Dear Scott Adams,
I never found your comics particularly witty or funny, just blatant observations that anyone who has spent a nanosecond in an office would be able to make.
Because I’m feeling a bit like waxing feminist for a moment. Let’s dissect exactly what you wrote and why so much of it, if not all, is inane drivel.
The post, in its entirety, with my comments bolded. It has since been deleted because apparently, to use a reference that I’m sure you would just adore - you couldn’t stand the heat so you got out of the kitchen. Of course, I’m a woman, so of course I can stand the heat, barefoot, in this metaphorical kitchen, right?
The topic my readers most want me to address is something called men’s rights. (See previous post.) This is a surprisingly good topic. It’s dangerous. It’s relevant. It isn’t overdone. And apparently you care.
Let’s start with the laundry list.
According to my readers, examples of unfair treatment of men include many elements of the legal system, the military draft in some cases, the lower life expectancies of men, the higher suicide rates for men, circumcision, and the growing number of government agencies that are primarily for women.
Unfair treatment of men? Do you not realise that every single example of “unfair treatment for men” was prescribed BY men? Women are too delicate, like little flowers, they could never serve in combat, so why would we ever draft them? Clearly we would have lost every war if a woman had been allowed to fight. Not to mention - men are obviously the protectors! It threatens masculinity to think that a woman could ever take the place of a man on the battlefield.
My ‘favourite’ really has to be the ‘lower life expectancies of men’, like there is some laboratory somewhere filled with women scientists plotting ways to decrease the longevity of men. I have some background in biomedical research, can I get a job at this magical place?
Let’s think about this a bit critically for a second, shall we? Men are more likely to be alcoholics. Men are more prone to heart disease. Men are more likely to engage in violent crime, as either the victim or the offender. Men are more likely to play contact sports. Men are more likely to have higher-risk jobs, such as firefighter, police officer, or officer in the military. Aside from the medical reasons, the remaining reasons are still due to the patriarchal society. Women, again, are too delicate to play contact sports, fight in combat, patrol the streets, or save people from burning buildings.
You might add to this list the entire area of manners. We take for granted that men should hold doors for women, and women should be served first in restaurants. Can you even imagine that situation in reverse?
I don’t think anybody takes this for granted, unless you live in 1950. I have doors shut in my face and cannot think of the last time a door was held for me in a grand show of chivalry, as opposed to my being directly behind someone where it was simply convenient, at best, to hold the door.
Also, where are you living that women are served first? Usually, it’s whichever meal was finished cooking first that comes out - quite frequently it’s not even your server who brings it and there’s always the moment of ‘Who had the chicken piccata?’ and not “Let me make sure the lady gets her food first because otherwise she’ll just faint at the sight of such disrespect.” Excuse me while I drink my sweet tea and swoon over the niceties of dining out with such a gentleman who could deign to let me have my food first. Even better would be if he let me order for myself! I’d have died and gone to heaven.
Generally speaking, society discourages male behavior whereas female behavior is celebrated. Exceptions are the fields of sports, humor, and war. Men are allowed to do what they want in those areas.
Exceptions? Is this a joke? Men are allowed to do what they want pretty much wherever they want. Even in spaces you’d hope would be considered ‘women-only’, men bully their way in and interject as much as they possibly can, silencing any woman who deigns to protest.
Also, you’ve neglected to mention two areas in which you dabble quite frequently - politics and entertainment. It sure seems like a bunch of men get to do whatever they like when it comes to making laws that directly impact my bodily autonomy. It also seems like men get to pigeonhole women into one of several tropes in film and television: sexpot, bimbo, well-meaning bimbo, sexpot who is simultaneously sexy and brilliant (but never more brilliant than her male co-star, of course!), high-powered, shrewish businesswoman, etc.
Add to our list of inequities the fact that women have overtaken men in college attendance. If the situation were reversed it would be considered a national emergency.
There are more women than men in the United States. For quite a long time, women weren’t even allowed to get an education. Why is it so shocking that we are finally becoming educated en masse? I suppose this is rather frightening to a “men’s rights activist” - if women become educated, they might gain agency and power and become educated enough to know exactly how ridiculous the very concept of “men’s rights” really is - and to reference something you neckbeards, will surely get - the level of ridiculous? It’s turned up to 11.
