Mary Whitehouse and the ‘Man’

So I haven’t been feeling like writing ‘Troped!’ lately, didn’t want to put up a new Book Commentary so soon, and have been kind of stuck on what else I could do, but some things have happened in the wonderful world of Twitter hashtag campaigns that I thought you should all hear my thoughts on, since I’m such an important person and all, and I decided to write some shit about that instead.

I was thinking of starting a new segment where I spork SJW diatribes once a week or something though. Could be fun.

Anyway, I hate SJWs as much as the next misogynist neckbeard shitlord who neither hates women nor sports any kind of facial hair (as for being a shitlord, I’m not even really sure what that covers), but you know—I’m starting to feel like they’re not the real enemy.

There will always be moral guardians. The morals may change from guardian to guardian but that ‘Grr—must. Guard. Morals!’ mindset is simply the natural state of some assholes. But you know the saying ‘the only thing needed for evil to triumph is for good to do nothing’? Well, in this case it’s not entirely true. If ‘good’, or those who I imagine we would like to see as ‘good’, had done nothing, I would have been absolutely fine.

However, in this case, ‘the only thing needed for evil to triumph, is for good to cave in to evil’s demands like a bunch of little bitches’. (No! I used the word ‘bitch!’ Curse you, miso-canid-y (a word I just made up to describe hatred of dogs) Curse yooooooooou!) You probably know who I’m talking about in this instance. DC Comics, and Lionhead Studios.

They’ve been the most recent anyway, but I have my criticisms for Marvel too, not to mention how this goes beyond the world of fiction into the realms of Shirtstorm and mandatory conference Jazz Hands.

So, what am I going on about?

Well, for those of you who don’t know, the Joker—of Batman fame—is having his 75th anniversary this year, and to celebrate DC came up with a bunch of alternative covers for issues of their current titles featuring the Joker in one way or another. One alternate cover set to be used on an issue of Batgirl depicted the Barbara Gordon version of Batgirl restrained by the Joker at knifepoint with him trying to pull one corner of her mouth into a smile and her crying; a reference to Alan Moore’s ‘The Killing Joke’, one of the most famous Batman—and indeed all time—comics ever created.

I mean, I’m hardly a comics buff, but even I have that one on my kindle. It’s a very dark story, in which the Joker pops up at the Gordon home, shoots Barbara in the spine and abducts her father, and later shows him photos of her bleeding on the floor with her clothes taken off.

(N.B. Alan Moore has stated outright the Barbara was not raped by the Joker.)

(Though some will still insist she was… because apparently Alan Moore doesn’t really know what happens in his own stories? I don’t know…)

But, the usual crowd rallied round to protest the use of the cover on the grounds of it glorifying violence against women… somehow… (when I think comic book role-models for young men, my mind always goes to the Joker!) and of course because it was inappropriate for children who might see the cover. Can’t forget the nod to Mother Mary now, can we?

Apparently, death threats were sent to some of these noble warriors, which prompted the artist to ask DC to pull the cover, and DC agreed. Because that would help… somehow…

I don’t know if these were proper death threats or just idiots on Twitter, and though experience has taught me to expect the latter, I will for the sake of argument assume the former. But why would that induce DC to pull the cover? What does that have to do with whether the cover is appropriate or not? I’ve heard people say, ‘well, they saw that those who supported the cover were also the type of people to send death threats and therefore all those who supported the cover were wrong, and the cover was wrong and it was right to pull it!’

Thanks, but did you also know that Hitler Ate Sugar? And therefore sugar is evil, and all who eat it must be ostracised from society? Look it up on TV Tropes if you don’t believe me.

No, DC, and the artist of the cover specifically, caved to the demands of a bunch of whiny, dogma-spouting moral guardians just to shut them up, because they’d rather invite more death threats than have to listen to their bitching.

And a similar thing happened only a few days ago when Lionhead Studios tweeted an image from one of their games of a woman with huge… tracts of land to celebrate National Cleavage Day, resulting in them being whined at by moral guardians until they deleted the tweet.

