On Tuesday I read this article by Heidi McDonald, in response to an ongoing situation with Janelle Asselin. I’ll let you read the two articles, and then point you at the Comics Alliance article that hit the interwebs today.
I won’t rehash details. If you’re a comics person, you probably know about it by now, and if you don’t, you need to.
Heidi puts the issue of sexual harassment and threats of sexual violence (or just plain, vanilla violence) using the cloak of anonymity provided by the internet and aimed at women online (or in person) at the foot of Men.
And you know what? This is not women’s problem. This is MEN’S PROBLEM. I know most internet trolls are teenaged boys who don’t know any better, but this is MAN’S THING. This is something you men need to figure out and condemn and deal with. There should be MAN RULES about it, like how you’re not supposed to go into the urinal next to another guy, that kind of thing. Belittling, embarrassing, threatening and shaming women should not be some kind of masculine rite of passage. It should be the opposite of being a real man.
I’m taking this seriously. From the internet traffic I’ve seen on this issue today, clearly something about Janelle’s experience and Heidi’s article broke a damn and something in the zeigeist was clearly ready.
Male members of the comics community are going to have to drop their silence and reserve on a topic that they may not have felt much connection to. My hope is that in the weeks to come there are a flood of posts better than whatever I’m writing here that will begin to set a new standard.
It’s time to separate the Men from fanboys.