Tangent 3 by Dave Sim

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(Leaving aside those males who, in the words of a cartoonist friend of mine, "aren't women trapped inside men's bodies - they're just crazy...")

No one wants to be a woman.

If, prior to our life on this earth, we were presented with the option of being male or female, a short description of the functions of the male versus the female genitalia (with emphasis on menstruation, menstrual cramps, PMS, labour pains, yeast infections, et al) would most certainly result in so vast a number of us choosing the male "equipment" (what, is this a trick question?) that it is difficult, if not impossible, to envision any woman being born into this world at all.

To me, it seems less a case of penis envy (Sigmund Freud having lived in altogether too chivalrous a time period for such "plain talk" as I offer here) than it is one of vagina abhorrence from the standpoint of the "would-be tenant" in contemplating a role as "owner-proprietor". Alas, for reasons known only to our Creator, (almost exactly) half of us come out on the losing end of the coin toss. If things seem pretty "even steven" (leaving aside the fact that a penis, self-evidently, constitutes an anatomical "presence" and a vagina, self-evidently, an anatomical "absence") over the course of the first ten or eleven years in the life of a boy and a girl there does, alas, "come the day..."

It would take a very hard-hearted individual, indeed (someone like myself, for instance) to find anything amusing in the level of Mortification at the Sheer Cosmic Unfairness of It All with which a young girl must greet the news that every twenty-eight days or so for decades-upon-decades stretching as far into the future as a ten- or eleven-year-old can possibly conceive - that a "little friend will be coming to visit". A "little friend" who (it seems) will be just as catastrophic and humiliating a mess as the one who has (just now) paid a first most unwelcome social call.

No one wants to be a woman.

Taxing the limits of my own not-inconsiderable imagination, I have no doubt that had I a "little friend" who paid me such "visits" - in a desperate attempt to cling to what remained of my sanity in the aftershock of the full extent of the horrible news "sinking in," I am certain that I would very quickly set about the business of manufacturing a fairy-tale world for myself in which I was - in all other regards - indistinguishable from a gender which does not...


No one wants to be a woman.

But, to me - unless you have been forced, by virtue of being a husband (caught between the Rock of Feminism and the Hard Place of your marriage), to hollow yourself out and Believe any number of Impossible Things Before Breakfast - the fact that no one wants to be a woman in no way validates entrenching the misapprehension (eiiher in law or in societal custom) that men and women are interchangeable. To do so, it seems to me, is to once again march in lockstep with the communist model of picking and choosing evidence for its abillty to support a given hypothesis rather than framing an hypothesis from the best available evidence.

To me, the best available evidence in terms of gender, is that - in the two-gender human "race" between man and woman and their (respectively) "present" and "absent" genitalia, with the arrival of the "little friend" in the feminine camp and with no analogous "little friend" arriving in the masculine camp - men take the gold medal and women, alas, take the silver. It seems to me that women have the option of saying "we are the losers" or they can say, "we win the silver medal." The glass is half-full or the glass is half-empty.

But - whichever assessment seems to best reflect womankind's view of its unchangeable circumstance - gender interchangeability (looking as objectively as I can at the best available evidence) amounts to biological "social-climbing" on the part of women, just as the attempt to make homosexuality and heterosexuality interchangeable amounts to societal "social-climbing" on the part of homosexualists.

The urge deep within the female breast towards interchangeability, towards "crowding the centre," is not limited to striving to make her gender interchangeable with the masculine gender, homosexualists interchangeable with heterosexualists. The idiosyncratic female view that "everything is basically the same as everything else," that distinctions should not/do not and do not/should not exist anywhere, that "discrimination" is solely a pejorative (as Frank Miller adroity pointed out at one time, when he orders steak instead of hamburger in a restaurant he is committing an act of discrimination) also finds expression in their belief/feeling that children are (more or less) interchangeable with adults and that they should be treated as such: that the imposition of any kind of discipline on a child by its father is simply patriarchal tyranny, an abuse of power which can lead only to the child experiencing lifelong voodoo profession trauma. Children, like adults, have inalienable human rights (goes the screw-loose approximation of female "reasoning") and must, therefore, be allowed full license to pursue - with the imposition of as few external limitations as possible - what children perceive to be their own best interests.

