Ok, like this:
There were a lot of issues that I had to consider when I began turning Piracy is Liberation into what it is today. Things I thought I’d like to speak about in the series, but I think that some things can be spoken about by not speaking about them. War is one of those things (how does a world where the concept of war doesn’t exist differ from ours?) that I might go into later. Gender issues is another, and that is what I’d like to talk about now.
I was thinking, should I use Piracy to talk about gender issues that we all live with here today by having the Piracy world be similar to ours, or should I take another approach. I’ve never tried to market Piracy as a feminist comic, but I’ve heard from people who think it is, and I can understand why they think so. Of course, it was my intention, but I wasn’t sure people would notice it and I’m glad they did.
The thing is that there are a lot of stories, fictional and otherwise, that describe our gendered society and talk about inequalities and all that, but there are very few that show what things could be like without that shit. There are also some that turn the tables and present a world where men behave like women and women behave like men, but I’m not really interested in that either. I also have problems with drag sometimes, when it confirms stereotypes rather than question them. It doesn’t really change anything. Quite the opposite, almost.
So I present a world where men and women work under very similar conditions. They are able to do the same things, think the same thoughts, act on the same level. Because physical sex shouldn’t matter and gender (its mental/social counterpart) shouldn’t exist, and I wanted to see what would happen with my story if that was actually the case.
I still wanted the society in the City where the comic takes place to be hierarchical and conservative, but in other ways. It can be conservative when it comes to how we manage our relationships even if it’s gender equal. After all, relationships tend to be hierarchical in one way or another, no matter if they are heterosexual or homosexual, so I don’t think that heterosexuality or gender differences is a prerequisite for that.
After reading this, some may wonder why the opening phrase of the entire series is:
That’s it, stay still, bitch!
with a woman lying under the heel of a man’s boot, but the point in that scene is that the man is a policeman who could just as easily have been a woman. So it has more to do with power and violence and not so much to do with gender.
One final point I’d like to make is that the way I treat the subject in Piracy is Liberation, even though it’s pretty far from most other ficitonal stories produced in this society, is probably more similar to actual reality. Because the image we have of women as passive and men as the acting subjects throughout history can’t possibly be true. I thinks that’s simply another fictional story…