Saturday, 8 July 2017

Dave Sim: "I Am Not A Feminist"

Mrs. Thatcher
Cerebus Vol 5: Jaka's Story (1990)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard

DAVE SIM:
(Note From The President, Cerebus #140, November 1990)
I just had a check-up. I'm not dying. I'm not even sick. I walk up nearly twenty flights of stairs a day. I exercise for an hour and a half every night. I don't smoke drugs any more. I don't drink alcohol anymore.

I feel like a big bag of shit.

It's probably just today (September 19). But I don't know. Just finished answering the mail that came in which took most of the day. Almost every letter was in reference to the end of Jaka's Story and Jaka's abortion. All the letters from women offered their opinions on the abortion debate; praised my writing and the artwork Ger and I do. And usually mentioned "Boy, get ready for an avalanche of hate mail." Oddly enough, it was only the male letters that lectured me on my politically incorrect positions, my "anti-feminism".

I am not a feminist.

Last time I checked that wasn't against the law. I used to be. A real Alan Alda type type. Have you noticed that the more intelligent women aren't feminists either? The ones who were feminists when that meant the advocacy of freedom (women's lib) and fairness? That's when I was a feminist. When the goal was a level playing field. Equal opportunity. Affirmative action pushed me part-way out the door; divy up the jobs so women get half of them. Like the Ontario College of Art which will not hire any men until the faculty is 50% men and 50% women. Affirmative for whom? At the expense of whom? National day-care in political platforms pushed me a little further out the door. Spending $10,000 in taxpayer's money to take care of a waitress's kids for a year while she goes out and works, paying $4,000 a year in taxes. Margaret Thatcher authorizing widescale death in the Falkland Islands. Excuse me, but wasn't the idea of female leaders supposed to be that they would negotiate instead of using violence to settle things? I'm almost all the way out the door on that one.

When I heard Cokie Roberts mention that she has two teen-aged children (I would still do it until her eyes changed colour); one male and one female. The male had to register for the draft at a specific age by law. The daughter doesn't have to, but must be allowed in the army if she chooses . . .well, that's not fair! They should both have to register or they should both be allowed military service as an option.

At that point I realized Cokie Roberts and I were both out the door and down the hall, discussing fairness in a world gone politically correct.

Barbara Amiel (another good intellect I admire, though I frequently disagree with her) joined us, pointing out that if you are going to force a man to spend most of his adult life financing a child he helped create, it is not fair to say he has no choice in whether that fetus is aborted or not. To which I add; if I own something, I pay for its up-keep. If I own half of it, I pay half of its upkeep or I pay its upkeep half the time. If you own something you should pay for its upkeep. We've already established through our laws that a baby is an enlarged female organ completely under her control. Why do I have to spend eighteen years financing a part of your body? It is the law yes but it is unfair - which was what feminism, women's liberation was about when I was in favour of it; making that which was unfair fair or at least fairer.

"Take back the night" marches. Take back the night? The night belonged exclusively to women at one time, did it? Like the letter-writer who suggested all men should have a ten o'clock curfew so women can walk the streets safely. That's fair is it? How about "Share the night"?

I have been a white anglo-saxon protestant male all of my life and from the time I was fourteen (1970) I have been told just how wretched and unappealing and monstrous and vile a thing that is to be; in entertainment, newspapers, television; everywhere. And now I have other white anglo-saxon protestant males writing to tell me to change the way I think. I don't like it any better than women or minorities liked it.

And even if they make it illegal to not be, I still won't be a feminist.

Because the quest for fairness has gone elsewhere.

In my opinion. 


The inside front cover of the monthly 'Cerebus' comic-book (1977-2004) often included an editorial by Dave Sim titled "Note From The President". In these 'Notes' Dave wrote about anything that captured his interest at the time, and the editorials comprise an impressive (if eccentric) body of writing. You can read all of the editorials here...

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Twenty-seven years later, I'm still utterly baffled how anyone could've had such strong sexual urges for Cokie Roberts.

Jeff Seiler said...

I think it was (is) her overbite. Same as with Gillian Anderson. Makes for a very attractive mouth.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Dave, as usual, is a mess of contradictions. He was a good feminist, yet at the same period he never talked to a woman except to try to get her into bed (both his own words). I think he was a feminist the same way he was an atheist: by his own peculiar definition.

-- Damian