Two posts on webcomics and rape culture

… which you should read:

On dealing with dudebros at Two Whole Cakes

Your resistance was not surprising. It always seems as though these issues will go away if you stop looking at them, which is a function of being one of the fortunates for whom looking at them is optional. But you can’t push these conversations aside; you can’t ignore them away, and you can’t will them out of existence.

My point, here it is at Shakesville

Since yesterday, when Mike/Gabe declared “Okay That’s Enough,” once he found himself on the receiving end of the same sorts of threats and violent rhetoric I’ve been getting from his readers for the past six months—from exhortions to kill myself to threatening emails and comments to a coordinated campaign against me and the blog … which explicitly encourages Penny Arcade readers to stalk and rape me—the amount of email I’ve been getting has actually increased.

Background here.


  1. Amanda

    This whole PA debacle has been beyond the pale. The two PA dudes have acted like spoiled children stamping their feet for months refusing to apologize or acknowledge the harm their non-acknowledgement of rape culture was doing.

    It’s moments like this in the history of gamer culture that makes me feel sick and horrified to be a gamer.

    Anyone who uses the phrase “hey, it’s just the internet” is completely refusing to acknowledge that the internet is made up of PEOPLE. The “internet” is not this sentient monolith that spews garbage like this, it’s people using the anonymity of the internet to be horrid human beings (one of the comments in Liss’ latest post about the extent of threats she gets is HORRIFYING).

    • QoT

      The fact that they didn’t even seem to get that one of their ardent supporters on Twitter was literally called Team Rape, and the fact that the irony apparently wasn’t completely obvious when they were talking about “wanting PAX to be a safe, comfortable space … oh but I’ll be wearing my shirt” … well, I have to give Lesley at TWC massive credit for still giving these guys the benefit of the doubt and still trying to talk to them like they’re reasonable.

      Because come on your supporters use names like Team Rape. But oh no, they still just can’t fathom this whole “rape culture” thing, what are you talking about you silly feminists???

      • Amanda

        I know so many people ask the rhetorical question “do you not have wives/girlfriends? daughters? sisters? mothers? aunts? cousins? grandmothers?” during the discussion of rape culture with Not Getting It Dudes, but when you get guys kicking back SO HARD like they were, you have to wonder what the women in their lives are thinking about it all. Because if the stats hold true, they WILL know someone who has been raped, but that person will not feel comfortable around them, or comfortable talking to them about it, because the PA dudes don’t CARE what hir has been thru.

        • QoT

          I’m sure it’s ~completely different~ when it’s someone they know and care about. Just like with the rape and death threats; not a fucking problem at all when it’s just meanie feminist bloggers who Don’t Have A Sense Of Humour, but mention their own families and suddenly OH HAI THAT SHIT ISN’T COOL AND YOU SHOULD STOP IT.

  2. Gravey

    I have finally had the chance to read the whole history of this thing.

    I have so much awe and respect for all of you fighting this. I would like to do whatever I can to give my support.

    It always astounds me how people, when presented with the consequences of their actions, can’t simply say “I am genuinely sorry for the extreme hurt I now know I have caused. Thank you so much for pointing this out to me. I will not engage in such activity ever again and will do whatever I can to prevent it from happening elsewhere”. It’s not fucking hard.

    From my reading of it, even the threats against MIke/Gabe haven’t taught them anything. They just feel bad and don’t have the capacity or willpower to extend their feelings to how others feel.

    • QoT

      Thanks, Gravey. I’ve been only tangentially involved due to being a geek and reader of feminist blogs but it’s clearly had a massive effect on a lot of people I respect.

      Someone raised a great point on another recent Shakesville comment thread: normally when people pick fights with Gabe and Tycho, those people are coming from a position of ignorance, so G&T mock them mercilessly, and they go away. But this was perhaps the first time G&T had to deal with a group of people who actually knew more than them and could use language and jargon they didn’t get. But they couldn’t even adapt their usual tactics so they just tried mockery and I think that’s really backfired against them.

  3. Octavia

    Not a big fan of how tone-argumenty Lesley’s comments, and part of her piece, are. She has a different approach and wants to have a 101 ignorant dude space in that post, great, but her comments about raaaaaging, and her not really engaging with the multiple ‘Oh you’re okay we quite like you, you’re not a ~*crazy*~ angry feminist’ commentors remind me of people going along with something awful in order to not be seen as a downer (sorry ladies, I’m cool, so I need to feed you to the wolves, kay?). It reads like she’s quite happy to be seen as the rational feminist, and Shakesville as the radicals who might just ~*go too far*~. While admitting on her Tumblr that oh actually, this isn’t triggering for her, so it could be a little easier.

    Lady feminists, don’t get too ~*angry*~ when groups of men say that hey, what would be cool would be to find out where you live and rape you, for reals! Don’t write people off, jeez.

    So actually, what I’m saying is, her post as a whole really pissed me off. Made me wonder if there was some Lesley/Liss history I’d missed.

    • QoT

      I definitely did get a let-me-provide-a-teaching-moment-unlike-those-people vibe – but the problem is that that tactic may actually work to convince some people so if Lesley’s willing to play nice-patient-feminist-educator then I’m willing to spread around whatever might work!

      • Octavia

        Yeah it’s great she can do that, because it is absolutely necessary though a lot of people can’t, but what bothered me is the air of throwing other women under the bus to do so. It was really unnecessary, and a bit of a betrayal. Like shit, sure there’s no magical feminist HQ where every member must looove each other, but *really* Lesley?

        • Amanda

          On a second reading, yes I do get a bit of that vibe now, especially backed up in commentary. Someone called Shakes “misandrist” and Lesley hasn’t seen fit to deny or argue the point. Why SHOULD people stop being angry, just because other people say so? After a universe of rape culture dumped on our heads, how can you NOT be angry?

          I get having the energy to patiently sit out a 101 educational moment but there is a world and internet full of information available to the PA guys if they bothered to look outside their little dude fortress. Its not like academia, news stories or blogging about past episodes of rape culture go away the moment the hubbub dies down.

  4. Cujo

    Yes yes, the PA creators are truly evil monsters. You folks should create your own successful webcomic and show them how it’s done! Oh wait, that requires actual talent and creativity… nevermind.

    • QoT

      Sorry Cujo, but while that’s a solid A for persistence, it’s Fs all the way for actual relevance, originality, and avoiding really tragic strawmen.