Comic 1139 - Nicknames

29th Mar 2019, 10:08 AM in Ch. 37 - Prom Night
Average Rating: 5 (4 votes)
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Author Notes:

Jocelyn 29th Mar 2019, 10:08 AM edit delete
Today, we see Rob, Devon, and Holly interacting. Debbie is also present, but curiously, she doesn't say much of anything. Lots of talk about the "Rain and Chanel getting in together" thing too. Hmm...

As a friendly reminder, Ryan can absolutely be an androgynous name. So it's not out of the realm of possibility for Devon and Holly to find nothing unusual about what they assume to be Rain's "real name". That said, as someone who only learned of the name's gender neutral nature in more recent years (I thought it was a strictly male name for a long time), Rob's reaction isn't implausible either. Different people know things differently, after all.

Admittedly, this page is mostly a little more stage setting for future scenes, but I'd like to hear your thoughts on everything all the same.

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Kyle 29th Mar 2019, 10:40 AM edit delete reply
I agree that Ryan can be an androgynous name, but the fact that someone shallow and misinformed like Rob is openly talking about it makes me nervous. I get the feeling Rob will have an inward realization about Rain or Ky, or worse, both, and blurt it out for everyone to hear. Either that, or Debbie's anger toward Rain will reach a boiling point and she'll reveal her secret to everyone, should Rain win prom queen, or if she has a spotlight dance with Emily.
bgb16999 29th Mar 2019, 11:38 AM edit delete reply
If anyone on this page is going to confront Rain about her name, I expect it to be Debbie based on past actions. And that will probably lead to the confrontation between Debbie and Emily that's been brewing for a long time.
bpn 29th Mar 2019, 12:16 PM edit delete reply
The gender distribution for the name Ryan in applications for new Social Security numbers has been skewing less male for a while now. If I remember right, in 2017, a little over 9.1% of Ryan applications were female.

(Background 1: I tracked down the Social Security name/gender distribution dataset for a weird project at work a while back. Background 2: I recently learned a Ryan I've been working with is a lady, and so specifically looked it up in the data.)
Guest 29th Mar 2019, 1:08 PM edit delete reply
Holly, don't ever change.
DocMesa 29th Mar 2019, 1:34 PM edit delete reply
Rain could always say that it just an unusual spelling of "Rian", a common female name?
Nellis 30th Mar 2019, 12:05 AM edit delete reply
I was going to say something similar, that Rain could claim that it's an American misspelling of Rhian, just like how Sean and Siobhan are often misspelled "Shawn" and "Chevonne". Additionally, "Ryan" is the male version of Rhian, giving a convenient out to explain why she has a traditionally (at least in America) male legal name.
bpn 30th Mar 2019, 1:50 PM edit delete reply
'Shawn' isn't a misspelled version of 'Sean'. If someone is named 'Shawn', their name is spelled 'Shawn'.

The etymological origin of 'Shawn' may have been 'Sean', but a person's name IS their name. It's important to always recognize that. Rain may have chosen 'Rain' as an adaptation of 'Ryan', but her name is Rain.
Nellis 31st Mar 2019, 11:50 AM edit delete reply
It appears that you're (unnecessarily aggressively) agreeing with what I said, but mistook what I *meant*. I should have said "Anglicized" but the word escaped me at the moment. While the names "Shawn" and "Chevonne" certainly exist, their origin comes from their Anglicization over time, which Rain could use to explain to others why her name is currently legally listed as Ryan (assuming she's even aware of this at all).

The other possibility is that you're just being an SJW, but I'd prefer to believe that you simply misunderstood my post rather than think that you're a member of that rancid dumpster fire.
bpn 1st Apr 2019, 12:53 AM edit delete reply
I multiclass Social Justice Wizard and Social Justice Rogue. And if you consider social justice to be a "rancid dumpster fire," I guess we're done here because we have nothing more to say to each other.
Guest 1st Apr 2019, 10:24 AM edit delete reply
So, you're saying you're a reactionary MRA lover opposed to change or any improvement to the social climate?
guest 1st Apr 2019, 10:30 AM edit delete reply

So, you're saying you're a reactionary MRA lover opposed to change or any improvement to the social climate.
Liro BP 3rd Apr 2019, 2:31 AM edit delete reply
Before this gets out of hand, let's all take a moment to make sure everybody is on the same page as to what Social Justice Warriors are (video her for the TL;DR folks: )

The actual meaning of "Social Justice Warrior" has changed several times, and even now depends on context.

Originally the term was positive, with figures such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi being described as such when praised for their work in bringing justice and equality to oppressed groups. Examples of its use as a term of praise go back as far as 1824, and this continued to be the meaning of the term up until around 2011.

In 2011 several events, primarily Gamergate, led to the term becoming a pejorative. Many began to use the term to describe people who were overly sensitive and quick to insult anyone who said something they perceived as attacking or oppressing some group of people, even when it wasn't warranted. Basically, anyone who overreacted to a perceived slight against a person or group of people.

Currently, the term "Social Justice Warrior" is a pejorative term for an individual who repeatedly and vehemently engages in arguments on social justice on the Internet, often in a shallow or not well-thought-out way, for the purpose of raising their own personal reputation. A social justice warrior, or SJW, does not necessarily strongly believe all that they say, or even care about the groups they are fighting on behalf of. They typically repeat points from whoever is the most popular blogger or commenter of the moment, hoping that they will become popular in turn. They are very sure to adopt stances that are "correct" in their social circle, and any opinion that does not completely match their own is "wrong". Most legitimate Rights Groups have policies that discourage or prohibit bullying, threats, intimidation, harrassment, and other common SJW tactics.

