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I’m sure we’ve all had the experience of arguing with someone about politics, and it becomes obvious that they’re not actually responding to, or truly listening to, anything you’re saying; they’re just using what you say as cues for the already formed arguments they’re eager to use.
Obviously, that experience inspired this cartoon. I can’t even tell you the number of times I’ve seen people criticize or mock the slogan “believe women” by pretending it’s a slogan about courtroom standards and getting rid of due process – which it obviously is not. I wouldn’t say no feminist has ever used it that way – there are, after all, millions of feminists – but it’s definitely not the common usage, and pretending it is is just so intellectually dishonest and I GET SO FRUSTRATED AND
…And hence, this cartoon. I hope you like it!
I’m not sure I’ve ever used the word “hence” in a sentence before.
TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON
This cartoon has four panels. Each panel shows the same thing: A man and woman walking through a hilly park – not side by side, but with him ten feet or so ahead of her. There are shrubs and trees and little pedestrian paths through the grassy hills. She is wearing big round glasses (“big round glasses: the cartoonist’s best friend”), shorts, and a black tank top. He has a beard, and is wearing a bowling shirt with two thick vertical stripes, and black pants.
GLASSES is talking and making an “I’m just explaining things here” gesture, with her palms held out in front of her. BEARDY is looking grumpy as he talks back.
GLASSES: “Believe women” means that if a woman says she’s been raped, we shouldn’t reflexively dismiss her story.
BEARDY: So courts should just assume men are guilty?
Glasses looks a little annoyed, putting one hand on her hip. Beardy is smirking.
GLASSES: I’m not talking about courtrooms. What if a friend tells you she’s been raped by a man?
BEARDY: So feminists hate men! Funny, that’s just what I thought.
Glasses looks even grumpier; Beardo is raising his voice a bit.
GLASSES: I don’t hate men. But I have to keep in mind that any man could potentially be a rapist.
BEARDY: So you admit you think all men are rapists!
Glasses is now shouting, her hands balled into fists. Beardo looks positively cheerful.
GLASSES: Are you listening to me at all?!?
BEARDY: No, thanks, I already ate.