1756: I'm With Her

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I'm With Her
We can do this.
Title text: We can do this.


[edit] Explanation

In this serious, no joke, comic released the day before the 2016 United States presidential election (which was more contentious than most, due in part to many people finding both candidates unusually distasteful), Randall urged his American viewership to vote, and showed his endorsement for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee in the election. She was up against the Republican nominee Donald Trump, who ended up winning. For the sake of completeness, it should be mentioned that there were also nominees from other parties, including Green Party nominee Jill Stein, and Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson. Neither hoped to garner enough votes to become president, but there was a chance they could affect the result in some states (no third-party candidate has won a state since 1968 - and it did not occur this time either - the closest any came in 2016 was independent candidate Evan McMullin in Utah.)

It was the second time Randall referred to this election, the first being 1748: Future Archaeology three weeks before the election, but here it was just a wish to know the result using time travel (of course he did not learn the result back then…).

The "H" with an arrow was Clinton's campaign logo, and I'm with her an official slogan that was widely used by her supporters, hence the title. Randall then lists tips to help you cast your vote (see table below) suggesting a personal investment in the election. Clinton herself may be represented by Blondie sitting on top of the H looking out at the reader as the only of the 11 characters. The only type of joke in the comic is the chosen characters. Two with weapons flank the left and right side looking out ready to defend against Trump. Both are from earlier comic. Especially Ponytail with a ray gun (the one she also wielded in 322: Pix Plz). The gun is for melting computers of persons that make snide remarks at women, clearly a reference to Donald Trump's sexual harassment of women in general and especially to his grab them by the pussy comment. Cueball with his weapon is from 303: Compiling. See more details in the character gallery below.

This is the first time Randall has used a comic to directly support a presidential campaign, although he did endorse Barack Obama in 2008 on his Blag. He wrote himself later that it was very controversial when he endorsed Obama, but that it was not the most controversial comic he had published at that time. This comic might take that prize now, given that this was one of the most discussed elections up to its time. This is particularly noteworthy outside the US - for example, some European leaders openly opposed Trump, while others supported him. There were also reports and rumors of Russian hackers attempting to influence the election.

Randall's support for Hillary Clinton may have been due in part to Donald Trump being a prominent climate change denier. Randall has published comics opposing climate change denial such as this: 1732: Earth Temperature Timeline, published less than two month before the election, as well as several other comics on climate change. Also Trump beating Clinton made Randall's regex that matches the last names of elected US presidents but not their opponents impossible to update.

All the information on the bottom half of the comic includes sites, numbers, info, etc., current as of 2016, that are intended to help US voters to vote, regardless of whom they vote for. Including this information can assist voters who don't understand the process, don't feel that it's worth it, or feel intimidated or threatened. In general, these sites and numbers were likely included to help boost voter turnout.

The title text, which states that "We can do this" refers to Randall's desire to unite Democratic voters and elect Hillary Clinton to the White House instead of Trump. It is possible to buy t-shirts with the famed We Can Do It! logo from the "Rosie the Riveter" wartime poster, but with Hillary Clinton in the famed position. However this is not quite the same "We can do this" sentence that Randall uses. "We can do this" (or in German, "Wir schaffen das") was also the catchphrase of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the recent influx of refugees from the Syrian War — like Clinton, Merkel was fighting against a populist nativist movement that wanted to close the country's borders.

Unfortunately for Randall, these efforts were in vain, as Donald Trump (another populist nativist who wants to close the country's borders) was elected on Tuesday, November 8. This result became a fact less than two week before the first (1761: Blame) of several sad comics that all seemed related to the election of Donal Trump.

[edit] How to help

The list of things that can help is all about getting people to vote. While Randall is likely to have wanted to boost voter turnout regardless of political leanings, it's clear from his endorsement of Clinton that he believed increased turnout would have helped her win the race. There is general evidence that certain more heavily Democratic-leaning demographics are less likely to vote, and in this election in particular, the various political issues that had been raised against Hillary (such as the FBI's public disclosures of its investigation into her use of a private email server) were shown to have reduced enthusiasm among Democrats. But all these issues aside, both Republicans and Democrats alike agree on encouraging everyone to vote, and Randall is likely to have agreed with that sentiment as well.

Here is Randall's list of suggestions for how to help Hillary Clinton win the election:

What to do How to do it Explanation
Vote iwillvote.com A site to look up polling locations, ID requirements, etc.
Get a ride to the polls: drive2vote.org For voters in Douglas and Sarpy County, Nebraska, who needed a ride to the polls from Warren Buffett or his friends.
If you're having problems voting 866-OUR-VOTE Racism or other biases on the part of people running polling places is a real issue for minorities. Though it is illegal, people may lie or deny rights to would-be-voters who they believe will not vote for the candidate they agree with. In some instances, voters may require backup from someone with legal understanding to get to vote, which is a service this phone number provides. Since Donald Trump has suggested that unofficial poll watchers should patrol voting stations - which has been described as potential voter intimidation - this has been an especially widely discussed topic in this election. The phone number written out as numbers is (866) 687-8683
Experimental social turnout project civicinnovation.com
App Store: VoteWithMe
An app which "gives you a list of the top 10 highest-impact potential voters in your address book to get in touch with -- based on the likelihood that they support progressive candidates, and that they live in states with the most competitive races". This app is for Android and iOS, with the App Store ID as "VoteWithMe". The "VoteWithMe" app is created by Civic Innovation Works and "uses publicly available voter records to predict which of your contacts are likely to support Democratic candidates, but might not have a plan to vote", as it says on its App Store Page.
Reminder: If you're in line when the polls close, they have to let you vote. This is correct, as is printed on most election pamphlets as part of the Voters' Bill of Rights, as well as being cited on numerous sources online (eg here.) Being turned down for trying to vote after the polling place is officially closed (if you were already in line when the polls closed) might be an instance where you want to use the phone number mentioned above.

[edit] Character gallery

The comic show a gallery of 11 xkcd characters including all the main characters from xkcd (except Hairy), which stand united behind Randall and Clinton despite their lack of agreement in many other comics.

  • From left to right on the left side of the H are:
    • Ponytail with a ray gun (the one she also wielded in 322: Pix Plz, a comic where she was named Joanna). The gun it for melting computers of persons that make snide remarks at women, clearly a reference to Donald Trump's sexual harassment of women in general and especially to his Grab Pussy comment.
    • Black Hat (who was the one introducing Joanna/Ponytail in the mentioned comic)
    • Danish (Black Hat's girlfriend setting up a kite for him, although it could be Megan, but she is also shown later with her regular shorter hair). However it has mainly been Megan in comics with kites, like 235: Kite and 1614: Kites. Kites are a recurring theme on xkcd.
    • White Hat looking at the kite.
  • On top of the H are:
  • On the right side of the H are:
    • Science Girl (The adult version of her, is holding her hand out towards a cute squirrel. Of course she could also be the girl from 635: Locke and Demosthenes where the squirrel is poisoned...)
    • Beret Guy is holding a squirrel out towards Science Girl. (The first time squirrels was mentioned was actually when Beret Guy found them in a tree in 167: Nihilism and since then they have become a recurring theme on xkcd and a similar squirrel can for instance be seen in 1503: Squirrel Plan. Beret Guy has not been seen together with a squirrel before, but has been shown to care for animals, for instance in 614: Woodpecker).
    • Another Cueball is standing on an office chair wielding a sword as he was shown in 303: Compiling. (Interestingly enough the previous comic 1755: Old Days was about Cueball asking Hairbun about compiling in the old days. Seems realistic that Randall has this comic ready for this Monday before the election for some time, and when finding this 9 year old version of Cueball in the old comics, he may have gotten inspired to make a comic about compiling in the old days).

Note that the two characters at either side of the comic wields weapons pointing out defending the other nine. Those next to the characters with weapons are doing recreational things like kiting and admiring adorable squirrels, both are recurring subjects in xkcd.

