[30/10/06] It's part of a healthy lifestyle

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

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Postby Briseis on Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:23 pm

XerxesTWD wrote:Apparently, I'm in some kind of minority, but Karen is becoming one of my most favorite characters in webcomicdom.


Yeah... personally I'm just not keen on the whole "Performs sexual acts on people against their active refusal of consent" aspect of her personality...

Then she appeals to his protectiveness and then slides her hand up before he can stop her.

He clearly was conflicted, but Karen's personality is stronger than his, and he wants Karen. He wants her badly, he just isn't entirely sure how to cope with it. When she takes the initiative, he can continue his metrosexual personality and kind of blame it on her if things go poorly because of this.

Is what Karen did wrong? I don't think so. He wanted it, and she wants to control someone beautiful because the beautiful people steered the way her life went for so long. Now she has that venue because her will was stronger than his.


So what you're saying is that he just needed a bit of persuasion, he wanted it really, he was just saying no to make some lip service to some unimportant principles of his, he didn't really mean it?

And after all is said and done he can say that she was the perpetrator. Of course it'll all be a happy make believe game, since we all knew he really wanted it, but he can at least try.

What a brilliant idea, what shall we call this game?
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Postby missMagdalena on Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:25 pm

MRodriguez wrote:*headdesk* Karen. I still love you. But go see a psychologist. Now. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. You'll be happier, and everyone around you will be happier, I promise.


Amen!

I agree wholeheartedly with whoever it was who mentioned that we haven't seen Karen express her affection in any non-physical way since the beginning. So, in other words, Karen shows how she feels through physicality, while Marshall prefers to evaluate his emotions and express them through words. So Marshall thinks just saying "I love you" is enough, but Karen, well, she's admitted it's not enough for her.

Up to this strip, I would have taken this one step further. I would have said the Karen, the physical one, equated sex with love, and therefore needed Marshall to prove his emotions.

However, this strip has made it pretty clear that getting love from Marshall is not her primary goal. Which means, well... yeah, she needs major therapy.
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Postby JK9000 on Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:29 pm

Graghamnxnkds.

I've been saying this forever. Karen = NO GOOD.

(Not as a character, obviously; she's exciting. Most terrible people are)

You heard her. "The power." It's a power trip, the same feeling of domination men who rape women are after.
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Postby Yawnitz on Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:54 pm

KiZeR wrote:I still say he's gay. He was in the guy's locker room, lots of hot sweaty naked men to look at. I bet he didn't look down once.

Rofl! Maybe Marshall should've gone to the women's bathroom to begin with. The absurdity of your comment is what makes it great!
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Postby iRobot on Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:55 pm

Briseis wrote:Yeah... personally I'm just not keen on the whole "Performs sexual acts on people against their active refusal of consent" aspect of her personality...


You, too? ;)
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Postby Sebastian on Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:01 pm

XerxesTWD wrote:That's part of why I enjoy Karen so much.

She's so flawed and interesting, her every action seems to cause a slew of threads.

Xerxes, as a character I like Karen, too, it is as a person that I think she is filth. :)
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Postby Briseis on Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:01 pm

iRobot wrote:
Briseis wrote:Yeah... personally I'm just not keen on the whole "Performs sexual acts on people against their active refusal of consent" aspect of her personality...


You, too? ;)


Yes, me too! I don't know why, something about it just makes her seem generally unpleasant ;)
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Postby StarKruzr on Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:24 pm

isobel wrote:Too bad that these two people, alone or together, do not have a healthy lifestyle. And also too bad that Karen does not in fact care about being healthy, she cares about Karen. Baby wants shiny toy, baby takes shiny toy, even if that means taking it from another child.


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Postby ZillahLewis on Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:40 pm

ParaChan wrote:Anyways, her "change" bothers me because I've seen WAY too many teen movies with the same story line. (geeky girl gets make over from popular girls and turns into a complete she dog)

That is annoying. Though, really, that's the way people are. Everyone uses each other; Karen's just crossed that line and taken it into control freak mode. And I can't stand her for it, no, I can't. ><

iRobot wrote:
ParaChan wrote:Why can't he see her for who she is? He should be able to no matter how fake she pretends to be. True colors show through even the thickest lies. I just hope that Marshal realizes it soon because his character is very sweet. patient. kind. I mean, come on.

Sometimes you overlook someone's flaws because you can see their potential. Sometimes, when you fall in love, you become blinded by that potential and you refuse to admit their flaws--even to yourself. You see it, but you don't want to see it. Because you love them.
Denial is a bitch.

Yeah, that happens a lot in abusive relationships, doesn't it?

SatoshiSaotome wrote:You may all start your hate flaming, and castrating of my genitals now...

