"Ugly Fat Girls..." -- retraction
"And you know, also, someone raised the point in, I don’t know if it was in a forum I was reading but it’s something I’ve heard a million times before - but usually, the strongest and loudest protest over sexy things come from ugly fat girls. And now I don’t necessarily agree with that and I’m probably going to get some awesome flame mail as a result of this, but as somebody who’s relatively secure in her sexuality - I don’t think I’m the hottest broad out walking around - I definitely don’t think I compare to some of these comic book chicks - but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like to look at ‘em. I find the feminine form very appealing and I’m not at all offended by that…"
--Misty Lee, wife of Paul Dini, on this podcast
(via Thom Wade's blog via Tamora Pierce's blog, via Elayne Rigg's blog)
RETRACTION: After a closer reading of this passage, pointed out by the David the G. Esquire, I find that my interpretation of it was incorrect and taken out-of-context.
Misty Lee is NOT saying that "ugly fat chicks" are the only ones who complain about cheesecake in comics. She was saying that *she has heard* that other people on the Internet have said this (and that she does not necessarily agree with that)
I made a snap judgment on the text based on reading general Internet consensus on the passage and my own sloppy assessment.
Will try harder next time.
"I don’t think I’m the hottest broad out walking around - I definitely don’t think I compare to some of these comic book chicks"ReplyDelete
I think her quotes have just obliterated me into confusion.
I mean, doesn't Paul Dini (her husband) model Zatanna after her?
Hasn't she appeared in comics?
And actually I think she's pretty cute. So when she says "I don’t think I’m the hottest broad out walking around" it sort of sounds like b.s.
Yeah, I suspect this of being bull.
that madam mirage crap is based on her. only glaring ommision is her powerful chin which might be the source of her dumbfounding magic. but i digress..i really think she should have not said the very bad 'ugly fat girls' line. being not a girl or um..well i am slightly overweight but not ugly i took offence to some of the crap in comicdom and said as much publicly. so by default am i an 'ugly fat girl' despite the boy parts? locally i actually made buttons for people declaring our 'ugly fat girl according to misty lee' campaign of idiocy. maybe we should form a club...like the old time merry marvel marching society.ReplyDelete
i digress even further into madness...don't mind me. i think the whole thing is just really shitty and telling about the industry i love. it's this idiotic view from those inside on any level where they tear down voices of dissent. every time i go to a comic shop it feels less and less that i'm a part of something good. it's killing the love i have for the medium when i'm trying to spread it around and introduce people to it. i can't very well bring an outsider in with all this shit going on. it's even effected my work. i dedicated myself to producing books for these so called 'ugly fat girls' who i think are more than just girls..i see guys getting pissed with the mainstream situation. my goal is to make things people can look to as something worthwhile. its not even about making money (as i currently make fuck all) i just can't stand the attitudes and the bullshit the mainstream is shoveling on its own fans. her short sighted comments were the last straw for me really. it's a gross generalization of people who might have actually bought that shitty madam mirage book. way to kill a chunk of audience. while i understand her point on some level she obliterated it with the fat girls and the "I don’t think I’m the hottest broad out walking around - I definitely don’t think I compare to some of these comic book chicks" bullshit. combine that with marvels idiocy and DC idiocy..and what you're left with is a broken situation that really need a sweeping change as they are killing something we all love.
sorry..had a spaz rant.
see i heard the podcast and listened to it a few times and it really came off real bad in the way she said it. thats what i'm railing against. it seemed like she was making like she was pointing out something and stating her opinion like it wasn't her saying it. it all seemed suspect to me. and to downplay she said the bullshit after to blow it off...to me and my opinion it seemed so off to me. locally we had fun with it...but i personally found it sad and a bit divisive of the fans.ReplyDelete
so yeah i'm an asshole and will take my lumps for it..but i don't think i'm totally wrong just yet...something just doesn't seem right about all this.
