4/16/15 CalgaryExpo "Women in Comics" Panel Rough Transcript

Apr 19th, 2015
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  1. 18:33 Panelist: At what point did it all of the sudden become a dirty thing for women to be into this stuff? Like, in the eyes of so many of these men's rights activist types or...
  2. 18:44 Honey Badger: Would you like us to field that question?
  3. 18:45 Panelist: Huh?
  4. 18:46 Honey Badger: Would you like us to field that question?
  5. 18:47 Multiple Panelists: Yeah. Sure! Go for it.
  6. 18:48 Honey Badger: Because I am a men's rights activist and you can hate on me. The reason I don't like feminism is because you promote this idea that women are defined by being victims. If you look at the context of all of your issues, men also face considerable problems as well. And they need to be brought into the story, not just for men's sake because this hides men's vulnerability, also for the sake of challenging the notion that women are defined as victims.
  7. -19:15-23 panelists speaking but bad feedback from mic rubbing against something-
  8. 19:24 Panelist: ...just like a man who would come in barbarian size and he's always strong all of the time...
  9. 19:29 Honey Badger: Then-I didn't want to read the comics but I love comics, I love reading them. I actually write and draw my own comic, I made the comic I wanted to see. That is what I did. I think that's the message you need to tell people. Don't say you're a victim of this culture, say that you build what you want to see.
  10. -19:50-51 panelists speaking but more bad feedback-
  11. 19:52 Panelist: Ties into that is um when people see something that is being created then they can see like- they can see that they can create something that is like that as well. It's really um kind of like that's why if you have like uh strong like female representations you can think like, "Hey I can make something like this too." or "I can be somebody like this." It's really kind of like a feedback loop so-
  12. -20:12-14 other panelist hops into discussion but can't make out start.-
  13. 20:15 Other Panelist: -they see those examples in print. Like, you know, when you grew up you like the superheroes there's the few that you can focus on, now there's a lot more. So kids are growing up and it's becoming more OK. Every generation is gonna get more and more OK. And- you're absolutely right, men are marginalized into being into a certain way. Absolutely.
  14. -20:30-34 bad feedback-
  15. 20:35 Other Panelist continues: -it's just saying that I'm equal, that's what a true-
  16. 20:39 Honey Badger: But thats the thing, sometimes in some ways men are not equal and they need to be raised well a quite, quite a few issues. And they need to be raised up. And it challenges the notion that women are defined, that victimhood is a female thing. It becomes just a human thing. That we are all vulnerable-
  17. 20:56 Other Panelist: Absolutely-
  18. 20:58 Honey Badger: -And all strong, and-
  19. -20:59-21:11 other panelist - something about how to dress characters-
  20. 21:10 Honey Badger: Well, I think they should be dressed the way the creator thinks the character should dress them.
  21. 21:16 Panelist: You know, I agree with you. Part of the problem is that the vast majority of what's out there is a certain style, right? So, you're absolutely right. Uh more and more and we all find our voice - right? - whether we're um expressing that voice with our money when we purchase comics or whether we're creators ourselves or whether we're retailers. Um, we're starting to become louder right? And that majority - it will even out. I think it will, eventually. But we're dealing with a very well-founded industry that kind of got to a certain point, has success at that point, and that's every industry - that's comics, that's Hollywood, that right - I mean, how many - how many women have - do we see in Hollywood - right? Um, but you know? If everybody uses the voice that they have and have these conversations I think we can even that out. You're absolutely right.
  22. 22:08 Honey Badger: To make a point - romance novels. The entire genre totally dwarfs almost all other written fiction.
  23. 22:15 Panelist: They're terrible. Nobody should read those.
  24. -22:17-21 a lot of laughter-
  25. 22:22 Honey Badger: I will say this-
  26. 22:24 Panelist: -But if you want a little brain floss(?) that's one thing. But no, you're absolutely right-
  27. 22:27 Honey Badger: -But they're completely dominated to the point where women -(corrects) men can't even write under their own names and you could argue that the male characters-
  28. 22:34 Panelist: -I understand-
  29. 22:35 Honey Badger: -are token. And so we have these different genres; yes, they appeal to men and women, different in- because they're- well, there's different different uh- differences.. well, I don't want to get into that argument. It's like, cancer of the Internet. Um but uh it's- if you're gonna say that women are victims of this comics culture, are men victims of being excluded from the romance fiction culture?
  30. 22:58 Panelist: Sure, why not?
  31. -22:59-23:04 bad feedback panelist speaking-
  32. 23:05 Panelist: -and we're not necessarily saying we're victims. We're just trying to say how can we raise our profile and why can't we all be equal-
  33. 23:10 Honey Badger: -But that's- everybody is doing that. You know-
  34. 23:13 Other Honey Badger(?): -That's marketing.
  35. 23:14 Honey Badger: -Yeah, that's marketing and men have to do it too.
  36. 23:16 Panelist: (not sure of start)-everybody's doing it, change doesn't happen. Change happens when you fight the norm.
  37. 23:21 Honey Badger: But then you wouldn't be promoting yourself.
  38. (Panelist speaking, can't make it out)
  39. 23:25 Other Honey Badger: -Uh, may I?
  40. 23:26 Panelist: -that you are publishing-
  41. 23:27 Other Panelist: We have actually have a question.
  42. -23:29-39 bad feedback-
  43. -23:40-27:33 Audience member and panelists discuss creative writing courses, Joss Whedon's remarks on writing, research, writing with respect for identity regardless of gender or race, and writing strong female characters.-
  44. 27:34 Honey Badger: Can I counter that comment though? I'm actually getting really sick of this strong female character thing. Like that's the only descriptive word that we can use.
