So, the weather has been an obstacle, but only for a little bit. Apologies anyway to anyone who was worried about us. So far, we're fine.
In my month of plugging other webcomics, today I'm going to plug a couple other comics that I've already plugged recently, but I figured I'd toss some more spotlight their way.
First, to my brother from another mother...and father...and country...Jack Munro's Ada Lee Comes On. Ada Lee is a new comic (from an old character) and I'm really honoured that I've somehow inspired him to the webcomic experience. Jack and I seem to share a lot of sensibilities, and that seems to include a lot of attitudes about comics in general. Ada Lee has been entertaining me, and I really think more folks should check it out at http://adalee.smackjeeves.com/
The other webcomic is Tiny Pink Robots from our very own Rori! TPR is a daily diary strip comic about the uniqueness that is Rori's life (along with her cat and a lumberjack husband.) Two months strong, TPR features the best third panels in the business. Go see more at http://tinypinkrobots.smackjeeves.com/
You do NOT mess with Michelle. Patrick _really_ should have known better than to try that crap with her because she will knock you flat on your ass in a heartbeat, both figuratively and literally. XD
And there we go
Pretty much par for the course with Michelle. She will be cool with you as long as there's respect and no bullshit. Patrick just found out what happens when you break that rule, as her reaction is both swift and direct. She still went pretty easy on him, saying she thought it was alright.
In essence, this is exactly what he needed, a pseudo-asskick, a verbal reprimand and the knowledge that in spite of his behaviour some people still think he's OK.
Michelle, let me light your next cigarette and buy you a pint o' red.
Not Quite A Hero
I don't know if Michelle is everyone's hero right now. She's certainly not mine, I mean she kicks ass and that's awesome. But let's not use things like menstrual references ("your bleeding vagina") to insult people. That's blatant misogyny that perpetuates stereotypes about womyn and menstruation. I don't need to call a guy a womyn to be insulting and it doesn't do any good for other womyn, or herself for that matter.
Ugh that irks me.
Call the guy something creative, call him a fucking bullocky wankpot, but enough with the indirect womyn-bashing.
I'd agree with Saphirikah that not only is the 'bleeding vagina' crack misogynistic, it's also homophobic, implying that gay men are not men, but really women who happen to have penii. Either way, I can understand that we all say regrettable and unfortunate things when angry.
I just wish Michelle had enough presence of mind to deliver the richly deserved asskicking to Patrick without the slurs. I think the point would've been driven home all the more intensely if she'd gone cold and formal while putting Patrick on his ass.
Uuuuh I don't think "bleeding vagina" is a reference to menstruation. She's simply referring to the fact he's whining about a hurt masculinity i.e. the fact he thinks his sister has to run her lovers through his approval.
I agree with Maritza. Also, this is Michelle and, given what I imagine of her background, this is the sort of thing she might say. Sometimes your characters have a mind, and a mouth, of their own.
Agree totally, Suzie. It's ridiculous that people can get so upset of a comic.
It's even more ridiculous that Sapphrikah is using what is (presumably) her own cause's jargon incorrectly. According to any source I've ever seen, the singular of "womyn" is not the same as the plural; it's "wommon". /eyeroll
Mr. Twist, please don't take all these cries of misogyny too seriously. This page made my day. It's entirely in character that she would say this, and thus is entirely appropriate. Then again, maybe you shouldn't take me too seriously either. I'm just a sarcastic, liberal, lesbian humanist. (Is that enough labels to annoy the feminists?)
TL;DR: Everyone crying misogyny needs to lighten up. And maybe get laid. ;P
responding to art that offends you does not make you weak, petty, stupid, or self-righteous. prejudice begins in culture, and art is culture. whether mr. twist intended it or not, this dialogue is certainly misogynistic and deserves discussion, regardless of how much you (or i) love the comic. the idea that whoever is the hardest to offend is the coolest is not only idiotic, but also stifles dissension in a way that reeks of totalitarianism. not everyone has the lofty privilege of only experiencing misogyny on the internet. some of us wade through it every moment of our lives and will do anything to mitigate its causes. also, before you use the (brilliant) debate technique of accusing your opponent of getting upset or emotional, keep in mind that this is the internet, your assumptions are usually wrong, and most of us really don't give a shit.
