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Poll

What awaits us this week? (Poll Closes Wednesday)

Whatever happened to Pintsize?
- 41 (37.6%)
Faye's story v.2.0.?
- 21 (19.3%)
Student, Girlfriend, Librarian or some combination of all three? Claire's Dilemma?
- 11 (10.1%)
How do you come back from firing your best friend?
- 20 (18.3%)
Something completely new (give your idea in a comment, plz)?
- 0 (0%)
"Marten, how would you feel about having three dads?"
- 16 (14.7%)

Total Members Voted: 109

Voting closed: 04 Feb 2015, 06:23


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Author Topic: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)  (Read 61180 times)

cesium133

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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1050 on: 08 Feb 2015, 16:37 »

It seems that Marten's and Faye's happinesses are inversely related. For Marten to be happy, Faye must be sad, and vice versa. We should get Hannelore to instruct us on how to solve the Fourier-Goldman Equation for this situation.
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1051 on: 08 Feb 2015, 16:39 »

I crunched the numbers and I keep coming back to puppies and/or kittens.
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1052 on: 08 Feb 2015, 16:41 »

Identity is personal. It's next to meaningless to the rest of the world. This really issue isn't a matter of how you define "woman." I'd say writing it off so simply is unfair to do define their sexuality by genital structure. It suggests that there is something wrong with their sexuality. A person with (literally) no interest is dick isn't going to suddenly gain an interest because a dick's owner identifies as a woman. The same goes for pussy and identification as a man. There are limits.

The issue is, ultimately, that everyone tends to think that their definition of "straight" (Lesbian, gay, bi, queer, trans) is THE definition. Everyone is wrong. There is no one definition. Just seven billion identities in conflict with a handful of false culutral norms.

That's... literally totally not relevant to what I was saying. No where was I attempting to state that anyone *has* to want to sleep with the owner of any particular set of genitals - in fact, you're coming at it from 180 degrees in the opposite direction. I have no interest in getting involved in the politics of *that* discussion, except to say that I consider it perfectly reasonable for someone to say, about their own preferences only, "I have no interest in X type of genitals". There's nothing oppressive about that.

What I said is that if a straight man is attracted to a straight trans woman, that straight man does not become bisexual or queer, simply if the straight trans woman has a penis. That is the only point I was making. Regardless of what genitals Claire has, if Marten is straight now, he will be just as straight in the morning, if they make love.

edit: I apologize if this comes across as overly confrontational or argumentative, that's not necessary. It's just a little frustrating, because when I try to make this point in other places, it almost always, as it did here, invariably goes straight to "you can't tell someone to be attracted to X genitals or Y genitals!" No, of course not, and I'm not *trying* to. And yet, that's almost always the first, immediate response.
« Last Edit: 08 Feb 2015, 16:59 by demency »
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1053 on: 08 Feb 2015, 16:53 »

I'm pretty sure that was a joke. And, that's why I said constantly crap on any character - it's far more brutal to ruin happiness by not actually giving Marten any lasting happiness, just fleeting chances at it, than just keeping him constantly down.
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1054 on: 08 Feb 2015, 16:55 »

I feel like I need to mention, as a trans woman - regardless of what genital configuration Claire may currently have, and regardless of whether or not she plans to some day have bottom surgery - which is, of course, none of our business - she is a *woman*. A man who sleeps with a trans woman in no way, shape, or form stops being straight, *regardless* of the genital configuration of that woman. Whatever she has downstairs, they're a *woman's* genitals, and last I checked, when a man and a woman have sex, that's usually considered pretty straight. Whatever Claire and Marten get up to, unless they invite a third person, it will be straight sex.

(regular user)Well said.(/)
Administrator Comment That's the official position of forum management as well.
(regular user)Was this all just a poor choice of words? Marten has in fact been pretty whitebread in his sexuality, judging from his porn collection and what Dora said. Of course he's in a het relationship now. It is also one that imposed on him a duty to be open-minded in a way that was not foreshadowed in the first couple of thousand strips.
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1055 on: 08 Feb 2015, 17:16 »

I crunched the numbers and I keep coming back to puppies and/or kittens.
I'm pretty sure the correct solution is:

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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1056 on: 08 Feb 2015, 17:38 »

(Funny how this last update got people to register, huh? :) Yeah I'm one of those people.)

Note that the below is my opinion, not what I want changed, not what I believe should be different and not a message telling anyone they're wrong.

Since genuine AI's are part of the comic universe, Marten being so open minded is not exactly pushing my suspension of disbelief, but it does get a bit confusing when so much of the comic is relatable to what's going on in the real world, at least socially.
Were it in real life, I'd say he's being open minded to a fault, where he prioritizes the opinions of others over his own self. I'd say this is definitely one of his faults, but I can't give an example off-hand. Basically, it's not super believable but I'm okay with it.

From my own experience as a bisexual (pansexual for those who feel the distinction is necessary), I had a few moments of doubt and more than a bit of awkwardness when I was with a pre-op transwoman for the first time. Marten just being cool with it seems... off.
I guess you could chalk it up to being confident or truly accepting, but I really think that for him it's another sign of low confidence where he just goes with the flow and suppresses what he might really feel.

On another note, I would've found it more interesting if he chickened out then and there. For one, it would make him more interesting and second, it's okay to admit that you've made a mistake (as in telling Claire that he's been cool with it, when he's not, but not knowing until that moment).

Either way, it's been a nice development that I've enjoyed a lot. At the very least it's an interesting topic to discuss!

-

Since I don't know much about Jeph; Is Marten an extension of himself?
I don't know if this is a thing or not, I'm curious.
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1057 on: 08 Feb 2015, 17:46 »

I'm still wondering why Marten's orientation, much less anyone else's in the strip, matters. 
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1058 on: 08 Feb 2015, 17:51 »

RF: Okay, maybe not fluidity, since you find that "clangy".

