By now you may have heard about the social justice warrior OUTRAGE at the alleged harassment and general online abuse of Mockingbird writer Chelsea Cain.

Cain wrote the book from a feminist perspective, apparently, and the title culminated with this cover:

The Daily Dot reports (among many other outlets) that Cain quit Twitter after getting fed up with all the invective:

This cover, drawn by Joelle Jones, provoked a barrage of unpleasant messages to Chelsea Cain on Twitter. In a series of tweets that have since been deleted with the deactivation of her account, Cain wrote, “I’m in my office dealing w/ misogynist bullies on Twitter” instead of spending time with her 11-year-old daughter, adding, “I’m just done here. I’m amazed at the cruelty comics brings out in people.”

The Twitter campaign #StandWithChelseaCain got underway, with folks like above Nick BOOson participating. Here’s more:

Comics writers Ed Brubaker on Twitter, and Frank Tieri on Facebook, offered Cain words of support.

However, at least one Twitterite began asking questions about all these abusive tweets Cain supposedly had received:

That’s author Rob Kroese who correctly noted in subsequent tweets that just because Cain deleted her Twitter account doesn’t mean all the (alleged) harassing tweets will disappear as a result.

And then lo and behold — it seems a mountain was made out of the proverbial molehill:

I loved Twitter.  I made friends.  I maintained friendships.  I was delighted when I got to exchange texts with my favorite podcaster or a TV actor or writer I love.  And I had a huge network of other comic book industry professionals who offered me daily support and invaluable advice.  I mentored teenagers and exchanged tweets with readers and tried to be funny sometimes.

But know that I did not leave Twitter because of rape threats or because someone had posted my address, or any of the truly vile tactics you hear about.  I left Twitter because of the ordinary daily abuse that I decided I didn’t want to live with anymore.

Emphasis mine. So what we ended up with was a manufactured social justice warrior controversy over a (female) writer vamoosing Twitter because she had had it with its general negativity.

I don’t fault Cain whatsoever for what she did. Twitter, and social media in general, can be a pretty discouraging place if you don’t have a tough exterior. She had little to do with the hyperbolic tweets  which appeared faster than a Quicksilver dump following the announcement her resignation from the platform. But for SJWs, the fact that Cain imbued Mockingbird with feminism, and the fact that she is a woman, well, they just KNEW she had to have been subjected Christian Szell-like torture!

And need I mention that that of which Cain got weary is what many comics creators themselves subject their fans to day in and day out? How many words on that subject have Doug, Avi, and myself written over the years?

I asked Ed Brubaker about just this in a reply to his Cain-supporting tweet:

There has been no response from Ed after those queries, seven and a half hours ago at press time.

 

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About the Author Dave Huber

After serving Delaware's public schools for a quarter century, Dave now devotes his efforts to The College Fix (thecollegefix.com) which exposes progressive lunacy on college campuses. He maintained The Colossus of Rhodey blog for many years, and has contributed to the Advanced Iron fanzine and media bias site Newsbusters. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.

15 comments

  1. Yup. Thought so,

    Honestly, you shouldn’t get beat up for doing your thing no matter how dumb it is…which seems to be easy…don’t engage the public in any way.

    Hopefully other comic writers will follow her lead.

  2. You know, I think it was a better situation in years past when the public could -not- contact you directly. Secretaries would go through letters first, throw away trash, refer dangerous stuff to the cops, and then you the author/celebrity would get a bag. Now, Twitter allows every foaming nut-ball to insult you directly. Even though Marvel’s hateful, anti-Christian preaching is offensive, two wrongs don’t make a right. Marvel has been sneering and thrusting its middle finger at Christians and any kind of traditionalists for a long time. They’ve sown seeds of hatred, and they are outraged that they are harvesting hatred back.

    1. The secretary point is definitely a worthy one to consider, Jack. However, as I’ve mentioned before, at the old Colossus of Rhodey and a few times at Avi’s Four Color Media Monitor, in the early 2000s I had an email exchange with Kurt Busiek regarding economic boycotts. He was against ’em; I argued that for the average Joe Six Pack, it was really his only recourse, however small. (The Dixie Chicks anti-George W. Bush imbroglio was hot in the news at the time.) Busiek’s main point was that more speech ought to fight speech that one doesn’t like. I agreed, but withholding one’s cash certainly is a form of free expression, is it not?

      Nevertheless, I also pointed out that the average Joe Six Pack then-didn’t have the platform by which to counter someone like Kurt. Fast forward to today: Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. Etc. And guys like Busiek don’t like it! Yes, yes, yes, there’s plenty of trash that comes with social media; however, guys like Doug and myself, who repeatedly attempted to hold respectful and intelligent conversations with guys like Slott, Marz, and Waid, were treated like ants (in fact, I believe Marz once used that exact word to describe us) merely because we queried/challenged them on some of their (political) points.

      Ultimately, Cain did the right thing — social media, as I noted, can be brutal. If it bothers you, ignore it or just get the hell off. She did the latter, ultimately. And it’s really not that hard, the “ignoring” part. With mute and block functions, there’s really no excuse for whining about being “picked on” online. Use the tools, ignore the trolls, or get the hell off. I do it, Doug does it, many people do it.

  3. Interesting! I’ve been following this from afar – I found Mockingbird annoying and preachy, but don’t really have a connection to the character, so I don’t really have a response to it beyond that. But the arguments from fans of the character seems a lot more convincing than the arguments in the comic or Cain. She’s basically done a drive-by on the character, without having the sales to justify developing the character past that. A shame for fans of the character, but pretty par for the course on Marvel’s part.

