Monday, 28 November 2016

Hello, ChrisW

Thanks for your phone message about the Italian publisher for my NON-FEMINIST writings. Hope you or I hear from them.

I was going to suggest that you, as a veteran blogger, annotate the material extensively. And include some CEREBUS sequences.  THE NON-FEMINIST CEREBUS & DAVE SIM by ChrisW.  Your off-the-cuff writing is always interesting  and I think I'm safe in saying that although you probably wouldn't qualify AS a feminist to, say, Hillary Clinton, you're more of a feminist than I am.  But not as much of a feminist as, say, the CEREBUS THE BARBARIAN MESSIAH essayists.

At one level or another, that's really what it's all about, at this point, I think:  What is TOO politically correct and what ISN'T politically correct ENOUGH? And since no one has a clear answer to that (if they did, the recent U.S. election would have turned out a lot differently), it seems fruitful to start tackling it as close to the borderline as each individual writer thinks is sensible.

Big plus for you, that you have a creative work, CEREBUS, and a creator, me, to point at from across the fence.  Am I Way Over Here?  Or are you Way Over There?

Thanks again!  


Michael A Battaglia said...

I'm not sure what "non-feminist writings" is referring to in this context. The only thing I can come up with is: someone phoned Dave and said an Italian publisher might be interested in publishing Cerebus and/or various essays, but only the portions that do not reference feminism in any capacity.

Jeff Seiler said...

"...the Italian publisher for my NON-FEMINIST writings."

Well, that changes *everything*. Now I see why Chris was/is so adamant in believing that there is a real market for this/these sort of collection/s.

Talk about preachin' to the choir! They'll eat it up like candy!

I'll leave it to others to expound on my point here, as it is well past my expiry time for today. Off to bed to dream of how many comments *this* post will inspire...

Steve said...

Am I the only Cerebus fan here who, after reading a phrase like 'feminist theocracy', wonders what in the world that is, because it sure isn't in the world I live in.

But then, New Mexico has tended to be a bit behind the rest of the world, I guess.

And Jeff, I've got no idea what you're talking about, either.


Barry Deutsch said...

Steve, you're definitely not the only one.

Dave Sim said...

Hi Michael! - ChrisW put it as "ANTI-Feminist" writings which I don't see as accurate. I'm not ANTI-Feminism, I'm just of the opinion that feminism doesn't work, long term, in the form that we have it. So I'm a NON-Feminist for the same reason I'm a NON-Communist. Because communism is structurally unsound. If you have 86% of your women out in the workforce, your replacement birthrate drops below a level where you're effectively committing suicide as a society. And here we are.

Steve & Barry - I'll keep repeating the above as often as you want. You hit "reset" and I'll hit "reset". But the fact that you don't register it when I say it and default to "Feminist Theocracy? What's that?" -- AND that we're not near to having the vital discussion about replacement birth rates as a society -- I think, makes my point for me. We live in a Feminist Theocracy where 100% of women in the workforce is the ideal and everyone has brainwashed themselves into believing that except me. Which makes it all the more important, in my view, that I keep explaining that feminism is structurally unsound. You can go "Huh?" "What?" as often as you want, but the fundamental points I'm making remain unanswered.

What you are doing -- or, rather, Doing -- seems to me to be the point: feminized society. The more feminized a society is, the less aware it is of its feminization and the more feminized it gets.. It's a fully defensible free-will choice but, in my view, a very dangerous choice and a very dangerous situation for a society to get itself into.

And we're "into" it, in a big way.

Michael A Battaglia said...

Dave, thank you for the clarification, but for some reason I'm still not entirely grasping. Let me just come out and ask: is there is an entity in Italy that is interested specifically in publishing your views on feminism?

It strikes me as a bit absurd for a publisher (Italian or otherwise) to expect you to sift through your body of work and pick out the 'bits' that would or wouldn't be deemed "feminist-related", relying on pure assumption as to where to draw the line, as far as the publisher's aesthetic is concerned. I would think they would have a clear idea of what they want to publish, rather than a vague umbrella.

