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Oct 29 2010

This is my life

Just replace “comic” with “blog.”Read the whole thing here.

(Via Pharyngula)

49 comments

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  1. 1
    Livingonsteak

    Dear woman… :D

  2. 2
    Andie

    Sad. I get to avoid this, because I only have two males that read my blog (well, three if you count the crazy dude that seems to be stalking PZ – but he only ever commented once) out of the whopping 14 people who subscribe. Must suck, though.Can I just say that I enjoy the use of the word Dudeitational?

  3. 3
    John Moeller

    “And I’m not sexist so it’s ok.” I love that. I think that it sums up the reactions of a lot of male academics to these types of situations. “I’m the product of a liberal education and background! Think about what your accusations would do to people like me!”

  4. 4
    Rbray18

    i admit,i do the old poor me bit to myself when the topic of sexism comes up.cause my twisted head always turns it around to “you’re evil because you’re a guy with privilege you never see.” i know that’s wrong and not what’s being said but even though i’m a atheist i’m not always rational,i was at one point a Christian after all.but i have many many issues.one day i may get over it and be closer to perfect and ideal as i seemingly get told i’m supposed to

  5. 5
    Ben Lever

    Okay. I want to preface this by saying that I’m actually asking, not just asking a rhetorical question. But why, exactly, is this sexism? (The first part, not the ganging-up, dismissing-calls-of-sexism, accusations-of-lesbianism part).I could definitely see why it would be sexism if she had uploaded the comic and then the dude had just commented on her bio pic, saying “Your tits are so good it makes me want to fuck you.” Then it would be legitimate to get into the whole “Hey, I’m more than just a body, I want to be appreciated for my comic” thing. But he specifically goes straight from liking the comic to wanting to fuck her…which is still very blunt and idiotic and so on, but is at the very least less shallow. He is appreciating her for her work, it’s just that his reaction is to request sexytimes…and there’s nothing wrong with sexytimes.I also want to know how this is any different from when someone posts a particularly insightful comic/post, and the comments/forum discussion/tweets are full of “Marry me” – which is often taken as a compliment rather than sexism, and is just as often women saying it to Randall of xkcd as it is dudes saying it to women. The basic formula is the same – “your work resonates with me to such an extent that I feel romantic emotions for you” – it’s just the method of expression that differs (and only slightly, since we can assume that ‘marry’ would include ‘fuck’).I suspect I am going wrong here somewhere. But I’m genuinely confused. Is it a ‘sex object’ thing? Because like I said, I’m not sure that’s actually what’s going on here.

  6. 6
    UncountablyFinite

    I think it’s a combination of:1. That kind of comment is often or usually rooted in sexism.2. The frequency of that kind of comment. If it was a once in a while thing, you might just think he was an idiot or something. The frequency makes it frustrating.3. There is a difference between the words marry and fuck. We wouldn’t need two different words if there wasn’t.4. She didn’t call it sexism. She just, very politely, suggested that that kind of compliment was not one she appreciated. The appropriate response for the guy would have been to simply apologize. The comic is more about the reaction to her comment than it is about the original comment by the guy.

  7. 7
    K.W. Ramsey

    From what I can see it totally is a sex object thing. The first, ahem, “commenter” goes from saying he likes the comic to saying he would like to engage in a carnal act with the artist. While he can feel that way it is rather crass to make the comment, and likely the only reason he did was because he didn’t have to look the artist in the face to make it.While marriage may include sexual intercourse it has a different meaning when said in person or online. Fuck implies an encounter of only physical interaction, while marriage implies a commitment and love. Also, the use of “marry me” has a longer of history of being used humorously to express admiration and affection online towards a creator, while “fuck” does not have the same connotation and in fact has been used in a hurtful manner in many online exchanges.The best way to break it down, in my opinion, is the guy made a crass and tasteless comment and was surprised when the artist did not just meekly accept it and then a pissing match started over the whole thing when others started to chime in. He was clearly in the wrong and she attempted to gently correct him. If he’d realized his mistake and apologized and then the shitstorm happened I’d say it was a misunderstanding, but from what the comic expresses he kept acting like an entitled jackass through the whole thing, thus rendering any claims of not being sexist moot.I’m not going to defend or condemn this guy any further, as, to be perfectly honest I never saw the original exchange and the comic is obviously biased, as it well should be coming from one side of the issue. That’s not to say it’s wrong, but to not take in account the fact that all forms of expression are biased would be hypocritical. I’m also not going to apologize for this idiot (dang, that’s condemning, ah well screw it the guy is an idiot). What I will do, and what I recommend for anyone reading this is don’t act this way. If you find something online that you appreciate and find the artist attractive, send them a kind word praising their work but don’t make any kind of sexual commentary or advance. Really, it’s freaking creepy even when it isn’t sexist.

