Open source dumbass program

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200804281210 Open source dumbass program
This has been going around in email and blogs, and we’re not really going to get into it too much, but apparently this dude started something at a SF con where men who wanted to grab women’s boobs could do it if the women were wearing a button that said it was okay. If a woman had a button that said “No, it’s not okay” you’re not supposed to grab her boobs, which is gentlemanly. He ended his call for creating an “Open Source Boob Project” that would carry the practice far and wide with the words “Touch the magic, my friends. Touch the magic.”
Our first thought is that we wish boobs really were magic so we could magically change the kitty litter. Our second is that SF cons have this whole “sex positive” thing going on and a lot of people go to them to meet up with other people and some times get it on with other people who like to wear cat ears or whatever. But maybe that is not supposed to be carried over to other areas of life. Val, as usual, put it in some perspective:

I think if people want to have adult-themed comic book or sci-fi conventions where this sort of behavior is agreed-to upon before people even buy the ticket, that’s fine. If there is such a driving need among some people to have sexual situations at a con, to fully “liberate oneself,” great — create a separate con for that. Then “consenting adults” can purchase a few fanzines, cop a feel, and call it a day.


Val also links to theOpen Source Swift Kick to the Balls Project.

Related: We found this link in our trackbacks and we can’t read Italian but it seems to be on the same topic and we stole the above illo from it.

Comments

  1. On the one hand, I find the sexualization of a specifically non-sexual public space (Penguicon is apparently also a tech convention) sort of creepy. On the other hand, on a mailing list I’m on, somebody suggested that perhaps the way to do this would instead be to have buttons for the men who were hoping to be asked to “touch the magic,” which I have to admit would solve a whole lot of problems with the idea at once.

  2. “Our first thought is that we wish boobs really were magic so we could magically change the kitty litter.”

    I could use those, too.

    But really people. Comic book conventions really aren’t the place for this, no matter what your point of view on the subject is. We’re always talking about getting more kids and women into comics, and this sort of thing goes against that in every way I can think of. Besides, what girl with even less then half a brain in her head would weir such a badge? Yes, women are wonderful, and their breasts are pretty (when they’re real) but the greatness of women doesn’t stop there. NOT BY A LONG SHOT!!! Those with their eyes closed to this fact are missing out on a whole world of cool.

  3. ~chris says:

    The other Chris is right. I didn’t take my niece to (San Diego) Comic Con until she was 12, due to the booth babes and poorly covered “adult” art. If I’d seen stuff like this going on, I’d have never taken her, and stopped going myself.

  4. Could there be a pin that says ‘Yes, its okay’ for being punched in the face. You just walk through the con, and punch the guy in front of you in the face.

  5. Randy Lander says:

    I think the magic solution no one has found is to link both Open Source projects. Of course, the OS Swift Kick to the Balls project would be given precedence.

    But if “Can I touch your boobs?” was swiftly followed by “Yes, if I may kick you in the balls repeatedly” I’m guessing the whole thing would sort itself out quickly. ;)

  6. Wow, that Benes. (It’s Benes, and I’m guessing, ED Benes art.) Class all the way.

  7. Alan Coil says:

    Ann Arbor, Michigan—hotbed of gentlemanly conduct.

  8. Next thing you’ll know – they’ll be bringing females escorts to Friends of Lulu meetings.

    Oh wait – I already done that.

    ~

    Coat

  9. Wow, this sounds completely stupid- only because it doesn’t sound like it would work.

  10. You can find my take on this phenomenon here.

    I actually know one of the women who participated. She wore a red button.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that had she, or Ferrett’s wife, been the person to post about it, we’d be having an entirely different discussion. Or none at all.

  11. Jeezus, between this, the Hope Larson link, and the Adam Hughes kerfuffle last week, The Beat and its readership have gone BOOB CRAZY. CRAZY, I tells ya. Must be spring in the air.

    Forget cons, I’m not letting the kids I know go to BLOGS anymore.

    Jes’ funnin’, y’all.

  12. Unpopular says:

    This is ridiculous. Is there a huge female population at conventions so in need of having their breasts touched that some guy had to create buttons to help fill that need? Not likely. I’m all for people in this country to loosen up about sexual stuff, but this isn’t really going to help much.

    I am a little bothered by the “swift kick in the balls” counter program because it’s not exactly on the same level as a boob grab. However, it is quite humorous.

  13. “I am a little bothered by the “swift kick in the balls” counter program”

    I am a little too, but that’s not going to stop me from teaching it to my daughter.

    “However, it is quite humorous.”

    Yes. Yes, it is.

    In addendum to what I said about getting kids and girls into comics before, I’d also like to point out to those who might be a bit slow to make a connection to parents that will never pick up a comic. First impressions (at a con or otherwise) will dictate what they’ll let their kids get their hands on.

  14. michael says:

    I

  15. michael says:

    I heart Val’s opinions on this.

    In the age where everything is accepted, some folks still don’t know that certain boundaries are good to have.

