Please, please don’t give us the standard Hollywood spiel about how the sensitive nerd boy is the best choice after rich guy is inevitably revealed to be a dick.
It’s just tiring at this point.
Oh no. This is the moment where Alison goes for him and *he*’s not into her anymore because he’s not thrilled about girls who forget twice your friendly invitations and think they are all you amount to.
Seriously. It would crush Alison, sure, but also allow her to rethink how entitled she doesn’t realize she might be. She has a lot of ground to cover, romantically wise. Getting the Nice Guy (TM) would be the absolute dullest thing. (Hear that Brennan? I am watching you.)
She’ll start dating him and it’ll turn out he collects flayed human corpses. Don’t worry.
Alison has a very big to do due list here. Like seriouly woman! can you also throw in world domination while your at it: think that step would make things so much easer.
Please don’t let Clevin turn out to be a jerk, please don’t let Clevin turn out to be a jerk, please don’t….
At last, the first indication that Clevin is quite possibly not as much of a jerk as Max or Patrick.
No one ever said saving the world would be easy, Allison.
Alison – priorities! That’s not the line to delete!
I think it is, actually. I think this and last page were her groundbreaking realization that she doesn’t belong here. She barged in thinking she would, made plans about recruiting people that were seriously inappropriate, and she’s learning the hard way.
Now sure maybe she’s taking it a bit hard if she thinks she has absolutely no place there to contribute constructively, but, one step at a time.
I like Clevin.
He clearly likes Alison, but stays both civil and friendly even though she’s uninterested, rather than donning a trilby and ranting about her on the internet.
It’s too bad Alison isn’t interested in him – he seems so nice! Oh well, that’s how relationships work…
Not necessarily. He just has had bad timing on the two occasions that he’s asked, and she’s had far more important things on her mind one time, and the other time she was already about to go on a date with someone else.
Oh sure, RIGHT. Next thing you’re going to say to me is that to please a woman a man must never act on his interest and pray whatever Gods she’ll do the approaching because everything men do is inherently wrong. Like trying to get their well deserved attention when the woman is wearing her earplugs!
(Ah, topical humor.)
You know for someone so staunchly anti-neckbeard you’re prettymuch putting out the neckbeardiest vibe here.
(Never use neckbeard like that again, it’s incredibly insulting. Not to me, but people you don’t want to insult. Me you can insult, I can manage, but don’t use the same line of reasoning to put down autistic people for instance)
Also it was sarcasm. I kind of did say it was some kind of humor in my comment, so considering it first degree is kind of hard to defend.
Well, she hasn’t explicitly rejected him yet.
Right. So far he’s just had remarkably bad timing.
You shouldn’t think like this. Women are at such a high risk of violence when they “explicitly reject” the advances of men, so much so that it’s coded into social interactions and gender dynamics that they don’t. Granted Alison is the most powerful human on Earth but that doesn’t affect the world at large she lives in and the culture she grew up on. She’s just as equally likely to have grown up to be more reserved and culturally taught to *never* anger a man (yes, even with her fantastic feminist parents) and picked up on the same tendency to communicate rejection smoothly, peacefully.
It seriously sucks that it’s the state of the world we’re in where, it’s left to women to take care of a optimistic man’s bruised ego, but because we live in that fucked up world, don’t make their situation harder than it is.
Don’t push them to a critical point telling yourself “well, she hasn’t explicitly rejected me yet”, because most of the time that’s an excuse to bypass the implicit rejections you very consciously refuse to acknowledge despite recognizing. “Oh, I didn’t know you weren’t into me, why didn’t you tell me?” is a sickening phrase that wants to justify so much harassment.
I don’t know where Alison is regarding Clevin’s interest in her, most likely that she has bigger fish to fry at the moment, and she could very well realize that’s something she wants at a later time, but considering the situation, were Clevin to try again to imply a potential date?
That’d make him such a fucking asshole. Thankfully he seems to be just there to invite a friend to hear him play banjo. What a treasure ♥
I 100% agree with you, but it’s entirely possible that Clevin hasn’t realized it yet. He doesn’t sound exactly experienced, dating-wise. Things could get worse if she bluntly told him no, and he’s kinda forcing her hand with his insistence.
Last time they saw, she was having a date and I don’t suspect she told Clevin about the very bad breakup inbetween these panels.
Either the thought is out of his head now, or he’s a real assclown. The guys who see a girl in a couple and think “one day.” are kind of the absolute worst.
Some women don’t explicitly reject the guy for reasons having NOTHING to do with risk of violence. For example…. politeness, tact, not wanting to be rude. Same as how some guys don’t say ‘hell no’ or ‘I don’t want to’ to something and instead make excuses or give an apologetic reason they can’t when asked to do something. It’s just called civility, and Alison’s nice that way. She is clearly not someone who has refrained from rejecting him because of a threat of violence – the woman’s literally the strongest and most invulnerable person on the planet to ever exist, and she is totally aware of that fact and has been for years. She’s been brought up to be polite, not because of fear of violence (she’s been the most powerful person on the planet since she was 14 or 15) but because she had good parents.
Also, it could also be that she hasn’t said yes to the movies simply because of bad timing each time he’s asked. Which it has been. She’s even asked for a raincheck for going in the future.
Two things. You need to understand the decisions we make are influenced by things stronger and more complicated to quantify that conscious choices and objectivity (neither of which are real.)
But more importantly you should really, really ask yourself where does this need to question what I said comes from and work on the beliefs underneath.
This is not me telling you that you are wrong.
But when I read this post, I heard Joanna Lumley as Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous saying “Don’t question me.”
Still a fan. 😀
Allison doesn’t seem like the type of person that uncritically accepts cultural norms. She came up with the idea for Valkyrie almost all of her own.
She also does not shy away from confrontations with dangerous men. She once confronted a presumed date-rapist in public.
Behavior is mostly subconscious and even is Alison is safe, the culture she lives in doesn’t change if we say she’s okay being tormented by the whims of entitled manchildren because strength.
