June 20th, 2014, 8:14 pm

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daviddoesntgetit June 20th, 2014, 8:21 pm

Connor and I were discussing how the potential drama seems to be enough to deter a person from trying to get help.

I guess drama isn't so much the word. It's more like a change. When I was going through some shitty time periods, the parts I relished the most were the normal moments, even with our stepmom there. When she got along with our dad and would joke around with us, if I ever brought attention to it, she would hate me, people that would feel bad for me would never stop treating me differently.

I'm wondering if Miriam is going through the same thing.

Connor says he's been upset about people calling him a social justice warrior, saying that he has a simple rule when it comes to helping people. If people ask them, he'll help them. If indigenous people are fighting for values they believe in and they don't want him to help, what business it is of his to butt his nose in?

I guess I'd have to ask that of you guys too. If you feel like you have advice to give to Miriam, just keep it to yourself. If you feel like you have a story to share that could help her figure out what to do, that'd be great. But otherwise, we don't really need advice.

In any case, I remember as a kid I was hoping someone would notice that our stepmom was beating the crap out of us behind the scenes, but I didn't want to tell anyone. I didn't want to be the reason to make anyone miserable, I suppose. I know that tattletales get a bad rep and etc. etc. I dunno, just trying to figure out what prevents a person from asking for help.

It's a very isolating feeling.

If this dude doesn't let up, though, I might have to do the overprotective dad thing and beat him up.

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Reealt June 20th, 2014, 8:56 pm

Ah, man I remember when I was obviously physically abused and hoped people would notice. I didn't want her to get hurt or any drama to happen, but I didn't want to stay living like that.

Well, there's no happy ending to that, but a lot of people who are harassed or abused feel similar.

Connor's sounds like a good guy though. I've noticed that a lot of people who are uncomfortable for people who want help often get accused of being social justice warrior a lot, without any actual argument. Like it's a bad thing to help people.

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So yeah...

alterminat June 22nd, 2014, 9:42 pm

People who are giving unwanted attention usually aren't going to understand when the person receiving the attention isn't receptive. Hence 'unwanted'. GET. SOMEONE ELSE. INVOLVED.

Either: A) Have a third person mediator come in and help you and the other individual discuss why you feel uncomfortable and what needs to stop.

or

B) Have another person handle this and talk to the person who, obviously, doesn't know better. They won't listen to you if they haven't already.


Also, don't be afraid to be vocal. Even if you think things MAY get worse, even if you think things are just going to stay the same... A life without risk isn't lived, it's endured.

So... yeah. Get loud. Also, get pepper spray [if it's legal in your state]. Pepper spray tends to work.

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Polka Dot (Guest) June 23rd, 2014, 8:11 am

I haven't had any experience with this in 'real life' per se... but I visit a particular chatroom frequently, and have had one or two people just refuse to fucking back off. Got my skype n shit like that too. For a while, I thought that just talking to them and trying to make them realize how selfish they were being would work. I generally like people, and thought that just basic common courtesy was something I could PROVE was necessary. I gave them a bunch of chances. Wanted to handle it myself. I mean, it's the most basic logic - person a says something that person b does not like. Person b expresses dislike. Person a does not say the thing to person b again. Person a and b continue to get along splendidly. Super simple!! So easy to do!!
In the end, I had to just completely block them off from contact. I gave them the "do it again, and we're done" memo, and surprise! They wouldn't stop. Blocked them from Skype, ignored them on the website, blocked them from my public webcam. Told the moderator of the site my issues, and they banned his IP so he wouldn't ruin my time there anymore. I was a regular and they knew me well, so they didn't even question me or make it a big deal. Other regulars asked me about it, but were completely in support of me.
There's something weird about being a girl and being propositioned relentlessly that makes me want to just shake people. Maybe it's the feminist in me. I didn't ask for help before not because I was worried nobody would help me, but mostly because I couldn't fathom that people exist who are so incredibly inconsiderate. I just want people to understand that they AREN'T being romantic, that they're just showing how LITTLE they actually "like" me, how much they disrespect me. It's frustrating as hell. Sometimes its even more so to just admit that there are actually people out there who refuse to give a shit. Just literally do not have the capacity to care that they're making someone uncomfortable for no damned reason.
Miriam seems like a generally well-liked and respected young woman. I can tell she has a fantastic support system at home. I'd bet she would have the same at work. I wish you guys all the best, and if you do end up beating that dude up, give him a good hit from all of us who read your comic!

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RubberyParts June 24th, 2014, 10:29 pm

I dunno what it is, but your art suddenly looks like you improved a bit since last time! Maybe it's the subtle things that improved...

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Kylie (Guest) June 30th, 2014, 1:31 am

Wow, I'm sorry to hear that your sister is going through this right now. It sucks how often us women get the short-end of the stick just cause some guys can't take hints and get their knickers in a twist over the slightest female rejection. I live in an area where street harassment is common, and it's pathetic when guys catcall women and get all butthurt when a woman refuses to spoil/baby their egos just so they can continue feeling smooth about themselves. PUH-LEEZE.