  8. 8
    loreleion

    I think a language where marry and fuck were the same word would have extraordinary comedic potential.

  9. 9
    Erica

    The original comments that inspired this comic were made by cartoonist Kate Beaton (@beatonna) on Tuesday on her twitter, quoted below since I can’t link to her tweets directly:”dear internet, you are well meaning, but I’d like to make a point.when you tell a female creator you like her work so much you want to marry her and have her babies, you’re not doing anyone any favorsfirst of all, as cute as it sounds in your head, it’s a shitty, disrespectful ‘compliment.’ No one makes comics looking for sexual attentionsecondly, by doing so you invite others to critique that person’s works based on their looks, which is uncomfortable, sexist and unfair.t’s just a general problem I see out there, and I don’t like the message that ignoring it sends even if it’s the best way to deal with it.”

  10. 10
    BEG

    That comic is possibly one of the funniest ever, in a “The Office” sort of way….

  11. 11
    Azkyroth

    Correction: it’s *very rarely* what’s being said.

  12. 12
    mcbender

    Ugh. The phenomenon described in this comic is all too real; I’ve seen it happen too many times to count. It depresses me, in addition to making me ashamed of being male.

  13. 13
    Caliguy7281

    I think female X-Box players have it worst of all. You should hear the garbage they put up with.

  14. 14
    Jim

    I have to wonder, and this is a somewhat serious question even if it doesn’t sound like it, at what point it became offensive and disrepectful to tell a girl you’d like to fuck her. And to be clear, I’m not saying men aren’t consciously disrespecting the female to whom they profess their sexual desires in such a manner, since they presumably can anticipate what sort of reaction this will elicit. But I have to assume that for most species, and for most of humanity’s history, the expression of desire to fuck on the part of the male would be taken as a compliment on the part of the female. Wouldn’t natural selection neccesitate this? My personal theory is that human females associate blunt expression of the desire to mate with rape and subjugation, and therefore with pain and humilation as well. This is probably understandable given the way the men have treated women for most of our recorded history. And no I’m not missing the point. I get that women in modern, cultured society want to be valued for more than just their vajayjays. And I don’t think turning down every anonymous offer of sex means you’re uptight either.

  15. 15
    Arctic Ape

    Finnish is kinda like that, but it only feels like a *really* old joke for native speakers.

  16. 16
    FPops

    I wonder what his reaction would be if I (a male) said I wanted to fuck him? Not nearly as cool as Ms Beaton’s I should think. What happened to romance? – you don’t just see someone you like, then go up to them ask for a fuck … it’s like a child in a shop saying “gimme, gimme”.Call me old-fashioned but a bit of common respect never hurt anyone.

  17. 17
    Egoistpaul

    lol. I don’t know what to say in response to this.

  18. 18
    Svlad Cjelli

    It was Beaton?! But she’s awesome; why would anyone be mean to her?

  19. 19
    Svlad Cjelli

    Well, being on X-Box Live is a bit like punching a hornet nest to begin with.

  20. 20
    Ola Rozenfeld

    Really, Erica?!! That was it?! Well, okay, then it all only makes Ben Laver even more right. And it’s kind of sleazy how the “male” point of view was misrepresented there… we went from “marry and have your babies” to “fuck you”? Nice.Ben, just so you know:1) I’m a woman.2) I don’t find the “marry me” comments offensive *at all*3) I strongly disagree with people who try to change the culture so that comments like these are considered offensive, and I speak out against them (http://petite-lambda.livejourn… Yeah, I know, exactly as described in the comic :-) albeit with the important difference that I’m a woman disagreeing.4) I might, however, have a problem with the “fuck you” version (although I’d still take it as a compliment). Although there’s nothing wrong with thinking it, phrasing it this way is widely considered tasteless and unpolite; and when someone knowingly chooses to phrase something in a tasteless and unpolite way, it usually indicates disrespect.