How about the higher rates for car insurance that young men pay compared to young women? Statistics support this inequity, but I don’t think anyone believes the situation would be legal if women were charged more for car insurance, no matter what the statistics said.
I don’t think anyone believes the situation would be ILLEGAL if women were charged more - men are the lawmakers, men make the laws, men really don’t care if their actions take away power or disadvantage women, so what makes you think they’d care about this?
Women will counter with their own list of wrongs, starting with the well-known statistic that women earn only 80 cents on the dollar, on average, compared to what men earn for the same jobs. My readers will argue that if any two groups of people act differently, on average, one group is likely to get better results. On average, men negotiate pay differently and approach risk differently than women.
Is it really so shocking that women negotiate pay differently and approach risk differently? We have been second-class citizens for so long that it’s not exactly going to change overnight. After being socialized to sit back and stay quiet, be polite at all times, even when a man is catcalling you in the street - is it really so shocking that we’ve been raised to defer to those in authority? (Usually men, of course!).
Your readers might argue that if any two groups of people act differently, on average, one group is likely to get better results. I’d wonder why they aren’t, instead, asking WHY the two groups are acting differently. But then again, I’m a college educated woman - clearly, I got too much of an education for my own good and now know how to challenge and question idiotic posits from people like you.
Women will point out that few females are in top management jobs. Men will argue that if you ask a sample group of young men and young women if they would be willing to take the personal sacrifices needed to someday achieve such power, men are far more likely to say yes. In my personal non-scientific polling, men are about ten times more likely than women to trade family time for the highest level of career success.
Oh goody! Anecdata referred to as “non-scientific polling.” That makes it sound so much more official! Again, the question is WHY? Is it perhaps, again, because women have been socialized to believe that they are worthless in the workplace? That they have no chance at attaining higher positions? That their soul function in like is to raise a family and if they choose not to, they are eschewing the very purpose of their being?
Give me a fucking break.
ACTUAL statistics show that more and more women are waiting longer and longer to start families because career has become more a priority and focus. Women are slowly, but surely, gaining agency in the workplace and foregoing starting a family because their priorities have changed because the climate has somewhat changed.
Again, the root of all your points just reinforce the rampant misogyny that exist in America. Why are men more likely to trade family time for the highest level of career success? Because if they opted to stay home and raise a family and gasp, become a stay-at-home-dad, it would be viewed as feminine. We live in a patriarchy and if you are a man, you better act like it - staying home is weak and feminine. Alternatively, if you are a woman and you don’t procreate and stay at home, opting instead to work your ass off and become a successful attorney or CEO? You’re cold, sterile, shrewish, etc.
Now I would like to speak directly to my male readers who feel unjustly treated by the widespread suppression of men’s rights: Get over it, you bunch of pussies.
"Get over it, you bunch of pussies." CLASSY. Let’s equate something completely negative by connoting it with a crude word for a part of the female anatomy. I mean, after all, everyone knows the absolute worst thing in the world for a man? It’s to be compared to a woman in any way, shape or form.
The reality is that women are treated differently by society for exactly the same reason that children and the mentally handicapped are treated differently. It’s just easier this way for everyone. You don’t argue with a four-year old about why he shouldn’t eat candy for dinner. You don’t punch a mentally handicapped guy even if he punches you first. And you don’t argue when a women tells you she’s only making 80 cents to your dollar. It’s the path of least resistance. You save your energy for more important battles.
What are these “more important battles”? Also, I know that you later say that you’re not directly comparing women to the ‘mentally handicapped’ or ‘children’, but you are doing exactly that. Those who are mentally handicapped have less developed or damaged brains, children also have brains that are less developed. Are you seriously saying that women, by the virtue of being a woman, have brains that are less developed? I do not need to be handled with “kid-gloves”, for lack of a better analogy. Your directions to men on how to deal with us insufferable feminists are quite choice, as well. “Don’t argue with those crazy feminists, just let them rant and rave - it’ll save you a lot of time in the long run.”
I mean, I know listening to what a woman has to say is just so terribly difficult. It would be just so horrible to actually consider the fact that men have been in charge of EVERYTHING for thousands of years and so maybe it’s time to actually listen to the marginalized groups, for a change. This is seriously wishful thinking on my part, of course. I would never expect someone who effectively wrote a manifesto on this crap to actually listen to what I (or any other woman) has to say.
