Things that are pissing me off right about now:
1) Tom Spurgeon’s unnecessarily snarky and ill-informed commentary yesterday, which includes an ill-timed reference to old rumors about Friends of Lulu, and barely a cursory mention of the actual situation which precipitated the creation of the Empowerment Fund.
2) Heidi MacDonald’s total lack of reference to Taki’s coming forward, or the creation of the Empowerment Fund, and yet she posts about her “FIGHT!” with Spurgeon over his disparaging comment about Friends of Lulu. (UPDATE: Within minutes of this post, Heidi’s comments on the situation went up.)
3) Elayne Riggs’ hypocritical Reasons I’m Not Discussing Taki Soma post — whom in January, when Taki was still unidentified, complained that “I’ve yet to see one single male comics blogger on my blogroll talk about this subject.”
Riggs’ post was the straw that broke the camel’s back — among her “reasons” being that she doesn’t know Taki, and the same FoL issues Spurgeon referenced — and I started to comment on her blog when I realized my anger wasn’t just over her post, that it had simply crystallized things for me.
Issues with FoL aside, since when does knowing Taki have any bearing on discussing her situation? When she was unidentified, people had plenty to say, Riggs included, but now that she’s come forward, she wants to pull back, choosing to stay on the sidelines to “wait-and-see”, despite acknowledging the fact that “more light needs to be shone on these situations”?
Who’s it going to take to shed that light before others are comfortable with turning on their own spotlights? Be the change you want to see!
Is Taki’s taking the brave step of coming forward publicly not enough? She, and the other women who might see her action as the inspiration they need to come forward with their own stories, don’t need “best wishes”, they need clear, unequivocal support, both in word and deed.
You think the guy who did this isn’t sweating out his precarious situation a little more with each blogger he sees talking about this, especially influential ones with influential audiences, like Spurgeon, MacDonald and Riggs? You think he’s not relieved a bit by posts like Riggs’ that shakes its head in shame while effectively saying she won’t be doing anything about it? Or Spurgeon, who didn’t even deign it worthy of a specific mention? Or several other bloggers who jumped on the story in the beginning but have so far remained silent since Taki stepped forward.
I can’t help but think some of this has to do with knowing, or at least suspecting, the identity of the accused, and that thought disgusts me.
Days like this I recognize the comics industry and its assorted sycophants for the inbred, selfish, small-minded community it really is. And yeah, it may just be a microcosm of the larger world, but that doesn’t make it right or something to shrug your shoulders over. In an industry built in large part on the shoulders of idealistic superheroes, it’s ironic that many of its members are the equivalent of sniveling, petty criminals who cower in fear at the first sight of danger. (EDIT: I’m talking generally at this point, not about Spurgeon, MacDonald and Riggs.)
NOTE: I don’t know Taki beyond my getting involved with the reporting of the story a month or two ago, as she was preparing to come forward and wanted to ensure that we did everything the right way. What I do know is the number of statements from other people she was able to pull together, including her witness and at least three others who’ve personally witnessed the accused engage in similarly offensive behavior towards women.