Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Victim of Her Livejournal

Poor KellyAnn - so much a comic book fan that she even works at a comic book for low wages, fell victim to feminism, and wanting to have fun.

She saw my blog the other day where I posted the Sideshow Mary Jane Comiquette, and she put it on her own blog. She figured her and her friends would make fun of it for a day or two. But then she was linked by When Fangirls Attack, and then today that link was linked to by BoingBoing. Once the BoingBoing link went up her Livejornal blog went nuts. She was the first link on the When Fangirls Attack page that BoingBoing linked to, out of a pretty big long list of similar posts by other bloggers, so she probably had the most hits. I was linked by When Fangirls Attack the day prior, about 1/2 way down the page, so it must have been missed by those nasty people (thank goodness).

Now she's being attacked by mainly men who are calling her names and telling her that she has no right not to like the comiquette. Originally she had about 3 lines of text in her post, plus the picture. Some people gave her email and mailing addresses, and others asked for them, so she added those. Then today she had to put down rules to try to keep these insecure fanboy men from posting about how she's been raped and she's bitter or that she's a transvestite biker dyke - both of which she's denied. I told her that once someone tells her that she's got lobsters in her crotch she should let me know and we can start a support group (see this post for reference to that comment).

She has had to spend a better part of the afternoon and evening banning people from her Livejournal.

It is amazing how nasty people can be on the Internet. These mean people have known KellyAnn, via her one Livejournal post, for all of a few minutes. Yet they're making comments and judgements about her. In addition, they've told her and the other women who agree with her that she's got no business speaking up, no right not to like a sexed-up subservient Mary Jane Watson comiquette. But, they've got the right to express lies, slander and threats? Somehow the act of being nasty isn't as bad as having an opinion. What has happened to our society that the Internet is so filled with hatred and intolerance? Another blogger I know shared with me in a couple of emails why he no longer posts an opinion blog - someone told him that he's a dog f****r (It's not just women that face this type of Internet harassment.) But when these kinds of things happen I can understand why people stop blogging - why they decide that they don't have the time or energy to deal with intolerant idiots who can't bare to have someone tell them that something they like is degrading to women.

Feel free to express an opinion. Feel free to disagree with it. But try to have a logical point rather than attacking someone you don't even know with vulgarities and claims that they don't have a right to disagree with you. Don't be negative and nasty, just because someone doesn't agree with you! Everyone has seen my links to When Fangirls Attack - go to the homepage and look at how many, many links there are to the Sideshow Mary Jane Comiquette - clearly KellyAnn, her Livejournal friends and I are NOT the only ones insulted by this trashy statue. And just about every one of those bloggers who've been linked to, especially the more recent ones, seem to have people attacking them.

First road rage, now internet hate. Where's the love, people?


Sleestak said...

I'm wondering if WFA put me at spot #2 on that the page Boing Boing linked to on purpose. I got a good spike in hits from it, but I haven't received any of the anger KellyAnn has. I wonder if is because I'm a guy and Ragnell or Kalinara was making a point: That given the opportunity women will be attacked while a male expressing much the same opinion was skipped.

Lisa said...

Interesting! So you were #2 but weren't called gay or ugly or any other nasty thing? Hmmmm... that's actually an interesting subtopic. Another blogger and I talked once about posting on sites, he as a girl and me as a guy, just to see how the reactions would be.

Anonymous said...

I know at least two more other blogs are also talking about it. One What Were They Thinking?! (not sure how to link with this), give a link to at least two other places full of outrage/disgust at the statue.

One fact that stands out is that the the site of the statue's maker, all of the negative posts are being deleted, leaving all the drooling/perverted 'so hoottt' posts up. Apparently that's the part of comic fandom thehy are trying to encourage.

TayJK aka Taylor

Devil Doll said...

Thanks, Lisa.

No lobsters yet, alas. These people just don't know how the good insults!

reuvekej said...

