Smash Women Really Hate Reality


Okay, let me use my time—at my own fully valid discretion—to take a massive, eloquent shit upon the garbage that irrelevant smasher Nicole calls “writing” about the nonsense which she calls “reality”.  Because I am capable, within this post I will set out to delineate every single thing wrong about hers.

Before we begin, I must acknowledge how terribly disorganized the OP’s claims are and thus do something about that.  Let us, then, dissect the following order of presumptions: claims about self; claims related to the community; claims about the sexes.  I have ordered them as such so that I may most efficiently destroy her ethos (which, though present, is actually very weak).

  1. Self (vs. Milktea, as Nicole would have it)

    Perhaps we should not be surprised that the one thing agreed-on here is that Nicole’s identity as a point of discussion belongs first on the list—per her, to talk arrogantly about herself; per me, to refute her dwindling credibility.  And I do mean dwindling: Nicole is more or less retired from gaming in the competitive or professional capacity, despite her efforts to appear up-to-date and in-the-know.  She admits this readily, but glosses over it in much the exact same fucking way she claims that the public has “gloss[ed] over” Milktea’s previous relationships with other smashers (talk about cognitive dissonance, huh?).

    Laughably, Nicole claims to love analogies before presenting her audience with the most overwrought, downright-shitty excuse for an analogy which I, personally, have ever read.  In it, Milktea’s role within the fighting game community is analogous to that of a hypothetical woman demanding special treatment from her hypothetical job.

    Milktea had already done an excellent job speaking for herself on this matter (which you can read here), so it is a total mystery why Nicole felt the need to rejoin it with such an angry, vile response.  There is even a disclaimer in the footnotes of Milktea’s article meant to blanket those moronic enough to need it; she asks that people please not misconstrue her article as favoring women, because she requests nothing more than equal treatment.

    Nicole writes that Milktea “demands respect for her mediocrity” and a thousand other untrue things that are already EXPLICITY COUNTERED in Milktea’s article (read it, seriously), because Milktea has some concept of journalism and language, and actually knows how to make concessions and predictive counterarguments.  I wonder whether she could have predicted that one woman would have been so entrenched in denialism that her (MT’s) original efforts may actually go wasted. :’(

    Nicole also calls herself a “self-righteous bitch sometimes” and I honestly have no idea how she overrode that knowledge while writing “Smash Women Really Hate Reality”.  Maybe “sometimes” is the key element?  In any case, she certainly proves this with her lengthy, unabashedly jealous paragraph about Milktea (except it is not an accurate representation of Milktea at all).  Indeed, what she writes about Milktea actually reveals much about Nicole’s own poor self esteem.

    The following may be regarded as sub-claims which Nicole makes about Milktea:

    • privileged within community
    • only influential because of her feminine appearance
    • promotes actual sexism
    • "intentionally or not, uses her status and […] allure as a woman to spearhead her opinion and her cause"

    That last one is particularly hilarious to me.  Sounds like someone’s projecting her own hypocrisy onto another female gamer.  Very meta, Nicole.  Way to use your gender to illuminate how another uses her gender…  Wait, that’s not profound; it’s just fucking nearsighted and counterproductive.

    Yeah, it’s pretty obvious that she didn’t actually read through the article.  (Please, somebody, dare to argue that she did.  That would only make the quality of her writing even sadder and less perceptive.)

  2. Gaming

    Nicole seems to conflate the various titles of Super Smash Brothers with each other, having no idea of the differences between them, which doesn’t look very good for the community.  Actually, it kind of makes us look like knuckle-draggers who have barely advanced inasmuch as it takes to operate a Nintendo controller—that this one woman would call herself “the actual best female in American Smash” when she only participates in a small sect of the Super Smash Brothers community (which in itself is already a subcommunity of the entire FGC).

    In reality, Nicole is attempting to extrapolate something which cannot be extrapolated; she is trying to draw up a dichotomy in which she is the sole representative of feminine SSB skill, contrasted by inferiors such as Milktea, despite that their mediums are starkly different.

    She writes that she was “shocked to discover” that Milktea was not “actually good at her respective game,” and therefore “disregarded her article entirely and thought it was fucking retarded.”  Very classy, Nicole.  You think you’re smart just because you know how to use the word “respective”?  Surprise: it doesn’t work that way.