And I was addressing the problematic wording of a real person. If I can make them realize this and apply it to all the not-superstrenght’d women they’ll encounter…
I think that you are making some unfair assumptions here, about the way this kind of interaction plays out in general.
You write about a man telling himself “she hasn’t explicitly rejected me yet”, which implies that the man recognizes the implicit rejections, or at the least notices some semblance of them – and this simply might not be the case. Different people have different levels of skill in picking up subtleties and social cues, and nearly everyone thinks that their own subtle hints are far clearer than they truly are. If you consider saying something like “that sounds really fun, but I have [completely plausible other plans] for that time”* to be an “implicit rejection”, then I think there is little reason to expect that the suitor would take it at less than face value when first told, rather than an invitation to propose again at a different date. In the best case, he might start to get suspicious after three or more such rejections, but in the worst case he might never be able to figure it out on his own. Not due to malice or intentional denial, but due to incompetence and clouded judgment.
(*If do not consider this an implicit rejection, I apologize in advance, and would like to ask for clarification of what you did mean by it, preferably by examples.)
Now, suppose that this guy, after 3 or 5 or 10 attempts, finally finds out the girl isn’t interested – maybe she told him explicitly, maybe someone else did, maybe he eventually figured it out on his own. Do you really blame him for his bewilderment? From his point of view, he now realizes that the girl had knowingly rejected him implicitly several times before, and seen him persist; she knew he was interested in her, and that he did not understand she wasn’t interested in him. Why did she not clarify her position? Surely she must have realized how tormented he was in his courtship, always almost-reaching but never grasping, and how the torment grew worse and worse the longer it went on? She could have stopped it much earlier by just letting him know. This seems remarkably cruel of her, which probably does not match his usual concept of her (assuming he is not into cruel women). If he asks “why didn’t you tell me?”, it might not be to justify his behaviour, but because he is truly confused at such a course of action.
(Actually, your first two paragraphs are a pretty good answer to the “why”, but keep in mind that not every person, especially not every man, is aware of it; and even so, it can often seem a flaky excuse – it seems to justify the suitor’s torment by a hypothetical situation which he might consider irrelevant to the case at hand, as he would never react in a violent way…)
Certainly, this does not describe every man ever involved in unrequited interest; some people would cling to every last hope for a date despite overwhelming evidence against them, and some might continue harassing after being rejected explicitly and repeatedly. But this kind of person exists too, and your post seems to deny them, and lay all responsibility for the quality of communication on their shoulders.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to deliver bad news smoothly and peacefully, but it does no one any good if they are softened all the way into obscurity and ambiguity.
As to story at hand, the last time Alison declined Clevin’s invitation was here, I think:
And I personally really hope that it is not meant to be an implied rejection, because that is completely not the message Clevin would get from it (and neither would I).
Another possibility is that Alison really is into seeing a movie with Clev, as friends. If so, she might or might not be aware that it is not exactly what Clevin has in mind. If she isn’t, it is mostly Clevin’s fault for not being more explicit – certainly he has his reasons, such as wanting to allow both of them deniability, or just out of pure nervousness for speaking his emotions aloud. But if she is aware of Clevin’s interest, it is somewhat unfair of her to let him believe she might be interested in a date when all she wants is to hang out, and hope he eventually realizes it. Certainly, telling him so would not be fun to either of them – but it would be better than the alternative.
Actually, the fact that Clevin doesn’t know whether Al is aware of his intentions or not (independently of her actual knowledge) is another problem with implicit rejections. As long as Clevin is implicit in his offers, and doesn’t know whether Alison thinks she declined a date or a friendly hangout, her reactions can be understood in twice as many contexts as before, and precious little information can actually be gleaned from them. He might well think that the only reason he is getting unclear answers is because he is proposing unclear suggestions, and determine to be more explicit next time – and probably fail to do so, for the same reasons as before, caught in a vicious cycle of his own insecurity. Also not much fun, as you might imagine.
Oh my God, yes I do blame him for his idiotic bewilderment. After ten times?!
This whole line of argument annoys me very much, you know. Just because one’s clueless instead of vile doesn’t grant you my sympathy. Women won’t change their habits because women die when they are explicit, so if you find yourself whining your woes at the sky that women are undecipherable creatures, Get. Better. You don’t get a pass because you’re too dumb to read the very same social cues that comprise 70% of all communication since the advent of mankind.
I would have very much appreciated this advice when I was in high school, and thought that “well, she hasn’t explicitly rejected me yet” was a legitimate thought to have, because I believed “persistence” was the key to getting a specific girl to fall for me. Nevermind that “getting a specific girl to fall for me” should never have been a goal to begin with.
I’m usually loathe to blame TV or movies for behavior, but 80’s and 90’s romance sub-plots often involved the guy being “persistent” and the girl finally giving in, and I thought that was what romance was. I was very over-dramatic and thought I was some kind of tragic hopeless romantic that had this pure love that surely would win in the end. I’m pretty sure that kind of persistence would be called stalking now, and I cringe when I look back on my youth.
I’d attempt to find and apologize to the few women I focused on, but I think they’d just rather not hear from me.
Anyway, my point is, boys should be taught that persistence is not key. If you get two not-rejections (and by that I mean something like “maybe some other time” not “I’m not looking for a relationship right now” which is totally a rejection), that’s probably a real rejection.
You are not alone in being lied to by movies.
Sondheim had it right –
“Careful the things you say
Children will listen
Careful the things you do
Children will see
Finale/Children Will Listen Part I
Into The Woods
While I 100% agree with the dangers of explicit rejection and that men shouldn’t take “well she didn’t say NO” as a means to be persistent, I read this comment in an entirely different way. Being a young lady somewhere in my past (cough cough), I know that it is possible to mentally file away someone’s interest in you when it’s at a bad time (ie, she had just started dating that douche, she had just started a major project, she was going through some pretty big life changes as it was) and.. while you’re not trying to *encourage* interest, you’re not definitely 100% saying “this is never going to happen” because you haven’t even had a chance to explore your own feelings on the subject. Even though it’s completely wrong to read a lack of hard rejection as an engraved invitation for harassment and persistence, sometimes that grey area is there for other reasons than politeness or fear.