I don't find applying labels to Marten clangy. I find the need to justify his choices by appealing to his childhood clangy. As in, nobody is appealing to Faye's childhood to justify her straightness.

If there's nothing special, on a fundamental level, about being trans--if there's nothing special about being attracted to and romantically engaged with a trans person--then there's no more need to appeal to explanation with regard to Marten's sexuality than there is for Dora's, or Tai's, or Steve's, or Faye's...

Second point first: I don't think it necessarily needs to be explained (as I mentioned). That's their business, not ours. To your first point... No, you wouldn't look to Faye's childhood for clues about her approach to her sexuality. But if you were talking about her trust issues? Her alcoholism? At least one, maybe two, suicide attempts? Her casual disrespect for boundaries? The (thankfully toned down) violence? It'd be silly not to. Ditto, say, Hanners' issues, or Dora's complicated relationship with her brother and her parents (among other things). In other words, when a character's perception, attitudes and actions are clearly influenced by their past, it can be useful to examine that past and how it colors the present, and that's something that isn't in any way exclusive to sexuality. If we were talking about, say, Marten's taste in beer, then I'd agree with you that it's silly (unless there's some heretofore unexplored link between a spanking and a ten-minute IPA, in which case I take that back). But we're not, and to think that he'd have grown up around the kinds of people he did would have no impact on how he thinks about Claire seems to me a bit short-sighted.

I didn't say anything about no impacts. You seem to be having an argument with someone who isn't here.

What I said was, right or wrong, bucky's questioning of Marten's sexuality was no more  or less clangy than people looking for a reason to justify Marten's sexuality. I'm not saying putting two and two together and getting "fluid," is verboten. But then neither was buckys POV verboten. Just factually incorrect.

All things being equal, given what we know, questions about what Claire has in her pants are valid by your logic. That two and two are present doesn't justify adding them. If Marten represented as a person historically oppressed for his sexuality, discussion about how his mom's job made him queer would definitely be considered bad taste.

My argument is not for "equal rights for straight people."  My argument is that the discussion boils down to "What turned Marten queer?" just using different labels. Given the history of oppression that line of thinking has created, I find the discussion to be in bad taste.

Lemme try this again, since A: I don't seem to be making myself very clear, and B: each of us seems to be talking somewhat past the other. I know that isn't my intention, and I don't think it's yours either.

Not going to bite on the "what makes someone (fill in the blank)". I come down pretty firmly on the side of nature, not nurture. If you want to discuss that further, this probably isn't the best place for that (and I'll let you know in advance that you're not likely to change my mind on that point). But then, that wasn't my point.

Neither was my point that we should speculate on Claire's genitalia. As you'll no doubt have noticed in my previous two postings on this, and which I'll repeat a third time for emphasis, that's between Marten and Claire.

I'm not arguing "equal rights for straight people," either. We've already got plenty, thanks, and the larger issue, I still think, is getting everyone else to a point where they have the same rights I've already got, whether it's marriage or the simple right to exist without risk of physical harm (or worse) on the basis of their mere existence.

I'm also not looking, or asking, for some kind of "justification" of anyone's sexual expression. Here, as elsewhere, as long as it's among consenting adults and everybody respects everybody else's boundaries, it's all good.

And at the same time, I'm not arguing for Marten's suddenly having become pan, bi or queer (absent Word of Jeph). Yeah, he's straight, period. But as we've already seen on the forums (and as I'm sure you've seen outside them, same as I have), and as we could reasonably infer from the comic, people do tend to think about sex. A lot. Like, a lot a lot. It wouldn't be unreasonable, then, to figure that Marten's thought, or is thinking through, some of the possibilities as far as where things are going with Claire, as well as the impact of that on both their lives. Also, for as much of a non-issue as Claire's trans-ness apparently is to Marten, we'd have reason to believe -- based on repeated and frankly dismaying real-life evidence, as well as allusions in-comic by Clinton -- that it may not be quite as much a non-issue to those Marten knows, and that may also factor into his thinking. While I'd wager most of his friends would be as accepting as he is, all it takes is one person to fuck things up for everybody.

Hope this clarifies things somewhat.
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1059 on: 08 Feb 2015, 17:55 »

I crunched the numbers and I keep coming back to puppies and/or kittens.
I'm pretty sure the correct solution is:



And here I thought the solution to that equation _had_ to be 42...  8-)
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1060 on: 08 Feb 2015, 17:56 »

Since I don't know much about Jeph; Is Marten an extension of himself?
I don't know if this is a thing or not, I'm curious.

He said once that he used to be, but that he's grown into a different person than Marten over time.
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1061 on: 08 Feb 2015, 18:25 »

I'm still wondering why Marten's orientation, much less anyone else's in the strip, matters. 

So while I can't answer this on behalf of others, I'll give you my reason.

It's nice to know if you (like me) are relating to the character. As I wrote above, this is much different from my reaction to a similar situation, so there's obviously some discord between the character and my own experience.

I sort of get why you wrote what you did, because in a perfect world there's no reason to put people into boxes or label them as anything. We have a big pride parade in my city every year and personally I find it sort of distasteful, mostly because I don't relate to the garish colors and over-the-top celebration of everything "gay", when my wish in life is to be just accepted as another human being, not a token stereotype (which some people happen to fit, which is fine, but not a good representation of all of us).
There's no harm in discussing it though, especially if it breeds understanding between people :)

Someone wrote that their sexuality is none of our business, which I absolutely do not understand. They're fictional characters, there for us to discuss and relate to. Unless they are direct representations of real people that Jeph knows, there is no harm in asking about any of it.

Discouraging debate seems very counter productive to me.
I do not understand why anyone would take offense at this, but I'd like to.

