This week saw the release of Man-Eaters #9, written by Chelsea Cain and drawn by Elise McCall, published by Image Comics. The comic featured billboards in the background in which Cain inserted tweets which were critical of her.
This is a very mature thing to do, especially when your book has been accused of being trans-exclusionary in the past.
Last year, Cain did an interview with Women Write About Comics and was asked how Man-Eaters would handle hormone therapy for characters that weren’t cis.
“I think it’s really important to tell stories from a lot of different points of view. This is a story about what it’s like to be a cis gendered female coming of age in a culture that consistently reinforces the messaging that periods are shameful, that our bodies are shameful, and that womanhood—and the biology that goes along with it—is something gross and not for polite company. It’s about rejecting that narrative and making something powerful from it. You don’t have to have a uterus to be a woman. Anyone who thinks that hasn’t been paying attention. But let’s not get lost or distracted here—this is a specific story, about a specific experience—the way that all good stories are. And if I’m doing my job well, I think that anyone can relate to it. I think that someone who is trans knows full well what it feels like to struggle with being defined by biology and by the social messaging that makes us all, at one point or another, feel like monsters.”
Cain was aware of potential TERF-aspects of Man-Eaters from the beginning, but has done nothing to change her stance and instead openly mocks her critics within the pages of the book.
Cain doesn’t even cite the source of the quotes in Man-Eaters.
Though Cain is well aware of the source since she replied to them on Twitter.
Apparently to Cain, part of being nuanced includes putting your critics in the background of your comics.
There was a lot of coverage when Cain was writing Mockingbird, which featured the titular character wearing a shirt that read, “Ask me about my feminist agenda.” But maybe it’s time to ask Cain about her trans-exclusionary radical feminist agenda.