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Poll

What do you want to see wrapped up first?

Just what are Faye and Bubbles to each other?
- 31 (42.5%)
Will Roko ever find that intimate companion she wants?
- 9 (12.3%)
Will Melon be drawn into the core cast?
- 3 (4.1%)
When will Hannelore and Winslow return home?
- 5 (6.8%)
Will Dora need a new employee, if so, who?
- 0 (0%)
Is there anything left to develop with Marten and Claire?
- 3 (4.1%)
Just how will the Brun-Clinton-Elliott triangle resolve itself?
- 22 (30.1%)
Other (please specify in comment)
- 0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 73


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Author Topic: (CW/TW: Abuse) WCDT strips 3731-3735 (30th April to 4th May 2018)  (Read 12319 times)

fayelovesbubbles

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Honestly, yes, I do think it's what she wants to hear.

Faye and Bubbles can process these feelings together.
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...and Bubbles loves Faye.

Castlerook

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Amen. Bubbles has baggage from hell but a track record of working to overcome it. Bubbles will be loyal to the extent Marten is or even more. Faye, this is a great partner for you.

A great partner is all well and good, but you can't rely on another person to fix your problems.

Faye and Bubbles both deserve happiness, but given Faye's track record with relationships and how she deals with major changes in her life (or rather, how she failed to deal with them), kinda leaves me in the camp of "Its going to be one hell of a rocky road" for any Faye and Bubbles relationship.
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Along the same lines, this could have been simply a joke at Faye's expense.
I'm inclined to think Marten meant it. I'm barely 10% through the archives, and I've already seen Faye punch Marten four times (once he thought his arm was broken, and once he thought he might have a concussion), punched Dora once, knocked out Agent Turing (yeah, that needed to be done to save Pintsize, but still...), and body-flipped Raven. Plus done a fair amount of threatening to several people. So at that point at least, Fayemergencies are a fairly regular occurrence. (There's also stuff with Pintsize and some of his friends, but they deserved it.)

Now I've re-read the comic, I'd agree.
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fayelovesbubbles

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Angus wasn't right for Faye. That's pretty clear. Bubbles is different, very different.

They have a strong bond that can overcome a lot. Think about everything they've been through together. Faye's drinking problem. Bubbles having her memories erased. Arguments, disagreements. And they're still close. I do feel this is a place where Faye can finally feel safe.
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...and Bubbles loves Faye.

SpanielBear

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On the eternal abuse side, there's more than one way to take her treatment of Pintsize. What does it mean ethically to hit someone who doesn't feel pain and can have dents just popped out?

In general? Depend a lot on the context of the hitting, and how it was taken by the one who is hit. Even if it didn't cause physical damage, it could still be a component of emotional abuse, for example.

(I do not feel able to say whether Faye's treatment of Pintsize falls under abuse or not.)
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Tova


Thanks to awgiedawgie's link, I've got a comic to add to the guys-getting-punched-for-saying-the-wrong-thing-was-a-running-gag-back-then pile.

And it wasn't even Faye doing the punching this time.

It all would have been beyond the pale had the genders been reversed, I guess. Food for thought.
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pecoros7

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Question, without going into the morality or nature of those instances (and once you have finished breakfast, naturally), how many were recent and how many were back in the days of cartoon logic applying more (e.g. vespa-avenger, random monks, Scorn being capable of physically hurling a body through space etc.)?

Without excusing abusive behaviour, it does seem that Faye as a character gets caught out by the tone of the comic having shifted over 3000 strips, and that behaviour that at one point, while not exactly acceptable, was not as consequential as it would be now. Pintsize is another example of this (who seems to get a free pass more often than not), as his earlier behaviour might often be seen to step over a line he's now more careful about. But Faye's violence, it is true, still gets bought up in-comic as part of her character, so it's reasonable to consider her in relation to it. How much of her violence is recent?

Again, that's a question I want to ask neutrally- I don't mean to defend her violence, I'm just curious about how it has developed alongside the changing tone of the comic.