Anyway, I'm not sure how your sister's personality is, but this always works for me:

I give them a dead-on stare and say quite matter-of-factly: "You and I are never going to date. Ever."

Otherwise, I'd just lay on the facts: "I told you I have a boyfriend. I told you to not touch me. I've been nice enough to not humilate you in public so don't get me started now."

I know your sister is in a tough place because of her work though. :( I hope it gets better, or she manages to ignore him and decrease the opportunities he gets to talk to her at work. It's good that you and your brother are there for her. Your brother sounds like an awesome guy. :)

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daviddoesntgetit June 30th, 2014, 4:11 am

@Reealt: Yeah, it's a weird limbo. I think, this is kinda true across a lot of things, is that in the end, all you really want is normalcy. Not a disruption or a change, just normal.

I guess that's part of the social justice warrior thing.

Connor doesn't necessarily disagree with those that criticize people like him. He said, as with everything, it requires a balance. He mentioned that he stopped being friends with a lot of people because they couldn't stop sticking their nose into where it didn't belong and thinking that guilt tripping people is a good idea.

Connor isn't the type to criticize other people's life decision, if they choose to be a vegetarian or Catholic or whatever, that decision is theirs, and he said the problem he has with youngsters like him is that they tend to believe that their moral code is the correct one rather than just one of many.

@altermint: Hey there, I mentioned specifically asked in the author's note that I was not interested in getting advice. Thanks for caring but we'll figure it out on our own.

@polka dot: Wow, really? They got your skype, eh? Miriam's coworker here did the same thing, getting her phone number by asking her other coworkers for her number since he forgot something and needed to ask her specifically. It scared the crap out of her.

Another one of our aunts has a stalker and she constantly has to get her restraining order reissued as the guy refuses to back off after the time period's up.

Yeah, I guess they sometimes have the end that relentless pursuit would be seen as a positive, that the effort expended is equivalent to how much they cared, no matter how unwarranted it is. I think the part they don't understand is that it is unwarranted...

It seems the people at work don't see MUCH wrong with what the guy is doing, they don't seem to fully understand how uncomfortable Miriam seems either.

Haha. Ok, if the cops get me, I'll tell them it was a request from my reader.

@RubberyParts: ...What last time? The last time I uploaded the comic?

@kylie: Again, I specified in the comment we weren't interested in advice. Thank you for the concern but we'll deal with it on our own.

And as Connor says, rather than teach women to defend themselves, we should really teach the guys to be less shitty.

Yeah. Connor's pretty impressive.

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Dumah June 30th, 2014, 12:38 pm

I had a guy at work who kept telling me to smile and would make this huge grinning face at me every time I saw him, and if I didn't smile back cuz I didn't feel like it, he'd get on my fucking case like "what's wrong why don't you smile you're pretty when you smile just smile!!!" It got on my fucking nerves and I kept telling him to stop and to leave me alone, but he wouldn't take me seriously (apparently an angry "NO!!!" response is a joke) and I'd ignore him when he shouted my name from far away, and if I forgot and looked at him he'd go "SMILE! :D" And I'd glare and turn around and ignore him. I started avoiding him, even going out of my way to go around the places he usually was, which started to impact my work performance. The worst part was probably that none of my work friends were supportive and they thought I was overreacting. Dude, I was near tears (I tend to tear up when frustrated) and always got so angry I almost screamed at him to leave me alone, which by the way would have gotten me fired.

Finally I went to HR and complained, said I had already asked him several times to stop and he wouldn't, said it seemed sexist to demand that I smile all the (goddamn) time, and said that I didn't want to get him in trouble, I just wanted a third party to explain to him that it has to stop, because he obviously wasn't listening to me.

And gloriously, the next time I saw him? He narrowed his eyes and ignored me. Oh my god being ignored was The Best Thing Ever. Then eventually he chilled out and started talking to me like I'm a normal person instead of "you are Girl, and All Girls Must Smile all the time!" And now we're surprisingly cool with each other, although every now and then he still does the huge smile thing if I don't smile back, in an attempt to get me to smile. And then if I look annoyed he asks if I'm okay. And that doesn't happen often, so I don't dread running into him anymore. If anybody tells me to smile again, I've got a great comeback. I'll glare and say, "Excuse me? I wasn't hired to stand here, smile, and look pretty. I was hired to do my job. Do we need to talk to HR?"

(Oh btw I'm not trying to say what Miriam should do in her situation, I'm just saying that's what happened to me and how I dealt with it.) I've had "overly friendly" dudes at work to deal with too, and I'm sure most people think I'm an angry grump or something, but unless the guy leaves me alone when I don't respond, and doesn't stop trying to make me engage in conversation when I don't want to talk, then his ass stops getting ignored. He keeps doing it? Fucking ignored.

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daviddoesntgetit July 24th, 2014, 1:39 am

@Dumah: Miriam said that fucking smiling comment is annoying as shit, it's happened to her a lot on the streets.

Anyways, glad to hear it worked out splendidly.

I'll keep your story in mind since I'm in charge of some girls that have the same sort of trouble at work as well.