The ‘best’ part of the analogy is that it is implied that the man in the situation, dealing with these hypothetical children is automatically correct. A child shouldn’t eat candy for dinner and neither then, should a woman point out any of the inequalities that exist.
How many times do we men suppress our natural instincts for sex and aggression just to get something better in the long run? It’s called a strategy. Sometimes you sacrifice a pawn to nail the queen. If you’re still crying about your pawn when you’re having your way with the queen, there’s something wrong with you and it isn’t men’s rights.
This paragraph was the one I found to be the most vile and disgusting. I’m still not entirely sure what this chess analogy is trying to say. Are you congratulating yourself for resisting the urge to oppress women? To demand sex from women? To be an aggressor towards women? Good job, you’re not a rapist? Do you want a medal for supposedly suppressing these natural instincts that demand you conquer anything that stands in your way?
What the hell is this trying to say - that men should avoid succumbing to these apparently natural instincts for sex and aggression (and a combination of the two) because if they are patient and don’t behave violently, eventually some ‘queen’ will come along who will acquiesce to your male prowess and finally treat you like the masculine Adonis that you truly are?
Fairness is an illusion. It’s unobtainable in the real world. I’m happy that I can open jars with my bare hands. I like being able to lift heavy objects. And I don’t mind that women get served first in restaurants because I don’t like staring at food that I can’t yet eat.
If you’re feeling unfairly treated because women outlive men, try visiting an Assisted Living facility and see how delighted the old ladies are about the extra ten years of pushing the walker around. It makes dying look like a bargain.
I can open jars. I can also lift heavy objects. I don’t need a man to do either of those things for me, nor do I consider myself more ‘masculine’ because I am able to do these things. This pathetic requirement that masculinity is defined by strength is a fallacy. As is this bizarre conclusion that women are served first in restaurants, as I previously addressed. Also, way to stick it to us women! We live longer, but those extra ten years are always sheer hell, stuck in an assisted living facility! If you treat your body well and you live a healthy lifestyle, you’re more likely to live a fuller, longer life. Many of the elderly live completely independently until the day they die, so again - WHAT IS YOUR POINT?
I don’t like the fact that the legal system treats men more harshly than women. But part of being male is the automatic feeling of team. If someone on the team screws up, we all take the hit. Don’t kid yourself that men haven’t earned some harsh treatment from the legal system. On the plus side, if I’m trapped in a burning car someday, a man will be the one pulling me out. That’s the team I want to be on.
Of course the legal system treats men more harshly than women - men make up the majority of criminal offenders! If, as I suspect, he is referring to the common argument of other men’s rights activists that women are frequently benefited by custody agreements and rulings related to divorce and children. Do you want to know why this is? It’s because the whole bloody system is misogynistic. It’s not because men are being treated unfairly, it’s because women are still viewed as homemakers and caregivers. It is because women are viewed as having a primary purpose - child rearing. It is not because there is some vast conspiracy to take away men’s rights. It is because the MEN in power have prescribed this maternal role on all women and rulings and the laws reflect this idea. (Again, remember who wrote those laws - men!)
Also, I suppose when I was a lifeguard and had to drag multiple MEN out of the water, I should have just let them drown? I’m sure they’d rather be dead than have a tiny 5’1 Chinese girl pulling them to safety. I know how emasculated they must have felt that I saved their lives instead of letting them drown like men!
I realize I might take some heat for lumping women, children and the mentally handicapped in the same group. So I want to be perfectly clear. I’m not saying women are similar to either group. I’m saying that a man’s best strategy for dealing with each group is disturbingly similar. If he’s smart, he takes the path of least resistance most of the time, which involves considering the emotional realities of other people. A man only digs in for a good fight on the few issues that matter to him, and for which he has some chance of winning. This is a strategy that men are uniquely suited for because, on average, we genuinely don’t care about 90% of what is happening around us.
When you make an analogy, you are equating one group with another. Don’t try and pretend you’re doing anything else. Framing everything from the perspective of a man who is always in the right is also a charming touch. ‘Dealing with’ the developmentally disabled, children and women is a really nice phrase as well. Instead of saying, perhaps, communicating with or anything else that doesn’t imply that even co-existing with these groups is such a strain on your male ego would have been nice. Again, I don’t expect much from perhaps the most grand exhibit of misogyny I have seen all year.
