Thumbnail: In Praise of ‘Giant Days’ Approach to Internetting
John Allison and Lissa Treiman's Giant Days is a lot of things: fun, entertaining, silly, cute... but it also offers some interesting commentary on the world of the internet in issue #3. The gang at the center of Giant Days (Esther, Daisy, and Susan) encounter some crappy times with the internet that are all too reminiscent of real women's dealings with internet creeps. The story is handled with just enough humor and sincerity to make it thoughtful without being preachy. Spoilers ahead!
In issue #3, the leads find out that Esther has been placed at number three on the Bantserve list of hottest first years, which causes no minor bit of consternation. Bantserve is, in the words of Susan, "a horrible website where boys perv on women because they're scared of them."
When confronted with this news, Esther opts to go through the proper channels and approaches the head of the school, where her concerns are dismissed. Susan responds with a bit of anger that doesn't go over well (but does give us the delightful quote, "Misandry is the new witchcraft, but they can't dunk ya for it"). In the end, the creepsters' moms come around to yell at their sons for their behavior, and we can all breathe a sigh of relief.
This story was too real. For women, especially women who are online a lot for work, this is reality. It may not be Bantserve, but there are plenty of similar sites. Our anger may lead us to all-out misandry (or jokes about misandry).
Going through the proper channels, including the police, when we feel threatened or demeaned, often ends in a head pat and the bland observation that "it's just the internet."
What Esther goes through in this issue, along with the anger of Susan as her friend, is a very real thing for many women. Giant Days just did a delightful job of offering resolution for a situation that so often offers nothing at all, and thus briefly calmed my witchy heart.