November 9, 2013 at 6:39 pm
Note: The subject of this blog post is gender equality. I understand that a bunch of you have no interest in reading about this, so if you're one of those people, you're welcome to skip it. I promise not to talk about Goblins stuff or anything else that you'd prefer not to miss out on. You're safe to ignore this post. EDIT NOTE: Since writing this post, I've discovered that I've been broad-brushing men's support groups and lumping them all into the title of 'Men's Rights Activists'. This is inaccurate, as there are other groups that believe in and discuss men's rights that don't identify as MRA. I apologise for the oversimplification. The more videos, podcasts and interviews I listen to about gender equality, the more I notice a growing chasm between feminists and the MRA (Men's Rights Activists). The reason this bothers me so much, is because I believe it pushes us away from the end goal that most of us want to reach. Gender equality. There are douchebags on both sides of this chasm. Both feminists and the MRA have people saying insane and hateful things about the other side. But both sides also house some really decent and intelligent people who genuinely want gender equality for absolutely everyone. One trend I've noticed, is for individuals from one side to point at one of these insane douchebags and declare "See? All Feminists/MRAs behave this way!" while the other side might declare "That's an extremist minority who doesn't represent our views". Let's ignore the insane folks who write blogs about how the other genders need to be rounded up in camps, etc and focus on what I believe to be the meat of both groups. The people who want real equality. A seemingly growing number of these people claim that in order to reach equality, the other group must be eradicated. I don't see this as the most effective path to equality. Both sides have attacked the other for claiming to be victims of various levels of oppression. I can only speak from my own personal experience, but I grew up in a house full of women. I lived with my Mum, my Nana and my two sisters (one of them black). As a white male, I've experienced almost no direct sexism or racism, but I've seen a lot of both of those things smack my family hard in the face. So when women stand up and claim that they face painful or frustrating sexism on a daily basis, I believe them. It seems callous to simply claim that they're wrong or lying. On that same note, it seems equally callous to declare it a hate crime whenever a group of men want to get together and discuss men's rights or how sometimes it sucks to be a man. I believe that anytime anyone claims to be a victim, step one should be listening to them. Step one should never be to declare them a liar. Many of us have seen the people tweeting things like "Men only need to do two things. Apologize and STFU!" or "Women should stop talking and go make me a sammich!". In my opinion, neither of these people are advocates for the rights of their gender. They're just bullies. Saying that these people are truly fighting for their gender is like saying the bully who smashed my Marvel Comics lunchbox in grade one was truly fighting for DC Comics. He simply wanted to hurt those who were different than him. That's what bullies do. When someone says "women's rights" or "men's rights" online, there seem to be various groups of people who'll react to those phrases as though someone had said the N-word. Sure, "human rights" is a far more inclusive and accurate phrase, but it isn't wrong to say "Men have rights" or "Women have rights" anymore than it's wrong to point at Joe over there and say "Joe has rights". To me, the feud between feminists and MRAs is like two people sitting in a room. One person says it's too cold, while the other claims it's too hot. Both people would be happy with the thermostat set at room temperature, but no one is touching the thermostat, because they're too busy yelling at each other over whether it's currently too hot or too cold and which one of them is the real victim. I don't think that we can aggressively force gender equality. Sure, we could force people to behave in a certain way with laws, punishments and even rewards, but in order to have true equality, we have to genuinely believe in it. The only way we're going to believe in it, is if we listen to everyone objectively and with an open mind. This issue is incredibly important. We need to try to rise above whatever frustrations or hurt feeling we've picked up and realise that this is bigger than each of us. Have you ever seen really intelligent people disagree and debate each other? It's amazing how some of them are able to do that without automatically considering the other person to be stupid, evil or insane simply because they disagree. If we can do this to some extent... If we can disagree with each other without anger, disrespect or prejudgment, I think that discussions might be far more enlightening. I'm far from an expert on this and I still have a lot to learn, but I've read literature from both sides. With both feminists and MRAs, I've found things I agree with and things I disagree with. I DO believe that men have rights and that sometimes it sucks to be a guy. I believe that it can be healthy for men to discuss this with each other and hear someone say "I know, right? I hate that!". I also believe that misogyny is a terrible problem that we all need to address. I think that women get screwed over in a lot of unfair ways and we need to listen to and learn from a lot of the people who are pointing at it and saying "Look!". I think things like GeekGirlCon, a place to acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of women in geek culture are much needed, great ideas. It's almost certain that you disagree with at least part of what I've written here and that's cool. In fact, it's healthy. But you can disagree with parts of what people say without vilifying them. Even if I'm fumbling around and going in all the wrong directions, know that I'm not trying to hurt anyone. I'm just seeing that a lot of people are uncomfortable and I'm doing my small part to try to get to the thermostat. As always, thanks for reading. ~Thunt And follow me on Twitter, if you like.
