Photo of me reading Gary Larson's The Far Side Gallery to my daughter.
Almost from the first time I saw it in original form this comic has represented the relationship between men, feminism, and anti-feminist agitators.
The bulls in the pen, with the best of all possible intentions, exhort their doomed companion to be distracted by the cape when to the extent bulls have a way out of the ring at all they need to go for the matador instead.
- The cape doesn't hate, fear, or make sport of the bull.
- Even when the bull manages to trample, gore, and shred the cape as they sometimes do his misery and danger will never be relieved.
- The matador uses the cape to enrage and distract the bull.
- The crowd uses cape, bull, and matador for its benefit.
- Occasionally the matador is hurt... not so much when the bull gets lucky, though, as when the matador is unlucky or "goes too far."
- It's almost impossible for the men and women in the audience to be hurt by a bull.
- On the rare occasions it is it's considered the work of a "deranged individual."
- The whole enterprise is a barbaric sport.
It's still not a perfect analogy, obvously. For one thing a bull can't make common cause with a cape. Men, on the other hand, could find plenty of common cause with feminism.