Dave Sim's blogandmail #322 (July 30th, 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.
Okay, looking at "See the Elephant," the lead story in ELEPHANTMEN #001 from the women's point of view (and I wasn't going to talk about this until Craig faxed me the transcript of the Rush Limbaugh radio show about the law they're trying to pass in Virginia about reporting things like fathers and their little girls holding hands "IT DOESN'T FEEL RIGHT WHEN I SEE THEM TOGETHER.")
I REALLY think that guys have been low-balling the impact that unrestricted pornography on the Internet has had on the female world. Not in their female relationship with explicit pornography. I think they satisfy their own curiosity pretty quickly and move on. Pornography is cold and impersonal in female frames of reference and a little of it goes a long way. They sure don't like to examine what it means for theirs (and your) relationship but I think I'm safe in saying that they are better-informed about it than you think. Unless you keep your computer in a locked room, they probably know all of your access codes and all of your hiding places and the websites that you visit on a regular basis. On a percentage basis, I would guess that probably 97% of Significant Others are very informed on the subject but probably only about 20% are very informed because it was your idea. You didn't tell her. She found out. Most women consider it a big part of the wife/girlfriend job description. Unless you keep it under lock and key, she's seen it and she's been mulling it over, whatever it is. There is nowhere that you could hide anything of yours that she couldn't find it.
And I would suspect that the problem is a LOT WORSE than they suspected or even dreamed or hallucinated in their wildest nightmares. That is, you guys are looking at a LOT more porno than they ever imagined that you looked at. And you are looking at a lot WORSE porno than they ever imagined that you looked at. Particularly in the collective sense which they know a lot more about than you do. Face it: you have zero interest in what Women In General Are Like. It's all you can do to keep up with one of them. That's not the way it is with them. And I would suspect in the last fifteen years or so, most of them could be described as seeing:
This Is What Men Are Like. Generally. My Boyfriend Is Not Altogether Different from Men Generally. I Think I Want to Cut My Wrists Now, Please.
Slight exaggeration. To the degree that they can be philosophical about, say, bondage photos if that's what you've been downloading (and the only thing that might be saving you is that ALL of their girlfriends' husbands and boyfriends are downloading bondage photos as well and they've all made a kind of uneasy peace with it and are just trying to "be there" for the one who found out her boyfriend has been downloading photos of women having sex with dogs) they really do draw the line at child pornography or anything that seems even remotely like child pornography. And I suspect that that problem is a LOT worse than they ever imagined it was. When these child pornography rings are getting busted and it's hundreds and hundreds of men, all of whom just seem like regular guys next door. Well. I mean, what's the surprise at the female reaction? I suspect that they thought (as I thought) that child pornography and pedophiles were like that guy in Germany who was into cannibalism. He wanted someone to kill him and eat him. And he found someone on the Internet who was willing and eager to kill him and eat him. And they got together and the guy killed him and ate him.
It would astonish me to find out that there are, say 18 people on the entire planet at this moment who are like that. Actually, I LIKE to think that those were the only two guys who were serious enough about that depravity to actually go through with it and now that one of them ate the other, there's no problem. I'll never know. I stay as far from the Internet as I can. The only time I find out about this stuff is when I read it in the papers. I've said elsewhere that I can't imagine allowing a portal into my home that could access things like that. But I would have said the same thing about the number of guys who are interested in, say, penetrating a three-year-old anally and who do so. And who take pictures of it. And then swap the pictures with other interested parties. I mean, to me, that just suggests a level of implicit sadism that I can't even begin to get my head around it. Even basic questions like: how could you possibly maintain an erection while causing such an extreme form of physical pain to a child? So unless they're making up these newspaper stories, the statistics are proving to be well outside of the category of 18 people on the planet and that means that "cold and impersonal" has a scale of values that are quantum levels above what women could have imagined in their wildest nightmares and well outside of the isolated and the anecdotal. There is a hitherto unguessed at percentage of the population for whom their innermost sexual psychology only starts at "cold and impersonal" and then goes right off the scale when it comes to sadistic desires.
