Suddenly I Hate Boston. And Phoenixes. And ... Jean Grey, I Guess.


Nex, this morning I was about to call you out on your earlier post -- the combo videos thing where you mentioned you wanted to "have her babies" -- but then I was like, "oh, Nex always gets a lot of shit, I'll let it go". Then you post this nonsense. And that's what it is, nonsense.

"IT'S A GODDAMN WEBCOMIC". Right, it's just a rape joke. Just kidding, ladies! That makes it okay. Nex, I don't believe you can't understand why it's wrong to perpetuate this kind of thinking; I think you're just trolling.

And as for the "I want to have your babies" thing -- you're basically saying "I appreciate you because you make me want to fuck you". Same thing applies as above; it's this casual, passive acceptance of language that reinforces sexist attitudes. Our culture has to move past this.
Hang on a tick. Is that really it? Is that really the reason why stuff like this calls down a firestorm of contempt? I still stand firmly by my "everything is too PC, the 80s were kinda awesome, check out how rad being a white male is" message, but I can see your point there.

Of course, it says something really damn depressing about our society that the use of a four letter word in a joke comic is enough to perpetuate negative stereotypes toward women.

If it helps cat, I've long hated the idiot children who would read this sort of comic and think rape is hilarious.

(As for the "want to have her babies" thing, that was just the sort of borderline idiotic bullshit that passes for e-flirting these days.

We should probably add "women who fall for that sort of shit" to the list of people to glower at. I'll be sure to collect all their names and phone numbers for posterity.)
Long screed about how some other screed was too long. Don't expect me to write a long screed in response, OK?

The world's full of offensive stuff, and of people who get offended. The Penny Arcade guys are getting publicity out of this, Maddy Myers is getting publicity, asking "can I still say 'ass'"? makes it sound like you're looking for some too (publicity, not ass... or maybe both!). More power to you, I guess.
As a super hot female that strives to look like that woman (fireballs and all) she can shove it. Not every woman wants to wear plaid overalls. And I love comics (I am writing one WITH my husband). Rape is beyond horrible but by admitting that women can be beautiful, love their bodies, and personify superheros empowers women. I don't try to be this way for a man. I am this way for me ;)
<-- 40 y/o female, BTW

It's NOT A RAPE JOKE, for chrissakes! The joke is the gamer trope that you, the "hero," only do enough good to meet a quest criteria. The rape reference, along with the beating reference and slavery reference, was there to illustrate the horribleness that the hero was disregarding.

An actual joke where rape is the punchline would be offensive. This is borderline, but there is such a thing as context. When I laugh at the joke, I'm not laughing at rape, because that's not the context.

All of this could have been handled better on both sides but Jesus Christ on a grilled cheese sandwich, no one was perpetuating rape culture here. Now a bunch of people are because of all the attention. Good job, feminists.
The stupidest part of the whole thing is the consistency.

Throughout the Penny Arcade history, there are at least two other rape jokes with humans (and lizard men), countless rape jokes between a blender and produce, a man who can't orgasm unless he shoots a dog, slavery, racism, forced eating of glass, murder (a lot of it), sex dungeons, placenta eating, a baby who gets killed by a rhino, and a guy who flipped off a box of kittens.

Why the everliving fuck would a "regular fan" suddenly be offended?
Okay, PDXwahine, I'll bite.

I can't make an objective call on whether or not the Penny Arcade strip is an official Rape Joke. I think the point the comic makes about gaming is funny and could have been done without that particular line.

What I want to point out to Nex and anybody else reading is that Maddy Myer's response is a valid one. We live in a rape/predatory culture, we're surrounded by rape scenes in movies, rape is reported as "sex" in the news, popular celebrities avoid prosecution or receive minimal charges for rape, and the jokey use of rape has become as common as saying something is "gay".

The fact that Penny Arcade wrote that line shows how prevalent rape jokes/slang is in nerd/gaming culture, where guilds commonly talk about "raping" a mob or opponent or whatever. Most people in real life, in mixed company, wouldn't normally say "I totally raped that client today" or "I'm going to rape the shit outta this Reuben". Yes, each little incident doesn't seem like much but we're talking about the bigger picture here.