Wow. This guy hit the nail right on the head on this one, didn't he? I was afraid of a feminazi war starting up in here for a moment there. He shouldn't have generalized, but, sheesh. If you don't say he's somewhat right, at least about you using others by whatever means you know will work, you've got to know you're lying to yourself. Like I said, we human beings use each other. It's not always in a bad way; I'm sure a lot of us let others know we're convincing them to do things for us, but it happens. We do it. Perhaps not by primarily using our gender, but in some way, yes. It's true. I don't dress in revealing clothes at all, I don't wear makeup, and hair care is strictly on a feel-good basis for me. But, I mean, I pout or whine every once in a while when I'm trying to get something. I do it to both female friends and guy friends, and it works more on guy friends. However, I'm not going to say, "No, I'm not that kind of person, that kind of person is the devil and a bane of womankind," and not get what I want when I know I can. If someone really, truly doesn't want to share food with me or help me out, I'll drop it, which is what Karen refused to do, but I'm not going to say I don't at least try.
Even if he did mean "all chiks r teh Devllllee!!!11!", you couldn't honestly make it out to be that from his post. He made an enthusiastic post that didn't include one word, and someone practically ate him up because of it. Which is utterly ridiculous.

Briseis wrote:Yeah... personally I'm just not keen on the whole "Performs sexual acts on people against their active refusal of consent" aspect of her personality...

Nice, nice.

XerxesTWD wrote:Apparently, I'm in some kind of minority, but Karen is becoming one of my most favorite characters in webcomicdom.

Karen's such a fun character to read, but as a person I think she needs help. I've said it many times before, but I do not think she's in the right in any of this.
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Postby GreenKore on Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:51 pm

Part of a healthy lifestyle...messing around in the locker room shower of a gym... Ha. Healthy. Ha ha.

Yeah, that's a pun, there.

...No, I don't have much to contribute to the forum. Most of what I want to say about Karen, Marshall, and their rendezvous has been said. To death.
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Postby Aderyn on Mon Oct 30, 2006 4:02 pm

I've been watching this forum for awhile and have especially been following this subject with interest, because Karen started off (for me) as such a sympathetic character who eventually became someone ... I'm not going to say evil, because that is such a big jump, but generally a very selfish and manipulative person. She would probably do really well with a therapist, but only after Marshall dumps her and she realizes what her selfish actions are going to get her -- pain and misery and the loss of someone very special.

Originally I could sympathize a lot with her mindset because I have very similar low self-esteem issues as well as an enormous libido (*blush!*) -- sex, for me, is more than just a physical act -- it's a deep emotional connection that expresses very overtly the love and trust I feel for my boyfriend. But to force it on another person -- and gender shouldn't matter, she's forcing the issue on someone who is not ready, and the legality of the act aside, it is not something a mature individual that truly loves someone should do to the object of their affection. And if you're not mature and you don't love that other person then, in my humble opinion, you shouldn't have sex with them.

However, the reason I'm posting! ^^ And for all that rambling -- I think that the last panel really isn't as horrible as people are reading it. Getting a guy off using just your hands and/or your mouth is a very empowering feeling, imho, and I think that T & G did a really good job of Karen experiencing that for the first time. There is nothing inherently sexual about the hands and yet she was able to use them to bring sexual pleasure to her guy, and one can feel a great deal of power in that. Now, if all she wants is power over Marshall, that's wrong, and ikky, unless he's a willing participant in a dominance fantasy (which he obviously isn't!) and the expression on her face is very ... scary. But to experience a fleeting feeling of joy and power after getting a guy off isn't neccessarily wrong or ikky or scary at all.

I think what makes Karen such an ambiguous character is we're not always sure what her motives really are. Is she really vulnerable, or is she just pretending to be to manipulate people and get her way? There is a bit of truth included in all her falsehoods that makes her hard to read. And which also makes her such a very fun character to discuss!

But I'm done now. Promise!
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Postby solemnitude on Mon Oct 30, 2006 4:18 pm

[quote="SatoshiSaotome"]A woman using sex to gain power?! My god! I never hear of such a thing! Alert the presses! The very fabric of time and space will unravel!

*The total level of sarcasm drowns everyone*

While few would ever admit it, women use sex on a daily basis as a tool for power.

At work you
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Postby solemnitude on Mon Oct 30, 2006 4:29 pm

Aderyn wrote:However, the reason I'm posting! ^^ And for all that rambling -- I think that the last panel really isn't as horrible as people are reading it. Getting a guy off using just your hands and/or your mouth is a very empowering feeling, imho, and I think that T & G did a really good job of Karen experiencing that for the first time. There is nothing inherently sexual about the hands and yet she was able to use them to bring sexual pleasure to her guy, and one can feel a great deal of power in that. Now, if all she wants is power over Marshall, that's wrong, and ikky, unless he's a willing participant in a dominance fantasy (which he obviously isn't!) and the expression on her face is very ... scary. But to experience a fleeting feeling of joy and power after getting a guy off isn't neccessarily wrong or ikky or scary at all.