So to sum it up, Mr. Adams - you and your fans and followers can take every single argument you’ve made and fuck right off. Clever move, though - alienating the women who read your comics. You’ve just lost a whole host of readers because of your own arrogance and I suppose that is the one bit of solace we can take from all of this.
Anonymous said: Yeah! Women are awesome! Let's take a ton of pills, stick needles up our vaginas to kill our children and burn our bras so we can be just like men! Yeah! That'll show everyone how awesome being a woman is!
Expounding a bit would have helped clarify your point. Taking “tons of pills” for what? Birth control? General pharmaceuticals? The millions of men taking Viagra sure don’t seem to have any problem taking tons of pills to reinforce their masculinity.
Is anyone really arguing that we want to be “just like men”? I speak for myself when I say I really do not have any intention or desire of being “just like a man”, blind to my own privilege, silencing the voices of others, wandering through life trampling on the rights of others. I also don’t see the relationship between having an abortion and somehow being more masculine because of it?
Also, as far as the bra burning goes? What’s the point - now we have the internet to point out the misogyny rampant in society to a much wider audience, just as you have it to anonymously make ridiculously irrelevant comments.
If you have something you’d like featured - a Tumblr, news article, website, etc.
I’ll try to keep this updated as frequently as possible but if you see anything that is rife with neckbeardery, point it my way and I’ll make a post.
Feel free to submit it or any questions you might have.
Thanks for following and reading!
Georgia Republican Bobbby Franklin wants to change the wording of rape laws to redefine victims of rape as “accusers”.
As a survivor, I find this positively revolting. It is hard enough when you are the victim of a sexual assault, but now to have the extra burden of being called an ‘accuser’? Let’s just add one more reason why a rape victim might not come forward to the police.
It’s clearly not enough that:
Now let’s make sure that the survivor of a sexual assault has just one more thing to deal with by calling them an accuser. Let’s imply that they are simply accusing someone of rape, leaving the strong possibility that they are lying.
So, Bobby Franklin, as a survivor, as a woman, and more importantly - as a human being - I’d like you to fuck off.
If you would like to personally tell Bobby Franklin to fuck off, you may contact his office by e-mailing him: email@example.com or calling 404.656.0152 or writing him at 401 Coverdell Legislative Office Building
Atlanta, Georgia 30334.
I’d also like to add that I recently posted about the House Republicans wanting to redefine rape to ‘forcible rape’, discounting a number of assaults with that limited scope. I am pleased to say the language has been removed from the bill after considerable criticism, but the bill is still on the table so there’s still work to be done to protect the bodily autonomy of women.
Source: The Huffington Post
Josh and Amy West run a ‘natural parenting blog’ (their words) called Just West of Crunchy. Josh posted a blog entry titled "Thanks for menstruating. Keep it up." that discusses his discomfort with women opting to use birth control that allows them to only have four periods a year. He also equates menstruation with “womanhood”, claims he is only trying to educate women because he’s afraid that women aren’t educating themselves OR are simply buying in to the commercials.
"Okay, so as a guy, I’m probably the last person that should be writing this post. But here I am, so here it goes."
You should have just stopped there. Seriously, nobody that has a period cares what you have to say.
"Hell, I could really streamline my day if I only took a crap once a month. Is there a medical reason to do it every day? Probably not. But you know what? It just seems like a good idea. Believe it or not, it isn’t the medical community that I look to when deciding which of my basic functions are necessary and which are not."
Is there a medical reason to take a shit more than once a month? Yes. Sepsis. It doesn’t just “seem like a good idea”, you’d die if you didn’t. Not to mention equating having a period with defecating is just ridiculous (and, you know, considering I do both, I think I can say that.)
The really awesome quotes come from the comments. Instead of just accepting that perhaps he is not the best voice for such a post, Josh continues to talk over women (and some men who commented and have also had periods) and his wife chimes in to defend him, saying that his consulting with her prior to posting gives him a unique perspective. The cissexist comments that follow are really just disgusting. Jokes about transphobia.
"No, definitely not. Periods don’t make women, women. He’s actually alluding to a long list of things that contribute to womanhood - periods being one thing among many"
I love it when men get to decide what makes me (and other women) women!
