What? What? WHAT? (9/13)

The teenage years. Friendships, crushes, growth... and hating. Lots of hating.

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Postby TheTeague on Fri Sep 15, 2006 3:40 pm

Marshal has made all the checklist points because he's trite and cliche'. Everything he's done and said has been a direct quote from the Sensitive New-Age Guy handbook. He knows how to treat a lady....his idealized, generalized, default idea of a lady.

Did he give her swans because she likes swans and collects them, or so he could use the line "Swans mate for life"? Does he enjoy spending time with her, or just having any sort of girlfriend to spend time with? True, Karen's going to be really tight lipped about her personal life with him or anyone, and it'd be the gentlemanly thing to do not to try too hard to get to know her. But it's also the lazy thing to do. If he were with Aggie instead, would he be just as mellow and tepid about her interests?

And Karen is a psychological mess. You're right, if she did get what she's asking for, she'd just get worse and more demanding.
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Postby Freemage on Fri Sep 15, 2006 9:45 pm

Okay, gonna repeat this one more time:

Yes, Marshall is being supportive. Yes, he's showing commitment. And more mature women will recognize and value that. However, there's been almost no chemistry from his side of things. He's not demonstrating any sort of passion.

And consider this. Sure, it's obvious that Karen's playing games. But more subtly, Marshall is having considerable doubts about her, about being in a relationship at all. And yes, he gives her the swans. But it's not a promise--it's simply a 'hope'. If you don't see how THAT would feed her insecurity....

Which is disastrous in this case precisely because it feeds Karen's own considerable and acknowledged issues.

BTW, yes, there's been some folks who decided this was evidence he's gay. In fairness, though, there's been folks who argued that hooking arms with another girl was a sign of lesbianism. The most frequent posters of late have been the Teague and myself, and we're both firmly in camp 2.

Oh, one aspect of all this that I should comment on, in fairness. While I do feel that Marshall's holding back his own emotions, I also have the distinct impression that part of that is Karen's fault, as well--if she were more honest with him about her feelings, he'd be in a better position to respond. Since her whole situation is built around the denial of her 'old self', she's stuck being unable to acknowledge it. Better?
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Postby snowp14 on Sat Sep 16, 2006 12:50 am

I can't believe people assume that Marshall is gay just because he refuses to have sex with Karen. My boyfriend of two years refused sex from all of his past girlfriends (and one was quite aggressive like Karen) because he felt that he was too young and he wanted to save it for someone special. Then he met me and had sex at 18, at an age where he felt mature enough and was with someone he really cared about.

And they've been dating for about six months. While I knew a lot of couples in high school who were going at it within weeks of dating, many of the ones I knew either haven't done anything by six months or they barely hit 2nd base.

All of you guys who keep calling Marshall gay because any heterosexual male would succumb to Karen's advances: stop basing your perception of ALL male behavior off of your own (and/or your friends). There are always exceptions.

And yeah, if it were Marshall pressuring Karen, the story would be way different. You wouldn't be hearing anyone calling Karen a lesbian.
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Postby ivy-chan on Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:25 am

I'm not sure that Marshall is a 'passionate' person. Whenever we see him, his expression is set at calm, with any emotion he shows downplayed. When he was angry, he looked it, but his features weren't contorted with rage. He expressed it mostly through of furrow of eyebrows and a frown. When he's speaking, he rarely if ever raises his voice, or speaks heatedly or intensely about something. He gives me the impression of being cool and collected, even when he's upset or yes, even in love. That level of control could imply past issues, or it could just be his personality. His chemistry, when we see it, is quieter, gentler and more subtle than Rich's, but more mature than Duane's. Duane's frenzied enthusiasm makes me think 'puppy love'. I think it's pretty unfair to say that Marshall's even subtly playing games with her, since that implies conscious thought.

The problem with 'him and her', so to speak, is that Karen has a warped idea of the way relationships are supposed to work and she thinks sex=love. That's a common misconception, so I'm hardly going to blame her for that. She wants self-assurance, which seems to be her only motivation through this comic. She won't be satisfied with him until he shows her love in the way *she* thinks it should be expressed, and he doesn't understand where she's coming from because she doesn't talk to him about it. I suspect this is because of her 'the only way to keep a guy like this is at arm's length' approach. What he's seeing is his girlfriend pressuring him to have sex, not a cry for reassurance and failing self-worth.