  4. Apparently the controversy has led to Mockingbird’s first trade collection becoming a top seller on Amazon, and Marvel are going to release the rest of the second volume as “My Feminist Agenda”, further homaging the cover of the infamous final issue. There’s only three issues for the trade so they’re going to pad it out with a couple of New Avengers reprints from the Heroic Age phase which are tied to events in the series

    1. “Apparently the controversy has led to Mockingbird’s first trade collection becoming a top seller on Amazon, and Marvel are going to release the rest of the second volume as ‘My Feminist Agenda’, further homaging the cover of the infamous final issue. There’s only three issues for the trade so they’re going to pad it out with a couple of New Avengers reprints from the Heroic Age phase which are tied to events in the series.”

      Interesting. Given that there appears to be no evidence of any campaign of harassment against the writer, I can’t fault someone for coming to the conclusion that Marvel is exploiting dumb feminists for sales. If it manufactures a controversy, then sales spike with gullible young people who feel they need to “stand with Chelsea.”

      That’s pretty gross on Marvel’s part.

    1. It is, which is why Marvel has seemingly adopted it. It really fits with their current “insult the fans and drive them away” business model.

  5. What I find so fascinating about all this is that apparently no one bothered to contact Chelsea to confirm why she left Twitter. They were so focused on what they could spin from this that they didn’t bother to do the most basic fact checking.

    The Comics Beat is the most egregious example of this. Heidi hasn’t retracted anything even though we have confirmation from Chelsea that she didn’t leave Twitter because of harassment.

    http://www.comicsbeat.com/bestselling-author-chelsea-cain-driven-off-twitter-by-harassment-from-comics-fans/

    http://www.comicsbeat.com/comics-industry-stands-against-harassment-with-standwithchelseacain-hashtag/

    Ladies and gentlemen, this is why no one trusts the press. If they can’t even do a basic fact check of this, why should we trust them for anything else?

    Doug get on that comics journalism site. The world needs to hear accurate comic news!

    1. “What I find so fascinating about all this is that apparently no one bothered to contact Chelsea to confirm why she left Twitter. They were so focused on what they could spin from this that they didn’t bother to do the most basic fact checking.”

      Yep. It’s actually quite stunning. Even more bizarre is Ms. MacDonald’s second piece, in which she defends her shoddy work.

      “For the record, when someone says they have been harassed on Twitter this is about 99.999999999% on the believability scale. It’s like saying, ‘Oh it was raining yesterday and I got wet.'” — Heidi MacDonald, 10.27.16.

      Translation: I don’t need to actually verify — or TRY to verify — claims because in my mind they’re “99.999%” true.

      Wrong, Ms. MacDonald. And, quite frankly, you look like a complete moron for trying to convince your readers otherwise.

      “The Comics Beat is the most egregious example of this. Heidi hasn’t retracted anything even though we have confirmation from Chelsea that she didn’t leave Twitter because of harassment.”

      Anyone who defends Ms. MacDonald’s dreck is a blind ideologue. The only “truth” for them is the what forwards a political agenda. It’s actually quite scary that so many people think this way…

      “Ladies and gentlemen, this is why no one trusts the press. If they can’t even do a basic fact check of this, why should we trust them for anything else?”

      What I find fascinating is that Comics Beat’s writer acts as if the internet doesn’t exist. Anyone who is the least bit objective will say, “Hmmm, it’s kind of weird that not a single piece of evidence was shown that would warrant someone leaving Twitter.”

      Her so-called evidence in the second piece makes her look even worse! Most of those people had legitimate points. Heh. It’s not harassment to essentially say, “Ummm, don’t beat me over the head with your politics because then I won’t be inclined to buy your work in the future.”

      “Doug get on that comics journalism site. The world needs to hear accurate comic news!”

      Well, the good news is that you read this piece by our good pal Hube. 😉 That’s two people now contributing to this blog, and I expect more to come in the future. The YouTube videos are a start, and I have looked into a few upgrades for the blog. At this time, however, I probably shouldn’t take the financial plunge. I’ve got a lot on my plate and I don’t want to overreach.

      I may have mentioned this before, but I still have about a two-year window of time where my finances are tied to paying off student loan debt. Once that is taken care of, then I’ll have extra cash to invest into the blog and other creative endeavors. We’ll see how it goes. I think I’m going to throw a huge party once I pay off all of my college loans! 🙂

  6. I don’t know why writers don’t diversify their types of writing. Write adventure stories for the general population; write a blog about your hobbies; write lyrics for a song; write op-eds for Salon; but don’t try to mash them into one form. Marvel writers ruin perfectly good adventure stories by jamming blog material or op-ed essays into them. Can you imagine someone to trying to jam Law & Order: SVU into the Carol Burnett Show? Yecch. That’s what these Marvel writers try to do.

  7. Hey Doug and Dave,

    Would you be interested in an article about why I think #Comicgate hasn’t happened yet and how it might take off? The Chelsea Cain incident had me thinking about the idea of #Comicgate, and I wanted to share it with everyone here to see what they thought.

    1. “Would you be interested in an article about why I think #Comicgate hasn’t happened yet and how it might take off? The Chelsea Cain incident had me thinking about the idea of #Comicgate, and I wanted to share it with everyone here to see what they thought.”

      Hola, GoldenEye. First, let me say that your pitch is rather interesting. My guess is that there aren’t many mainstream comic industry websites that would pick something like that up. That alone makes me hesitant to pass.

      With that said, I readily admit that I am very protective of the old blog. I wouldn’t want you to write something and then get angry when I put my “editor hat” on. I’ll shoot you an email at the account you have provided WordPress, and then we can discuss off the grid. Long story short, I’d probably want to see an outline of your general argument.

      If that looks good, then we can move forward. I’m willing to work with you to make it happen, but I’m letting you know up front that when it comes to this blog I am a benevolent dictator. 😉

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