[edit] Transcript

[Eleven characters are drawn left, right and on top of a huge H with an arrow as the horizontal bar connecting the two vertical towers. The arrow breaks the right part of the H. It represents the logo from Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign for 2016. From left to right on the left side of the H are Ponytail with an exotic looking futuristic ray gun like weapon looking to the left away from the H and the others. Behind her is Black Hat who looks at a girl that might be Danish or Megan (but with longer hair than Megan typically has). She is setting up a kite that flies above the first two characters. Behind her and looking up at the kite is White Hat. The H is right behind him, and on top of the left tower of the H sits Blondie looking straight out at the reader with her legs dangling over the edge and her arms resting on her knees. On the arrow between the two H towers sits Megan leaning against the left H tower, also dangling her legs over the edge and arms resting on her knees. Cueball is standing to her right, just left of the right H tower. On top of the right H towers sits Hairbun with glasses looking straight right with her legs dangling over the edge one arm resting on a knee and leaning back on the other arm. On the right side of the H is an adult version of Science Girl holding a hand out towards the squirrel which Beret Guy is holding out in both arms towards her. Behind them is another Cueball standing on an office chair holding a sword high up in front of him to the right away from the others. He keeps his balance by holding his other arm out behind him. Below the H there is a large caption.]
I'm with her.
[Below the panel there are several lines of text. The first header line refers to the next four lines with solutions to problems, title/problem on one side then a long dash and the web-link or other information on the right side of that. Below those there is a reminder.]
How to help
Vote - iwillvote.com
Get a ride to the polls - drive2vote.org
If you're having problems voting - 866-OUR-VOTE
Experimental social turnout project - civicinnovation.com App Store: VoteWithMe
If you're in line when the polls close, they have to let you vote.

[edit] Trivia

  • Despite securing more votes, Hillary Clinton lost the election in the electoral college.
    • She did win in Massachusetts (Randall's home state), but that was never really in any doubt.
  • The fact that Trump was elected instead is likely the reason for several comics with a bad mood released after this and until at least just past the day Trump was inaugurated. See below.

[edit] Sad comics

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: It is debated wether this section is irrelevant to this comic! Should it have its own page, since it is clearly a trend that Randall posts sad/negative or even "scared" comics. And there should be a place for this list.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.
  • After this comic there have been a clear trend that Randall has had sad thoughts after the election of Trump.
    • Over the next few months after the election (at least up till just after Donald Trump’s inauguration) Randall has posted (at least) five comics that could be interpreted as him being sad/angry or that people around him are acting in such a way.
  • Not since Randall's wife's cancer diagnosis has there been so many sad/negative or depressing comics.
    • During a two year span there where only five decidedly sad Cancer comics.
    • There has now been more "sad" comics in a little more than three months (November 18th 2016 to February 24th 2017).
      • As a comparison the year before the first sad comic there where no really sad, and only one (for real) scary comic: 1732: Earth Temperature Timeline.
      • That comic has just been made more scary as it now seems the doing nothing is no longer the worst case scenario given That Randall did not expect Trump to win. And his policy of denying climate change, will probably make it even worse than if we did nothing.
      • So this is another good reason why Randall would begin to post sad comics after the election. He is likely really scared the climate will be beyond saving once Trump leaves office. And it may be for a good reason. See about the comic Sad below from after Trump became president.
    • Hopefully Randall is not so depressed for real as the comics below could suggest.
  • Note that none of these sad comics, also including this one, directly mentions Trump at all.
    • But this comic indirectly references him as the opponent of the one Randall is with, and all the other comics could be interpreted as being about something that could have come about because of this election result.
    • But the connection is not only inferred from the mood. Three comics where released close to some important day on Donald Trump's way to becoming president and another was the New Year comic, thus representing going into the year where Trump actually becomes president. And the fifth was during the days when the first executive order of Trump was overruled (see more below under Focus Knob)).
  • If more related comics appears they can be listed here below. Then update the above section regarding dates and number of comics.
    • They are collected here since these comics are not easily collected under a specific category.
    • Also since the connection to Trump and the election is circumstantial in the sad comics, this trivia has been put on this comics page. Though this is not in it self one of the really sad comics, this comic definitely relates to Trump and Randall's stance regarding him becoming president.
  • Here below follows a list of the comics related to these sad comics.
    • Relations (if any) between the release day and the comics will also be listed.
    • The links points here below to an explanation why each comic is listed here:
  • I'm With Her (not one of the sad, thus not numbered)
  1. Blame
  2. Negativity
  3. 2017
  4. Sad
  5. Focus Knob
  6. Phone
  7. Location Reviews

[edit] I'm With Her

  • 1756: I'm With Her (This comic)
    • 2016-11-07: The day before the election:
      • It all began when Randall urged his American viewership to vote in the election the day after this comic was released.
      • Here he clearly showed his endorsement for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee in the election.
      • Although this is not directly sad, he included two weapon carrying defenders on either side of the comic.
      • One of these was Ponytail with a ray gun (the one she also wielded in 322: Pix Plz). The gun is for melting computers of persons that make snide remarks at women, clearly a reference to Donald Trump's sexual harassment of women in general and especially to his grab them by the pussy comment.
      • Randall has often made comics against women harassment before (see for a great example in 1027: Pickup Artist).

[edit] Blame

  • 1761: Blame
    • 2016-11-18: Ten days after the election.
      • This is the first really sad comic in which Cueball actually begins by stating that: I feel sad! a clear relation to 1790: Sad (the fourth sad comic after I'm With Her, see below).
      • This is likely due to all the angry and scared comments of Cueball’s Facebook friends, and he thus decides to blame them rather than what they are angry about.
      • It took some days before Randall posted anything that could be said to have relation to the election, but the defeat of Hillary may have taken some time to digest.
      • Also the reactions to Trump’s victory on Facebook needed to build up over time before this comic.
      • Furthermore there was also some uncertainty to begin with if some states would call for a re-vote etc.
      • Still it was only the fifth comic after his campaign for Hillary failed.

[edit] Negativity

  • 1773: Negativity
    • 2016-12-16: Three days before the U.S. Electoral College voted for Donald Trump to become the 45th president of the United States.
      • The first comic with a really negative title. (Like Sad (see below), although Blame is of course a negatively loaded word, the comic did not need to be so sad as it was).
      • This comic and Blame could be seen as a small series as Cueball blames his friends on Facebook in the first comic, and then goes outside to avoid all the negativity online in the second, probably worsened for him after he blamed his Facebook friends because: Bad thing are happening.
      • Only it does not work because even the grass is after him.
      • At the time of the comics release there was still some rumors/hopes that the some of the electors would not vote for Trump. (But only two changed away from Trump!)

[edit] 2017

  • 1779: 2017
    • 2016-12-30: The New Year comic – a transition to the year when Donald Trump would become president.
      • Even the comic "celebrating" New Year was depressive and it was the first time that a New Year comic had such a depressive mood.
      • Cueball and Megan discuss if 2016 could end up as having been better than 2017 since all the bad thing happening in 2016 would first really take effect in 2017.
      • The biggest of these would be Trump becoming president, but also Brexit and a lot of dead famous people would be troublesome. None of these events (or any other specifically bad event of 2016 are cited in the comic).
      • Randall tries to make a happy twist by saying that maybe some unexpected good would come in 2017 as most of the sad events (just mentioned) was not expected to happen.
      • But hopping for this in the face of what awaits is difficult so he retorts to just hoping they won’t cancel the 2017 solar eclipse.
      • Fearing (for real) that astronomical events like this being canceled would call for you to be very depressed. Of course Randall doesn’t fear for this in real life, but it puts a perspective on the other parts of the comic.
      • Although the eclipse will certainly happen on August 21st 2017 Randall may still miss it, even if he is in the right place, as the weather could always be overcast and then ruin the experience.
      • So the worry that he will miss it is real and had also been mentioned three years earlier in 1302: Year in Review.

