We here at Iacon Underground strongly support what IDW has done in choosing Mairghread Scott and Sarah Stone, both women, to work on the Transformers: Windblade comic. We are well aware that the othering of women that has run through the Transformers series, from the moment Hasbro told Bob Budiansky that Ratchet couldn’t be a female, is problematic, and as much as we love every iteration of Transformers we feel that not only bringing more female characters into Transformers but letting female creators define them is a huge step towards inclusivity for the brand.
What that means is that Iacon Underground is no place for the sort of misogynistic commentary that’s been rampant on other sites. If you want to criticize the need for gender among a race of giant alien robots who have never truly been anything but a race of people who happen to be giant alien robots, then you are welcome to do that over on TFW2005 – you are apparently welcome to do that in any other corner of the fan community except certain corners of Tumblr – but not here. If you want to argue that it doesn’t matter because all Transformers are genderless when you mean All Actually Your Own Gender So It’s Okay, you have no shortage of other places to go. If you want to make valid criticisms of other things, like maybe Sarah’s art isn’t your cup of tea? Go for it. But this is not the place to feel comfortable posting terrible bigoted comments. Think of it as a Bizarro Fan Site that way – we’re here so the NON-bigots can be comfortable for a change.
Let’s be clear: This site is run out of the pocket of a woman who has been involved with the fandom since G2, who is homosexual, who is non-Christian, and who is very politically progressive. She has the right to toss any comment that she finds offensive into the trash heap. She has already had to do so on this very topic. On the flip side, she is not some twenty-something guy who needs to be schooled in Gender Studies, so if you want to get attention by “calling her out” for, as in one instance, referring to “Ms. Scott” instead of just her last name because she finds the custom of referring to someone by only their last name patriarchal and only does it when formality is required, you will be schooled and/or ignored. She welcomes feedback, though, involving groups to which she does not herself belong. She loves the idea of social justice but hates the bullying some do in its name, and that is the spirit in which this site is run.
We’ve been lax with the boards here (Well, I’ve been lax. –Trixter) but with everything going on in the fandom right now we feel it’s a good time to remember why they’re needed in the first place: Because there is a need in this community for a forum that celebrates inclusivity and tries to make everybody comfortable – unless those people are assholes.