  16. Let me put this into some perspective for anyone still on the fence about this:

    I am a man who loves boobs and, more importantly, the women attached to them. I wrote and drew a comic about an imp that molests boobs for the express purpose of making fun of the male compulsion towards them, including my own. It’s important that we be able to joke about such things in order to defuse them though acknowledgement.

    And yet even I think this is perhaps the most idiotic idea that I’ve ever heard. The lack of faculties in distinguishing a time and place for these sort of shenanigans (ie, Dragon*Con [rimshot]) only serves to reinforce negative stereotypes about comic readers, both within and without the community. A system by which the socially-awkward bypasses engaging women as individuals and instead objectifies them in a public context, almost Sim-like in its treatment of women as an “other,” speaks to a misanthropy that if it weren’t already self-defeating by nature would guarantee to perpetuate the alienation that makes it seem necessary.

  17. Tag, I wanted to check out your page but the link didn’t work.

  18. Tom Galloway says:

    I agree this was very dumb for all the reasons so far mentioned, plus others, but I do feel I should correct the two factual errors/omissions in Heidi’s initial post (based on what I’ve read happened from several primary sources, not my actual experience as I wasn’t there).

    1) The “OK buttons” were supposed to mean “You can ask if you’d like to touch my boobs”, with “No” supposed to be an “acceptable” answer, not an open announcement that anyone could walk up and grab ‘em sans asking.

    2) It wasn’t just a male touching female boobs thing. Seems there were a considerable number of women relative to the whole number (what I’ve seen was on the order of 40 people out of a 1,000 person convention) involved on the touching side as well as the touched, and who were in on it from the start. No equivalent bit for touching men though.

  19. Torsten Adair says:

    Hmm… might the easiest solution be a comicbook equivalent of the bandana code? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandana_code) Everyone wears generic colored buttons, similar in size to the freebies DC hands out. Left side means you enjoy it happening to you, right side means you enjoy doing it to someone else. Of course, ettiquette requires you ask politely and discretely.

    I don’t quite understand the point of just copping a feel. It’s much more fun to have a nice conversation over dinner and drinks, discover how interesting the other person is, and slowly seduce him or her so that the mere act of holding hands makes the object of your affections swoon with passion.

    And then later you can dress up as Batman, she can be the damsal in distress, or Catwoman, or Robin, or Poison Ivy with plant pheromes, or …

  20. Kat Kan says:

    I am a little bothered by the “swift kick in the balls” counter program because it’s not exactly on the same level as a boob grab.

    The emotional impact is exactly the same. It is also a physical assault. I still can feel the way that man grabbed me, and it’s been 35 frelling years since it happened! I felt physically ill after it happened. Never told my parents. Never told my boyfriend (now my husband of 30 years). It still feels incredibly nasty and I still experience that helplessness when I think about it.

    So damn straight, nowadays if anyone tried to cop a feel on me I’d kick him in the balls! And I know how to do it now, too. Of course, now I’m a middle-aged woman so I wouldn’t be a typical target for this asinine behavior.

  21. Christopher: I must’ve mistyped the URL. This link will lead you to my blog. That blog has a profile. That profile has a link to another, ostensibly for one of my future comics, which in turn has a link to my Comicspace profile. I realize that’s a pain in the ass but I’ve linked this way on The Beat since I started commenting here, before I had either of the latter two, and I’ll likely continue to once I get a dedicated website, just out of habit, truculence and good ol’ fashioned paranoia.

  22. Unpopular says:

    “The emotional impact is exactly the same. It is also a physical assault. I still can feel the way that man grabbed me, and it’s been 35 frelling years since it happened! I felt physically ill after it happened. Never told my parents. Never told my boyfriend (now my husband of 30 years). It still feels incredibly nasty and I still experience that helplessness when I think about it. ”

    Clearly this was a traumatic experience for you. However, you have no idea what sort of emotional impact a swift kick in the balls provides just as I have no idea what an unwanted boob grab has on you. The simple fact remains that a boob grab and a kick in the balls aren’t physically equal, but you have every right to defend yourself if you feel threatened. I just have a problem with a kick in the balls being the go-to method for anything and everything. Maybe it’s because I just don’t get this fascination with breasts.

    All in all, I’m on the side of no boob grabs and no ball kicks. I think we can all agree on that.

  23. Jordon says:

    The whole thing sounds kinda…hypocritical really.
    I mean it IS sanfransicko right? Are we to believe that this is the worst thing that is going to be seen in that city?
    So often we hear “oh if its between TWO consenting adults, blah blah blah”, now those same people saying that they are concerned about the kiddies seeing it?
    Again…in a place like san fran..I hardly think that this is the worst thing that they’ll see in a place like that (on ANY given day).

    I really hope that this sick stuff ( consentual boob grabbing)isnt brought to other convention sites, and it should be shunned for the shite it is. But what I think is also kinda disgusting is the hypocritical stance by so many that are the first in line to preach the tired line of “between two consenting adults..” that allow this garbage to even exist in the first place.

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