Dave Sim said...

Michael - I am the LEAST feministic of any person that I know. ChrisW, I think, in a fit of pique with the Feminist Theocracy dominating AMOC and all our discussions here decided he wanted to do something with my NON-FEMINISM writings: the writings of a person who is NOT a feminist. So, he put a package together and e-mailed in to an Italian publisher who has published such materials and who he thought might be interested.

I'M not sifting through my body of work, ChrisW is. And since he's one of the few people that I don't consider to be part of the Feminist Theocracy although I still consider him a feminist, I thought it would be interesting to have HIM comment on my work: what he thought when he first read a given essay, what he thinks of it now.

We'll see what he has to say about my suggestion when he turns up.

Michael A Battaglia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barry Deutsch said...

Dave, I understand what you're saying. I just don't agree with you, because your opinions contradict facts.

For example, you wrote: "We live in a Feminist Theocracy where 100% of women in the workforce is the ideal and everyone has brainwashed themselves into believing that except me." I doubt that anyone of note believes that. I certainly don't believe that, and I may be the most feminist person you know.

Years ago, when I was thinking of becoming an economist, I studied this question, including reading leading feminist economists like Nancy Folbre. I never encountered anyone who claimed that 100% female workforce participation would be ideal. So when you say that "everyone" but you believes that, who, specifically, are you referring to? Where have they said so, that I can read for myself?

You also wrote, "If you have 86% of your women out in the workforce, your replacement birthrate drops below a level where you're effectively committing suicide as a society."

First, why this is even a concern? No country in the world, that I know of, has an 86% female labor force participation rate, nor are trends moving in that direction.

As far as I know, the country in the world with the highest female LFPR is Iceland (77%, much higher than average) - and they have a fertility rate of 2.01. That's hardly "committing suicide as a society."

Sweden: second-highest female LFPR in the world at 75%, fertility rate of 1.88. Again, not suicide.

In contrast, Greece has a female LFP of 44%, which is below average, and a fertility rate of 1.42. Germany has a female LFP of 54% and a fertility rate of 1.44.Poland has a female LFP of 49%, and a fertility rate of 1.34, one of the world's lowest.

My point is, there's no fact-based reason to believe that a high female LFPR necessarily leads to a low fertility rate. In reality, some countries have both high female LFPRs and viable replacement fertility rates.

Of course, you might say "sure, that's possible at 77%. But at 86%, everything would go down the toilet." But you have no evidence for that claim, that you've presented. Nor is there any reason to think this is a real concern, since it's unlikely that any country will have an 86% female LFPR, for the forseeable future - let alone most of them.

Jack said...

Barry, where are you getting those numbers? I just looked up what appears to be the World Bank's numbers (at, and they seem to say that more than 80% of women ages 15 and up participate in the labor force in several African countries. (Tanzania looks like the highest at 88%; its birthrate is 5.1 per woman according to a chart at They also seem to say that female labor force participation is 56% in the US and 61% in Canada. I don't know anything about this subject and it's possible that I'm completely misreading this data, though.

Bill Ritter said...

I've always found this feminist debate ridiculous.

It's 21st Century. People shall do what people shall do. Sure, the extremes will lean toward pure-form (extremist, shall we say?) feminist thought and anti-feminist thought. But the remaining, oh I'll make up a number...90% will Live Their Lives.

On personal note, as I've likely stated, if my daughter wishes to be a stay-at-home-mom in her future - God bless. If my daughter wishes to be a Wall Street broker powerhouse (without kids) - God bless. If my daughter wishes to be a Doctor-Surgeon and have kids day cared - God bless.

But if anyone dictates her action, imposes a limit, directs her to do something in her life other than what she wishes - I hope she kicks 'em in the nethers, smacks their face off, and gives 'em the ole "eff you" and single finger salute.

Just sayin'...I find this all rather silly a debate/discussion/what not (no disrespect intended).

