Tuesday, August 07, 2007

We need to talk.

Hi, I'm WFA.

You all realize that I am only a linkblog, right?

That means I don't have opinions in and of myself.

Beyond that, I'm not restricted to any one part of the comics blogging community. I can find links from anywhere people talk about comics, and that includes your blog.

I've found links from where people don't normally talk about comics.

Those links can be of any opinion on the state of women in comics. So, if you write a post about how much the treatment of women in comics sucks, your post may appear on this blog. If you write about how you only read comics because that's the only place where women seem to do anything awesome, your post may appear on this blog. If you write about how women don't read comics, your post may appear on this blog. If you write a post about how 75% of my links lead to posts that are full of horseshit and lays out the reasons why, your post may appear on my blog.

(If it doesn't, you can write to You-Know-Who and You-Know-What to make sure they catch them.)

I'm a little troubled when I hear people who refer to me as a community in myself, or see comments like this where I'm referred to as an individual.

Because I'm not.

I'm not an individual.

I'm not a community.

I am a linkblog.

And I'm a little worried about people who don't understand that.

Thank you for your attention,
When Fangirls Attack!


Ami Angelwings said...


I thought the same thing when Pedro commented and referred to WFA like some sort of entity :O

Gordon said...

And all this time...I thought you were a creamy dessert topping. :)

Elayne said...

WFA, am I misunderstanding, or did you not start out as a linksite to blog posts about women in comics from a feminist sensibility, then branch out to linking to any posts on that subject, whether feminist or no? I just seem to recall as you used to limit yourself to only feminist linkage, but I could be wrong.

Pedro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sleestak said...

you should become a community of sorts.

Mickle said...


I can't speak for WFA ;), but my impression has always been that WFA links to all sorts of posts about women in comics and that the feminist sensibilities of WFA are reflected in the fact that WFA makes such information easy for the rest of us to find.

Easier for us to connect, less likely that we have to refute idiotic arguments alone, etc. And, because it makes it easy to see that there are so many women reading and writing about comics, it encourages other women to do the same and/or speak up about being fangirls themselves.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for being off topic, but...


Rocketlex said...

I've never thought of WFA as a community. I will admit making the mistake, at times, of viewing WFA as an extension of girl-wonder.org, which it isn't at all (at least, I think it isn't...isn't it? -_-)

kalinara said...

Elayne, Mickle is correct. Our initial intent was always to link all topics relating to women in comics, feminist or anti-feminist or in between.

The mistake's understandable though. We emerged during the whole Taki Soma incident controversy (among others) so what we initially found were predominantly feminist voices, at least until the controversy died down.

rocketlex: Nope, we're not affiliated. We actually were invited to be affiliates when Girl-wonder started up, which was incredibly flattering, but turned the offer down because we wanted to present WFA as unbiased as humanly possible. They were very gracious and understanding about that.

Steve Flanagan said...

Just a thought: if you want to stress WFA's objectivity, I wonder if it might be worth listing your criteria for inclusion.

To give some utterly self-regarding and ego-centric examples (because, hey, I'm a blogger), I'm not entirely sure why you linked this post of mine, about Jo Chen pastiching John Singer Sargent. Was it just the passing mention of boobs?

On the other hand, you didn't link this post which was explicitly about the different treatment of women in TV series and their comic strip adaptations. I don't know if that's because (a) you didn't notice it, or because (b) you aren't linking to posts that talk about historical or non-American examples.

Reason (a) is fair enough (it's a big blogosphere out there). Reason (b) is also fair, and would be consistent with not linking this post, which comments on gender roles in the relaunched version of a prominent British comic for pre-teens. But this is guesswork.

To give another example, not drawn from my blog: you linked the other day to a review of some yaoi manga (in translation, so still consistent with a criterion of American publication, if you have one). Was that because you regard your remit as extending to all sorts of sexual politics, not just women in comics, or because these manga are popular purchases by women? Again, either reason would be fair enough, but I'm having to guess.

I'm not complaining about any of these decisions, but without stated criteria, you do leave yourself open to being accused by fractious individuals of choosing your links subjectively, or selectively in accordance with an agenda.

I realise that it would be a pain in the neck to write this up, but presumably you do have all this straight in your own minds (as your indecisoin about the Gor books suggested).

Whatever, keep linking. This is a fine resource.

Pedro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pedro said...

Man, when I woke up this morning, I didn't know my comments would make the frontpage of WFA. I got a couple of IMs this morning telling me to check my feeds.

A few things, in my defense, since I am the one that started all this blogosphere brouhaha!

I don't understand how my comments refer to WFA as anything more than a link blog. Since WFA linked blogged my website a few months ago, I've been following the RSS feeds. It's kind of messed up that in the time I've been feeding, my comments are the second time WFA decided to break from the tradition of all links and no comments. I kind of dig that personally. It makes it much easier to find cool articles if someone is doing all the heavy lifting for me.