[edit] Sad

  • 1790: Sad
    • 2017-01-25: Five days after Donald Trump’s inauguration.
      • This was the comic that sparked this section, with the title really being Sad.
      • The title "Sad" is a common interjection in Trump's tweets. The time-frame of "the past few months" from the first panel is consistent with this, as the election was on November 8, 2016, and the comic was posted on January 25, 2017 four days after Donald Trump's inauguration as 45th president of the United States on January 20, 2017.
      • This was only the second comic released after the inauguration the Friday before this comics Wednesday release.
      • Although it could be said that Trump first took office Monday (before this Wednesday comic) he already began signing decrees (or executive orders) on Friday January 20th within a few hours after becoming president.
      • The actual reasons for Ponytail's frustrations and depression aren't dwelt on and the focus is on her retreat into video games and the damage it's doing to her work projects.
        • The video game she plays is referenced again only seven comics later in 1797: Stardew Valley, thus showing this game is on Randall's mind, and that he might be using this to avoid thinking of the things that makes him sad.
        • This fits with the next sad comic mentioned below, coming out just before Stardew Valley, where Randall focuses on his e-mail settings rather than the big picture.
      • It might appear to be non-political, the reference to PolitiFact, however, makes it clear that she is thinking on politics, and the fact checking of most of Trump's claims
        • This is another indication that one of her troubles is Trump's leniency with the truth in both election campaign and after, to the point where lies are now on a daily basis just called alternative facts or post-truth.
        • His statements would often turns out to be Pants on Fire! on the PolitiFact scale.
        • See more on Politifact.com the earlier comic 1712: Politifact from during the election campaign
          • By the way apart from the Politifact comic and I’m with Her then the only other direct reference to the election during the election campaign was in 1748: Future Archaeology, where Randall expressed interest in knowing the result of the election in advance.
      • Seeing that this comic is about Ponytail being sad, the woman who in the first comic on this list was standing with a weapon to defend herself against condescending men (like Trump) and that one of the first decrees Trump signed, was regarding removal of support for women’s right to abortion abroad, she can see that she still have good reason (especially as a woman) to being sad as she has been these past few months.

[edit] Focus Knob

  • 1796: Focus Knob
    • 2017-02-08: Less than three weeks after Donald Trump’s inauguration, only six comics after the previous Sad comic.
      • Although this comic may look like an easy joke, there is panic and existential paralysis if you turn your focus more than two thirds towards the big picture (of the world).
        • For instance during the days just before this comics release an American judge (February 3rd) and two days later several big companies went against Trump's decision of banning people from seven countries from entering USA.
        • There have thus been many reasons to panic since his inauguration if one follows the news in any way.
      • In the comic the detail oriented side is indicated to be a focus on his e-mail settings. But as it was shown already in the next comic 1797: Stardew Valley, there are also video games that can help you take your mind of the real world.
        • This also relates back to Sad where the same game was mentioned a week before.

[edit] Phone

  • 1802: Phone
    • 2017-02-22: During the days before this comic, Trump has promised to make a related Executive Order regarding the banning of people from the same seven countries from entering USA, as was ruled illegal around the time of the last of these comics.
      • The sadness is not so clear in this comic, but the conclusion in the title text that it is both bad to hear all the scary news and to disconnect in order avoid them seems rather sad. It is a loose/loose situation.
        • This also seems related to the problem of finding the right balance mentioned in Focus Knob.
      • The idea of going for a walk with the phone, thus not avoiding the news feed, is the exact opposite idea of Negativity, where going outside was to avoid the negativity on the internet. Neither of the idea seems to work.

[edit] Location Reviews

  • 1803: Location Reviews
    • 2017-02-24: Second comic in a row, this one could be a reaction to the cold relationship between Russia and the United States, that became worse a few weeks before this comic.

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During the first few weeks there were so much trolling on this talk page, and it became very long. Now almost no one makes any comment anymore because it is hard to get started with all the negative comment. To help with this I will try to collapse all the original talk from 2016 (which was also done once before althogh the length problem came from a different reason). It will always be possible to see all the old comments by pressing the expand button below here and to the far right. Feel free to comment below (and also in the old commentaries of course) - But now someone might actually again notice that there has been written something new! --Kynde (talk) 14:29, 11 March 2017 (UTC)

Click to expand for comments from 2016:

The "I'm with her" and H with an arrow are CLEARLY the respective campaign slogan and campaign logo for Hillary Clinton, not some vagueness having to do with bringing a significant other. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I see it more as him endorsing voting regardless of who you vote for (as evidenced by half the comic is about "Here's how you vote" without any mention of candidates or issues) and the endorsing Clinton part is an add-on as if to say "This is how I'm voting; vote for her if you agree with me." Jeudi Violist (talk) 18:39, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
If you're so insecure about your political beliefs that you abandon a comic you've followed for years just because they have a different opinion to you then maybe you should stop using the internet because you're just going to lose all your hobbies. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
I am not insecure about my political beliefs. I am just upset at the continued and active support of our two party system and the suppression of anyone not in those parties.. It ought to make everyone here very angry (even if you support Hillary). Most Americans would rather have Bernie than Hillary. Most Americans would rather have Kasich than Trump. Insult me all you want, I will not put up with this complacency any more.--Dayfall (talk) 21:02, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
Blocking it from their router? Have they ever heard of the concept of... you know, just not visiting websites they dislike?².♫.venus.🍅.Cthulu.♣️ 19:33, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

Has Randall endorsed a presidential candidate before? --Dfeuer (talk) 17:14, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

He supported Obama on his blog in '08, not in the comic though. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

He could have said any number of clever things about the election, and all he did was put up a campaign sign. Disappointing. Gmcgath (talk) 17:37, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

I'm hoping Wednesday will be a newspaper saying "American immigration continues north" and below, "40% of the population move to Canada", but only if Trump wins. -- Jacky720 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

what a cuck -- 17:45, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

leaving aside the most ridiculous slur of the past few years, I don't know what else did you expect from Randall. I guess you must have stumbled upon this wiki by chance and have never heard of xkcd before.-- 17:59, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
AHAHAHAHA. *Ahem.* Hooray for pejorative misappropriation of a kink. /s 19:07, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

This is the first time I still don't get the joke even after reading the explainxkcd page 18:09, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

It isn't a joke. Randall is simply encouraging people to vote. GizmoDude (talk) 20:55, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

¬I Ummmmmmmmm..... It's Randall's comic strip. He can endorse whomever he wants without getting anyone's permission first. To those who disagree with this endorsement - sowhat? Grow up. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Bit disappointing...

