Dave Sim's blogandmail #296 (July 4th, 2007)
Fifteen Impossible Things to Believe Before Breakfast That Make You a Good Feminist
1. A mother who works a full-time job and delegates to strangers the raising of her children eight hours a day, five days a week does just as good a job as a mother who hand-rears her children full time.
2. It makes great sense for the government to pay 10 to 15,000 dollars a year to fund a daycare space for a child so its mother - who pays perhaps 2,000 dollars in taxes - can be a contributing member of society.
3. A woman's doctor has more of a valid claim to participate in the decision to abort a fetus than does the father of that fetus.
4. So long as a woman makes a decision after consulting with her doctor, she is incapable of making an unethical choice.
5. A car with two steering wheels, two gas pedals and two brakes drives more efficiently than a car with one steering wheel, one gas pedal and one brake which is why marriage should always be an equal partnership.
6. It is absolutely necessary for women to be allowed to join or participate fully in any gathering place for men, just as it is absolutely necessary that there be women only environments from which men are excluded.
7. Because it involves taking jobs away from men and giving them to women, affirmative action makes for a fairer and more just society.
8. It is important to have lower physical standards for women firepersons and women policepersons so that, one day, half of all firepersons and policepersons will be women, thus more effectively protecting the safety of the public.
9. Affirmative action at colleges and universities needs to be maintained now that more women than men are being enrolled, in order to keep from giving men an unfair advantage academically.
10. Having ensured that there is no environment for men where women don't belong (see no.6) it is important to have zero tolerance of any expression or action which any woman might regard as sexist to ensure greater freedom for everyone.
11. Only in a society which maintains a level of 95% of alimony and child support being paid by men to women can men and women be considered as equals.
12. An airline stewardess who earned $20,000 a year at the time that she married a baseball player earning $6 million a year is entitled, in the event of a divorce, to $3 million for each year of the marriage and probably more.
13. A man's opinions on how to rear and/or raise a child are invalid because he is not the child's mother. However, his financial obligation is greater because no woman gets pregnant by herself.
14. Disagreeing with any of these statements makes you anti-woman and/or a misogynist.
15. Legislature Seats must be allocated to women and women must be allowed to bypass the democratic winnowing process in order to guarantee female representation and, thereby, make democracy fairer.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!
UPDATE 25 JUNE 0630 – Just this once I thought I would include the date and time of my "postings" so you could get a better idea of when I'm writing what (even though that impression is going to be overwhelmed by the actual "release date"). I finally decided to pull the plug on the Marvel negotiations even though Blake Bell had told me at the Joe Shuster Awards ceremony that Joe Quesada (no less) had posted something along the lines of "I Want Dave Sim" on his own Marvel blog – which, no doubt about it, was very flattering. VERY flattering.
Malcolm Bourne (hi, Malcolm!) had showed up at Torontocon at the opening whistle on Friday afternoon (and very helpfully assisted me in setting up my five comp tables) and was naturally curious about his commission which is next in the "on deck" circle after the completion of Matthew E.'s Cerebus and Cirin piece. Doing the mental math, the earliest I was going to get to it was early in July. And then Yoram M. came by to ask if we were still on for this July's commissioned piece as a companion to the original "Bonfire of the Super-Heroes" (see "commissions" at www.cerebusart.com) and I told him what Malcolm was offering and asked if he wanted to offer more to take over his spot and, no, he was more than happy to wait his turn. In both cases they were talking thousands of dollars for a single image. I finally had to face the fact that it didn't make sense to put them on hold so that I could do a Spider-Woman or Electra cover for Marvel for a few hundred dollars.
My contact at Marvel took this with very good grace and expressed great interest in seeing my secret project finally come out. Classy guy.
Speaking of which, I have two pages and two panels to go on it. Then I have to do the front and back covers and then redraw a few of the images that I don't think quite measure up to the rest of the project (and, I assume, then see the "next worst" images and fix them and so on – hopefully not to the point of having to redraw the whole thing).
Checking the "overnight cable traffic" (i.e. the fax machine) here at the Off-White House, 1 have a new communique from my Technical Director and Research Assistant in [name of U.S. state RETRO-DELETED at request of TD & RA – he thinks some of the local cartoonists are "on to him" and would like to avoid having to either lie or plead the fifth]. He's got 75% of the website completed (as initially conceived) and had a few requests, one of which was a short author's bio for the site. This in turn provoked a rather lengthy response from me, raising what I see as the biggest impediment to the secret project's success which is feminism in general and feminists in particular. I asked him to Google my name and check my Wikipedia listing and to REALLY READ IT and see what sort of person I am being made out to be. My point is that in 2007 you ARE your Google search and you ARE your Wikipedia listing and that it's futile to try to ignore that. I invited him to take the information found there and to adapt it into biographical form and that I would correct or amend it, but that Google Dave and Wikipedia Dave are, as far as I'm concerned 1) largely fictional feminist constructs and 2) considered 100% factual in a society overwhelmingly dominated by feminism and 3) I have no idea how to write either Google Dave or Wikipedia Dave.