I will say that Michelle's vagina comment is certainly misogynist, and I'm sure there are many other instances of her saying misogynistic things, and will almost certainly be again. People can and perhaps should get offended by comments like that, and no one should be attacked or ridiculed for it, at least not to their face. At the same time, no one should be more offended that a comment like that is coming from a woman than they are when it comes from a man, and I have seen little to no offence at misogynist comments from men.
I can only maintain that I think this scene is written well from a characteristic point of view, and that in no way impacts whether a comment is sexist or not.
But the person who suggests the comment is also homophobic is putting their own stereotypes into the interpretation, assuming that homosexuality is equatable to a lack of masculinity.
I should also say that anyone who thinks a woman wouldn't say something like this doesn't know enough about women, and is being at least a little sexist themselves.
As for the misogyny? Bullshit. It's not a mark against gays OR womEn. What I saw it as was Michelle calling Patrick out for being a giant pussy, and trying to add insult to injury.
Whoever started this debate (I don't remember the name), I think you're WAY over analyzing and trying to find sexism where it doesn't exist.
I am all for standing up for womens rights and all that good jazz, but when you start creating issues where they don't exist, you're making more problems to deal with that really don't need to be in the first place.
Oh no! Tsuki, don't say 'pussy' like that! It's misogynistic and the 'womyn' will hunt you down and destroy you! And to anyone reading this comment, please read the above couple of sentences with an eyeroll that is so epic that my eyes explode out of my sockets and spell out 'that's stupid' in blood on a nearby wall.
I'm a woman. Shit like this leaves my mouth on an hourly basis, and the fact that it DOES leave my mouth is not a detriment to my gender's rights. The key is context--am I saying things like 'bleeding vagina' at job interviews? Board meetings? Other inappropriate places? Or am I saying it to my husband or my buddies, who are familiar with my speech patterns?
Is Michelle broadcasting this tirade on live television for all of North America to see, as part of a speech about how we should equate pussy to 'women as a lesser gender'? Or is she talking to someone in her circle of friends who is privy to her rather colourful speech patterns and unlikely to be offended by them?
And in case any of you were on the edges of your seat ready to pounce on this: No, pointing out that the comic itself being so readily available is conveying this message to a larger audience doesn't count.
Here is a newsflash for you: Sometimes, writers write about things that are contrary to their own views, or wouldn't have been delivered the same way coming out of their own mouth. If I write about a character who is a Nazi, does that mean that I'm a Nazi? If I write about a member of the Westboro Baptist Church, does that make me racist or homophobic? If all of your characters exist only to to say things that the writer believes, exactly how they would say them, then it doesn't make a very interesting story, and there's no friction or chemistry--just a lot of the same character wearing different hats and standing on slightly different soapboxes.
So, am I saying that it's NOT misogynistic? Hell no, it totally is. Just not in a context that should affect anyone's delicate sensibilities to the point where they're upset by a comic page on the internet.
I really don't see how it's misogynistic. Of course a guy would be offended by the implication he has a vagina, and women would also be offended by the implication they have a penis. One is not #FAIL and the other SUPERFANTASTIC. It's the disparity that makes the insult. It's just an insult: it's designed to offend.
...that Patrick *knows* Michelle, and vice versa, and I'm sure this isn't the worst thing he's ever heard come from her mouth, although it might have been a while since it was directed at *him.* Don't forget that they have a relationship and this, honestly, is how close friends do talk around one another. We call one another names, belittle one another, whether it's to berate, encourage (in our own odd ways), or simply razz.
As the Nonviolent Communications folks would say: it's not that what she said is wrong. It's how it makes *you* feel...and you have to noodle out on your own why you react in the way that you do to it. :) Love the comic, Mr. Twist. Keep on going.
Sometimes, it's far more important for the character to be true to themselves and their personality, than it is to bend around the agenda of various groups who might be offended by the insult. Not only that, Ran is correct. Not every character that a writer creates is going to conform to the same ideas as it's creator. That would make for a terribly boring and unrealistic story. Mr. Twist is a fantastic writer with very real personalities in his characters, it's something I admire most about this entire comic. His ability to create these people to such an extent that you might bump into them on the street, or have been best friends with one for years.