  45. 27:49 Panelist(?): Maybe that means that there's a lot out there-
  46. 27:54 Honey Badger: -no but it's the- why do you write strong female characters?
  47. 27:58 Panelist: -it doesn't have to mean physically strong-
  48. -27:59-28:09 different panelists speaking over each other-
  49. 28:09 Panelist: There hasn't been- there hasn't been a lot of strong female characters. And having that option for us to read is good for those of us that are looking for it.
  50. 28:17 Other Panelist: -I think that, for me it's not necessarily just a strong female character. I want to see a really good flawed female character. I want to see an amazing female villain. Because there's not a lot of amazing female villains out there.
  51. 28:28 Another Panelist: Yeah most of the female villains are generally- they kind of walk the line between being a hero- good and bad- like, Cat Woman is a good example.
  52. -28:35-39 panelists speaking over each other, can't make it out-
  53. 28:40 Panelist: A question?
  54. 28:41 Honey Badger(?): Yes. Um I had a question about the context uh surrounding the conversation. I think a lot of times when to rewind a bit and talk about norms- I think a lot of times when people discuss norms what they actually mean is discussing something that is relative to a paradigm that is salient to them. So meaning that sometimes uh- when I remember earlier you were mentioning that you don't know everything because there's so much out there, right? But then of course that applies to every one of us. We don't know how to um- walk the entire universe of comics or even movies or books or anything like that. And but when we were- if we were to admit that we don't know everything because the volume is so high, how can we then say we know what the norm is? It's one of those things where there's a disconnect, where it seems to me that it's not so much about the norm it's about what- it's about this part offends me let's talk about it. And I think that when we start confusing what we find to be personally uh objectionable we start- when we confuse what we find to be personally objectionable with what is actually the norm we end up with a distorted conversation. And I think that's what's happening here. I think we're ending up as people are looking at a certain paradigm at a certain subset of comics but then extrapolating that to create a kind of messed up narrative. What do you think about that?
  55. 29:53 Panelist: I think at the same time like we come all from different genres that we like. We like go through them and yet we still see this discrepancy within the things that we enjoy. So there really is that trend that even within the mainstream comics, there is that trend. So that is why these like-
  56. -30:10-11 muttering by Honey Badger, can't hear panelist.-
  57. 30:12 Panelist: -because we are seeing like a trend even within like different genres that we enjoy. Like that treatment um that kind of like write what you know but not what we know well. So I think that is really kind of the important thing there. It's really just the overall thing that we can tie- like either isolate by like for example if you're only into the mainstream, you can go ahead and like isolate like certain controversies that are happening in like the comic book world. And those are the ones like within like the public and those are the ones being talked about and even like even if you have like um uh interest in like uh the (can't hear word) you can still see that happening that's when really you need your voice to be heard.
  58. 30:59 Other Panelist: Right, and like this all stems originally from I'd say well if you look at the comics-
  59. -31:06-31:07 bad feedback-
  60. 31:08 Other Panelist continued: -comics too and boys and girls both like comics pretty equally. And there's a (can't hear word) after a few decades where comics became very much a boy- a stereotypical boy type thing (can't hear word). I was the only girl in school that liked comics. But as a (can't hear words) kid in school that liked comics. So I stood out differently anyway. Um so I was actually fortunate because of my situation where I could not see a gender difference at all growing up with (can't hear words). And at the comic shop they thought it was cute because it was a little kid behind all this (can't hear words). And I was the kid, the cool kid at school, that had all the comic books and all the other kids around me would borrow all of my books all the time. But um so a lot of when I see going on is based on me having this uh utopia of a genderless comic society up until I became an adult. And then all of the sudden when I started doing things with other adults outside of a school environment uh the attitudes were very different. And um (can't hear words) shocking. So that's where you start seeing that there- that not everything is within your personal norm. My original norm, for example, was this utopia, and then you enter this other norm where you say, "Oh, wait a minute, this isn't quite right. This is not what I think should be going on here."
  61. -32:33-32:34 bad feedback-
  62. 32:35 Other Panelist continued: -why are people really this way or that way or whatever like that. What can I do? What can I do anything that makes- um to get the stories that I want to see published? And, that's part one. And then the other side of the two is-
  63. -32:51-56 some feedback, I think other panelist mutters, "well lets see how do I put this, um, basically, well for an example."-
  64. 32:57 Other Panelist continued: -in Canada here I grew up in an Asian household, there's Asians everywhere in my life, when you watch a Hollywood movie you're so lucky to get a token Asian in it, Right? Yeah, and then (can't hear word) shows half of them.
  65. -33:10-17 Laughter, can't hear panelists chime in-
  66. 33:18 Other Panelist continued: -so to me, already that stuff seems unrealistic because there's like- where's all the Asians, right? So it's- a lot of it is perspective. My perspective world is that there's Asians everywhere and in the Hollywood perspective where maybe there's a lot less Asian immigrants in that area or, I don't know-
  67. -33:37-43 audience member or panelist chimes in, not sure, some feedback-
  68. 33:43 Other Panelist continued: -uh Asians don't have (can't hear word) maybe.
  69. -33:46-34:08 feedback, laughter, panelists or audience members adding comment I can' hear.-
  70. 34:09 Panelist: Yeah, so it's just like our reality (feedback) and uh of course everyone will see the reality that they can relate to.
  71. 34:15 Other Panelist: And I don't see there's- I don't think there's anything wrong with us ending up saying, "Hey, I like this, I want some more of this."
  72. -34:22-1:08:30 *end* Panelists discuss diversity in comics, recommendations on comics to read & book banning. some bad feedback, muttering-
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