Friday, April 18, 2008

Maybe This Doesn't Mean Anything.

So I guess I'll finally get around to discussing that poll of mine and its final results and what they mean... which is probably Not All That Much, since it's hard to judge from a month's time and a handful of participants from who knows where whether any particular result is indicative of any trend in the general population... or anything else, for that matter.

After all, I haven't a clue who reads this blog or where they come from. Sure, I assume a large percentage come from When Fangirls Attack, considering the linking I get, and my guess is that a few of the anonymous comments I've had are stragglers from my John Solomon/Your Webcomic Is Bad-related posts. (Disappointingly, the smartass anonymii aren't nearly as entertaining or clever as they think they are.)

Hell, for all I know, just putting the poll up spat out some sort of automatic link at ("hey, look! Here's the latest 20 polls put out by opinionated tards using our site!") and the poll reached 57 random yahoos... or maybe 57 people really did peruse my blog and vote on the poll based on truly relevant linking.

Wherever they came from, I admit to being mildly pleased with the results. To recap, in the event the poll vanishes from its current location in future days, the question was:

Is it possible for someone to have sexist or misogynist fantasies and thoughts, and not actually be sexist or misogynist?

The winning result was: "Yes, your fantasies are separate from reality." Out of 57 responses, it was not only the largest response (33 votes), but that expressed by over half the responders. A clear majority no matter how you interpret the numbers.

I think this is a sensible opinion to have; it's nice to know that a large percentage of other folks (at least the ones who encountered my poll) seem to think so, too.

Now, I included a not-so-serious option: "Anyone who likes what I hate is scum." I think we can disregard the 4 votes this got as being people who just wanted to select the most smartassed answer possible. Certainly I'd lump anyone who selected that as a serious answer as a demagogue, comparable to loony talk-radio hosts and evangelical rabble-rousers (and the people they appeal to). I can't fathom the mindset it would require for someone to be so self-assured about their own inherent rightness that they allow for no possibility whatsoever that someone else's opinions may have some validity, so let's just assume those 4 votes were all jokes. Right? Of course.

At 3 votes, "No, to have a sexist fantasy means you are sexist" gets even less play than the joke answer, and honestly, I was expecting a bit more out of this answer.

The runner-up, though, is interesting to think about. I specifically wrote it to be a little ambiguous: "Well, you can have sexist fantasies and not ACT sexist." Break it down, and what does that really mean? Essentially, the same as "No, to have a sexist fantasy means you are sexist," only with the added idea that even if you are sexist, you can mask it by behaving yourself in public. But deep down, you are sexist for having those horrible fantasies.

I kind of expected that answer to be the front-runner. But at 17 votes, it proves to be a significant chunk of the opinion out there, if not the dominant opinion.

And it gets its play in other blogs. In the latest "Bendis writing Dr. Doom" flap (and for the record, I agree that the dialog was very unlike what I expect from the regal Doom) you can hear echoes of the Tigra beating uproar from the comments sections: Bendis writing someone insulting Ms. Marvel must mean that Bendis is himself a misogynist. No, it's not nearly as strong a sentiment this time around, but it exists.

Is it just an assumption that some make, regardless of evidence, that a creator must by default equal his or her creation? Can this notion be countered successfully? On the depressingly "no" side of our checklist, I give you:

The woman who strongly believes that Joss Whedon rapes his wife based on the evidence of his writing of Firefly.

I dunno, after that, few words are needed.


True said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Foley said...

"...I had a conversation with another lesbian feminist sister at the International Feminist Summit about whether Joss was a feminist."

And doesn't that sound like a barrel of laughs?

Anonymous said...

And doesn't that sound like a barrel of laughs?

If you mean that these are pleasant people, who are full of joy and good-natured humor, then no.

If you mean that the whole thing is just some joke, in a sad kind of way, then abso-frickin'-lutely!

Anonymous said...

I just thought you'd get a kick out of the note about leaving commonts on allceto (the one who knows joss whedon is a rapist).
No dessent allowed,lol.