I was hoping for a comic today. oh well. Interesting to see how he's planning to vote, though - it's a shame that there are no candidates this year in favor of strong encryption. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Funny how females outdo males in this 'comic' but in terms of frequency and of elevation. Oh well. xkcd has long been overrepresenting females, it was to be expected. ~~~~ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Seriously? You're whinging 'what about the men?' in a geek web comic?! 18:21, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
And there are 11 characters and they are split 5 to 6, and if Blondie represents Clinton then there are 5 to 5 M vs W supporters. ;-) --Kynde (talk) 22:58, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
"Overrepresenting"?! If there were too many guys you wouldn't bat an eye because it's 'accurate' to whatever demographic you think xkcd is supposed to represent, but as soon as Randall draws 'too many women' you whinge about the oppression of men. First off, even if the readership is male-dominated, that doesn't have any impact on who the comic can portray. Second, there is nothing oppressive about seeing women portrayed in equal numbers or -heaven forbid- in positions of power. 00:28, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
>If there were too many guys you wouldn't bat an eye because it's 'accurate' to whatever demographic you think
You are literally a priori accusing me of bias regarding what I would have done in a comparable situation.
>you think xkcd is supposed to represent
xkcd's focus is exceedingly well-defined. It is often narrowed down to a particular academic field. It is not subjective.
>you whinge about the oppression of men
Please refrain from putting such words in my mouth. Overrepresentation is a numerical fact -- 'oppression' is a charged term which I doubt has a valid definition.
>even if the readership is male-dominated, that doesn't have any impact on who the comic can portray
You seem to be implying that my mention of overrepresentation pertains to overrepresentation with respect to viewership rather than with respect of gender balance in scientific fields Randall depicts.
>there is nothing oppressive about seeing women portrayed in equal numbers or -heaven forbid- in positions of power
Again, you are seeing claims of 'oppression' that are not there. I do not use this word -- I am talking strictly about gender quantity. In other words, I don't object to 'oppression', but to distortion of truth. ~~~~ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Oh shit, you're not joking. I don't think Randall cared in the slightest how many of each gender there were, or where they were placed. You are creating a problem which isn't there, and missing what the comic is actually trying to say. It appears that whatever Randall puts in a comic, you'll find a problem with it. 09:27, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
Almost every comic depicting a scientific (academic, laboratory, engineering) context contains a female. As a matter of fact, I looked up the last 20 or so comics in the Science category. Where applicable, the gender proportion is:
f = 4, m = 0
f = 1, m = 1
f = 2, m = 0
f = 0, m = 2
f = 1, m = 1
f = 2, m = 1
f = 1, m = 1
f = 1, m = 1
f = 2, m = 1
f = 0, m = 1
f = 3, m = 1
total: f = 17, = 10
It is even more glaring that I had thought.
>It appears that whatever Randall puts in a comic, you'll find a problem with it.
You are making it hard not to conclude that you are not quite able to speak otherwise than in irrelevant falsehoods. ~~~~ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Like I said, Randall doesn't seem to concentrate on how gender is represented, and more on what the comic is about. Randall uses whatever fits best in each comic. Also, please refrian from using nowiki on "~~~~" as your signature. It is against the rules, because technically your comment ends in "</nowiki>". It is also pointless, because your IP is recorded in edit history anyway. 12:19, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
'Randall doesn't seem to concentrate on how gender is represented' -- it is quite remarkable for you to say so when the balance is significantly more than 1.5 : 1. As for my signature, 'my comment ending in </nowiki>' is literally false and, again, my choice of it is not intended to obscure my identity, but to signify irrelevance of it in discussion. ~~~~~ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Your trolling is out of hand. It doesn't matter about relevance of your signature in discussion, you have to sign your comments. If you feel so strongly about it, just stop reading Randall's comics. I don't think he'll care if you stop. 23:21, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
So this is your reaction to the hypocrisy of a comic majorly about science distorting truth (literally -- the female overrepresentation is not, contrary to how another poster presented it, in service to humour/plot, it is just there): 'just don't read it if you don't like it'. This is not tenable. You could 'justify' any wrongdoing this way: 'just don't react, what does it concern you'. ~~~~ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
You cannot justify anything with that, only things that don't actually affect anyone in any significant way. Randall is using his right to freedom of speech, and you have no right trying to stop that. And before you argue that I am trying to stop you, realise that I am only giving my opinion in the hopes yours will change. Also, you still haven't addressed why you don't sign your comments properly. 11:00, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
As for my signature, I have addressed it -- you just ignored my explanation, beside implying that it was I who brought its subject in the first place rather than you ('It doesn't matter about relevance of your signature in discussion').
>things that don't actually affect anyone in any significant way
'Not any significant' is a subjective claim rather than objective quantification such as the one I made to point out Randall's gender bias. xkcd has vast readership. In fact, it is *the first result* for the keyword >webcomic in Google.
>Randall is using his right to freedom of speech.
This is completely bizarre. You are appealing to free speech to justify *telling falsehoods*.
>and you have no right trying to stop that
This is completely bizarre as well. What kind of 'right' are you talking about that I lack? Are you saying that people have no right to point out, condemn, and demand rectification of falsehoods? This is surreal. ~~~~ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
The guy was clearly referring to your earlier statement that you were, quote, "signifying irrelevance it in discussion." Also, as the admin who's been having to clean up after your refusal to write a signature without nowiki tags, I'm getting really sick of this. The signature tag is not there for you to disregard it to make an artistic statement about metadata in forums, it's there to mark time, ownership and the boundaries between comments. You're making extra work for me for a trivial excuse. Sign your comments properly. Davidy²²[talk] 13:31, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
'Time' and 'ownership' are never relevant. All they can ever conceivably serve for is pointing out misattributions of contributions from one poster to another, which holds precisely zero weight for the argument. If your point stands, it stands. If it doesn't, it doesn't. This -- validity of the point -- is the only consideration in discussion, the purpose of which is conveying knowledge. I'm sorry to hear that you feel that it is the form of the argument (such as who made which comment) that matters rather than its substance. ~~~~ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
I'm not going to be able to convince you that the metadata is meaningful, so let's put this a different way. I didn't put up three different signs around the talk page box so that someone could try to be clever and make me do the work anyway by signing off slightly wrong. You and I both know why the messages tell you to sign off with four tildes. Typing the four tildes without the nowiki tags takes strictly less time than adding the nowiki tags. There is no discussion being suppressed because of the metadata. I've wasted five minutes of my life typing out the unsigned comment template multiple times when it was clear to me that you knew how to sign and wilfully weren't. Sign your comments properly. Davidy²²[talk] 16:59, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
>I'm not going to be able to convince you that the metadata is meaningful
Metadata is obviously meaningful for statistical/record-keeping purposes, and guess what, that is provided by the edit history. In direct discussion view, it is actively damaging, in all senses, from visual distraction (cluttering the page) to topical distraction (distracting into discussion of particular posters, including chaff such as squabbling over who said what).
>make me do the work anyway
I am not going to validate a misconception that is harmful to discussion only so to spare you the effort you impose on yourself by erroneously clinging to it. It would be irresponsible towards this community. I tried my best to explain your mistake to you. ~~~~ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
In case you didn't get the subtext from my last comment, I'm invoking site rules that are littered in multiple places around the edit window. Browsing edit logs to find ownership of a comment is incredibly time consuming, and signatures take a fraction of a line to display the information inline. Davidy²²[talk] 20:09, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
So basically what you are saying is 'I am not wrong on account of having codified my being wrong into a rule'. ~~~~
No, that is your opinion of a rule falsely inserted into a statement that sounds like I'm saying it. Less than a hundred characters of timestamp and attribution serves to mark out who actually said what and the benefits to organisation and knowing who is actually saying what far outweigh the character count delta between completed signatures and your intentionally un-rendered tildes. The rule is not a suggestion, and the only thing stopping me from temporarily blocking you to enforce the rule is that I know your IP address is changing between sessions. Davidy²²[talk] 03:42, 10 November 2016 (UTC)
>No, that is your opinion of a rule falsely inserted into a statement that sounds like I'm saying it.
...What? You literally said that signing is a rule here, and I literally agreed and pointed out that that rule is based on a misunderstanding.
>the benefits to organisation and knowing who is actually saying what
...facilitate nothing but petty squabbles over authorship of contributions rather than focusing on points therein. The only one of the three benefits to signing you gave at one point that is valid is separation of comments, except that isn't even provided by signing, but by indentation/semi-indentation of colons/quotation marks, respectively, to which signing is, guess what, completely unrelated. If anything, my refusal to sign 'properly' has helped my detractors, giving them an opportunity to attempt to undermine my credibility by repeatedly asking me 'why are you not signing properly?' as if I hadn't explained that two if not three times already. ~~~~ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
What you literally did was put a statement in quotation marks that featured me saying I was wrong and using a tautological rule to to justify it. You believe that identity is irrelevant to discussion, which is disputed in discussions of community management and wikipedia itself as the forced ownership encourages a user to remain civil; and I can't help but notice that you are indeed involved in a number of spats on this page. The furthest point of this would be mandatory account creation to edit pages, which I've fought against in the past and don't want to have to instate if anonymous users with changing IPs continue to be difficult to moderate. Davidy²²[talk] 06:30, 10 November 2016 (UTC)