It's extremely realistic for Michelle to say something like that because that's the kind of person she is. You can turn anything into an insult used in the right context, it just so happens that Michelle decided to use the ol' "mangina" tactic on Patrick because that's the kind of person she is and those are the kind of insults that will get to him.
I loved this page, because it was pretty spot on to the character's attitude and hell, she was even a little nicer in language than I might have been.
The only way to be truly misogynistic is to be a woman.
Randy K. Milholland, Something Positive webcomic, 11-11-04
While we can go back and forth about whether or not Michelle's comment was misogynistic, who hasn't used insults like this in front of friends? I work in the entertainment business and I can see in myself a definite line between my professional and casual speech. I've gone to many speech seminars as part of my job. Among no one but friends all people tend to be much less socially conscious about our words.
Bravo Mister Twist, still loving this comic.
(Insert crying about Our Time in Eden, and keep checking it every couple days anyway)
I'm inclined to agree with Mr. Twist and others on the whole misogyny issue. I can name ten different women I know off the back of my hand (that don't hang around here on SmackJeeves) that regularly say that comment to people on a daily basis. Sure, it's misogynist, but you know what? To each their own. It's only as offensive as you make it out to be.
For example, a lot of my friends make jokes about how I'm a jackass hillbilly. I laugh with them. Some of my friends are Hispanic, and my friends make jokes about them too, and not only do they laugh along, they tell even more of them, some of which are worse than the ones we were telling! Are the jokes on both sides offensive? You bet. Does anybody in our group care? Not really. Sometimes, you just have to take it in stride.
Oh My...The Debate
Well hate to chime in just for this but I could not resist.
I for one think that this entire page was great and totally in character for Michelle. From what you have established about her the moment she ran into Patrick I figured she would be the one to straighten him out. She is and always has been a no nonsense character that has zero qualms with speaking her mind. Her special way of doing and handling things as well as her unique brand of humor has been well established in this comic and I don't think this page was any different.
Besides Patrick landing ass first in the snow and getting told off by someone outside of the guys little inner circle and his sister was something that needed to happen. (in my opinion)
As a woman known for her sharp tongue, quick wit and her sarcastic and at times off color humor, I totally support this entire page ^_^
There needs to be a separation between fiction and real-life Now I know that a lot of people learn all they need to know about the world through fiction. Acknowledging this is important. What happens in fiction stays true to the characters' personalities. Fine.
But saying things like "my group of friends tell offensive jokes about each other" just not justify being racist or sexist in real life. If anything you're normalising the lopsided, oppressive behaviour that just keeps on being perpetuated in society, and this is something that needs to go away.
And telling people they need to get laid is really the lowest of the low.
I understand the desire to set a moral or social boundary to what we see and represent in fiction, but the question I ask is whose? Today the issue is with a reference to menstruation, and a well-contested one at that, but in the past I've been confronted with the idea that representing homosexuality as normal is offensive, and representing a Jewish man as a tattoo artist is offensive, and the big one, that representing drug and alcohol use in such a positive light is irresponsible.
The people who complain about the offensive nature of many things in Pictures of You have just as much right to voice their opinion as any other. Those who were outraged that the cross-dressing was too gay were as entitled as those who complained that the gay characters cross-dressing was homophobic. Whose outrage wins? Which parts of the story or a character do I edit and prune? Perhaps I should listen to everyone and leave them all flat and useless like a network sitcom?
I don't write this work to be a voice of social conscience or moral pulchritude, nor is it meant to convey societal decay or anarchy. It is certainly not written to represent anyone's ideal of how life should be, nor is it meant to depict distopia. I write a story with flawed characters, I try to be honest about those flaws because that illustrates their strength, and that is why the story is engaging.
Much is being made of the notion that friends use a saltier language among themselves than they do in wider company. I think that's a valuable point...to a point. It was also pointed out that this kind of 'among friends' language is destructive, and that's a valuable point too...to a point.
