Been asked for my opinion (in phone calls and PMs I’ve gotten) and I’ve pointed out that I’ve tried to not comment on ‘the’ cover directly (I’m sure I slipped up somewhere! Gotta be honest, I giggle so hard every time I see it that it’s hard to put a thought together). My entire point, my near-constant argument in life, is that people get to have opinions… and by people, I mean “women”.
Short version: most women are terrified to speak out loud and express an opinion. They are utterly petrified to do so when they are addressing issues of women, sexism and feminism. The internet has emboldened women to speak out more—but it has also enabled men to easily put more effort into silencing them, or threatening them into silence. When I say “terrified” I mean TERRIFIED. All of you were able to grasp how horrible it was when Janelle Assellin wrote about the death and rape threats she gets…none of you seem to get that the constant onslaught of mockery, sneering and general disrespect is equally exhausting. (Do consider, gentlemen: You find a woman daring to criticise a working comics pro or illustrator as “disrespectful”, appalling, etc. but you have utterly no problem with mocking her or her defenders across the internet and starting memes to continue that mocking. She’s not entitled to her opinion…so she’s entitled to YOURS telling her that.) Most women I know fear having that spill into public encounters with these men, and having to work or socialise in now-toxic environments. To that end, I have had many private talks with women genuinely upset with the online discussion about the cover, or the levels of vitriol found in the social media accounts of men, even comics pros, they admire. Thus, they are fearful to engage.
The first argument is, of course, that YOU are equally entitled to your opinion.
The weirdness and arrogance of reblogging myself! But…doing so as I’ve mentioned this opinion piece to a number of people (Odd how wearing a tshirt that reads “ASK ME ABOUT MY RADICAL FEMINIST AGENDA” will lead to conversations!).
Note—yep, I’m now aware that I STILL managed to miss quite a few derailing arguments despite my female need to be exhaustive here. When someone called me an “hysterical sarcastic Social Justice Warrior” (later adding “just trying to take all the fun out of comics”) I laughed myself silly. But, reality is…there are just SO many, aren’t there?
There are probably some guys who are feeling strangely smug right now and thinking, “I wonder if Keiren sees what’s happening to Anita Sarkeesian and realises THAT’S a REAL problem—not some artist/blogger wanting to have an opinion and having male comic pros tell her she’s wrong.” And contenting themselves with this thought, thinking, “I can’t say that to her because well…she’ll just be all feminist and stuff.”
And you’d be correct.
THIS is what gets me about some of the people (ie, “men”, and yes NOT ALL MEN!) I’ve been trying to engage in conversation—okay, so you can see the extreme version of what women go through and most of you are willing to be standup guys and say THIS is unacceptable, but you’re completely unable to see that you contribute daily to the toxic environment that enables this extreme reaction. These guys don’t come out of thin air…they’re not hiding in their closets saying these things to themselves… to them this is just an extension of other conversations they’re having about women and women’s opinions.
These guys, generally, would never think of actually committing this violence…but they think of the threats as being the logical extension of the other aggressive actions/thoughts they get to have every day without being checked.
I’ve seen many of you express that this particular guy must be mentally ill to tweet those things. Because after all, what he is saying is much worse than calling women with opinions, “hysterical sarcastic Social Justice Warriors just out to take all the fun out of things for men”, or “hysterical feminazis”, people who “just need to complain”. Those are the mildest end of this spectrum.
Sometimes, when I listen to my teenagers get into a loud argument about something, I will call time on it before it gets to its conclusion. Ty will ask me why, “They weren’t hurting each other—they get to talk.” And my explanation is always the same, “I know how this goes—it starts off harmlessly, but if they keep that energy going, eventually they get so caught up in wanting to be the ‘winner’, to be ‘right’, that it will get vicious and potentially aggressive.” They haven’t yet learned how to have a calm respectful discussion—they have to be taught that. They learn by being taught.
I don’t want to have to tell my kids (and by extension, others), “here’s why you should not have threatened that person. Here’s why you did NOT get to hit them.” I want people to know that they should not live in an environment where that seems like a logical end to what should simply be a discussion, however vigorous, or passionate.
I took my little brother (who falls on the autism spectrum) to see Guardians of the Galaxy and after this scene he lit up like a Christmas tree and screamed “He’s like me! He can’t do metaphors!” And for the rest of the film my brother stared at Drax in a state of rapture.
So for the last 6 days I have heard my brother repeatedly quote all of the Drax lines from the movie verbatim (one of his talents), begin studying vocabulary test words, and tell everyone he knows that people with autism can also be superheroes.
Now I am not saying that Drax the Destroyer is, or was ever, intended to be autistic. All I am saying is that it warmed my heart to see my brother have an opportunity to identify himself with a character known for his strength, badassness, and honor. And that is pretty damn awesome.
So while I adored Guardians of the Galaxy as a great fun loving film with cool characters I can do nothing but thank Marvel Studios and Dave Bautista for finally bringing a superhero to the screen that my little brother can relate to.
only in Canada would you find ads about homosexual rape on a bus.
Catch the fuck up America
They dont have this in America?
We don’t even have ads against heterosexual rape in America who are you kidding.
Is it acceptable to want to hug the heck out of an anonymous commenter for offering an opinion and discussing it politely, and respectfully? Lots of food for thought for me…
…because, sometimes, that feels like an utter rarity.
The polite respectful conversation between two people wherein one has offered a potentially contradicting point of view…not the “food for thought”.
Anonymous said: In my experience, anyone who stands on the extreme end is not likely to acknowledge the disadvantage of others. Those must be some fancy MRAs you've come by, though. I've yet to see a single MRA type who is willing to acknowledge Racism. They often times are racist because they view MoC to be a huge threat to their getting a partner, so I find it hard to believe they'd be accepting of PoC plight.
My standard description of MRAs was always “white working class or middle class men” but I had a MoC MRA engage me on a subject recently. Obviously one person does not a pattern make…but it did make me think that I shouldn’t just blindly accept that my original definition was correct.
And there’s always someone willing to stand on the extreme end although they’re standing with people visibly uncomfortable with them. Think of Fox News bringing in MoCs to help explain how “this isn’t about race in Ferguson. This is people just playing the race card!”
added; Actually I do know several MRAs who pride themselves on recognising and fighting racism and other bigotries. It’s their “proof” to the world that they aren’t sexist or misogynist—that women are just playing the sexism card. Which…takes us back around.