  21. 21
    facebook-740856118

    Even I had to quite X-box Live. There’s nothing like getting trash talked by a 10 year old, and having to remind yourself not to yell back at the little twit. ;)

  22. 22
    Ola Rozenfeld

    See Erica’s comment above — turns out that the story actually started with a mere “marry me and have my babies” rather than “fuck me” comment…For me, it all depends on how you phrase it. There’s nothing wrong with the intent, that’s for sure (I often think about someone who just gave an amazing speech “I want to hump his leg!”). Thinking it is okay. Problem is, the exact phrase “I want to fuck you”, said to a stranger, is widely considered tasteless and unpolite; and someone who reached the age of wanting to fuck is presumably aware of it being considered tasteless and unpolite. So, if he still chooses to phrase it this way — 99% chance that he’s a disrespectful asshole. Again, it’s all about intent, and how you communicate that intent. Intent to actually have sex with me is fine; disrespecting me is not.

  23. 23
    makeshiftkey

    It’s sexist because the highest compliment he can think to give her for her work is that she’s worthy of his attention and his babies. That’s the problem here – turning someone’s work into an item with which to determine their fuckability devalues the work and the person together. It devalues the work because it suggests that the aim of the work is to extract marriage/sexxing proposals and it devalues the person because it suggests that The Very Best they can do is cause other people to want to make babies with them. Beaton accepts that people are well meaning when they use this “compliment” but she’s trying to express that she doesn’t really see it as a compliment for these reasons.

  24. 24
    facebook-740856118

    To me, the sexism comes in when the guy refuses to acknowledge her discomfort, and the other guys start attacking her for stating her discomfort at his comment.The proper thing would have been for the guy to apologize and maybe had a dialogue with her. Publicly attacking her on his blog was not the way to go.

  25. 25
    The G

    I’ve heard this kind of comment before from my male coworkers which I never quite understood. Whether or not it is a kind of compliment, the ladies I work with in my supermajority female-dominated profession would find it very offensive. However, one of the guys explained it to me once in a way that *almost* made more sense. He told me that there are standards among guys (don’t believe the sexist belief otherwise!) on with whom they would like to have sex. If someone is beneath their threshold, showing great intelligence or talent improves their general attractiveness to the point the guy would like to have sex with the woman in question. While I’m not advocating a relativism to the male culture, I can see where such a statement is not merely carnal. It is also a compliment to the talent or intelligence displayed by the person.It is still offensive to many, but may only indirectly involve the woman’s reproductive structures.

  26. 26
    Megan Webb

    Dear Jen,Thank you for reposting this. I LOVE Kate Beaton’s comic and had no idea this was going down since I tend to avoid twitter like the plague.This phenomenon seems to happen a lot whenever a woman tries to point out sexism. I even got shot down by my (anthropology!) professor when I once tried to point out how he was being sexist. His response? “I’m not sexist! I’m a feminist! No one can out-feminist me!”…And then an undergrad boy jumped in with, “Nobody ever mentions how sexism hurts men, too! Feminism is unfair to men!” and I had to beat him over the head with Greta Christina articles.Sigh. This is the kind of BS that, as I try to decide what sort of history I want to study, makes me run screaming from attempting women and gender history even though I think it’s totally cool….

  27. 27
    Lodevijk

    This very comic is so sexist I don’t know how to describe it. Meta-auto-sexism?

  28. 28
    jose

    Some years ago there was a very successful bullfighter in Spain. His name was Jesulín de Ubrique. The peculiar thing about him was, girls were crazy about him. They would go to the bullring and throw him their bras and knickers while shouting ‘I want to have your kids!!’. It was something between funny and disturbing. Never thought they were being sexist–until now.

  29. 29
    Azkyroth

    So, implying that someone is below the guy’s standards to start with, but their intelligence or talent “saves” them, is supposed to be a compliment?

  30. 30
    Ray

    On what seems like the most natural reading of the comment, the bit about marrying and having babies is Beaton’s shorthand for a range of sexual comments, not a direct or indirect quote from anyone.

