Friday, 20 March 2015

How many assholes do we have on this ship, anyway?

So the latest bout of comics-related e-drama between a pair of asshole nobodies on the web can be summed up thus: someone became a ringleader for online abuse aimed at a budding writer who had some sophomore work for Marvel and it is implied that there was intent behind the abuse to get them fired by Marvel because of their persona away from writing.  As far as I can tell, there's (American) irony in play, in that this is a bad thing if the victim is female, but a good thing if the victim is male, because Reasons.
I used to read D'Orazio's blog religiously because she is an interesting commentator who brings a great deal of firsthand experience to the debate on gender that modern comics seems afraid to have, but one of the things that eventually drove me away from her stomping ground was her constantly laying things on a bit thick, as well as stretching logic further than it could go to support sometimes-flimsy presuppositions usually to the detriment of the output of DC Comics with which she clearly had an axe to grind and was incapable of being objective about (or as some commentators who know D'Orazio personally choose to put it: "always talking about her own victimization") and seeing her lead her refusal of Sims' apology with accusations of misogyny is annoying because it's an attempt to move the goalposts to D'Orazio's normal field of play at the expense of the existing and acknowledged debate about bullying, which is a gender-neutral issue.
I don't know why D'Orazio would choose to do this - perhaps it's subconscious and she does genuinely see all criticism and/or harrassment as being gender-motivated - but the end result won't be to help dialog, it will be to tarnish future discussion because now the other side will utilise D'Orazio's comments as proof that progressive arguments are manipulative and disingenuous, and less helpfully, they'll use Sims as some sort of role model, which even Sims doesn't think should be the case.

The asshole contingent on the web is a large, vocal and unrepentant body, and can only be fought long-term by consistently playing fair and not practicing a double standard and then trying to excuse it because the victim is an obnoxious internet jackass like Sims, but that boat has sailed on the D'Orazio/Sims debacle, and now it's just assholes - myself included - shouting at each other on the web again.  Here's hoping the next e-spat will move things forward a little.

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