New Batwoman is lesbian crime-fighter


This is too cool.

Batwoman – real name Kathy Kane – will appear in 52, a year-long DC Comics publication that began this month.
In her latest incarnation, she is a rich socialite who has a romantic history with another 52 character, ex-police detective Renee Montoya.
52 will be published in the UK as a graphic novel by Titan Books in 2007.

I love it. And I don’t even read comics. (Though I may now.)
Random question: Why was it necessary for the above article to describe the new Batwoman as a “lipstick lesbian?�

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45 Comments

  1. C'mon now
    Posted May 30, 2006 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    “Why was it necessary for the above article to describe the new Batwoman as a ‘lipstick lesbian’?”
    Because they actually want some people to buy the comic when it comes out?

  2. TheTruth
    Posted May 30, 2006 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Omg, I just choked on my fallafel. Thanks C’mon now…that was hilarious.

  3. Posted May 30, 2006 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    C’mon now – sad but true.
    “Lipstick lesbian,” it seems, has leaked into the mainstream vocabulary to mean a stereotypically attractive woman who does not seem to threaten patriarchal constructs of femininity and who may just make out with another hot woman in public…mmph.

  4. Posted May 30, 2006 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Because only a lipstick dyke could be this cool and look that good while not trying. lipstick lesbians on the contrary absolutely challenge the dominant hetero and even homo paradigm by not conforming to sexual nor homo gender expectations.

  5. stu
    Posted May 30, 2006 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    So are they trying to appeal to a different demographic or are they targeting the same one with the chance of getting to see women makeout? Tune in next week, same bat time, same bat channel.

  6. TheTruth
    Posted May 30, 2006 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    They’re probably targeting female comic readers… I’d imagine. I don’t think many male comic book readers have a desire to read a story of a lipstick lesbian comic hero…

  7. Posted May 30, 2006 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Why was it necessary for the above article to describe the new Batwoman as a “lipstick lesbian?�

    That’s because all superheros in all comic books are made to appeal to the vast majority of people throughout the world. It’s pretty much the same in any media communication out there.
    It’s even for men that they look a certain way.

  8. Posted May 30, 2006 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Human heteros tend to believe Lipstick lesbians are hot.
    Guys have fantasies about lipstick lesbians.
    A lot of guys buy comics.

  9. Posted May 30, 2006 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    You mean I still have to look to the Japanese for ShÅ?nen-ai/Yaoi?? If I could see a set of eyeliner-wearing, smooching boys for every lipstick lesbian portrayed in mainstream media, I’d be a happy girl.

  10. Posted May 30, 2006 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Hi Everybody,
    I am a huge fan of comics and I was very surprised when I discovered this article in this blog….very interesting!
    I stay tuned!

  11. Posted May 30, 2006 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Lesbians come in two forms – bull dagger dykes and lipstick lesbians, duh.
    The world needs to know what to expect from women, lesbians in particular.
    I’m just glad they’ve changed the character from Batgirl to Batwoman. That’s an improvement, don’t you think?

  12. SarahS
    Posted May 30, 2006 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Actually Denise, Batwoman and Batgirl are two seperate people. Batgirl is usually the young (late teens) daughter of Bruce Wayne. Batwoman has always been an adult woman who is not related to Batman at all, though they did have sexual tension and sometimes a romantic relationship, depending on the title.

  13. Hujo
    Posted May 30, 2006 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Well great now they can objectify her body all they want and it will be cool for straight guys and feminists because there are no annoying men to look at.
    (Have fun erasing my comment again =/)

  14. That Darn Republican
    Posted May 30, 2006 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Ok… what’s cool about it? Seriously… where is the punch line puleeze!!!