Michael A Battaglia said...

@ Bill Ritter -- Any good parent wants their child to have it better than they did, and I totally appreciate where you're speaking from, here, as I have two kids. That said, I think you're missing the point. I'm pretty sure Dave would prefer your daughter be happy than oppressed/miserable. I can't speak for him, but I am so certain of this that I'd bet a million dollars on it without hesitating.

Being a Non-Feminist (if you will) does not denote "anti-female", or even "anti-feminism". I think that's one of the major takeaways from this letter, in fact. It's an important distinction.

Jeff Seiler said...

Steve--I held off for a while in explaining what I meant, but I will explain. It's my understanding, though I could very well be wrong, that Italian men are historically (in modern terms--the feminist age and before) known to be especially chauvinistic in terms of how they view women. Perhaps I am stereotyping, but I don't think by much.

Let me put it this way: Upon learning that it is an Italian publishing company which is interested in packaging Dave's non-feminism essays AND that they have published silar works, I was most decidedly NOT surprised and stopped doubting that it will happen.

Jeff Seiler said...

Oops! similar, not silar.

Steve said...

Here in the high desert vistas of New Mexico, especially as the fall and winter temperatures arrive, jets leave plenty of contrail lines across the skies.

My in-laws know, for a fact, that their ill-health is due to those trails. Their decades of smoking and alcohol are if no consequence in comparison to the caustic effects of contrails.

And I've come to realize that, to some extent, this cause and effect with them is true: their mind and body responds to the conviction they have that they WILL get sick. And sick they get and stay.

Dave, I know so little about your theology of feminism that I can't begin to wrap my thoughts around it. As a father who works (when it's busy and I have to) three jobs to provide for my family of four, I have terribly little interest in learning about this theocracy. I'd rather invest myself where better returns are likely.

But I get the feeling that as this is my perspective on my world, your perspective of me would be that I'm so deep in the slowly boiling water I'm not even aware of how deceived I am.

And as a thinking, contemplative religious man, I fully understand holding beliefs which are under attack; I do have at least that in common with you.

Buy I don't, won't, and can't see the world through your lens.

That said, it is for me a privilege to communicate, howbeit ever so impersonally, with you. I clung to your wonderful world of Cerebus for many years, astonished at how profoundly unique your creation was.


Jack said...

Sorry, the birth rates link is actually:

Dave Sim said...

The last I heard, the German government was throwing in their cards and just saying, "Yes, we're Old Feminist Theocracy types so we believe in virtually unrestricted immigration as the solution for the problem that feminists aren't having enough babies to sustain a society. Germany will just have to cease to be German and become Muslim instead." That was when Angela Merkel was talking about letting in one million Syrians (and Afghans and Yemenis, etc. etc.). There was enough of a backlash to have her drop the number to 800,000. 800,000 people in a culture with a normal birth rate (Muslims) are going to overwhelm a culture with a non-/anti- birthrate (birth control, abortion, etc.).

That's why I think the Metaphysical construct of the last U.S. election was between Old Feminist Theocracy (immigration is the solution. We'll just turn them all into feminists: Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel) and New Feminist Theocracy (that isn't working. They aren't turning into feminists in sufficient numbers. So the only answer is closed borders for cultures with normal -- i.e. non-feminist -- birth rates i.e. Spanish Catholics and Muslims: Ivanka Trump).

I'm not talking about oppressed/miserable. I'm talking about How Reality Works. The Feminist Theocracy agenda champions choice and women's choice, generally, is non-/anti-birth. If you allow anywhere close to unrestricted immigration for Muslims and Spanish Catholics into a Feminist Theocracy country (i.e. anywhere in the G7) your country will cease to be Feminist and become Muslim, Spanish Catholic or Muslim/Spanish Catholic.

You're talking anecdotal: "MY daughter". "I want MY daughter to have whatever she wants that will make her happy." That's fine, but when you run a society that has 86% of its women out in the workforce, your general choices are leading you in the direction of oblivion.