I still don't know what all the fuzz is about.
You like an statue or you dislike it.
Me, for example,don't like the comics of spiderman. But the statue is made with some humor.

Devil Doll is blokking the wrong people. Me, for example, will never insult people. (but i was blokked because of some picuers of my collection of european women in comics)

I think that in the USA people are like jekyl and mr hide on one hand very victorian (no sex on TV, in books, or naked women statues on blogs),
but on the other hand they have no trouble with violence on tv and watch secretly porno-movies and thinking about sex al the time, i suppose.

Ami Angelwings said...

This is rly getting out of control :(

I've been trying to stay out of it so much, and yet I have a troll who keeps posting giant posts calling women hypocrites and all sorts of stuff on my blog :(

Honestly, dun ppl have better things to do than read opinions they KNOW they're disagree with and then get all angry and hateful about them? >.<;;

Lisa said...

Exactly Ami! It seems that, for some people, complaining about the statue wasn't a big deal that that we woman should "keep quiet" or "let it go."

But these SAME people are taking the time to post nasty comments on blogs. Honestly, they should take their own advice. Clearly they don't realize that the whole thing would have died out by now, if not for their crazy name-calling antics and excessive posting.

James Meeley said...

I completely agree that those who made death threats or rape threats were way out of line (perhaps even borderline illegal in what they did). I side with everyone who thinks those creeps deserve a major butt-whupping. You don't do such things, just because you don't agree with an opinion.

But, in all honesty, lets be real about the situation. Both side of the debate have those on their side who are getting way out of hand. I've seen men who've responded with rationality and intellgence getting call misogynists for daring to suggest that marketing to a specific demographic isn't demeaning to women. I've seen comments from women stating things like, "this statue is setting back feminism 30 years!" Really? A statue of a comic book character, which a majority of the population probably doesn't give a dang about?

This whole situation has gotten completely out of control from both sides. It's not about a debate anymore. It's a verbal brawl, plain and simple. And neither side is going to let themselves be seen as the "loser".

And this, my friends, is why I no longer do commentation at my comic blog (yes, I'm the male blogger Lisa refers to in this entry). It's also a shining example of why, when comic fans (especially those of superhero related comics) complain, publisher rarely listen. Doesn't matter if you are bemoaning the MJ statue or the Spider-Clone Saga. The inability of those who are supposedly discussing the matter to show common courtesy and respect to each other, makes those in the seats of power look at us all like a bunch of rambling bufoons.

Fenimists don't have to worry about men making sexy statues to hold them back from reaching equality. The more extremist sects of the movement itself is doing a good enough job of that.

And don't think we get off any easier, guy. While the majority of us are not misogynistic sexist pigs, the chowderheads who do what they did to Kelly Ann will always be there to make women feel that we can't see even the slightest sexually charge image without being over-sexed hounds about it.

As for the stute itself, speaking only for me. I don't think it's misogynistic, but it's actually voyureistic. As a huge Spidey fan myself, I can imagine this being the scene:

After beating down Doc Ock for the upteenth time, Spidey comes home to get a shower and tosses his costume on the floor. MJ knows he's probably going to go back out to fight the good fight some more, so instead she decides to give him incentive to stay home. After coming out of the shower, wearing nothing but a towel, the statue is the image Peter sees.

MJ is a very flirty and sexually aware women. This has been shown in the character's history time and time again over the decades. Would she use her feminie wiles to keep her hubby home sometimes? You bet your ass she would (and has). This statue, IMO, is just futher comfirmation of that. It's not being done to say "women should be barefoot and pregnant, in the kitchen", as so many women seem to fear. It's about a mature and confidnet women being playfully flirtatious with the man whom she loves more than any other. Yeah, there are guys who might only focus on how "hot" she looks, but men are visually stimulated creatures. It's how we are. Maybe we could try to contol the impulses a little better than some have shown here, but it is hardly an inditement of wanting all women in the real world to be subjugated to a male fantasy. believe it or not, ladies, most men to know the difference between fantasy and reality. Enjoying one, doesn't mean you disregard the other.

