Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Feminism vs Misogyny

"Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment." (Source: Wikipedia)

"Misogyny is the hatred or dislike of women or girls. Misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including sexual discrimination, denigration of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification of women." (Source: Wikipedia)

(from the HARDtalk Virtual Tour, Summer 2012)
I see the "misogynist/feminist" dichotomy as a false one. "If you aren't a feminist you're a misogynist". It's "heads I win, tails you lose". Anything that anyone says or does that a feminist doesn't find personally validating means that that person hates women? No, you don't want to give ANY group in your society that kind of "carte blanche" veto over any viewpoint besides their own. My pariah status does give me a freedom to speak openly about things other people can't speak openly about.
Cerebus #268 (July 2001)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard
(from the ipetition, 8 February 2013)
While my opinions on many issues (including gender politics) may be at odds with those of Dave Sim, I do not believe that he is a misogynist. It seems to me that this label has been applied to Mr. Sim in order to banish his ideas from the realm of "acceptable" public discourse, simply because these ideas are at odds with (and therefore offend) the status quo. It is all the more baffling to me that this label should be applied to Dave Sim when many of his writings cleave so closely to those of intellectual figures who we wouldn't dare to accuse of misogyny. Take, for instance, Mary Wollstonecraft, the much celebrated proto-feminist. In Wollstonecraft's writings, emotion is gendered "female" while rationality is gendered "male". I take strong issue with this notion, but would I call Wollstonecraft a self-hating woman? Most certainly not. We would all be better served by putting these ideas into free and open dialogue than by name calling and subjecting those who "offend" to effective exile. Dave Sim's brilliant and beautiful art continues to be an inspiration to me, even if we disagree on certain issues.

(from the iPetition, 17 February 2013)
I've known Dave for over 2 decades, and believe ACTIONS tell the truth of a person. I have seen Dave consistently act in a manner directly opposite of the label foisted upon him, going out of his way to encourage, support and assist female creators and aspiring creators.

(from the iPetition, 14 January 2013)
I think having & expressing an articulated opinion is not the same the same thing as being a misogynist. People are too quick to label people with viewpoints that don't exactly line up with their own. 

(from the iPetition, 20 October 2012)
Thirty-year fan. I disagree strongly with many of Dave Sim's views and beliefs, and I have always been and will always be a voracious reader of anything (comics, prose, commentary, or other) that he produces. A "misogynist" would not merit this attention. Dave, thanks for frequently making me uncomfortable and ALWAYS making me think.

(from the iPetition, 6 September 2012)
I don't believe Dave Sim is a misogynist. Labels get bandied around too easily without proper consideration being given to the facts. "The task of the artist is to make the human being uncomfortable" - Lucian Freud.

(from the iPetition, 16 October 2012)
None of us here [at Flying Tiger Comics] consider Dave Sim a misogynist. It's helpful that we actually know what the word means, don't live in our parents' basements, and aren't opinionated manchildren on the disney/warner apologist websites too, of course. Misogyny would be, for example, all those ass shots of Wonder Woman, and all those "strong" characters like Buffy that need male approval or validation. Oops.

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