"Yep, I understand it, and for the moment, stand by it. Perhaps that position will evolve, but for the time being, I believe that female reproductive organs contribute to womanhood. You don’t. To each his/her own…The period is a function of the female reproductive system, which I believe contributes to womanhood. You might not. It’s ok if we disagree. "
Good to know that this crunchy couple gets to be the authority on everything that is woman.
Honestly, the saddest thing is that there were a number of women who thanked Josh for his post, congratulating him on “confirming their thoughts on the pill”. Of course we can’t make decisions on our own, so it’s nice for us simpleton women to have a man to confirm what we already thought to be true. God knows we’d never be able to come to any conclusions on our own. So, fuck off, Josh and Amy, I’m perfectly capable of making decisions about my own body and don’t need a man to tell me what to do under the guise of ‘concern’.
I have to tell you that we could never have conceived that people would construe the comic as pro-rape; this unfortunate fact may help you to understand everything that followed. I have a daughter who is not yet two years of age, and I am flooded with hormones every time I look at her which say “this, this is why you are here.” I don’t have any intention of going into specifics, but speculating about my own sexual history or the sexual history of the people we know is profoundly unwise. I will also tell you that people deal with horror of this kind in different ways, and one of them is with humor. There’s no monolithic “woman” just as there is no monolithic “feminist” just as there is no “man,” no “true” way of dealing with tragedy. We think of the strip as one of those glass tanks with the gloves that reach in, a safe place to experiment with dangerous ideas, which we’ve more or less been doing continually for twelve years.
First of all, most people don’t think that the comic is the root of the issue. There are plenty other shining examples of the deeply rooted misogyny of Tycho and Gabe throughout the Penny Arcade repertoire. Perpetuating rape culture is not the same thing as being “pro-rape”, it is contributing to a society that allows rape to continue. No one is saying that these two are out there advocating for the rape of women and the fact that this is how they interpret their detractors says a lot.
We make disgusting, immoral comics on occasion to be sure; we’re used to correspondence in that vein. But when mail started to come in to the effect that we were perpetuating a fundamental social conspiracy to rape, we couldn’t believe what we were reading. That is the entire point of the second strip, which some people took as a literal response or apology, neither of which was its intended purpose. The only people who are pro-rape are rapists. The idea that you would have to specifically enunciate an idea like that is almost overwhelming. It’s self-evident. Hence, the comic.
Now this is where we start to see why so many people have such an issue with Penny Arcade. Not only did the second comic strip refer to rapists as “rapers”, but it just compounded the issue that so many have with Penny Arcade. It proved that instead of having a discussion about an issue, they can only respond in a medium that, when pressed for an explanation about it, they can argue that “it’s only a comic.” They place the blame back on their detractors for daring to take a mere comic seriously when it was the only response given by Penny Arcade.
By implying that rape culture is a conspiracy to convince people to rape is so downright offensive and wrong. Rape culture normalizes rape. Perpetuating it means that you are contributing to a society that believes that rape victims who come forward should be blamed for somehow contributing to their rape. Instead of blaming those who rape, we continue to accept that rapes will occur and give advice to college women that they should never walk alone at night, they should always walk in groups. Instead of educating men, who are the primary perpetrators of rape, that rape is wrong, that consent is a requirement for any sexual act, we place the onus on women to protect themselves. THAT is a rape culture. Rape culture does not mean proselytizing to the masses that they should rape.
Can we all agree that threatening to kill someone’s wife and children, as happened yesterday, has no place in any fucking society? This is why I had to say something: because people who imagine themselves to be “agents” of each side have now graduated to threats of actual, physical violence.
I think we all agree that violence should not be joked about. Oh wait, if that truly has no place in any society then why do numerous comic strips feature the wives of Gabe and Tycho being injured, killed, etc.? Why do these rules of such a civilised society suddenly not apply to them?
From: Nick Miller
He doesn’t call a nice girl back during the week but he drunkenly calls her ten times at 4 AM on a Saturday. He doesn’t want to live to be an old man but he invests money into a retirement account. He describes himself as an animal lover, but he is first in line for a second serving of a juicy steak. He used to be a passionate little altar boy, but now he loathes everything about the Catholic Church. He is one step away from being an atheist, but he secretly wishes he was Jewish just for the camaraderie. He pontificates about openness and tolerance, but he initially despises every USC kid he meets.