However, the term has continued to evolve. While the previous definition sometimes applies, and the first definition rarely, it's now often used in the same way as the term "check your privilege". Calling someone an SJW is to point out that that person is making an argument which, regardless of whether it's valid or not, is done so in a needlessly aggressive and antagonizing way, which will likely do more harm to their cause than good. Excessive use of the term is slowly turning it into a meaningless insult.
Quin 3rd Apr 2019, 5:25 AM edit delete reply
@Liro BP
Just because GGers and their ilk have tried to redefine what being a social justice warrior means does not mean that the rest of the world agrees. I am proud to be called an SJW by almost anyone. Those who mean it in the original manner are my friends. Those who seek to redefine it often resort to calling me such because they don't want to engage with the facts and opinions I bring with me.

You claim SJWs are the ones without facts and who argue in bad faith. I counter that those refusing to converse with anyone they label "an evil SJW" are committing ad hominem attacks; they should instead focus on the facts.
Liro BP 3rd Apr 2019, 10:20 AM edit delete reply
I'm not "claiming" anything. These definitions are the currently commonly accepted definitions being used on the internet in general (not necessarily in the real, non-internet word). If a person who doesn't know what an SJW is were to Google "what is an SJW" or "SJW meaning", the majority of first-page results come up with the second pejorative definition, which is causing the widespread shift.

However, the *real* problem is that those who use the "current" definition of SJW are generally referring to those who would more accurately be called "Counterproductive Social Justice Warriors" or CSJWs, the ones who call themselves SJWs but behave in that counterproductive manner. Unfortunately, CSJWs tend to be much more vocal and attract more attention than the original kind of SJW, and so people tend to associate their behavior with *all* SJWs, especially on the internet where CSJWs are more common due to the anonymity of the web.

It would be much easier if we were able to create a proper official definition, but of course CSJWs only see themselves as SJWs and view attempts to do so as being targeted by the part of the SJW community that has the "wrong" view. Because the word "Warrior" sounds aggressive and often brings to mind the antagonistic methods of CSJWs, some SJWs have begun to start calling themselves "Social Justice Advocates" or "Advocates for Social Justice" to try to distance themselves from the CSJW minority group that has been so eloquently dubbed "that rancid dumpster fire" above. (It's probably not apparent due to the medium of text, but I'm saying the word "eloquently" here with big sarcasm quotes.)

It appears to me that you and I are in agreement as to what the definition *should* be, but (likely due to the limited medium of text via a webcomic comment section (which in turn may not necessarily be the place for it)), it does kind of look like we're arguing against each other, which I don't think is either of our intent.
Lynn 29th Mar 2019, 1:44 PM edit delete reply
Devon and Holly's reactions to finding out Rain's "real" name make me hopeful for the rest of the class, too. Devon seems like a good litmus test for the average student, and Holly provides a nice explanation for the discrepancy. Now the questions are how will Debbie react (having already developed suspicions that Rain is trans), and how will *Rain* react herself to finding out her dead name is spreading.

I have a feeling that Rain hasn't thought through and practiced an excuse like the one Holly provided, and she's likely to freak out if someone asks her about it thinking they've caught on to her. But maybe if Holly asks her about it in just the right way (i.e. "Hey Rain! Is Rain a nickname for "Ryan"?"), she can pick up on it and roll with it. Like Devon and Holly demonstrate, "Ryan" isn't strictly a male name, so she doesn't have to admit to being trans or even lie about her birth name!

Debbie, on the other hand... well, we'll see.
lanodan 29th Mar 2019, 8:29 PM edit delete reply
Aaaaah this is actually quite great.

Because well, while Debbie might throw shit at some point the current status quo could be that it’s just a nickname and so if Debbie tries shit she could hopefully not manage to get approval of others on that. *could go much further on nerding about how Rain current status there kinda works well here*
Guest 29th Mar 2019, 8:39 PM edit delete reply
Can anyone point me to the comic where Debbie got suspicious about Rain? I don't remember how far back it was, and I would like to re-read it. (I think they were in the school bathroom together?) Thanks!
Plellersketti 30th Mar 2019, 12:47 AM edit delete reply
After The Haircut, she thought it made Rain look kind of boyish, but she wasn't suspicious yet.

Her suspicion was triggered by Holly's attempted joke some time after Emily went public with her pregnancy.

And then she confronted Rain in the bathroom shortly after.
Guest 30th Mar 2019, 10:32 PM edit delete reply
Thank you!
Guest 30th Mar 2019, 2:02 AM edit delete reply
Ryan can easily be a girl's name, even if it's traditionally a boy's name. Shannon is traditionally a boy's name, but there's most likely a girl named Shannon at the prom right now.
Long-Time Lurker 31st Mar 2019, 3:49 PM edit delete reply
It depends on where you live. In America, Shannon skews 90% women, but I think it's a lot closer to neutral in Ireland.
Merrie 10th Jul 2019, 10:47 PM edit delete reply
I went to elementary school with a boy named Shannon who had a brother named Kelsey. Most people I've met with those names are female though.
Catlife333 30th Mar 2019, 2:09 PM edit delete reply
I know 2 different women who have the names Ryan, so I don’t think it’s that unusual. That said, both of the 2 women are fairly young and I think their families are more progressive.
Guest 30th Mar 2019, 6:15 PM edit delete reply
I know a lot of people with the name Ryan of all genders. Like Ryan Ashley from Ink Masters.
Fourth Nate 1st Apr 2019, 8:38 AM edit delete reply
I've been looking at popular androgynous names in the US as a hobby, and it's interesting. Ryan is has been increasingly popular as a name for baby girls in the US, but only in the last decade or two, so while it's definitely androgynous now, most Americans probably haven't met an adult woman named Ryan. I find a lot of transgender people encounter similar ideas, since our names are often chosen later, and name popularity and usage changes over time
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