I don't know if anything I've said here makes any difference with anyone. Probably not, if past experience is any sort of judge on the matter. But I hope that I've shown that, yes, most men DO get it ladies. But it seems that we've let the extremists on both sides think being "right" is more important than being "fair-minded." Ladies, the MJ statue is not going to bring about the fall of feminism or make men want you all to be domesticated sex-kittens. Guys, while the women might be overrating a bit, that's no cause for us to lose our cool and only make them think their worst fears are true, because they aren't going to take our fun away. Communication is the key here. Maybe if everyone stopped yelling AT each other and started talking TO each other, this whole hoo-ha will be seen for the non-issue is really is... for both sides.

For what it's worth.....

Vaklam said...

I was one of the lucky ones, too. My link is pretty far down and I got an absurd traffic spike from it but no comments. Of course, my post just links to devil doll's LJ post with a "this statue is gratuitous" comment from me so I may have dodge a bullet that way.

Sleestak said...

James: You stated "this statue is setting back feminism 30 years!" Really? A statue of a comic book character, which a majority of the population probably doesn't give a dang about?"

Ok, Right. The statue doesn't set back the ENTIRE cause of equality and/or feminism back, just one little part of it.

Now if everyone had that attitude pretty soon all the parts are set back.

James Meeley said...

Ok, Right. The statue doesn't set back the ENTIRE cause of equality and/or feminism back, just one little part of it.

Now if everyone had that attitude pretty soon all the parts are set back.


First off, where did I say anything about feeling that way about EVERYTHING? You are setting up a strawman argument here and I don't appreciate that.

Secondly, I don't see this statue setting back feminism at ANY part. Not at all. Not one little bit. Because if the cause is so fragile that something like this would have an impact on it, then one might wonder how it is still around to this day. Surely it is made of tougher stuff than that. To suggest otherwise, IMO, is way more demeaning of feminism than any statue of a comic character could ever be.

I also see that you ignored pretty much everything else I said, while going solely for your strawman argument. And for that, I thank you. I thank you, because it is perfectly illustrates just why this whole situation has gotten out of control. Because of the few extremists who are doing the very same thing you did here.

Hopefully, thanks in part to Sleestak here, everyone else will see just how and why stuff like this gets so out of hand.

It starts with someone making a comment/criticism, which brings in a counter-viewpoint, which brings in more to defend the original viewpoint, which gets others to set up strawmen arguments, that leads to others being misquoted or misrepresented, thereby causing others to join in and pump up the hostility on both sides, until you reach something that no longer has much to do with what originally was being talked about, but leads to death threats and personal insults slung at you from all sides and any actual communication is all but impossible. Which, in the end, results in nothing being changed and just more bruised egos and hurt feelings on both sides, which makes the next situation even more confrontational than the last.

Lisa wanted to know where all the internet rage is coming for in this entry. Well, I might not know the exact location of the rage, but I just laid out the blueprint for how it always comes about. The question now is, what are we going to do to change that?

Darkrose said...

James, we can start changing that when people in the position of privilege stop telling those of us who aren't that we're stupid or crazy or extremists because we don't keep quiet when we find something offensive. You don't agree that the statue was problematic? Fine. I do. I don't think it's going to "set the cause of feminism back 30 years"--I've read a lot of comments on various posts about this, and I haven't actually seen many people saying this--but I do think it reflects an attitude that the ideal woman is there to serve her man, sexually and domestically.

You don't have to agree with me, but if you try to tell me that my reaction is invalid, and that saying that I'm offended is just as bad as saying that someone should be raped or killed, you're going to piss me off. If "we" are going to change that, then maybe you might want to try shutting up and listening when someone says, "Hey...this makes me uncomfortable, and it's not cool."

James Meeley said...

You don't have to agree with me, but if you try to tell me that my reaction is invalid, and that saying that I'm offended is just as bad as saying that someone should be raped or killed, you're going to piss me off.

