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Spark Comic 87
April 13th, 2016
Spark Comic #87 - Brain Love

... At least, that's how I hear it feels anyway... Maybe... ;)

This is statement is my brain... This is my brain on a rant. Despite the satirical imagery you may be wondering the purpose of this comic and the statement at the end. I’d like to address a rather serious matter.

I’m sure many of us have felt our brains on love. We all have feelings for people at some point in time; it's just how life is. When we like or love someone, it can make our brains turn to mush or feel like it's getting strangled we can be unable to think straight. It may cloud our thoughts or inspire us do stupid, silly things. However, no matter what your feelings or the outcome, it never excuses bullshit behaviour towards people.

Throughout my life, I’ve witnessed to plenty of inappropriate behaviour by others towards people who are romantically disinterested or in toxic relationships. Such actions can take the form of harassment, abuse, or worse. Breaking up, remaining in a bad relationship, or even simply rejecting a person can cause an angry stir. This affects both women and men. I take these offenses VERY seriously. Despite my lack of having formal relationship at this time of writing, these issues have affected me. Every time I see such actions towards people, especially involving my friends, I am frustrated. I am frustrated not just because we live in a world where people do not realize the evils of their own behaviour, but because I am often the only one in a circle of people who refuses to tolerate such conduct and does something about it. Frustrated because no one else has the courage speak against such issues when they happen. Frustrated because, even when it's not my business, I am the only one who acknowledges the problem when people are threatened. I have had friends, often who have rejected someone romantically interested in them or gone through a break-up, be harassed in front of me and not only have I been the only one to do anything about those situations, but I have to face the social consequences of onlookers, sometimes those I respect, insisting that I shouldn’t have acted or that there was no such issue or lying to themselves and others to justify hypocrisy. I have no fear against such cowardice nor regret my efforts, but I am frustrated that I’ve had to get involved in these situations, blatantly or discretely, by myself. I don’t understand why people do these things. I’ve been rejected romantically numerous times and while I was surely disappointed, I’ve never felt any compulsion to hurt them or fight their decision. I don’t understand how many people neither seem to recognize these problems nor know better to never instigate them in the first place. What I do understand is I can’t be the only one who sees and acts on these kinds of problems anymore. You need to be that person. People need to realize that no matter how clouded their mind is when their brain is on love, there is no excuse for any form of harassment, abuse, or harm and have mutual respect and consent.

I did not make this comic or write this essay to gloat about my actions or call myself a hero. I made this comic because I recognize how great and blinding love can be, no matter the gender. I made it because it can cloud our judgment, kill our ability to think, appear unable to breathe, make us feel different, and make us feel strong, yet vulnerable. But I also made it because I’ve seen a merely fraction of what those feelings can do to people and how they can be used to terrorize others. I made this to vent my frustrations as I remember seeing people watch idly by as these things unfold. I've seen people deeply discouraged and traumatized from such experiences. It cannot be tolerated.

If you ask someone out and they reject you, accept it and respect their decision. They have every right to not reciprocate your feelings or ask you to go away if they feel uncomfortable. If they just want to be friends, what’s wrong with that? The friend zone does not exist and there is no shame in friendship; friendship is awesome. If they tell you no for something at any point in a relationship or end it, then like it or not, you must respect that. Know your boundaries. You are never entitled to someone’s feelings and if it's not meant to be then it's simply not meant to be. Some people may consider this common sense, and I once thought it was, however, time after time, I’ve seen far too much in my short life suggesting otherwise. Relationships, even platonic ones, need to be built on mutual consent and respect. Don’t be an asshole.

This is not just exclusive to your own relationship. This all begins with us. How we act affects the society around us. I am tired of being the only one unashamed to take a stand against toxic attitudes such as this and it’s more than just relationship issues. Be it sexual harassment, abuse, bigotry, racism, sexism or the like, we must lead by example. Perhaps we cannot solve everyone’s problems, nor should we have to, but we can help and defend people, directly or indirectly, and be there to listen and support them when trouble arises. We cannot keep silent and enable the aggressor/oppressor with cowardice and inaction. We must stand together in the spirit of respect and common decency. We must hold both others and ourselves to a high standard by principle to discourage wrongful behaviour. We must let it be known those who are mistreated are equal human beings worthy of courtesy and respect. I could’ve made any comic for today, but I thought it important to express my thoughts. Dear Reader, I ask that you be that person who helps others in need, however you see fit. When you have the power to so, do the right thing. Do that and perhaps we can truly can do something to make the world a better place.

I hope this comic and this rant have made you think. See you next comic.