November 4, 2013 at 3:46 pm
...that the countdown clock tells you when I'm drawing live? You can just click the "Live Stream is On!" link to come in and say "Hi". Or more likely, come in and say "WHY?!". As always, thanks for reading! ~Thunt
October 10, 2013 at 11:57 am
As most of you know, I'm in the midst of my double convention trip. This has resulted in some temporary sacrifices regarding the comic. I really didn't want to post another Altsplanation or a guest comic, because I'm anxious to get back to the goblin adventuring party (which is right around the corner). So for now, take a look at this very unfinished page which I will finish up once I get back home. For those of you in the New York area, I hope to see you at NYCC (booth 1668) this weekend! As always, thanks for reading. ~Thunt
October 3, 2013 at 12:46 pm
In a couple of hours, Danielle and I are about to leave for VCON. I'll have a Goblins booth where I'll be selling some prints, shirts and anymugs. You'll be able to find me in the Cyberspace Hall (near registration). Then, after VCON is over, we're hopping on a plane and heading straight to New York for NYCC! We'll be at the Evertide Booth right here. Here we'll have prints, shirts (if they're ready on time. Please be ready on time) and books. Everything is being sold by the Evertide Games people (good, upstanding Americans) and all of the merchandise was made in the USA and is meeting us there. You hear that, border people? I'm breaking no laws. Please let us into your country. Oh please, do. We'll also be sharing the booth with Romantically Apocalyptic. We'll also be playing the upcoming card game Goblins: Alternate Realities at both cons. I will be bringing my smaller drawing tablet and seeing if I can update as usual. I think that in order to do this, I may have to skip the fancy shading for 2-3 updates. As always, thanks for reading. ~Thunt
September 25, 2013 at 12:25 am
Dear EVERYONE I've ever fought with, insulted or was sarcastic to online: How have you been? I want to tell you a secret. Well, it's not a secret exactly, but it's definitely something that up until now, I didn't really want you to know. Remember that time you said something to or about me and I shrugged it off with some condescending remark like "Sure thing, Pumpkin" or "You got it, Kiddo"? Maybe I even dabbed the beginning of my sentence with a snide, little "lol" or "haha" to show you how untouched I was by your comments. And if our communique took place long enough ago, I may have even hit you with a "You mad, bro?" before realising that the phrase had already become a tired cliche. The goal being to show you and any witnesses, that I cared so little about your words, I was sure to forget them moments after my cool, glib response. Well none of that was true. I'm not really cool, I'm almost never genuinely glib and I never actually call people condescending nicknames. And your comments? Well they totally did get to me. Sometimes for days or longer. Sometimes it was because you were smarter than me or had the moral high ground in our debates and sometimes you were just... louder. The crazy thing was that I often tried to expose how upset you were while simultaneously demonstrating my own emotional Teflon. Isn't that stupid? At the heart of  our battles, were subjects like gender equality, racism, politics, gun rights, religion or sometimes more personal topics like work, friendships and money. Sometimes I said things to you that were so damned clever and insightful that I just had to re-read it, imagining how you were going to feel as you faced the glare of my undeniable logic and quick wit. However, we both know that there were also times when I said the dumbest shit imaginable. Yikes. You may have been trying your damnedest to make me look and feel stupid, but nobody can do that to me better than I can. The point of this letter isn't to apologise or convince you of my own righteousness. Nor is it to declare that I'm somehow now above it all, as I'm sure we'll go at it again at some point. No, the point of this letter is to tell you that... well... you're okay. I don't mean that we're friends, far from it. I mean, sometimes you fling the most offensive, venomous hatred not just at me, but at huge groups of genuinely victimised people for "the lols". On the other hand, sometimes you're a reasonable person that sees the world very differently than I do. See, I love my wife (I'm going somewhere with this, hang tight). My wife is the most amazing person I've ever met. There is no league that contains her but if there were, I wouldn't be in it. She's awesome. Imagine Optimus Prime made of bacon and breakdancing for you on your birthday. She's that level of awesome. And see, here's the thing. You have stuff in common with her. Maybe it's something as vague as 'you both have opposable thumbs' or maybe your laugh sounds like hers. Whatever it is, you are in some way, just like the most amazing human being I've ever met or heard of. No matter how hateful or bat shit crazy the things you say are, no matter how terrible you make me feel by exposing my faults or proving me wrong, that's something that I'm always going to remember about you. Some part of you is 'bacon Optimus Prime' awesome. And I don't mean this in some spiritually over-decorated 'I have the higher ground' way, because if you look at all of our fights, I really don't. What I mean is that it's mathematically impossible for either of us to ever be completely horrible. As long as my wife, bacon and Optimus Prime are awesome, so are we. With respect, ~Tarol
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