Here’s where I stand:
Dickwolves comic http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/9017/9654746777ettfl.jpg: I understood the joke Mike made, and I understood why it upset rape survivors.
Rape survivors: They need our understanding and support. Every single one of us can level up our empathy and support skills. If we work hard at it.
The PAX Prime 2013 panel http://www.twitch.tv/pax/b/455394585?t=2h35m: The cheer is the first part that bothers me. Read this rape survivor’s reaction to being in the audience and hearing that cheer: http://littlelull.tumblr.com/post/60240420647/i-cant-go-back-or-why-im-so-bent-out-of-shape-about.
The fact that no one in the audience immediately stood up and yelled out “What the FUCK, Mike?!” is the second part that bothers me. It’s not enough to silently disagree with rape culture, and let these teaching moments slip by. This work is hard and it takes extreme bravery to speak up in the moment that speaking up can do the most good.
Dickwolves shirts: They should never have been designed, printed, or sold. But they were. And nothing like that should ever happen again.
The entire Dickwolf controversy: I am glad we are talking about survivor support, and I am very glad we are working to destroy rape culture. Because it’s people like us who will make it clear to everyone that rape is not funny, it is not OK, and if you rape a person, society will stop feeding and sheltering you. If you rape, you are On Your Own. That is what proto-rapists need to repeatedly see, hear, and internalize before they decide to hurt someone. And we need to make that statement true: if you rape, you are On Your Own.
Leftover defense mechanisms from childhood: There comes a time in each of our lives when we have to step outside ourselves and ask, “Are the coping strategies I developed as a child still serving me well, now that I am an adult?” I’m currently wading through this self-examination in my own life. If Mike’s not already there, his time approaches.
Mike’s apology http://penny-arcade.com/2013/09/04/some-clarification: “I absolutely regret everything we did after that comic….Everything we did after that initial comic strip was a mistake and I regret all of it….PAX makes me want to be better.” Regardless of what happens next, I decided a long time ago that I would never let one person ruin a good thing for me, even if that person is at the head of PAX. I don’t have to worship Mike to love making a PAX.
RAINN donation: I already automatically donate $10 a month to RAINN. Survivors need our support year-round. You can too: https://donate.rainn.org/
PAX stay/go: I’m staying. Working from within is my best option for making PAX the way I want it to be – safe. Playful. Fun. A homecoming. Like a family reunion full of family members I’m actually happy to see.
The culture I live in today: http://www.genevievevalentine.com/2013/06/dealing-with-it/ We. WE. Need to change this.