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Friday, February 15, 2013

Revealed: Batman Wasn't Gay After All

Interesting post - read the whole thing at Ace.

In 1954 a German-American psychiatrist named Dr. Frederick Wertham published a book called The Seduction of the Innocent, which claimed that comic books were causing children to become homosexual, promiscuous, delinquent and criminal, and also preoccupied by the occult.

Among his more famous theses was the claim that Batman and his young ward Robin lived out the perfect homosexual fantasy together at Wayne Manor, a hawk and his chicken, with no women around and lots of spelunking in secret caves.*

The book caused a Moral Panic -- what would America be without its frequent stupid moral panics? -- and resulted in the near-death of the comic book industry. The industry had to create a "voluntary" comic code to forestall Congress from legislating one

While Wertham's various speculations and interpretations have always been ridiculous (and ridiculed), it now turns out he faked his research, too.

He claimed he'd documented case-studies of Superman (a "fascist," in Wertham's estimation) and Batman (a gay fascist) causing all sorts of bad behavior in children.

But he lied.

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