Monday, 6 April 2015

I Don't Believe Dave Sim Is A Misogynist

Please consider signing the iPetition
Recent signatories include:

Cartoonist from Detroit, MI and fan of Cerebus. I think there are way too many people who read far too into things and overthink what they read. Cerebus is an intelligent and thought-provoking graphic novel series that deserves more respect than it gets, and from fellow friends of mine who have met Dave, I've only heard the very nicest things about him. His work has been very influential to mine.

Cartoonist from Grimsby, U.K, decade long fan. I've thought long and hard about this subject. My views on Mr. Sim being one of the greatest cartoonists of all time have no bearings on my signing of this petition. Although I disagree with some of his opinions regarding feminism and gender issues I do not believe he is a misogynist. Thanks for all the great comics Mr. Sim and I hope your recovery from your recent medical problems continues apace! You remain an inspiration! 

I'm a fan and sometimes acquaintance. I was friends with Harry Kremer of Now and Then Books before he passed. As such I had many opportunities to visit with Dave personally and as a fan. He has only ever been kind and generous with his time and talent in my experience. Not once have I ever seen him disrespect a woman either in or out of their presence. 


Max West said...

I do NOT think you are a misogynist, Dave Sim.

Anonymous said...

I do think that Dave Sim is a misogynist, which opinion I formed from reading his own words. Arguments that he's not tend to fall into three categories: 1) Misogyny means "fear of women", and he's not afraid of women; 2) He's not a misogynist, he's an anti-feminist; and 3) I've seen him be nice to women in person.

I think it is perfectly possible to agree that Dave is a misogynist and to appreciate the triumphs and failures of Cerebus.

But the illogic, whining, and paranoia in Dave's form letter is distasteful. It's not a fact that people see misogynists as "the lowest, subhuman form of life in our society"; Dave just made that up. It is a fact that Dave had a loyal group of fans (and still does). If that number was reduced from its height by the time Cerebus ended, it wasn't because of any kind of feminist conspiracy against Dave; it was because people didn't like his comic book.

I've said it before: what chaps Dave's hide is not that nobody defended him (everybody defended him: everybody said, "Of course Dave his the right to say anything he wants ..."), but that not everybody agreed with him. He's right, dammit; how dare you call him a misogynist?

It's always been important to Dave that he be the "[something]-est". If he can't be the acclaimed genius, then by gummm! he'll be the most hated man in comics! So he christens himself the Pariah King and becomes a recluse, when the truth is that he wasn't drummed out -- he left.

Of course, Dave can decide who he wants to associate with, correspond with, hang out with, whatever using any criteria he likes. He wouldn't want to hang out with me. I don't feel one way or another about that; there was no chance we were going to hang out anyway, so why should I care if he now doesn't wan to? He's not my pal; he's a cartoonist some of whose work I admire.

But this letter (and the petition) does Dave no favours. He once mocked a woman for claiming that, despite having both a husband and a wife, she wasn't bisexual -- "your words cannot define me." It doesn't matter how strongly Dave feels that he isn't a misogynist; that don't make it so.

-- Damian T. Lloyd, pda

Ethan Burns said...

I disagree that he's a misogynist, at least now, because after reading that post on bleedingcool he's admitted most of tangents came from a place of anger, and while he's been kind of a dick about it in the past, his views are about acknowledging the inherent differences between the sexes, not that women are inherently bad. I do agree that he exaggerates a lot of societies views on feminism and misogyny, but I don't think you can entirely discount his identifying as a pariah entirely to his own imagination. Based on how media like the Comics Journal reacted to his views(both after Reads and Tangents) and just the general consensus I find in any group or community of comic fans when he's brought up, he was pretty vehemently hated by a lot of people for a long time. And while I respect your opinion that you can see him as a misogynist and still appreciate Cerebus, most people in my experience don't share it.

CerebusTV said...

I signed the petition long ago and I've known him since we were kids. Like a lot of us pushing sixty, we do tend to become curmudgeonly, in that bachelor uncle kindly sort of way. No misogynistic hatred directed at any identifiable gender, just a sort of undiscriminating harmless misanthropy formed by aging against the inevitable slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. How else could it be for the human being in whom all that is Cerebus reposes?

Miguel Corti said...

Is there any way to view the petition to actually see what number you are? Now it wants you to sign in using Facebook and Twitter, but that option wasn't available when I signed up.

Margaret said...

Miguel - Since iPetition changed their format a while ago, there is no way to the petition signer to see what number they are. I can download the signatures and see the names & #s and you are at #378.

Miguel Corti said...

Margaret: Thanks so much! I'll write it down somewhere safe. Much appreciated.

Alex Krislov said...

I just signed the petition, but I had no idea what the number was about so I simply left it blank. I don't think Dave's a misogynist. I DO think he's a misanthrope, as many of the great writers are. That's where a lot of art comes from.