One of the first suggestions that the TORONTO STAR editor (who has volunteered to be a media consultant of sorts) had was to "lead with the awards" which seemed to me to be a very astute way of attacking the problem (and which is a good reason to keep your ears wide open when consulting with a highly-placed mainstream media figure such as he). I kicked his suggestion up a notch by trying on the title of Canada's Most Decorated Graphic Novelist for size (two Kirby Awards, two Harvey Awards, an Eisner Award, a Diamond Gemmie as Small Press Pioneer, an Ignatz Award, a Joe Shuster Award, Joe Shuster Hall of Fame, The Comic Book Legal Defence Fund's Defender of Liberty Award – I notice that one isn't mentioned on my Wikipedia listing: maybe because feminists don't believe an anti-feminist could BE a Defender of Liberty? -- SPACE Lifetime Achievement and the San Diego Comicon's lnkpot Award). So, I hit him with that to balance off the genuine sense of defeatism I have in the face of feminism's ability to destroy anything that I attempt to do.
So, I have here his first draft of the bio along with his thinking behind the decision not to mention feminism:
"I think addressing the Dave Sim Google phenomenon head-on at [name of secret project website] is unwise. Here are a few reasons why:
1. It's going to prompt anyone who hasn't Googled your name to immediately do so, which will probably sway them away from ordering the book. I think it's more likely you'd have a new reader come across the site and order the book than come across the site, Google your name, then come back and order the book if they're still interested.
2. I'm generally assuming that anyone who comes to the site is there because they're interested in either what you're doing or they're interested in the [subject of secret project]. If anyone comes to [name of secret project website] with an axe to grind I don't see the point in catering any of the content of the site to them. From my perspective you're one of the most talented, innovative, dedicated, generous and interesting cartoonists the medium has ever seen. I find it ridiculous that (from what I see) more than half of what's written about you focuses on your views on women, and that the larger part of the material is grossly misinformed and hostile. I think a lot of addressing that nonsense is reducing oneself to a lowest common denominator type of thinking. I've certainly read more than my share of rebuttal to your thoughts on feminism, and I can count the amount of well-reasoned, intelligent arguments on one hand. The bulk of them don't deserve the dignity of a response. You might argue that I'd feel differently if it were my name being slandered, and perhaps you'd be right. You have to acknowledge, however, that in doing this work for you, people are going to make a lot of assumptions about me (assuming they spare a single thought on who I am or what I've done, which they probably won't) and I couldn't give a toss in the same way that many people who see that I'm an enormous fan and supporter of Howard Cruse's work are gonna assume I'm gay. Screw 'em.
3. Another consideration is that you're planning on pitching the book to the education industry, a profession which has an overwhelmingly large percentage of women. Had you the opportunity to sit down with each and every one of these potential buyers and explain to them that you're not a misogynist and you clearly outlined to them how and why you think these accusations arose and then outlined what your views of feminism and women in the workplace are, I think a large portion of them would walk away even more offended. And please don't misunderstand me, your take on feminism has had a strong impact on me personally and I think it's important to disseminate. Just not here. I'm trying to be pragmatic and I think, in this case, it's best to let sleeping dogs lie (as in sleep, not "tell an untruth").
4. Lastly and most importantly I see the [name of secret project website] as having the specific goal of promoting [secret project]. Your views on feminism as I see it have as much relevance to those goals as who you think the best Looney Tunes director was. To that effect, there's barely any mention of Cerebus on the site (currently only in the body of the Q & A you composed and the bio-links to Win-Mill and cerebusart.com). I can foresee a certain number of people out there are gonna draw correlations between [subject of secret project] and what they perceive as your hatred of women. If that turns out to be the case, I have no problem meeting any controversy head on. I just don't think it wise to instigate it."
25 JUNE 0725 EST - Okay, there it is. The end of Hour Number One of Blog Week. apologize to my Technical Director and Research Assistant for violating his confidential communique but word of the secret project has been leaking from unexpected quarters (Claude Flowers was the first to notify me of this – but then I would expect someone employed in US Army Intelligence to ferret out the True Gen faster than anyone else) and like its real world counterpart, here at the Off-White House we believe fighting fire with fire in matching news leak with news leak. The motivation is always access to inside information so it seems to me the best plan of attack is to start leaking selectively between now and the solicitation date which is tentatively set for September for a November release.
Tomorrow, something a little more light-hearted: my first published letter in the NATIONAL POST: what it looked like originally and what they turned it into. Then, my best assessment of the relative merits of the TD & RA's Five Points: Launch a Preemptive Strike Against Feminism to defend the secret project or Attempt to Ignore Feminism and try to sneak the secret project in under the feminist radar.
ON SALE NOW!
REPLIES POSTED ON THE CEREBUS YAHOO! GROUP
If you wish to contact Dave Sim, you can mail a letter (he does NOT receive emails) to:
Aardvark Vanaheim, Inc
P.O. Box 1674
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada N2G 4R2
Looking for a place to purchase Cerebus phonebooks? You can do so online through Win-Mill Productions -- producers of Following Cerebus. Convenient payment with PayPal:
Or, you can check out Mars Import:
Or ask your local retailer to order them for you through Diamond Comics distributors.