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The One Right Way to Kill a Woman

Yeah, I know the title sounds creepy, but it has a point! Often, some folks will make the argument, “You can’t kill ANY woman without people complaining!” This came up a few times during the discussion about New Avengers #35. I have always said this was untrue, but it is probably fair to actually point out an example, and, luckily enough, a good example was presented in a recent issue of Nova.

Please note that I am not saying that the issue was GOOD (I think it was, but just noting that “Doing ___ well” does not equal “good”). Heck, I think that the death of the character was actually a bit of a waste, as she was too good of a character to kill off so quickly.

I just think that, if you are going to kill off a female character, the way Ko-Rel died in Nova is the way to handle it.

The concept of the storyline in Nova is that a Kree captain, Ko-Rel, shipwrecked with her crew on a planet way back during the first Annihilation storyline. She’s been keeping her people alive since then. During this Annihilation: Conquest story, Nova (Richard Rider) was infected by the Phalanx, a robotic alien race that takes over people’s minds (like the Borg from Star Trek). Nova, by the by, is currently the repository for the “Worldmind,” the global computer that is “the regulator of the Nova Force and caretaker of the entire collective database of Xandarian civilization.” The Worldmind is fighting off the Phalanx infestation, but feels it will eventually lose, and at that point, it has a lot of information that it would not want getting into enemy hands.

Therefore, the Worldmind transfers a fraction of its power to Ko-Rel, making her the new Nova – with one task – to kill Richard Rider so as to keep the Worldmind from getting into Phalanx control.

Ko-Rel is a huge underdog here, as Rider has the Worldmind in him, so he has practically the entire Nova Force at his control, and all Ko-Rel has is that the Worldmind is feeding her strategic information (there’s a great bit where Rider asks for help, and Worldmind informs him, “Sorry, Richard, I’m on her side”).

Ultimately, while she takes quite a licking, Ko-Rel eventually manages to get the drop on Rider. She is poised to kill him, but sees that Rider is just a pawn in this game, not an evil person, and she can’t bring herself to murder him. It’s at this point that Rider’s companion (Gamorra, the deadliest woman in the universe) catches up to them, and murders Ko-Rel.

As she lays there dying, in her last breathes, she tries to free Rider from Phalanx control, and ultimately, she transfers her power back to him – and the next issue, we learn that it transferred a little bit of her, as well, and that purity is working against the Phalanx infestation, and ultimately, next issue, Rider is able to break free of the Phalanx control, thereby saving the Worldmind from becoming Phalanx-controlled.

So, again, while I did not like the fact that they killed an interesting character off so quickly, if you are going to kill a female character, this is the type of story you should do it in. Ko-Rel was a huge underdog, but she managed to defeat a much stronger opponent, and was done in only by her decency. She didn’t beg or anything like that, she died as a soldier – a hero. And her death was not even in vain, as she managed to rescue the Worldmind from Phalanx control, which was her mission to begin with – she knew all along that her mission was likely a suicide one, but she also knew that if the Phalanx got control of the Nova Force, the universe would be a lot worse off (and she had a son back home, so if not for her, then at least for her son) – so she was willing to sacrifice herself for the universe.

A fine way to kill off a female character by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning.

44 Comments

Isn’t that just a good way to kill of a character, no matter what gender? It does sound like “a good way to die” (if I can get all Frank Miller for a second), but it doesn’t seem like it’s gender-specific. She just happens to be a woman. Why is it a “good” way for a female character to die, if you get what I’m saying. Is it just because it’s the way a male character might die? I haven’t read the issue, so I’m just wondering.

Essentially, Greg, that she’s treated as a character and not as a plot device. Her decision not to kill him is a logical one given her personality and she isn’t used to show how someone evil was badass or that it was used to tell Nova’s story. Also that she essentially sacrificed herself being heroic and that her death was not in vain.

Of course, I haven’t read the issues in question so I could be wrong. I’m still just all happy from Nova’s verbal beatdown of Iron Man back in issue #2.

OFF TOPIC: The verbal AND physical beat-down Thor gave I.M in Thor #3 was at least as good, possibly better.

BACK ON TRACK: If a chick’s gotto go, she can’t be portrayed as a weak victim. It’s OK for men to get their heads handed to them when they’re clearly overpowered, but not women. Despite all social advances, the old stereotypes and faux chivalry still lingers. It really gets in the way of great storytelling.