So, yes, there are personality issues on both sides of this relationship, but none of this could possibly excuse what Karen is doing here. There's fairness, but yes, sometimes the fault in a bad situation lies with one person, and not with both people. In this particular strip, in this event that we have seen here, the blame lies entirely with Karen.
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Postby Yawnitz on Sat Sep 16, 2006 8:27 pm

Kaymcc wrote:.. Wait, *what*? ... I don't even know what to say to this. Since when is it illegal in the US to enter a bathroom that's not of your gender? Why would the gym be investigated over a girl going to have a shower with her boyfriend? I'm reasonably sure that Charisma owns the gym, but even if she doesn't why would *she* be fired? Why would Marshall lose any cred? And HOW would Karen going into the shower to be with her boyfriend => making herself a target?
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As far as law goes, I might be thinking of a specific instance. After about 10 minutes searching on the web, I haven't found a specific law, but I would imagine it would fall under some kind of indecency law in this situation.

The girl is under-age. That's going to open a pretty bad can of worms by itself. If word gets out that there is a naked underage girl in a men's locker room, some police chief is going to wonder what kind of operation this gym is running. They'll start an investigation to, at the very least, make sure the gym isn't some cover for a child pornography ring.

If Charisma is, in fact, the owner, she's going to have a mess of PR damage control to do. If she's not the owner, then she'll have to answer for why she wasn't around to close, and allowed an underage girl to enter a men's locker room, strip, and make a pass at one of the staff.

This is one of those kind of things where my superiors, in the past, would have said, "If you were stupid enough to let something like this happen, couldn't you have been smart enough to at least not get caught?"

Trust me, this is a kind of trouble bigger than just one person.

If your head is still spinning, then just hear this:

Don't chase your significant other into a bathroom marked for the opposite gender just to get some booty. It's BAAAD.

Understand?
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Postby Trollroot on Sun Sep 17, 2006 12:25 pm

Heh. Its worked out well for me. Of course, its not going to be a big deal here.

And Karens hardly underage. http://pennyandaggie.com/d/20060804.html

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Postby Kaymcc on Mon Sep 18, 2006 8:25 pm

Woot! Thank you for pointing that out, Trollroot. :D So Karen's 18+, which means there's nothing illegal about her having sex.
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Postby Ollie_Vera on Mon Sep 18, 2006 8:46 pm

Uhm, no she's not. T said in the Ask T and G thread that the main cast are all in 10th grade, and somewhere else said that Penny is the oldest with her 17th birthday being closest.
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Postby Trollroot on Mon Sep 18, 2006 10:36 pm

I believe a direct statement in the comic itself trumphs that.

After all, if a writer had said in a letter column that he considered Superman a delusional mutant earthling, but never showed that in the comic, it would not be considered factual.

Also, is she main cast? She could be in a different grade, and possibly old for her grade. Also, the characters do age.
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Postby stregascozzese on Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:22 am

According to the "Ask T & Gis questions" thread, Karen is 16. Presumably this means the age of consent where Karen lives is also 16. I believe there are some parts of the US and Canada where this is the case, although I may be wrong. (I'm British, it's 16 here, ages of consent in other parts of the world are not my specialist subject.)
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Postby Pope William T Wodium on Tue Sep 19, 2006 1:34 am

Yar! Ol' Stregascozzese has the right of it. When me scurvy crew last set sail from me home port o' North Carolina, the wenchin' age was sixeen years. 'Leastways, in the eyes o' the law, 'twas. Arrr.
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Postby TCampbell on Tue Sep 19, 2006 4:36 am

Indeed. Karen is 16, and that removes certain legal considerations where she lives. (We're trying to be a little vague about where Belleville is in North America, exactly, but sometimes you have to pick a detail.)
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Postby MRodriguez on Tue Sep 19, 2006 6:50 am

God, you people are so judgemental. :P "Oh, he doesn't want to have sex. He's GAY." "Oh, she snuck into his shower. What a disrespectful BITCH."

Here's the thing. I'm a girl, and when I was a teenager, I wanted to wait until I was past my teens to have sex, mostly because my sister was a teenage mom and I didn't want to go the same route. However, if I had been dating a guy for six months, and he decided to sneak into my gym shower, I wouldn't have been really angry. Amused, more than anything, I would have definitely turned him down, but it would have been in an amused sort of way. That's because I'd have been dating him for a good long while and was comfortable with him. Part of any good romantic relationship is a good firm FRIENDSHIP, and friends do silly, kinda stupid shit sometimes, and real friends laugh it off. Now, if he had continued to come on to me after I said no, in the shower, that would be different.

