Going Offline For Awhile (trigger warning: r*** stuff)
Those who know me, know that I tend to speak out about equality quite a bit. Usually it’s gender equality, but sometimes it’s about racial, economical, etc. It’s an important topic to me for what I admit, are very selfish reasons.
Before I was born, my teenage mother was kidnapped by a number of men and kept for days while she was beaten and raped. One of the men grew a conscience, put a coat around her naked body and sent her outside. It took her awhile to find help, as she couldn’t see. Both of her eyes were swollen shut.
I learned about this tale when I was a teenager myself and it’s become the central part of my moral compass, ever since. My Mother, clearly a stronger person than me, is over this and even makes jokes about it now. This is her way of being bigger than it. Her way of beating it. She respects that everyone who’s gone through something like that needs to find their way of dealing with it.
I didn’t even exist when this happened and yet, I’m still not over it. My teen fantasies of having super powers or being buddies with Optimus Prime all eventually gravitated to be beating up or even killing those guys.
As some of you already know, the ‘Kin and Dellyn’ story arc has two jobs. Firstly, it’s fantasy fulfillment for me. It’s designed to make ME feel better. The second job, is to show how horrific rape is. How it transcends evil. How even other “badguys” can’t stomach it. To de-normalize as much as I can. Before I wrote that into the comic, I had a handful of long discussions with my Mother about it and she gave me her blessing.
I thought that if I did this, it’d make me feel better. Like I actually had those super powers and was flying around stopping rapists. And at first, I did kinda feel like that. It was amazing. This was my way of being bigger than it. My way of beating it. Let me clarify with swiftness and conviction that I am in NO way, comparing my feelings about that past event to my Mother’s. I was not raped. I was not harmed in any way. I just needed a healthy way to get this 25ish year old fury to go away.
But since that story arc has come out years ago, I’ve gotten scolded to various degrees. Usually it’s a verbal tap on the back of the hand to tell me about the sexist things I’m doing that support rape culture. A few times it’s been full on mocking or rage, accusing me of lying about my Mother’s experience and even marrying my wife and pretending to love her, all to hide my massive misogyny.
Basically, that fantasy of mine from my teenage years, has gone sour. I used to fantasize about flying around and saving the day. But over time, I’ve felt more and more like I’m flying around supporting misogyny and rape.
It’s a gross kind of mental nauseousness that grows each time I’m told that my work is in some way sexist. Onlookers commonly say that I should relax and that I’m making too much a big deal about it.
Imagine that you’re stung by a bee. You might say “ouch” and react a bit. Now imagine that you’re being swarmed by bees and stung over and over. You start flailing your arms around and freaking out. Then an onlooker points at the latest bee sting, the one that just happened right there on your arm and says “Relax. You’re making too much of a big deal about it. It’s just a little bee sting.”
Parts of Goblins makes me sick to my stomach, because to some, it’s doing the opposite of what I’d intended. To some, I’m creating sexist work. I know that this is my problem. This is my gross over sensitivity. This is my issue and it’s up to no one but me to fix it.
I’ll be going offline for a little while. The comic, the work on the game… this will all continue as fast as it possibly can. I just mean that my Twitter feed will only post comic updates, G:AR updates etc and I won’t be drawing live for awhile. Stuff like that.
Side note, work has been slowed due to gallstone pain, but I’m having my gallbladder removed November 17th, so I ‘should’ be pain free and working much faster after that!
As always, thanks for everything.