I think it could be said much more simply: any character (male or female) important enough to be called a character, and not just a name on a list or face in the crowd, should be allowed to be recognizably him- or herself at the important moment of his or her death. Otherwise it leaves a bad taste.

Yeah, Greg, like Lewis mentioned, it is a good way for a female character to be killed BECAUSE it just a good death period.

Female characters should be killed off the same way that male characters are generally killed off.

[...] Over at CBR, Brian Cronin says there’s a right way to kill a female character without earning contempt from feminism-minded fans. I still recall the absolute wrong way, as seen in Infinite Crisis (I forget the issue), when one of the original Freedom Fighters is stabbed through the chest, right between her giant-mostly-exposed-and-heaving breasts. [...]

Isn’t this the start of an argument that all deaths should be bangs not whimpers? Which could be losing a lot of tragedy for the cliche Heroic Sacrifice ™ moment….

If a piece of her consciousness is still alive in Nova’s head, then she’s really not dead.

If a piece of her consciousness is still alive in Nova’s head, then she’s really not dead.

No, no consciousness – just the purity of her part of the Nova energy. It was just the boost needed (along with her telling him before she died “This isn’t you – this isn’t you”).

That energy, mixed with him replaying in his mind over and over “This isn’t you – this isn’t you” was what he needed to successfully fight back the Phalanx infestation.

Isn’t this the start of an argument that all deaths should be bangs not whimpers? Which could be losing a lot of tragedy for the cliche Heroic Sacrifice ™ moment….

Nah. This is not the ONLY way you can kill a female character in a comic without it being lame.

It’s just A way you can kill a female character in a comic without it being lame.

The contention was that folks were unreasonable with regards to the deaths of female characters, and that ANY death of a female character would be considered bad.

That contention was argued, but I thought it would be nice to give a solid example, especially as it is so recent.

I have a question.

Does anyone remember Vibe’s death? The was killed like a chump by one of Professor Ivo’s androids – the same ones that “classic” JLAers defeat almost casually. Vibe was choked to death after trying, and utterly failing, to fight the murderous android. IIRC he actually manages to save a kid’s life, but he dies with a whimper. It was a sad but memorable death.

Would THIS be an acceptable death for a superheroine?

Would it be acceptable for a superheroine to be clubbed to death by a crowbar-wielding psycho, like Jason Todd? Or would that be too undignified a death for a superheroine?

Would it be acceptable for a superheroine to be beaten to a pulp without being able to fight back and then get thrown off a window, like the Watchmen‘s Comedian? Or would someone complain that the ‘Comedienne’ was unnecessarily brutalized and depicted as helpless just because she’s a woman?

Look, a lot of people want to say “but if it was a man, it wouldn’t be sexist”. Understandable, because we want to sexes to be portrayed as equal.
The problem is, in our society, women aren’t given equal status. And, until they are (if they can be), you have to tread lightly, so as not to reinforce certain stereotypes. That the same scene doesn’t have the same impact with a male character isn’t an issue; men don’t have the same history of stereotyped depiction.

I think all those deaths would be acceptable if they were handed out to male and female characters on an equal basis to begin with (and even now, they could work, but it all depends on the quality of the writing). More often, though, it’s still male characters who get to make heroic last stands, and female characters who get to plead and whimper and have their male counterparts get mad and rescue them.

The feminist critique of violence against women in comic books is not that it should never happen, but that particular kinds of violence are disproportionately meted out to female characters, and even then the story is less about them and more about how the male heroes in the story feel about it. Killing off a male character in a less-than-glorious way doesn’t perpetuate a stereotype that men are weaklings who only bring trouble on themselves by opting not to let bigger, stronger people take care of things for them. On the other hand, doing the same thing to a female character, unless it’s handled very well, does have those overtones. In other words, it’s not about handling female characters with kid gloves, it’s about not beating them to death with the same old stick.

Yeah, I’m trying, but I still can’t see any way that this whole discussion isn’t utterly moronic. I realise nobody’s saying that every female character needs to die in exactly this fashion (although if they were, at least that’d be funny, given how specific the situation is), but even if we’re just saying that every female character should go out in grand heroic fashion, that’s a one-way ticket to Boringville right there. Some characters go out with a whimper and some go out with a bang, male and female alike.