If Marshall pitches a hissy fit and breaks up with Karen over this, then he's way too uptight and sort of an asshole. If Karen keeps on coming on to him after he tells her no and asks her to get out, then she's way out of line. As it is, neither Marshall nor Karen have done anything all that wrong. Maybe it was stupid of Karen to sneak into his shower, but hello, PEOPLE ARE STUPID. We've all done stupid shit, because hindsight is 20/20.

And there's plenty of reasons for a teenage guy not to want to have sex. We know nothing about Marshall. Maybe he's insecure about his size, maybe he's afraid he'd mess it up and come too soon, maybe he really IS saving himself for that special someone. (Though the swans would suggest he DOES think Karen is that special someone. Or they're way out of line too.) Sex, when you're a teenager, is a scary thing.
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Postby Freemage on Tue Sep 19, 2006 8:27 am

While there's considerable variance, in North America 16 does seem to be about average. There's also a lot of states where the age of consent is lower if the participants are within a certain age of one another--for instance, in some states that have 18 as the default, it's legal if one person is 16 and the other is less than five years older (ie, under 21).

Curious note: Many US states had laws banning same-sex relations. In order to prevent a 'misreading' of the law, their age-of-consent laws were passed specifically referring to heterosexual coupling. Thus, when the SCOTUS ruled that sodomy laws were no longer constitutional in the US, these same states were suddenly left without a law pertaining to age of consent on the suddenly LEGAL homosexual acts. I'm not sure how many of these states have caught up with the ruling, yet, since many of them like to be in denial about such things.
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Postby atristain on Tue Sep 19, 2006 1:20 pm

Shiver me timbers! The lass went for some booty!

She looks like she's ready to board that ship, and to let the lad use his cutlass on her, like she's under grog effects. Let's hope they and the owner beauty don't end up going to Davy Jone's locker!
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Postby Yawnitz on Wed Sep 20, 2006 11:12 am

Fine. You guys win. Marshall's a homosexual jerk and Karen is a misunderstood nympho.

Next time, I'll just argue my point with the anthill out in my back yard. I'll accomplish just as much.
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Postby Ollie_Vera on Wed Sep 20, 2006 3:36 pm

Yawnitz wrote:Fine. You guys win. Marshall's a homosexual jerk and Karen is a misunderstood nympho.

Who wins? There's just as many people who disagree with the statement as agree, or more.
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Postby TheTeague on Wed Sep 20, 2006 5:54 pm

I thought it was only like one or two people calling Marshal gay.

The rest of us are arguing communication in a relationship and psychological fitness of the couple.
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Postby JK9000 on Wed Sep 20, 2006 6:04 pm

I just want to know why people think it's strange/unfair for Marshall to be pissed off about his girlfriend attempting to force sexual relations when he's clearly and emphatically said he's not ready for such a thing.

No means no, folks. There's been no error of communications here, except on Karen's side.
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Postby TheTeague on Wed Sep 20, 2006 6:08 pm

He has every right and reason to be pissed off.

And Karen has every reason to be frustrated and insecure because of him (but not the right to do what she's done).
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Postby Trollroot on Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:00 pm

They are trying everything for the first time. Perfection in the etiquette may be too much to ask.
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Postby Freemage on Thu Sep 21, 2006 3:16 pm

*Nods as Teague explains it. Again.* Just how long ago was the last serious 'marshal is gay' post? I'm just curious, 'cause I'm getting tired of getting lumped in with those folks.
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Postby Yawnitz on Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:40 pm

Ollie_Vera wrote:
Yawnitz wrote:Fine. You guys win. Marshall's a homosexual jerk and Karen is a misunderstood nympho.

Who wins? There's just as many people who disagree with the statement as agree, or more.


I think I was really tired when I made that post. Regardless, I think I'm going to lurk for awhile after that outburst.
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Postby TheTeague on Fri Sep 22, 2006 10:29 pm

Yawnitz wrote:
Ollie_Vera wrote:
Yawnitz wrote:Fine. You guys win. Marshall's a homosexual jerk and Karen is a misunderstood nympho.

Who wins? There's just as many people who disagree with the statement as agree, or more.


I think I was really tired when I made that post. Regardless, I think I'm going to lurk for awhile after that outburst.


Someone needs to do a public service announcement about posting under the influence or duress.
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