  15. Hujo
    Posted May 30, 2006 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    TDR
    The punch line is, it would be denigrated not celebrated by feminists if this batgirl chose to be a happily married housewife on the side instead of a feisty ass-kicking lesbian that’s all. Don’t get me wrong I think both would be acceptable.
    (JESS:These are my feelings and I believe they relate to the thread so I hope these comments do not get erased. Am I wasting my time? This is frustrating)

  16. Ben
    Posted May 31, 2006 at 3:22 am | Permalink

    I genuinely trust that this Batwoman will be treated with respect rather than as a male-fantasy object.. for as long as her creator (Judd Winick, I believe) is writing her. The thing to remember about major-label comics is that every character will be handed off from author to author. Some authors will treat a character with respect and some will not. It seems inevitable to me that eventually some hack will use this character to pander. The only question is whether Winick’s writing (Winick is extremely respectful of gay characters) or this unknown author’s presumable future writing is what becomes the most favored interpretation.

  17. CaitlinScarlett
    Posted May 31, 2006 at 3:27 am | Permalink

    I think I could support a superhero working from the home, as a feminist, I’d just question a super!Betty Crocker type who can bake souffles and clean house as well as taking out crime in her endless spare time- just not realistic or possible! Although, why couldn’t the happily married housewife be ass-kicking and “feisty”?
    Also, lesbian Batwoman could be happily married and a housewife, maybe she’s from Massachussetts.
    It’s not either/or. :)

  18. Posted May 31, 2006 at 4:21 am | Permalink

    Random question: Why was it necessary for the above article to describe the new Batwoman as a “lipstick lesbian?�

    To let fans know that they won’t be going the “so masculine she even sleeps with women” characterization route they went with Renee Montoya and Maggie Sawyer (their two most prominent female cop characters, who are also lesbians). With both women in the same book for a while they were under fire a bit for stereotyping lesbians, so it makes sense they’d decide to go a little more traditionally feminine with this next character.

  19. Q Grrl
    Posted May 31, 2006 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    “if this batgirl chose to be a happily married housewife on the side instead of a feisty ass-kicking lesbian that’s all.”
    Well it is a comic book. She could be both. You know, like from Canada, or something.

  20. Patriarch Verlch
    Posted June 1, 2006 at 4:16 am | Permalink

    Maybe she will let me watch!!!!

  21. Trickster Figure
    Posted June 1, 2006 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Friggin Wicked! The 13 year old boys will eat this up. Give it 3 months and scour for images on thw web. Objectified she will be.

  22. Gina
    Posted June 1, 2006 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    I think we shouldn’t get bogged down on the whole ‘lipstick lesbian’ thing. More diversified lesbians will appear in media with time. We have to take steps to conditioning society for gay and lesbian characters. If the lesbians in media were depicted as butch women they would not sell. That is a fact. We need to have some successes first and then we can work on getting better protrayals of lesbians in the media. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Of course not. It was built at night — duh!

  23. Vanessa Lopez
    Posted June 2, 2006 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Sorry Denise, but Batgirl is not related to Bruce Wayne at all, Nor was she ever. She’s Barbara Gordon, daughter of Commissioner Gordon since back in the sixties. After DC decided to change the comic universe (Crisis of the Infinite Earths) she became Gordon’s niece, still related to Gordon. I think they went and made a new Batgirl, but still not related to Wayne.

  24. MJ
    Posted June 2, 2006 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    “Maybe she will let me watch!!!!”
    You are sick. I hate people that think like you. Grow up and learn some respect or how about actually meet a real lesbian. They’re not with men for a reason, dumbass.

  25. JJ
    Posted June 2, 2006 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Whatever thier intentions, I still find it progressive that they’re making a homosexual the star of this comic.

  26. Raven
    Posted June 2, 2006 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    MJ-
    I happen to know several lesibans who would say that very same thing.

  27. hujo
    Posted June 2, 2006 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    Ok call me a troll, but I can admit it is my ignorance to the subject.
    If lesbians aren’t with men because they have an aversion toward men and male sexuality, then why do the non-lipstick variety lesbians try and emulate men in everyway from appearance to demeanor??
    Waiting for enlightenment.

