Seymour and the Sisterhood

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SeymourOnce
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Seymour and the Sisterhood

Post by SeymourOnce » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:06 pm

As someone raised like Seymour (and who stayed that way through his twenties), I'd be interested to see the strip explore the relationship between Seymour and the Sisterhood. In my thirties and beyond, I moved away from my fundamentalist upbringing, and felt some regret for how long I had remained in it. (And the way that the evangelical mouthpieces have largely supported Trump is kind of the end of the movement's political credibility.)

And yet. When the #MeToo movement got underway, it seemed like a long overdue vindication of the way I had lived and believed in my youth. I'm not completely comfortable with that, on several levels. I have ongoing doubts about how to value that time in my life. In general, I'm proud of my past self, but sometimes I pity him.

My adult daughter is a feminist, and I support her on that. I didn't raise her as a fundamentalist. But (perhaps because of her youth?) she reminds me a lot of myself at that age. I see her having the same energy as I did for purity, perfection, and thought patrolling, even though the ingredients are different. (I have told her this.)

And it's not just her, to be clear. The tenor of the arguments, the shape of the movement, are familiar.

I don't have simple answers, though, because the truth is that once in awhile, fundamentalists are on the right side of history. (Abolitionists, e.g.) But it's a rigid approach that can cause a lot of damage (Prohibition, e.g.), and can take a long time to unwind. It's very hard to quit. The sense of certainty is both comforting and energizing.

I find myself wondering about the kinds of conversations that Seymour and the Sisterhood might have. Do they recognize their common cause? Do they recognize themselves at all in each other? Do other characters see the similarity?

What happens to Seymour, if he steps into the Reality Zone? What about the Sisterhood?
Last edited by SeymourOnce on Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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RKA
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Re: Seymour and the Sisterhood

Post by RKA » Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:13 pm

https://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2007-02-03

https://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2007-02-09

https://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2007-02-10

I THINK this is actually the first appearance of the Sisterhood, strange as that seems. If not, and anybody can link to the actual first appearance, please correct me
I love the art of Sinfest and, whether I agree or disagree with some or all of the message on any given day, how it challenges me to consider and reflect upon my own views and the world around me

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Z6IIAB
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Re: Seymour and the Sisterhood

Post by Z6IIAB » Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:28 am

RKA wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:13 pm
https://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2007-02-03

https://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2007-02-09

https://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2007-02-10

I THINK this is actually the first appearance of the Sisterhood, strange as that seems. If not, and anybody can link to the actual first appearance, please correct me
I think you're right, as depolitized as it seems, that would be the first appearance of the Sisterhood. But they've changed a LOT when the webcomic took the radical feminist turn.
Call me Celina. I've been a fan since 2007, and tried to enjoy the old forum since then too. Now that we have a forum for radfems/people who actually enjoy the comic! Hell yes! I'll call up all my buddies here!! Armageddon is coming.

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Z6IIAB
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Re: Seymour and the Sisterhood

Post by Z6IIAB » Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:37 am

I won't answer your questions, OP, but I wanted to address 3 things you've talked about:
SeymourOnce wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:06 pm
My adult daughter is a feminist, and I support her on that. I didn’t raise her as a fundamentalist. But (perhaps because of her youth?) she reminds me a lot of myself at that age. I see her having the same energy as I did for purity, perfection, and thought patrolling, even though the ingredients are different. (I have told her this.). [Fundamentalism] [is] very hard to quit. The sense of certainty is both comforting and energizing.
So, our children copy our behavior. You might not have raised your daughter as a fundamentalist but you've probably behaved in a very "puritan" and "perfeccionist, thought patrolling" kinda of way around her. Or some other relative that lives close to you did. The point is: if you see yourself in your daughter, she probably got it from you. And its not to blame you, because like you said, that way of thinking is "hard to quit", and maybe you're still behaving like that without even noticing it. But our kids do. They notice everything we do, every behaviour we enact and they copy us.
SeymourOnce wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:06 pm
And it's not just her, to be clear. The tenor of the arguments, the shape of the movement, are familiar.
What kind of feminism are you talking about? Mainstream feminism? Transfeminism? Radical feminism?
SeymourOnce wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:06 pm
But it’s a rigid approach that can cause a lot of damage (Prohibition, e.g.)
I've heard that Prohibition, as infamous as it is, was actually good for women, because the number of cases of domestic violence dropped due to husbands no longing getting drunk as a skunk and coming home to abuse their wives. So. That was actually the opposite of causing damage lol. That was preventing damage.
Call me Celina. I've been a fan since 2007, and tried to enjoy the old forum since then too. Now that we have a forum for radfems/people who actually enjoy the comic! Hell yes! I'll call up all my buddies here!! Armageddon is coming.