And I don't think women know what to do about this and I think the campaign in Virginia is someone doing her level best to try to figure out HOW do you do something about this? And it's really taking advantage of what women know to be their best artillery. Their emotions. The "bad feeling" that they get even when their conscious mind and visual evidence isn't telling them that something is "out of line". I can't honestly say one way or the other if it's actually going to work because the boundaries of those "bad feelings" are pretty mysterious and are kept pretty mysterious by women themselves. They do tend to pool their information (what else is gossip?) so I would imagine that as they became aware of how serious the problem was, they got a little more serious about "grilling" the women who were in proximity to these atrocities. And I suspect that was the best that they could come up with. No, there was nothing they could put their finger on, specifically, but they had a common emotion-level reaction they described as "IT DOESN'T FEEL RIGHT WHEN I SEE THEM TOGETHER." And they tried that quote out on other women in proximity to these atrocities and they agreed, yes, that's what it was like. Of course, that only hints furtively at: how can you be in proximity to this and not know? This is what your boyfriend/husband/fiancée is up to and you are just completely clueless about it? Lunatic extremes of sadism coupled with complete normalcy in all other regards…well, I can understand just not being able to believe that. But if it's a matter of "looking the other way" what does that say about the girlfriend/wife/fiancée involved?
Now, the problem is, to just let them institute something like this `IT DOESN'T FEEL RIGHT WHEN I SEE THEM TOGETHER" as the basis for, say, throwing guys in jail, you have to have every confidence that they aren't going to mistake something else for something else. I remember a young mother of my acquaintance who had the devil's own time with her daughter when her daughter was two, every day was like the Battle of Bull Run from morning to night. Until Daddy came home. And then everything was wonderful. The kid was good as gold. And boy did THAT honk Mommy off. And, of course Mommy was something of a nightmare herself as far as Daddy (and everyone who knew Mommy) was concerned. And that's when I developed my theory that God tends to give women daughters very much like themselves so they can find out what it's like: what it is that they've been putting everyone through since they were that age.
Would Mommy have said about her daughter and Daddy's relationship: "IT DOESN'T FEEL RIGHT WHEN I SEE THEM TOGETHER"? I have no idea. It's very possible that women are reading that and going "Oh, no. Completely different thing." Well, again, you have to have every confidence that beings who spent years selling us on PMS are able to neatly subdivide all of these "Feel Right" and "Feel Wrong" things and get them 95% right every time out of the gate and not have anything interfering like basic jealousy or the bad feeling they get when they aren't able to control everyone in their vicinity and when they sometime aren't the center of everyone's orbit.
I've certainly seen fathers touching their daughters in ways that I would deem inappropriate. Do I say anything? Well, no. Who would believe Dave Sim when it came to recognizing what was or wasn't inappropriate? There's a picture of JFK sitting in his chair on the Presidential yacht with his hand resting on Caroline's ass who was like, 5 at the time. I've never had a five-year-old daughter so maybe casually sitting there with your hand resting on her ass is the most natural thing in the world. How would I know? I had a convention organizer's two daughters (who were like 2 and 3 at the time) show me a nude picture of themselves. How am I supposed to react? And they went in the other room and took their clothes off and started running around. And I'm sitting there making light-hearted conversation with Mommy and Daddy. Then the one flopped down on the couch next to Daddy and started masturbating.
I'm a divorced man who never had kids but I know Dr. Spock when I see it. Don't treat nudity as anything alarming or you'll scar the poor dears for life. Well, okay, but I really think I need to be getting back to my hotel. NOW. Because this is just TOO HONKING WEIRD FOR ME. But, of course, I just pretended I was tired.
Okay, you tell me. What was I SUPPOSED to do?
"Everything's fine, everything's normal, everything's completely healthy. Just let children do what they want to do when they want to do it and just treat everything as completely normal. Don't let anything bother you. Don't act alarmed because you'll cause them a trauma. Just be as one with the Universe and believe that all is unfolding as it should." Well, okay, Mother Nature, I get the idea. But I don't really see how you can have those as complete carved-in-stone hard and fast rules and then suddenly late in the day start trafficking in "It doesn't feel right when I see them together." Personally, I think the latter is probably a much better idea but I also think it violates a core tenet of feminism which is: Everything Is Okay. You Have Only Two Choices: Be Supportive or Shut Up.
Okay, finally done with ELEPHANTMEN #001. Having voiced all my qualms that I have with it – again, I'm not calling any censors I just thought I should discuss what it is that I think they're doing here without pulling any punches – I have to give them MAJOR BROWNIE points for printing the following on the inside front cover:
"A hopeful society has institutions of science and medicine that do not cut ethical corners and that recognize the matchless value of every life. Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research: human cloning in all its forms; creating or implanting embryos for experiments; creating human-animal hybrids; and buying, selling or patenting human embryos. Human life is a gift from our Creator and that gift should never be discarded, devalued or put up for sale."
George W. Bush, STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS 2006
Some Hon. Members: Hear, hear.
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