    You see, Milktea played Melee, not Brawl.  These two games do not even run on the same physics engine; thus I pity any smasher who fails to understand the severity of the differences between them.  Because SSBM is so long-developed and dissected, it is already potentially more complex and technically strenuous than a Brawl player may ever understand—if she chooses not to do her fucking homework. I would hazard a guess that Nicole would pee herself trying to coordinate wavedashing or L-canceling, but that would be presumptuous and mean, and it would make the fucking community look bad; also, I do have a begrudging amount of respect for Nicole’s clear intellect, even though I disagree with her sorely.

    This point may be my most obviously impassioned and thus chafe some people’s nerves a bit, but I truly hope that my audience will understand what I intend to illustrate here: that you should probably be careful making judgments about things which you do not actually understand.

    "If [women] loved the game," writes Nicole, "They’d be fucking good at it."  Actually, you POS, Milktea did not quit out of a lack of enjoyment.  She quit because the community was full of people like you.  Think I’m wrong?  Hop over to her Tumblr and actually muster the courage to ask for her perspective.  Just kidding, you’d be too lazy or indignant to read it.

  3. Gender (Roles)

    Originally, I had visions of a deeper essay on this third point, but I believe that what you are about to read is enough and beyond enough.

    Nicole writes, verbatim, “I have not experienced any negative sexism unless it was brought on by myself being an insecure attention whore who desperately needs male attention (except for my friendly molester).  I like to think I haven’t been terribly guilty of that, but I’ve had my moments.”

    Let me put into perspective how fucking scary this is: Nicole was sexually assaulted by a member of the community and, though she chooses to be open about the bare fact of it, she writes that she has chosen not to tell anyone who did it because that would have made her a “victimized woman” when she “already receives special treatment”.

    This is pure, indoctrinated bellyfeel.  This is deep-seated misogyny which separates the self from the context of sexism out of pure denial and brainwashing.  She is literally bragging about how her moral compass, somehow—not fear—has made her too afraid to reveal the identity of her attacker.  That is terrifying.

    And it’s pitiable, too.  It makes me really fucking sad.  But Nicole doesn’t want to be pitied; she only wants to be “one of the guys” while transparently vying for more fame and notoriety than any of then.  That contradiction, once noticed, should be understood and heeded.  You aren’t a man; you don’t have to be one; you don’t need to unite with men by the common enemy of a fetishized Milktea.  Stop.  Stop.  Stop.

Socially accepted and socially acceptable are not the same fucking thing. The ability for some people to confuse reality with acceptable is really the climax of stupidity. Thanks for this. Demanding respect as a human is apparently too much. Respect has to come from Milktea’s ability to push buttons. If she or any women demand respect by virtue of being human, pile on them and attack them with non sequiturs and other logical fallacies.

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Evening dress, 1920’s

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Captain America versus AIM by Bruce Timm

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Came in my kinder surprise.



Last week I wrote this piece for Comic Book Resources about the new Teen Titans #1 cover. The point of the piece was hey, there’s a broad demographic DC *could* be hitting with this book but the cover is certainly not made for that potential demographic. Instead, it’s more of the same-old, same-old. 

An artist who works for DC named Brett Booth was very upset by this critique for reasons I can’t quite define. He didn’t draw the cover. But he was infuriated by what I’d written. A fan of his drew me into the conversation about the article by calling me a “self-professed journalist chick” which… yeah. Anyway, you can read some of the conversation via tweets here.

Here are some other tweets he posted about me without my twitter handle:

You can read my Twitter feed here. I’ve deleted nothing.  At no point did I launch personal attacks. I’m not wrong about that cover. I’d love to see what kind of biology equals the breasts Wonder Girl is sporting as a 17-18 year old (pretty sure that “biology” includes silicone when they look like that). I honestly don’t understand why Brett Booth has taken everything I’ve said so personally. But I do not appreciate that he then thought it was okay to, what, imply I’d never been to a comic store? On top of everything else.

But I do think it’s indicative of what it’s like to be a woman online. You see, Booth was SO not the worst of what I got. I got delightful comments like these:

Both of course implying that I’m not a real professional in this industry. Which is still by far not the worst of what I got. I was called a whiny bitch, a feminazi, a feminist bitch, a bitter cunt, and then the rape threats started rolling in.