>using a tautological rule to to justify it
>which is disputed in discussions of community management and wikipedia itself
So you are calling my 100 % verifiable points regarding consequences of presence/absence of signing on poster behaviour tautological, while yourself appealing to authority to Wikipedia ('Wikipedia requires signing, therefore I do too') in lieu of an argument? You have some fucking nerve as well.
>if anonymous users with changing IPs continue to be difficult to moderate
This sounds curiously like preemption, 'let's keep him from posting in case he should offend'.
>the forced ownership encourages a user to remain civil; and I can't help but notice that you are indeed involved in a number of spats on this page
You mean those containing such examples of signing posters' civility as referring to me as 'finding problems with everything', having a 'twisted mind', saying that 'xkcd is as bad as KKK', 'horrible person', 'afraid of women', 'belonging in 18th century', and 'afraid to sign properly'? I agree, civility such as that is quite effective at rendering a picture of effectiveness of signing on discussion quality. ~~~~ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
I'm not actually making a living off this. I'm not willing to keep making points that you'll brush off as false and state your own claims as true, then still have to clean up after you and the other anonymous users with changing IPs on this page. I should have known this comic was going to be a moderation nightmare when it went up. I have work to do, this talk page is now locked for anonymous users. If you want to continue ignoring site rules, you and the other people on this talk page who I can't seem to manage can make accounts to do so. Davidy²²[talk] 16:53, 10 November 2016 (UTC)
It's not telling a falsehood if it's an opinion. There are more women than men in some of his recent comics, that's an opinion. He is not saying that this is what the real world is like. And it is objectively not significant, because it is easy to stop reading his comics, no one is forcing you to read them. Just because it is the first result on Google, doesn't mean that suddenly no other webcomics exist. You can look down a few pixels, and see something completely different. There are far worse problems on the internet. Why single out someone using women more than men, rather than someone who believes that there is a superior sex? 23:25, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
>it is objectively not significant
I have taken note that you have shifted from asserting existence of high and low significance ('in any significant way', implying gradation) to asserting existence of categorical absolute insignificance ('objectively not significant').
>There are more women than men in some of his recent comics, that's an opinion.
Where the hell are you people getting this kind of nonsense from? Depicting a fictitious state of matters is an opinion?
>He is not saying that this is what the real world is like.
Literally false. There is no indication whatsoever that the overrepresentation of females has a humorous or otherwise irreal or optative dimension. The females are depicted as being self-obviously natural at their positions.
>There are far worse problems on the internet.
This is not relevant in addition to being a subjective opinion (speaking of dispensing which).
>because it is easy to stop reading his comics, no one is forcing you to read them. Just because it is the first result on Google, doesn't mean that suddenly no other webcomics exist. You can look down a few pixels, and see something completely different
I am honestly bewildered by your repeated reliance on this clearly morally untenable nonsense. 'If something is wrong, just stop watching.' It's stunning.
>Why single out someone using women more than men, rather than someone who believes that there is a superior sex?
Randall does depict the latter conviction in the comic AS WELL (search the page for my 'Men in xkcd literally are presented as the less educated gender.'). ~~~~ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
There being less men than women in scientific comics does not signify in any way that women are smarter than men, except in your twisted mind. You say that "there are far worse things on the internet" is subjective, so I suppose the KKK is just as bad as xkcd. That was not intended to say anything about xkcd, but something about yourself. You choose to argue some possible slight sexism, rather than definite and horrible racism. You won't see anything wrong with what you're saying until you see what you are doing now. Also, I redid your table, looking at the past 20 comics in the science section.
Number 1736 1732 1717 1679 1666 1664 1643 1637 1633 1621 1611 1606 1605 1594 1592 1591 1584 1574 1561 1531 Total
M 1 0 2 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 1 8 0 0 0 19
F 2 0 1 0 1 2 0 3 0 0 3 0 1 2 0 1 3 0 0 1 20
Tell me, how did you do your calculations? This seems like an accurate depiction of real life figures, seeing as there are slightly more women than men in most countries.
I'm starting to see how you think, you see only what confirms what you think. My table is objective, and does not account for people in the background (which were mostly men, by the way). Yours only includes comics that confirm that you are right, except for one.
Now, even if there were far more women than men, it still wouldn't matter. Xkcd isn't about being real. Randall does what he wants, and if he wants to put more women than men in comics, he can. He is not saying that his comic is exactly what the world is like, so why do you think he is? And please, sign your comments. 03:37, 10 November 2016 (UTC)
>There being less men than women in scientific comics does not signify in any way that women are smarter than men, except in your twisted mind.
'There being less men than women in contexts which by definition exact intellectual capacity does not signify in any way that women have more intellectual capacity than men, except in your twisted mind.'
>even if there were far more women than men, it still wouldn't matter.
>Randall does what he wants, and if he wants to put more women than men in comics, he can.
It is, what, third time that you stress people's freedom to do wrong in lieu of providing a counterargument? Fourth?
>He is not saying that his comic is exactly what the world is like, so why do you think he is?
Obviously because it is conveyance of truth that is the core and assumed function of communication, not artistic expression. When we see an arrow and a figurative scene etched in a rock on a foreign trip, we don't assume that it is conveying some indigene's artistic fancy about an imaginary situation -- we assume that it was used for communicating some fact. Accordingly, everything, even in a webcomic, that does not stand out as false/artistic is assumed true / the factual background of the fiction. If female scientists are depicted casually, people won't question their presence. Randall's gender bias is ill-integrated, but integrated seamlessly enough to slip under the radar of most people it appears.
>You choose to argue some possible slight sexism, rather than definite and horrible racism.
>You say that "there are far worse things on the internet" is subjective, so I suppose the KKK is just as bad as xkcd.
Yes, this continues being subjective (let me remind you in case you forgot that it was you who first appealed to 'why do you care, it's not that important' way back in your comment at 11:00 -- I at no point at all referenced subjective importances and instead wholly focused on inherent qualities of the problem) and, more importantly, glaringly demonstrative of your desire to hush criticism. Almost any any wrongdoing can be rendered 'slight' and dismissed by comparing it to lynching. It's fucking cowardly.
>I redid your table [...]
your error, which might or might not have been intentional, is that you're counting comics which have no literal academic/scientific context, which my point has from the very beginning been about. xkcd doesn't categorize comics, and this wiki is quite overcategorizing them. When I looked up comics about sex, included was '721: Flatland' just because the mention of the word 'orgy' in the title text and '1253: Exoplanet Names' just because of some raunchy ones! This is misleading in itself, but the point is, comics like '1637: Salt Mine' are clearly too outlandishly fictional to convincingly connote gender equality. I only included those comics in my table in which people explicitly partake in scientific situations or discussions, which can actually sway perceptions. Accusing me of confirmation bias is like accusing a researcher of bias for refusing to include cooking recipes in a study measuring nations' programming output. And 1584, which yields the crux of your numbers (and, amusingly, after excluding which your numbers differ from mine by exactly just one), is just fucking hypocrisy. Three of the 'men' in it are children (I take it that your generous exclusion of 'people in the background' refers to audiences as in 1736), the fourth doesn't even say anything, and Randall had the nerve to 'totally jokingly' attribute Darwin's insight to his wife because 'you can't prove she wasn't responsible for it'.
(Also, I forgot to mention that my final line in my previous comment does not mean that there isn't a superior gender (or race). There obviously is. It was understood throughout my argument on this page, but I should probably make this clear.) ~~~~ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Ok then. I thought your argument was that men are being represented as worse than women when they're actually roughly equivelant. But no, you're the kind of person who believes that there is a superior gender and race. You are a horrible person, and no amount of reasoning would get through to you. Can you please just go away? Your arguments are invalid, and everyone else on this website seems to disagree with you. 08:39, 10 November 2016 (UTC)
>no amount of reasoning would get through to you
By reasoning which I am incapable of understanding, do you mean things such as positing existence of increasingly minute 'microagressions', 'microsexisms' and 'microracisms' using which to explain racial and gender achievement gaps as an environmental factor after environmental factor is controlled for and proven not to affect achievement in any meaningful degree? Or showcasing the purported importance of 'stimulating upbringing' while failing to account for the fact that relationship between stimulating upbringing on the parent's side and accomplishment on the child's side is simply owing to the shared cause of innate high capacity underlying both outcomes (by proxy of heritability of capacity from parent to child in case of the latter)? Because it can't be something as crude as correlation/causation of 'women underperform because they are being stereotyped rather than are being stereotyped because they underperform'... can it.
>Your arguments are invalid, and everyone else on this website seems to disagree with you.
I _just_ think that there might be some delicious irony in how you somehow found it necessary to appeal to majority as well as if your assertion of 'you're wrong' had been a bit too bare. ~~~~ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
I will tell my children and grandchildren that in the election of 2016, there was a guy so afraid of women that he complained that a webcomic about the election had "females outdo males...in terms of...of elevation". This is some 18th century stuff. It is the consummate combination of unawareness of self and of others.

