Fast Asleep Dagger-Dreaming
Controversy is good, great, and fabulous. Well, not always. But sometimes we need controversy to get people talking. I don’t believe in “old news”. I mean, let’s stop being so ageist with news, people. And news looks great for its age, not that it’s any of your business.
Who is Dagger Type? Well, they are probably the one character I will write about who will have the most mystery surrounding their gender, and you know what? That’s okay. If you’ve never heard of this bedazzled super villain or villainess, they were the stem of a big controversy surrounding Batgirl #37. Also, I’m pretty sure contro-juice is going to show up now because I said its name three times. Dagger Type ran around town helping the bad guys rob from celebrities wearing a pretty awesome bedazzled costume. So it’s not like they were the most evil of evil that ever eviled. However when Batgirl caught up with Dagger Type and ripped off their mask and wig, Barbara Gordon responded with, “But you’re a – !” Man. She was going to say man.
So why is this is a bad thing? Well for one, Dagger Type is awesome. They ran around town stealing from the rich and, in my opinion, only improving Batgirl’s costume. Functionality and fabulosity is not the easiest thing to accomplish. Dagger Type is also a performance artist and is completely set on being Batgirl, and when their grand “coming out” of sorts as the real Batgirl goes completely downhill, they lose it. I know Dagger is supposed to be a bad person and all, but seeing people react so negatively to them just because they’re a man, and aren’t what the crowd is expecting tugs at my heart strings. Being booed offstage is one thing, but having your entire sense of self crushed, albeit it that sense of self is a little out there, is beyond harsh and causes Dagger Type to completely lose it. Don’t be blaming ‘em one bit. Probably wouldn’t pull out a gun and all that of course, but still.
Obviously it’s completely transphobic to yell about someone being any kind of gender in surprise, and unnecessary as hell. But having a male dress up as a woman, transgender or not, and be the “bad guy” is a disgusting trope. It’s been done before, and this whole feminine man being the token villain thing needs to stop. If you’re scratching your noggin trying to think of one, I’ll give you a hint: the damn Joker. Feminine, sexist, evil. Dagger Type is not the best person but their gender has nothing to do that. It’s completely beside the point, especially in this day and age where we should be going forward to completely crush transphobia, not backwards.
So do people have a right to be this mad? Yes they do, and Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr apologized sincerely for their mistake, and mistakes happen. It doesn’t mean they’re bad people, but it just brings more attention to what a few thrown about words can mean to people.
What gender is Dagger Type? Who cares? He, she, they, doesn’t matter. The fact is that nobody deserves to have their gender questioned in surprise, especially in the middle of an intense fight with a superheroine and a villain(ess). Comics can bring attention to much bigger issues though. It’s not all funny books these days, there are real issues and molds. But the good thing about molds is that they can be sliced, and we have just the dagger to do it.