He hates his ex-girlfriend but he still masturbates to her. He wants to love a girl again but he also knows the truest sentence he has ever written is: “Once you fuck a girl, she becomes a real person- then it’s over.” He has crazy adventures with his boys, regrets having them, and then craves them all over again. He goes to bed believing he is a good writer but he wakes up thinking he is a terrible one.
I don’t usually like to call others out for their prose, but when you write such offensive tripe as this and then post it out there for the world to read and endorse? That’s a different matter entirely. This is an older post, from September 2010, but it’s really just the best, most concise example of what is so wrong with everything Nick Miller writes. If he set out to write the most apt character description of a neckbeard I’ve ever seen, then well done! Unfortunately, his entire repertoire is a thinly-veiled glimpse into the writer himself.
"He doesn’t call a nice girl back during the week but he drunkenly calls her ten times at 4 AM on a Saturday."
Such neckbeard logic! Why actually have a conversation with a girl while we’re both sober? Why not call her when I’ve had some liquid courage and there’s a chance she’s drunk and her inhibitions will be lowered! It’s the possibility of sex without having to put in any effort of actually getting to know someone.
What a terrible thing it would be to actually call her up during the week and have to listen to what she has to say! Then she might actually be a real person instead of just something to do. And that brings us to the next gem:
"Once you fuck a girl, she becomes a real person - then it’s over."
This is among the most disgusting sentences I have ever had the displeasure of seeing in type. So sorry that women would like to be treated as people. We’re not fucktoys, here with the sole purpose of pleasing a man or providing fodder for his pathetic masturbatory fantasies.
Yes, you can argue that this is prose and not actually what Miller thinks of women, but it is clear when you read any of his other work that the neckbeard is strong with this one and informs most, if not all of his words.
So, Nick Miller, you and your misogynistic writing and the legions of neckbeards that stroke your ego every day, you can all just fuck off.
I’m not sure how I feel about the original joke, but the backlash can be just… incredibly misguided. These guys seemingly have no idea what the rape culture IS (”…because they think Tycho and I are perpetuating some kind of rape culture and that’s a different matter. First off it assumes a lot about us that simply isn’t true…”), thinking it’s something you have to knowingly and maliciously participate in, instead of just failing to fight the perceptions of sex subscribed to by the society you were raised in.
You know what fixes that? Decent people, SPEAKING DECENTLY, participating in calm, intelligent debate and trying to educate people who just don’t know what’s up. It took ME years to open my eyes to this stuff. So when was the last time someone convinced you of something by calling you a “neckbeard” (or “uppity” or “over-opinionated”, as the case may be)?
Or with snotty one-liners like the one above, that close out a potential conversation before it even begins? How did you expect him to answer that? It’s admirable to be angry and passionate— that draws attention to the cause, definitely. But I’d think that if you honestly want change, you’d turn around after that and take a more effective approach.
An open, informing nature should be the most well-used tool in every sociologically-conscious person’s toolbox. Shit would get done a hell of a lot faster.
I’d like to respond to this - it is not my job to educate the ignorant misogynists. It is not my responsibility to provide a space for active dialogue. This is clearly a niche blog and while it is in its infancy and the scope may change, right now its sole purpose is to call out those who are maintaining the status quo of a patriarchal society, perpetuating rape culture, and spouting misogyny without any regard for women. Granted, the way that I am doing this is not particularly eloquent, but I never intended it to be.
I’d also like to say that while your intentions may be good, you are placing the onus on me, a woman, to cater to the ignorance of men. Am I only a good feminist if I engage in civil discourse? I reckon I forgot to read the rulebook.
Full image link →
Fuck off, Gabe of Penny Arcade. It was really nice that you gave a half-assed apology when you clearly didn’t mean it. We all appreciate it so much! Then again, you’re a neckbeard, how could we ever expect you to be anything other than a misogynistic asshole? Obviously it’s the women who take offense to you and your “humour” that are the problem. We clearly have no sense of humour and should defer to your clever wit when deciding what is and is not funny.
Oh wait - your comics are painfully unfunny regardless of whether or not they use rape as a punchline! So you can take your neckbeard fans and fuck off.