04:36, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

>there was a guy so afraid of women
I regret to see you rely on such tactics.
>This is some 18th century stuff.
This is not relevant. It is possible for a society to err away from its prior true notions. ~~~~ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

The only disappointing this are comments like those two above. 18:11, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

Females being overrepresented in comics like xkcd (but also other ones) with respect to their controlled interest in science in reality is a fact. Therefore, you are calling facts disappointing. How geeky of you. ~~~~ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
So, your real problem is that Randall likes using female stick figures, yes? Also, why are you afraid to "un-nowiki" your signature...? 19:15, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
No. Allow me to repeat my point as you had apparently misunderstood: 'females being overrepresented'. This is something else than 'females being represented'. The more you know, the less chance there is for you to accidentally twist another person's words as misogyny/sexism. Also, identity is not relevant to discussion. ~~~~ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
I understood you perfectly fine. My point still stands: You don't like Randall's preference for female stick figures. I never said you're being misogynic/sexist, so please don't imply I did. Thing with your "hidden" identity is that it's plain visible in the history of this page, so there's really no need to nowiki the signature, that's all. 20:42, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
You are extremely skilled at saying things that are false and asserting that they're true. First you confused objecting to female overrepresentation (over-presence) with objecting to female representation (presence) ('your real problem is that Randall likes using female stick figures'). Then you moved to confusing objecting to female overrepresentation with objecting to *Randall's* female overrepresentation. My objection does not pertain to who is doing overrepresenting, but to the mere fact of it. I would have objected identically to any other writer. Also, your attributing of opposition to female presence in comics (after doing which which you proceeded to asserting my being personally hostile to Randall) is accusing of sexism/misogyny by definition. Also, I am obviously aware of edit history; my use my signature constitutes a reminder that identity is, as I said, irrelevant in discussion. It does not serve to obscure anything. You have a remarkable record of falsehoods. ~~~~ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
This is the most persistent troll I have seen in a long while. 14:44, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
I regret that this is your reaction to my pointing out your false claims. ~~~~ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
I didn't make any false claims for you to point out. My comment about your trolling was the first comment I made. 15:41, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
I'm confused. Are you merely making an observation about the number of female stick figures vs male stick figures in these comics or are you saying that there is a problem that needs to be solved? If so, what is the problem and potential solution? 21:12, 8 November 2016 (UTC)What?
The problem is giving a false impression regarding female academic capacity. The solution is Randall ceasing to overrepresent females. ~~~~ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
First, you say that giving a false impression regarding female academic capacity is a problem, but have given nothing to show why it is a problem. I don't think it's fair to say that this comic strives in all points to represent the world exactly as it is, and as an artistic endeavor, I don't believe it necessarily should. Art allows the artist to express a world view different than reality in a safe place. Second, where is the harm being done? Lastly, I reject the premise of your argument. I have studied these comics very hard and can find no discernible genitalia in which to classify the stick figures in question as either anatomically male or female. If we are going based on gender, you would need each character presented to give declarative statements self-identifying as a certain gender in order to affirm them as female or male or other. If those are not available, then you are simply applying your heteronormative bias and assumptions onto these stick figures unfairly. Until you address these claims, this discussion is over as its very basis is proven unknowable. 16:12, 9 November 2016 (UTC)What?
>you [...] have given nothing to show why it is a problem
>where is the harm being done
If you are asking for proof that truth is preferable over falsehood, I suggest that you give your priorities a look.
>I don't think it's fair to say that this comic strives in all points to represent the world exactly as it is
Again (see the other subthread of this discussion which I'm replying in), the problem is that Randall gives zero indication that the female overrepresentation is just artistic licence or even representation of his wish how matters be. He depicts it as natural.
>Art allows the artist to express a world view different than reality in a safe place.
Agreed. Except, similarly to objections to this very comic # 1756, what Randall does with respect to female representation is not art -- it is just furthering a certain conviction regarding female capacity. It's no more art than product placement is.
>can find no discernible genitalia in which to classify the stick figures in question as either anatomically male or female
Right, two characters engaging in sex in supine position (598, 940), one of which has hair and one hasn't, are clearly lesbians one of whom is shaven.
>you would need each character presented to give declarative statements self-identifying as a certain gender in order to affirm them as female or male or other
This is ridiculous noise. ~~~ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Randall is in the unique and incredible position to portray the world not as it is, but as it we hope it one day will be. Imagine how many women and girls can encounter these comics in their classrooms or read them online, and have the chance to see all sorts of female rolemodels in the heavily underrepresented STEM fields. The only limit on "female academic capacity"is girls being shown and told that they have no place in science. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, Randall is playing an important role in remedying this phenomenon. For scientific progress, for the unique views, backgrounds, and ways of thinking that a diversity of people can bring to STEM, it is amazing that Randall presents - without fanfare, without emphasis, and, most importantly, without implication of a degradation of men - a world in which women play a significant role in science. It is depictions like these that may inspire the next generation of talented and diverse young scientists. 03:00, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
Your sentimental prose is rendered irrelevant by a simple brief fact: motivation must never rely on distortion of truth.
>The only limit on "female academic capacity"is girls being shown and told that they have no place in science.
This is literally false.
>female rolemodels in the heavily underrepresented STEM fields
Women are not underrepresented in STEM. The amount of their presence corresponds to their innate inclinations.
>the unique views, backgrounds, and ways of thinking that a diversity of people can bring to STEM
Desirability of diversity assumes that all members of the diversity are equally capable and focused on the subject in the first place.
>Randall is playing an important role in remedying this phenomenon.
There is nothing to 'remedy', because there is nothing wrong in the first place. Gender equality is not some sort of inherent state that has been deviated from. There is nothing wrong with wanting female membership in anything to equal males, or even exceed them -- but it is wrong to imply that the reason for failures of such attempts is 'bias'.
>unique and incredible position to portray the world not as it is
Reread this sentence until you appreciate what you just wrote.
>It is depictions like these that may inspire the next generation of talented and diverse young scientists.
Motivation must never happen at the expense of truth. By all means say 'I want more women in science' -- it's fine. But saying 'women's absence from science results from environmental prejudice' is false. ~~~~ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Also, regarding 'most importantly [!], without implication of a degradation of men' -- this is literally false as well. In most comics containing discussion between a woman and a man, it is the man that asks a question/listens and the woman that elaborates / gives facts / corrects him. Men in xkcd literally are presented as the less educated gender. Quantifying that is necessarily somewhat imprecise, but I browsed comics 1423-1483 (the numbers are arbitrary) and the proportion of comics depicting the man as having less clue than the woman is 11 : 3. (See comics 1430, 1513, 1586, 1605 for example of what I mean.) ~~~~ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
"Women are not underrepresented in STEM. The amount of their presence corresponds to their innate inclinations." - Wow. Just wow. David, this guy is insistent that women are innately less good at science than men - not that they are given less opportunities, but that they are given equal opportunities and encouragement, but still are just too stupid to do proper science. Expressing opinions like that, it's no great surprise that he (he's definitely a he) wishes to remain anonymous.
To be honest, I don't think he's trolling - trolls don't have this much commitment. I think he's expressing his actual, genuine beliefs. Scary.
To the anonymous coward - SIGN YOUR POSTS, or leave this comic. Go write your own blog post on the nature of signatures, if you like, or make your own wiki with your own rules. The message about the comic doesn't contain signatures, because there, the message is the only important thing. This is the discussion section, and these are the rules. I disagree with you very strongly, but I'm perfectly happy to have a civil discussion with you here IF you stick to the basic rules. Cosmogoblin (talk) 11:00, 11 November 2016 (UTC)