Mind you, before any flames are thrown, I’m not saying Brian or the people taking part in the discussion (including myself, now) are “moronic”, just that I think the discussion itself is really silly.

The problem with these arguments is that they ultimately come down to one point.

Yes, there are double-standards applied to women, as opposed to men.

That is because women are different from men, physically and socially. Thus, there are situations where they warrant different treatment, or certain actions will take on a different context than if they involved male characters.

Equality does not mean sameness.

I think the other problem is how the women are drawn when they’re getting beaten and/or killed. Tigra’s beating received by a male character wouldn’t have had all the cheesecake to go with it. There’s a creepy connection forged when a character is getting punched in the stomach and in folding up from the pain, a nice butt is shoved into the reader’s face. Sends mixed messages, it does.

Mind you, before any flames are thrown, I’m not saying Brian or the people taking part in the discussion (including myself, now) are “moronic”,

How gracious of you.

In any event, I don’t think you are trying hard enough, Rohan, especially as your specific problem was basically offered up in comment #7 and responded to in comment #10.

It is not simply that women are not given heroic deaths/beatings, it is just that, in some situations, female characters are being beaten/killed for the specific reason of “Oh man! If the villain would do that to a WOMAN, then he MUST be evil!” and various other sexist tropes.

The death of Ko-Rel was devoid of any such tropes. As are a number of other female deaths/beatings/what have you. The point here is to establish that you CAN kill/beat/whatever a female character withOUT falling into sexist tropes, not as “this is how all female deaths should be handled” but as “it CAN be done.”

Just because I’m trying to see your point doesn’t mean I have to agree with it, Brian. Besides, the response you cite still didn’t actually include any other examples other than the grand heroic death that you would do the honour of considering ‘not lame’. Laying down the ‘right way(s)’ to kill a woman just seems like a way of treating female characters with kid gloves, though you obviously don’t see it that way.

I look at the comics I grew up with, and I might be reading them wrong, but I don’t see female characters being treated any worse than male characters, so to me, this whole discussion seems like it’s flogging a dead PC horse. You’ve read a lot more comics than me, so you’ve probably seen more female characters treated particularly poorly, but I haven’t seen many examples provided that seem worse than the punishment meted out to my favourite male characters.

So women are equal, except when it’s inconvenient to them. THEN they suddenly deserve special treatment. I think ROHAN is 100% right here. It is a double standard that treats women with kid gloves. I don’t like gratuitous, tacky carnage for men OR women, like the Sue Dibny rape or the impaling of a male character in a book last week (name kept anonymous for spoiler reasons). But I don’t think we need to treat every female bout with violence with kid gloves. That’s just insulting to women in my opinion.

Good job here Rohan.

Just because I’m trying to see your point doesn’t mean I have to agree with it, Brian. Besides, the response you cite still didn’t actually include any other examples other than the grand heroic death that you would do the honour of considering ‘not lame’.

Because I don’t need to give a list of examples when I am responding to an ABSOLUTIST position.

An absolutist position is decried by AN example, not a list of examples.

The position I was refuting was “You would complain about ANY female character death.” Therefore, to refute that, I am stating, “Here is a female character death I am not complaining about,” thereby disproving “You would complain about ANY female character death.”

But it is probably fair enough to give you an example of an okay female death that was not exactly like Ko-Rel’s, so sure, how about Wildcat II?

She died a pretty meaningless death in an issue of Eclipso, so I had the same problem with it as I did with ALL the deaths in that issue, as it annoyed me that there were so many interesting heroes meaninglessly slaughtered, but there was nothing sexist about her death there, and she decidedly did NOT get a “hero’s” death, unlike Major Victory and Dr. Mid-Nite II in that same story.

Laying down the ‘right way(s)’ to kill a woman just seems like a way of treating female characters with kid gloves, though you obviously don’t see it that way.

Yes, thank you. That is correct. I do not see it that way.

I look at the comics I grew up with, and I might be reading them wrong, but I don’t see female characters being treated any worse than male characters, so to me, this whole discussion seems like it’s flogging a dead PC horse. You’ve read a lot more comics than me, so you’ve probably seen more female characters treated particularly poorly, but I haven’t seen many examples provided that seem worse than the punishment meted out to my favourite male characters.

Hey, fair enough, you haven’t seen as many. That’s cool. I don’t expect you to feel the same way.