If feminists are as humorless as one might believe then it's because they get tired of having to make their point, over and over, get called a cunt for it, get dismissed as missing the point, not being able to take a joke, it's just a cartoon, lighten up, etc etc. I personally expect better out of myself and my friends and I will call people out on it -- just as much as I would want others to do for me. That doesn't mean I think Nex (or Gabe/Tycho) is not a good guy or is a misogynist, it doesn't mean we can't be funny or sexy or smart or stupid; it's that for people of privilege (race, class, gender, etc) it's easy to perpetuate this stuff in actions that may seem insignificant.
PDXwahine, FTW.
PDXwahine nailed it. I'm really angry at myself for reading most of the comments in that Shakespearessister thread. Whole lot of groupthink and immediate silencing of anyone who disagrees with them. Their treatment of "Brett" was pretty ironic.
And this is why we can't have good webcomics.
@cat & beard, I do get what you're saying. I had my decades of expressing outrage at some of the very real things you're mentioning.

The problem is that "making a point" so rarely works. It makes others uncomfortable, gets their backs up, and usually ends up counterproductive. Look at the reputation feminists have: angry, humorless, reactionary. Is that helping anything?

Myer's response is valid, but there are better ways to go about it. No one is really going to read that whole thing and change their mind. :) Especially when half of them feel blindsided for being terrible, laughing at what they didn't think was a rape joke.

I stopped explaining to people why things their way are bad and started showing them why things my way are good. "Be the change you want to see" and all that. Expect class from the people around you, but be kind when they lower themselves, as everyone does at some point. I know, la-di-dah, but Ghandi didn't tell people what they were doing wrong. Rosa Parks didn't yell or point fingers. They just lived what they thought and people began treating them, and consequently others around them, differently.

Aside from the whole 'is it a rape joke' issue, that's my biggest problem with this whole thing. Sorry, typed too much. I tend to. Cheers!
Knowing nothing about it other than this post & the Phoenix article you linked: that article was great, and indicated to me that the rape joke wasn't the issue; the issue was the exclusivity and hostility engendered by the Penny Arcade guys' response. Which I totally buy. One rapewolf comic? Whatever, and no, they shouldn't apologize. Banning people who asked for their money back from ever attending again, because those people didn't want to go to a show full of dudes in Team Rape Wolf shirts? That's effed. Granted, this is based totally on my reading of that article, and this isn't really my world. Kiala? Where's Kiala??
(the issue that Myers had, i mean, not the entire feminist Internet or whatever.)
She's eating an almond cookie.
I want to apologize for my previous comment.

I now realize the assertion that women are capable of destroying food objects with their mouths is both sexist and pro-violence.

As far as I know Kiala has never and will never eat a cookie or any other food created by the phallocentric, patriarchal baking conglomerates that have a stranglehold on our fine city.

Ladies, you all have my sincere apology for whatever it is that I did wrong.
@Alison. Isn't Kiala busy (or is that buzebee) being drunk and/or declaring herself queen of everything.

@PDXwahine. You had me until you went all Gandhi and Rosa Parks and Jesus on this shit.
Re: @PDXWahine's "I stopped explaining to people why things their way are bad and started showing them why things my way are good."

"Gandhi Shit" or no, that's a great point to make. There's a big difference between explaining and showing, and a lot of people get very caught up in the deathly importance of "sending messages." The whole situation is fraught with people for whom "Sending a Message" is code for "ineffectual posturing," where symbolism is a shortcut past real substance, and everyone is huffing gunnysacks of their own self-righteousness until pious fuzzies cloud whatever well-intentioned point they were trying to make.
HA HA HA, "Nex." You're so daring and witty. That rapier wit.

No one here is for censorship. It's the fucking Mercury blog, after all. But when I looked at that strip, my main thought was "raped to sleep...that's anugly phrase." I got the joke, but the phrase did affect me. Made the thing, frankly, not very funny. I notice that they're selling shirts that read "Dickwolves," not "I want to rape you to sleep" or "rape me to sleep." If it's so funny, why not embrace the phrase?

I make bad jokes here all the time, some extremely tasteless. But I hope I'll never post anything quite as pitiful as your retort of 9:14 PM. That whole "feminists are goofy" schtick may get you some high-fives but it makes you look not like a Dickwolf but, frankly, just like a dick.
@Fatboy thank you, my dear. :)
Sigh. It is seriously annoying to have to rehash all this, but...