pingupingu
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Re: Seymour and the Sisterhood

Post by pingupingu » Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:10 pm

Z6IIAB wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:37 am
I've heard that Prohibition, as infamous as it is, was actually good for women, because the number of cases of domestic violence dropped due to husbands no longing getting drunk as a skunk and coming home to abuse their wives. So. That was actually the opposite of causing damage lol. That was preventing damage.
Prohibition lead to the proliferation of moonshine and bootleg alcohol, speakeasies, and the growth of the power and reach of organised crime including an increase in prostitution and drugs and even tobacco smugglers, and to gang warfare including abduction, rape, and murder.

Men still got drunk, and men still came home and beat their wives for not having hot meals on the table or whatever other perceived slight justified their projected anger and self-loathing. They just did it in illegal clubs instead of open bars.

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Rumble
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Re: Seymour and the Sisterhood

Post by Rumble » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:28 am

pingupingu wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:10 pm
Z6IIAB wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:37 am
I've heard that Prohibition, as infamous as it is, was actually good for women, because the number of cases of domestic violence dropped due to husbands no longing getting drunk as a skunk and coming home to abuse their wives. So. That was actually the opposite of causing damage lol. That was preventing damage.
Prohibition lead to the proliferation of moonshine and bootleg alcohol, speakeasies, and the growth of the power and reach of organised crime including an increase in prostitution and drugs and even tobacco smugglers, and to gang warfare including abduction, rape, and murder.

Men still got drunk, and men still came home and beat their wives for not having hot meals on the table or whatever other perceived slight justified their projected anger and self-loathing. They just did it in illegal clubs instead of open bars.
This. Women's groups ended up being instrumental in REPEALING Prohibition because they recognized the incredible damage it was doing. Drinking didn't stop when it was made illegal, it was just pushed underground where it couldn't be regulated. (And of course making domestic violence worse, since women were pressured even more to keep quiet about it. If they asked for help after being beaten by their husband and it go out that alcohol was involved, hubby could be arrested and then it was the wife's "fault" for causing trouble.)

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Z6IIAB
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Re: Seymour and the Sisterhood

Post by Z6IIAB » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:08 am

pingupingu wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:10 pm
Z6IIAB wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:37 am
I've heard that Prohibition, as infamous as it is, was actually good for women, because the number of cases of domestic violence dropped due to husbands no longing getting drunk as a skunk and coming home to abuse their wives. So. That was actually the opposite of causing damage lol. That was preventing damage.
Prohibition lead to the proliferation of moonshine and bootleg alcohol, speakeasies, and the growth of the power and reach of organised crime including an increase in prostitution and drugs and even tobacco smugglers, and to gang warfare including abduction, rape, and murder.

Men still got drunk, and men still came home and beat their wives for not having hot meals on the table or whatever other perceived slight justified their projected anger and self-loathing. They just did it in illegal clubs instead of open bars.
yeah, that makes more sense.
Call me Celina. I've been a fan since 2007, and tried to enjoy the old forum since then too. Now that we have a forum for radfems/people who actually enjoy the comic! Hell yes! I'll call up all my buddies here!! Armageddon is coming.

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Tatsuya Ishida
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Re: Seymour and the Sisterhood

Post by Tatsuya Ishida » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:18 am

Women prohibitionists wanted to end domestic violence, child abuse, marital rape. But "domestic violence," "child abuse," "marital rape" didn't even exist as legal concepts yet. Men were allowed to "chastise" their wives with corporal punishment. Women and children were still considered property. The few cases that made it to court were concerned with the "degree" of force and punishment inflicted. Even when men were found to have used "excessive force," they weren't held criminally liable, and judges urged these matters be handled "within the household." Women had no legal recourse. They couldn't address "domestic violence" and gain any traction. But they could rally against the sin of intemperance. So they leveraged their Christian morality and advocated for temperance, abstinence, keeping homes "dry and safe"--hoping against hope that this would curb male violence.