In real life, I do think people forgive themselves for the 'offensive comments' among friends a little too easily. I'm not the one to play bigotry cop, or I try not to be, but I'm not above light mockery of those I think cross the line.
However, we should also remember that when we become sensitive to seeing something, we begin to see it everywhere. If I were to suggest that I've been noticing an increased activity in the number of murdered prostitutes, the average person would also begin to notice it, true or not. We become aware of a certain event and we begin recognizing patterns of its occurrence. The same thing happens with the number 23.
Now, no one can suggest that those prostitutes weren't murdered or that it isn't the number 23, but these things are no more common or prevalent now than they were before the suggestion was planted and we became more aware to it.
We need to be careful of the language we use in joking around, if for no other reason than we might not always be aware when what we think is harmless fun is actually hurting someone. We also need to be aware that not everything we see is as grave and damaging as we think, and sometimes a murdered prostitute is just a murdered prostitute.
But above everything, everyone needs to keep the discussion here civil. I love the debate and I encourage the exchange, but cheap shots won't be tolerated in the comments here. That's an entirely different comic... http://cheapshots.smackjeeves.com/
Love your comments, Mr. Twist, and love the ongoing debate. I want to add that I agree that we may tolerate and forgive our friends a little more easily than we might. Though it is often not easy, we may feel we want to say something but don't wish to offend. But perhaps we should speak out and let them know they are offending us. Difficult. But great to see this stuff being discussed.
Well Said Mr. Twist!
I like your point on awareness it's just like when you get a new car. Suddenly all you see on the road is that car. No, everyone didn't follow you and purchase one it's just that your awareness of that make and model has increased.
Also I think by and large, a good deal of people think imagery of sex, drugs and rock and roll will corrupt us if not depicted in a negative light. *sighs* I think some often lose sight of the fact that not everyone is that * malleable* for lack of a better term. Seeing One Inch Punch burn a doobie is no more likely to make any of your readers go do the same than playing Grand Theft Auto is likely to make any of us go on a shooting spree.
It's a comic (mind you a damn good comic) but a comic all the same. And not to compare apples to oranges but no one takes the underlying violence in Disney movies and says OMG the kids are going to turn out like wicked step mothers and captain hooks.
My point is, not so nice stuff is in every good tale. If it wasn't present the story doesn't ring true. You are telling us a tale about college students...the kind of things you depict happens during the college years and you didn't make everyone a smoker, pothead or drinker. There are plenty of scenes where when that is happening there are some characters just chilling out and not taking part in more than just the conversation...
Just like in real life.
Everybody sitting in a bar is not drinking and everyone with friends that smoke pot doesn't follow suit....oh well I'm just rambling and getting preachy now so I'll stop...lol but anyway many good points and I love your non-conformist stand point. I am a big advocate of saying, "What is this "normal" I keep hearing about? Everything is indeed all in the eye of the beholder."
I am no great lover of Society and it's "rules"...which is another reason why I love comics like this. ^_^ *hugs to you*
OMG SO OFFENSIVE
People in a webcomic that talk like real people?! I'm so offended!
By the way, among my friends, the guys who make comments like that do so rarely and quietly with a look around to make sure no girls hear them, whilst the girls have no such compunctions. If they want to accuse a man of being "on the rag" loudly in a public place, they do so. And they usually make a reference to theirs being limited to only a few days a month, whereas the person getting chewed out is usually assumed to permanently be in that state.
late O.E. wimman (pl. wimmen ), lit. "woman-man," alteration of wifman (pl. wifmen ), a compound of wif "woman" (see wife) + man "human being" (in O.E. used in ref. to both sexes; see man). Cf. Du. vrouwmens "wife," lit. "woman-man." The formation is peculiar to Eng. and Du. Replaced older O.E. wif, quean as the word for "female human being." The pronunciation of the singular altered in M.E. by the rounding influence of -w- ; the plural retains the original vowel."
Been working my way through this massive archive over the past couple days.
I don't think I ever liked her till this very moment.
Now if only king mellodrama Peter can have a similar momment...then maybe id understand why I've been reading this comic for so long! ;D