Friday, August 15, 2008

Grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change

My ass should be lying down, but I came online to check email for something, ended up looking through my feeds and saw two things that just had to be written about.

The first is about Comic-Con and how apparently there's no set Con policies on what to do or where to go to report harassment and or abuse. In fact there's no set policies against harassment or abuse.

"Don't point your replicated weapon at someone!"

But there's nothing there about not pointing your dick (or a facsimile) at a woman, not grabbing her ass, not encroaching on her personal space to kiss, hug and photograph her and there's nothing there to report some crazy ass fool who takes it upon himself to shout at and try to verbally degrade female artists.

All of this has left me thinking if I ever went to a Con, I'd get arrested. Cause some jackass fool would reach to touch my hair and I would commit grievous assault with my cane. I mention hair, cause I'm black and I have dreads and my roots are curly and some fool is going to be curious. And without clear guidelines and with seeing women's asses being groped and women being cornered without anyone official saying ANYTHING, or there having been a mention in some opening speech, or in the Con booklet - they're gonna think ""I was just paying her a compliment." and not understand why their gonads are whacked up into their body cavity and why my good foot kept kicking their ass - "Why is the black woman, who thus being black and a woman is worth less than a 'regular' woman so angry?! Why are my nuts gone?!"

Speaking of men without balls. There's this fool I've mentioned before. Some of you may remember when I wrote that.

Well Tom Brazelton has spoken - again. He's crying a river of tears and it's so full of bullshit the stench could kill Godzookie.

Basically, I decided that when it comes to matters of race, gender, disabilities or any other sensitive subject, I'm simply not intelligent enough to create comics that tackle the issues in a constructive way...

I don't consider myself to be racist, sexist or discriminatory in any way. I don't harbor ANY ill will toward anyone because of superficial differences.

However, I will admit to being ignorant and not often understanding the complicated facets of a given issue. As a white guy in my 30's, I'm not often forced to approach things any differently. I try to remain open to different points of view. But in my attempts to learn and eliminate my ignorance, I believe intent and context are shoved to side and what's left is an irresponsible cartoonist left to explain himself to angry readers.

You have to understand the kind of guy I am. I'm not the kind of guy who seeks to offend anyone...

To sum up?

Tom Brazelton Paraphrase 1:This sensitivity shit is hard! So instead of waiting for a bunch of angry _ insert minority here_ to come raining all over my parade. I'm raining on it myself. Cause you see, even though I'm aware I don't understand things, I"m not bothering to do the work to educate myself. It's MUCH MUCH easier to just say...

I don't feel like I'm kowtowing to the vocal minority by editing myself in this way. Truthfully, the reaction of these critics played only a very small role in my decision...I know some of you will read this blog and think to yourself "What's wrong with those comics? I thought they were funny!" If so, thank you. Sorry for wasting your time with this entry...So, moving forward, I think it's best for me to stick to what I know and resist the temptation to make an easy joke that might end up offending someone unintentionally.

Tom Brazelton Paraphrase 2:... Really the PC police and roaming hoards of rabid minority activists didn't scare me into this. It's just even though I have no idea why I keep putting my foot in it- I don't want to be shouted at anymore or make anyone mad at me. Also I don't want to...

... end up offending someone unintentionally.

Tom Brazelton Paraphase 2- I'm just going to avoid going anywhere near anything controversial or that might upset anyone at all. I am repressing myself.

Don't believe that's what he's saying?

I leave you with one last quote. Do note the emphasis is mine.

I feel sorry for anyone who might be legitimately offended by certain aspects of the film...

Because even if he's not making jokes, he's still sure that someone, somewhere who isn't a white, able bodied, able minded, cisgendered male, is oversensitive about something unlike the group over there who has a legitamate complaint.

I'd say heaven help us and preserve us all from fools like this - but then no one else anywhere would be getting any other kind of miracles.


  1. While SDCC doens't have anything in place in their rules/procedures, other cons might. At least one response I've had to crossposting Bully's essay already mentions A-Kon (one of the larger anime themed cons) does. Both in regards to personal contact and in taking pictures without permission...