Plus.. in this specific instance… Alison could kick anybody’s ass so the lack of rejection probably isn’t down to “he might hurt me if I say no.” heh.
I think that given the context we’re living in, with men still thinking they are entitled to a woman’s attention and becoming very unstable when they get rejected, advising to never, ever push past anything else than a very clear “yeah I’m into you let’s date” seriously can’t hurt.
Yeah, sometimes you’re going to miss on opportunities because you didn’t pursue women who just wanted you to wait a while or something, but the risk is not worth keeping that hope in mind.
When patriarchy is over, when feminism has won, when everybody is equal, and boy are we not there yet, we can start giving some credit to the grey areas. For now, let’s just teach men to let women who haven’t made their desires clear alone?
The idea that men can both have a potential romantic interest in someone, and at the same time be OK with the “friend zone” is something we can cultivate in men. Perhaps Clevin has a crush on Ali, but also just wants to be her friend, and the idea of “just” being a friend is still pretty awesome to him.
I actually don’t agree that she rejected him either implicitly or otherwise. He “sort of” asked her out and she indicated that she couldn’t at that very moment but explicitly encouraged him to ask again. The second time he implied some sort of date, she happened to already be on a date but again specifically made a point of encouraging him to call her.
Its certainly possible that Clevin feels that as rejection and if so, well no major harm done. On the other hand, I would posit that the more adult way to handle it is to not take it to personally and instead operate under the assumption that Alison is being genuine and forthright. That is, she might just be an actual human person with their own schedule and responsibilities and just too busy to just drop whatever they are doing at the moment to hang out with him – whether she genuinely enjoys his company or not.
And if he takes that into consideration, maybe he makes a more explicit offer or maybe he decides to let it drop to avoid the possibility of a more explicit rejection. That is, after all, the purpose of the soft approach he has taken so far – to avoid putting them both in a situation where she might just reject him outright. It would be uncomfortable for both of them.
But in any case, I don’t think its helpful to either of them to assume that she meant something other than what she actually said.
Wholehearted agreement there.
I’d simply like to add that twice getting the answer “I’m sorry, I’m busy but ask again” can still be a soft rejection, for the clever man at the other end of it: even if absolutely honest, it means the woman hasn’t changed your place on her list of priorities and as such, even unspoken, it can be a tacit encouragement to dispense your romantic energy elsewhere.
This is somehow the thing men have the most difficult time understanding. Women’s affection are not a challenge. There are so, so many that want you to approach them and will make it appear so very clearly and indisputably when you try. Stop obsessing over the ones giving your social skills a hard time and go to them. You’ll know. The difference is striking. How about you try a dating site?
At the end of this whole comment thread, I just hope we all agree that the thought “she hasn’t said no yet” never ends particularly well.
Didn’t Trilby hats go out of fashion, like, 20 years ago?
Tell that to the ones who still wear them, you’d spare us some secondhand embarrassment.
Trilbies have never been in fashion. There are women and Black men who can pull off the look, but the only White man to ever look good in a trilby is Frank Sinatra.
Uhhhh… Alison? When’s the last time you slept too?
Those bags under your eyes are usually a sign of skipping more than a single night.
That and the stress of living in a world where your trying not to punch out everyone and everything that you disagree with seems to give said people/things free reign to poop all over you at will has got to be rough.
Oh those black bars are filler so you don’t feel intimidated! At first I thought it was a heavily redacted government document or something.
Taking a break is a good idea, if you’re frustrated enough to delete ideas while brainstorming, and also if you need a support group.
I hope she’s getting that check cashed. She was drafted, and a child celebrity, she shouldn’t feel guilty about being paid for it.
I thought Alison had the money from Pintsize’s check? And Valkryie is getting funded by the robot maker, right? Where is this lack of money coming from?
allison needs 2 sleep
So… she deleted joining Brad’s group? Am I reading this correctly?
“The Darkness that Lurks in the Heart of Man”?! Wow. No one can fault you for lack of ambition, Al. And as someone who has a full time day job, freelances, does martial arts and used to volunteer, I can relate to being unable to do anything spontaneous. I dropped volunteering just to get some rest.
She’s extremely critical about everything. I think the details really get to her. As a consequence of her physical nigh-indestructibility, she doesn’t rely on anyone, never asks for help. The weight of it all will crush her or she’ll go into a berserk madness and just destroy everything.
Good point. She may be indestructible physically, but mentally she’s vulnerable to fatigue, breakdown, etc…
Just a girl, with a girl’s courage
Nothing but a girl, but she can never fail…
(I would have said “woman”, really, but it didn’t fit the meter of the original.)
Maybe she doesn’t feel as indestructible as she once did. After that cut on her head, and her arm going out during a flight, she might have lost some confidence in her powers.
Anybody else worry that Clevin’s been set up a little *too* nicely? IDK, he just… if Patrick wanted to spy on Allison, this seems like a way he’d do it.
Prying on her unmatched tendency to be utterly indifferent to guys with possible romantic intent but also are not complete douchebags.
Oh my God. This is genius. How did we not realize this before!!
I dunno. He’s a mind reader, right? He can just drive by and read her mind while she’s sleeping, can’t he? It would be weird for him to hire someone to spy on someone else, like Alison hiring someone to carry something.
It depends on whether he can read surface thoughts or can go much, much deeper (subliminal / non conscious thoughts or even so deep as memories). If he can go that deep, then your point is quite valid.
If he can just get surface thoughts, then reading Alison’s REM cycle dreaming is likely to cause confusion.