You see, I’m also doing a survey about sexual harassment in comics. (If you’d like to take this survey, you can find it here.) And so as soon as the angry fanboys started looking me up after the CBR article, they discovered this survey and started answering my questions and using the open box at the end to write in all sorts of awfulness. I’ve gotten all manner of bullshit within the survey now, but at least the ones with the rape threats or other asshole comments tell me which responses to disregard.  If you really want to “get me” and prove that sexual harassment doesn’t exist in comics, I don’t know, maybe it’s better for you to answer honestly about how you haven’t been sexually harassed. Because certainly sending me rape threats proves my point, not yours.

Some of them decided to just tweet at me, like the handful who decided to tell me I was creating the impression that there was sexual harassment in comics when there just wasn’t. When the survey was posted on a blog, one of the comments included “If you have a entrenched ideology then it’s nigh impossible to be objective, and according to Ms. Asselin’s Twitter tag, she’s a self described feminist.”

Let’s talk about that for a second. Feminist is not a bad word. People who think feminism is a negative often run in two very different directions - either they misunderstand what it is or are outright misogynists. Feminism is defined by Dictionary.com as “the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.” If it’s an “entrenched ideology” to wish to be treated as an equal human along side men, then so be it. I must be a horrible person for assuming that I had the right to be treated as a person instead of only a brood mare suitable for objectification and cooking.

I’d also like to talk about the fact that so many people misunderstand the point of the survey. I’m not trying to find out *if* there is sexual harassment in comics. I figured that out a long, long time ago as I was repeatedly groped on convention floors and sexually harassed by freelancers and coworkers. It was reinforced by the fact that I literally know less than a handful of women who have NOT been sexually harassed in comics, and nearly a hundred who have. Sexual harassment is a problem in comics. That point is not up for debate. The point of the survey is to better understand the experiences people are having. If you haven’t been harassed - awesome! I want to know about that. If you have - I’m really sorry, but I also want to know about that. 

There are too many people, including professionals, who think it’s okay to condescend, harass, berate, etc. women in comics simply because they’ve espoused a belief that revolves around women being treated more as equals. I want women and girls to be seen as an equally promising demographic for comics as males; I want major companies with an easy opportunity to reach out to women to not feature art that is disgusting and objectifying; I want women to be hired as much as men to create comics; I want to not know so many people who have been violated in an industry I still love despite it all. 

At first I wasn’t going to talk about the rape threats because honestly, most of the women I know with a solid online presence get them regularly. This is just a thing we are forced to deal with. And I didn’t want to make it seem like it was a bigger deal than what’s happened to them for years.  But I realized once I posted about the rape threats in passing that men I know and respect were stunned to find out this was happening. Let’s be real: if these men who are actually decent human beings don’t know how often this stuff happens, what hope is there for the men who are harassing me online? 

And that’s the thing I feel like a lot of these internet assholes miss. I’m not saying men are the worst thing ever or even that men in comics are the worst thing ever. I’m so lucky to have a lot of amazing people in my life, male, female, and non-binary, who constantly support me. There are men in comics who understand how not to be a condescending asshole. But right now, the problem is that too many other men think that they are in a crowd of like-minded men who are super sick of this feminazi bullshit. The truth is that you are on the losing side. Women in comics aren’t going away. Even if you continue to talk to us like this. Your threats and insults do nothing more than make me want to stick around and shout even louder. So thank you for that.

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So exhausted. Two more weeks of not being around.


Laura Thornhill
Photo in a European magazine.


Laura Thornhill

Photo in a European magazine.

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That guy is totally Superman. 

Always, forever and a day.

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Paul Dini
Bruce Timm
The Batman Adventures: Mad Love

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“It’s crazy not only that they both exist right now as such perfect human specimens, but I don’t know how they do it. They’re incredible, all of it in one package. And then the fact that they work so well together, it’s really romantic in the best way.” - Kathryn Hahn

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I still don’t know why my eighties stint as Uncanny X-Men writer/artist was so unpopular.

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ART HISTORY MEME || [1/4] colors: Blue

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