I haven’t read comics in about two months now. Aside from a few general pieces here and there, I haven’t written about comics in about a year. There are some things about the comics community that are pretty ugly. And those things are getting in the way of my enjoyment of comics. What’s killing it for me is the harassment former DC editor, current Comics Alliance writer, and all-around awesome lady Janelle Asselin is trying to dig into and, in the process, has become a target of.
For the time I was writing somewhat regularly about comics, I was discouraged from writing about “uncomfortable” topics like sexism or feminism. This wasn’t for all the sites I wrote for. But I did get the feeling I was allowed to hang out in the special tree house with the boys as long as I acted like one of the boys and didn’t turn into one of those uppity feminists. And I get wanting to keep the focus on comics and the great things about them. Trust me, I would love to go back to the days of unabashedly adoring comics.
But that’s not enough anymore.
It’s easy to say women should be able to do everything a man can do: they can be astronauts and writers and scientists and the President of the United States if they work for it, they should be paid the same wages as their male counterparts, they should have the right to vote and drive a car and do everyday people things without hinderance, etc.
But that’s not where gender equality ends. People should be allowed to express a dissenting opinion on the internet without being threatened with rape; people should be allowed to have consensual sex without being labeled a whore; people should be allowed to wear whatever they want without being groped or demeaned; people should be allowed to express themselves in ways that do not conform to narrow, antiquated definitions of “gender” without being disrespected or physically attacked. And come on, people. This is obvious stuff.
So when someone gets catcalled or threatened or browbeaten, you have to stand up and say NO. And look, I get that’s uncomfortable and confrontational and hard, honestly hard, to do. I’m guilty of not saying anything, of plowing along with my head in the sand and just gushing over my funny pages. But like I said, that’s not enough anymore. We need to have this conversation; we need to call this bullshit behavior out.
Because ignoring the harassment is condoning it. It undermines the severity of the situation. It tells the victims that we care more about their attackers than we do about them. Not to mention, the instances when people flat out tell victims of harassment that they’re exaggerating the facts, or “that’s not what he meant” or “get over it and stop being so emotional.”
And that is fucked up. Seriously fucked up. We need to do better, people. We need to do a lot better.
I need to post more so that there’s more of such underrepresented voices talking about comics.
For some reason I’m really excited about the 2014 Cripping the Comic Con poster
(full size PDF version available here)
There’s just something about it…
But I just can’t put my finger on what…
And yes, I am co-leading an interactive panel/workshop with dayalmohamed on creating a disability version of the Bechdel Test.
A year ago, a friend of mine had a St. Patrick’s Day party that included a potluck. Although I am generally known for my oh-so-goopy cheese dip recipes, I felt like doing something with hard apple cider (the one item I most miss imbibing). As I am prone to many culinary thought experiments, I had earlier mused about making a variation of beer bread albeit with hard cider. I decided to do a little research and go for it. After all, the worst that could happen would be massive fires… partygoers dead from horrible food poisoning… something involving super-intelligent cephalopods from the abyss…
Actually, the worst that happened was figuring out a recipe for an amazing sweet bread that is hyper-infused with apple-y goodness. I’ve made it several times and have been pestered for the recipe. Here it is. Before going into details, though, I want to recognize the recipe that served as the basis for what became my version. Thank you, Bluebonnets and Brownies.
HARD APPLE CIDER BREAD
(makes 1-2 regular loaves plus some mini loaves)
3 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
4 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
3/4 cup brown/natural sugar
At least 20 fl. oz. Hard Apple Cider
1 apple (enough to make 1/2-3/4 chopped)
Dried apple rings (enough to make 1/2 cup chopped)
Extra flour for thickening batter
Peel and dice the apple to make a little more than a half cup. Make the apple pieces the size you want to find in the middle of bread.
Chop up the dried apple rings to get about half a cup. I find scissors to be helpful as the dried apples can be tough and gummy.
Combine both the fresh and dried apple pieces in a bowl along with no more than half of the hard cider. Let sit for at least 15 minutes. The main goal is to rehydrate the dried apple rings plus infuse the fresh apple as well.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. If you are using honey, do not add at this time. Whisk to combine.
Add the soaking apples and most of the remaining cider. Leave an ounce or two aside in case you need to add more moisture. Add the honey too if you are using it.
Mix the ingredients. Treat this batter like a quick bread or pancake recipe. You don’t need to over mix, and a few dry spots will cook out. The batter shouldn’t be too wet or too dry but a bit goopy. Add more flour or liquid depending on the consistency.
Taste the batter. If you want more spiciness to it or more apple-y goodness, add more. The batter is safe to eat raw (and you will want to!). I sometimes sprinkle in more baking soda/powder as I get paranoid about leavening.
Spray loaf pans with cooking spray and spoon batter into each between 1/2 to 2/3 full. Feel free to lick out the bowl and spoon, but be ready for any inebriation that follows.
Bake loaves for up to 40 minutes. Mini-loaves cook much faster, of course. Keep an eye on the risen tops to see if they appear set. They are done when a toothpick in the middle comes out mostly clean.
Let cool before eating.
I like mine cold with a little butter, but heating it up real in the microwave also works great.
I used the crumbs with vanilla ice cream or yogurt for extra dessertiness.
This bread also paired well with corned beef and cabbage when I used the grains of paradise. It’s still sweet but pairs well with some savory dishes.
REMEMBER: Not all the alcohol will cook out of the bread. If you have any sensitivity to alcohol, be prepared. It might not be advisable to eat half a loaf in one sitting and then expect to be productive the rest of the evening. (Not saying that I have such an experience).
One of the most important statements we can make to ourselves is “I deserve to be treated with respect and decency.” Acting on these words, is sadly hard, but it is worth making that declaration. You might hurt a lot now, but personal respect heals those wounds in time, and you’ll feel much better sooner than later.