Who should us shitlords and shitladies really be angry at in these cases?

The social justice stormtroopers who stood on the street-corner soapboxes of Twitter and yelled furiously at their imaginary enemies with rhetoric that with a few words changes could have easily fit in on one of those Christian Family media-watch websites so they could pretend they were fighting for truth, justice, and the American way?

Or the artists and creators who by this point know full well that Mary Whitehouse is alive and shaking her angry fists on Twitter and Tumblr on a scale she never enjoyed back in ye olde pre-internet days, and should also have known that anything and everything will set her off (see also: the great Spiderwoman’s Ass debacle of 2014), yet went ahead with the Joker variant cover or the ‘Jugs’ tweet anyway? And if they didn’t think that their art and freedom of expression was worth inciting such a rage, then it’s almost as if they wanted to stir up controversy.

Because if that wasn’t what they were aiming for, then they’re idiots. Idiots, or they’re cowards, and in my opinion they’re probably both.

You don’t thoughtlessly put out stuff you’re not willing to stand beside. You certainly don’t put out stuff you apparently are willing to stand beside, but won’t, because you’re afraid of the criticisms of the Tumblr crowd. If you’re afraid of criticism, you face your fucking fears, or you find something else to spend your time on, because there are morons out there who will take you to task for the fucking stupidest of reasons, and if you’re willing to stand up to Jack Thompson and that stupid Comics Code of Whatever then you shouldn’t have had any problems letting the ravings of the Mary-Sue and Brianna Wu roll off your back.

I mean, shit—I’m on the verge of completing a book set in twelve different countries across the world with three different protagonists of different races, you don’t think that—in the unlikely event that I sell any copies of it—I haven’t prepared to defend it?

Sure, that defence will hopefully be composed mostly of me completely ignoring any ‘mean’ things said about it; maybe giving a ‘I see no merit to any of their critiques’ (in the sense of SJW critiques, I’m not going to dispute it if I get some fact or other demonstrably wrong, though I’m taking pains to avoid that) but I plan to stand by my work, and if I wasn’t willing to do that then I wouldn’t be putting it out there.

I say this because you also have to be careful about what you say in defence of your work. SJWs, for one, will only see you as digging yourself in deeper, but you also risk looking like a complete idiot if you throw a fucking tantrum over it—see also, the new Thor comic.

Some people just have a different mindset to others. I learned that again after I looked at those infamous new Thor panels—the ones where the writer puts some of the criticisms levelled at them by those who didn’t want a female Thor into the mouth of a small-time villain and had Nu!Thor beat them up. I thought it was kind of understood it the writing world that you never, ever did that. Never put your personal grudges into your work as strawmen, it’s a petty fucking act of a petty person.

(Well, it did work that one time—Catullus’ Carmen 16. Though that probably has to go back onto the censored pile for all the triggering content now…)

But it seems that’s how these people see writing. ‘I don’t like anti-feminists, so I’m going to make my villain an anti-feminist, therefore if you’ve made your villain gay/black/muslim it must mean you don’t like gay/black/muslim people!’ Cue Twitter hashtag campaign to ban said character. Everything has to be a statement about something else, and even when a cigar is just a cigar, it’s actually a penis that’s probably used to rape women. No. In my opinion, you can believe in ‘death of the author’ if you like, but if the author’s dead, then they can’t be a misogynist, can they?

Anyway, I guess my point is that big companies like DC and Lionhead shouldn’t be caving into Mary Whitehouse’s delicate sensibilities, whether she’s wearing the mask of traditionalism or the mask of social justice. Nor should those outside the entertainment industry, such as universities. (you can really appreciate the priorities of modern day feminists when you see that these are the two most frequent targets of their vitriol).

They only have the power you give them, and right now you’re giving it to them in spades.

And as for you, Mother Mary—

“Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo.”

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