He said once that he used to be, but that he's grown into a different person than Marten over time.

Thank you :D
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1062 on: 08 Feb 2015, 18:48 »

Parts of all of his characters are autobiographical, to a certain point.
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1063 on: 08 Feb 2015, 18:50 »

Fair enough... it may simply be a matter of different views on the subject, personal upbringing or whatever.  I think Marten's a chill frood and his "buh" Good Guy Marten personality combined with his upbringing pretty much cancels out the need to tick a particular box for his sexuality.
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1064 on: 08 Feb 2015, 18:54 »

I'm still wondering why Marten's orientation, much less anyone else's in the strip, matters. 

Someone wrote that their sexuality is none of our business, which I absolutely do not understand. They're fictional characters, there for us to discuss and relate to. Unless they are direct representations of real people that Jeph knows, there is no harm in asking about any of it.

Discouraging debate seems very counter productive to me.
I do not understand why anyone would take offense at this, but I'd like to.

I think that while yes, they are fictional characters that don't -specifically- represent specific people, they do, in a way, become a relatable representation for some people. So while the characters themselves are fictional, the emotions that people attach to them are very real, and so react poorly when the character's sense of propriety and privacy is potentially violated, which in turn makes them feel violated by proxy. When they see people discussing things that would be rude if it was in regards to real people, the feelings and emotions of those who have attached emotions to a character and qualities that they find similar and can relate to are often just as offput when those same discussions are had about said character.

I probably explained that poorly.
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1065 on: 08 Feb 2015, 19:13 »


I think that while yes, they are fictional characters that don't -specifically- represent specific people, they do, in a way, become a relatable representation for some people. So while the characters themselves are fictional, the emotions that people attach to them are very real, and so react poorly when the character's sense of propriety and privacy is potentially violated, which in turn makes them feel violated by proxy. When they see people discussing things that would be rude if it was in regards to real people, the feelings and emotions of those who have attached emotions to a character and qualities that they find similar and can relate to are often just as offput when those same discussions are had about said character.

I probably explained that poorly.

It makes sense, thanks. It's sort of when a person criticizes someones brand of [item] and they take it personally because it reflects on them.
Eventually it happens to everyone in one way or another, but I get that this can be more delicate than discussing iphones and androids :D

This is sort of a bad cycle issue. I can say that I mean no offense, but I could also take offense at someone accusing me of being intentionally or unintentionally offensive.
It's generally easier to assume that people mean well and at worst ignorant. It's impossible to take responsibility for what others feel or to expect others to put the same values on those feelings.

Either way, I respect that it might be the case. I just hope people show the same courtesy and agree to disagree.
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1066 on: 08 Feb 2015, 19:18 »

>It's nice to know if you (like me) are relating to the character.

Fair enough, but I can relate to the characters no matter who they fall in love with.
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1067 on: 08 Feb 2015, 19:39 »

>It's nice to know if you (like me) are relating to the character.

Fair enough, but I can relate to the characters no matter who they fall in love with.

Alright, that's an aspect I hadn't considered; Love conquers all, including sexual preference or identity. Sure, why not. Love is certainly a powerful element.
(Some would take offense at this though, and might feel that it cheapens their identity. It can be seen as the "choose to be [insert sexuality]" argument. I'm not trying to put words into your mouth here though, that's just one way of looking at it.)

I'm not entirely convinced that this is love. It might as well that Marten is trying to live up to his idealization of a relationship between them.
It just occurred to me that I could be projecting, since I've experienced a few occasions where I've lied to myself about who I am, in order to make a relationship work.

Regardless, until there's an official statement (if ever) I'd say most guesses are valid and we'll just see what happens :D
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1068 on: 08 Feb 2015, 19:45 »

Hope this clarifies things somewhat.

Nope. Not at all.

Not one thing I said has anything to do with the things you just said. Which raises the question of why addressed any of this as reply to my comments at all. I stated that to discuss the causes of Marten's current sexuality was clangy. You defended it as not clangy. I illustrated exactly why there's an issue. To repeat, if a queer person's sexuality were given the same treatment it would be problematic at best.

If you aren't going to discuss what makes someone's orientation--which I just pointed as being THE problem--why defend that discussion?
Who said your point was discussion of Claire's genitals? I said you were defending a point using logic that could be applied to Claire. If it doesn't justify a discussion of Claire, it doesn't justify a discussion of the causes of Marten's sexuality. Goose v. Gander, et al.

I could go on, but I won't. Talking past doesn't begin to capture the situation. If anything I'd said could reasonably be construed to run counter to anything you've said in this post, I guess there might be a point.

Whether people like to think about sex is irrelevant. The link I posted in response to Bucky says all that needs saying on the subject--assuming the subject even applies to Marten. http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1024

Just because it's fun to think about doesn't mean it's a proper subject of discussion--especially vis-a-vis Marten's childhood. Marten has as much stated everything anyone needs to know to understand anything that might be relevant, if there's anything relevant.


That's... literally totally not relevant to what I was saying.

You said:
I get a little militant on that point, because too many men are shamed by their friends and peers, and have their heterosexuality and identity questioned or mocked, if they date or sleep with a trans woman. It not only keeps too many of my sisters cold on lonely nights, it can also be a major driver for violence against us.

To define, or attempt to redefine "straight" in the manner you suggest creates exactly the issue I pointed out. It leads, ultimately, to situation where those who don't conform to that definition are open to being mocked or otherwise shat upon for something that isn't in their control.

I did not say you advocated anything. I pointed out the consequences of the idea.

