I’m not really sure how to begin to answer this (and that’s not helped by the fact that it’s asked anonymously).
To say that the comics industry in the US is sexist isn’t news. To say that harassment of women, both professionals and fans, occurs is sadly not news, either.
My honest opinion? The only thing that I really think is getting better is that more people are talking about it, and more people are pushing the matter into the light. Awareness is the first step, but not, by far, the only one required. The fact is, the ratio of women to men working in the industry itself is still grotesquely low. There are corners where efforts are being made to improve this. It’s not, in my opinion, enough.
Sexism is part of our culture, both outside of comics and within it; it’s exacerbated exponentially in comics because women have been excluded and/or marginalized for so very long. And I suppose that is the answer to your question as to whether or not it’s “really as bad as some of the stories” you’ve read. No, it’s not that bad. It’s worse. It’s endemic. For every story you’re hearing, there are ten that you’re not. For every instance of poor behavior you’ve heard of from and editor or a creator, there’s another twenty stories about convention trips to strip clubs for “meetings” and the like.
Whether it’s better or worse today than ten years ago, I genuinely cannot say. My sneaking suspicion is not that it’s better, but that the men who are capitalizing on the situation are doing a better job of hiding their behavior.
“Male writers tend to get asked what they think and women what they feel. In my experience, and that of a lot of other women writers, all of the questions coming at them from interviewers tend to be about how lucky they are to be where they are – about luck and identity and how the idea struck them. The interviews much more seldom engage with the woman as a serious thinker, a philosopher, as a person with preoccupations that are going to sustain them for their lifetime.”
Eleanor Catton, the youngest winner of the Man Booker Prize.
Pair with Margaret Atwood on literature’s “women problem” and these illustrated biographies of women writers who shaped the literary canon, then consider what makes a great interview.
I don’t know how I feel about that.
I wrote this for a show it didn’t end up getting used in, so wanted to share this Breaking Bad sketch I wrote with all of you! Enjoy!
Bryan Cranston Knocks on Jeff Daniels, by Mike Roe INT. WAREHOUSE — NIGHT JEFF DANIELS sits on a chair, tied up. BRYAN CRANSTON walks in. JEFF Where... where am I? Is that... Bryan Cranston? BRYAN Glad to see you finally woke up, Jeff. Bryan paces around Jeff. JEFF What's going on? Last thing I remember, I was celebrating after the Emmys-- BRYAN Celebrating after the Emmys! Jeff Daniels with a BEST ACTOR statue, the one that RIGHTFULLY belongs to ME! JEFF I'm sorry Bryan, but it was a really competitive category! BRYAN It was! You had Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey, and TWO British guys! And yet somehow YOU won for season 1 of the Newsroom, a show that feels like Aaron Sorkin wrote it while on even more mushrooms than when he was writing the West Wing! JEFF Bryan, Breaking Bad is a great show, but the Newsroom is tackling the issues of the day! BRYAN The issues of the day from a YEAR ago! Who thought THAT was a good idea?! Meanwhile, I'm busting my balls turning in a performance that makes Sir Laurence Olivier look like a DICK! JEFF Bryan, I am a respected actor and I don't deserve to be treated like this. BRYAN Jeff, you're most famous for a Jim Carrey movie where you took a prolonged SHIT on camera. And I'm not JUST referring to your acting, I'm talking about when you were on the toilet too. AARON PAUL drags in a bound and gagged BOBBY CANNAVALE. AARON Yo, Mr. Cranston, I got this BITCH Bobby Cannavale who won the best supporting actor Emmy that I should have gotten! BRYAN Sure! And they could have at least nominated Hank! BOBBY Hey! I'm Boardwalk Empire's breakout character! AARON No one's cared about Boardwalk Empire since Martin Scorcese directed the pilot, bitch! JEFF I think Bobby complements Steve Buscemi quite well. BRYAN & AARON SHUT UP, Jeff! JEFF Someone's going to find me and Bobby and put an end to this! BRYAN (intense) Oh really? Jeff, do you know what would happen if I suddenly decided to stop going in to act? A TV show big enough that it could be nominated for an OSCAR goes belly up. Disappears! It ceases to exist without me. No, you clearly don't know who you're talking to, so let me clue you in. I am not in the Academy, Jeff. I AM the Academy. Saul opens his door and gets a spinoff and you think that of me? No. I am THE ONE who WINS EMMIES! BOBBY So what horrible thing are you going to do to us to get your revenge? Are you going to shoot us in the face, or use ricin gas, or what? Bryan pulls out a gasoline can and starts pouring the gas all over Jeff Daniels. Aaron grabs his arm. AARON I think I got something better, Mr. Cranston. Aaron whispers in Bryan's ear. BRYAN I see. JEFF Well? What is it?! AARON We're going to leave you tied up here... BRYAN And you're TOTALLY going to miss the Breaking Bad finale. JEFF & BOBBY NOOOOOOOOO! BLACKOUT.
Just a note to all people planning on giving blood, remember it only has a shelf life of 42 days. After 9/11, so many people donated that there was a glut of blood in the system and much of it expired on the shelves, unused, because there was more than needed. ALso, if you donate right now, you will not be eligible to donate again for 8 weeks, so about a month after 9/11 there was a bit of a shortage, because many people couldn’t donate again for several weeks.
Consider delaying your donation for a week or two to insure a good steady flow of blood that will allow blood banks to replenish their inventory. Most blood banks in the United States are part of an emergency sharing system and will be shipping ready to transfuse products to Boston if they are needed. Spacing out donations insures everyone will have blood to provide their community in the coming weeks.