I realized, before I fell asleep, that it would be a bad idea because if people actually read it and even if I wrote at the bottom of the my intentions for writing it, they would probably be ignored because people tend to be blinded by the one bit that they want, whether that bit is a good or bad thing depends on the reader and his or her state of mind while reading it. (I do it, too. I'm not trying to say that I'm better, I just want to say that I realize it's going on within me as much as it is within every reader out there. Otherwise, how could you explain so many different religious takes based on one book?)
The whole reason I wanted to write it was to point out how by using a word in a place where it doesn't belong the word starts losing it's meaning.
There's this great strip over at Penny Arcade that helps to illustrate my point. Gabe is proposing to his then girlfriend, now wife, and says,
"It is not enough for me to say that I love her. I have used this same word to describe my relationship with milk, my television and those little bagel things with the pizza inside. So, to use it to describe the immense feelings and emotions that she elicits in me seems wrong."Which is really good point. Do you think he loves his wife like he loves milk, his television, or those little bagel things with the pizza inside? I hope not.
I started thinking about this a while ago when I followed a link to a link to a link and came across some one's blog post where this woman wrote about why she wasn't going to read a certain online comic anymore. (I looked for the page, but I couldn't find it. Please pardon my memory if I really fuck this up, but I don't think I'm going to.) I don't remember what strip she wasn't going to read anymore because it wasn't a strip that I follow, but I do remember a comment. The person who wrote the comment said that she was no longer going to be reading PVP because Scott Kurtz, the creator, had written about (to find it you have to scroll down to the post titled "Jade," it's most of the way down) how he felt Jade had become a reactionary character, someone who stood in the corner, rolling her eyes, and telling the guys in the strip how they screwed up and that he wanted to make more time for her in the strip to flesh out her character more and then the next storyline happened to be one where Marcy and Jade tricked Francis and Brent into having a romance contest. Then she called Scott Kurtz a misogynist for doing that.
I got angry and wrote a horrible comment. I erased the post pretty quickly because I think a person should pause, count to ten, and reread an angry comment to decide if it was appropriate. And I didn't want to be pounced on by the people who would ignore what I actually wrote and be called a misogynist for it. Basically I didn't understand how a man can be considered a misogynist for writing that he wanted to take a closer look at a character he created and then doing a story about romance. Does that really make a man a misogynist? I don't think so. I think calling Kurtz one is a misuse of the word and takes away from it's intent and meaning. To know if Kurtz is a misogynist, the person who wrote the comment would have to know him, and I don't think she did.
Along the same lines are the women who jumped up (and those who continue to jump up) and say that Ron Marz is a misogynist because he created Alex DeWitt to be killed within the first few issues of Kyle Rayner's tenure as Green Lantern. One of my favorite pieces of writing on the subject is Kalinara's "Women in Refrigerators" post from way back in her first week of writing.
When people use a word like this too much in the wrong context, it reminds me of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf."
Let me put it to you like this:
Dave Sim is not a misogynist because Cerebus raped his wife, Astoria, and then divorced her. (It's in "Church and State.") Cerebus is a nasty bastard of a character that Sim created. Cerebus did the raping, not Sim. Plus, Cerebus and Astoria aren't real. They're fictional.
Dave Sim IS a misogynist because of the writings of Viktor Davis (who is a thinly veiled stand-in for Sim) in "Reads" (where he says that men are points of creative light and women are emotional voids trying to absorb the male creativity) and an essay called "Tangent" (where he agrees with what he wrote as Viktor Davis and bashes feminism and homosexuals and calls women beings of emotion who don't have the ability to be logical).
Maybe I'm wrong, though. Maybe I'm not allowed to even think like this since I'm not female and I don't think of myself as a feminist.
But I really hate to see and hear words with strong meanings lose their meanings. I don't say that I love those little bagel things with the pizza inside, I only say I really like them.