UNSUBTLE REMINDER: The only information we have on Patrick’s all comes from Patrick. Ya know, the Genius Super Villain Menace. Who would never lie about it.
Honestly, this is what I thought ShrubyMcDouchebag was to be honest-a plant for Patrick.
I guess it could be Clevin, but considering I do feel bad for the guy being really nice, and always running into Allison at the wrong time when he asks her to hang out, I choose to believe he’s just had bad luck.
it’s hard being lawful good in a chaotic neutral world:)
War, poverty, corruption and men. As side projects. Me thinks she might be taking on too much.
Blue Alison needs food, badly!
Oh god, I just realized I have Clevin’s exact haircut.
Wait, I am getting confused. You are saying that you *aren’t* Clevin?
But. Your profile pic! That is exactly him!
“The Darkness that Lurks Within the Heart of Man” is one of her projects?
That’s the tough thing about being aware of social justice issues. How to set realistic goals, and to balance efforts to address important issues with taking care of your own needs. Burnout and disillusionment are very real risks of the work.
Where did “The Darkness that Lurks Within the Heart of Man” come from? It’s bizarre that Alison would write that next to “War, Poverty, Corruption” instead of just “Sexism”. What’s even weirder is that there’s a notepad on the corner with “for dad”. When did she develop full-blown cynicism toward men?
It’s a joke – she’s realising that the problems she is listing as her problem are getting progressively more enormous, so why not add The Problem of Evil? The specific reference is to the opening monologue of the radio show The Shadow, where “men” means “people” (because an old-time radio show), not “people who specifically identify as men”.
“For Feral” and “For Dad” are pretty obviously on a note about what she can do for them, or possibly “why am I trying to achieve these incredibly large goals?”.
She’s deleting “join Brad’s support group”, which was the plan she had before being told gently by Brad that it wasn’t appropriate, to highlight that right now she has a series of impossibly large goals and no actual plans (and, as the other partially-obscured note points out, also no funding for Valkyrie).
The whole panel is about how she is feeling lost in the face of a huge set of problems, both personal (dad and Feral) organizational (Valkyrie) and global (war, corruption, poverty), and cannot see a way forward. Which is why Clevin’s interruption serves to bring her back into the immediate world of her university friends, which she’s now beating herself up about not paying attention to.
It’s an inside joke for anyone who’s ever watched or read ‘The Shadow’ – has nothing to do with sexism. The context of ‘Man’ is ‘humankind’ in the tagline of the Shadow. She doesnt have full-blown cynicism towards men. She has many friends who are men.
I was going to suggest that ‘Man’ was being used in a gender-neutral sense here, but then I thought, ‘Nah, twenty other people will do that’.
Maybe she just wants to get in touch with the Shadow to access his information network.
*Imagines Alison as a Dawn Cast Solar from White Wolf’s Exalted series, who JUST bought her first dot in Bureaucracy, and is trying to design an epic-level organization . . . with an Intelligence+Bureaucracy dice pool of four, maybe five, and just the Excellency for Charms. And her ever-increasing list of goals has the Storyteller demanding at least six successes to pull all this off*
On a different note, I love how Cleven’s “aura” is a passionate, rosy red, bleeding into Alison’s sombre blue background thoughts. Truly, to look upon the rosy glow, framing that hair and those eyebrows, is the very defining image of looking upon masculine beauty! ^_^
Plus, I like his vest. Very dapper.
I’m getting surprisingly cool with his fashion statements. We all railed against the suspenders, last time, but he owned these suspenders. And now, to put the finishing blow against my last reservations with a vest only he would be confident enough to wear and not care what you think.
You are too good for Alison.
Adorkable to the Eighth Dimension.
Hey, I explicitly did not rail against the suspenders!
The more I know Klevin, the more I like him. What a nice guy!
Hm. So, she needs money for a group that will keep hundreds of women safe from fear and bodily harm. And Michelle’s family needs money for hospital bills. Both are worthy causes.
Alison is calling herself “the world’s biggest asshole” because she was worrying about money for the first cause, and not thinking at the moment about the friend of a friend whose family is in financial trouble.
Alison, you are WAY too hard on yourself!
I think it was more assuming he was asking her out again and shooting him down in advance.
She’s thinking that because she assumed Clevin was asking her out again, not because she was comparing their charitable natures.
Ah, hospital bills in the U.S. An American friend of mine had a heart attack in Germany, and got heart surgery. Multiple bypass, if I remember correctly.
He paid out of pocket. Because he could. Because the entire bill was around $10,000. Not his share after insurance – the entire bill. In Germany.
Regardless of the politics around who pays the American health care bill, the fact remains that we’re getting ripped off.
We’re getting ripped off mainly because there’s no competition between states in the US, and therefore no incentive to give lower, more competitive prices. Also because medical school costs more in the US than other countries, and other costs are higher in the US, which result in higher costs for the bill passed on to the consumer.
You might also argue that the higher cost is for better doctors, but I don’t have any real frame of reference to say if American doctors are better than German or other doctors.
It’s unrelated to this page, but since the convention/conference arc now seems to be over (?), I just want to congratulate Molly on creating and drawing so many incredible and vivid character designs. I’d probably read strips about 90% of their daily lives, and I’d love it.
(I know Brennan probably also had a part in creating these designs, but I thought I’d congratulate the artist especially. Congrats to Brennan for writing a wonderful and believable convention, with realistic issues.)
Alison dear, you know you don’t have to take care of all the world’s big problems, right? You can just pick one or two you’re really passionate about, and work on those.
The only thing on the “Other Projects” list that I agree she should be focusing on right now is “The Darkness That Lurks in the Hearts of Man”, if only because that’s a problem within all of us, so we all have to work on it. Let me know if you find something that helps with that, ‘kay Al?
Also Al, you’re entitled to emotional support too. If you’d like to find a support group for yourself, that’s okay. Perhaps there’s one out there for biodynamics in general or ex-supers? Maybe if there isn’t, you could start it? (It’s likely to be easier than ending war, poverty, and/or corruption. And it might even help a little with that whole darkness in the hearts of man thing.)