I agree that a feeling of power is natural, especially if it's something new, and agree about the expression on her face ... want to say also, that focusing on that powerful feeling after the person she claims to love is obviously confused and upset ... that shows an incredible lack of sensitivity. Which was pretty obvious throughout the whole sordid scene, but that last moment is rather telling. I would think all feelings of pride and power would flee at that final sign of his discomfort and unwillingness.
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Postby Tsarevna_Erin on Mon Oct 30, 2006 4:53 pm

solemnitude wrote:There's been no indication of real sentiment on her part, as was stated by previous posters, but also - there's no indication of how his attachment grew. It seems more than anything, he wants to be in love and attach himself to someone, and her forceful approach made her the first real possible object of desire.


This is interesting, and I never thought of it before. Though, I'm not really sure I can agree that her approach was forceful. She was uncertain and faltering in Weights, when they first got together, and she went out of her way to appear aloof, thinking that the way to hold on to Marshall was to keep him at arm's length. Some things probably have changed, but Karen still doesn't appear to be the clinging girlfriend. Penny got on the nerves of Rich's friends because she was around all the time - Karen seems to, in some respects, have a life apart from Marshall. She was flirting in the Celebrity Poker arc with other guys and schmoozing with other people at her birthday bash. On the running trail and in the gym is probably the only time that she sticks very close to him.

I also wonder what Karen's motive is. In the Karen/Marshall arcs before this, she seemed to care a lot. I think that she "thinks" she is being a good girlfriend in bringing Marshall "out of his shell." But she is so blinded by the power trip. It's almost like Marshall is on some to do list of hers that she's checking off - lose weight, be beautiful, get popular, bag hot guy, screw said guy - and that puzzles me, because she didn't go into this relationship, IMO, wanting just an easy "score."
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Postby isobel on Mon Oct 30, 2006 5:52 pm

Another point this strip raised, at least to me, is where Marshall is going. He might go off for a run or to be alone a while, or he might seek out someone for advice or a sounding board. The question is, who? Charisma is older and maybe a mentor figure to him as his boss, and we don't know for sure if she's involved in Marshall's sex-related issues. We don't know his friends, but maybe we'll find out who in the cast he knows here. We might meet his family if he goes home, or meet the girl who did this to him. I'd be terrified of him meeting Aggie and spilling this, simply because she doesn't have the objectivity to do anything but make it worse, despite her good intentions-- plus she might listen to her shoulder-angel and try to "go get 'im," which would be an utter disaster. I'd be interested to see him chat with Penny, since she did try to help Aggie over a similar thing earlier, and she's got a lot more maturity than we likely thought (I'm thinking of the strips after Karen's party, where she's reflecting on the problems help has caused Karen). Of course, my top pick would be Katy-Ann, because she seems to have the long view on teenage dating, but I doubt very much that would happen.
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Postby TeaSlinky on Mon Oct 30, 2006 5:59 pm

[quote="SatoshiSaotome"]*insert beginning of post here*
....So frankly, I don
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Postby Tsarevna_Erin on Mon Oct 30, 2006 6:31 pm

isobel wrote: I'd be terrified of him meeting Aggie and spilling this, simply because she doesn't have the objectivity to do anything but make it worse, despite her good intentions-- plus she might listen to her shoulder-angel and try to "go get 'im," which would be an utter disaster.


While this does seem to set up nicely for an arc where Marshall, reeling from this, goes running and runs into Aggie who is still dazed from hearing her father have phone sex with an as-yet unindentified woman, I really don't think T and Gisele will go down that road, because it has too much potential to dead-end the story right there. It could work out that Marshall confides in Aggie, realises that she, not Karen, is "the one," they get close, and Nick introduces her to his new girlfriend - Marshall's mom. Forget the idea that it's soap-operish - teen life is - it just sort of stops things right there for both Marshall AND Aggie. So I think whatever happens next, Aggie will not be involved. I like the idea upthread that someone posed that Aggie should discover that she doesn't need Marshall and that he's not right for her. That might be the punch line if there is a situation where Marshall and Agggie bump into each other after all this.

I would like to see him talk to someone, too, but I really don't know who. Penny is an interesting choice, but she can't stand him for torpedoing her embarass-Karen attempt at the birthday party. I wonder if he HAS any friends outside of his clients at the gym. Now might be a good time to introduce some.
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Postby SatoshiSaotome on Mon Oct 30, 2006 7:45 pm

Listen.

I know there is varying degrees. And there is an exception to every rule. But face it. Think back to High school. Think about work.

Can you honestly tell me, that the "stereotypical" pretty girls never used sex eh?

