my favorite episode.
Hm. I believe that particular panel is from The Kindly Ones.
[Mucha-esque image of character Atom Eve in her pink outfit, arms slightly outstretched at her sides. Background is brown leaves on blue, framed within white.]
Georgethecat and I are starting a letter writing campaign in regards to Barbara’s shift from Oracle to Batgirl, and why this move is so appalling and problematic.
We’d like to encourage as many people as possible who disagree with it to write to DC and tell them why.
It doesn’t have to be a novel, nor does it have to be overly eloquent. Speak from the heart, tell them how you feel.
Suggested talking points:
- The rare representation Oracle provides as a disabled super hero
- The implications of making her able-bodied
- Barbara’s growth as a character since she abandoned the Batgirl identity
- The myriad reasons why she’s outgrown it
- The power disparity between Batgirl and Oracle
- The rare female legacy that will be undermined by returning her to the role
No one has to do this alone. Post drafts, ask questions, seek suggestions. We’re all in this together.
Tag your letter with “oracle writing campaign” and it will be reblogged here.
New York, NY 10019
[Hercules grinning, lifting a large boulder over his head with one hand and holding a black and gold Grecian urn with the other. He’s surrounded by mythical creatures, including a cyclops.]
In the wake of that sketch of Barbara Gordon in her Batgirl costume walking away from her wheelchair, I felt compelled to write. I ignored that compulsion until I calmed down, because most of it was frustration and anger.
I can absolutely understand why people are excited about…
I’d like to add that Oracle was just as important to people who have disabled loved ones. My dad was a paraplegic. Growing up, I rarely saw other disabled people. None of my friends knew what a catheter was or why they couldn’t steal handicapped parking spaces. They didn’t recognize the experiences that made up my every day life: coloring in hospital waiting rooms, putting my toothbrush into a cabinet full of pill bottles, learning to navigate a wheelchair lift. Dad was the one with the disability, but when we were with him, my mom and I were stared at and pitied and isolated as well.
When my dad died, people actually said things like, “At least you can live your life now.” Like he was a burden. A chain around our necks. It’s incredibly hard to love someone deeply and know the rest of the world can’t see the goodness you see. Prejudice blinds them. My dad will always be the sad guy in the wheelchair to everyone outside our family, and that hurts my heart every single fucking day. Even in death he can’t escape the stigma.
Do you remember the show Doug? I loved that show when I was little for one reason: Patti Mayonnaise’s dad was in a wheelchair. I was so excited when I saw him. Elated. There was someone who looked like my dad on TV! God, you have no idea. It meant so much.
Oracle meant so much. People read her comics and related or looked up to her whether they had disabilities or not. She eased the stigma and gave people like my dad and I representation. She made me hope for a day when discussions like this would be unnecessary because disabled people could be seen as individuals, not monsters.
Fuck DC for taking that away. For taking away the chance that another little girl might see Oracle and recognize herself or her family. Fuck them doubly for spitting in the faces of people who will never walk out of their wheelchairs.
I’m sorry, this isn’t a very rational addition. Please just read what I reblogged.
I agree. I’ve already sent a letter to DC. I think Gail Simone is most likely fully aware of how this will be received and why. She also follows this tumblr.
Thanks for the message.
[Deadpool in his usual red and black outfit, lookin pretty svelte. He’s holding a gun at his side. There’s a light tan background with the vague outline of a destroyed building.]
HOW DARE DC MAKE THEIR MOST RECOGNIZABLE BAT-FAMILY GIRL BATGIRL AGAIN, IT’S LIKE THEY’RE A BUSINESS OR SOMETHING!
Yeah, what right do I have to be critical of a major company that sells out disabled characters to make more money (which is a debatable result but whatever)? Silly me. If it’s for cash, of course it’s okay!
The news that Barbara Gordon will no longer be in a wheelchair has cinched it for me. I won’t be posting any DC-related content on this blog anymore. I won’t be buying or recommending their comics. I know that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but this is my blog, so please excuse a little self-aggrandizing.
I’m really sad about this. I’m just so sad. Disabled people are often treated as inconveniences, second-class citizens. Forced to struggle for rights freely given to able-bodied people. And I’m not even referring to the physical limits, but the social ones. The staring, the condescension, the lack of access to public buildings or websites, the lack of financial and job support. Oracle was a character that disabled comic fans and their friends and families could look to. A hero. Not an empty character in a wheelchair used to manipulate emotion out of readers (as is so often the case in fiction and media), but a fully developed woman with flaws and admirable qualities. Barbara’s disability was a part of her, but it didn’t define her. That’s why she was such a great symbol for the community.
Best of all, she wasn’t invisible. She was an integral part of DC.
And just as her heroism represented the best of the disabled community, the loss of Oracle, to me, represents society’s continuous erasure of disabled individuals.
I’m sick over this. I hope that everyone else who feels the same way will turn emotion into action. Acknowledge the humanity of the disabled people in your community. If you have time, check out the National Disability Rights Network.
I hope it goes without saying that I don’t judge anyone for continuing to buy DC titles. DC and Marvel fuck up a lot. I’ve stuck around through bullshit that hurt multiple communities and I’m pulling back now because something has reached me on a personal level. Everyone has a different threshold for that sort of thing.
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