The original Shakesville objection to the comic was pretty mild, by feminist blog standards. It was not hysteric or vitriolic, it just pointed out yet another instance of the cavalier treatment of rape. A blog post here, a few angry letters there, and that could have been the end of the story.

The really objectionable stuff was all the fallout afterwards - and specifically the active and passive choices made by the PA guys. They alternated between petulantly ridiculing the rape survivors and critics within their community, and standing idly by while giving tacit approval to all the TeamRape shit.

So when you say stuff like "it's just a comic!" or "the comic wasn't that bad!" you're missing almost the entire point. The original comic may have started the debate, but it very quickly stopped being the crux of it. The Phoenix article is about how a lot of people now feel extremely unwelcome at PAX and in the PA community at large. They don't feel unwelcome because of that one comic strip, but because of everything that came after that. It's the snarky follow-up comic from Gabe and Tycho. It's the tshirts. It's the death threats and the misogyny and the victim-blaming that were allowed to percolate through the community unchecked. Without all that, you wouldn't see so many people boycotting PA or asking for the PAX money back. If you're going to accuse people of being thin-skinned, you should at least understand the main things they're being so very thin-skinned about.

It's intellectually dishonest for you to ignore everything that came after the comic.
"It's intellectually dishonest for you to ignore everything that came after the comic."

Yeah, but it's so much EASIER for Nex to immediately go from reading the comic to declaring, "I fucking hate all of you PC cunts." It's all about applying quick conclusions to a broad population, based on your feelings about a subset of that population. I doubt that intellectual honesty was ever claimed here.
I think the complaints are absolutely ridiculous. The comic is refers to rape as 'hell unending,' for god's sake. And there are no similar objections to comics that really do make light of murder, for example. Is murder better than rape? Where is the vitriol?

Cat and Beard, this whole paragraph is tinfoil-hat time. What kind of horrible persecution complex do you have? This is NOT the end times, and we do not live in a 'rape culture.' That phrase sounds a lot like the 'military industrial complex' - a simplistic fantasy that allows believers to cast themselves as a poor, suffering victims, helpless against some nebulous, omnipotent dark power. That's not real life, that's a children's story.

Quoting: "What I want to point out to Nex and anybody else reading is that Maddy Myer's response is a valid one. We live in a rape/predatory culture, we're surrounded by rape scenes in movies, rape is reported as "sex" in the news, popular celebrities avoid prosecution or receive minimal charges for rape, and the jokey use of rape has become as common as saying something is "gay".
If we can't laugh about horrible things then we would never laugh at all. I don't know if anyone has opened their eyes to the world we live in but there isn't anything out there that doesn't suck giant balls. It is all really shitty. Laughing makes it okay. Empower yourself.
Reymont: Again, I am not taking offense at the comic, simply pointing out that the stand Maddy Myer's took was a valid one based on our culture climate. This stance does not condone or condemn other crimes by omission, that is a strawman argument with no relevance here.

I stand by what I said. Much smarter, more articulate people than I have more to say about the subject.

Are people who asked for their money back because of this actually banned from attending PAX in the future?

Myers says this:

"Late on January 29, there was another missive from Penny Arcade. It was again from Krahulik, and in a blog post titled "Dickwolves" he responded to people who'd bought a ticket to PAX but now wanted their money back. He wrote that anyone who asked for a refund would receive one. But they would also be added to a list that would ban them from ever registering for a PAX again."

The Penny Arcade post says this:

"Now for some people removing the shirt isn’t enough. They don’t want to come to PAX or support PA because of the strip or 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 but more importantly it’s not something I can fix. I’ve gotten a couple messages from people saying they are “conflicted” about coming to PAX. My response to them is: don’t come. Just don’t do it. In fact give me your name and I’ll refund your money if you already bought a ticket. I’ll even put you on a list so that if, in a moment of weakness you try to by a ticket we can cancel the order."

Did she just misread that post, or is the ban a real thing?

Hey Nex, do you think you could actually address these questions, instead of just phoning in an insincere apology that boils down to "bitches, man, amirite"?
PA aren't the kind of dudes who think that rape is funny. They aren't oblivious to rape culture. The joke wasn't a "rape joke," and I want a dickwolves teeshirt because (like most other people who want the shirt) I think dickwolves are awesome, not because I want to perpetuate rape culture or scare wo/men that have been raped.

