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Poll

Get Me To The Church On Time...

...Marigold!
- 10 (11.2%)
...Claire!
- 38 (42.7%)
...Emily!
- 10 (11.2%)
...Tai?
- 2 (2.2%)
...PINTSIZE?!?!?
- 3 (3.4%)
...Harriet?!?!??!?!??!?!?
- 2 (2.2%)
...Someone Else?
- 8 (9%)
WAFFLES!
- 16 (18%)

Total Members Voted: 80


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Author Topic: WCDT: 2377-2381 (4-8 February, 2013) Weekly Comic Discussion Thread  (Read 103782 times)

Lubricus

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I can't really blame Veronica for being mean to Marten. He's kind of like this guy.

Not quite, but I see your point.  :-D
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What do you know about Pokémon?

DSL

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@ WAYF: You gotta know it to dish it, holmes.

Nah. We all know plenty of people who can dish but not take.
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"We are who we pretend to be. So we had better be careful who we pretend to be."  -- Kurt Vonnegut.

jwhouk

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Like said doofus on tumblr who initiated "The Dark Time" last year.
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"Character is what you are in the Dark." - D.L. Moody
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Tequila monster.

Kilt.

Pretty please.

I think we need a special Scotch monster, wearing a kilt.  A Clan McDonald kilt. 
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a 'dèanamh nan saighdean airson cinneadh MacLeòid
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Ní féidir liom labhairt na Gaeilge.
Seachd reultan, agus seachd clachan, agus aon chraobh geal.

Method of Madness

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All these things pale in significance alongside the fact that next Tuesday is pancake day.
Wasn't that earlier this week?
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They call me Mr. Madness.

Quote from: Polonius
Though this be madness, yet there is method in't.
MR ARCHIVE-FU MADNESS
Does anybody really know what time it is?
(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

Lubricus

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All these things pale in significance alongside the fact that next Tuesday is pancake day.
Wasn't that earlier this week?

EVERY day is Pancake Day!  :psyduck:
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Is it cold in here?

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Ms. Reed may be inhibited by a professional lifetime of carefully controlling herself so that her customers still perceive it as erotic and not injurious. Ms. Chatham seems to have no inhibitions whatever.
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"Non-compliance is a social skill"
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In your face, darkness!  We are the light and we outnumber you!

pwhodges

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All these things pale in significance alongside the fact that next Tuesday is pancake day.
Wasn't that earlier this week?

No; Shrove Tuesday is 12 Feb this year.
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"Being human, having your health; that's what's important."  (from: Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi )
"As long as we're all living, and as long as we're all having fun, that should do it, right?"  (from: The Eccentric Family )

ZoeB

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Our relationship with the characters is already "not polite", but you're on solid ground if you want to posit that publicly speculating about the extent of Claire's reassignment is creepy.

Jumping several moves ahead in a potential debate about fictional characters, I imagine you saying that by not speculating about Claire we are getting critically important practice in how to treat real trans* people. Would you say that in reality?
You got it in one.

It's the kind of thing you only discuss with trusted friends. And only if there's a good reason.

Example - a G/F of mine had "female issues" - prolapse after a difficult birth. I gave info regarding surgical reconstruction options based on my own experience. She needed OB/Gyn work that most doctors are clueless about, but which would be a doddle for the kind of surgeons I'm used to. She'd been advised that nothing could be done, or there were very significant risks etc etc - all horse pucky.

In the middle of transition, everyone seemed to assume that I'd already had "the op". I did look female by then after all. At that time, things were a mess (I'm Intersex remember, stuff had atrophied) and surgery was still a year away. There was no guarantee I'd ever get permission to have it. That's another thing, the hoops one must jump through, the checks of one's sanity, the verification of a social support mechanism... it seems crazy that in order to have a surgical procedure, one must prove one has a job or be in fulltime study, but it's a requirement. Heaven help you if you get assigned the wrong therapist. Some have very idiosyncratic ideas about gender, but you better conform to their views of what is appropriate for your sex, or you'll be refused treatment. They have absolute power over you.

One woman's experience...
Quote
In early 2009 I was finally given my assessment for suitability to go on the waiting list for sex reassignment surgery. Yes, that’s right, I would be assessed as to whether or not I was suitable to wait in line for further assessment.
...
I wear black. I like wearing black. I was told that women do not wear black....The woman doing the assessment was wearing black. Nothing but black. She told me that women wear bright colours. Pink was the only colour she could name.