The end product of this "reasoning" is on display in the food court of any shopping mall in the soon-to-be-completely-uncivilized world on any given Saturday afternoon.

New Impossible Thing to Believe Before Breakfast:

  1. Children must be allowed to raise themselves and determine for themselves what does and does not constitute ethical, responsible behaviour.

What is at issue, it seems to me, is the dichotomy which exists between the masculine and feminine interpretations of "out of the mouths of babes..."

To a man, this aphorism implies that "although children are unshaped and incomplete beings until they reach the age of their majority, it is an interesting naturally-occurring phenomenon that - apropos nothing and even in the earliest stages of verbal communication - a child will, on rare occasions, voice an observation which, in defiance of all rules of logic, is actually germane and relevant to an adjacent conversation taking place on a much higher plane of sentient communication."

The feminine interpretation tends more in the direction of "...because children are, indeed, from Heaven and are pure and untainted and good and decent and true in all regards, full of pure love and joy and compassion and innocence, their utterances, likewise, are pure and untainted and good and decent and true in all regards and the sooner we can all set our hearts on a quest to find the purest and least minted and most decent six-year-old in the world and appoint him/her leader of the civilized world and do whatever he/she tells us to do without question, the sooner we will arrive at the utopia which is always just there over the rainhow."

Put another way, I think the Prophet Isaiah's well-known prognostication, "And a childe shal lead them..." is one to warm the hearts of dim-bulb women everywhere and to chill the soul of every God-fearing man. It also seems to me that, with the feminist takeover of Academe and the media and feminist infiltration of the world's governing councils, we are probably a number of steps further along that particular "yellow-brick road" as well - and probably a good deal further along than we were in Isaiah's 8th century BCE.

Being a firm believer that statistics can be manipulated to support any argument, I tend to avoid them - except in those instances where the margin is so great as to imply (even with the greatest allowance for statistical error) that "something ain't kosher in Milwaukee" (the "95% of alimony and child support being paid by men to women," being a good example).

When it comes to the problems posed by feminists endeavouring to "crowd the centre" by attempting to make children interchangeable with adults, I offer the statistic that one of the very few categories of crime which is increasing, rather than decreasing, in our society is that of Youth Crime, which is reportedly up a whopping 35% over the period 1990-1999.

I think myself safe in saying that this is a direct result of the implementation in our society of the feminist view that anything is better than having a father rear his child in the traditional way that worked for centuries upon centuries (mother, with her idiosyncratic notions of love über alles, in charge of daily, minute-by-minute custodial care and - "Wait 'til your father gets home" - fathers in charge of the setting of boundaries and the imposition of discipline and "course corrections" when an attempt is made to breach those boundaries). To the feminist, anyone is preferable to the father being in charge of a child's upbringing: social workers, daycare supervisors, girlfriends, homosexualists, how-to books, Opian Winfrey, the voodoo profession, security guards at the mall, teachers - even the child itself is more readily trusted than not-so-dear old Dad.

In my view, women want too much to be loved unreservedly for them to be entrusted with "setting a course" for a child's development. Coupled with their misbegotten female notion that the source of their own unhappiness has always been "not being allowed to do exacty what they want exactly when they want", they strive to create happiness in their children by letting their children do exactly what they want exactly when they want. A recipe for disaster, of course, but then men, with their long experience with the unfairer sex, could tell them that you can't have both. If a father or a boyfriend or a husband lets his wife and/or girliriend do whatever she wants whenever she wants, what he will get from her - far from unreserved love - will be wilful condescension coupled with varying degrees of contempt. She will blame him that absolute freedom does not result in absolute happiness. And likewise do children. With no masculine discipline imposed upon them, no boundaries to be observed which can't be transgressed simply by wilfully doing so - or by playing mother's "heart on her sleeve" emotions like a concert violin - the result is never absolute happiness but, rather, a state more closely resembling absolute misery and the mother (as the source of that misery) and the father (as duplicitous abdicator of his own authority) being treated with the aforementioned wilful condescension and varying degrees of contempt.