  31. 31
    G. Syme

    I have to agree here. As soon as you say that *telling* someone you want to fuck them is sexist, then *wanting* to fuck them is sexist too. In the first instance, you’re merely expressing your desire to do so. People do want to fuck other people – especially attractive people. No one is going to deny me that truth. So when someone encounters a member of their sex-of-preference who displays traits attractive to them (such as, god forbid, intelligence) they may well find that they wish to fuck them.Now, in our society we tend to frown open overt declarations of fucking-intention (DoFI) because they’re generally crass, distasteful and make the recipient uncomfortable*. But what does the internet do best? It deindividuates its denizens and removes societal pressures and norms. Suddenly people are much more honest with their DoFIs, to the discomfort of all. But I still don’t see it as being the overly simplistic accusation of sexism that we’re discussing here.*Not in all cases, though. I tell my girlfriend on an excessively regular basis how much I’d like to fuck her, as she does to me. Surely no one would claim this is sexist and, apart from a few language-prudes, even particularly crass. Understanding the difference between our DoFIs and those between strangers on the internet would go a long way to explaining why we frown on one but not the other. Ideas, anyone?

  32. 32
    Jinborov Karnovski

    Exactly. The first time I heard anyone say “I want to have [their] babies” was when girls in my high school [~10 years ago] were talking about random male celebrities they had photos of on their folders, jokingly..I was reading the comments on PZ’s blog yesterday and it was depressing. Someone would comment “Guys I think you’re over-reacting. Clearly he was joking, and it’s not even biologically possible.” and they would be instantly swarmed with “Oh look, here comes another pig to tell us why [actual sexist asshole from a previous thread about actual sexism] is actually right” comments.

  33. 33
    Dale Husband

    If you want to see a disgusting example of sexism, look here:http://circleh.wordpress.com/2…I can’t stand guys like that, really. His ripping off Richard Dawkins is just part of his corruption, we should all condemn this making fun of successful women too. The Wilson sisters of Heart were even attacked by their own record lable at the time, which put out an ad implying they were lesbians.

  34. 34
    Jen (but not the blogger Jen)

    Hmm, interesting. I’ve been known to say about Joss Whedon that I want to marry him and have his babies. It’s certainly not due to physical attraction (sorry, Joss), but because I love the man’s mind. It’s also, obviously, not meant to be taken seriously or realistically.

  35. 35
    persnickety

    Man, it’s always so hard to watch debates like this, because it’s never about “this action is obviously always wrong!”, it’s more “this action is like the straw that breaks the camel’s back” so it comes out like one camel going “Hey guys, stop giving me all this straw, it’s too heavy and I can’t carry it” and another camel goes “What are you talking about? Straw is very light! I’m carrying a handful of it and I barely feel it at all!” and the first camel starts trying to explain that the circumstances are different, that a bale of straw is a lot harder to carry than a handful, but now the argument is about whether straw is heavy or not and the original complaint gets lost.And that was a terrible analogy, but what I was trying to say is that I see female producers of geek culture (comics, blogs, videos) get an incredibly large amount of creepy and/or sexualized compliments in reaction to their work, a lot more than I see male producers get (although I do see them get some creepy attention too and I’m sure they’re just as creeped out by it). The argument is not really about whether “I want to have your babies!” is a creepy thing to say on its own, but that it’s hard to deal with such a large volume of sexualized compliments and maybe fans should take it down a notch.

  36. 36
    jeff

    how is that sexist? It changed the album to be a pun on farting.. i think you are reaching there quite a bit.

  37. 37
    Dale Husband

    Forgive me for not sharing your warped sense of humor, Jeff, but can you tell me how such a silly thing can be enjoyed equally by both men and women, if it is not sexist? Because speaking as a MAN with a sense of honor and empathy for women, I know what Josh Timonen did to the Wilson sisters was indeed sexist. And if I do something and a woman tells me she considers it sexist and tells me exactly why, I have sense enough to APOLOGIZE to her, regardless of how I feel about it, and clarify that I meant no offense. I NEVER defend something for its own sake, for that is selfish arrogance.(((Stepping down from the soapbox)))

  38. 38
    Mlbrowne

    *sigh* The problem is when you’re told “No thank you, please don’t say that again” you should say “Oh, ok, sorry.” You should not go on a long rant about how that uptight bitch didn’t recognize the awesome compliment you were paying to her lowly self and how dare she not be grateful.

  39. 39
    Ola Rozenfeld

    That’s a very good point. “Nothing wrong with X, but I’m getting so much of it that it gets tedious and I’d really like to see some Y instead” is very different from saying “oh when will these sexist men learn not to do the disrespectful X anymore”. Put like that, I agree entirely.

