Dave Sim's blogandmail #379 (September 25th, 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.
Letter from Tim J of Raleigh, NC one of those infrequent Neil Gaiman request letters (Jeez, I hope I sent him one. That was two months ago. I'll send him another one just to be sure)
"Hi, Dave, I just had to pick up the gauntlet and write you a letter to receive a signed book…Why? Because I remember hearing you speak at Comics `Nuff Said in Charlotte, NC in the 1983 – 1985 time frame. I was 18 or 19 and while I was away at university, my two younger brothers gave away much of my comic collection to my even younger cousins and the collection was essentially lost."
"I was visiting the Comics `Nuff Said store deciding if it was worth getting that involved with reading and having comic books. As one would have it, this was the time of SECRET WARS…'nuff said. The owner of the store put me on to your comic and invited me to come back and meet you. (Oh, she was a fetching creature, flaxed blond, athletic, entrepreneurial, knew comics lore…)."
Yes, that was Norma of Biff and Norma, the husband and wife team. As I recall the "fetching creature" thing happened pretty much overnight between one signing and the next. She used to be sort of dumpy with thick glasses.
There are three shots of "after" Norma at the Aardvarks Over San Diego party on the back cover of issue (88? Nope. Just went downstairs and checked. 89. I was close) with Tony Basillicato and the Cerebus Muppet he made. Tony was very funny that night. He basically had the Muppet hitting on Norma for a good half hour or so. The shot at the bottom, at the Muppet's behest, she's helping him out of his Pope robes so he can get comfy. It's amazing what you can get away with when you have your hands inside a Muppet.
"Nevertheless, I bought the comic and came back, met you, propositioned her. I have read and kept those three CEREBUS books, THE KILLING JOKE and DAZZLER for these past twenty years. As I attempted to rebuild my collection, I got married (not to comic girl), moved to Italy, had children…comics never made it back into the rotation. Now is the time to reacquaint myself with a comic I found really interesting. YOURS. With the advent of the Internet, one of the first things I looked for was info about CEREBUS. And it was not there! I thought I had "stumped" the Internet in 1998. Today, when I got to work, I thought I would Google CEREBUS. My former failures were due to me misspelling the name. Imagine that…? Dave, I am really enjoying writing this letter. I have often pined over the demise of letter writing. Anyway, I "got" your comics twenty years ago, but as I read how the Internet expanded your "work" I realized that I missed something that I really would have enjoyed. So send me a comic. I'll read it. I will also stay up on your other "work" as they intrigue me.
"What I have: 67 OCT, "Day of Greatness, Age of Consent", 68 NOV "Another Thing Coming" 71 FEB "Hovering Below the Fray" (that is a funny title. I am fond of saying the opposite), #72. I do not have issue 67 anymore. My kids got that one."
"P.S. Two days ago my 12 year old daughter asked me about the CEREBUS comics on my bookshelf. In the plastic with the other four comics I own. They share the one plastic protector I have. It was difficult explaining CEREBUS to her. I had not got to know him/her in just three books. I reverted to classic comic geek.
"P.S. I kept the comics that made up my re-start collection @ 100 titles – all Marvel. A month ago, I stapled, taped and glued them to the wall of my garage. Very colourful.
"P.S. Leaving for work this morning there was single postage stamp on the floor. It has been there all weekend. I picked it up. I was thinking it could be used for something special. So I mailed this letter with it. Man…! This was a great exercise. Thanks for the challenge to write it."
Actually, I really just wanted to run your letter to get that weird magnified "intake of breath" sound when everyone gets to the part about you stapling, taping and gluing 100 Marvel comics to the wall of your garage. I think that's got to be worth a CEREBUS grab bag – a comic for you and one for your daughter. For your daughter, CEREBUS ZERO, for you a copy of issue 89 with Norma on the back. It'll make you feel like you're 19 again.
Okay, speaking of CEREBUS' presence on the Internet, we now have three (count `em, three) letters from Margaret L, better known as cerebusfangirl. We just did a joint interview last Saturday (September 1) on JAKA'S STORY for the Comic Book Geek Speak podcast (Big Blog & Mail hello to podcast hosts Bryan and Peter and Jamie!). Here she's commenting on my comments on the June 21 Blog & Mail (issue 283 for those of you keeping score at home and who are keeping their Blog & Mails in plastic bags with backing boards). When David W. Johnson took offence at my being labelled a "noted anti-feminist" in my Wikipedia listing – adding "even Margaret agreed" – I wrote to him:
Well you know, David, that gets into very awkward areas because I AM an anti-feminist: an unapologetic anti-feminist.
Margaret offers this clarification:
True. But I disagreed with the "noted" part, not the anti-feminist part. Because in the context "noted" appeared to be "well-known by the public". You are indeed very well known within the comics industry, but to the, as the Cerebus Yahoo!Group likes to say, "mainstream media" you're no Larry Summers, i.e. someone in the media eye for his beliefs.
Well, that gets into awkward (but interesting!) areas of what qualifies you as being a "noted" anti-feminist. If that's the primary reason that you're known in a given field – and I think it's safe to say that that is the primary reason that I'm known in the comic-book field – then what does that say about feminist emphasis (and does the phrase "lack of a sense of proportion" leap to mind)? Is the fact that I'm not a feminist REALLY the most important thing about me, compared to my having written and co-drawn a 6,000 page graphic novel? It also gets into interesting (but funny!) areas of: isn't the fact that feminists have to go all the way down to the bottom end (the independent end) of the least well-thought of medium of communication, comic books to find a "noted" anti-feminist kind of indicative of the Leninist/Stalinist society that we're living in (i.e. absolute totalitarian control everywhere else by feminist thought police)? I just read a Stalinist era riddle in the National Post the other day. "Comrade, how do you capture a lion?" "Answer, capture a rabbit and abuse him physically until he admits to being a lion."
Tomorrow: More feminist fun with Maggs!
COMING SOON! DAVE SIM IN DIALOGUE WITH GARY GROTH – A BLOG & MAIL SPECIAL!
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
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Or ask your local retailer to order them for you through Diamond Comics distributors.