Monday, 21 April 2014

Comic Book Confidential: Don't Be Hating.

You can't spend much time discussing comics, and comic conventions without the issue of sexism rearing it's ugly head. Women both in the business, and fans regularly complain about behaviour covering the full spectrum from merely annoying on the mildest end, to creepy, then to pervy, and all the way to downright scary and threatening on the other. These complaints also tend to expose the complainant to even more abuse ranging from childish name-calling on the mild side of the spectrum all the way to rape and death threats.

Then I saw this on twitter:


First: Who in the hell would want to wear this shirt in public, especially at a convention?

You're pretty much telling all women at said convention that you hate them and that both women and men should treat you with scorn and derision for being an obnoxious sexist pig.

You'd have to be pretty hardcore delusional to wear that bit of sartorial nonsense.

Which means that somebody probably paid good money for advertising their social dysfunction.

Then you get guys complaining about "fangirls" and "fake geek girls" and how terrible they are, yadda, yadda, yadda...

Which raises a question.


When I was just a fledgling nerd a woman having an interest in the same things that I was interested in was viewed as a gift from Heaven. If she liked different facets of the same things, like Spider-Man over Batman, or Star Wars over Star Trek, it didn't matter, I thought the tent of geekdom was big enough for all.

Sure you would argue over which franchise or character was better, but that's all right, because debating minutiae is part of being a geek.

What isn't part of being a geek is making people feel unwelcome, or even threatened for not fitting in.

If you're a geek of my pre-internet generation you know the sting of being left out or even cast out because you don't fit someone's narrow idea of who should belong in the club and who shouldn't.

Why perpetuate that kind of thinking just because you have a fairly anonymous social media account?

Why act like a perv just because an attractive woman is wearing a sexy costume at a convention?

Why threaten someone with violence just because you don't agree with their views, or their existence?

The comics industry isn't helping with the whole issue of sexism, especially when they put out things like this…


This brain dead belief that ramping up sexuality beyond even the realm of male teenage fantasy to somehow compete with internet porn imposes an air of sleaziness in comics. This sleaziness brings little or no reward, and actually make it harder to attract new readers. But that, and the ongoing managerial dysfunction in some comics companies are the subjects for other posts.

I can't explain why some men act like brain damaged apes towards women. That would require dipping my toe into hundreds of different psychological snake-pits. 

However, I can propose a solution.



You know what I mean, simple courtesy, and etiquette. Respecting other people as human beings, not as targets of digital vitriol, or your lechery that somehow interprets the wearing of a certain kind of outfit as an invitation for you to act like a drooling pervert.

When people treat each other with courtesy and respect personal interactions become way easier, and people can get down to doing what they're supposed to be doing, enjoying the stuff they like.

That's what I think, let me know what you think in the comments.


  1. What are these "manners" that you speak of?

    Yeah, you got a point.

  2. Jake Was Here21/4/14 11:39 pm

    I think the fundamental issue is that geeks and nerds are no longer certain of their place in pop culture. When they were outcasts they at least knew where they stood -- and their current uncertainty manifests as extremism and resentment.

    "You mean ordinary people can now like the things I like without suffering social ostracism for it the way I've had to all my life?? Man, FUCK that shit. Where was all this company when I needed it? ...And where's my assurance that they're not still trying to ostracize me? If they do I've got nowhere else to go."

  3. Good to see you are following the lowest common denominator of the internet D, by taking a single mangina's outraged tweet, which was based on a picture of a single badly done amateur's t shirt design which probably didn't even sell - to make a general statement about the state of women in the popular arts. Illustrated, of course, by those pictures sure to draw hits but which can conveniently be used for further "for teh womyns!"outrage.

    I know you can do better. :)

  4. Kit - Thanks.

    Jake - That's probably a good analysis.

    K - I hope you're being ironic.