Sunday, July 27, 2008

When Batman was gay

Tyrion Lannister writes:
The accusation that Batman was a homo, as strange as it might sound to our own ears, was taken quite seriously by government and public alike. It wasn't leveled by a marginal nut or crank, but by a world-renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Frederic Wertham.

Wertham was the Chief Psychiatrist for the New York Department of Hospitals and an important figure among the New York City liberal intelligentsia. His writings were respected enough to help form part of the legal strategy for Brown v. Board. In 1954, Wertham published a scathing indictment of comic books, The Seduction of the Innocent, which argued that comic books were an invidious influence on American youth, responsible for warped gender attitudes and all manner of delinquency. Wertham's accusations garnered the attention of Senator Estes Kefauver and his Senate Sub-committee on Juvenile Delinquency, where Wertham repeated many of his central claims. READ MORE