Tag Archives: civil rights

Just a Good Old Fashioned Mandala

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Pinwheels. Peppermints. Diamonds in diamonds. Whatever you see. 

We begin this week celebrating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and we’ll end it trying to come to grips with what promises to be a bleak period in this history of civil rights in America. It can’t be sugarcoated. Pointing fingers, laying blame, and throwing insults don’t change what’s to come. Only standing up to speak when we witness inequality and coming to together to rally up against wrongdoings can influence history now.

Personally, I want to crawl back into my cave and curl up in the hoard. It’s gonna be a long week. Supposedly, we’ll grit our collective teeth and get through it somehow.

When You Gotta Go

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Pretty sure some of these legislators spend more time thinking about people’s junk than the people whose junk it is spend thinking about it. 

Society has already given us a really simple rubric to determine whether or not you should be questioning strangers about what their genitals look like: have you and that stranger both expressed enthusiastic interest in you having sex with their genitals? No? Then why the hell do you care? Why is this even an issue? There is literally no other situation wherein civilized people openly discuss and pass judgment on other adults’ groins. Can we PLEASE grow up about this?

If you are very good friends with a person who has made it clear that they’re comfortable discussing their transition with you, there may be a circumstance where it’s not completely rude to ask them about it, but I seriously doubt that anyone who supports this kind of legislature has that kind of friendship.

My little comic is, of course, a riff off of all those “I’d rather pee next to a trans person” memes that have been going around. But they doesn’t go far enough. My version might seem draconian, but in my experience, trans people tend to be pretty committed to practicing safe sex. So their precious bodily fluids are probably a lot cleaner than those of your average abstinence-only hypocrite.

I promise, you’ve been peeing next to trans people without incident your entire life. With or without hate-filled laws that deny human beings of their basic civil rights, you will continue to pee next to trans people without incident. As the news tells us, day after day after day, the people who are most likely to molest you are cis-bodied heterosexual men. I have absolutely never heard of anyone being molested by a trans woman, in or out of a bathroom. But I bet that you have heard of someone being sexually assaulted by a cis-bodied heterosexual man. Maybe once or twice.

In less offensive news, it’s Tuesday night and I am updating Friday’s comic! I don’t think that’s ever happened.

Red Diamond Mandala

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Just slightly askew. Hopefully in an aesthetically pleasing fashion.

Earlier this week someone made an interesting comment about civil rights that I tried to spin into an MLK Day comic, but every script I wrote sounded tongue-in-cheek or off topic so I decided not to chance it today. For now, I have standard boilerplate for Martin Luther King’s birthday, which I used to tell my students when I taught college freshman. I would basically suggest to them that, on their day off, they make a good faith attempt to increase the overall level of tolerance, equality, and love on the planet, and, if they couldn’t manage that, to at least stay inside and not to talk to anyone so they wouldn’t make the situation any worse.

In fact, a lot of years I choose the second option myself.

People can be very hard to love sometimes.

Reddit has been a real mixed blessing for me; my traffic has increased tenfold since I’ve been there, but part of promoting your work on Redding involves being part of the community on Reddit, and a lot of being part of the community on Reddit involves dealing with people who use their anonymity to express massive bigotry, the kind of thing that most people don’t say out loud anymore because they know it’s not OK. But it’s apparently very OK in certain forums. It’s certainly the only arena in my life where I know I will be castigated for espousing a feminist viewpoint.

So, while I like to believe in the overall goodness of humanity and the concept that most people are basically decent, it’s hard to talk myself into that in an election year, when I can see that there are thousands and thousands of people who feel personally threatened by the concepts of tolerance, equality, and love.

It’s too bad, because we could be living in paradise right here, right now. It would be so easy. That’s really all that any civil rights activist is saying: let’s not hurt each other. Let’s just allow everyone the same rights and freedom we want for ourselves. It’s nicer that way.

It’s weird to me that it’s so hard.

Instead of my off-kilter and possibly offensive take on freedom and equality, I started a much sillier comic. “It’s probably stupid and not funny,” I told The Man, and then I showed the sketch to him, and he said it was very funny. So, possibly, tomorrow you’ll laugh, if you read this page tomorrow, and also if you have a sense a humor that’s similar to mine or The Man’s, and, of course, if life flows smoothly enough that the comic gets finished and uploaded before that. The Rabbit used to say, “Man plans; God laughs.” But we don’t really have much choice but to keep planning.