The problem with answering that question is that there is no unambiguous delineation between the comic's cartoonish "wacky hijinks" and the comic's more serious, grounded tone. While the comic has certainly transitioned from using one tone to the other for many subjects, Jeph always has and continues to use both. We can make distinctions with specific events or subjects, but it is much less clear when looking at the whole text of QC. For example, the Vespavenger or Pintsize having advanced military technology were clearly cartoonish non-reality. Marten and Claire's first night together was clearly a case of Jeph taking trans issues very seriously. Depictions of Faye's violence are, if this conversation is any indication, much more fuzzy.

I think there are some very interesting broader implications present in this conversation. They have come to my mind from a variety of people's comments, so I don't want to direct these as a response to any particular person. But I think they are worth exploring.

1) Should we judge Faye's behavior in the context of the diegetic context of the comic or in the context of the real violence it resembles? Violence in QC is often depicted as being relatively consequence free. If Faye's violence is free of meaningful consequences, should she be judged harshly for it? Or is her violence acceptable within the narrative universe? If we judge her behavior as acceptable in-universe but would be absolutely unacceptable in a realistic environment, is it fair to criticize Jeph for his choice to frame harmful behavior as funny?

I think Dan Olsen of the YouTube channel Folding Ideas has a very interesting take on diegesis and its justification for behavior within a narrative.


2) How does our use of the word "abuse" effect how we talk about Faye's use of violence? I have seen several people not question the facts of Faye's behavior, but rather question whether that behavior rises to the level of "abuse". Sure, she punches people, but she never really hurts anyone. Sure she threatens and intimidates people, but she never cut them off from friends or tried to control their money/transportation/communication etc. The implication seems to be that her behavior never meets the hallmarks of capital-a "Abuse", so we shouldn't judge it as such; like saying that she does bad things, but she's not a monster.

But is that fair? Are we reluctant to call her behavior what it is because we fail to make distinctions of degree and instead see a distinction of kind? Are we possibly trivializing abuse because it failed to meet a specific threshold and is therefore some other thing and therefore is less important?

Let me be clear that I do not think that anybody at all, not even one of us, is treating Faye's behavior like it isn't important or worthy of critique. If we were, we wouldn't be having this discussion at all. But it is worth reflecting on whether some of the reluctance to calling Faye's behavior abusive is because we think of abuse as a horrible, monstrous thing (and rightly so), but we don't see Faye as a monster.

We discussed a very similar thing in Discuss! a while back. The subject matter is very sensitive so I will bury the link behind a spoiler bar as well as content warnings.

(click to show/hide)

For what it's worth, I tend to judge Faye's violence in terms of the diegetic framework of the text and assume that it is less impactful than it would be in real life, but that it is not consequence free. I usually read it as a shorthand for Faye being gruff and unpleasant as a defense mechanism for her emotional fragility. I see it as not OK, but I also understand her friends willingness to tolerate it in that context. I am usually more uncomfortable with Jeph's choice to use that violence as a shorthand. And I absolutely do see her violence, threats and intimidation as abuse even with all the horrible baggage that word brings with it.
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Cornelius

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On the eternal abuse side, there's more than one way to take her treatment of Pintsize. What does it mean ethically to hit someone who doesn't feel pain and can have dents just popped out?

In general? Depend a lot on the context of the hitting, and how it was taken by the one who is hit. Even if it didn't cause physical damage, it could still be a component of emotional abuse, for example.

(I do not feel able to say whether Faye's treatment of Pintsize falls under abuse or not.)

It might be worth noting that at least one character in comic has suspected it did. But then, when she talked to Pintsize in private to ascertain that, Marigold promptly put a dent in him herself.
« Last Edit: 07 May 2018, 03:19 by Cornelius »
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Near Lurker

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...AND she knocked out Marten that time he was being drunk and highly unpleasant - I can't remember the strip, but I can remember the follow-up, where Faye blames his injury on "OWLS"...  :-D

Edit: Found it! Number 1818.