  28. Deb
    Posted June 2, 2006 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    I think this rocks! I have never read comics but I used to watch Batman and Robin (w/ my brother) as a kid in the 60′s and 70′s…..
    To: Waiting for enlightenment- Both my partner and I are very-let’s just say, we are not stereo-typical lesbians…. to the point that no one believes us when we tell them we have been together for over 17years and are still very much in love and best friends …. I guess you would call me a fem and her so very very girly- girl…and we do not have an aversion to men… we just prefer woman and fell in love with each other. Unfortunatly I think a lot of people are born with the wrong body (some to more extreme than others) But humans and their brains are very complex… not simple or black and white. Broaden your thinking and the truth about the human race is probably beyond that….
    I think the BATWOMAN is sexy and a great hero…. wish I would have had that as a kid…. bet a lot of the kids that killed themselves would have liked to have had something like that in their lives too, don’t you? Everyone needs a hero.

  29. hujo
    Posted June 3, 2006 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    So why do non lipstick lesbians that have aversions to men and male sexuality emulate men?

  30. ester
    Posted June 3, 2006 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    It would’ve been more daring to have her return as a Sister’s of Detroit Harley Riding bulldyke but I’ll take any kind of lezbihero I can get– with or without lipstick. Yum.

  31. Deb
    Posted June 3, 2006 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    …because their brain tells them that that is who they are… they are just trying to be comfortable… with the exception of society shunning them for being comfortable as themselves. I find it odd for me… but if it works for them.. so be it.

  32. TheTruth
    Posted June 3, 2006 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    It might have been more daring ester…but really, this is BatWoman.
    Would it make sense for Batman’s Bruce Wayne to be a poor black man living in the ghetto? I don’t think so. Would it be more challenging? Of course.
    Batwoman is a lipstick lesbian because it makes logical sense sylistically in the context of the series. I’m surprised nobodies mentioned how she’s rich beyond comprehension. Since rich lesbians rarely feel the level of abuse and homophobia that lesbians in the lower classes do. (at least in my experience).

  33. EG
    Posted June 3, 2006 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    “So why do non lipstick lesbians that have aversions to men and male sexuality emulate men?”
    Lesbians, in general, don’t have aversions to men or male sexuality–they are attracted to women. Men aren’t really the issue.

  34. hujo
    Posted June 3, 2006 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    “Maybe she will let me watch!!!!”
    You are sick. I hate people that think like you. Grow up and learn some respect or how about actually meet a real lesbian. They’re not with men for a reason, dumbass.
    MJ-I happen to know several lesibans who would say that very same thing.
    ?????
    Look I am only playing off of the lipstick lesbian thing brought up already, but c’mon, lets stop with the “you’re close minded” thought stopper, it is a stereotype but I have met butchy male emulating lesbians that have aversions to men, yet they seem to have much in commen with them??
    I respect the lifestyle but the self-segregation troubles me.
    I am aware that not all lesbians are like this, I have had a few close lesbian friends in my life, non of them man haters, most of them were big flirts and friendly and had lots of guy friends.

  35. Deb
    Posted June 3, 2006 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Maybe they have more in common with straight men than they do with women or gay men… fem in the way they want to treat a woman emotionally and masculine in the way they want a woman. But we are all so individual it is hard to catagorize “they”…”butch”…”Dyke” …blah blah blah… same old dull story…fact is we are all different. Most people would call me lipstick… but I don’t wear it… and some people say your too girly to be gay…does that mean those butch women that play sports that are married with kids are too butch to be straight?

  36. Raven
    Posted June 3, 2006 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, was busy the last time I posted. To clarify, I know many lesbians who would say “I hope they let me watch!!”

  37. Michael Novotny
    Posted June 4, 2006 at 4:21 am | Permalink

    With more acceptance of gender and sexual identity as movie themes, along with more adult treatment of comic and graphic novels, now is the time for Marvel comics to up the ante with competitor DC and re-launch the Ultraverse sorceress and warrior Mantra. What a movie that would make

  38. Michael Novotny
    Posted June 4, 2006 at 4:22 am | Permalink

    With more acceptance of gender and sexual identity as movie themes, along with more adult treatment of comic and graphic novels, now is the time for Marvel comics to up the ante with competitor DC and re-launch the Ultraverse sorceress and warrior Mantra. What a movie that would make

  39. Deb
    Posted June 4, 2006 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    … we are already waiting for this movie to begin shooting.

