Shout Out to Sinfest

Sinfest is a webcomic by the somewhat reclusive Tatsuya Ishida. The comic started out with pretty standard dudebro jokes relying on sexist stereotypes, jokes relying racist stereotypes, and sexist audience pandering. In all, the strip has been one in which sexual objectification of women is de rigeur, porn is ubiquitous, and virtually all of the male-female interaction involves the male character’s attempts to get in the female character’s pants.

The strip focused on the male characters primarily, with Monique – the only recurring female character in the beginning – being seen by a lot of the fan-base as the “you want her but you can’t have her (yet)” sexualized foil for the main male character.

Over the years, the main characters have changed somewhat. Monique started off being a proud “slut” with leanings towards social justice. She’s become a vegetarian, given up her beat poetry gig, become more active in social justice causes, and had lots of periods of self-doubt.

Now, for the most part, it’s the female characters who are more numerous and more complicated, with a wide variety of reactions to the Patriarchy.

And now, we have today’s comic.

Tats has previously had works by Simone de Beauvoir, Sappho, and bell hooks appear in the comic. Now he’s including Dworkin, and the comic forum-goers are trying to figure out if this is all some sort of ongoing joke about feminists.

And I really can’t tell if Tats planned this the whole time (make a popular strip with jokes that would be perfectly suited to 4chan’s /b/, then when the strip is getting published hit everybody with some radical feminism), or if he’s working in ideas about gender which have only come into play recently.

Either way, I’m psyched.  Tats, if you’re reading this – more prominent non-white women in the Sisterhood?

\…/ Peace.

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11 Responses to Shout Out to Sinfest

  1. therealmacai says:

    Are you seriously commending this comic for (ostensibly) portraying “radical” feminism like the SCUM Manifesto in a positive light? Because if so, you are nothing short of a misandrist, and shouldn’t be taken seriously by anybody.

    • The SCUM Manifesto was actually a pretty brilliant piece of satirical writing which was based (in some cases almost verbatim) off of anti-feminist screeds from the time period. Calling it disgusting and violent is…um, yeah, kind of the point of the work. Imagine if somebody took a typical modern romance novel, reversed the sexes of all parties, and then published it – the violence underlaying the sexual aspects of the relationship, the dominance/submission, etc., would become obvious because it would challenge our presumptions.

      The SCUM Manifesto did the same thing. It exposed the misogyny by reversing it. I did the same thing in a post a year or so back where I suggested that hunting johns down and killing them would be less violent than what many men view during masturbation (something accepted as perfectly okay by many parts of society).

      Yeah, she had psychological problems and later shot Warhol. But rarely are men’s works discounted because they engaged in violent acts against women. Disparaging Solanas’s work because of a violent act, no matter how abhorrent, is another example of women being dismissed because of psychological problems or (real or perceived) personal failings. It’s a double-standard.

      • Macai says:

        The reason most men don’t have their works discounted after committing an act of violence against a woman is because they aren’t creating written works about how all women should be killed, attempting to kill some random women, and then after the fact trying to pass off his work as “satire”. In this case, Solonas’ behavior was consistent with a literal interpretation of her SCUM Manifesto, and this is, in fact, evidence that it wasn’t “satire”. Sorry, but no.

      • Hey, guess what! Men don’t have to explicitly state that they think all women should be killed, because it’s inherent in the worlds that they create! Many famous male authors have loved to talk about women being abused, assaulted, tricked, mutilated, killed. Our movies and TV shows are chock full of them. We get books like “Stranger in a Strange Land,” which is lauded as a work of great science fiction, in which some sort of “utopian” society is founded on Earth because of a prophetic white man, and you know what happens? These “perfected” women have lots of random sex with dudes and change their bodies to look exactly alike because it’s more “convenient” for the men around them. We get Gor novels. We get prostitution and rape in Star Trek, and we have a woman being dismembered for the love of a boy in The Giving Tree. Yeah, women know full well what men would love to have women look and act like in their idealized world.

        And if the men later go home and beat their wives, hey, that’s just culture, right? Those men just weren’t “enlightened” enough to realize that it was bad. If men go on the internet and watch videos of women gagging on penises with tears coming out of their eyes, hey, who cares? It’s just his thing, what gets his rocks off, no real harm done.

        You’re incredibly confused, Macai. You somehow can’t see the systemic violence against women, and how that violence is considered totally normal and acceptable (or, at most, a little distasteful and rude). You’re looking for angry anti-women tirades, but men don’t need to make tirades because they have nothing to be angry about. Instead, men generally demonstrate dispassionate hatred. That doesn’t mean it’s any less violent. It just means you can pretend it isn’t really there.

      • Macai says:

        Oh, and I forgot to mention: Solanas actually referred to the SCUM Manifesto as “dead serious”–not a satire. There. Right from the horse’s mouth.

      • How does something being “dead serious” also mean it’s not satirical? Systemic violence against women [i]is[/i] a subject we have to be “dead serious” about, literally, in case you hadn’t noticed.

    • radicalwoman says:

      I don’t take anyone who uses the word “misandrist” seriously. So how about them apples?

  2. Dontstalkme says:

    You should google the term “echo chamber”. It describes a major problem with fringe liberalism that plagues the feminist and transgender activist communities, and it is clearly affecting you.

    If there is any part of you left that respects reason and rejects bigotry, you will at least learn what it is, why it is bad, and consider what you are doing, and not just censor this post.

    Filtering criticism and embracing praise will only turn you into an irrational, hateful person that reverts to fear and superstition while the rest of the world progresses and embraces science and reason.

    Also recommended reading http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies, I suggest you revise your list.

    • Right….because radical feminists all live in our own little enclave in the magical, penis-free world of Amazonia, where we only interact with other people who agree with us, and where we spend our days nodding at each other across the menstrual hut.

      Dude, the person in the echo chamber is you. You probably have never been seriously exposed to any of the concepts I’m discussing, and rather than bothering to think about them you’ve cast me as some member of “fringe liberalism” so you can dismiss what I say as being an extreme version of things you already know and which, ergo, you don’t have to consider. So all this shit you like to talk about regarding “omg filtering criticism and censorship omg omg” is really just your own attempts to project onto me what is happening in your own mind.

      And I think that characterization of me as a member of “fringe liberalism” is particularly interesting and revealing. Do you know how many comments I get from members of the left-wing accusing me of being some sort of right-wing nutjob? And right-wingers characterize me as being left-wing. Guess what? Your entire male-oriented political system is fucked in the head, and radical feminist theory doesn’t have much to do with any of it. It is neither left-wing nor right-wing, because it operates outside of your system.

      So go back to your happy little blogs and internet boards where you Think Big Thoughts about Important Things like “reason” and “progress” and have lots of other people with similar backgrounds reassure you that the strange feminist you saw on the internet is assuredly crazy. Radical feminism is only an “echo chamber” to the extent that we are talking amongst ourselves about precisely how to clean up the room after your male circle-jerk pissed and jizzed all over the carpet; if you think we aren’t confronted daily by how you nutjobs conceive of the world, you’re off your bloody rocker.

  3. The Sneak says:

    Wait, what about Burroughs? He sure wrote about killing women and then he, you know, uh, shot his wife in the head. He’s hardly discredited. Unfortunately.

    P.S. Thanks for the heads-up about Sinfest! I went back to reading it after all these years. I was still hesitant at first — is he just mocking feminists? — but whoo-wee, it’s been looking rosy lately. Notice the new character a few days after you posted this? Hell yeah.

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