The problem is not in how whatever label you choose is defined. The problem is that people feel justified in using emotional and physical violence when someone fails to fit into their personal definitions of what those labels mean. Frankly, no one has any right to question anyone else's sexuality. If Marten being straight--which isn't something I recall him actually saying--is an issue for someone, given how little we actually know, I'd say that someone has a personal problem and should keep it personal. First, Marten isn't real. Second, if he were, it's no one's business what he gets up to except for the consenting adults he gets up to it with.

If we knew something that made the question of penes that are not part of Marten Reed relevant, it's still no one's business, and anyone having issue with whether Marten continued to label himself straight would be doing so out butthurt that Marten wasn't using their definition.

That's kinda pathetic. But it's patheticness isn't exactly the point. The point is, it's that butthurt that leads to the negative consequences you describe.

There's no slippery slope argument about a world where people with hetero-genital attraction are vilified and have to hide in closets. That's not the point I'm making. The point I'm making is that what is attracted to, and how a person goes about defining that attraction is pretty much individual to that person. I pointed out the issue of interest in the equipment in order to show how the idea expressed fell short of the intent. I then expressed a different idea--namely that everyone should mind their own damned business about sexual orientation--which I believe doesn't fall short.

I don't expect anyone to mind their own business. I'm a realist. But the fact that people don't costs lives. And that's a terrible thing.

Of course, the list of terrible things is long, and the general obstinance of humanity in clinging to that list makes me want to slit my fucking wrists. But that's not really on topic.

Someone wrote that their sexuality is none of our business, which I absolutely do not understand. They're fictional characters, there for us to discuss and relate to. Unless they are direct representations of real people that Jeph knows, there is no harm in asking about any of it.

Discouraging debate seems very counter productive to me.

Claire's private parts are fictional. It is the policy of this board that they aren't open for discussion. Claire is, to our knowledge, not a representation of any real person.

There are reasons Claire's equipment list is topic non-grata. I'm not going into them. But those reasons do apply to discussions relating to why a person's sexual orientation is what it is. They probably apply more deeply, but I've only been talking about that part of it, so that's the part I'm going to stick with.

There's a long and storied history of terrible things being done because people believe sexuality can be traced back to root cause. That belief is a bad thing.

I see no issue is wonder IF Marten is straight or bi or something else, at least until Marten unequivocally chooses a label. At that point I see no isse in wondering and discussing what that label means to Marten. But I see a fairly large issue in trying to define why Marten is whatever Marten is, unless Marten opens the door for that discussion.

Why give a fictional character that level of agency? Practice. How you treat a fictional character influences how you treat real people. We aren't talking about something as black and white as murder. Most of us know that killing the video game character is not practice for killing real people. Most of us have strong counter urges against murdering people. But respecting the sexuality of others doesn't have the same level of internal rejection. It's not something we practice. Given that the majority of (basically) heterosexual people is so vast, many of us will not get a lot of real world practice. But fiction let's us meet different kinds of people than we might otherwise. It's just good policy to practice on them.

Especially when that fiction puts you in a forum of fans, because odds are people who are like those fictional people will be party to your discussions. Whether people who are trans "should" take discussion of Claire's equipment personally or not is beside the point. They are here, and they do. The same applies to anyone else who might find one of the characters representative.

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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1069 on: 08 Feb 2015, 19:48 »

Hmm! Worth thinking about.

Marten's as vulnerable to self-deception as any human, but it's noteworthy that "You're beautiful" came out when he was tired out, wrung out, and probably speaking directly from his gut.

Also Jeph seems to be pursuing themes of acceptance and inclusion. It's more in line with his apparent goals if he has Marten being sincere.

EDIT for clarity: this was in reply to Silverzippo's "It might as well that Marten is trying to live up to his idealization of a relationship between them. "
« Last Edit: 08 Feb 2015, 19:58 by Is it cold in here? »
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1070 on: 08 Feb 2015, 20:25 »

It is also [a relationship] that imposed on him a duty to be open-minded in a way that was not foreshadowed in the first couple of thousand strips.

What?

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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1071 on: 08 Feb 2015, 20:40 »

There are good reasons that Marten simply said that Claire was beautiful.  He's no wordsmith.  He's awkward as hell, even though he has a large comfort-zone.  All he knows right now is that that he's into her, she's into him, and they care for each other very much.  As readers, what do we need to know beside him and Claire breaking out of the comfy space and into new territory?  Nothing, save what we see.  This ship has been a while in building, and is probably strong, even if icebergs end up showing up along the road.
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1072 on: 08 Feb 2015, 20:47 »

It is also [a relationship] that imposed on him a duty to be open-minded in a way that was not foreshadowed in the first couple of thousand strips.

What?

We didn't know that he was going to be trans-positive. Now he has to be, both to be a decent human being and to return Claire's love.
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1073 on: 08 Feb 2015, 20:51 »

Strip 1024 makes it absolutely clear that Marten doesn't have a problem sleeping with penis-havers, he has a problem sleeping with men. In other words, his particular flavor of straightness has nothing to do with genitals and everything to do with gender presentation. Claire x Marten may seem to be forced for a lot of reasons, but contradicting Marten's on-panel statements about his sexuality is absolutely not one of them.

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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1074 on: 08 Feb 2015, 20:53 »

Someone wrote that their sexuality is none of our business, which I absolutely do not understand. They're fictional characters, there for us to discuss and relate to. Unless they are direct representations of real people that Jeph knows, there is no harm in asking about any of it.

Discouraging debate seems very counter productive to me.

Claire's private parts are fictional. It is the policy of this board that they aren't open for discussion. Claire is, to our knowledge, not a representation of any real person.

There are reasons Claire's equipment list is topic non-grata. I'm not going into them. But those reasons do apply to discussions relating to why a person's sexual orientation is what it is. They probably apply more deeply, but I've only been talking about that part of it, so that's the part I'm going to stick with.