The psychologist actually assumed I had short hair – either she was blind, or stupid – and said that women have long hair. On having it pointed out to her that I have long hair, and was wearing it tied back due to the wind, she said that women never wear their hair like that. She certainly didn’t, since her hair was about an inch long...

I was wearing a skirt. It’s hard to miss this on anyone, more so when someone is sitting cross-legged. She assumed I was wearing trousers. In her strange view of the world, women never wear trousers: they only wear skirts – and not long skirts, not even when it’s cold out. They wear short skirts. Knee length is still a long skirt. Mid-thigh is apparently the universal dress code for women. Unless they wear dresses, of course. No woman ever wears trousers. I’m sure the astute reader will see where this is going… Yes, she was wearing trousers.

The ever more ridiculous and outdated stereotypes continued: Women all wear make-up. But not subtle make-up. They trowel it on, so that it is clearly visible. It must be noticeable, or they’re not wearing make-up. No, she wasn’t wearing make-up either. I personally don’t. I’m very poor and could not afford any make-up if I wanted to wear it. Since I was raised by parents who were both feminist enough to think that make-up is something that women are not required or expected to do, I certainly don’t feel any pressure to bother. But the notion that maybe it’s sexist to require women to wear make-up was flatly disavowed by the psychologist. She said that all women wear the stuff, all the time. Except her, of course.

Then there was my lack of high heels. You see, all women wear high heels (except for certain psychologists)....I was told I should wear high heels. Even though I often cannot find any that actually fit.

On hearing that I’m attracted exclusively to women (there was a flat demand to know my sexual orientation) she said that only men are attracted to women. I asked her if she had not heard the term lesbian. She repeated what she said, so I think the answer was “no”. I guess lesbians are just too cutting edge.

Most Transsexual (and Intersex) women don't feel the need to have surgery. There are risks after all. It's expensive - as much as a new car. The SPL in the brain may not be set up for female genitalia, in which case surgery is the LAST thing they should have. There may also be medical conditions such as hypertension or diabetes that effectively preclude it.

For others, like myself, while I could have lived without it, I could also have lived with both legs cut off. If there was any possibility of having surgery without doing something morally repugnant, I'd take it. To give you an idea, due to some transphobia in high places, at one stage I was unable to get a passport, only a travel document good to leave the country, but not re-enter. The only surgeons qualified to work on my condition were overseas. I was seriously working out how to re-enter the country illegally (probably by going as supercargo on a freighter from Singapore, jumping ship on arrival). Once in, as a citizen I'd be OK.

"Desperation" describes it pretty well.
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Akima wrote thus : " Besides which, forgiving other people is something you do for yourself, not for them. "

DrBear

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writes down the word "doddle" for my next game of Words With Friends.
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I'm working on slashfic involving Lily from AT&T, Jan from Toyota and Jake from State Farm.

Is it cold in here?

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It would be impossibly rude to ask about some of the things we already know about the characters. TMI is a theme of the strip.

When I try to synthesize that with the caution that more than one trans person has (emphatically) given us, I come up with "If Jeph publishes details of Claire's anatomy, then it's the equivalent of her telling us of her own 'free will'. If he doesn't, then wondering out loud is the equivalent in imagination of undressing someone without her consent".

The goal here is hypothesize-and-test, not to put words in your mouth. Is the above how you would answer "Why shouldn't we try to figure out background information in a piece of fiction?"?
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Valdís

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or you'll be refused treatment. They have absolute power over you.

I've talked to a German girl who was scared of self-medding; not at all for the health-reasons one would expect if it isn't done with care, but rather that if her shrink found out that she'd self-medded in the past then that'd be grounds for arbitrarily rejecting her from care and not eventually getting legitimate prescriptions in the future, even if actually Gender Dysphoric.

As if doctors would react to someone taking blood-pressure medication before prescriptions with "Well fuck you then, have a stroke" instead of "Let's check if the dosages are right for your problem, at least, so you aren't hurting yourself".

Especially awesome if combined with a Real-Life Test. Things like that don't incentivise self-medding at all. [/Sarcasm]

It would be impossibly rude to ask about some of the things we already know about the characters. TMI is a theme of the strip.

Solution: Pintsize?