As noted below, despite her talk of working together, there’s a big part of her that feels she does have to do everything herself. Because she’s Mega-Girl, the Nigh-Invulnerable, Bearer of the White Stone.
Darn it, now I want Bearer of the White Stone to be a title you can officially get somewhere.
Alison should take Clevin as an example, rather than mope around and think about how to help people endlessly, she should just get off her ass and actually do it – do anything really, do a fundraiser, use her celeb status to campaign social issues, help old ladies across the street. Anything would be an improvement because currently this normal dude is doing more good than her.
But she is working as a firefighter, pursuing a degree and starting the Valkyrie project. That sounds like a fair bit of positive action.
“War? Poverty? Corruption? The Darkness That Lurks in the Heads of Men? (or “Man”)–it’s not clear)
A bit ambitious in our goalsetting, aren’t we?
And then Alison kind of gets her nose rubbed in that when just one person needs some help right in front of her.
Remember the parable of the boy and the starfish. You don’t have to save the world, just save what you can.
If she could work as a firefighter, sure – they make the big bucks. But they also have formalized job requirements and credentialling processes that Alison wouldn’t meet, and I don’t think they hire people for part-time jobs that are compatible with full-time university studies. She’s a liberal arts major without much experience in any typical job – I think volunteering as a firefighter is more useful to society, and more psychologically helpful to Allison, than working retail or fast-food would be.
Doing something practical that helps people in a concrete, observable way is a good way for her to prevent or at least reduce burnout, too.
I meant, in regards to its eradication. Unless donning the cape again manages to warm the loneliest of soul and inspire people toward greatness, which, given Superman track record, is going to be tough, I struggle to find practical uses to flying.
(Plus it would make for a silly conclusion to the webcomic, dontcha think? SFP is about a woman who realizes strength isn’t the solution to the world’s problems. Turns out randomly gotten FLYING was!)
While flying in itself won’t fix the world’s problems – the ability to quickly travel to any place on earth at a moments notice, without the usual hassles or expense that the rest of us would have to deal with, surely makes things easier.
In the Rulebook That Dictates What Is Right and What Isn’t About Superpowers, flight and speed are two different powers. In any other case, it’s unfair. So in my mind Alison can now fly sure but approximately as fast as she could run before, which isn’t that impressive.
Sadly I’m now wondering what his evil secret is.
And okay, granted we’re exploring areas outside the standard superhero genre, but it’s a little weird that someone with vast superpowers is trying desperately to figure out how she can help other people. I mean, cripes, Superman in the original movie at least got a cat out of a tree, and he sure didn’t spend all his time in the Fortress of Solitude making Powerpoints on where he could be useful in social justice movements.
Didn’t Alison do *anything* that made the world a better place when she was Mega-Girl? It can’t all have been about beating up supervillains. Just imagine her down in the Louisiana floods.
She’s admittedly not the most organized superhero around when it comes to time management…. or money. Then again, the preamble to the comic is that she has a crippling sense of social justice. Key word being crippling (so I guess she focuses on that to the exclusion of other stuff, which hampers her efforts, maybe?)
Am I the only one who would add “and rightfully so” to that statement?
I mean, last page made it clear enough. She doesn’t have the authority, the insight, the vocabulary even, of someone whose biodynamic experience was so different than hers, like Brad’s. That look on her face showcasing how it finished to cristalize in her mind the doubts she first got when someone booed her because she’s a white cis heterosexual middle-class non-dynamorphic human.
Something she really should have worried about before, to be honest.
Part of me wonders if the Government determined that Al was one of those threats like Patrick mentioned ages ago. And since she’s pretty much indestructible, they couldn’t hurt her physically. Instead, they allied themselves with Patrick to take her out in the most efficient manner: To make her feel like whatever she does ultimately doesn’t matter.
Because what greater supervillain is there than the powerful hero who chooses to do nothing because they can’t one-hit problems into oblivion?
That reminded me just a bit of Hancock, the bum superhero who just didn’t do anything because he stopped caring.
Oh, man, I’d forgotten about that movie! Yeah, my theory is definitely similar.
Gotta say, though, if Allison starts shoving heads in other people’s rear ends, she might find people are quicker to listen to her instructions…
Although her unique abilities may allow her save lives at fires in ways that firefighters normally can’t – being able to fly and not worrying about getting hurt would let her help fire victims and her fellow firefighters in ways no one else can.
She could also sacrifice her pride, work for money like a normal person (except she has superpowers that would let her make a lot more money) and then just buy a helicopter and donate it to the firefighters.
Yeah, I think this is a good point. This is a superhero setting, ultimately. Effective Altruism as much as you want, but that’s for real world. In a Superhero World the conceit is that there are people that only superheroes can save. No amount of donations can let the fire crew hire a flying invincible woman, and the world is setup such that that will be necessary from time to time.
Of course there are people only superheroes can save. Unfortunately, in our world they all die.
“I pilot the Eva because others can’t”
Ikari Shinji, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Doing something only you can do is very often reason enough to do it, for most people.
Motives are complex things. Using the character above, Shinji’s motives are torn between:
(a) knowing that if he doesn’t pilot, people will die (maybe all of humanity),
(b) deriving satisfaction from piloting because it makes him unique-ish,
(c) attempting to win approval from his father (likely in vain),
(d) re-establishing a relationship he thought he had lost (semi-spoiler),
(e) protecting his friends specifically (Ayanami Rei, Soryu Asuka, Katsuragi Misoto, Aida Kensuke)
(f) atonement for failing to protect a friend (Suzuhara Toji), and
(g) others I’ve certainly missed.
I suspect we could have a field day with trying to tease out Alison’s motives for fire-fighting if we tried. 😀
The conceit of this particular superhero world is that there *were* a bunch of people that could only be saved by superheroes but that well has since dried up and the Guardians found themselves out of any meaningful work.