There's a long and storied history of terrible things being done because people believe sexuality can be traced back to root cause. That belief is a bad thing.

I see no issue is wonder IF Marten is straight or bi or something else, at least until Marten unequivocally chooses a label. At that point I see no isse in wondering and discussing what that label means to Marten. But I see a fairly large issue in trying to define why Marten is whatever Marten is, unless Marten opens the door for that discussion.

Why give a fictional character that level of agency? Practice. How you treat a fictional character influences how you treat real people. We aren't talking about something as black and white as murder. Most of us know that killing the video game character is not practice for killing real people. Most of us have strong counter urges against murdering people. But respecting the sexuality of others doesn't have the same level of internal rejection. It's not something we practice. Given that the majority of (basically) heterosexual people is so vast, many of us will not get a lot of real world practice. But fiction let's us meet different kinds of people than we might otherwise. It's just good policy to practice on them.

Especially when that fiction puts you in a forum of fans, because odds are people who are like those fictional people will be party to your discussions. Whether people who are trans "should" take discussion of Claire's equipment personally or not is beside the point. They are here, and they do. The same applies to anyone else who might find one of the characters representative.

Alright, board policy is board policy. Thank you for the explanation.

I find some of your reasoning flawed:
It bears the assumption that certain people deserve unmitigated respect regardless of their character and only based on certain aspects of them (gender, sexuality, race, political orientation or what have you), to the point where it can discourage something as simple as asking a question.
It breeds ignorance, which is the biggest problem we have when it comes to discrimination. It discourages personal responsibility and it promotes treating people like victims, which is ultimately detrimental to people with low self esteem.

I will afford people common courtesy, but I will not grant them the luxury of special privilege based on potentially hurt feelings. This is unacceptable to me and a shallow, worthless gesture that ultimately pays them no respect.

-

On a lighter note, it seems the continuation of the comic lays most of my questions to rest.

I'd like to thank the people who responded to me and answered the few questions I had, but I'll move on. Skimming some of the content I've realized that this forum is not for me :)
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1075 on: 08 Feb 2015, 21:11 »


I see no issue is wonder IF Marten is straight or bi or something else, at least until Marten unequivocally chooses a label. At that point I see no isse in wondering and discussing what that label means to Marten. But I see a fairly large issue in trying to define why Marten is whatever Marten is, unless Marten opens the door for that discussion.
He bloody well has.  He's a dude, he's into ladies, he's not into dudes.  There's a word for dudes like that.  That word is heterosexual (or, to use the modern* slang, 'straight').

* I specify modern because straight has had other meanings in the past, such as 'not a user of recreational drugs' and 'not a member of the counterculture'.

Fair enough... it may simply be a matter of different views on the subject, personal upbringing or whatever.  I think Marten's a chill frood and his "buh" Good Guy Marten personality combined with his upbringing pretty much cancels out the need to tick a particular box for his sexuality.
Marten is straight/heterosexual.  He is a dude, he is into ladies, he is not into dudes.  That is what straight means for a dude.


From my own experience as a bisexual (pansexual for those who feel the distinction is necessary), I had a few moments of doubt and more than a bit of awkwardness when I was with a pre-op transwoman for the first time. Marten just being cool with it seems... off.

Speaking as another bisexual, I'm afraid that's your personal hangup, not a matter of orientation per se.
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1076 on: 08 Feb 2015, 21:23 »

Why would he have made a move on her if he had any lingering doubts about whether he'd be okay with her body? He knew she was trans. He had months to consider whether it would be an issue before they got undressed, and they only got there after he (1) invited her home, (2) made a move, (3) asked her to date him, (4) explicitly told her he was okay with her being trans after she gave him a chance to bail out, (5) invited her over again, (6) threw himself at her, and (7) took her into his bedroom?

I don't see how you could actually read the strip and still have the slightest degree of suspense over whether he would chicken out at the last minute, unless you are coming from the position that trans bodies are so weird and alienating that they would scare off any self-declared straight boy, even after he had made every possible indication over thousands of strips that he did not give the tiniest fuck.

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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1077 on: 08 Feb 2015, 21:38 »

Given the content on the current strip, I hope that they both gave a mutual *really good* fuck.
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1078 on: 08 Feb 2015, 21:38 »

Why would he have made a move on her if he had any lingering doubts about whether he'd be okay with her body? He knew she was trans. He had months to consider whether it would be an issue before they got undressed, and they only got there after he (1) invited her home, (2) made a move, (3) asked her to date him, (4) explicitly told her he was okay with her being trans after she gave him a chance to bail out, (5) invited her over again, (6) threw himself at her, and (7) took her into his bedroom?

I don't see how you could actually read the strip and still have the slightest degree of suspense over whether he would chicken out at the last minute, unless you are coming from the position that trans bodies are so weird and alienating that they would scare off any self-declared straight boy, even after he had made every possible indication over thousands of strips that he did not give the tiniest fuck.
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1079 on: 08 Feb 2015, 22:03 »

Alright, board policy is board policy. Thank you for the explanation.

I find some of your reasoning flawed:
It bears the assumption that certain people deserve unmitigated respect regardless of their character and only based on certain aspects of them (gender, sexuality, race, political orientation or what have you), to the point where it can discourage something as simple as asking a question.
It breeds ignorance, which is the biggest problem we have when it comes to discrimination. It discourages personal responsibility and it promotes treating people like victims, which is ultimately detrimental to people with low self esteem.

Just to note, this forum does have a space for those kind of discussions, it is just not the WCDT. It is the Trans* thread in Discuss. In fact, there are three trans threads at this point, take your pick. But we are also not interested in going in conversation circles, so please at least skim the beginning of the thread, I would be surprised if your questions aren't answered.
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1080 on: 08 Feb 2015, 22:15 »

He bloody well has.  He's a dude, he's into ladies, he's not into dudes.  There's a word for dudes like that.  That word is heterosexual (or, to use the modern* slang, 'straight').

