So, now rape is funny, Mr. Crumb?

I've never been quite sure what to think of R. Crumb. Yes, I understand that he is considered the father of underground comics. Yes, I really enjoyed his interpretation of Metamorphosis when I read it for class last year. Yes, the Genesis project sounds really interesting. All of these things are good and make him an interesting man but I could never shake the feeling that having dinner with him would result in me punching him. Crumb is famous for drawing overtly sexual women in demeaning roles. And despite all the great things this man has done for the world of comics, I'm not going to lie-- I've always found him to be completely sexist.

However, I honestly never expected this. During a public interview at the University of Richmond, Francoise Mouly spoke with Crumb about some of his drawings of women that could be negatively interpreted. Mouly, according to a report of the evening by Ben Towle, tried to give Crumb a chance to say that Crumb's portrayals was actually a way of showing "sensitivity" towards women and the way they are viewed. Instead, something else happens:

"Next on the screen was Crumb’s two-pager, “Don’t Touch Me” (from Snatch #3) which depicts an apparent rape, followed by the “punch line” in the last panel: “I never get to come!” In a rare bit of almost-regret (maybe? almost?), Crumb recalled showing this strip to a woman he knew and being genuinely surprised by her horrified reaction. Mouly wondered though if it wasn’t his intention to shock. “I intend to shock–but I don’t want them to run away in horror!” he replied. The discomfort in the room became almost palpable when he glibly remarked about “all women having rape fantasies, right?” and mentioned that “even Freud said all women were masochistic.” Then, after a moment, “Let’s move on…” "

Wow. Just wow. I do not even have words for how disgusted I am by this. Not only does Crumb make rape the butt of a crude joke but he goes as far to say "all women have rape fantasies." My god. R. Crumb, I have one thing to say to you: go fuck yourself. I am a woman and I do not have rape fantasies. A comic like this could have taken the high road- it could have been actually portraying the way that people demonize rape victims to the point where those victims believe that the rape was their fault, that they wanted it. Instead, Crumb is basically stating that he agrees with that opinion! All women clearly want to be raped and so it's their fault when it happens.

I don't care about his reputation, I don't care about his awards, I don't care that tons of people kiss his feet everyday- R. Crumb is a pig and has lost all of my respect.

1 comment:

  1. The first R. Crumb comic anyone put under my nose detailed his masturbation practices as a part of an autobiographical piece. The large, large majority of his work is either pointless, disgusting, or both. I have never been a fan.