Thursday, March 3, 2011

This is what a feminist looks like: Gabby Schultz

This is the last post of the day, promise.  I'm going on a trip to Michigan for a wedding, and I'm pretty sure I won't have time for thoughtful posts.

Yesterday I received a tube in the mail, filled with a color print of one of the best comics ever: How every single discussion of sexism and woman-type stuff on the internet (and real life) has ever happened and ever will happen, always, forever, until the earth finally falls into the sun. (Or until the patriarchy is dismantled).  Gabby Schultz is a man, and I think statements like this from men are very, very important.  This is not to say that the many pieces and speeches made by women about internet misogyny are not important.  They are, and I'm glad every time I hear one because I can say, "See! This happens! And it is totally shitty!" But since the shit is almost always coming from men/boys, to hear one of them put his put down is great.  Feminism is not a fight we can fight without men.  We need the men to come along with us.  If it wasn't possible for men to be feminist, we'd be fucked.  Herland sounded great, but men are people, and I like people, and we need them.

Here is the comic, which you should read:

If you are a lady on the internet who has ever said anything on the internet and other people could tell you were a lady, you have experienced this. Or you've witnessed it happening to other ladies. It has happened so bad to other women that some of them had to leave the internet, because they were threatened with physical violence.

The origin of this comic is a simple, true comment made by comic artist Kate Beaton (creator of Hark! A Vagrant!), after several "compliments" from readers saying they wanted to marry her and have her babies (or, her to have their babies as it were). She responded by saying (in brief) that those aren't compliments and do more harm than good. Compliment the talent, not the gender/looks of a person. You can read a great synopsis of the blow-up that ensued here and here.

I love Kate Beaton's work, and I'd already read Schultz's memoir/educational book about herpes, Monsters.  I love it when two creators I like converge, but this was an unfortunate way to.

After the comic got 666 comments (seriously, before he had to just shut it down) he decided to make some prints, one of which I was delighted to purchase so people may gaze upon it and go, "Huh, I guess that's right".  And when I opened the tube, there was also this:

Signed drawing by Gabby Schultz, just for me!!!!
When men speak up about sexism, they are not losing anything that they shouldn't already have, but giving others what they should.  If by being kind and respectful to women makes you lose something, then it was not something you probably want to keep.

To end, I will leave you with a Kate Beaton comic, that is pertinent to history (of course), computers and reminds me that International Women's Day is coming up on March 8th.
Kate Beaton's 'Young Ada Lovelace'.


  1. This is very interesting. Especially the bit about patriarchy. Women everywhere face the same crap.

    On an unrelated note, when you add links to your posts, could you make them open up in a new window? I'm not sure that Blogger offers a way to do it (Wordpress does) but it's very small addition to the HTML code if you'd like to know.

  2. Yeah, I know how to do that, but I am not a fan of things opening in new windows. You could try apple+click or control+click on the links to make them open in new tabs.


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