That's your word for Marten's whatever. Marten might choose "taco." What are you gonna do about it? Send a strongly worded letter?

You make my point for me. What label you choose and what label Marten might choose aren't necessarily the same thing. In the end, it doesn't matter. Unless you want to make something of it.

Seriously. Marten could label his sexuality God-Emperor and it wouldn't actually change anything beyond a bunch of people who are hell bent on being able to define straight being left with nothing to hate on or applaud. My point being that if people weren't so hung up on labels, there'd be a lot less conflict over who is fucking whom. Which is one of the dumbest thing in the world for life-ending conflicts.

It bears the assumption that certain people deserve unmitigated respect regardless of their character and only based on certain aspects of them (gender, sexuality, race, political orientation or what have you), to the point where it can discourage something as simple as asking a question.
It breeds ignorance, which is the biggest problem we have when it comes to discrimination. It discourages personal responsibility and it promotes treating people like victims, which is ultimately detrimental to people with low self esteem.

I don't see the link between "don't ask questions about private stuff unless the subject opens the door" and breeding ignorance. There's plenty of information out there for people who bother to look. There are people here willing to address the roots of some questions. Indeed, there's a whole internet. Most of the questions that crop up in the WCDT could have been answered by google, with a lot less typing and far less waiting. Those that can't actually have a place.

But there are some questions that are indistinguishable from troll bait. Sure you could be honestly curious. Or you could be visiting from 4chan. Who's to know?

I fail to see anything personally responsible about an attitude that says "my curiosity is more important than anyone else's feelings." In fact, it strikes me as exactly the opposite of personal responsibility. Nobody has been banned, shamed, or attacked for asking questions here. Just told whether the question was appropriate given the "mission" of this section of the forums and the rules for acceptable topics. I doubt it's going to happen. Most folks will either guide to answers, or explain the issues behind the question. Those that won't generally say nothing. But the fundamental reason Claire's bits are not an acceptable topic is to protect people's feelings based on gender. If you can't get behind that, you're in the wrong forum.

Even barring flamebait, there's nothing responsible about demanding answers when people don't want to give them. That's just entitlement. Rather than going somewhere the question is welcome, what justifies making some kind of stand or something to try to force people to give you what you want? This is the first time I've seen anyone ever make that out to be for the greater good.

Sure, the world would be a better place if all the activists of any stripe were open to educating every n00b who wandered along with a question they've heard 10,000 times--assuming the n00bs actually listened to and absorbed the answers. But the activists aren't always willing. And you can't force them to be. But you can't put that unwillingness down as the root of discrimination. The root of discrimination is people feeling entitled to be assholes. Pure and simple. If people didn't feel the need to make others suffer in order to boost their own self esteem, there'd be few--if any--problems.

Edit: typos

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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1081 on: 08 Feb 2015, 22:52 »

Why would he have made a move on her if he had any lingering doubts about whether he'd be okay with her body? He knew she was trans. He had months to consider whether it would be an issue before they got undressed, and they only got there after he (1) invited her home, (2) made a move, (3) asked her to date him, (4) explicitly told her he was okay with her being trans after she gave him a chance to bail out, (5) invited her over again, (6) threw himself at her, and (7) took her into his bedroom?

I don't see how you could actually read the strip and still have the slightest degree of suspense over whether he would chicken out at the last minute, unless you are coming from the position that trans bodies are so weird and alienating that they would scare off any self-declared straight boy, even after he had made every possible indication over thousands of strips that he did not give the tiniest fuck.

Marten is clearly the kind of guy who's not going to freak out over it. And we're after the fact now and it's obviously worked out between them fine. But I don't know if you can answer the question of compatibility beforehand. Like, if it were me. Can I find a transgirl attractive? Yes, absolutely. Would things work in the bedroom? I have no idea. None. And I wouldn't be able to figure it out with introspection. I'd hope so, especially if it was someone I cared about. But the only way for me to know with certainty is to try and see.
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1082 on: 08 Feb 2015, 23:07 »

Quote from: Silverzippo
I will afford people common courtesy, but I will not grant them the luxury of special privilege based on potentially hurt feelings.

OK, but then you have to figure out what constitutes common courtesy in uncommon situations. Usually it includes not knowingly hurting people's feelings.
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1083 on: 08 Feb 2015, 23:15 »

Why would he have made a move on her if he had any lingering doubts about whether he'd be okay with her body? He knew she was trans. He had months to consider whether it would be an issue before they got undressed, and they only got there after he (1) invited her home, (2) made a move, (3) asked her to date him, (4) explicitly told her he was okay with her being trans after she gave him a chance to bail out, (5) invited her over again, (6) threw himself at her, and (7) took her into his bedroom?

I don't see how you could actually read the strip and still have the slightest degree of suspense over whether he would chicken out at the last minute, unless you are coming from the position that trans bodies are so weird and alienating that they would scare off any self-declared straight boy, even after he had made every possible indication over thousands of strips that he did not give the tiniest fuck.

Marten is clearly the kind of guy who's not going to freak out over it. And we're after the fact now and it's obviously worked out between them fine. But I don't know if you can answer the question of compatibility beforehand. Like, if it were me. Can I find a transgirl attractive? Yes, absolutely. Would things work in the bedroom? I have no idea. None. And I wouldn't be able to figure it out with introspection. I'd hope so, especially if it was someone I cared about. But the only way for me to know with certainty is to try and see.

Somebody once said the most profound thing I've ever encountered about sexuality. Basically, this guy said he didn't know if he was bi. He'd never met a man he wanted to have sex with, but he couldn't rule the possibility out just because it hadn't happened yet. It was profound, to me, because it has to be true of everyone who is A) capable of engaging in sex, B) not experienced in certain combinations, and C) not dead (which is really just a special case of A).