I mean, Valkyrie is pretty mundane, as far as altruistic projects go. It looks like this is the sort of world where that sot of mundane altruism is not forbidden by the narrative.
And Pepperidge Farm remembers.
Maybe Pepperidge Farm will forget if I buy some of their cookies and play ball?
I was GOING to say spiffy, but I thought better of it. I try to maintain a semblance of being cultured here ^_^
Say spiffy and be proud of that word!
Rakish is perhaps going too far…
And “posh” is just a bit too British (I have it on good authority such a thing is unlikely but is possible).
I wouldn’t be surprised if there *is* an Essence 5 Bureaucracy Charm that can
fix the darkness in the hearts of humanity. Probably something along the
lines of Heartwarming Mandate Of Heaven Method, by which you create a
bureaucracy so perfect that it inspires all involved to virtuous
behavior (in other words, develops or strengthens an Intimacy to
principles such as Honesty, Integrity, Hard Work, and Charity.)
Now, a Charm that could brighten the darkness Alison’s mood has cast over the room . . . *that* would take a Performance Charm ^_^
Aughhhh money money we have no money auuuuuuuuuuugh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111111111!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dang, Allison. When’s the last time you got a full night’s sleep?
Maybe try to let this project rest just for a few hours. Take some time to look after yourself, get refreshed, come at the problem with renewed energy!
That’s fair. Did you hear about the headphone thing that’s being all the rage of the social networks these past few days? I was making a sarcastic reference to that, which I assessed would be very obvious to anyone familiar with the story.
That is a rather interesting connection. The whole line in the panel stood out to me because it felt inconsistent with the other elements in the list: War, Poverty, Corruption, then suddenly a long title about the darkness in men. It confused me because it came off as misandric cynicism, though a generic title like that would have probably been a literary reference. I didn’t make the connection because I never heard about the Shadow, and while I do know about the Lord of the Flies, I haven’t read it.
Stunt woman. Save a film all that money on “stunt safety” and “stunt setup”. Fall off a building, car crash, explosion ….
That’s hammer-nail thinking. She can also use her power to do something less glamorous but much more profitable, then use her fortune to hire like a hundred firefighters or twenty nurses for a third world hospital.
If she relinquishes the idea that she has to save people with her own hands, she could be much more efficient.
>She can also use her power to do something less glamorous but much more profitable
Yes she could, but she *isn’t*. Being a firefighter is the only constructive outlet she currently has for her power. She could do better, but it is currently the best thing she is doing – the opposite of your claim. The biggest “blatant inefficiency” here is that she is trying to enlist superhumans as bodyguards to a population that is mildly at risk from equally mild threats.
A superhuman firefighter can do a better job than a normal one. A superhuman bodyguard is insanely overkill for an angry boyfriend.
Depends on the power of the superhero and the specifics of the boyfriend.
There aren’t that many fires, though.
Part of the problem is that supervillains aren’t active anymore because the Guardians succeeded. Superheroes like Allison are left looking for exciting things to do. Firefighting helps but in order to give work to all former superheroes they will have to make do with more mundane and common problems like domestic violence.
Allison is trying to help not only victims of domestic violence, but also biodynamics who don’t know what to do with their lives. That’s why she wanted to recruit at Brad’s support group.
> join Brad’s support group
“Hi, I’m Alison, and I can’t stand that guy.”
I can see a variation of this being part of Moonshadow’s next plan. After all, she can only kill so many herself, but, if every woman had biodynamic powers, they could kill their would-be abusers – or, well, just fly off.
Granted, Moonshadow would need an expert in the workings of biodynamism to actually pull off such a plan, and I don’t think anyone in-universe has such an understanding yet . . .
Heh. Was once in an RPG where Supers got their powers as the result of a pharmacological test gone horribly, horribly wrong. My character got the ability to generate and manipulate gravity (Pro Tip: Never ever give gravity manipulation as a power to someone who has an extreme case of “physics as a hobby”. They will harsh you with it.)
My character was a Native American with militant tendencies (and the GM was aware as part of character creation and as a “Character Disadvantage”, a way of getting character points to spend on powers). He returned to South Dakota after the experiment (and after getting paid 200k in cash) and got back together with my family and my significant other, taking care of a few financial problems they had. After of week or so of getting back, my girlfriend also got gravity powers – turned out that powers came from a retrovirus that could be passed as a venereal disease from the host (i.e. my character). Put another way, my character (and only my character) could give anyone his power set by having sex with them (we tried blood transfusions first – didn’t seem to take).
I told the GM that I wanted to put out a announcement that any woman willing to become a protector of the Res should stop by and see me. My character got something like 70 referrals and 8 volunteers after informing them of the process involved.
We made national headlines and somehow my character got pegged as being a villain. 😀
So in other words, fix the darkness in the hearts of humanity by punching something, or performing a kata? ^_^
I think, for Alison, the key component is that she be *directly* helping others, not just paying others to do the helping. Much like the way, I would imagine, that some of those very same firefighters she’d be hiring tend to think – after all, they could get jobs doing something else and pay taxes to fund firefighters and police officers. But they’d rather be the ones hired to save and protect others.
Doing something dangerous is pretty much always a calling or a compensation. I’ve never met anyone who has denied that the excitement of being in danger wasn’t a factor in their decision to do the dangerous thing.
The fact that it isn’t truly dangerous to Alison lends more credence to the “calling” option here.
Normal firefighters don’t have superpowers that can make them millions. If they worked really hard they could maybe donate enough for the Fire Department to hire one additional firefighter, but if they volunteer it’s pretty much the same thing.
And leave everyone else to suffer them alone? That would be rather selfish of me.
Well I hope you find less boring ways to tell me you don’t like them then
Let’s not frame it so as to implicitly say it’s the woman’s fault, shall we? Men are responsible for their own damn education learning social cues and, especially considering the context where, again, women are dying because of this shit, the level of *persistence* we teach young boys in romance is absolutely unacceptable.