If you want the U.S. or Canada or the U.K. -- whatever your country is -- to have a Feminist Theocracy Presence in the future, you're going to have to figure out a sensible split between how feminists are "breeders" and how many feminists are "pseudo-men". Otherwise, you're not producing the next generation and the next generation and the next generation of feminist. And you will get steamrolled.

Jack said...

But where are you getting the 86% figure from? The World Bank data I linked to seems to say that female (ages 15+) participation in the labor force (as of 2014) is 50% throughout the world, 24% in the Arab world, 54% in Latin America and the Caribbean, 57% in North America, and 64% in sub-Saharan Africa. Low birthrates don't seem to always correlate exactly with high female labor force participation, as far as I can tell. I think they might be more correlated with high levels of female education. But I assume that you've done a lot of reading on this subject, so maybe you can direct me to evidence to the contrary.

Barry Deutsch said...

Jack - thanks for pointing that out.

I was using data from the two links at the end of my comment. The quandl link doesn't list most African countries, including Tanzania, so that's how I missed that.

I'm surprised by how high the female LFPR in Tanzania is. According to Wikipedia, half of the Tanzanian workforce is employed in agriculture, and there's a lot of subsistence farming. (My speculation is that Tanzania's high female LFPR may be in part due to a lot of women working on small family farms, but that's just speculation.)

In any case, as you realize, this additional data doesn't help Dave's case. Tanzania combines a very high female LFPR with very high fertility - the exact opposite of what Dave predicts would happen.

Jack said...

Thanks, Barry. Yeah, I saw something else online about there being a "U curve," with more women participating in the workforce in some very poor countries and most very rich countries.

I guess most of the current disputes about the basic rules of society, such as the role of women, are related to the fact that we're in a very unusual time in human history. I think women and children contributing to the economy was the norm up until about 200 years ago, as most people were hunter-gatherers from 150,000 BC through 10,000 BC and farmers from then until the Industrial Revolution. But now we have giant cities, work outside of the home, the concepts of equal rights and childhood, vast disparities in wealth between countries, etc. Social norms will probably remain in violent dispute until we do ourselves in via global warming and/or nukes.

Bob said...

Steve: "Am I the only Cerebus fan here who, after reading a phrase like 'feminist theocracy', wonders what in the world that is, because it sure isn't in the world I live in."

I think the reasoning is that the fact that you don't recognize a feminist theocracy is in itself evidence of a feminist theocracy. So you either agree, or your disagreement is proof.

Dave Sim said...

Bob - Thanks I was trying to figure out how to say that.

ChrisW said...

Dave considers me to be a feminist. Why do I feel like I've just earned a merit badge that I had no idea I was even trying to earn? Jeff, any advice? Dave probably considers you to be a feminist too, right? Is it because I said "anti-feminist" instead of "non-feminist"? He doesn't think I'm part of the feminist theocracy, but I'm still a feminist?

I wouldn't say "feminist theocracy" because "theocracy" implies an established chain-of-command, from the highest to the lowest. Feminism has a chain-of-command, but I have never found a distinct path to establish it. At best, there has been THIS is what they're going for right now, and THAT is what they're going for later. Sandra Fluke [great name] becomes a cause celebre because she was invited to testify on birth control before committees who had nothing to do with birth control, and only became famous because Rush Limbaugh called her a "slut." That's where feminism was at the moment. Cindy Sheehan became famous for similar reasons because that was where feminism was at the moment. There's no rational connection between them, but they were building blocks for feminism as exemplified by Hillary Clinton, who spent her entire life working to become President and lost to a guy who started politics last year as a hobby.

I can understand that by intuition, but if you put it into words, it falls apart completely. Which is the feminist point. Even intuition isn't good enough. You have to consciously know the "right" thing to do at every moment. A method of terror and despotism that dwarfs whatever men have created. You wanted this, ladies, have at it.

But I'm still a feminist. Go figure.

ChrisW said...