It can carry uncomfortable implications when asked, though, even beyond the TMI of just suddenly asking someone about their genitals.
« Last Edit: 09 Feb 2013, 18:52 by Valdís »
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jwhouk

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She's already given us two pieces of information:

1. She's trans, obviously male to female;
2. She started transitioning a few years prior.

Other than that, we have nothing to add that would be relevant or useful.
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"Character is what you are in the Dark." - D.L. Moody
There is no joke that can be made online without someone being offended by it.
Life's too short to be ashamed of how you were born.
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Pintsize, as pwhodges has pointed out, would be banned here almost immediately.

Here's the thing. I'd like to be able to speculate about personal things in the lives of the characters, like why Faye's father killed himself. This is largely a comic about relationships: it's natural to wonder whether Claire is limited to partners who are open-minded about private parts.

Is it possible to do that with Claire, without hurting the real people here on the forum who may well have had a gang block the sidewalk and yell at them "Hey, freak! What have you got in those pants?"

If not, then that ends the practical discussion, though it would still be fun to discuss the philosophy of the ethics of conduct toward fictional people.
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"Non-compliance is a social skill"
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ZoeB

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I come up with "If Jeph publishes details of Claire's anatomy, then it's the equivalent of her telling us of her own 'free will'. If he doesn't, then wondering out loud is the equivalent in imagination of undressing someone without her consent".

The goal here is hypothesize-and-test, not to put words in your mouth. Is the above how you would answer "Why shouldn't we try to figure out background information in a piece of fiction?"?
You got it. The comparison is apt.
You know, with goodwill and intelligence, as shown here, there'd be no problem. Thanks. Extra points for Geekiness, along with the kindness.
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Akima wrote thus : " Besides which, forgiving other people is something you do for yourself, not for them. "

ZoeB

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Here's the thing. I'd like to be able to speculate about personal things in the lives of the characters, like why Faye's father killed himself. This is largely a comic about relationships: it's natural to wonder whether Claire is limited to partners who are open-minded about private parts.

Is it possible to do that with Claire, without hurting the real people here on the forum who may well have had a gang block the sidewalk and yell at them "Hey, freak! What have you got in those pants?"

If not, then that ends the practical discussion, though it would still be fun to discuss the philosophy of the ethics of conduct toward fictional people.
There's been enough goodwill shown so that you can test the boundaries a bit. Treading on eggshells isn't required, nor wanted. Being treated like fellow human beings is. Look, imagine if it was your younger sister on this forum.

In my own case... I try to educate. I'm also a scientist. Also geeky by nature. Very much like Marigold... and just as shy. But unlike most Trans people, I don't mind being asked personal questions out of natural curiosity. I'm far more open than most, and as long as I'm volunteering, I don't mind being treated as an experimental animal. On a scale of 1..10, where anything above 6 would be insensitive, nothing on this forum has risen above 4, and mostly it's less than 2.

Please don't think I'm typical, I'm not. I am open to questions regarding myself and generalities that others might get upset about.

Here's pretty much the limit on TMI. Call this an 8, where 6+ is no go. I'll wrap it with SPOILER tags. It shows the kind of medical photos taken of Intersex people, often without their consent. Two of guys - male gender identity - plus one of me, SFW in my natural habitat.

(click to show/hide)

As you can see, I have "passing privilege". I don't look out of place, I don't attract attention. Also never going to win a beauty contest, but I knew that before age 10. I don't look like what the great unwashed public expects when they think of the word "transsexual", either a man-in-a-dress-in-pancake-makeup, or a RuPaul type glamorous Drag Queen.

Just another frumpy female academic... I've come home. (tears). Looking male was... bad. Imagine if that had happened to Marigold. Understand that, you understand me, and Claire too.
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Akima wrote thus : " Besides which, forgiving other people is something you do for yourself, not for them. "

Valdís

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Pintsize, as pwhodges has pointed out, would be banned here almost immediately.

I meant more like in the comic, since I can't really picture any of the cast she's open with being that crass about it. If it'll be brought up at all, I mean. :)

But hey, if Jeph's going in a Maire direction then obviously we'll likely find out from her, so.

Here's the thing. I'd like to be able to speculate about personal things in the lives of the characters, like why Faye's father killed himself. This is largely a comic about relationships: it's natural to wonder whether Claire is limited to partners who are open-minded about private parts.

Is it possible to do that with Claire, without hurting the real people here on the forum who may well have had a gang block the sidewalk and yell at them "Hey, freak! What have you got in those pants?"

