Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mr Manhunter

You appear to be having a moment of stupidity. Go away and think about what you've just said.

From JLA 63, the Golden Perfect story arc.  A fabulous arc by the way.


Ragnell said...

I'm not even going to TRY to count the number of times Martians have been established as having gender,s because J'onn's referenced his WIFE, DAUGHTER, FATHER, MOTHER and BROTHER too many times without stating the gendered terms were inaccurate.

Anonymous said...

It excuses everything...wasn't this even a Morrison issue?
Also, social trends subtly make early appearances in media: when this was written (or when you responded) it might have been accurate to refer to "gendered terms" with the implication that they implied biological sex. Just a few years back, before Hyper Crisis shifted the Zeitgeist, we referred to "gender roles" when divorcing said roles from biology...these days, saying "gender" without qualifiers already implies a societal role unrelated to genotype. This subtle shift in meaning was presaged, some believe even caused, by media figures, like J'nn, using the term in the new way. He was describing the relationship (in the closest approximation within his adopted culture), not implying anything about the other Martian.
Also, another feature of Hypertime was/is that the further removed two facts are within the opus, the less coronation they this time, in the canon (near Ostlander's very underrated MM solo title, wasn't it?) J'nn was referred to as having carried "fewer" of their children than his wife, wasn't he? This would imply that their biological sexes were more fluid, even if he feels gendered terms best discribe the relationship.
Sociology aside, it is somewhat of an anthropomorphic fallacy to make assumptions about non-humans based on how things are with humans. Biology is a hard science, it follows the actual Scientific Method, and demands rigor, constantly questioning our assumptions--weeding out our preconceptions. Like facts in Hypertime, distance in zoological ontology destroys correlation: it is hubris to assume "male and female" mean anything similar in INSECTS to what they do in humans...and humans and insects are both animals! There has never been anything definite to imply any sort of exchange between Mars and Earth (in the DCU) of the sort needed to consider Martians as being in the animal Kingdom! They are (probably) animal-like aliens, from a completely different, unrelated, grouping! Dianna, a golem, or demi-god, or other creature of human origin, is making a very human-centric false assumption about J'nn based on the societal role he plays...which is kind of the point. Maybe he has absorbed human cultural prejudices, but it is a huge assumption for Wondie to make, which is what he is telling her...he is in no sense a man, even if we see him, or his role, as male.