Men often characterize prohibition as a pious, misguided crusade that failed in every way. There's always a whiff of misogyny in this: Implicitly blaming women for the mobster violence that followed, blaming women for not fighting domestic violence the right way, blaming women for not improving men's behavior. But prohibition, for all its flaws, accomplished a number of things. It expanded women's participation in politics. Its alliance with Women's Suffrage helped secure the 19th Amendment. And it set the template for women's mass organizing and agitating. Given women's degraded status and limited resources, it was a heroic effort, a credit to women who tried to speak out--and actually do something--about social ills that weren't even named yet.

https://amazingwomeninhistory.com/women ... -movement/

Also check out tumblr user trenchkamen's response to sexist critics of Prohibition:

https://trenchkamen.tumblr.com/post/176 ... tution-was

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Z6IIAB
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Re: Seymour and the Sisterhood

Post by Z6IIAB » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:46 am

Thanks, Tat, those resources are important to shine a light on the prohibition discussion. It's so sad to remember that not too many centuries ago women were not legally people. Yikes.
Call me Celina. I've been a fan since 2007, and tried to enjoy the old forum since then too. Now that we have a forum for radfems/people who actually enjoy the comic! Hell yes! I'll call up all my buddies here!! Armageddon is coming.

pingupingu
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Re: Seymour and the Sisterhood

Post by pingupingu » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:57 pm

Z6IIAB wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:46 am
Thanks, Tat, those resources are important to shine a light on the prohibition discussion. It's so sad to remember that not too many centuries ago women were not legally people. Yikes.
There's a vested interest (more than one, really) who wants people to forget that. That, because we have female senators now, all is fair and square and nothing more needs to be done and there is no more inequality or oppression of women.

betterway
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Re: Seymour and the Sisterhood

Post by betterway » Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:32 pm

Marital rape was legal in the United States up until 1993, when Oklahoma and North Carolina withdrew their exceptions in law. A man would just have to marry a woman, and be prepared to defend his law-given rights in the unlikely event of legal action, and her body was his, until the 90s. The question isn't of decades or centuries; we are still in the generation where adult men were raised expecting open season on their wives.

SeymourOnce
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Re: Seymour and the Sisterhood

Post by SeymourOnce » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:04 pm

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. You are right, and this is something my mom and I discussed, too: we can see that from her dad, to her, to me, to my daughter, there is this same idealism echoing down, changing forms. There is a large element of it that is due to personality. But I also believe that this makes it more important for personalities like ours to avoid the attraction of "bright lines".

As an example: when I was her age, I was convinced that abortion anytime after conception was the same as murder, in large part because it was so logically and morally straightforward. Any other position (like Roe v. Wade's majority opinion) sounded wishy-washy, arbitrary, and mealy-mouthed to me. But decades of life experience later, I understood that human beings really do fade into being (and out). The attractive "bright line" is not there, and insisting on one leads to unnecessary harshness.

(I'm not sure exactly of my daughter's brand of feminism. "Fourth wave", I think.)

On Prohibition: I agree with you that there were many positives, and more crucially, that the country was in serious crisis and that something had to be done. I think Ken Burns' documentary on the subject does an excellent job of showing this context. I mentioned it as an example of idealist excess because (as I understand) if they had compromised a little, allowing lower-alcohol beer and wine, they might have achieved their aims more permanently. Instead, they were fully reversed a short time later, with damage done to their own cause, as well as strengthening the underground.
Z6IIAB wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:37 am
I won't answer your questions, OP, but I wanted to address 3 things you've talked about:
SeymourOnce wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:06 pm
My adult daughter is a feminist, and I support her on that. I didn't raise her as a fundamentalist. But (perhaps because of her youth?) she reminds me a lot of myself at that age. I see her having the same energy as I did for purity, perfection, and thought patrolling, even though the ingredients are different. (I have told her this.). [Fundamentalism] [is] very hard to quit. The sense of certainty is both comforting and energizing.
So, our children copy our behavior. You might not have raised your daughter as a fundamentalist but you've probably behaved in a very "puritan" and "perfeccionist, thought patrolling" kinda of way around her. Or some other relative that lives close to you did. The point is: if you see yourself in your daughter, she probably got it from you. And its not to blame you, because like you said, that way of thinking is "hard to quit", and maybe you're still behaving like that without even noticing it. But our kids do. They notice everything we do, every behaviour we enact and they copy us.
SeymourOnce wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:06 pm
And it's not just her, to be clear. The tenor of the arguments, the shape of the movement, are familiar.
What kind of feminism are you talking about? Mainstream feminism? Transfeminism? Radical feminism?
SeymourOnce wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:06 pm
But it's a rigid approach that can cause a lot of damage (Prohibition, e.g.)
I've heard that Prohibition, as infamous as it is, was actually good for women, because the number of cases of domestic violence dropped due to husbands no longing getting drunk as a skunk and coming home to abuse their wives. So. That was actually the opposite of causing damage lol. That was preventing damage.

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