But the way you phrased it there is a LOT better than “No offense, but this is moronic.” So why not just say this instead of that?

So women are equal, except when it’s inconvenient to them. THEN they suddenly deserve special treatment. I think ROHAN is 100% right here. It is a double standard that treats women with kid gloves. I don’t like gratuitous, tacky carnage for men OR women, like the Sue Dibny rape or the impaling of a male character in a book last week (name kept anonymous for spoiler reasons). But I don’t think we need to treat every female bout with violence with kid gloves. That’s just insulting to women in my opinion.

Good job here Rohan.

I’m just gonna presume that you’re talking about other commenters, which is confusing, as Rohan is responding to me, but that’s the only way that your post makes any sense, as I sure as hell never made a “Women are equal, except when it’s inconvenient to them” argument, so I’ll just leave it at that.

It seems to me that killing/depowering them is a more recent trope (in the past twenty or twenty-five years), whereas before that they were more likely hostages (withe exceptions here and there).

It seems to me that killing/depowering them is a more recent trope (in the past twenty or twenty-five years), whereas before that they were more likely hostages (withe exceptions here and there).

That sounds about right.

I think up until that point, it was rare to kill off/permanently affect characters PERIOD.

Yeah, the rash of female-supporting-character mangling is very much a recent thing. I’m not sure I’d even consider it a post-DKR thing, since it’s a good ten years between the beginnings of grittiness in comics and the storyline that spawned the Women in Refrigerators meme. You could perhaps trace the phenomenon back to the sensationalism of Barbara Gordon’s mangling in The Killing Joke. If so, it would explain why Alan Moore doesn’t think too much of that one anymore… kind of hard to reconcile what Moore does to Babs with, say, Promethea or even Lost Girls.

Anyway, the right way to kill off a female character is one that adds to the story, just like a male character. If a scene is likely to make a prospective reader of either gender feel disgust at the scene, as opposed as toward the villain or some other element of the story, then it has completely failed. When you’re disgusted at something for existing, you completely lose suspension of disbelief and from there your whole narrative is going to implode.

I don’t think playing around with a reader’s expectations regarding gender roles is inappropriate at all. We still live in a thoroughly gendered society and it’s foolishness not to use that tool when it’s sitting right there for a writer to play with. I do agree with the comments above taking the stance that a lot of the problems lie in the artwork– how the events are depicted– moreso than in the writing (ie, the events in themselves). That’s most of my problem, anyway, which tends to mean I don’t get to sit at the feminist table with all the cool girls.

By the by, this does sound like a pretty cool death scene, but I find it distinctly gendered. It plays off the idea of Kor-El having inherent spiritual purity, a trait that superhero comics and other schlocky types of entertainment are quick to ascribe to female characters just offhand. (Doing so with male characters can come off homoerotic in highly unintentional ways.) I would be willing to bet that a male reader is more likely to find Kor-El’s sacrifice moving than a female reader, who would probably be more likely to feel sorry for her dying because she ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s an interesting example, though I don’t think it really adds to the ongoing dialogue the way Cronin intended.

Rohan: just out of curiosity, can you name ten times a hero’s died a non-heroic “whimper” death in a Marvel comic, pre-Disassembled?

I don’t know if I can name ten Marvel villains who’ve gone out like that.

Of course, I missed the Nineties, so who knows?

Sorry, came in way late.

I mean, killing off main characters used to be pretty much unheard-of. One-shot characters frequently died (this is Marvel I’m talking about), if they were villains USUALLY (!) in some last-minute see-the-light kind of heroic sacrifice for the one-offs, or by hubris if they were a bit more hardcore/established than that. Established supporting characters died infrequently (was going to say “rarely”, but that’s really not true after Capt. Stacy gets gone), often after getting put through the wringer but rarely like a punk — I guess Gwen Stacy’s a major counter-example there.

Examples of actual “heroes” just going out with a whimper are just not springing to my mind, though. Even Thunderbird gets a minor redemptive moment in X-Men #94, and he was born to lose.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m overlooking the obvious.

Post-Disassembled, it seems no one gets to go out with anything except a whimper, though.

By the by, this does sound like a pretty cool death scene, but I find it distinctly gendered. It plays off the idea of Kor-El having inherent spiritual purity, a trait that superhero comics and other schlocky types of entertainment are quick to ascribe to female characters just offhand.