  2. I hate you for making me look--


  3. I wasn't aware that he was appointed as the ultimate arbiter of who can and can't be offended by things >:O

    I hate it when ppl think that the worst thing about racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, ablism, classism, etc is that the poor privileged ppl might feel BAD or be made UNCOMFORTABLE and they just MEAN WELL and OMG can't you see that they're the REAL VICTIMS here!? What he said reminds me of that person I was fighting with who said that the "slippery slope" of accepting transppl was that in the future a cisperson might refer to a person who looked male by male pronouns and be corrected that she in fact identified as a woman, and how horrible that would be! Yes, cuz THAT'S the real danger here re: trans issues, the poor cisppl and how embaressed they might be! >:O

    Just like Tom and how he thinks PoC being mad at him is just the WORST THING thing evar, and what him learn things? NO! He'll just shut up and be oppressed now, see what bad ppl we are now? e_e

    Also the comicon stuff is the reason I dun go to comicons alone. :\ I've faced harrassment and stuff even when I'm with ppl and I would not feel safe going alone :( I'm tired of the entitled jerks who see comicon as their privileged little safe space and whoever is different there exists for their amusement and must be part of the "playground" that exists just for them >:| I'm tired of the attitude also that b/c it's generally a male dominated environment, any woman who walks in exists for them esp if she's wearing something that catches their attn (like my angel wings) clearly she's wearing it for THEM, and well they're just wild uncontrollable animals not responsible for their actions, it's our fault if we provoke them by existing >:| And well they're only paying us a compliment or something right? >:|


    It's sad that the cons prolly have a policy against you smacking asshats if they dared to touch you like that, but not against their actions >:\

  4. Ami:

    Personally I love (not!) how his confession about being clueless about issues of race, ablism etc are as important as his hard drive replacement fund.

    That's just something indescribably special.

    And yes - I have a feeling such cons would be biased against me whacking a fool too. It's why I figured I'd get arressted.

  5. Lurker:

    While it's heartening to hear some places do have a policy in place. I'm not in the right mental space to appreciate it right now.

    I'm still in the place of being wholly outraged that there are cons where people think common rules of respect just don't apply anymore. It's meshing into the Open Boob Project and all sorts of other shit - including a few years back some jackwipe who went gropey hands molester on a female artist - for which the Friends of Lulu got all up in arms.

    It's brick after brick after brick of a prison that says "WOMEN AREN'T PEOPLE". And as a black woman I'm overly aware of how much less I'd be counted among such idiots.

    Suddenly I'm feeling a lot of sympathy for bovines; random idiots holding on and groping, being herded so something can stick itself in you, being shuffled along and made to be quiet and chew your cud and then when they're done with you, you end up with your throat slit somewhere.

  6. "OMG can't you see that they're the REAL VICTIMS here!?"

    That sums up the whole argument in a single sentence.

  7. That item you linked to about incidents at cons chilled me. If I get on a bus, one of the first things I see on sitting down is a sign saying that the driver has a right not to be harrassed. If I go to any medical establishment, I see a sign saying that the staff and other patients should not be harrassed.

    Having a policy against harrassment is a sensible, logical modern means of protecting everyone involved... sadly I suspect that we will only start to see harrassment policies AND the system to back them up when some con organising committee somewhere finally thinks, "Shit, what if we get sued if a woman is raped on our premises?" A matter of insurance rather than the personal security of participants.

    Tom Brazleton: what I find most striking is that bit where he says it's not about "kowtowing to vocal minorities". Always that use of the word "minorities" combined with "vocal" to imply that it doesn't really matter. That makes rather a hash of his deliberately telegraphed implication that he's just trying to be a good guy and not offend anybody.

  8. Um...What a special snowflake! I guess I need add a bit to the next part of my post, about why "kowtowing" is not a good word to use - BUT ESPECIALLY if you're trying to make the defensive claim that you're really REALLY sensitive and caring about people from other groups!!!

  9. Having a policy against harrassment is a sensible, logical modern means of protecting everyone involved... sadly I suspect that we will only start to see harrassment policies AND the system to back them up when some con organising committee somewhere finally thinks, "Shit, what if we get sued if a woman is raped on our premises?" A matter of insurance rather than the personal security of participants.

    Angeline, apparently lots of cons *do* have harassment policies. (Reading some of the horror stories about fans with poor boundary issues going way back when, explains why - Leonard Nimoy has some scary stories about fangirl stalking/property stealing, frex.)

    Everyone who's been involved in con planning is kind of surprised that SDCC doesn't by now given that they are so large and old.

    (FWIW I'm not sure if we had one at our little local con with only a few hundred people, but the organizers might well have. It was however an extremely well-behaved and diverse (age, sex, ethnicity) crowd - the only seriously out-of-line behavior I saw was the obnoxious undisciplined 8-year-old brat of one of the Rebel Legion performers (so we were limited in what we could do to him, argh!) and older adults both male and female trying to argue that their admission ticket to the completely-unrelated crafts fair in the adjoining hall should get them into the Comic Con too. (I was an auxiliary volunteer checking hand stamps, this got old pretty fast.) I didn't see any unwanted touching (except for said kid grabbing other cosplayer's masks) or "paddling" or really, anything aggressive. But it *was* promoted very much as a Family Friendly event.)

  10. Bellatrys:

    You bring up a valid point. I didn't even notice the word he'd used. I was far too hung up on 'vocal minority' and 'editing myself'. But yes, the extra jab with kowtowing - wow...