That time he assaulted her, though.
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Amen. Bubbles has baggage from hell but a track record of working to overcome it. Bubbles will be loyal to the extent Marten is or even more. Faye, this is a great partner for you.

A great partner is all well and good, but you can't rely on another person to fix your problems.

Faye and Bubbles both deserve happiness, but given Faye's track record with relationships and how she deals with major changes in her life (or rather, how she failed to deal with them), kinda leaves me in the camp of "Its going to be one hell of a rocky road" for any Faye and Bubbles relationship.

Absolutely. I'm in the Faye-For-FSM's-Sake-Don't-Screw-This-Up(-For-Once) camp.

If she can get out of her own way for once this could be the best romantic relationship of her life. I started to say "best relationship" but that slot is filled by her friendship with Marten.
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Case

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Re: WCDT strips 3731-3735 (30th April to 4th May 2018)
« Reply #310 on: 07 May 2018, 03:17 »

<snip>
3) It's not perceived to be as threatening, because it's done by a woman, and therefore, according to the SJW enforced gender constructs, can't be threatening.

You know, I think you got the wrong end of the stick here. For example:

Quote
Historical sources and their analysis in academic literature establish that intimate violence has been a cause for concern stemming from at least England’s medieval times. While men-as-perpetrators of violence on wives or female partners could be prosecuted or subject to public exposure, ironically men-as-victims of their wives’ violence were subject to punishment. This punishment took several forms, one of which was a form of public exposure known as a “Skimmington” procession: a public humiliation derived from Charivari rituals widespread in early Europe. The history of Skimmington is reviewed and inferences drawn.

Skimmington Revisited

(Unless "SJWs" invented a time-machine and enforced gender-constructs in medieval England, that is ...  )
« Last Edit: 07 May 2018, 03:30 by Case »
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Shjade

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Re: WCDT strips 3731-3735 (30th April to 4th May 2018)
« Reply #311 on: 07 May 2018, 12:31 »

This is a legitimate thing to raise, however; Jeph was a lot less 'woke' for lack of a better term in the early days, and so Faye's early period of physical violence is something that's kind of been retconned a little into the outward expression of someone who's been through abuse. Or Jeph has used that as a Trojan horse to reel people into her story, I don't know. But this comic is the first time I've even seen her violent tendencies mentioned in a little while.

For what it's worth, I always took it as part of her alcoholism and general self-destructive tendencies. Lashing out toward others was part of that whole storm.

Sure, it could be coincidental or plot contrivance that her violent/bullying tendencies have significantly decreased since she stopped drinking, but it would also just plain make sense.
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Now that's an insight!

Here's an aspect I don't think has been brought up yet. One of the many aspects of compatibility for a couple is having similar levels of intelligence.

Faye was earning straight A's in school. Bubbles has erudite speech patterns.
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awgiedawgie

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Question, without going into the morality or nature of those instances (and once you have finished breakfast, naturally), how many were recent and how many were back in the days of cartoon logic applying more (e.g. vespa-avenger, random monks, Scorn being capable of physically hurling a body through space etc.)?
[...]
Again, that's a question I want to ask neutrally- I don't mean to defend her violence, I'm just curious about how it has developed alongside the changing tone of the comic.
I'll just make a list, but it'll take a little while.

That's really good of you. Just a general idea would be good- my bias is towards the majority being early in the comc's run, but I don't want to make assumptions.


I don't think for a moment that the difference in tone makes the depictions of violence easier to see, but in discussing Faye's underlying character and the extent to which she is a bully rather than a source of slapstick it would be useful.
OK, here we go...


I included actual instances of hitting, as well as threats. I also included occasions when she didn't punch someone.
I placed an asterisk next to any of them that I think were justified, or other things that I don't count against her. YMMV


Someone brought up a fair question of whether it's ethical to inflict violence on a robot that doesn't suffer any lasting damage. Granted, all the times she did anything to Pintsize, they were justified, so the question is sort of moot anyway. And he seemed to provoke her intentionally, knowing that she'd pound him.


