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Monday, April 25, 2016 

Are creators saying anything about the resurfaced Berganza scandal?

I decided to look and see if any of the most morally questionable writers out there were responding to the story of Eddie Berganza's sexual harassment felonies. Predictably, most were pretty muted, if they had anything to say at all. And based on their track records, those that did say something are talking out of both sides of their mouths. Here's a standout example, Dan Slott:

Now never mind that Comics Beat is actually a rather untrustworthy site with double standards, would Slott have anything to say if this were one of the Marvel contributors who'd been exposed? It's not hard to guess he'd be silent about it, and the only reason he's citing Mrs. MacDonald, of all people, as a "great" source on the subject is because the man wrote nasty fanfiction and declared Mary Jane Watson "anti-Marvel" is because he's trying to "prove" he's not the fraud he really is. Point: Bleeding Cool actually brought up much of the news first, yet he's clearly citing MacDonald because he hasn't had as many fallouts with Comics Beat as he has with Bleeding Cool, and because he wants to pass himself off as the "best ally" to women. But, as his record indicates, he's hardly that.

And is Chris Sims still employed at Marvel, even after his own offenses of yore? In fact, has Slott ever said anything about the continued employment of Scott Lobdell at DC, or even at Marvel? If not, then that's one more reason to doubt he's commenting on the issue out of sincerity.

Gee, in that case, how come he never did so till now? Don't take what Mr. Slott says at face value.

I'm not sure Bond, who'd worked on GNs that were considered prestigious products, would want to hire him. Indeed, no self-respecting woman who believes in artistic chivalry should associate herself with a man who takes such a degrading, condescending view of women in his work on Spider-Man, and likely wouldn't even give up the task for a woman who wanted to write it, unless it goes according to Quesada's vision. After all, this is a man who, oddly enough, has been objectifying Asian women.

Nope, Mr. Hanover didn't get anything wrong here. As Alex deCampi noted, Marvel's guilty of employing sexual harassers too, and Slott doesn't seem particularly hopeful to weed them out.

Well at least it's better than reading Slott's cruddy writing. But it doesn't take a genius to figure out he's only trying to make himself look good, and hoping nobody will remember his own backwards scriptwriting. In fact, has he ever apologized for the story where Doc Ock took advantage of Mary Jane? Or for calling Peter Parker's love for her "anti-Marvel" under the confidence Stan Lee wouldn't say anything? I don't think so, and since bad fanfiction writing can be a signal of poor conduct just as much as real life behavior, that's why I'd advise against taking his blabber at face value. One critic for the AV Club must've seen through his smokescreen, and he responded to her by saying:

Which standard would that be? Positive or negative? Point: even pretentious MacDonald's mostly dropped the story on Scott Allie, and isn't clamoring for his dismissal from Dark Horse. Why, even Slott's not calling for throwing him out on his ear after what he did to Joe Harris.

Proving he's full of air.

I think he's afraid people are aware of his own trolling, and I'm sure there's ladies who disliked his work out there whom he's been nasty to. And after he touted former DC editor Janelle Asselin as a source, she replied:

I think she too just proved he's only playing a "feel good self-diplomacy" role. Indeed, most of the people arguing with him now seem to realize he's not altruistic, and he's not exactly somebody with a huge female fanbase. In fact, The Outhousers has just explained even better than I could how Slott is just putting foot-in-mouth.

What's that? He "appreciates" the danger?!? It's clear he needs a psychologist.

So let's turn now to one more who addressed the case, Kurt Busiek, though he wouldn't even mention Berganza by name. He says:

Well look who's talking. After he threw his weight behind a campaign to allow transgender men to use women's bathrooms, which could be exploited by just about any kind of madmen, and never slammed Scott Allie for his own sadistic assaults, he has the nerve to speak out over a serious issue that he ignored earlier? Point: suppose this had all happened in the ladies' room at the comics publishers and conventions? Would he come to terms with how irresponsible he'd been previously? I doubt it. No self-respecting woman should take this nutcase's words at face value either, and most probably don't anyway.

