Dave Sim's blogandmail #358 (September 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.
Dave Sim on Scott Berwanger on feminism:
Sandeep said an interesting thing a while back, having spent a lot of time with his family at his sister's wedding: that his whole generation is mostly divorced or single, many of them on their second marriages while the older generation is all still married to the same people they were married to years ago. It's a universal condition, I think. He also noticed that the wives of his generation pretty much mouth off to their husbands whenever they want and that that's pretty much unheard of in the older generation. "You didn't mention that, did you?" I asked. "Are you kidding," he said. "And get blamed for ruining my sister's wedding?"
I think that establishes it pretty neatly. If you just said the self-evident truth, you would ruin your sister's wedding. If your society is structured in such a way that speaking the truth would ruin a wedding, then I think your society has taken a wrong turn.
I also had to smile at Scott's "And no, I'm not a homosexual." This seems to point toward a core self-evident truth, as well. A lot of guys begin dating and get married to prove to friends and family that they aren't gay. Which is awfully convenient from the standpoint of marriage-hungry women, if you think of it. Play on heterosexual men's natural homophobia by making non-marriage evidence of homosexuality. I think it's another example of where that was a minor but universal chord in the reality of civilization you tended to have marriage as a universal condition. Everyone got married. Those who didn't were suspect. It would never occur to the average guy that he was getting married to prove he wasn't gay (even though that may have been one of the universal reasons that a lot of guys got married). Bringing that out into the open – like the malignant feminists who, after issue 186, started asking pointed questions about the relationship between Gerhard and myself so as to avoid actually discussing the flimsy foundations of feminism – I think marriage-hungry women thought would just magnify the effect. With homosexuality now an open society reality, heterosexual men would be stampeding to the altar to prove their heterosexuality. But, of course, with that came the revelation that many ostensibly happily married men are actually closeted gays. And there the marriage-hungry women out-foxed themselves. Why get married to prove you aren't gay when that no longer proves that you aren't gay? And of course now that gay marriage is legal in Canada, they're further hoist to their petard in that marriage itself is now looking more like a female/gay institution than anything that a heterosexual guy would be interested in.
Once that onion starts to unpeel, it doesn't stop. As we can see from Scott's explanation of his choice not to marry, more guys are beginning to understand that the institution itself is structurally unsound. If you're a woman and you get married and it doesn't work out, you walk away with the kids, the house, half the guy's money and half of his future income. If you're a guy and you get married and it doesn't work out, you lose your wife, your kids, your house, half of your material possessions and half of your future income.
That seems like an awful risk to take just to go through with a ceremony that isn't even going to prove to anyone that you aren't gay. It's hard to see what the upside is. If your answer is "getting laid regularly" you really need to have a long honest talk with some husbands that you know.
Got a phone call from Jeet Heer asking if I'd be on a panel with him and Ron Holmes, the late Rand Holmes' brother at TCAF on Saturday. I'd actually like to. I still have my copy of the tabloid sized COLLECTED ADVENTURES OF HAROLD HEDD that came out way back in the 70's. Holmes was really Canada's pre-eminent underground cartoonist, doing the strip for The Georgia Straight, Vancouver's original underground newspaper for a number of years. You remember my theory that Rich Corben's wizardry with the airbrush was what scared just about every other comic artist away from even trying the airbrush? I think Rand Holmes had a lot the same effect on most would-be Canadian underground cartoonists because he had such an accomplished drawing and inking style. He was crazy about Wally Wood's finish and worked obviously very, very hard to develop a comparable finish and then applied it to his underground comix work. One of the very few guys to do so. Robert Crumb and Spain and the other original underground guys all acknowledged a debt to Kurtzman's original MAD comics but all of them made the not un-sensible choice to adopt a cartooning style closer to Kurtzman rather than to Wood because it was a lot easier to do. Just keeping your brushes sharp enough and your hand steady enough to "feather" all of the hair and folds in clothing properly would be enough to make the average cartoonist swear off of the attempt after a panel or two. Obviously Rand Holmes didn't do that and all of us who saw his work back in the early 70's tended to think, "Well, okay, the Absolute Top has been reached in Canadian underground comix by this guy, so what am I going to do for a career?"
Then Jeet brought up my suggestion from a while back here in the Blog & Mail that if he was interested in assembling a book of my collected writings on comic books, I'd be happy to look at it, possibly annotate it and possibly publish it. I really thought he'd rather work on projects at his own end of the comic-book spectrum (Harold Gray with Jeet's LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE book and Frank King with his GASOLINE ALLEY books for Drawn and Quarterly). Well, it turns out he's interested in putting such a book together but right now, like most of us, his plate is full. So I asked him what sort of a time frame we were looking at and he figured it would be another year and a half before he would be caught up on everything he's committed to and could even start on it. I suspect that will work well with my present program of completing a series of Secret Projects until I find one that I think would be appropriate to today's comic book stores with their almost exclusive emphasis on Marvel and DC super-heroes. We'll see how it goes.
Anyway, back to Scott Berwanger and a rather extensive summing up of his personal and professional philosophies from June of this year while he was working on issue 40 of ANUBIS.
Here's a bit I put together after sending my last note. I had intended to use it as supplementary material for the ANUBIS mini-periodical, but in the end decided not to use it. Thought it could serve a purpose of some kind, so I'm resending my thoughts
From my Notes 6-11-07
The following notes are a reworking of a series of three letters [dated June 8, June 9, June 10 and included here in the Cerebus Archive 15 Aug 07] sent to Mr. Dave Sim of Aardvark-Vanaheim, Inc., penned over the course of the previous week. As I saw there were flaws in my original manuscript, I have decided to make them more accurate by way of a quick edit, while at the same time addressing them to a more general audience.
What it all boiled down to for me, over the course of the several evenings of writing letters, was a recitation of my sense of purpose as an artist, from the broadest viewpoint possible. That is, at this stage in the game. Which I can say, with a degree of confidence, is relatively advanced.
It is also a mission statement, as it relates to the rather taught relationship between ANUBIS proper – that is, the graphic novel – and my interests in painting. Actually, it's all fusing together quite nicely, and I am more or less satisfied with the progress.
I'd like to start from the perspective of what it is to make the Anubis paintings and how they figure into the spectrum of what we may now laughingly refer to as the art world…
Tomorrow: Beginning at the beginning
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