Primary socialization (as a psychological term) involves learning of both societal values and the cultural cues by which those values are appropriately expressed.
Up until recently (say, the last three generations), primary socialization of both young men and women in nearly all cultures was done by the parents, with estimated breakdown of somewhere between 60% to 75% of the value system being transmitted by the mother.
In more modern cultures, media influence has been creeping up, with both more positive influences and more negative influences in that cultural stream. More viewpoints (family, friends, media, and so on..) makes it more difficult to form functional, respectful, and appropriate social connections, for everyone.
Speaking as a guy, I’ve had a fair number of women tell me I should have been more persistent (after asking the lady out twice). I’ve also had a few women tell me I was being annoyingly persistent (after also asking them out twice). If you haven’t guessed, my rule of thumb is politely asking twice, with a significant period of time between (and also taking several months to get to know the woman to find out if the physical attraction I felt isn’t clouding my judgement of them as a person).
This experience (admittedly a very small sample size) indicates that not everyone has the same feelings about what constitutes respecting another’s wishes and appropriate persistence.
I’ve also had a few women say enthusiastically multiple times “ask me out again” and then never be available (the record is ten – found out later she was already involved with someone else). Sometimes the person you want to ask out is in fact not playing square with you.
Please note – I’m agreeing with you, but “getting it right” isn’t an easy thing, and honest communication on both sides is important. While the fear of retaliation you invoke is very, very real, it is possible that honest communication may help fix the problem in the long run.
I also freely admit, using my point in every circumstance is idiotic – there are circumstances where guarding herself is the paramount thing for a women to do.
But speaking as a guy who has been referred to as “harmless” by multiple women, not all men are like those you are warning about, and being lumped in with those men as a matter of course is just as offensive as lumping all women as being “teases” is.
I guess my point is we should treat people as individuals on their own merits and flaws, not as “Average Person” people, even though it’s exhausting and sometimes we makes mistakes when doing it.
That’s only accurate in the english language, and I really wish people would let that meme go already.
Geez Al, take a load off, please.
Being a burnt out wreck won’t exactly help saving the world.
I took that as the building from which Max was to be rescued – but I think on reflection that I like your take on it pretty well as well.
But she gets an immediate sense of accomplishment and thereby satisfaction from doing it, which helps her emotionally.
As well as all other points below/above.
Self-esteem issue, maybe? Feeling like she could be doing more and therefore what she’s currently doing isn’t enough?
Nice point – got me thinking.
Yeah, let’s not mix everything up, of course it’s hopefully different with people having serious social difficulties. Between you and me, I’m not really worried about them being dangerous, compared to your typical idiot heterosexual cis man.
Agreed. But some people are going to get run over in the process who don’t deserve it. And I feel sorry for them, too.
The hurt egos of men and the countless deaths of women that society keeps not caring about are just not on the same level.
Some men are indeed going to get run over in the process. Big. Fucking. Whoop.
Agreed. but note that I never said, “It’s the woman’s fault.” I said, “There has to be a better way than just lumping people into the same vat.”
I admittedly don’t have a solution. But oversimplification of complex problems is the hallmark of our age (well, probably every age). And I see a lot of people in this world using the exact same tactics that they object to in those they are opposing. If it’s wrong for one side, it’s wrong for both. Demonization of the opposition is psychologically damaging to both sides. Social justice happens when we seek truth, not mere retribution. And from where I sit, it sucks that women have to treat men like statistics because men treat women like statistics. And it sucks even harder that that behavior is almost certainly the safest course of action in an unfair world.
“Be the change you you to see in the world.”
“Take a look at yourself and make a change.”
“The only person whose behavior you can truly change is yourself.”
Truth indeed, but not especially helpful or comforting most of the time.
Thanks! (I think?)
I hope it was clear that the “Surely” was indeed meant to convey only what’s going on in the guy’s mind, which does not at all necessarily reflects reality. There are also other possibilities that the guy might not have seen – perhaps the girl noticed his pain, but unlike him, did not think consider that informing him bluntly of her lack of interest would be better for him (eventually), which also is not necessarily true; but she also has no way to know his mind either, at least not when they’re both being so circumventive about the whole thing.
As to the argument itself, I probably derailed myself several times along. I did not mean to imply that the girl should have changed her behavior, or that she is to blame for not cutting it sooner, or anything of the sort; just that we should treat the other person in the picture as a human being, with his own thoughts, emotions, and capability to err, rather than as moustache-twirling villains bent on harassment and self-aggrandizement, which is the mental picture I got from the original post.
The thing is I didn’t dismiss your points, I pointed toward their limits. The entire bulk of your reservations is essentially a “Not All X”, and I don’t even need to point you somewhere specific on the Internet to literally stumble on a dozen posts that will explain how that has no value. Sorry.
Of course specific situations are more complex, more nuanced, and the people they comprise deal with each differently. No two “man approaches a woman and she rebuffs him politely” are identical and some of them are bound to not fit with my general argument. It doesn’t matter. We still have a global, cultural, social gender problem, and men need to be taught to respect women as humans and not as sexual objects, and as you say so yourself, you agree with me on that.
If you’re uncomfortable with me being a man and having this discourse, I can also point you toward women who say it, and infinitely more strongly and intelligently. In the meantime, if I need to add more “in general” to my sentences so as to make my points more clear, I will I guess
-The Darkness That Lurks in the Hearts of Men
I agree Alison, your last date was a ——-. But hey, at least give the glasses guy a chance, yeah? (You know, like actually having a conversation with him like he’s a human being instead of jumping on to the next hot guy you save from a building.)
I’m just messing. I get it, she’s overworked, not been having the most “relaxing” of days:
All seriousness though, I heard “heart surgery” and my first reaction was “Is Feral making a reappearance somehow?” Part of me wants it, another part of me is unsure.