A little disappointing to have a normally lighthearted comic dive seriously into politics, if even for one strip. Not really a fan of either candidate, but would like to see stuff like this stay above the fray. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Completely agreed. SeanAhern (talk) 18:27, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
Completely agreed 2. At first I though it's some kind of a romance statement ("be with her"). And from explainxkcd I have learnt that it's an US campaign ad. 22:19, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
Lighthearted? Try to read the comics in the Category:Politics and Category:Climate change. Also there are many other comics that are not at all light hearted. You must have mistaken this with some other web comic? :) --Kynde (talk) 23:33, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
Yes, lighthearted. Even the earlier political and climate change strips had a bit of humor in them (the only ones that really didn't have at least an attempt at humor were the cancer strips, understandably), this is just a straight up political ad. And while it's Randall's strip and he can do whatever he wants with it, it's just a little disappointing that he dove straight in to political ads. If nothing else, something like Black Hat trolling by voting for himself. 12:34, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
Well at least the I'm with her, could be interpreted like the "I'm with stupid"... :-) She is just less stupid than the alternative. Guess he seriously hopes this comic could make a difference and that he is afraid to do nothing. He reaches many people so who knows if this comic might swing an important state. You never know in a tight race. And although Nate Silver (often referred to by Randall in the past) says that it's a 70% chance Hillary wins then he is also not certain it will be her. So Randall does his best to avoid Trump as the big chief... He is even willing to loose some fans, although I think the majority of his readers prefers a world without a President Trump! --Kynde (talk) 14:51, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
I don't think he thought this through. Most likely most of the people this comic would have reached were those already going to vote for Clinton, but the small fraction that were undecided/ leaning-Trump probably were actually motivated by this to vote against her. I know I was pushed that way by the persistent media pro-Clinton coverage, not just in news network, but in other stuff that I usually enjoy, like the recent Big Bang Theory episode, basically celebrity that exists and now xkcd. I go to these places to go away from politics, but if you all want to force it down my throat everywhere I go, then fuck you all. That doesn't mean that I won't come back here or to any of the other places I visit, but to me at least this is no longer a haven where I can escape from politics, and that does mean something. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
I get what you're saying, and I appreciate the sentiment. I'm also glad that you won't let this deter you from the comic. May I point out that this is the first explicitly politically-partisan comic in nearly 2000 of them, and takes place at the end of a historically bitter election campaign; but let's be honest, even if this is not a one-off but repeated once every four years, it's still only about 1 comic in 500. Cosmogoblin (talk) 12:58, 11 November 2016 (UTC)

This is a first... comics 500 and 1130 (possibly 1131 too) were related to the election, but didn't endorse a candidate. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this. 18:41, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

I think Randall is pretty much just saying OH GOD PLEASE DONT VOTE FOR TRUMP GizmoDude (talk) 20:59, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
If Randall was saying that, he'd also be bringing up third party candidates (honestly surprised he didn't endorse Jill Stein considering she's more pro-science than Hillary. And before anyone says "anti-vax", check snopes. Jill Stein is so pro-vax [she's volunteered time vaccinated children and is on record saying she wants to increase vaccination rates], pro-addressing-climate[she's green party who has that as a primary platform], and wants to replace the people with business degrees on the panels of the FDA with people with science degrees. Jill is so pro-science and that it makes Hillary look like a flat-earther.) -- 21:30, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
Jill Stein's stance on nuclear energy is an unscientific as it gets. 23:28, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
Hillary Clinton's ideas on encryption are in denial of science. Clinton's stance on coal is unscientific, she's pretty abysmal on fracking and natural gas too. Stein could be a lot better, but if Stein is tofu sarah palin, clinton is just palin with a college degree Cockhorse (talk) 03:32, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
Likewise her position on GMOs. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
No no no. If Randal just wish that Trump should not become president there is only one way to achieve this and that is by making Hillary win. This is not even saying that he likes her, he just dislikes the alternative more. Voting for anyone else might just help Trump. --Kynde (talk) 23:33, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
Also, it looks like minutephysics has done a similar thing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDeL4LGuBx4 00:44, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

I came here to see what the tone of the comments were going to be. I was half expecting to find an all-out flamewar in progress. I was happy to see that the comments have not devolved into the kind of attacks that one would expect to find pretty much anywhere else on the Internet. Geeks are the best people.  :) mwburden (talk) 18:47, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

I'm very dissappointed. Randall never took sides before and - be it as it may - this comic is not a comic but plain out political campaign. Up until now I held xkcd in EXTREMELY high esteem - this comic put a serious dent in that opinion.. -- 18:56, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

I'm really torn about this one. On the one hand I feel that you HAVE to take sides in this one, if your only other option is Donald Trump... on the other hand, I never liked when web comics express political opinions. It will always end in a flame war and almost never have anything to do with the web comic itself. Randall should've just put up a "go vote becaues it's important" sign without taking sides. 19:17, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
Don't let the door hit you on the way out. I'm sure there are other comics out there that would agree with your ideology. Sturmovik (talk) 19:25, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
Randall should do whatever Randall thinks he should do. Should he put up "go read about global warming" comics instead of take the side of AGW? If you think this example is an inappropriate one to use in contrasting this comic with the current political election cycle then you've completely ignored the stances of the two popular candidates. But back to the original point: if you don't like XKCD anymore because of this one comic then go find another comic or start your own. All of art is an expression of the person. Randall knew not everyone would like his beliefs when he pushed this out to the world and is obviously prepared to deal with any consequences of taking a stand on his website. I, for one, applaud him for doing so (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Randall did a comic about global warming a while back, which was very interesting. Because I heard the "earth has warmed up before" argument before and even used it myself at least once. The difference about the global warming comic is that he backed it up with scientific facts, which is well within the scope of this comic. Political opinions aren't (or did the slogan change to A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language and politics?). Yes, of course he can do with his web comic whatever he wants to. But readers can express their opinions about what he does with it. It's called "freedom of speech", you know? 20:47, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
There's a comic for that. 21:19, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
Randall has endorsee Obama in 2008 and it is his comic and he can use it to endorse anyone he likes. I'm pretty sure he believes that he will only loose a few real fans of xkcd over this comic, because those who really enjoys all his comics in spite of for instance climate comics would really not like to see Trump as president. And would thus be happy if this comic helped in any way to avoid that. --Kynde (talk) 23:34, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

Can you help list all the characters in the transcript? From left to right; they're Joanna (ponytail with EMP cannon) from 322; Black Hat; unknown with kite; White Hat; possibly Miss Lenhart (but his hair is somewhat different from 1519); unknown possibly Megan; cueball; unknown woman with glasses; Hairbun; Beret Guy; Cueball with toy sword from 303. B jonas (talk) 19:10, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

Not Miss Lenhart. Blondie. They are listed now. --Kynde (talk) 23:34, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

Good for Randal. I had been noticing how many Hillary leaning artists had been pulling their punches this election, likely out of fear of trolling or loss of revenue. You want to know what courage looks like? This is is. Sturmovik (talk) 19:25, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

Title text hasn't been explained yet. Is it a reference to the German chancellor Angela Merkel's phrase "Wir schaffen das!'? Don't know if Clinton has a slogan like Obama's "Yes, we can!". (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

That's the same I thought. But I'm not sure how well known this phrase is outside of Germany. However "Wir schaffen das!" always had a bitter taste - even considered ironic or sarcastic by some - (which e.g. "Yes, we can!" didn't), so I interpreted "We can do this!" as voting for Clinton is simply the lesser evil. Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 08:15, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

I find (linking to )this civicinnovation website rather questionable. They want to audit peoples address books based on who the names in there might vote for? That sounds like Erich Mielkes wildest dreams come true. Even German newspapers (where i'm from), which are 100% anti-Trump, have in the last days noted concern about the methods of Clintons supporters bullying the other side, and this is a disquieting new piece in that picture. I'll hope this is just a ploy to step up with Trump on the bad manners side. -- 19:37, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

Not all comics have to be humorous

From [1]

The English term comics derives from the humorous (or "comic") work which predominated in early American newspaper comic strips; usage of the term has become standard for non-humorous works as well. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
The problem is that this isn't a comic, this is a campaign ad. 20:32, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
Could we please just NOT get politics involved in the comments, guys?

