Keeping with the tradition of this site that I didn’t mean to set, I’ll be discussing another webcomic. However, breaking the mold of the tradition, it won’t be Korean…
(I honestly didn’t intend for all my posts thus far to be Korean-oriented. There are great works from all corners of the globe- Like Indian-Canadian authors!)
Let me just say, Aminder Dhaliwal is a fantastic artist who I just found out has worked under major corporations like Disney and Nickelodeon – the very fact that I’m finding this out now surprises me, since I tend to follow with major cartoonists on twitter/instagram, yet I found her personal comic before I found her most well known works.
Admittedly, I stumbled on Woman World expecting nothing amazing, solely based on the icon that represents it on Line Webtoon, a webcomic publishing company. The icon is of a sketchy lady entirely naked, with pubic hair, shouting above people “THE MEN ARE EXTINCT”.
I was bracing myself for something out of the deepest shades of Tumblr feminism that would make me cringe…. not because of the raw feminism, which is sometimes downright toxic, but because I know exactly the kind of backlash it would receive if this was anything I was predicting.
I had to swallow the regret I thought I would have immediately-
Let me tell you what makes this comic so special: There is a lot of discussion on feminism out there in the modern world. There are a lot of ideologies, beliefs, debates, philosophies, etc surrounding women and either what makes them special, what makes them precisely not special, or what makes them less than men. This is one of the most refreshing takes on feminism that I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing because it approaches the idea of feminism by not directly approaching it at all:
In Woman World, Aminder Dhaliwal creates a story that Earth, in the distant (?) future, exists entirely without men. As per the opening line, THE MEN ARE EXTINCT. This is Earth with only females. This has to be the most feminist experience imaginable. And I suppose it is, but it’s never discussed, and that’s the key. This comic does not directly say “feminism”, “feminist”, “oppression”, “inequality”, “sexism” or any of the key words that one would assume would be present in a world that is in its absolute essence, a feminist world.
Feminism is never discussed, but it’s not avoided either. There’s no reason to, everyone is a woman. Here’s where Aminder Dhaliwal shows her creativity: In a world of only women, feminism… doesn’t really exist. In a world where everyone is the same, everyone’s rights are the same.
If we were to treat everyone as the same, everyone’s rights would be the same. That’s not an alternate universe, after all. That can be achieved here, and now. So, that’s the essence of the feminist movement without ever mentioning feminism- it’s what makes Woman World so interesting. That, and the fact that it is obscenely uplifting, light-hearted, and funny:
I had to include at least one piece!
— Drawn & Quarterly (@DandQ) January 10, 2018
Here’s where you can find Woman World for some tiny inspiration: