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2013-04-28: Cult of Masculinity
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Blacky



Joined: 10 Aug 2009
Posts: 11
Location: Finland, Europe

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is one of those comics that actually hit me on many levels. It's art, I tell you, making people feel and think from perspectives they don't usually do. For me when I read this it wasn't as much about Slick feeling he's wrong, but more about the powers that force men (or women) to watch porn. It can become an addiction, driven by problems in people's personal lives. Here Slick realized the power of the addiction, but doesn't have the power to fight it - hence the tears when he's bowing down.

And this is just one of the interpretations that hit me.
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Zhuinden



Joined: 02 Jul 2012
Posts: 290

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blacky wrote:
This is one of those comics that actually hit me on many levels. It's art, I tell you, making people feel and think from perspectives they don't usually do. For me when I read this it wasn't as much about Slick feeling he's wrong, but more about the powers that force men (or women) to watch porn. It can become an addiction, driven by problems in people's personal lives. Here Slick realized the power of the addiction, but doesn't have the power to fight it - hence the tears when he's bowing down.

And this is just one of the interpretations that hit me.


I like this forum. I at first did not understand what the comic was trying to say, but this makes me realize there is a lot more hidden than I thought.
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SA_Penguin



Joined: 13 Feb 2011
Posts: 231
Location: Adelaide

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, to help fill out the Bingo cards...
We're 3 layers deep in unreal here: Sinfest itself, then looking glass, then PC. Any correlation with reality by this stage must be considered coincidental.

The world through the looking glass was, as Alice discovered... different from ours. I would suspect the world inside the computer is also different. Going through the glass AND into the computer, Slick ended up in a hyper-surreal nonexistent world, that differs from reality even more than Sinfest itself differs from reality.

You could say he is being exposed to an extremist version of what the Patriarchy could become, if left unchecked. To his own credit, he doesn't seem to like it. This may lead to increased support of the anti-patriarchy movement in the future.
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Yinello



Joined: 10 May 2012
Posts: 2761
Location: Behind you

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry SA Penguin, rational theories aren't on the bingo card.
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thistlepong



Joined: 01 Jul 2012
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This one was just lovely. Panels 11-16 especially.
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Valerie



Joined: 02 Apr 2013
Posts: 263

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if anyone else has pointed it out yet (getting ready for work, no time to read everything), but this is very accurate. Men who would be allies feel like they'll be hurt in some way if they are.

Show of hands, how many of you knows a guy who says he has no problem with women/gay people/etc., but he doesn't actually do anything when someone else speaks against those groups?

It's... well, frankly, it's cowardly, but it is understandable.
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Mercian



Joined: 27 Feb 2013
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ethruin wrote:


...I pretty sure there are male homosexuals and trans people who either start out male or are becoming male (no hate for them right? Its why they are not in the pit-o-doom, right?)...


I'm pretty sure the pink triangle in a green/blue circle is meant to be for allies of gay rights, no matter what their gender or sexuality. And maybe the figure wearing that symbol is MTF or, indeed FTM at some stage of their transition. Who can say whether the people down there are all women? Slick might take note of the ones we see in particular because of his own issues with feminism.

To me, the message in this strip is 'there is an expectation of real men to enjoy/obsess about pornography. Slick is given a choice of fitting in with that expectation or being cast into a pit with the others who don't belong in the 'real men' category.' And it just so happens that those others include women, LGBT people and allies of gay rights.

After all, why would Tat have bothered using the Venus symbol if this was all about men v women? He could just have left the people in the pit as a crowd of women, unmarked.
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
Posts: 3429
Location: Land of the Grumpuses

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ethruin wrote:

On a more serious note and a bit more on the topic of the comic page:
I find it offensive, heavy-handed, and just wrong. From the symbolism, MASCULINITY BAD, to the omissions, I pretty sure there are male homosexuals and trans people who either start out male or are becoming male (no hate for them right? Its why they are not in the pit-o-doom, right?),and to the implied statements, "MEN MUST BE TRAINED TO BE GOOD PEOPLE" and "MEN ONLY THINK WITH THEIR DICKS", and the PATRIARCHY at the center of it all, lording over everyone like a massive erect cock; it just smacks of a bad political cartoon.


First, there are statues of D-Man there behind the symbol of the cult. This cult gathering is controlled by D-Man. It is not saying masculinity s bad, but that masculinity done this way is bad. Tat is asking readers to examine the roots of some things in popular culture.

Second, don't refer to trans peope as 'becoming' anything.

Third, trans men are likely included in the group of queer women in the pit - because if you are a trans man who doesn't pass, people often assume you are a lesbian. As a gay trans man, I can't tell you how bizarre it is to recieve threats/offers of corrective sex.

I don't know if any trans men would be allowed where the other cult members are, unless there is no magical gender detector thing. There certainly are trans men who buy into the idea that to be a man they must be a misogynist asshole.

As for gay men and trans women - what makes you think they would be anything but reviled in this cult? Homophobia stems from hatred of people stepping outside of gender roles - and gay men specifically do not participate in the heterosexual culture portrayed here. Gay men can be mysogynists as well, but down here they would likely be murdered.
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
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Location: Land of the Grumpuses

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wikipedia says the triangle and circle is an ally thing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_triangle

I just noticed how he had yo go looking around to find the pit full of women. I wonder how many ofthe dudes there ever went looking around and found that.
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
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Location: Land of the Grumpuses

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Look, here is a good illustration of how D-Nan's power in Sinfest land works:

http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=2469

He offers Seymour the apple. Seymour righteously refuses it when it s presented in a form he knows is bad (Because he's got that biblical story about the snake and temptation.). So D-Man behind the scenes makes products further removed from the blatant imagery of evil. Outside of the labels on the cereal and the unprocessed apples, Seymour has no way of knowing which products were made with D's apples. If he lives in a non-evil food desert, then he would have no choice but to buy this stuff. If he does he does have food choices, a lack f information may cause him to choose D's offerings instead of the good things he'd rather support with s purchases.
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Ricia



Joined: 19 Feb 2013
Posts: 78

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tat's somewhat one sided promotion of feminism had made me a bit uncomfortable, but I'm very pleased with this comic. Sexism is rooted in gender conformity, and this shows part of that really well. Poor Slick. I don't think he ever thought this kind of stuff hurt women. He probably thought they found it to be sexy funtimes not abusive and degrading. He looks terrified and confused. I hope somebody comes to rescue him.

The discussion on transgender makes me hope Tat will do something regarding that. Maybe with Squig? He's been shown to crossdress, which granted has been played for laughs in the past, but it doesn't have to be. I don't think Squig would transition completely to physically female, but there's a whole spectrum of transgender out there. I'd like to see somebody struggling against enforced masculinity in a way that isn't just about porn.

In case anybody thinks I think the comic should now focus on the men, please understand I don't. I like seeing Nique and the Sisterhoods struggles. I like the symbolism and messages in the Sunday comics that focus on women. I just want to see some of the other side because I think it's important.
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
Posts: 3429
Location: Land of the Grumpuses

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can see the other side literally anywhere else. It has a huge following. You can also just poke through the earlier comic.
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Ricia



Joined: 19 Feb 2013
Posts: 78

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stripeypants wrote:
You can see the other side literally anywhere else. It has a huge following. You can also just poke through the earlier comic.


Can you give me some examples? I've read from the beginning and I can't remember a lot of forced masculinity against the man's will being portrayed, or a lot of comics showing the damage it can do. I mean in a serious way where it's obvious what Tat is trying to say, like in this comic here. Actually I don't see that much anywhere. Well except maybe with the Bronies. Actually I think it's funny and kind of sad that the Devil is a Brony. A fandom that has shown men that it's okay to be affectionate towards your friends. It's okay to show love and cry and be emotional in general. That none of these things make you less of a man. May the Devil has demons...er in the symbolic sense not in the...yes. Anyway I'm probably reading too much into that anyway.
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
Posts: 3429
Location: Land of the Grumpuses

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, you're talking about how the patriarchy affects men? I misunderstood, sorry.
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Ricia



Joined: 19 Feb 2013
Posts: 78

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stripeypants wrote:
Ah, you're talking about how the patriarchy affects men? I misunderstood, sorry.


Oh no problem. I try to be careful with my wording but it's so easy to misinterpret when it comes to stuff like this.
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