Ideology being an absolute in the feminist world, this causes yet another instance of selecting evidence to support the given hypothesis, another Impossible Thing to Believe Before Breakfast:

  1. When one is loved unreservedly, one is treated with wilful condescension and varying degrees of contempt.

"Aren't men to blame for any of this?"

Well, yes. I think it would be impossible to underestimate the degree to which men are fully culpable for the rise in Youth Crime, specifically through allowing feminists and the voodoo profession to persuade us that discipline - both physical and verbal - are "old hat" and part of a discredited "patriarchal model": that discipline, in any form, is synonymous with abuse. To me, taking it as a given that reason cannot prevail in any argument with emotion, there must come a point - with women and children - where verbal discipline has to be asserted, and if verbal discipline proves insufficient, that physical discipline be introduced. Women and children have soft, cushy buttocks which are, nonetheless, shot through with reasonably sensitive nerve endings.

I believe that those buttocks are there for a very specific purpose intended by their Creator.

There is no good reason that a man should not listen to misguided, fairy-tale vocalizations and unsound, emotion-based twaddle-and-nonsense for however long it amuses or interests him to do so or for however long seems to him politic an/or chivalrous (standards will vary).


When the point does arrive when the amusement value has exhausted itself or good manners and chivalry have been stretched to their limit, "That's enough," spoken firmly, distinctly and above a conversational tone - with women and children - should be sufficient. If it proves insufficient, measured blows to the buttocks - "measured," to me, meaning blows which, cumulatively, leave no mark which endures longer than, say, an hour or two but which will make sitting down an uncomfortable proposition for a comparable length of time, blows which are an inescapable consequence of failing to heed the verbal "that's enough" seem the only sensible way to evenly balance the unfair advantage emotion has over reason. This, to me, falls well short of actual physical abuse but exists well within the upper registers of "attention-getting devices" for those women and children who have proven themselves to be of inadequate and/or unfocussed attentions.

Of course, in our present society, with its feminist-infected judiciary, any husband/father following this sensible course of action would very quickly run afoul of the voodoo profession and the law and find himself up on charges of common assault or domestic violence and (more likely as not) sentenced to "ist" style "re-education" in the feminist way of doing things. In our feminist-infected, feminist-misdirected society the husband/father really has only two courses of action open to him: a) capitulate to feminism or b) leave.

I think it safe to say that women/feminists ~ having adopted Impossible Things to Believe Before Breakfast numbers 15 and 16 (collect them all!) in place of verbal and physical discipline for their children (and in light of that 35% increase in Youth Crime) - have demonstrated that they are incapable of either understanding or administering discipline.

Slow-witted to the point of catatonia as feminists have, time and again, proven themselves to be when their emotions tell them one thing ("absolute freedom makes children happy") and reason tells them another ("children need firm parentally-imposed discipline, both verbal and physical, and I, as a feminist, am not capable of administering either") there is little hope that this situation will change anytime soon. It is, as is always the case, foolish in the extreme for men to concede any philosophical territory to feminists for exactly that reason. Caught between what her emotions are telling her and what reason plainly indicates, a feminist is capable of vacillating for decades (if not centuries) before conceding any self-evident point.

Yes, I believe that men must shoulder more than their fair share of the blame for the sorry state of affairs in so many areas of our misguided Feminist society. It is a natural mistake to assume that perception-is-perception-is-perception, but that in no way mitigates the blame that must attach to men for so carelessly overlooking for so long the dichotomy between masculine and feminine perceptions.

Take, as an example, the late Charles Schulz's wonderful comic strip, Peanuts.

We all loved Peanuts, right? We were all reading the same strips and we were all laughing at them. If anything was a shared enthusiasm of men and women, an example of gender interchangeability, it was that We All Loved Peanuts (particularly in its hey-day in the 60s and 70s).

But, it occurs to me, that the masculine and feminine perceptions of the strip were very, very different.

