Saturday, February 19, 2011

blah blah blah "sexism" "the internet"

Ok so I just had a little train of thought in relation to the comic below and I told myself I could blog about it if it took 15 LITERAL MINUTES so I can get back to the INCREDIBLY BRAIN-BENDING QUANTITY of work I have to do by the end of the month.

So look at the timestamp. Does it say 5:15? If it says 5:15 I kept my promise.

I hate sexism. Occasionally, even other-wise reasonable-seeming people like to deny that sexism still exists, or is still a really big deal, and this angers me greatly. So when someone argues that a certain thing is sexist,  I tend to agree with them in a rather knee-jerk way, ESPECIALLY if their argument is bolstered by a denouncement of the denyiers of sexism.

Case in point, the comic below (which now would be a good time to read.)

On the surface of it, yay. The opposition of sexism, and comics. Two things that are good.

But then I started thinking, why is it not weird at all that I don't mind, in fact feel I if anything, charmed by in a sort of condescending way, comments such as this, in which dudeface professes love for me based on my animating?

Possibly this is because I am a Weird Girl. Whistling construction workers stopped bothering me as soon as I stopped being scared they were rapists. (Statistically speaking, most men are not, or--AUGGGHHH LIGHTHEARTED POST QUICKLY BECOMING VERY UGLY--they are far more likely to rape someone they know.)

Okay, let us turn away from this dark subject matter and back to the lovely world of women and comics and the internet.

Now it is 5:06.

I think this post is getting way too long.

All I really want to say is, I think the thing presented in the strip is in no way an example of sexism, a fact I was blinded to by the indie-comicy style and genuine sincere anti-sexist intentions of the strip.

It is not objectifying to say you want to [crass word for intercourse] someone because of their art. Objects do not make art.

The woman in the strip is in fact, being complimented on the quality of her work, which I would like to add, exists to render it's creator more bedable (I am seriously trying to keep this blog PG) because THAT IS WHY ALL ART EXISTS.

Complaining that your art makes someone random on the internet want to sleep with you is like complaining that glue also works on your fingers. We don't have a magic bullet for this yet, people. You're just going to have to swallow the uptick in desirablity.

Anyway with four minutes left I'm going to get to the much more important and novel point: AS I WAS SUCKERED by the faulty logic of this strip, couched as it was in the aestetic trappings of someone I agree with ideologically, ARE PEOPLE NOT likewise suckered by say, anti-gay rhetoric, if it comes from a person with the same religeious views? Or even sexist rhetoric, if it comes from someone who sounds sciency?

One minute left, folks.
No, you don't get any spellcheck.


  1. About your main point: of course people are suckered. Most hear what they want to hear, and especially if the rhetoric comes with something they can point at as 'proof'. All we can do is think critically and do the best we can.

    As for the comic, I think I agree that the 'comment' itself is not sexist. It's a *terrible* compliment and/or pickup line, though, and I think you might be able to make a case that our overall culture of objectification/implied sexism is what makes him feel he can even say this defensibly. That's kind of a thin argument, but I think maybe not a wrong one.

  2. I agree with Alex above that it is a terrible compliment with mildly sexist undertones, but I think I can understand the impulse behind the comment featured in the comic you posted and some of the reasons why comments like that tend to come across so poorly.

    By way of background I should explain that I was that guy who introduced myself to you last Friday at Union Pool when I saw you working on Ledo and Ix. When you later ended up sitting near me and my girlfriend it became kind of awkward for me partly because of people who make the kind of comments that were featured in the comic you posted.

    I would have liked to have chatted with you more and maybe bought you a drink or offered you my seat or something to share my appreciation for your work, but I was afraid that I would have been perceived as creepy or annoying. I guess in retrospect, based on this post, it would not have been an issue.

    I think much of the problem isn't really about gender or sexism - I mean I'm pretty sure I would have felt the same way if you were a man - at least I have had the same sort of experiences before with men and can't see why this situation would have been any different. Instead, I think the problem is caused largely by our culture of celebrity and the divide that it generates between creators and consumers in general.

    There is a sort of loss of power or an acknowledgment of subservience inherent in the author-reader, artist-fan dynamic. I mean look at this comment itself - it will be posted in a smaller font, below your own larger words, and hidden away from sight by a link.

    Some degree of awkwardness is therefore almost inevitable due to the imbalanced nature of the relationship. The fact that the internet, due to its perceived anonymity and youth-oriented nature, tends towards the crude, juvenile and obvious, only aggravates the situation.