Disagree. She's clearly presenting that viewpoint as her own WHILE trying to hide from criticism by attributing it to others.ReplyDelete
I just sat through the whole podcast, and while I can see how the 'cast in its entirety would piss off certain people, Misty did *not* say that "fat ugly girls" are the only ones who complain -- only that it's the perception of some people. I do think it's ironic that she spoke so much on the podcast about people who are singled out with their words taken out of context and then she's singled out with her words taken out of context.ReplyDelete
I'm sorry, I'm reading that and it still seems to me that she's calling them ugly fat chicks, not commenting on other posters. Maybe it'd be different if I heard it, but even with the exact text it still looks insulting, especially as a somewhat-cute MALE who is pissed off about a lot of stuff.ReplyDelete
I don't know. I'm reasonably sure Ms. Lee probably didn't intend her words to come out the way they did, but at the same time, even in context, heck, especially in context, I find what she said offensive.ReplyDelete
I tend to find that when people use words like "I've heard..." or "I read somewhere..." or "Some people say..." what they usually mean to say is "I think..." It's really pretty similar to statements like "I'm not sexist but..." or "I'm not a racist, but..."
Ultimately what it tends to be is someone knowing that their opinion is going to cause a stir and trying to give him/herself a backdoor of deniability to slink out when the backlash hits. "No! I didn't say that."
Besides, saying "I don't necessarily agree" is a lot different from saying "I don't agree". In fact, it means the opposite. Because if you truly don't agree, you don't need that qualifier to cast doubt.
I don't know Ms. Lee from Adam, she might be (and probably is) a very nice person. But I truly think she spoke her genuine opinion in the most cowardly manner possible.
I don't know if its true, but I've heard that people who make a point of qualifying their statements with "Its something I've heard a million times before," "usually," "I don't necessarily agree" and other phrases of that sort are trying to support an idea while leaving themselves some deniability in case they encounter backlash.ReplyDelete
I've heard its a passive-aggressive argument technique, but that may just be the impression it gives off.
A passive-aggressive arguing technique? Sort of like opening a statement where you call someone "cowardly" with "I'm sure they're a nice person..." or "I don't know if its true, but I've heard that people who make a point of qualifying their statements with 'Its something I've heard a million times before,' 'usually,' 'I don't necessarily agree' and other phrases of that sort are trying to support an idea while leaving themselves some deniability in case they encounter backlash." I mean, do you really not see you're doing the exact thing you're accusing Misty Lee of here?ReplyDelete
Could she have phrased her comments better? Yes. But I've honestly yet to hear a podcast where somebody didn't come off a little awkward when recording something to be heard by god knows how many people. But instead of stopping to consider that, the majority of this thread has decided it's best to be angry over a), how she came off on the podcast after listening to it, b), what they've decided she meant, or c), what they're assuming she meant without actually bothering to listen to the podcast. Is it seriously worth breaking out the pitchforks and torches because you've decided some one said something mean, regardless of whether she actually said it or not?
Oh, wait. This is the internet. Of *course* it's worth it.
I think when the Real World names of people are being used in connection with things like alleged "hate speech" or other hot-button issues, we really ought to read things very carefully before we blog. The first time I blogged on Misty's comments, I didn't do that. These are people's lives and reputations.ReplyDelete
I also find it interesting how Adam Hughes is not getting the same amount of attention or flaming for what he said in the same podcast. Why is that?
Well, Hughes is not saying anything more than he has already said...and he already caught holy hell for his defense of the MJ statue. Misty Lee caught people off guard.ReplyDelete
And there is a problem with the use of "necessarily". She is giving weight to the "fat and ugly" criticism. First, she doesn't bring it up to discount it. She brings up her own credentials of attractiveness to bolster "hey, I am not offended...it's no big deal!" I mean, she really does nothing to discount the "loudest critics are fat an ugly!" So why does she bring it up at all?
She brings up her own credentials of attractiveness to bolster "hey, I am not offended...it's no big deal!"ReplyDelete
Re-read the quote. She doesn't say she thinks she is the hottest thing around, only that she is somebody who’s relatively secure in her sexuality.
There's a difference between being secure with your sexuality and body image and saying 'yo! I'm hot guys, check me out!'
I mean, she really does nothing to discount the "loudest critics are fat an ugly!"
She says, 'I don't agree with that' - I took 'necessarily' as verbal filler.
Do you really think that Misty Lee wanted to offend anyone? Do you think that was her intent? Can you speak to her intent? Did you listen to the other podcasts - in particular #5 - where she talks about her work in a hospice? I think this is blown way out of proportion ...