I might be going into otherwise dangerous territory with this juxtapose here, but in yaoi culture (yaoi = gay male romance and pornography, written by and for women to enjoy, thus the audience is mostly women) there is quite a bit of guy-on-guy rape, but it isn't really rape because "he really wants it, so it's consensual." Anyway, pornography. Its relationship to rape culture is about as loose as the dickwolves joke, the yaoi audience is mostly women but there isn't a sea of feminists attacking yaoi rape porn, or maybe they don't care because it's men raping each other, but if a man makes a joke that has the word rape in it even if it's not about rape, it's time to get UP IN ARMS.

I think I made a point there, but now I'm not really sure. I dunno. Coffee.
@ Alison: Yeah, in theory I could have a polite, well-reasoned discussion touching on both sides of the argument and weighing them against one another, but as ROM pointed out, that's not really my thing.

Truth be told, anything I say is only designed to amuse me. If you'd like well thought out debate, I suggest, well, basically anyone else here. The readers seem to have this whole "mature discussion" thing down pat.

Especially ScrumYummy who gets double points for working in a yaoi reference. Anyone wanna see that and raise him a vaguely related story about furries?
@Alison - I read that as passive/aggressive butthurt on the author's part. It seems to me he's simply saying "Don't come, email me, I'll refund your money." There's nothing in there about banning people from future PAX events. Even if a list WAS created from those willing to stop posturing and ACT by requesting a refund, I doubt such a list would be referenced once tickets are placed on sale the following year. I doubt such a list would EXIST by the following year. It's way more trouble than it's worth.
Not asking for politeness, Nex. Just some level of intellectual engagement with the conversation you started. You know, like how grownups talk. Didn't realize that was too much to ask.

@Fatboy - Thanks.
Nex: "It's funny when people form arguments and try to engage me, when they should know I just type whatever the hell pops into my head!"
@ Todd: Replace "funny" with "generally tedious" and you've got it in one.

@ Alison: Yeah, sorry to get your hopes up ma'am. Would it help if I bought you a pony?
Then again, let's face it: At this point I'm just bored of the whole thing and trollface.jpg is behind the wheel.

But why the Christ are we discussing my schizophrenic ass? The key, interesting issue here is the frighteningly male dominated world of gaming (and, by extension, our modern reality as a whole) and the depressing backlash that erupts when women and their supporters attempt to express their right for equality.

Let's get back on topic before anyone else gets a hateboner over my fuckery. That sorta thing just ain't healthy.
interesting discussion. i'd like to add to ScrumYummy's post by questioning the unspoken assumption by certain people that rape is the exclusive property of women. it's not.

and thanks to GraduallyGreener for a nice recap and perspective. I didn't find the original "joke" offensive, but the reaction to the reaction seems really juvenile. kinda like Nex's posts.

extra large props to PDXwahine.
@Nex: Go put on your squirrel suit and I'll meet you at the glory hole.
Best way PA could of handled this was to of just brickwalled the feminists. Ignored them. Don't apologize while resisting the tempting urge to mock their accusations. Don't acknowledge their existence and let them continue to hate what they hate on their own strictly controlled forums.

There's no answer feminists would accept other than complete submission, they don't reason with men, or at least the ringleaders don't (Sonia Ossorio, shakesville I suppose). It's how they earned their stereotype. A group that bases their platform on promoting equality by advocating inequality and double standards can't be reasoned with.
@cat & beard

Stop acting like joking about sex/rape/sexism is some kind of separate and isolated epidemic/problem. People do the same thing with murder, war, famine, poverty, some like to call it dark humor, others call it a thick skin.

Culture can't "move past" it because it's a fundamental part of what keeps society functioning in a world that is flawed and will always be flawed. There's nothing advanced or profound about hypersensitivity, if you broke down and cried whenever a new murder was announced in the news you wouldn't be advanced or enlightened, just an incredibly unproductive person.

"IT'S A GODDAMN WEBCOMIC". Right, it's just a rape joke. Just kidding, ladies!"
The joke wasn't about rape, rape wasn't the punchline, the little part rape played in the joke was shared with beatings. The joke didn't even insinuate that rape wasn't serious. Most feminists admitted that, why can't you?