GOOD

What Everyone's Getting Wrong About This Sexist Cartoon

That escalated quickly

The comic seems obviously offensive at first glance: A woman with an ambiguously colored skin tone, with thick curves, spots a book lying on the ground. She picks it up and begins going through a radical physical transformation in which she becomes more petite, dressed in more conservative clothing and has distinctively white skin.


But it’s creator says people are missing the point and he’s kind of embarrassed it ever became an issue.

The comic strip became the subject of intense criticism on social media when Cyntia Hijar posted it to her Twitter feed with the caption: “According to this picture, reading weakens muscle tone, and in addition to that it makes you look white and almost European and makes you cut your hair too. Just ignore that picture, one can read and remain black and dress as one wish.”

However, the artist behind the piece who goes by the name “Sortimid” said the comic strip has nothing to do with race, feminism, or any other flashpoint at the center of cultural identity. Instead, he says it’s simply an extremely niche form of fetish pornography called “transformation porn,” in which people undergo radical transformations in physicality, gender and all sorts of other attributes. In this case, he says he was commissioned to create a piece that takes the niche bit of transformation porn called “bimbo transformation” even further. This particular genre typically involves someone becoming a “hyper-feminine, hyper-sexualized caricature,” but the person who commissioned the piece wanted to see the process in reverse.

Other examples on Sortimid’s deviant art page show the niche fetish in its more traditional form, which is usually hinged to a darkly comedic premise.

A number of Sortimid’s fans have risen to his defense but he nonetheless apologized for the controversy. And in an interview with BuzzFeed tried to bring some transparency to his community, something he never thought would be necessary:

“Perhaps it was naïve of me to assume it was ‘just another transformation.’ People don’t see it as ‘porn’ so they assume it must be a statement. Their criticism is valid. I apologize for advancing those stereotypes. I strive to create erotica that is both sexy and feminist. It seems, in this case, I have failed spectacularly and for that, I apologize. If there’s anything I can do to make up for it, please let me know.”

In a more detailed post on his site, he writes:

To clarify: the image IS sexist. My work IS sexist. If that turns you on, then great! Enjoy fapping! It's meant to be a fantasy! But if you use my work to justify your behavior and real-world beliefs, you might want to do some soul-searching.

And he’s also having a little self-deprecating fun, sharing alternate versions of the comic strip that people have created on his Twitter feed:

Articles
via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

Keep Reading
Business

Childbirth is the number one reason American women visit the hospital, and it ain't cheap. In fact, it's getting more and more expensive. A new study published in Health Affairs found that the cost of having a baby with employer-sponsored health insurance increased by almost 50% in the past seven years.

The study evaluated "trends in cost-sharing for maternity care for women with employer-based health insurance plans, before and after the Affordable Care Act," which was signed into law in 2010. The study looked at over 657,061 women enrolled in large employer-sponsored health insurance plans who delivered babies between 2008 and 2015, as these plans tend to cover more than plans purchased by small businesses or individuals.

Keep Reading
Health

A meteorite crashed into Earth nearly 800,000 years ago. The meteor was 1.2 miles wide, and the impact was so big, it covered 10% of the planet with debris. However, scientists haven't been able to find the impact site for over a century. That is, until now. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal believes the crash site has been located.

Tektites, which are essentially rocks that have been liquefied from the heat of the impact and then cooled to form glass, help scientists spot the original impact site of a meteor. Upon impact, melted material is thrown into the atmosphere, then falls back to the ground. Even if the original crater has disappeared due to erosion or is hidden by a shift in tectonic plates, tektites give the spot away. Tektites between 750,000 to 35.5 million years old have been found in every continent except Antarctica.

Keep Reading