Oh, sure. I mean I'd personally wager she hasn't had it done, just given how close it is to starting to transition.

I wasn't really talking about bad memories, though. More like often implying "Not really a girl until you've had major surgery down there", as if the person is radically different before getting to that point.
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Now the sayings of the High One are uttered in the hall
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Hail, thou who hast spoken! Hail, thou that knowest!
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Loki

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Not defending anything, but that might be because we are taught that "penis <=> male" and "vagina <=> female" from a young age. Hell, two of the languages I know don't even have different words for sexus and gender.
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Valdís

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Not defending anything, but that might be because we are taught that "penis <=> male" and "vagina <=> female" from a young age. Hell, two of the languages I know don't even have different words for sexus and gender.

That's the case in Swedish as well and academically terms like "Social sex" get used to cover for the English 'gender'. Even if not ideal at least it saves on the confusion between transgender/transsexual.  :lol:

But yeah, it has to do with fitting into their categories of what it means, which generally don't involve actual gender identity since that's taken for granted. On the "all models are wrong, but some are useful" note, I'd say it falls decidedly on the 'not useful' side.
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Now the sayings of the High One are uttered in the hall
for the weal of men, for the woe of Jötuns,
Hail, thou who hast spoken! Hail, thou that knowest!
Hail, ye that have hearkened! Use, thou who hast learned!

DSL

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Without jumping into the trans* discussion, about which my knowledge is worse than useless, I want to point out that Claire's accompanying Marten to the wedding allows for some very useful story tension by what I consider, for story purposes, her key contrast with Marten.
She's identified a change she wanted to make (or complete) in her life -- a fundamental change that has caused and will cause her much soul searching and pain -- and she's gone ahead and done it.
Marten, faced with the prospect of (comparatively) infinitesimal change -- hasn't.

One will learn from the other. Any bets on which one?
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"We are who we pretend to be. So we had better be careful who we pretend to be."  -- Kurt Vonnegut.

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Wow. That is a great point.
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"Non-compliance is a social skill"
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In your face, darkness!  We are the light and we outnumber you!

jwhouk

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+2 to that post.
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"Character is what you are in the Dark." - D.L. Moody
There is no joke that can be made online without someone being offended by it.
Life's too short to be ashamed of how you were born.
8645

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Quote from: the transcript of Hannelore's very first appearance
Smoking Girl: I'm a woman, and I've seen plenty of guys do just what you've done to yourself. Part of you likes the impossibility of the situation. You like not being able to do anything to change things for the better, because you're afraid.
Marten: 'Fraid? 'Fraid of what?
Smoking Girl: Change.
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"Non-compliance is a social skill"
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In your face, darkness!  We are the light and we outnumber you!

Carl-E

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People have hypothesized that, in the early days of the comic, Marten was a stand-in for Jeph.  And I think that was true, to a certain extent.  Jeph, as Marten, was scared of change.  But after a few years, he did - quit the office job and went full time into comicking.  Reading the old newsposts, it was probably one of the scariest changes he's made in his life. 

But Marten hasn't changed, and as we've all noted, he suffers for it.  It bothers him, and occasionally, the ones around him.  He's a good friend to his friends, but not so much to himself. 

The problem is, as I see it, he's also the steady-state center of the comic.  Everything/everyone else revolves around Marten, greatly from Marten's point of view.  He's the protagonist, and in a novel (with an ending), a protagonist goes through a change, reaches a new plateau.  But this webcomic isn't a closed-ended story.  Marten going through a change, reaching a new state, may well shift  the foundations of the whole comic.  As all of us who have gone through changes can attest, old friends are lost, new friends are made (with luck), family relationships change...

I don't think Jeph's ready to take it there.  Marten's reluctance to change may well be Jeph's version of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".  And for him, the comic's working fine...
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Quote from: Faye
This is why I don't like change. It changes things.
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"Non-compliance is a social skill"
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In your face, darkness!  We are the light and we outnumber you!

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Akima wrote thus : " Besides which, forgiving other people is something you do for yourself, not for them. "

Is it cold in here?

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Even if it weren't for Claire's big personal adventure, her career focus alone could be an inspiration to Marten.
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"Non-compliance is a social skill"
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In your face, darkness!  We are the light and we outnumber you!

TimO

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There should be a tequila monster stuffed animal. I'd keep it on my desk at work.


... with or without a kilt.
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Actually, it is rocket science.
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