Don’t make me say all those things I haven’t said. Because I can do it too. Like this, for instance:
Suppose a man rapes a woman without realizing it. In this case, the man feels utterly distraught by the evil the has done afterward, and well, the woman has been raped, and doesn’t need me to elaborate on how that affects someone.
Do you sympathize with the suffering of both?
So, do you really believe finding the specific set of extremely specific conditions for my argument to not apply will make it moot? “Oh, but what if the man repeated its proposition for a date a second time louder because the girl has a hearing problem? Is it okay then? If it is okay then, doesn’t that mean it’s okay every time? Does this cancel sexism? Does this mean it’s okay for me to disregard the entire thing and keep being an asshole to girls I’m trying to flirt with?”
Hm… at the end of it all it’s pretty much tone policing? You make broad assumptions about how I deal with this in real life (and they happen to be wrong, but it doesn’t matter much here) so I’d say your problem is with me rather than with my point, which is fine by me.
I would advise you to note the nuance between being forgiving and patient to people, which you have no idea how I might be, and being forgiving and patient to an attitude, which I am not, will not be, and find the nuance absolutely important. Be careful not enabling harassment (or toxic discourse) by misplacing your empathy where it doesn’t belong. An attitude doesn’t need nor deserve sugarcoating.
And I already said why bringing up ableism is very, very misguided and irrelevant. I’m not accusing you of bringing that up as a trump card intentionally to prove a very problematic point, but it has pretty much the same effect.
You say you find my discourse abusive, and I take note of that.
Unremarkably, ∫Clémens×ds aim is likely not to entertain you, or people in general, Possibly it is for AI with developing senses of humor, but that’s another debate for another time.
That sounds like projecting. The world being kinda trash or whatever thing I mean.
Alison values people significantly, she just has no frame of reference to work from when it comes to far-reaching help for them and defaults to broad impossible notions that she can’t address anywhere near as conclusively as Alison yearns for. She’s suffering the effects of perfect being the enemy of the good.
The problem I have with caution is that it’s too easy to make it a tool to protect the status quo and the oppressors in that system. It’s what keeps happening, even right now.
“Let’s not make harsher laws against rape, how about the men who might be falsely accused?” kind of sickening discourse, the same kind that got Brock Turner out of prison after three months after raping an unconscious woman.
I can certainly attest to that.
I don’t see how both statement have to be in contradiction. You’re making a classic “is and ought” mistake here, thinking the latter means we just have to shrug and abandon the former.
What’s that, you think it’s preposterous to think all men are violent murderers? Well, when we outclass the rate of violent assaulters 50 to 1 to that of women, it doesn’t sound that offensive to harbor the thought and warrant caution.
Especially when we don’t suffer one iota for it socially.
Especially when you use the stupidest card in the MRA’s playbook to argue against it.
You want things to change? You want to live in a world were women aren’t automatically afraid of the risk you’re posing them by simply being near them? Heck, let’s give you even less credit and posit the only thing you want is a clear conscience that you’re still a good person when you resent them for their fear. Doesn’t matter because the way we get to either is the same: Teach. Men. To. Leave. Women. Alone.
No, I agree about your concerns regarding gender essentialism and the importance of questioning it. What I meant by “it doesn’t matter” was that the purpose of this counterargument is either weak or lost on me. Sure, some women aren’t as conditioned by societal expectations and deconstruct their behavior sufficiently to be able to make the conscious choice of rejecting men politely and implicitely despite the risks men won’t get it (and good on them) but even if they don’t do that consciously and suffer with or without realizing oppressive cultural norms, it doesn’t matter because it’s not them that should change their behavior?
I dearly hope my comment never once even implicitely conveyed the idea that it’s women that should put their foot down and tell men harassing them what’s what so that culture changes. God no.
Some (but few) of my brain cells worry where a “toxic masculinity forces women to act complacently to being invaded” “some women do that but not because they are forced to” exchange leads (excusing toxic behaviors?) but overall my general feelings stays “yeah, sure but… so what, are you saying we *shouldn’t* challenge toxic masculinity?”
Considering the rest of your comment, I’m genuinely sorry I made you uncomfortable, I take note of your observations and I will try to improve, as always. You might find interesting to know when you read my future comments that I have an antisocial personality disorder, and I’ve been told I’m being verbally controlling a lot, which I genuinely wish you trust me I’m not doing on purpose. Exchanging with other humans all the while considering a myriad of unwritten rules you don’t instinctively “get” is unspeably difficult and the only way I learned how to argue was to take mental notes of the thing that seem to work and sadly, abuse works wonders. I’m really, really really trying to do better.
(I could also mention although hardly relevant that I didn’t know Izo’s gender before you mentioned it and my interaction with her may have been a tad colored by one we had had the day before when she referred to intersex people as “hermaphrodites” so that being the sole point of reference to her character may have negatively affected my temperament)
My, where were you gone, I missed you. And yeah you’re right.
Although I’m still a few hours away from unpacking that sentence about what I should really ask myself because my God it’s a doozy. And they say I abuse sentence structure!
Well here’s a get out of jail free card for you: You’ll note that I told you don’t have to ask that question of yourself.
To elaborate: It will never matter why anyone is motivated to express criticism in the context of whether or not a given position is worth keeping. Maybe they have some sort of ideological bias or they really bad thinking processes going on, but if the criticism stands, then said issues are irrelevant, and if the criticism fails, they’re still irrelevant as the failures can be addressed without flexing one’s crystal ball. To bring it up is to be pretty sassy, but to not go anywhere with the tangent is what really inflames my sassmongering fingers.
Unless one has a vested interest in actively identifying and improving upon the specified problems of thought in others, there isn’t much to be gained in expressing the vibes one has about the vague philosophical growth that others can undergo. And even less if one doesn’t follow up with a general course of action should the vibes manifest a thought pattern worthy of improvement.
Thank you, genuinely.
Comes from being a writer with a lot of issues that I work out in my fiction. 😉