Drama comes to the internet: the latest kerfuffle over gender politics hits webcomics
I intentionally try to steer this site away from what can be defined as “politics.” Partly because the first misstep of discussing politics is assuming readers are of the same opinion as you, and typically as an opinion review-writing individual I tend to resent anything that pegs labels. However, I am sorta caught at a dilemma when such “politics” cross into the realm of webcomics and I’m somewhat obliged to talk about it, eventhough most of the time it’s nothing more than internet drama.
So the latest such kerfuffle happened last week when Kate Beaton mentioned, in my opinion using a quite reasonable tone, that she was a little creeped out when guys complimented her with a “Marry me.” As a guy working in a field where women are definitely in the minority, my female colleagues do relate a lot of stories where they’re upset how their gender tends to trump quantifiable achievements. And, let’s face it, comics culture, despite inroads by manga and webcomics, are still a bit of a boy’s club.
This set off a discussion about feminism on the internet. It … pretty much went how you’d expect a “discussion about feminism on the internet” would go. Which then leads us to the latest response, where cartoonists sympathetic with Ms. Beaton’s position start drawing webcomics featuring male genitalia (NSFW). At this point, you suddenly realize: it’s politics as usual. You start with someone trying to tell folks that she’s uncomfortable with people saying “Marry me,” and you end up with drawings of penises.
Which is not unlike the mid-term elections, when you think about it.
Don’t forget to vote on Election Day!
(h/t to reader Dane Thulin and Robot 6)