind” set doesn’t even get a look in.

    2. Well, yes, its comics originating from times where scantily clad girlies were a good way to sell tales of high adventure etc…. but, and here’s the thing, aside from the dinosaur attitudes that still persist even today in some corners of comicdom (yeah OK , wide swathes of open plan misogyny in some cases sadly) – there have *always* been strong female characters in superhero comics. Not as many or as well treated as the guys, but they have been there from very early on, even when portrayed in the language of the less enlightened times. Black Widow – and particularly Joss’ and Scarlet Johanssen’s take on the character is a good example of a strong and interesting character who happens to be female. I can’t comment on past depictions because I haven’t read them, but however these characters have been treated in the past, they have stayed popular and even if the balance is off (in *sooo* many areas) are a mainstay of comic fiction.

    DC are in some ways even worse – I quit reading Batwoman in disgust (along with the original creative team) when DC made it clear that despite all the lead up and long term relationship building, Kate Kane would not editorially be allowed to marry her lover Maggie Sawyer (also a very strong character) at any point in the future.

    Well aware of comics shortcomings (and many others) in this area…..but the stories are so good sometimes πŸ™‚

    • Nick Edwards

      And Agent Carter (just renewed for a well deserved second season) is simply brilliant and very much against type for Marvel (similarly for Daredevil, but for different reasons) – Haley Atwell is awesome as Peggy Carter.

  2. Was the Avengers: Age of Ultron sexist? I don’t think so… The character of the Black Widow seemed to strut her stuff very ably, no-one called her a “Mewling quim” this time. But I’m a man, brought up in a male dominated culture, so how the hell would I know?

    Is Twitter a bad thing? On the whole, no. I use it academically, and Nick, I think, would find it useful too, to keep networked with his science buddies. It’s actually drawn my attention of a few papers I wouldn’t have found otherwise.

    But here’s a thing about society and the Internet. It’s an idea I had while at a conference on Digital Culture at Rochester (I met the woman who invented ST:TNG’s Reg Barclay there. -and had a great conversation with her about Kim Stanley Robinson’s Years of Rice and Salt, which was nice). I maybe will work it up into a paper at some point. In a nutshell, it’s this:

    The early adopters have time on their hands, they get to play on this new thing, and do great stuff, some of which is fun for a bit and fails, some has a lasting legacy like, say 10 years of the Signal ( πŸ™‚ ), and some do stuff that makes millions of £££s (or more normally $$$s). I call these people the Playful Aristocracy.

    Then everyone else gets to join in. Some of these others have time to play, and join the Aristocracy, but most are time-poor and become the mob, or rather, as I like to rip off Hobbes, the Leviathan.

    Now, the Internet is a strangely empowering society. It gives everyone a voice, unlike most societies. But the voices are not quite equal in volume, those in the Aristocracy, have their voices amplified by (varying degrees of) reputation. If you are pat of the Leviathan your voice is frustratingly lost in the noise. If you have time to play and so create, you can raise your reputation and be heard above the rabble.

    BUT among those who don’t have time to play, you can scream destructively into the noise. Take out your frustrations on the Aristocracy by shouting obscenities at them. Micro-blogging, as Twitter was termed when launched, is an ideal vehicle for the screaming of the time-poor.

    Thus people say rude things on Twitter.

    I try and follow the principle on Twitter that if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all – which is why I only have 700 tweets to my name. But even I have been a bit rude about William Hague once.

    To be honest I was a bit surprised by Joss’ slightly rude Tweet about Jurassic World, and it betrays a moment I think when he Tweeted without thinking – ie he was time poor. Even the Aristocracy can join the Leviathan sometimes. To be honest I think it may have been this tweet that made him decide to take a break from Twitter, rather than anything Tweeted to him.

    BUT there’s another face to the Leviathan, and that is #GamerGate. This hashtag, reportedly coined by a certain A.Baldwin, has become a whirlpool of accusation and counter-accusation, spawning #NotMyShield and other screams into the noise. Joss has tweeted in support of some of the targets of #GamerGate. And I wonder at least a good part of the screams of “sexist” come from GamerGater sock puppets.

    • Nick Edwards

      Hey Matthew – interesting thoughts. Not seen AoU yet, so can’t comment on it directly. Agree with both the rude comments about Hague (and lets leave it at that! πŸ™‚ and that GG sock puppetry seems to be rife – crikey thats a horrible mess and sadly, while I respect and enjoy his work and his usually warm and personable interactions with fans at conventions, Adam has ….isssues with certain aspects of reality and reasonable behaviour shall we say (the fact he’s also apparenty an anti-vaxxer too doesn’t help!) Very sad.

      Well, to even dip my toe in the twitter mire for accademic enlightenment, I’d have to own a smartphone – and for now at least, have deliberately avoided going there (which, yes, is pretty odd for a technically minded person, but I have the suspicion that Twitter is basically Internet Crack and I’m wary of going down that rabbit hole! πŸ™‚

      Anyway on an unrelated academic topic – we did this a while back, but it’s just been published:

      and actual paper

      some way still to go however πŸ™‚

      • I would recommend Tweetdeck for your desktop device, but it can be a mire.

        • Nick Edwards

          You’re not selling it matey πŸ™‚

          The closest I ever want to get to it is following the ocassional retweeted link that shows up on FB – much the same as as with anything that looks interesting from people who I mostly actually know – and even that is something of a mire that I sometimes despair of (and I’m a light user)

          Nothing wrong with a bit of self promotion – but I have no interest in following anyone – I don’t *need* to – I’ll hear about anything of genuine interest soon enough by other means whether I want to or not, so why encourage it πŸ™‚ It’s come a long way from the original micro-blogging concept (kinda fecking pointless anyway, but so are cat videos, so who am I to judge πŸ™‚ – and not in a good way IMO

          Anyway, I think this counts as topic drift πŸ™‚

          So, does the Leviathan in the form of Twitter encourage sexist behaviour from those inclined that way anyway? (Yeah and racist, fatist, agegist, fundamentalist – pick your ‘ists’ – can of worms)

          Bottom line is that the signal to noise ratio of social media inevitably increases and the only way to really avoid it is to…. well, avoid it.

          Maybe ex-users could join Apoplectics Annonymous? πŸ™‚

  3. TageRyche

    I am on Twitter, but mostly use it to shamelessly self-promote the various articles I write.

  4. Here’s a handy (and reasonably balanced) summary of the controversy:

  5. I have seen Age of Ultron two times now and I don’t see anything sexist at all. However the part where Hawkeye has a wife and two kids in their “Safe Haven”. I can see hardcore feminist seeing that as sexist. However the way Joss portrays her is not sexist at all. That and the hard core feminist who think it is bad for women ever to be portrayed as stay at home moms, I think isn’t something to be concerned about. Also any idea of women ever being portrayed as sexy such as the Black Widow, is adherent to them. What is he suppose to have all his women be homely? Outside of that I think other women who consider themselves to be feminist might speak up to see if there was really anything wrong with the way women were portrayed. There will always be radical elements and of course trolls on the internet, I think that is one reason I have never bothered much with Twitter.

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