And if you won't take my word for it, take Gail Simone's (from her Blog@Newsarama post):
I am not fully up on this particular thing, but I have to say, having met Misty many times, she is incredibly kind, generous, and very very down-to-Earth. I adore Tamora Pierce also and have tremendous respect for her fierce intelligence. So in this case, my uninformed guess is that there’s a misunderstanding here somewhere. These are two really strong, admirable women, both of whom I’m proud to call friends. I strongly suspect that there’s either something in the telling or the reading that was not quite as intended.
As stated before ...
Misty did *not* say that "fat ugly girls" are the only ones who complain -- only that it's the perception of some people.
"So why does she bring it up at all?"ReplyDelete
Your point seems to be that by bringing something like that up, it automatically means the person in some way agrees with it.
I wrote a post a few weeks back about a feminist group I used to belong to in college that bashed a girl at a poetry reading because she had big boobs and a tight shirt. These women totally discredited and made fun of this woman (behind her back) specifically because her breasts were big. Women attacking other women out of jealousy? I've seen it. These women were of diverse appearances and didn't fit one body type or so-called "standard of beauty." But they were so-called feminists who saw fit to hate on another woman because of her looks.
I always remembered that.
By recounting this story -- by "bringing it up" -- am I also guilty of somehow "hating" on feminists or "fat girls" or whatever? By not marching down the "party line" am I too part of some sort of collusion with Adam Hughes, et al? Am I going to be judged and have my name dragged through the muck because of what I *actually* said or based on *interpretations* of what I said?
Misty's quotes are there -- verbatim. What she *meant* by them, what arcane bits of intended meaning are hidden within -- only she and God (or Goddess) knows for sure. We sure as hell don't.
What's that? Could it be? Just over the hills there, the clarion call of...reason?ReplyDelete
David, VSG, please do continue with the being awesome.
"Your point seems to be that by bringing something like that up, it automatically means the person in some way agrees with it."ReplyDelete
No...by giving a half hearted disagreement-via a qualifier and no explanation why it might be a flawed argument, it suggests she might have been giving herself some "safety zone".
"By recounting this story -- by "bringing it up" -- am I also guilty of somehow "hating" on feminists or "fat girls" or whatever? "
No. Not at all. It validly points out within opressed groups, people can be just as vindictive and hate for superficial reasons. I do not think it is the same deal though. For one thing, it was quite clear you disagreed with said behaviour. It's a poor claim, not based in facts-but meant to dimsiss. The loudest critics of sexy are fat and ugly and they are just jealous. She disagrees with it...great. But I do not see why it's relevant, because she does not expound on it. She disagrees, yet apparently thought it was worth mentioning-even though she doesn't expound on it. It's not like she brought it up to analyze why they think that...she mentions it and almost changes the topic...
I don't think she is a vile or evil person, and I do not believe
I have said so. But even as a slip...it just doesn't make sense for her to bring it up as a set up to pointing out she is secure in her sexuality(and hey, more power to her). I don't approve of the people making disparaging remarks. I don't agree with that at all.
I do not doubt Gail Simone's assessment. I am sure if I was sitting at a table with her and her husband Paul, Adam Hughes and Joe Quesada? I'd be having a grand old time. I like people. Even people I disagree with. Well, maybe not Jaun Valdez...he really chaps my hide(sp?!).
Chris -- That would be the point of using those phrase. To further draw attention to how the phrases are ineffective as a counter to the content of the quote, in a humorous manner parodying the form of speech.ReplyDelete
But thanks for playing. :)
Woops, my bad. In my defense, I had just woken up and was wondering around the internet before shower or tea, which never ends well for anybody.ReplyDelete
And another comment - I don't know whether she was intending to offend anyone or not. Nor do I care, really. Intent is not the sole determining factor in whether something is offensive.ReplyDelete
But, the fact that she alludes to an expectation of getting flame mail is a clear demonstration that she knows she is saying something offensive. And she says it anyhow.ReplyDelete
"But, the fact that she alludes to an expectation of getting flame mail is a clear demonstration that she knows she is saying something offensive. And she says it anyhow."ReplyDelete
Alternately, it's a clear demonstration that she's aware of the internet's tendency to fly off the handle at the slightest thing (in this case, the mere idea of her referencing an assumption that can be found on countless comics messasge boards).