Men, I think, enjoyed the ridiculousness of the premise: a bunch of six-year-old kids talking like adults. One of my favourite strips had Schroeder coming out to the pitcher's mound where Charlie Brown says something to him about how it's driving him crazy how badly the team is playing. And Schroeder says, "Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upwards". Charlie Brown, of course, asks, "What?" And Linus comes out to the pitcher's mound and says "It's from the Book of Job, it means..." and suddenly all of the kids are out at the pitcher's mound debating the Book of Job (with Lucy, of course, grousing, "What about Job's wife? I don't think she gets enough credit!" Job's wife, with her immortal advice as to how Job might escape his ordeal: "Curse God and die.")

A nice balance, the ridiculousness of children taiking about these adult concerns with a little low-grade theology into the bargain.

But, I think for women, this was evidence that "finally, at least one man 'gets' it." "Gets" what? "At least one man understands that children are adults and we should be treating them as adults."

The "out of the mouths of babes" thing:

"If we would just do what the children are telling us to do, we could have all the world's problems straightened out in a week-and-a-half!"


You don't believe me. "No, Dave. I think you've gone too far with that one. Give me one concrete example of Feminists treating children as adults."

Elian Gonzalez.

To me, there is a clear and perfect example of Feminism Run Amuck in our society. There is an example where, for a period of many, many months, it was "up in the air" as to whether or not a six-year-old...

A. Six. Year. Old.

..was or was not going to be granted the right to apply for political asylum.

Political. Asylum.

And who represented the "yay" side? You got it. Feminist social workers and the voodoo profession. I remember being moved to wonder if Dell Publishing had had the opportunity to publish a Children's Big Golden Book of Marxist Theory or if Mattel had gotten the See-and-Say version of Das Kapital into Toys R Us in time to make a useful contribution to the proceedings.

I believe that every hollowed-out ventriloquist-puppet husband from Bill Clinton on down who allowed such a travesty to proceed for longer than nine or ten minutes - yes - I think they are very much to blame and are wholly culpable for dramatically worsening the Feminist mess in which we find ourselves.

Which leads me to another example of feminist sloganeering: "Child poverty".

Gosh, I know what you mean. Before I was ten years old, I doubt that I ever grossed more than a hundred dollars a year.

That's insane. There is no such thing as "child poverty". Children are not poor and children are not rich. There is no such thing as a white-collar child and there is no such thing as a blue-collar child. Children do not file income tax returns. Children do not pay rent or arrange mortgages.

We are back in the realm of two-plus-two does not, in fact, equal five. The best evidence we have available would seem to indicate that two-plus-two, in fact, equals four, instead. You can debate the point if you wish, but I can scarcely imagine on what basis you intend to do so. So, let me just reiterate for the benefit of the emotionally-impaired:

There. Is. No. Such. ThIng. As. Child. Poverty.

As a caring and compassionate society, we give to unwed mothers, unemployed mothers, unemployable mothers, unemployed ex-wife/mothers and unemployable ex-wife/mothers - gratis - a completely and entirely unearned income, the amount of which - relative to 90% of the world's population - can only be conservatively estimated as being somewhere in the vicinity of mind-bogglingly indescribable wealth. And let me - quite uncharitably - point out that the decision to do so was made by men at a time when women were as rare as hen's teeth in the legislatures and governing councils of our civilization.

We are, as men, perfectly aware that the vast majority of women are incapable of providing for themselves, let alone providing for their offspring. This is the underlying motivation in the development of welfare as we know it and the use of discrete euphemisms like "welfare" and "mothers' allowances" instead of "bovine charity" and "bimbo subsidies". I break ranks with my own chivalrous gender to point out that - when the loony left of Canada's own Political Action Committee on the Status of Women stages a protest on Parliament Hill (as they did in the fall of 2000) demanding a) greater independence and b) more social programs - they make themselves irretrievably ridiculous in the eyes of anyone capable of coherent thought.

Feminists will always want more money from men, more money for unemployed and unemployable mothers. Because men are, in the main, compassionate and charitable fellows collectively, feminists tend always to get the money that they seek. If men are, collectively, too chivalrous (present narrator excepted) to point out the extent to which the whole sordid process undermines the feminist hallucination in toto - to point out (as an example) that "equal pay for work of equal value" is already The Rule as it has been The Rule for centuries, that it is, in fact, the Central Reality of our (largely) free market economy and it is only that women's work, on the whole, is of lesser value as determined by that (largely) free market economy (whereby, for instance, the value of the work of a self-publishing cartoonist like myself is established by The Rule of that free market as being considerably less than that of many, many other cartoonists and that of many, many other disciplines and profeessions) - it might be hoped that women would reciprocate by being so good as to desist from attempting to propagate any further the delusion that children are poor.