If you're not one of those "pretty" girls, can you honestly say the green eyed monster has never snuck into your thoughts and you wished you were "pretty" and able to "manipulate" that super sexy ass hole Jock you had a crush on even though he was banging half the cheer leaders and couldn't pass basic math to save his life.

The fact is people use other people. Women more often then not use what they got.

I worked in a kitchen for most of my high school and college life. The girls whom wore the skimpier tops, and were "dolled up" earned FAR larger tips then the girls who had their tops fully buttoned and didn
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Postby Ollie_Vera on Mon Oct 30, 2006 7:48 pm

No hate here. It's true.

Also.

My name is Snu: KAREN GAVE MARSHALL A HANDJOB IN THE MEN'S LOCKERS
My name is Snu: :OO
theabsurdMC: OH NO HAND AIDS
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Postby isobel on Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:00 pm

Satoshi, I don't think anyone's saying that some girls don't use sex to get things. I think everyone here has either been through high school or is in it now, and that's physical capitalism at its crassest (well, depending on where you go to college, but let us not get into that). We know it happens, from the churlish and stupid quarterback breaking girls' hearts right and left to the stereotypical teen bimbo emptying the pockets of any boy dumb enough to date her. But does that make it any less contemptible? Geez, I sure as hell hope not. Part of the distaste I feel (can't speak for anyone else here) for Karen is that she really is a walking stereotype, and her grasp of gender/high-school politics is as crude as it comes, but still correct. I think anyone that out-and-out exploitative, greedy and devoid of personality (whatever she was like before, Karen has pretty much reduced herself to a body at this point) should have something pull them up short. Maybe they won't learn, but the person who does the pulling will be spared further hurt at their hands.

Basically, we know there are girls-- and guys, let's be fair-- like Karen who will sell their bodies for any kind of gain. But the real-life ones are just as icky as Karen is, and we dislike 'em all.
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Postby Freemage on Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:13 pm

Tsarevna_Erin wrote:
I also wonder what Karen's motive is. In the Karen/Marshall arcs before this, she seemed to care a lot. I think that she "thinks" she is being a good girlfriend in bringing Marshall "out of his shell." But she is so blinded by the power trip. It's almost like Marshall is on some to do list of hers that she's checking off - lose weight, be beautiful, get popular, bag hot guy, screw said guy - and that puzzles me, because she didn't go into this relationship, IMO, wanting just an easy "score."


This was quite insightful. Note her thoughts towards the end of 'weights': "Now what?"

She got to the end of her checklist, and then... nothing. She was still insecure, still needy, still trying to deal with a decade of having her self-esteem bashed by herself and others. So... if nothing else on the list worked, what could she... OH! Of course! She needed to get Marshall to the point where he 'couldn't think'! THAT would prove that she was in control of her own life, once and for all.

Oh, and one other comment:

Say what you will about Karen, but she's sure as hell good for these Forums. We've had, what, half a dozen or more new people join just from the last two Karen/Marshall strips? Welcome to one and all.
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Postby SatoshiSaotome on Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:21 pm

I dont believe I ever mentioned that I like Karen for what she did. I simply find her to be realistic, as much as I may hate her, I can respect the realism.

Believe me, I detest women who purposly use their sexual powers for evil. I also know that not everyone uses their power for the dark side... the Darth Sluts.

But the are plenty of women who rarely use any sexual powers for gain... but come on... what girl hasn't give a pout to a guy to get his muffin, or to go and buy her meal while she sat at the cafeteria table.

Men are weak minded... we are fooled by the darkside easily.

But hey...

On the reverse coin you are right. There are men who can coil women around their finger. Though this is by far more rare in comparison of ratios, but not unheard of.

How many times my female friends have been drawn in by guys who were complete and utter assholes, but had a handsome face and were smooth talkers, used them and left them.... god... if only I had a nickle for every time...


In the end.

Use the power of the Sex for good people! For the love of the god!


May the Sex-force be with you...


Wow... I dont even LIKE star wars... I'm more of a star trek fan...
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Postby CassSpaz on Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:36 pm

See, now if you have phrased your posts more like that, you wouldn't have had a horde of angry ladies. :wink:

And I laughed out loud at that post. May the force be with you. :lol: You're my last hope, etc. etc.
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Postby LeonardC on Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:50 pm

SatoshiSaotome wrote:Hate me if you will, but you can't deny that there is at the very least SOME truth to what I am saying.


Your big problem is you didn't use that word "some" in your first post, as was already pointed out. Some women use sex for power? Of course. That's pretty obvious to me. Not all of them do. That's equally obvious. And since your first post didn't acknowledge that, you earned whatever hate you got for it.
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Postby SatoshiSaotome on Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:53 pm

Sure. I could have said it plain and clear at the start.

But then... there would have been no crazy hijinks that followed.
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