Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Following up on "There Will Always Be An Asterisk," that pop-culture site that put (with no NSFW warning) a completely off-topic semi-nude gal on their front page a couple weeks back has dropped the picture from its front page, agreeing that it probably wasn't the smartest move. Would that all comics folks were so mature. Alas, the backlash is still nasty and furious in some quarters, like The Inkwell, the professional inkers Yahoo group moderated by Chuck Gibson. On the heels of Chuck posting about some off-topic 9/11 theories, which I understand drew lots of controversy, a discussion ensued about the talents of fellow inker Jimmy Palmiotti, wherein a number of posters went a little out of bounds. I felt the most egregious comment came from a male professional who said "His skills never really were all that great, but he sure knows how to talk the pants off a hot chick! If you catch my meaning."

Now, I'm a friend of Jimmy's significant other, artist Amanda Conner, and the only way I could take this was as a slap to Amanda. So I did something I always warn other people not to - I took offense on behalf of someone else, and posted that I hoped he'd retract that statement, as I felt it uncalled-for and too personal. His response? "Uh, the part about Amanda was purely conjecture on your part Elayne!" Then another inker waded in unasked: "It was simply funny is all. Light fare, not to be taken as serious as you make it sound. You stirring the pot up good, aren't you?"

So you see what's going on here, don't you? The first inker didn't apologize for the "talk the pants off" thing (although he and others did a quick 180 when they discovered Jimmy had signed onto the list) and accused me of reading stuff into it, and the second inker basically suggested I "lie back and enjoy it" because the fault was with my lack of humor!

To top if all off, inker #1 then unsubscribed from the list in a huff, asking Chuck to post his final goodbye, where he essentially ripped into me and nobody else, claiming I was the one who "tanked" the list for him (in fact, claiming this was the third time I'd done so, on a mailing list I barely read!), despite the fact that the Amanda remark was a tiny little adjunct to the real controversies raging, the slagging of Jimmy and Chuck's off-topic political stuff. Isn't it amazing how I (and therefore All Women, I guess) have so little power due to my lack of reading comprehension and humor and, at the same time, so much power that I'm able to single-handedly shut down mailing lists with tangential posts three times?! In this sort of damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't situation, where a woman has no credibility but apparently enough power to topple a mailing list, is it any wonder more women don't participate in these types of venues?