I'm not saying everyone should abandon their labels.  I'm not ever sure I agree with the logic. But the conclusion is fascinating. It raises the issue of how much of attraction is representation. I've heard the odd story from women who experimented and found that they couldn't manage to go all the way. This strikes me as the inverse of the profound statement. By their own words the attraction was there, the idea was exciting, but the act wasn't in their power or didn't live up to their imagination.

On the filpside, it all worked out for our heroes.

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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1084 on: 09 Feb 2015, 00:36 »

Quote from: Silverzippo
to the point where it can discourage something as simple as asking a question.

Not all questions are created equal. "How do trans people know whether reassignment surgery is right for them?" is an intelligent question. Some other questions I can imagine would be prurient or even harassment.

There is a wealth of answers here and also links to far more. If you remember that you're talking to and in front of real people who experience real pain, everything should work out OK.

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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1085 on: 10 Feb 2015, 07:14 »

Quote from: Silverzippo
I will afford people common courtesy, but I will not grant them the luxury of special privilege based on potentially hurt feelings.

OK, but then you have to figure out what constitutes common courtesy in uncommon situations. Usually it includes not knowingly hurting people's feelings.

Yes, but it seems as though anyone can claim hurt feelings, and Great Sky Daddy (sorry: "Parental unit") help you if you try to defend -- for example (another forum), the use of "Body English" instead of "Body language," which took a special snowflake "five minutes to process," it was so ... traumatic? I dunno. End result of such processing was to compare me to a female hygiene product, which took me a nanosecond to process (O! the trauma![/sarcasm]) and conclude courtesy was out the window, along with any interest in my part in the conversation.

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« Last Edit: 10 Feb 2015, 12:23 by Is it cold in here? »
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1086 on: 10 Feb 2015, 07:26 »

I'm not saying everyone should abandon their labels.  I'm not ever sure I agree with the logic. But the conclusion is fascinating. It raises the issue of how much of attraction is representation.

I think that it's been established (from when Marten was helping Tai with her report on human sexuality) that Marten is at least hypothetically bi. Specifically, he has no particular hang-ups in engaging in a sexual activity with a male body but that he didn't think that he could have sex with a man with stereotypically male personality traits. This has the interesting consequence of meaning that he wouldn't have a problem having sex with a man so long as they guy didn't act like a man.

This really answers the question that is really being asked by most questioners, which is: is Jeph making Marten OOC by having him okay with Claire being potentially pre-op? The answer is thus 'no'. It is established that, whilst Marten is not attracted to those who are behaviourally male (and is thus 'Straight' by most definitions of the word), his definition of 'maleness' does not necessarily run into the details of anatomy. His concept of gender is more based on personality and behaviour rather than body equipment.

Thus, Claire's transition status is irrelevant to Marten. In his eyes, Claire is a woman, irrespective of the details of her body.
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1087 on: 10 Feb 2015, 07:35 »

And then your "behaviourally male" comment then brings a behavioral axis (or maybe more) into the measurement of sexuality, in addition to mechanical axes and the gender axis... sounds like it's time for a DISCUSS thread?
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1088 on: 10 Feb 2015, 07:57 »

And then your "behaviourally male" comment then brings a behavioral axis (or maybe more) into the measurement of sexuality, in addition to mechanical axes and the gender axis... sounds like it's time for a DISCUSS thread?

In this case the behavioral is nothing other than gender performance. That's still 2 axises 
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1089 on: 10 Feb 2015, 09:58 »

Strip 1024 makes it absolutely clear that Marten doesn't have a problem sleeping with penis-havers, he has a problem sleeping with men. In other words, his particular flavor of straightness has nothing to do with genitals and everything to do with gender presentation.

^This ^

Marten is straight, but he is certainly not narrow.
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1090 on: 10 Feb 2015, 11:40 »

Oh wow. That's the best turned phrase I've seen in weeks and it completely answers every question people have had. Be proud!

--------------

In the particular example of whether to wonder out loud about Claire's medical history, it was a long line of people who reported being hurt, including quite a few we knew only said things like that when it was real and important, culminating with ZoeB, which is the point at which policy changed. It was seriously counter-intuitive to me and I had to learn some things.
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1091 on: 10 Feb 2015, 12:08 »

What particularly baffles me about all this "what's she got down there" nonsense is that QC has told us over and over again. It is perhaps right and proper that people who refuse to take the effort to parse out the subtext should be doomed to live in mystery.

Quote
Readers: omg what is the story with Claire's stuff we need to knowwwwwwwww
Jeph: alludes with dialogue
Readers: what?
Jeph: alludes with body language
Readers: huh?
Jeph: come on you guys
Readers: but we can't HEAR you unless you say it OBVIOUSLY and TASTELESSLY!
« Last Edit: 10 Feb 2015, 12:19 by AprilArcus »
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1092 on: 10 Feb 2015, 12:24 »

http://thepunchlineismachismo.com/archives/comic/every-rose-has-its-thorn

Let us all bow to the wisdom of Commander Badass Re: Other peoples bits.

According to Jeph's Tumblr, he has no intention of flat out saying. Which is fine by me.
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1093 on: 10 Feb 2015, 12:43 »

Since I don't know much about Jeph; Is Marten an extension of himself?
I don't know if this is a thing or not, I'm curious.
Parts of all of his characters are autobiographical, to a certain point.

