Can you figure out what's wrong with this picture of a half-naked 16 year-old girl with breast implants the size of her head?

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  1. beschizza

    Notwithstanding the legitimacy of those complaints, girl genius is an adult, alongside other contextually-relevant things.

    Makes a difference.

    Edit: Please let this thread also be about things other than equivocating this minor age character with depictions of adults that look similar. There's so much more to it than that -- not least the fact that the critic, Janelle Asselin, has been subjected to relentless abuse simply for criticizing it.

  2. Arys

    Why is the focus on how crappy the cover is and (STILL) on Wonder Girls crazy Wonder Boobs with no discussion about how messed up it is that a woman (a comics industry professional and academic no less!) is getting rape threat for writing an op-Ed about it?

    Why is that okay in geek culture?

  3. newliminted

    We're talking about the wrong thing. Let me remind you:

    "After criticizing the new ‘Teen Titans’ cover, Janelle Asselin was
    name-called and threatened with rape. The worst part? No one is
    surprised. You’ve seen this scenario before, and you’ll see it again
    (until more of us do something). Woman writes about something
    traditionally regarded as a male-orientated industry or area of
    interest; if she’s conveying love, she’s doing it “for attention” (so
    what?) or “fake” (whatever that means); if she criticizes, she’s
    insulting, whining, moaning, on her period; if she says anything at all,
    her argument or point is made invisible because her damn biology is
    getting in the way."

  4. Lexicat

  5. bhorn12000

    Although the article that brought this up is partially focussed on the appropriate depiction of female comic characters, the original post here on BoingBoing was more about the inappropriate reactions of commenters and I think that topic is really what needs to be addressed.

    The escalating nature of derogatory and threatening comments is something that we need to find out a solution to. As is the nature of all such mob driven mechanisms, the people who are most commonly directly harmed by it are the people who have less power politically and socially: women, minorities and people with lifestyles or opinions which are different from the ignorant bigots who are unfortunately drawn to anonymous forums like moths to a flame. But ultimately it also harms all of us by making these forums which could be, and sometimes are, tremendously positive, useful, life-affirming things, place to be avoided or ignored.

    I personally have found the recent move on BoingBoing to sequestering the comments on a separate page from the post to be a pleasant relief as I often find that it is hard to really consider the original post when it is covered up by page after page of snark. Occasionally, if I think that a particular topic is one that might lend itself to useful additions from us masses, I will dip into the comments page but even on seemingly innocuous topics, this often leads to unpleasant quips which have little relevance to the post and do nothing to move the discussion forward in a positive direction.

    Anyway, this segregation is a good start, but we need to figure out a better way to facilitate discussion on the web which promotes useful, interesting dialogue while weeding out trolling and other anti-social behavior and minimizes un-considered bickering.

    Moderation as it is typically done now does not really cut it since it is by and large something that happens after the comments have been made. Even if inappropriate comments are deleted very quickly, it is difficult to turn the tide of a discussion that has gone off the rails. We need some sorts of mechanisms that happen before the discussion even starts that gives it a fighting chance to become a positive, useful, civil discussion. By-the-way, I don't mean that it should be all peaceful and light, there are ways to have heated or contentious discussions and still have them remain civil and thoughtful.

    Voting comments up in the moment doesn't work as the comments on get voted up on sites that do this often end up being simply those that appeal to the same sort of mob mentality that creates this problem, but perhaps some sort of personal ranking based on who trusts your thoughts or opinions might be part of the strategy (perhaps with some sort of cloaking of your identity, not anonymous but hidden and verified if need be).

    Another part of the strategy both on verified comment communities and on sites that allow wild-west commenting could be a renewed and deeply thought-out discussion of what makes a good rational argument in the first place.

    And lastly I would propose a carefully thought-out and constructed strategy by those of us who care about treating our fellow human beings kindly or justly to deal with purveyors of hate-speech on the internet. The idea of "Don't feed the trolls" works for now, sort-of. If we can get everyone on a site to just ignore the belligerent and/or violent jerks who are just there to get a rise out of people, most of them will eventually wander off to bother someone else that they can get more of a response from.

    But the problems with that response are, 1. that they do wander off to somewhere and spew their hate there, and 2. that even if they are only on the board for a little while, they are still hijacking the conversation and pulling it off in a negative direction where even the best intentioned commenters are affected by what they say, whether by being goaded into arguing with them, being bullied into being silent, being distracted from the more interesting things that they could be saying or by having their conversation become awkward and stilted. Imagine trying to have an interesting debate with other intelligent people while having a moron yell profanity in your ear.

    If a sufficiently large number of people on any comment page stood up to these bullies and eloquently and calmly explained why their position is BS, offensive, and intolerable while practicing effective tactics to avoid being pulled into arguing with them, I believe many of these discussions could be brought back on track more quickly and with greater resistance to being sucked back down into their rabbit hole.

    If people who felt that they had been persecuted on the internet and elsewhere started to feel that they could speak out on a comment page or forum and have a growing army of people who behind them who would stand up to promote a civil discussion whether they agreed with them or not, I think more of them would start to feel safe and empowered to be a part of the discussion.

    A woman should not have to worry about being personally attacked or threatened if she speaks up in a public forum. Just saying that that is the way of the internet and we all have to just live with it is not good enough. If enough of us stand up and say that it isn't right and put enough thought into minimizing it, we can change the tide.

Continue the discussion at bbs.boingboing.net

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