If you read what I said, I said that BOTH sides have crossed the line, with those on either side having people who are going too far. I didn't single out any one side as worse than the other. I said they both are out of control.

If "we" are going to change that, then maybe you might want to try shutting up and listening when someone says, "Hey...this makes me uncomfortable, and it's not cool."

You know, your tone belies the words you are using. Just like with Sleestak's strawman argument to try and debunk what I've said, I don't apprecaite your (not so) subtle attempts to intimidate me.

Nowhere have I said a person's feelings are invalid. Nowhere have I said the right to complain should be taken from anyone. What I HAVE said, is that the hoo-ha made over this statue, isn't really about the statue (at least, not anymore). It IS about extremist elements, on BOTH sides of the issue, playing a childish game of "got you last."

I can respect someone not liking the statue. I can understand someone thinking it's in poor taste. I don't get how my NOT feeling like that, though, automatically indites me as a misogynistic pig. Just as I also don't get how that you DO feeling that way, automatically makes you a bitter-minded bitch who needs to get laid. These are just a couple examples of the types of "discussion" this statue has brought about. Notice how neither one really even mentions the statue that much? That's not just be happenstance.

I do think it reflects an attitude that the ideal woman is there to serve her man, sexually and domestically.

That's a valid theory. I don't dispute that. But I also don't think it's an automatic leap to that, either. Because, and maybe it is just me, I don't see a lot of guys buying a statue like that and expecting a real woman to fulfill that image.

Could the statue represent a FANTASY of (some) men for that to be the ideal? Yeah, that's possible. But, and here's my kicker in all of this, most men know the different between reality and fantasy. They can enjoy one, without disregarding the other.

See, the problem here, is everyone putting the other view in the WORST possible connotations. There's no leeway, in your mind, that the statue is just a harmless bit of cheesecake. That it could be possible for men to have this fantasy and know it can never rightfully be expected to be fulfilled by a real, multi-layed and complex woman. No, it's simply a projection of what they want real women to be and nothing more. A slight to all feminism and womanhood has been striving against for decades.

And on the flip side, since the men involved are no blameless lambs here, the men making the death treats and insults telling women to "get laid" can't see that you might have a sensitivity to such images, even if they are harmless and your reaction is born out of a justified cynicism and not automatically to be a "buzzkill" to some harmless fun. There's no leeway with them, as you can only be out to stomp on their rights to have fun their way, which doesn't really affect you or real women.

Both those ways of thinking is what has gotten things to the point is has. And everyone is so caught up in either "defending their side/view" or getting the other viewpoint to cry "uncle", that any true and meaningful dialog is ignored, insulted, or deemed irrelevent.

Lisa, as you recall, asked where all this anger and hostility is coming from. While I can't speak for every indidivual out there, it seems a lack of REAL communication is what is keeping it going. A lack of communication brought on by pointless posturing and saving face, mostly by people who are supposedly old enough to know better. And notice I say PEOPLE, not just WOMEN.

This conflict has been the results of action by both sides and a solution to it can only be gotten from the very same. The statue was always a fairly non-issue, IMO, and the ongoing outrage, from both sides, have only proven it more and more to be the case. It's time to put down the insults and step back. Let cooler heads prevail and hopefully we won't have to go through this every time someone doesn't like something aimed at a demographic they don't like.

But what do I know? I'm just a misogynist pig, speaking from a position of privlege, right?

Lisa said...

I agree that the statue isn't going to kill anyone. It hasn't set feminism back 30 years. And yes, it definately has people shouting at each other and know one listening anymore.

But to call it "harmless" might be too short sighted. See, my original problem with this comiquette, as well as the Emma one, is that they DO offend people. These items are made for specialty stores - like mine - but you'll never find these in my store. They're not harmless when a mom doesn't bring herself or her kids into my store anymore because she saw one of them and got upset. They're not harmless when a girlfriend tells her boyfriend or wife tells her husband she doesn't feel comfortable in my store, and doesn't want him going there either. I'd like MORE women to go into comic book stores. More women to buy comics and toys and statues from me. More women to want their children, both boys and girls, to read and enjoy comics. The harm with ALL products like this MJ one is that, while not setting feminism back, does make comic book stores who display them look a little bit sleezy to certain people.