I don't think you need to major in rhetoric to recognize implied agreement with weasel phrases for plausible deniability.ReplyDelete
If she didn't agree with the idea, she'd say "I disagree". She didn't say that.
Instead she said she's not offended because she sexually secure, right after quotes others as asserting the loudest critics are insecure about their looks.
How is this not agreement?
Second, "I don’t necessarily agree" means "I don't disagree either", even without the context of the above comparison.
"somebody who’s relatively secure in her sexuality - I don’t think I’m the hottest broad out walking around" is another implied statement: "but I'm not fat and ugly either".
Attributing a nasty idea to someone else doesn't let you off the hook if then add context which implies you kinda endorse it (which is endorsement, period).
Again, "Some people say...don't necessarily" is not the same as "I don't agree" - it's a common sneaky way of saying "I agree".
I was really uncomfortable with the comments calling Misty Lee "a third-rate Zatanna." It wasn't cool, and it certainly didn't make points for the side being bashed.ReplyDelete
Others have pointed out well where Misty fails in deflecting criticism for being hateful and dismissive. I want to talk about the fallacy that because something's on the Internet means it's pointless outrage.
Being on the Internet doesn't automagically mean something's meaningless. If that were true, no one should trust their email, news outlets (shouldn't trust them anyway), me, you--it's all on the Internet!
If it doesn't mean anything because it's on the Internet, why bring up what she read on a message board somewhere? It's on the internet!
Shoot, why assume those are real pictures of Misty (I know they are) or believe anything said in the podcast? It's on the Internet!
Misty bashed people she's never actually seen based on anecdotal b.s. she couldn't even recall the provenance of, and wrapped it in the flimsiest unwrapped cotton ball citation of all: "I heard."
Misty also assumes the people she refers to don't share her security in their sexuality and looks.
And, as I've said elsewhere, the podcast is dreadful to a D. Three (and sometimes four) entertaining people bleeding all the dull out for an hour. Editing is your friend, Paul Dini.
I can only assume you're speaking to some of my comments, as nobody else has mentioned the internet in their posts.ReplyDelete
"Being on the Internet doesn't automagically mean something's meaningless."
Of course it doesn't, and that's not anything like what I said. I was speaking to the internet's tendency to take *everything* to an extreme, be it ill-put comment or genuine offense. As big as the internet is, the signal-to-noise ratio is always going to be a complete mess, and everything is going to generate an extreme reaction whether it deserves it or not. Put out a disgusting cover to Heroes for Hire? get a deservedly angry response. Talk about killing and replacing Hal Jordan? Get death threats. Anything that gets put out there where people can see it can and will provoke all manner of reaction from across the spectrum, from reasonable to overboard, and thanks to the internet everybody has a place to put that reaction.
To me, the thing she said about how she was going to get loads of flame mail was in reference to that and the expectation of people getting angry over her suggesting such a stereotype even exist, and if this comment thread is any indication I'd say she was right to do so. We have people here arguing that because she didn't stop to qualify her statement (and some arguing that because she brought it up at all) that she agrees with said stereotype and is just as bad as those that buy into it. If I sounded a bit exasperated at the internet, it's because trying to approach this in a somewhat reasonable, no-absolutist manner is a bit exasperating.
But I never once said that because something is on the internet it doesn't matter, nor did I intentionally mean to imply that. If you picked it up from my comments, then there's not a lot I can do about that, but I'm afraid you're more than a little off base here.
Chris, you're assuming I'm talking about your posts, and I'm not. I'm talking almost entirely about Misty Lee's statement. The rest are more generalized comments about a typical criticism of Internet-based dissent being only the voices of a very few people.ReplyDelete
"...it's because trying to approach this in a somewhat reasonable, no-absolutist manner..."
I suggest you count how many times you engaged in absolutist statements before you declare you're not discussing it in that way. I counted at least two.
Sorry about that. Like I said, I assumed from you saying you wanted to address the idea that something was important because it was on the internet that you meant address it here, and I was the only one who had mentioned said intertubes. Sorry to jump the gun there.ReplyDelete
And as for me and absolutist statements, I did say I was *trying* to avoid them. Perhaps not trying hard enough, but still.