Children are not poor.

Children are children.

A child's wealth is the depth and breadth of interest and attention and caring and discipline and time (not quality time but quantity time) which is given to it by its parents with an eye to shaping it into a worthwhile adult.

Children are not poor.

Single mothers are not poor.

People in Thailand are poor. People in Malaysia are poor. People in Iraq are poor. People in San Salvador are poor.

As a single mother, you are merely less indescribably wealthy than you would like to be. Which - considering that it was your own series of unwise choices which brought you to the situation in which you find yourself - seems somewhat less a cause for either hand-wringing anxiety or "give 'til it hurts" generosity which you seem always to think are the only two appropriate reactions to yourself and to your "better off than 90% of the world's population" circumstance.

I am a firm believer in the Islamic notion that the community has a right to a specific share of each individual's accumulated wealth - quite apart from whateyer share is accounted for by taxes. There is no direct English translation for zakat, but that is, roughly, the concept behind it. Alms-giving-as-taxation, to feed the hungry in your own geographic community (I donate to the Food Bank of Waterloo Region). But my belief in and adherence to the zakat in no way diminishes my revulsion at the feminist effort to make children interchangeable with adults, to describe children as either poor or rich with, in short, the feminist tactical effort to entrench this view-point in law so as to increase the uneamed income of unemployed and unemployable women by establishing a guaranteed income for each child (which incomes would, of course, become the property of the custodial parent - three guesses who that turns out to be). If this is not the sleazy, greedy and underhanded long-term motive behind the misuse of the term "child poverty" by feminists in the industrialized countries, I apologize, but I think it is ridiculous to entertain the idea that feminists have any other tactical objective in mind.

It is another example of feminists "crowding the centre," attempting to make women interchangeable with men, homosexualists interchangeable with heterosexualists and children interchangeable with adults. To me, it is nonsensical. It is an Impossible Thing to Believe Before Breakfast. And yet, increasingly, it is the way we conduct our society.

Yes, men are very much to blame. Take the minor hit movie which spawned a sequel or two: Look Who's Talking. Is there any more universal a masculine trait than to supply a comedic voice for a baby - to narrate the unthinking and insensible gestures and expressions of a wholly unshaped and incomplete human-being-in-the-raw-material-state and to give it a thinking, sensible, humorous and ironic context far, far, far, far in excess of that being's actual aptitudes and abilities?

And could there have heen any more universal a mistake made by men in doing so? A harmless bit of fun?

Perhaps, but then a man is always aware that a baby is a baby and an adult is an adult It seems to me that men are culpable for missing - missing completely and thoroughly - that the same cannot be said of a woman's awareness. In fact, with a woman, as an emotion-based being, exactly the opposite is true. To a woman, a baby, for all intents and purposes, as a being self-evidently capable of feeling emotions and capable of displaying emotions and vocalizing emotions, to a woman, in all ways which are vital or important or significant to a woman...

...a baby is interchangeable with an adult.

So what is a game, a harmless diversion, a source of entertainment to a man, merely reinforces a central and (to me) imbecilic female conceit. If women did not necessarily believe, in context, that the baby was actually saying and/or thinking, "Uh, y'mind passin' me that bottle there, Mac?" all that did was reinforce for them that their perception of what was going on in that tiny cranium was the more accurate of the two ("Daddy is being so silly"), reinforce for them that their own predisposition to believe that life begins with the first visible expression of emotion and that - once visible emotion and vocalized emotion exist in a human being - anything which is grafted onto that being later (intellect, reason, literacy, etc.) is really just window-dressing. At best, secondary. At best, tangential. And reinforced for them that men - fathers - were and are frivolous individuals who perceive babies (and, as a consequence, everything else) inaccurately. Considering how dramatically limited the female intellect is, yes, I think that men are very much to blame for allowing a profound misapprehension like that to flourish in the female "brain".

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