Dana Rudolph

Will Lesbian Batwoman Steal Sperm to Impregnate Partner?

Filed By Dana Rudolph | February 11, 2009 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: Batman, Batwoman, gay cartoons and comics

At first, I was excited. A lesbian Batwoman, and a redhead, no less. Being a fellow member of that esteemed league, I felt a certain bond.

Then I read the rest of the article, in which Gotham's female guardian is described by writer Greg Rucka as "the kind of sexy that makes you think of a succubus with a very bad attitude."

From Wikipedia:

A Succubus (plural succubi) is a demon who takes the form of a beautiful woman to seduce men in dreams to have sexual intercourse, according to the medieval European legend. Their male counterpart is the incubus. They draw energy from the men to sustain themselves, often until the point of exhaustion or death of the victim. . . .

According to the Malleus Maleficarum, or "Witches' Hammer", written by Heinrich Kramer (Insitoris) in 1486, a succubus would collect semen from the men she slept with, which incubi would then use to impregnate women, thus explaining how demons could apparently sire children in spite of the traditional belief that demons were incapable of reproduction through generative or gestative means.

Oh, great. All we need is another killer lesbian with bisexual tendencies. The only twist this time is that she's part of the lesbian baby boom. (One would imagine she'd do the inseminations herself, without the help of a male incubus.) Wonder if she carries a cryo tank on her utility belt?

I'll give Rucka the benefit of the doubt and be willing to think he didn't make the lesbian-mom connection. But still. After the flap a decade ago against shoemaker Reebok for naming one of its shoes the Incubus, after a demon who had sex with women while they slept, you'd think people would be more careful.

Given that the whole Batman aesthetic is dark and brooding and even the male caped crusader has his share of hangups, I'm not expecting Batwoman to be a perfect human being. Tragic flaws can make a character more interesting. For the love of Gotham, though, just don't make them stereotypical flaws.

What do you think? Will a lesbian Batwoman be good for the LGBT community?

(Crossposted at Mombian. Thanks to PageOneQ for the pointer to the article.)


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I'm hoping more that Batwoman will be good for the female community. Manhunter, the critically acclaimed single mom/lawyer/superhero, recently saw her eponymous series axed, and the track record for other independent female heroes isn't much better (however, if you place a strong female in a team comic book like The X-men or The Legion of Superheroes she almost always thrives).

Besides, LGBT heroes are the new hip commodity in comics these days. Any title focusing on teenagers will have at least two queer characters, and more and more frequently C or B list adult characters and supporting cast are being outed. Making Batwoman a lesbian is, I think, a jump on the current bandwagon. Hopefully, though, it will be a jump that results in the formation of a character who can serve as a strong role model for girls and is still appealing to and relatable for boys. And maybe the classic inequities of male-driven comics will finally be righted! If Batwoman ever comes home to find her girlfriend chopped up in her refrigerator, the gruesome mysogyny will at least be tempered by the persistance of the other female character.

I was very excited to hear about lesbian Batwoman in 2006, but the sole factor that will decide her character and her longevity will be, in the end, her fan base. If you want a Batwoman who explores the issues close to your heart as an LGBT person then you have to buy her books, and books she appears in, and write in to DC. Make your voice and your dollar heard and they will heed you. Just look at Anole, a young, gay lizard-boy who worked his way up, via fan demand, from slated-to-die in his debut four years ago to core team member of today's Young X-men. We can do even better for Batwoman.

First, I feel obligated to point out Tyrion Lannister's post from earlier last year: When Batman Was Gay. :)

Also, I think it's important to point out that the writer's description of the character - likely an off-the-cuff description - may not be the actual character. Describing her as a succubus is different from actually making her character a succubus.

Isn't enough that we already get measure by the yardstick of Wonder Woman in the Super hero category?

Do we really need a Lesbian Batwoman?

Well, Maura, on general principles I say the more a**-kicking women in Spandex, the better. :)

I've also sat through more movies and TV episodes about lesbians searching for sperm than I care to admit. It's getting tiring. I didn't really think they'd go this route in the comic, but I was amused by the potential for heading down this well-trod path yet again.

The succubus is a pretty sexist image. I mean, you know those women, they take and take and take and they leave men dead! It must stem from their being pure evil and all.

I wonder how this character will turn out, considering she's supposed to be on the side of good and succubi are evil. And what about Heath Ledger? He was the saving grace of the last Batman movie.