Also, the publisher I'm looking at is technically based in Italy, but is not just an Italian publisher. They are global, their biggest sales have been in America, to Americans. I don't know where Canada, the UK or Australia stands in their sales figures, but I'd bet they aren't too far behind. They target the English-speaking world first.

I know there are other publishers in this market, and they've had success, but beyond this publisher, there's a steep drop-off to self-publishing, which won't help Dave beyond what he's accomplished for the last 40 years. My goal is to help Dave, finding the best and quickest way towards getting him a decent paycheck. Long or short-term, it's better than nothing. My thoughts on "Tangent" when it came out versus when I read it now? I couldn't be less interested. My only memory of reading "Tangent" originally was that Kim Thompson had started a thread on that was basically 'Dave Sim has gone completely insane' which was enough incentive for me to skip out at lunch to hit my local comic store, and read "Tangent" for the rest of the lunch break and afternoon break. I think it had started snowing during the afternoon break, and I may or may not have noticed it was snowing and went inside so I could keep reading, or it took me a few minutes to notice because I was busy reading. I don't remember. Does anybody want to read about that?

A lot of great insights that I thought were brilliant, a lot of other insights that I really wanted to think about over time, and a lot of other stuff that I didn't know what to think offhand, but wasn't going to dismiss just because I didn't quite get it. I'm trying to promote "Tangent," not my thoughts about "Tangent" and what I just wrote is basically all I have to say about "Tangent."

Mike Battaglia said...

Hey Chris: If I may be entirely presumptuous enough to take a guess: I would think the big takeaway is to make a distinction between "non-feminist writings" vs. "anti-feminist", particularly if you're going to be a liaison between Dave and a publisher. Otherwise, the first words they hear are "anti-feminist". Since Dave could make money in any number of ways that have nothing to do with his commitment to his craft, I don't think "getting a paycheck" is the primary consideration in this context.

As far as you being "more feminist", my thought is that we are more or less born into feminism at this stage. It takes a level of self awareness that's usually only arrived at via the kind of trauma that a 'near-death experience' affords (or the act of writing and illustrating a 6k page novel whose central character is awakened to the presence of God) to transition out of or rise above that program or paradigm entirely (which is even more ingrained in Canada, by the way).

ChrisW said...

Mike, I'm not sure what you're saying on either of your points. I get that there's a technical difference between "non-feminism" and "anti-feminism," I just don't really see how anybody who recognizes the difference would make a big deal, because "feminism" certainly doesn't. "Anti-feminism" implies going on the offensive in ways that "non-feminism" doesn't, but that's about it, and either path is useful.

Also, I wouldn't be doing this if Dave was making money in "any number of ways." I don't think he *can* make money in other ways, which is why I'm looking at options that he wouldn't look at or consider. He can't draw comics, he isn't being offered the chance to write comics, or prose, or essays, and I'm not aware of any other skills he has that would make money.

Being born as "feminists," that makes sense, but I don't think it tells the whole story. Whether or not I qualify as "feminist," I think the rise of the Manosphere indicates that there are a large number of men (and some women) who are "anti/non-feminist" without ever having that kind of experience, and that number is getting larger all the time. They simply aren't putting up with what women tell them to do anymore, and are experiencing happier marriages, getting laid more, or having the time to pursue their own interests.

I've noticed that a consistent argument in the Manosphere is whether or not women should be permitted to participate. If I really had to choose, I'd say "no" and the women will find their own way to participate, but otherwise, I can't in good conscience make that decision, because I'm not part of the decision-makers, except in my own life.

Mike Battaglia said...


An opportunity to be a liaison between Dave and a publisher strikes me as an honor and responsibility worthy of bending over backwards for. The artist in question has offered the distinction of 'non-feminist' as part of the groundwork for moving forward with you, I don't see it as your place to question whether or not it would be deemed important to the publisher. The reason I don't see "paycheck" as the primary motivation for choosing to work with a publisher (in this context) is because Dave has specifically said it has never been the primary motivation. I don't see why that would suddenly change.