I don’t buy that.

That same trait has been ascribed to, among other male heroes, both Superman AND Captain America.

And it’s not like they it was all, “Ko-Rel, you’re so pure!” it was just that it was a jolt from non-tainted Nova Force combined with her last words to Rider (“This is not you!”) that gave Nova’s mind the chance to break free from the Phalanx infection, thereby saving the Worldmind.

In addition to Brian’s examples, Captain Marvel (the original) has been described as ultra-pure more than once, being the one super-hero Neron was trying to corrupt in Underworld Unleashed. Wolverine’s innate humanity was enough to save the human species (!) in an X-Men Annual. Longshot has been portrayed as the ultimate innocent. I’m not saying the “women are pure” cliche is not prevalent in comics (especially pre-Infinite Crisis Wonder Woman), but there are several male characters to whom that trait is ascribed.

Villains going out with a whimper: how about everybody killed by Scourge in the ’80s? Weren’t many shot in the back?

I’m surprised when people take “a” or “an” to mean “the.” Clearly, Brian is presenting an example, not a conclusion. On the other hand, the post is titled (however tongue-in-cheekily)”THE Right Way to Kill Women,” so maybe the confusion is warranted.

Thinking back, I don’t think this discussion could have been had before the late-’90s. Most examples of gratuitous death to and torture of female characters in super-hero comics come from the ’90s on. (“Killing Joke” being an exception, and I’ll throw in “The Longbow Hunters” because I remember how shocking it was when Black Canary was tortured and depowered. Unlike today, whjen such occurances are more common)

Whenever Watchmen is mentioned, I think it does not fit the discussion. Not just because it is in a different league than regular Marvel, DC, or Image super-hero comics, but because it was written as a self-contained novel. It was not part of a trend (or perceived trend, for those who do not agree that extreme and degrading violence towards women in super-hero comics is a disturbing pattern becoming more and more accepted), it did not wreck characters that would be used in an ongoing super-hero universe, and it was a story with a rich thematic core.

“But the way you phrased it there is a LOT better than “No offense, but this is moronic.” So why not just say this instead of that?”
Because from my perspective, I DO think this discussion is, if not moronic, at least redundant. Not just THIS post, specifically, but the one that inspired this one as well, and a hell of a lot of teeth-gnashing discourse across the comics community. The whole ‘there’s no right way to kill a woman/yes there is but it has to be one of these ways otherwise it’s sexist even though horrible things also happen to male characters but we’ll ignore that because then we don’t get to sound all offended and feminist and cool’.

However, when I thought about it a bit more, I conceded that even though I still think that, and haven’t been swayed, I should probably bow to your superior wisdom of comics history and give you the benefit of the doubt. I still don’t agree, but that’s why, by the time I reflected on it a bit, I’d toned the second post down. But now I’m just getting snarky, because, well, you were too, dude. I was attacking the argument, but you seemed to take it personally.

“there’s no right way to kill a woman/yes there is but it has to be one of these ways otherwise it’s sexist even though horrible things also happen to male characters but we’ll ignore that because then we don’t get to sound all offended and feminist and cool.”

Yes, because if there’s one thing Cronin’s known for, it’s “sounding cool.”

@Paul: Fair enough, but I’ve already said it’s not Brian that I’m specifically talking about. I mean, we’re talking about a guy who regularly says ‘neat’. Obviously being the supreme arbiter of cool is not the man’s goal.

It’s this whole culture of people who love to be offended by things that bothers me, where certain percieved offences become particularly trendy, and people are looking for, say, sexism in comics (even in instances where it might not actually appear, and at the extent of limiting storytelling options and sanatising fictional genres about spandex-clad people fighting each other) because it’s the cause celebre.

If anything, Cronin’s trying to alleviate that by saying, ‘well, here’s a death you surely can’t be offended by’, but I just think the fact that he has to do that is silly. It is, IMO, a silly discussion. My problem, if you could call it that, is with the issue, not with the poster.

Brian, my comment was directed at the people Rohan was debating, and I was under the impression Rohan was debating everyone, not just you. My comments weren’t Cronin-exclusive.

I feel you, Rohan, and I somewhat agree with you that it’s silly. Folks who make “you’d say that ANY time a woman died” type comments probably don’t deserve a response. Or, rather, it weakens the position to respond to them this way.