  40. hujo
    Posted June 4, 2006 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    fact is we are all different. Most people would call me lipstick… but I don’t wear it… and some people say your too girly to be gay…does that mean those butch women that play sports that are married with kids are too butch to be straight?
    No it doesn’t, I think most people on this site would be surprised to know I am a very open minded and liberal person, I have fought homophobia, with fists on one horrible occasion. I totally disagree with conservative social policy regarding sexual orientation or harmless consensual sex acts or practices, its time we evolved beyond that.
    To each his own is important, as you say though with the categories and labels it more often becomes reduced to; to each a zone, and that troubles me. I feel this is why it is so easy for prejudgments and self-segregation to take place and it’s frustrating for me to see any group self segregate under the pretense of empowerment. To say a lipstick lesbian is somehow weaker and is damaging the pursuit of tolerance for emulating societies traditional views of feminine appearance is incorrect,it’s this type of attitude, one that would dictate your liberation, this is what’s weakening the concept of diversity tolerance and acceptance. It also strikes me as so undeniably hypocritical if coming from a lesbian that her self would emulate societies traditional views of masculine appearance, as if this this is some how superior, isn’t it the same thing? It Just comes from a different part of the store.
    Does it expose a belief that men are somehow liberated from female/societal expectations of “perfect� masculine image, demeanor and dress? It’s just not true.

  41. Rodimus Ben
    Posted June 5, 2006 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    I honestly don’t think this is as complicated a decision as people are making it out to be. This is actually part of a much larger shift in the supporting characters of the Batman universe. Cassandra Cain, the most recent Batgirl, recently retired from that role. I believe DC’s editors simply saw an opportunity to fill a gap in the “Bat roster” by reviving Batwoman, and also chose to make the character more contemporary and diversify the DC cast of characters by making her a lesbian.
    For more than 30 years now, comic creators have faced the difficulty of making characters that were created in the 40s and 50s relevant in today’s society. Basically, you’re talking about characters that consist almost entirely of white people. The first step taken was to make the women more powerful and the equals of men whenever possible; unfortunately, this idealistic ambition has had to face the sad reality that comics with women as the stars usually do not sell well. In fact, Wonder Woman is one of the few exceptions to that rule, and is likely helped by the fact that she is as iconic as Superman and Batman. But look over at Marvel, where She-Hulk, a book lauded by critics and loved by a core audience, is still struggling to survive. It’s unfortunate, but it’s the reality of the business. Female comic characters, as a result, are therefore either made into sex objects to sell copies (witness Witchblade and Tomb Raider) or relegated to being group members in a team comprised of both men and women.
    This concern aside, it has been difficult for comic creators to balance the tasks of staying loyal to cherished characters while also adapting to an evolving and diversifying society. You see early efforts in the creation of John Stewart, the first black Green Lantern, although he shares that role with three white men. Just recently, a new Blue Beetle was introduced and is a Hispanic man. I believe the reintroduction of Batwoman as a lesbian is simply part of a larger effort to diversify comic characters, which is something that should be lauded.
    The real irony of all this is that Batwoman was originally created to placate homophobes. In the fifties, a controversial book criticizing comic books was published. One of the allegations it made was that Batman and Robin were a gay couple. In order to disprove this, DC created Batwoman as a love interest for Batman and had them flirting on a regular basis. Now, she returns as a lesbian. I’m sure this is an irony not lost on her current writers and artists.

  42. Sundog
    Posted June 6, 2006 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Why was it necessary to mention she was a “lipstick” lesbian? So that someone somewhere might want to buy it, perhaps.

  43. jcbaron
    Posted July 28, 2006 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Catwoman was toughened up a few years ago, in her own book. Still sexy, but not as much of an object. And, recently, a single mother.
    DC/Vertigo had the lesbian couple Hazel and Foxglove in the Sandman comic years ago, so this is nothing new for them.

  44. jcbaron
    Posted July 28, 2006 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    One more thing–here is an interesting debate on the topic on a comicbook forum with the sardonic subject line “Will Batwoman burn in hell?” Come read what the so -called “fanboys” think:
    http://www.comicon.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi/ubb/get_topic/f/2/t/008838/p/1.html?

  45. werechick
    Posted August 22, 2007 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    What about chapstick lesbians? Represent.

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