David Brothers said I should bring this rant over to my tumblr, so I will.
I get real annoyed by the “Dick Grayson is just WILD about redheads huh huh huh" ‘quirk’ that writers seem to enjoy so much, and I spent my 140 characters a few times over expressing myself on it today on twitter.
Here’s why that redhead thing rankles so much - female characters in comics largely are never allowed to state preference for any type of guy. They can’t even say ‘I’m not really into short/tall/beefy/skinny/race/creed guys” because that would exclude some FANS (and their FANTASIES).
So while female comic characters need to be available to get off all comers… MALE comic characters get to subdivide and objectify females to the writer’s heart’s content. It’s more subtle than sock tits and brokeback poses, but it’s still the same stupid comics sexism.
'Dick Grayson prefers redheads' isn't a characterization note, it's a terrible trope for weak writers.
Do some guys totally prefer redheads in real life? Yes they do! My pal Damien is a big proponent of ginger girls! But in real life, women get to express their own preferences too, be it for tall and dark dudes or Italians - or maybe they’re just not attracted to white guys. Without that kind of parity in comics, ‘Dick Grayson wanna bang all de redheads’ is just bullshit sexism, writ small.
(It also takes all the mystery out of what a character is all about if she’s a ginger appearing in Nightwing’s book. What a waste.)