Ragnell refers in her article, that I commented on, that people find WFA to be a list of links to articles on women in comics that are mostly negative. Ragnell states that she just posts the articles as she finds them. She doesn't have a bias. I pretty much agree, if she did, I doubt I would have been linked here and I would have stopped following the blog.

When I talk or reference WFA in my comments, I am talking about the same group of negative articles that appear on WFA that Ragnell herself is talking about in her article. There are certain people who find themselves often on WFA but they are the ones who talk about women in comics so it makes complete sense that they are being linked. There is a loose sense of community between these people but WFA is not it.

I get it. I don't like being made an example of people who don't. If you want to talk about others that way, that's fine, but I ask that you not refer to me as missing the point. I may be an opinionated jack ass and I'm cool being known as that kind of person but I know how to read and it's totally embrassing to have myself known as that kind of person.

kalinara said...

Steve, that's a good question.

Honestly, our main criteria is that it have something to do with women and comics and 99% of the time it should be some sort of opinion piece. (I've probably linked a few press releases, I know. Ideally we like to get a bit of reaction.)

We don't have any particular restriction against non-American or non-superhero comics either.

Honestly, probably what it is is that we just didn't see the post, for whatever reason. I'm particularly guilty of that, because I'll use a search engine, find an applicable post, and forget to check the main site to see if the poster's written any others.

(Also, I've been known to see a post, go "ooo, interesting" and only later realize "Oh right! I should be linking that!" It's pretty embarassing. :-))

So really, if you've got a post that we missed, odds are it just slipped through the cracks. Please do email us when/if that happens, as we do want to link it!

pedro: I don't think anyone is truly taking it that you lack reading comprehension. You're hardly the first to imply (even just accidently) that WFA's linkers support/endorse the sentiments linked here. Heck, this past week, we've seen quite a few such implications, all of which prompted the creation of the post.

Really, you're just the poor unfortunate "last straw" in the scenario. Sorry about that.

Pedro said...


Ragnell assumed something I didn't say and put words in my mouth that I didn't agree with.

I'm a little pissed to be considered this straw, when that wasn't even my intention. I imagine Ragnell would be upset if I had done the same thing to her on my blog. It's left me with a bad taste in my mouth of what to expect every time I leave comments in the blogging community.

To be told, "well I'm sorry but we'll still point you out as someone who doesn't get it", is kind of well, bullshit. I'm being told to suck it up because it's more important for you guys to do what you need to do. It's the kind of lipservice I imagine you guys hate to hear from people who misrepresent what you believe your blogs do and don't correct themselves.

Lastly, I'm confused about your statement that WFA doesn't on some level support some of the ideas posted on the blog, considering that WFA often enough links directly to two blogs by people that caretake the WFA site. You obviously support and endorse your own sentiments on some level. I don't think of it as a bias, but it is true.

Mickle said...

"(Also, I've been known to see a post, go "ooo, interesting" and only later realize "Oh right! I should be linking that!" It's pretty embarassing. :-))"

I would so totally do that.

I do so totally do that. I see something, I start writing a post in my head, and then forget where I found the post/article that prompted the thought.


"I'm a little pissed to be considered this straw, when that wasn't even my intention....To be told, "well I'm sorry but we'll still point you out as someone who doesn't get it", is kind of well, bullshit. I'm being told to suck it up because it's more important for you guys to do what you need to do"

No, what you are being told is that intent does not trump the actual effect.

Ragnell may or may not decide that you deserve an apology, but in either case your phrasing ("WFA doesn't" "WFA complains" and the like ) still supports the idea that WFA is an organization and that the complaints come from WFA - whatever that is.

It's great that you understand that isn't the case, but that isn't really the point. There's a history of people acting as if WFA is a organization and/or that the views linked to are either endorsed by WFA or done so for the purpose of sending swarms of attacking fangirls. (Which mimics the way in which women - and other non-privileged groups - are treated as all alike. And the way in which people act as if there's just one feminism.)

By using language that treats WFA as an organization and as if the complaints come from WFA, you are contributing to the problem, whether you mean to or not.

Demand an apology if you must, but it might be considered good form to first apologize yourself for contributing to the problem - even if you didn't mean to.

Pedro said...

You know what Mickie,

I just gonna have to learn to have thicker skin when dealing with the blogosphere world. People are gonna misread what I say and misconstrue it in ways I don't agree once it gets out there. I really have no control over that. I'm not going to let this sour experience stop me from commenting on other blogs.

I don't want an apology because I don't think anyone here did anything wrong and just miscommunicated. I'm not going to get upset with people over something small like that.

I'm sorry if I had not been clearer in my comments.

Mickle said...

It's Mickle, not Mickie. Just saying. :)

(not that I care, or that I don't understand how easy the mistake is, I just find it funny considering the topic)