I saw this exchange on Twitter. For context, “David” is an anti-feminist with 7,000 followers, and Andrew Tate is a famous misogynist:
David’s sentiment is common among incels and anti-feminists (two groups with significant overlap) – if young women would only spend more time ministering to the emotional needs of male strangers, there’d be fewer incels and shootings and we’d be living in a better world.
It’s a view that makes sense if you don’t care about fairness to women. Making the mental health of bitter romance-starved men somehow the responsibility of women means being indifferent to the well-being of women.
In the replies to that tweet, “Nacritis_writes” wrote “What happens is you end up with stalkers and people tell you it’s your fault for being warm and welcoming.” I read that and this cartoon popped fully formed into my mind. (Nacritis is thanked in the sidebar – thanks, Nacritis!)
I wish the only people who held these anti-feminist views were Twitter writers with 7000 followers. But you can find similar views stated by people with more prominence – most obviously, Jordon Peterson, an anti-woke activist/guru with millions of followers. From a New York Times profile:
Violent attacks are what happens when men do not have partners, Mr. Peterson says, and society needs to work to make sure those men are married.
“He was angry at God because women were rejecting him,” Mr. Peterson says of the Toronto killer. “The cure for that is enforced monogamy. That’s actually why monogamy emerges.”
Mr. Peterson does not pause when he says this. Enforced monogamy is, to him, simply a rational solution. Otherwise women will all only go for the most high-status men, he explains, and that couldn’t make either gender happy in the end.
Peterson is extreme – although I suspect his extremity is less in his views, and more in what he’s willing to say out loud.
One of my favorite things in this cartoon, odd as it may sound, is the bench in panel 2. I was browsing google images looking for details that would say “college quad” to readers, and came across a photo of a quad with those concrete benches, and it was just the perfect combination of “good specific detail” and “not beyond my drawing abilities.”
I like the way panel two breaks the pattern of the rest of the cartoon – the only panel with no background, the only panel with a vertical shape, and the only panel in which an element in the panel breaks the panel borders. I also like how her eyeline leads back to the foreground dude in panel one.
And of course, Frank Young did his usual bang-up job with the colors.
TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON
This cartoon has five panels.
We’re looking at a few students standing on a grassy area, with paths and trees, between large academic buildings. In the foreground, a good-looking student with neatly combed brown hair and a purple polo shirt is reading something on his phone. In the background, two more students – a woman with orange curly hair (I’ll call her Claire), and a man with a small beard and his hair in a ponytail (I’ll call him Ponytail)- are looking at the foreground student. Claire looks concerned, Ponytail is in cheerful lecture mode.
CLAIRE: That guy’s in my sociology class… He’s bitter and angry at women. Why are some guys like that?
PONYTAIL It’s because too few women are warm and approachable.
A close-up of Claire shows her looking back towards the man she pointed out and smiling.
CLAIRE: Hmmm… Excuse me a minute.
Claire has walked up to the guy in the purple polo shirt; we can now see he’s sitting on a public bench. He’s pleased and very surprised that she came up to him. She waves and smiles as she speaks.
CLAIRE: Hi, I’m Claire. We’re in Sociology together.
A caption at the top of panel four says A FEW WEEKS LATER.
Panels four and five both show Claire and Ponytail sitting together at a round table in a cafe of some sort; there are framed photos on the wall, and large windows behind them, showing an area with a big tree. Claire has a coffee mug in front of her, and Ponytail is looking at a newspaper he’s reading.
In panel four, Claire is talking a bit angrily on her cell phone, waving her other arm a bit.
CLAIRE: Look, I don’t owe you being your girlfriend because I was nice to you! Just leave me alone!
Ponytail hasn’t moved at all, speaking without looking up from his paper, Claire has laid her head on the table in a despairing sort of way.
CLAIRE: Great. Now I have a stalker.
PONYTAIL: It’s your own fault for being warm and approachable.
“Chicken fat” means easily-overlooked and meaningless details in a cartoon the cartoonist put in, which maybe you (and they) find amusing.
Panel one: Not really a gag, but Ponytail’s t-shirt has a traffic light design, which I rather like and think would make a good shirt.
Panel four: In the background, there’s a photo of Wilma Flintstone on the wall.
The headline of Ponytail’s newspaper says “Background Detail Monthly.”
Panel five: The photo on the wall in the background has changed to being Pearl from “Steven Universe.”
The headline on the paper now says “I think therefore I nsomnia.”
The coffee mug on the table, in panel four, had cartoon lighting on it; it now has a cartoon rainstorm on it.
Outside the window, Michael and Janet from the TV show “The Good Place” are looking in.
There’s also a squirrel.