Hello and welcome to Comic Plug’s first Woman Crush Wednesday (WCW) – a weekly series that shines a light on female series, characters, and writers. This week we’re taking a look at “The Obligatory Shower Scene” in Bitch Planet #4. Are you woman enough?
Bitch Planet is set in a future where women who are considered “non-compliant” are disappeared to an off-world prison. It is an in-your-face feminist book that magnifies the issues women face today. This creates a dystopia that is both far-fetched and familiar.
The story itself follows Kam, a pro-athlete, who is sent to Bitch Planet under unknown circumstances. Shortly after Kam arrives she is asked to put together a team of inmates to play Megaton (an international all-male sport based on the 16th Century Italian Calcio Fiorentino). Kam builds her team and begins plotting how to use the game to take down the men in charge.
I could praise every single issue of this comic for one reason or another, but #4 stuck out to me as particularly crush-worthy. On Bitch Planet there are no cameras in the showers, and the guards cannot go too far in or it fogs up their masks. That means that the back of the showers is where information, and buttered biscuits, can be shared. Kam meets two women in the back and, under the guise of a threesome, learns that Megaton is rigged and she is leading her team to certain doom. The two women are allowed to continue their romance in the back of the showers because of an agreement with “Tommy Peepers” who watches through a hole in the shower wall
Kam realizes she’s going to need more than a team of inmates to pull off her plans. She’s going to need someone on the other side. She ventures to the back of the showers once again, and there she entices and then overpowers “Tommy Peepers”. Kam uses freckles on the man’s nether-regions to blackmail him into assisting her, and forbids him from continuing to invade the other inmates privacy.
The artwork of the scene is especially praiseworthy. It is no easy task to make a lesbian shower scene not feel like an exploitation of women’s bodies or a cheap enticement for the reader, but Valentine DeLandro accomplished this feat. The cleverly crafted panels allow the reader to understand what’s happening without any sense of voyeurism.
The true reason I have such a woman crush for this issue is twofold. The first is that a butt-naked Kam had the ability to smash through a shower wall and subdue a guard. Though she did catch him, literally, with his pants down, she has the physical strength to restrain him, and the intelligence to find a way to use him to her advantage.
The second is that Kam makes it a point to tell him that he is not to spy on the other inmates anymore. Kam has certainly caught this man for her own benefit, but she takes the time to stand up for other women. That is a kind act of sisterhood that speaks to a side of feminism that is often overlooked because of stereotypes. The side that is about uplifting other women.
What did you think about our WCW this week? Who or what would you like to see featured? Let me know in the comments below!