But on the other hand, some of your comments here betray your unawareness, because sometimes…definitely not every instance it’s brought up…but many times the sexism is real, even if unintentional. And it’s gross and stupid and reveals more than I ever wanted to know about the author and about publisher policy.

People (ok, not people…bloggers) are being a touch alarmist about it nowadays (and greatly over-using the word “creepy”), but if it ever were to help bring a change, well, maybe I’ll just read around these posts until then.

Well put, Paul, and probably the best way of looking at it. I realise the sexism is real sometimes, and I guess I’m so offput by the alarmism we see from time to time that I was throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

@T: Cheers. Looking at it with fresh eyes today, I can see why Cronin might think I was knocking him specifically, but yeah, if either of us had a problem with him, we probably wouldn’t be reading this blog.

And it’s not like they it was all, “Ko-Rel, you’re so pure!” it was just that it was a jolt from non-tainted Nova Force combined with her last words to Rider (”This is not you!”) that gave Nova’s mind the chance to break free from the Phalanx infection, thereby saving the Worldmind.

I don’t see how this isn’t a case of a female character being used offhandedly as a bearer of “pure” energy, even if it was handled subtly or well. Comics dealing in mystic stuff do this all the time (Dagger always comes to mind as a specific example), although I believe I see it as being more endemic because I play a lot of video games. In video games, it’s frequently the default mode to give the female playable characters some sort of pure/holy/support/healing powers and call it a day, even if she’s supposed to be some sort of warrior type.

Yes, comics do depict Superman and Captain America as very pure, but their purity is rarely used as a weapon or a way to resolve a storyline. Their purity is usually portrayed as a function of of amazing ethical fortitude. Nor did I say that spiritual purity was an exclusively female treat (it’s often ascribed to children in comics, too, particularly Captain Marvel).
I do think you’re likely to see it crop up with female characters who aren’t going to be around very long, or who are recently created.

I did state that it was often ascribed to female characters offhandedly, probably because it seems to “fit” better there. There are depictions of male characters using spiritual purity as a weapon in comics, but I find there’s a certain discomfort to those scenes. It may just be social expectations, or squeamishness on the part of the writers, I dunno.

On the other hand, the post is titled (however tongue-in-cheekily)”THE Right Way to Kill Women,” so maybe the confusion is warranted.

Yeah, I can definitely understand some initial confusion by my misuse of the article “the.”

However, when I thought about it a bit more, I conceded that even though I still think that, and haven’t been swayed, I should probably bow to your superior wisdom of comics history and give you the benefit of the doubt. I still don’t agree, but that’s why, by the time I reflected on it a bit, I’d toned the second post down. But now I’m just getting snarky, because, well, you were too, dude. I was attacking the argument, but you seemed to take it personally.

Yay!

Brian, my comment was directed at the people Rohan was debating, and I was under the impression Rohan was debating everyone, not just you. My comments weren’t Cronin-exclusive.

Also yay!

Well, that was classy. Guess I deserved it, though.

My “yay” was not snark!! It was me expressing happiness!

Oh, wow, sorry! I’m clearly feeling very cynical today. In that case, I’m happy too! With that particular non-event sorted, I’ll actually have a cool interview to send you tomorrow, Brian. Stay tuned.

I don’t want to destroy the impressively civilised atmosphere here with my presence, but…

I feel I have take issue with the comments about people “looking to be offended” by percieved sexism, or the idea that caring about this stuff is “trendy”. Some of us just happen to be a bit more politically aware, and more likely to interpret everything we read in a political context. The idea that sexism can be found “even when it isn’t there” doesn’t really hold water for me, because sexism is an inescapable part of our culture. If it can be found, it’s there. Whether it’s intentional is a different argument.

Yeah, fair point, David.

I just don’t like dismissive arguments period, honestly. Argue the point all you want – that’s cool, but do that, don’t say, “I’m not going to argue the point!” If you really feel that way, just skip the argument entirely, then.

Yup.

I know I rub people the wrong way around here, but I’m always up for a sensible conversation.

I expect you’ve noticed that most of the time when I get into debates/slanging matches with people here it’s over precisely that- people dismissing the feminist (or left-wing, or whatever) point of view for reasons that have nothing to do with the actual subject up for discussion.

That said I know I can be pretty dismissive myself when I’m annoyed about something, so it’s all swings and roundabouts I suppose.

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