I believe that, to be considered a good writer, there is always a part of you in every character you write. Jeph is no exception. There is a difference, however, in giving a part of you to tour characters, and writing a Mary Sue or a Marty Stu. So far, I don't find anything that I may consider a Mary Sue in Jeph's work. But there are a lot of experiences he has had in his daily common life we can get, at least as a reference, in his work: Faye's drinking, Marten and Dora's breakup, Deathmole's songs, Ardent's regrowing tail... you name it, perhaps, perhaps it is reflected in comic. I didn't notice that fact until last November. I wrote a short story and developed it as a novel, and at certain point, when my character (whom I decided should be a rugby player to settle a bet: that I could write a story with a rugby player) had to play a rugby match at old age (for a rugby player), I wrote that match like the matches I've played. But, damn, my player was a wonderful player, while I was a bad one, mediocre at best. Also, my player was married; I'm single and probably would be for life. Yet, somehow, my friends who read that story liked it. I think it's not half bad, taken into account I wrote it in ten days. But I digress. What I was trying to say is that even if Jeph's characters aren't real, we're still following their adventures and we tend to think of them as if they were real people, so we like to analyze them based in our own experiences.

For me, that's the important and relevant part of this discussion: we think (at least I think) of them as people. Real people. Not webcomic people. XKCD's characters are not people. I like that about this webcomic and its community. I came here as an escape from reality and found a new virtual reality. One where we are discussing minute information and facts with as much effort as Mexican women discuss telenovelas.

Now wish me luck. I'm entering rehab today, and I hope I won't need a hip replacement soon. How I miss the times I could play rugby...
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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1094 on: 10 Feb 2015, 13:09 »

What particularly baffles me about all this "what's she got down there" nonsense is that QC has told us over and over again. It is perhaps right and proper that people who refuse to take the effort to parse out the subtext should be doomed to live in mystery.
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Yes, I hit the like button.
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"I would rather have questions that can't be answered, than answers that can't be questioned." Richard Feynman

Jynto

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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1095 on: 10 Feb 2015, 13:21 »

It is also [a relationship] that imposed on him a duty to be open-minded in a way that was not foreshadowed in the first couple of thousand strips.

What?

No one in the comic is saying he has to be open-minded about this, except perhaps the narrative of the comic itself. No one could blame him if he got weirded out about Claire's body and decided not to take the relationship any further. Even Claire would probably understand - relationships have been ended over much less. But since this is a comic, he'd lose the audience's sympathy if he did that, and they would turn on him with pitchforks and projectile muffins.

It's precisely because of the fact that this relationship is put on a pedestal in a way that real relationships are not, partly because it's between fictional characters, but also because one of them is notably transgender. They have become a flagship for healthy transgender relationships. All aboard the S.S. Claireten, flying the rainbow flag!

For better or worse (and for real transgender people it tends to be worse), it means that Claire is a representative of transgenderism as a whole, due to being both fictional* and transgender. Marten, by association with Claire, is also a representative of how one should aspire to act in this situation. In real life, a straight-cis-white-dude like him would not usually be under this kind of scrutiny. Claire shouldn't be either, but the real world is not all there yet.

*The same arguments could be made for celebrity relationships, but for a different audience.

Strip 1024 makes it absolutely clear that Marten doesn't have a problem sleeping with penis-havers, he has a problem sleeping with men. In other words, his particular flavor of straightness has nothing to do with genitals and everything to do with gender presentation. Claire x Marten may seem to be forced for a lot of reasons, but contradicting Marten's on-panel statements about his sexuality is absolutely not one of them.

Well found! But I think that that shows my point further, as in real life it would not be possible to hold a person to something they said years ago. Real people change over time too, so he could have said something and meant it, and then not followed through with it later on and he'd still be being honest/true to himself. In fiction however, people don't tend to change unless it's part of their character arc.
« Last Edit: 10 Feb 2015, 13:33 by Jynto »
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Akima

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Re: WCDT 2887-2891 (2-6 February 2015)
« Reply #1096 on: 10 Feb 2015, 13:48 »

I will afford people common courtesy, but I will not grant them the luxury of special privilege based on potentially hurt feelings.
Someone makes a statement like this and claims that other people are claiming privilege... :roll:

What is "common courtesy" if not a consideration of other people's feelings? On what basis do we decide that consideration of another person's feelings is "special privilege" rather than "common courtesy"? Just who allocates to any individual the right to decide that consideration of their feelings is "common courtesy", but consideration of someone else's is "special privilege"? And to demand that other people accept that their decision about "common courtesy" vs. "special privilege" has some sort of authority or legitimacy?

Personally, I do not believe one should demand from others what one is not asked for oneself. If you don't have to handle intrusive questions about the precise configuration of your genitals, your dietary habits, religion etc. you should consider whether anybody else's are any of your business. Also, I think everyone should think about whatever is the sharpest burr under their own saddle, before declaring someone else's feelings to be invalid, and consideration of them "special privilege". As forum regulars know, I am prickly about racism, because I am a member of a minority ethnic group in Australia that has lower status than the majority. Racism is not the same as prejudice against trans people, and I'm certainly not going to get into Oppression Olympics, but I always ask myself, when I observe how people react to trans people, or depictions of them, how I would feel it "trans" were replaced with "Asian". Anything I don't like, I should not inflict on others. If I expect privacy, I should offer it to others.

the use of "Body English" instead of "Body language," which took a special snowflake "five minutes to process,"
I don't know the context, but on the face of it, that seems silly. However, native English-speakers, or even people like me who've been using English for a long time, should consider just how "slangy" we should be in forums where ESL people hang out. On the other hand ESL people should take the opportunity to improve our colloquial English, without slipping into sloppy expression ourselves, of course. :lol:

"Why do you gotta"...  All those years learning your bizarre language, aspiring to speak it "like a native"... Wasted.  :-D
« Last Edit: 10 Feb 2015, 14:08 by Akima »
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"I would rather have questions that can't be answered, than answers that can't be questioned." Richard Feynman
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