I'd like to point out that I've never hit anyone out of anger, and I've never hit a partner even in fun - that's just the way I was raised. But there were still a couple of times on the list where I would have done the same thing Faye did.


Although she started loosening up a little even before then, it seems the real turning point was when she finally came out to Marten about her father's death. That was strips #500-509. There have been very few unjustified instances since then. Including both punching and threats, and counting the ones I considered to be justified, there were as many instances in the first 500 strips as there have been in the 3000 strips since then.


Caution: It's kind of a long list with all that on it.
(click to show/hide)
EDIT: Added #1641
« Last Edit: 09 May 2018, 00:14 by awgiedawgie »
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That is a mightily impressive list. Well done.

I've got another for you.

* Faye says she punched Sven in the dick after he made a 69 joke. - 1641
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awgiedawgie

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That is a mightily impressive list. Well done.

I've got another for you.

* Faye says she punched Sven in the dick after he made a 69 joke. - 1641
Somehow I missed getting that one on there. I remember seeing it.
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SpanielBear

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Wow, many thanks Awgiedawgie, that's exactly what I was looking for.

It seems there was a definite change as you point out, between pre and post Talk. That said, it also seems that there are instances that happen off-screen so to speak. But it is good to see that the more "realistic" QC matches a reduction in violence.
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Morituri

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Wow.  That ... seems like a different character.  It isn't, of course.  I just plain didn't remember how casually violent she was prior to The Talk.  Since then, it's been far less casual.

A fair number of those, however, were panic reactions.  There are a lot of people who are completely nonviolent meaning they won't choose to do violence - but who will still throw your ass across the room if you surprise them from behind with a tickle attack, before it even registers in their forebrain that they have a choice about it.  That's not where she was, or is - she may react in panic before thinking sometimes, but she's also capable of being violent with full intent.

But for what it's worth,  I think I never had a problem with a violent response to someone who is ass-grabbing or doing a surprise tickle or whatever else - if you invade someone's personal space or violate their bodily dignity without permission, that's as much starting a fight as a punch in the face.  If you treat someone that way you are tacitly accepting whatever violent response you get in self defense and have absolutely no right to expect that you won't suffer immediate pain for it.  So a lot of Faye's early violence simply didn't make any impression on me because I considered it blameless.
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awgiedawgie

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When you consider how she behaved at home toward her sister, and that her mother said she did the same thing to her own brother, it seems that casual brutality was just a way to play around, and was never abusive or malicious. Her mother seemed to think that it might be a bit overboard at times, but that even she was guilty of the same thing ever since she was a child.


I got the impression that in Faye's early days in town, punching was her self-defense mechanism so she didn't have to talk about her feelings. She didn't have to actually admit that her feelings were hurt, or that she was offended, or she was sad... she could just punch you and you'd focus on that instead. Once she finally opened up to Marten, the cork was off the bottle, and it became easier to talk about that and other emotions to anyone else as well. But by that time, she was so used to punching people for anything, that even though she doesn't have to do it now, it is still her first instinct.


True, she also used threats as a form of persuasion, which is a different matter. Then again, I know plenty of people who say something like "don't make me hurt you" when they are trying to get someone to do something, so I don't think much of it. We only actually saw Faye do it twice - once when she told Dora to get into therapy, which I think she might have actually followed through on if Dora hadn't (and I truly believe that may be the only time she would have followed through on it); and once when she told Claire she would beat up Marten if Claire didn't come over, which I think she would not have followed through on. She did imply that she had used threats more often than that, and that she had talked to her therapist about it, but all the other times we saw her threaten people were in response to some provocation.
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When, in the course of human events,
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jwhouk

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This is, of course, the reason why Bubbles is the perfect foil - or whatever you'd like to call it - for Faye.

What happens when your coping mechanism no longer works?
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Unfortunately, the typical human thing is to switch back to a previous coping mechanism. In Faye's case that's alcohol.
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Quote from: an unnamed minister's sermon
In your face, darkness!  We are the light and we outnumber you!
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