Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Department of Horrible Secrets - Sex, Comics and Gaming

I've long realized that there's a corollary to Murphy's Law - "If anything can go wrong, it will." Barr's Corollary is: "And it will happen to me."

But that's so I'll FIX it.

It's no secret I think men are goofball, and often dangerously so. But more and more women - and men - are beginning to know that, and account for it. The Red Green Show made 15 seasons off of that. And it was guys writing that. Let's call it insider knowledge. 

I've been over on Facebook making smartass comments about guys getting out of line - everything from our volunteer career military and their advertising catches to guys stoning another girl to death for having a Facebook account - and I'm unashamedly a Feminist, because I ain't giving up my vote, not any time soon, no matter how hard anybody tries.

Anyway, there's this little group of trolls that evidently gives professionals in the entertainment industry a hard time - or try, anyway. They can't really, because those of us who are the real thing don't know anybody who care about them. We only know the People Who Count, and that includes among our fans. They're not easily fooled.

So, a dumb thing happened online - I'm a small-d democrat and will talk to anybody, even bad interviewers -  and I was having fun looking silly, and drinking while I was at it, because I'm German and to us being inebriated is a sacred state, and that's as good excuse as any.

But then this particular group of trolls lost their minds over me being a Feminist. I think they got a little unnerved when I said every father of a daughter was a feminist, and not to cross those guys. 

Then, about 3/4 of the way through the interview - and I totally blew it off as stupid - they started fixating on boy rape. We're talking intently making up nasty scenarios about raping a boy with a champagne bottle. I tried to steer the conversation away from it, but they'd locked their brains onto it, and if I hadn't been forgivingly inebriated, I should have just hung up on 'em.

I've been trying to figure out why this particular troll puddle is bothering me. I'm no big celebrity. Yeah, yeah, worldwide, for years, more and new people discover my work and love it, no matter what detractors - and they are few - try to say about me. My work and works speak for themselves. My tree has good fruit. So why bother with me? 

I woke up realizing that this links into the way women and girls are treated in the comics industry. In every single society that despises and tries to lock up or control women or girls, the men are trying to get their hands on the boys. To use them, kill them, or have them available for sex. Look at all the patriarchal religions - if they're not backing the altar boys into the vestry, they're torturing baby penises to fixate the poor kids for the rest of their lives, or stoning any girl who has a Facebook account before heading back to their boy servants. 

Are the full-grown things raping the boys in the back of the comic shops? Doubtful. But traditional superhero and gaming fans are teaching boys to hate and fear women and girls. The attitude spreads into society, as comics and gaming grow. Boys become increasingly vulnerable, as do girls, and the trolls who see women and girls standing up against that abuse as threatening their access to the boys. Why else go so insane over the mere approach of a girl to a game? Power doesn't even explain it; it's a sexual threat. No wonder this small group has lost their shit over me.

The healthiest superhero company in comics is Prism Comics. They unabashedly admit the joy of men being sexual with one another. Gay comics authors produce images of happy, joyful sex, with no threats to anybody. They're not turning any kids who come to them into woman-haters. In fact, they wish more women would sign up for their booth full of happy people. And they admit what the superhero genre is about, after all - boys admiring full-grown, sexy men. Not pederasty, damnit - but the admission that, when they were kids, they loved those costumes and those muscles. 

In fact, I've seen lost children show up at the Prism booth at conventions, and wait until their adults get found. Kids feel safe at the Prism booth, because nobody's making anybody hate on anybody, or exclude them, for whatever reason.

No, I'm not sharing any names or projects of the abusers. Let them fade back into their own small group. Nobody who counts cares about what they do; we're too busy having fun. But parents might want to stop just dropping their kid off at the comic shop. You never know if they're going to a bad one.

I hope I've fixed that - and I'm using the word like it would scare a dog.

Originally posted later, under "Sifting Out The Stalkers"

Recently, I did a dumb-shit radio interview while I was drunk.

Now, in the entertainment world, we creatives can get drunk off our asses, and nobody hurts anybody else. Nobody gropes, or attempts to rape, or uses drunkenness as an excuse. Dark Horse once put on a party that could have been seen as a Creative Vision Quest, or a Really Stupid Idea, depending on the attendees. They rented a suite, and filled the hot tub full of ice and bottles of some pretty decent beer. Then they let the creatives loose on it.

All I remember is having a lovely time. Somebody says me and a fellow comics creative professional - a woman - were in one of those eye-locked brain-to-brain fests, talking about... well, godlets know what. Probably distributors or print shops, if I know us. But neither of us remember it. No, guys, drunk women don't start kissing like in your fantasy - they eye-lock and blather and laugh really hard.

And not another person there took advantage of us while we were high. Not man, woman, young or old. We were completely safe.

During the radio interview, I got side-swiped, by people who had obviously planned it. The first thing they did was to try to claim there were No Feminists in Comics. While I was still going, "WTF?" they turned it around to all of us going and getting a beer. I was all for that; you can distract me from anything by bringing up alcohol. After all, my fellow creatives won't do anything bad to me.

But halfway through - when I was nicely buzzed - I discovered that one of the people on the interview was a person who is known as an entertainment-industry stalker. 

I should have simply hung up in the middle of the interview. But I'll talk to anybody, I was in the happy condition of trust that alcohol puts me into, and I tried to ignore him and his friends fixating on his balls and shit. 

And then they brought the story around to some school teacher who'd had it off with a student. I made a sarcastic remark or two, mostly about how they were equating what was admittedly stupid on the teacher's part, with brutal,  controlling rape: "I mean, what did she use? A beer bottle?" This is not downgrading adult interference with a child, but when a man rapes a woman, he doesn't need a beer bottle - although he may turn to one, for inebriation and tearing.

Since then, I've had more stalkers showing up, trying to use the interview on me. But is all to the good. Anybody - including on their comments page - who sides with them - are people who, on Facebook and at conventions, that we are forewarned about. Anti-feminists. Guys who hate women being at comicons except as tits to grab if they get the chance.

I have a lot of decent friends in this industry, and none of them would have done such a thing to anybody. But now we can watch these morons out themselves. And defriend them, and warn each other about them. 

Stalk me, you stupid fuckers. Why not just paint a virtual target on your own forehead? And now everybody knows who you are, and who you associate with.

Yes, you have Freedom of Association - but if you hang out with the Klan, I think I'd warn all my black friends about you.

(I caught one of them the first day I posted this, and everybody saw her (him?) try it on. So now everybody's warned. Works!)