So, when the proverbial shit hit the fan over Janelle Asselin’s critique of the cover of Teen Titans #1 by Kenneth Rocafort, I said nothing. I read the Twitter shit. I read FB posts. I read the ‘discussions’… I read blogs…. I PAINFULLY resisted the urge to write myself because I knew… it was going to be ugly. Hell, it may still get ugly – after all, I’m still me. This is really an issue with many layers. Lets’ start at the top shall we? Or, is it the bottom….the threats.
“I was called a whiny bitch, a feminazi, a feminist bitch, a bitter cunt, and then the rape threats started rolling in.”
Some blogs and articles I read were most upset by the fact that threats of violence – especially sexual violence – have become so common that they are almost accepted as ‘the norm’. Just let that sit. Accepted as the norm. I got nothing. I can tell you all that it kinda sucks to be a chick sometimes. I can tell you there are 1,000 places/situations that a fella would not give a second thought about that chicks have to really think about. I can tell you that if something horrific DOES happen to you – your actions, attitude, wardrobe, choices, history,medical records, intelligence, etc will ALL be questioned. All. But that’s boring, right? That’s whiny feminist bullshit, right? Right. This boring shit is our REALITY. So for real, that shit isn’t funny. Yeah, maybe we ‘take it personal’ or ‘get emotional’. An American woman has a 25 to 26 percent chance of being raped in her lifetime (1 in 4). (Greenberg, Bruess and Haffner, 573; Horowitz, 413; Lips, 233). So, STATISTICALLY, if you throw out a threat – it is going to be a punch in the gut to 25% of readers. Add in people who have had friends and family assaulted – and the number goes up. Add in the number of women who would rather NOT be raped – and you are looking at 100% of female readers. And don’t forget the men – this is not entirely a ‘women’s issue’. So, don’t joke about it. Don’t threaten people. My advise – fellas, if you hear/read about someone making comments like that, call them out. These boys are the minority….but they are LOUD and get attention. They make you ALL look bad because sometimes those loud voices are what imprint on our minds. It should be noted – many menfolk spoke out AGAINST what happened. Brilliant – and thank you. Unfortunately, for some women – it is the threat that sticks in their minds. And ladies – in my humble opinion – I suggest we not engage the enemy. Ignore, delete, move on. yes, it is a serious issue. And scary. But it is more likely that ‘boys’ like that are just trying to ruffle feathers. Fuck them. Don’t give them the satisfaction.
So, there’s that.
That is the more serious end of the attack issue. The ‘milder’ end are the random insults. Using ugly, fat, stupid, etc – all wonderfully creative uses of the English language – to respond to a comment or opinion you do not like is a little lacking in…well, lacking. If that is the BEST argument you can come up with, just stop. You LITERALLY sound like one of my fucking kids. If the only way you can validate your opinion is by calling someone ‘a stupid poopy face’ – stop typing. It makes you look like an ignorant ass. You are having a tantrum and maybe need a time out. I may be fat, ugly and stupid, but I am not going to magically see your side when you throw out those types of insults. So just stop.
Another issue – cue snark font. REALLY?!?! It’s an OPINION PIECE, bitches. OPINION. Newsflash – ‘opinion’ is not fact. If the concept of ‘opinion’ confuses you, take a few minutes to google that shit. I’ll wait…………………………………. got it? I’m going to go with a simple visual on this issue. AND I am going with a non-comic visual to avoid a shit storm here. I did a REAL simple search. I literally Googled “greatest paintings of all time”. Hard core research for a cutting edge piece. Interesting was this:
Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa came up in many lists of the greatest painting of all times. You know where else I found it? In an article titled 5 Most Overrated Painting of All Time. Take a walk around an art museum and you can observe people admiring pieces of art – while other people just walk on by. Why? Art is personal. Sure, you can discuss a given piece – maybe you like the lines, theme, colors – whatever. The mogul and I disagree ALL the time. The conversation usually ends with a ‘smh’. No matter how much I talk, I am not going to change his mind. Naturally, sometime I try just for fun…And explaining WHY you do – or do not – like a given piece of art is like explaining why you do – or do not – like chocolate. I use that because I recently witnessed this very discussion. It was pretty funny and didn’t end well.
I think it should be mentioned that this is NOT a ‘comic’ issue. I know there is a lot of chatter about women in the comic industry. The lack of respect for a contradictory opinion is EVERYWHERE. Trolls can safely hide in their dark basements and type whatever they want without fear of consequence. I doubt it will go away. Think this is shit we (society) need to work on.
OK, that said – by all means – argue, yell, insult, curse (you know I will) amongst yourselves. We are all grown. We all know who you can joke around with – and who you cannot. File ‘people you do not know’ in the ‘not’ file. I curse like a trucker and often tease my friends – but I also have a few friends I cannot joke with. I know what you are thinking… ‘she has more than one friend?!?!?’ No one is more surprised than me. SO, in conclusion:
- Don’t threaten to rape people – they don’t like it.
- In discussions, try to come up with an argument other that ‘a stupid poopy face’ – and if you can’t…. well… maybe not engage in a discussion?
- It’s ok to like something ‘because’.
- Argue with your friends – curse, throw insults and buy another round. Have a good time.
- IF someone says/does something shitty – on the internet, in real life (whatever that is) – say something. And I don’t just mean the threatening bit.
Sometimes people need a reminder – says a Rookie….