As we can tell by all of the inflamed egos and tempers on both sides, there ARE people who find the item offensive, people who, like KellyAnn and many others from her livejournal, like and read comic books. While not setting feminism back, it sets the comic book industry back. It can give the impression of the industry not giving a damn if women like comics or not. No, objecting won't stop women all over the world from being mistreated or get them equal pay for equal work. But, it might catch the eye of people in the comic book industry.

Leigh Dragoon said...

I found this lovely maquette totally inspirational.

James Meeley said...

The harm with ALL products like this MJ one is that, while not setting feminism back, does make comic book stores who display them look a little bit sleezy to certain people.


I completely agree that while the MJ statue is certainly no threat to feminism or women's rights, that it can be upsetting to people with certain sensabilities. While I'm sure that isn't the intentions of the MJ statue (or items like it) it is an unitended consequence of displaying them in a public forum (such as a comic shop). And I agree it could be damaging to any shop that does so (if not the industry as a whole).

However, as you noted yourself, you are showing your objecting by refusing to carry the item. That is completely the right thing for you to do, given how you feel, and I support that 100%. It's your business and you need to do what is in the best interest of it. Your desire to have a much more female and family oriented feeling to your shop is completely within your rights and if someone told you different, saying you HAD to carry the MJ statue (or any product you didn't feel comfortable having in your shop) I'd be the first to tell them how wrong they are.

Still, just as you've made the call for your business on how and what product you wish to carry, is not Marvel and Sideshow allowed that same courtesy? Their desire to create and promote an item that caters to a market you have little ofrno interest in, is just as much their right as you are to refuse to carry it. After all, not every shop is as concerned about being family and female oriented as you. And truthfully, nor should they.

Let me say, that personally, I'd never buy the MJ statue myself. I (and Heidi) have quite a few comic related statues, some even of female characters, but nothing I'd say is aimed at the kind of market the MJ statue is being aimed at. But while I see no value in having one for our collection, I also don't begrudge anyone who might be interested in such and item. I don't begrudge the companies involved in make and marketing such a product for that demographic. If I had a comic shop, like you, I wouldn't carry it, either (perhaps I'd special order it for someone who said they wanted it and would keep it our of sight until they came in to pick it up, that that's as far as I'd go). But not everyone will feel as I will and just because I feel that way, doesn't mean other shops and potential markets should do without, just because it doesn't interest (or even offends) me. I love shows like South Park and Family Guy. Both have been known to offend some people, but I wouldn't want those shows taken away from me, just because a few others, who have the ability to change the channel, don't like them. That isn't fair to me and more than it would be fair to force them to watch it.

The statue here is no different, really. You've made you call on how you want to proceed with it (i.e. you refuse to carry it), as have I (I.e. I refuse to buy it). After that, though, we have to let other people make their own choice. Because, as offensive as some might find the statue, no one is being forced to buy or sell it. And its existence isn't going to cause great harm to life as we know it. It's just an "unnecessary" item, which people are free to take or leave as they see fit.

I think anyone with complaints about it, should talk to those who have the power over such matters. I'm not calling to strike down free speech in any way. But I do think that the "discussion" of the matter on the blogoverse has become nothing but a pissing match, for reasons I've already stated above. It has become a pointless game of chest-puffing, between exstremists on both side of the issue, and is accomplishing nothing, save to build up hostility and animosity between people. It's time to let the matter go and move on, IMO.

Lisa said...

James - I completely agree with everything you said here.

Although one side note--just because someone CAN do something, doesn't necessarily mean they SHOULD. Sure Marvel can make items like this that will deter women from comics - it is completely their right to do so. But, I'm not so sure it was the right thing for them to do.