Alas, it's not. I assume he's surprised nobody's ever turned to him asking for help. Based on his reprehensible beliefs, he shouldn't be surprised if nobody wants to discuss these issues with him. This is a man who basically insulted women with his loathsome stance, and hasn't apologized, the main reason why he's not doing well even now. Suppose this happens at a convention hall's bathrooms? Is he going to apologize? Probably not.

"Astonished"? With those politics, I'll bet. Why's he supporting permission for transgenders to use bathrooms for the opposite sex then? Transgenders aren't saints either, but the real toxic effect is how these demands, if implemented, will enable even non-transgenders and heterosexual thugs to exploit the situation so they can prey on innocent women and children who want privacy.

Of course, and that's why even bathrooms have to be ensured safety/privacy. Busiek's only demonstrated that he cannot comprehend simply because he hasn't witnessed any untoward behavior up front. Unless he says he's sorry for supporting an irrational position by people who lack respect for the opposite sex, he's got no business addressing the subject. His words are nothing more than a weak, transparent attempt at damage control. To make matters worse, he's fallen back on the prior stance, and his defense this time is stupefying:

I notice he hasn't posted any proof beyond what we see. Are we to believe Busiek's defense at face value? I'd say no. If this is supposed to be funny, I'm not laughing, and I'm sure many self-respecting women and men aren't either.

And assuming these really are people who got sex change operations like Christine Jorgensen, surely the most puzzling question is why he won't lament that they wanted to be something they're not? All they're doing is making it worse. That's the problem with today's emerging mentality: some people are just so jelly spined, they don't have the courage to persuade people to be what they were born as, and most crucially, to be self-confident.

That's decidedly confirmation the women could be bigger victims of sexual harassment than men if transgenders are allowed to use bathrooms of the opposite sex. And wow, who knew Busiek could swerve back on the topic just a few days after talking about sexual harassment in the medium, and Berganza's own felonies? I'm not sure, but he might've worked with Berganza when he was writing Trinity, if Berganza's helming Superman titles gave him influence over that series.

Busiek's timing for falling back on a campaign in favor of letting transgenders use the opposite sex's bathrooms couldn't be worse. On the one hand, he puts forth a weak, unconvincing discussion about sexual harassment. On the other, he seems to be deliberately ignoring any and all hazards imposed even by crazy heterosexual men who could exploit it for their creepy fun and games. The Federalist made another good case about the paradox of how sexual harassment is perceived by people like Busiek:
We’ve been hearing over and over about the “rape culture” of American campuses and American attitudes in general. Activists run seminars and awareness campaigns teaching women how to stay alert, protect themselves, identify danger. They chastise police, schools, and businesses for enabling a culture that shames a woman for coming forward with rape allegations.

Then they turn around and ask my little girl to ignore all the things they just told her to pay attention to. If a strange man (not a man dressing and living as a woman, but an actual male DUDE man, which these bathroom bills allow for) walks into a place where she is accustomed to some measure of privacy, a place where she physically removes her clothing and is exposed in some manner (stall or no stall), she is supposed to ignore that voice screaming in her head if he feels dangerous. Not only that, she’s not even allowed to tell anyone she’s nervous.
Challenging question: are all the women who've been victims of harassment by men like Berganza supposed to put and shut up if it happens in the bathroom? Busiek may not think so, but he's slapping the very same women he only half-heartedly spoke for in the face when he looks for every trick in the book to uphold invasions of privacy in a public facility. To date, no matter how leftist some of the ladies who've accused Berganza and others at DC/Marvel of harassment happen to be, I haven't noticed any favoring transgenders in women's facilities, and Busiek's not helping one bit with his disgraceful cynicism.

So in the end, Busiek basically trashed any points he was making, which weren't many to start with at all. And all because he's been consumed by the notion that transgenders must, must, MUST use the ladies' room at all costs, and just so soon after the news about Berganza resurfaced. I think the best response to Busiek's contradictions is to unfollow him on Facebook and Twitter and boycott his own books. There comes a time when the readership may have to choose their authors more carefully to send a message they don't accept such hypocrisy on serious issues.

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Perhaps Berganza is just a smokescreen to allow them to pad their wallets with more money?

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