  40. 40
    Rollingforest

    And here is the obligatory post saying that with the thought of feminist activists becoming the main philosophy among college professors, the same thing can happen with female professors (not normally about sex obviously, unless it’s about removing all sexual images from the media)

  41. 41
    Rollingforest

    But I think the point made above was that woman use the “marry me” and “I want to have your babies” line to men all the time. Men usually brush it off because men are usually more promisquous than women for evolutionary reasons (they pay a lower cost for having babies than women do). However, if there was a man who was uncomfortable with sexual attention from women he wasn’t married to, it would be just as bad for a woman to do it him.

  42. 42
    Rollingforest

    I agree that it is sexist to make sexual proposals to woman who don’t want them. But Ben makes an interesting point with the “Marry me, I want to have your babies!” comment that women often use. It happened at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear on Saturday. A college aged girl indicated that she was single and hinted at Jon Stewart. Jon Stewart said “You know I’m a 47 year old married man right?” but the girl said that that was okay (apparently not caring what Jon Stewart’s wife thought of this). Jon Stewart seemed a little put off by it, but if he had been insulted by her suggestion that he cheat on his wife then it could have been just as bad as what the comic was representing.But like Ola below, I’m not in favor of a blanket ban on statements like “I want to marry you and have your babies” or even “you are a successful comic artist and I want to fuck you.” If the artist indicates its okay by past suggestions, then it’s okay. The hard part, of course, is telling who is okay with such statements and who isn’t.

  43. 43
    Rollingforest

    It is if the standard is high.

  44. 44
    Rollingforest

    I don’t think it’s a fart joke, but rather is a joke about being sexually attracted to her ass. I agree that if a person offends another person, they should apologize by saying “I didn’t mean to make you feel that way” (though after apologizing I might say “I was only trying to [fill in the reason]” so that I can explain my thinking and hopefully we can come to an agreement. And I think it would be sexist to send this picture to Annie Wilson if she wasn’t comfortable with it. The difference is that Josh Timonen only did it on his own blog for his own followers. He was trying to express his sexual attraction to her (which is okay) but he didn’t try to shove it on her (which isn’t).

  45. 45
    G. Syme

    Yes, but that doesn’t make it sexist. No one here is denying that these posters are both creepy and dickish, but that does not make them (and thus all men, the implication goes) sexist pigs.Speaking from personal experience, but also that of those around me, men get very sensitive when they’re called sexist. Honestly, discussions like this just make me despair because it feels as though I can do no right – regardless of my personal actions and active feminism. So male posters being called sexist are going to react quite strongly – indeed, overreact – to such accusations.

  46. 46
    chicagodyke

    i’ve got a pretty thick skin, but i don’t deny her point. i’ve had some really nasty blow outs with men on the internet. sexism on the internet is a feature not a bug, and tied up with the patriarchal discourse foisted upon all of us. it’s damn hard for a woman in the internets, and some communities are so violently sexist it’s a wonder women go there at all. people are trained to shout and gang up and use violent rhetoric towards outsiders or those with a dissenting opinion in most commenting environments. liberal blogs are obviously much better about it, but even there sometimes the casual sexism is all too common. the use of nonrational, emotive ‘argument’ is something a great deal of commenters on the internet have been condition to, and that is obvious in moments like this. politically, it has the benefit of redirecting justified anger towards the undeserving instead of the powerful and corrupt.

  47. 47
    Demitri Morgan

    I wish it weren’t that way, though I can’t say I’ve ever paid attention to that kind of drama.Saying sexual things to a woman uninvited is very rude, beyond just sexist. Doing so on the internet makes no difference – though it does lend further credence to John Gabriel’s Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory.

  48. 48
    Mlbrowne

    “Yes, but that doesn’t make it sexist. “Actually, it does. If you think that a woman’s right to have her boundaries respected isn’t as important as having her shut up about about it so a man can feel good about making sexual comments to her, that’s sexist. If a man makes a sexual comment to a woman, she asks him not to, and he starts ranting about how dare she be so rude and ungrateful, and then a bunch of men start agreeing with him, and someone writes a comic about it…And your response is not “wow, that must been tough for her to deal with” but “but that makes men look bad, so you should think twice about posting it” – that’s sexist.If he had said

  49. 49
    Aardvark Cheeselog

    Maybe the cartoonist should consider the possibility that, by publicly doing something creative and demanding, she demonstrates (exhibits? flaunts?) fitness in a way that some males find so unbearably attractive that they act like assholes?Or is this just a tired retread of some blame-the-victim trope?

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