Just... please? Papayaman1000 (talk) 20:34, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

Are you serious. What had you expected :-) This is the most loaded comic of all time. It will even take down 388: Fuck Grapefruit, even though it beat his blog about his Obama endorsement. --Kynde (talk) 22:58, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

Randall has taken a side in a political Argument before: Not counting the near-invisible easter egg, comic 1005 consists solely of Randall taking a stance on something political and providing links to show how you can help. That wasn't too long ago, but no one freaked out about a serious, political strip back then. CJB42 (talk) 20:39, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

Policy to candidates is not an apples to apples comparison. People get much more up in arms when the topic is either a candidate or policy that goes against religious text or teachings. SOPA and PIPA were neither (well, unless you count GNU as some kind of internet religion). Zernin (talk) 21:22, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

It's sad to see a guy who is so smart in some areas, yet can not see Hillary Clinton for the terrible president she would be. (Granted, part of the reason we only have a few other choices is because of our messed up voting system.) (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I agree with you that Hillary may be worse than almost any one else from the Democrats. But Trump is sooo much further out on a limp, and I'm sure this might be the only reason Randall makes this comic. He is seriously afraid of what woudl happen to the US and the rest of the world if Trump wins --Kynde (talk) 23:38, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

Instead of comic, post contained a political statement. I am not amused. I want a refund. I don't vote, and I don't even live anywhere near USA. 18:40, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

A refund? For what? You pay to read this comic? Zorlax the Mighty'); DROP TABLE users;-- (talk) 21:53, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

Darn right you better be with her. If you say anything else, you will "commit suicide". Just ask Vince Foster or Seth Rich if you think I'm crazy. 21:46, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

What, Randy does not say "Bernie or Bust"? I feel cheated now. :P -- 22:54, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

Poor Bernie. Poor America. Poor world. 23:07, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

Just good luck America (and the rest of the world where I belong), whatever happens tomorrow. But I'm hoping Randall can help his candidate win! --Kynde (talk) 22:58, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

I'm with her... unfortunately : (. I just didn't think it made sense to donate to a billionaire. 00:56, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

Don't get political in the comments? The fucking "comic" is a fucking political ad. We're going to call this fucker out on his cuckery. 01:02, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

Honestly, I don't give a damn. Sure, I might not agree with his political leanings (hell, I don't want either of them in the WH), but it's just 1 comic. On Wednesday, he'll probably go back to the same stuff he's been doing for 1755 other strips. This will be nothing special. Just one comic. Sure, it might be politically fueled, but just because a person lets their leanings known doesn't mean you should be allowed to call them a "cuck" or cause a talk page for a popular comic, or a Reddit for a popular comic, devolve into the equivalent of monkeys flinging crap at walls. So just please deal with it and move on. Yours truly, GranadalandDreamer (talk) 01:14, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

Randall's with *her*? good to know that randall considers arab life worthless/supports financiers over single African-american mothers/refuses to understand encryption/would rather spend public money on coal than retrain miners/loves trade deals that will hurt the poorest, increase inequality, damage the environment, homogenize culture, allow private corporations to sue elected governments/can't make his mind up over the Dakota Access pipeline/changes his accent depending on which state he is stumping in/was late to supporting gay marriage/lied repeatedly about coming under sniper fire in bosnia/has had to repeatedly plead incompetence or rely on bureaucratic politics to evade formal breach of contract or charges of criminality. Iowa, Utah and Wisconsin may have Gloria la Riva of the Party for Socialism and Liberation on the ballot, if you want a candidate who isn't an elitist. And if you didn't want splitters, you should have voted for Bernie. Cockhorse (talk) 02:12, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

I mean it's not like Trump is going to be a whole lot better for Arab people, Black people, gay people, or pretty much anyone who's not a straight white dude. It's quite possible he voted for Bernie, but at this point it's a little late for him to be asking others to support Sanders. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

No, but that doesn't mean we should settle for clinton. It is not late to be asking for people to support Sanders, if anyone was doing that, because if the senate swings to the democrats he ends up in charge of the budget committee. Oh and I forgot one: randall is apparently also planning to disappoint all of us, even those who loathe him, within 100 days. Cockhorse (talk) 05:29, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
Trump would be a whole lot better for all Americans, not just "straight white dudes". He won't be better for people in other countries looking to illegally enter the United States, but why shouldn't an American President be like this? You're just throwing demographic categories around thinking you're making an argument against Trump. Only those who buy into the leftist narrative will believe you. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Looks like the Trumpettes are getting rather triggered over a web comic. Wasn't there a candidate in this election that was preaching against this whole getting easily offended by words thing? 03:25, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

This just makes me... sad... 03:52, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

Why is a webcomic about "romance, sarcasm, language, and math" taking a political stance and telling me who to vote for? Randall can have his own opinion, but this isn't okay. I've read this comic since ... gosh, since the low 200s-300s, so probably over 5 or 6 years and... I think I'm done. 04:29, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

Of course it's okay. It's his comic, which he gives us for free. He can use it to entertain us, to draw random pictures of extradimensional red spiders, or to advocate for a political candidate and inform people how to vote, especially people who may have a more difficult time doing so (like the disabled and elderly). However, I really must thank you... you claiming that this "isn't okay", and all the others here with ruffled feathers over it, makes a previously boring comic one of the most hilarious xkcds in a good long while.².♫.venus.🍅.Cthulu.♣️ 10:38, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

I'm surprised this wiki doesn't have a category for 'serious'/'no joke' comics, and least not that I spotted. There should be, and this should be in it. Teleksterling (talk) 04:31, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

Am I the only one who sees Guy Fawkes in the logo? 04:33, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

I think the only other time Randall generated that much controversy here in comments was when suggested that all beer tastes bad. 06:43, 8 November 2016 (UTC)rw

  • The title text may be quoting - directly or indirectly - Angela Merkel's slogan ("We can do this", or in German "Wir schaffen das"), but I don't know why unless it's just an appropriate slogan. Schroduck (talk) 08:43, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

Hej. I think it was the right thing to do, and if you read some of the older XKCDs (just think about the one about free speech - they just show you the door, and some others) you could have expected that this is his position. even through i would take the vote for stein on my part. I'm sorry for the situation of the citizens of the USA right now. Greetings from Oversea - and good luck today! -- 10:24, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

Way to alienate half of your readership, Randall. Well, now we know that Randall is a socialist communist who hates America. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

  • If you are so repulsed by seeing someone post something that you disagree with that you have to regress to early-teen insults, then I suggest you turn off all your electronic devices and start living in a cave. Engaging with people that we disagree with makes us smarter and better-informed. That said, it's Randall's comic that he provides to us at no charge - and if you stop reading today, you're automatically eligible for a full refund! Paddles (talk) 12:28, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

Given that a big chunk of his readers must be non-US, and we don't really give a rat's arse which arse you elect, it is a bit disappointing there wasn't even something a little witty here. Other web-comic authors have often put things like this as an extra one between the others - and given that he missed a comic today, I don't see why he didn't do that. Anyway, have fun you lot and please try not to start any more wars. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Oh we non-USers do care!! I guess Randall just thinks today is too important to not make his position clear. Which is an admirable decision. I'm also shocked and surprised to find there may be Trumpers lurking on xkcd. Glad to hear so many of you are leaving, folks. 16:46, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

If you don't know any Trump supporters amongst your personal circle, you're part of the problem. Expand your worldview. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Hairbun with glasses

I wonder if she is meant to represent Susan B. Anthony. SBA did have a bun (most photos) and glasses (later in life), and she is the most obvious person to be placed at the same prominent level as HRC.Sysin (talk) 14:42, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

Well maybe, but Randall has drwan Hairbun with glasses like this several times before as also mentioned in the gallery. So I do not think any of the characters represents real persons except maybe the only one looking out at us, Blondie which would be how to draw Hillary in xkcd. --Kynde (talk) 14:45, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

Is that final reminder, about being in line before the polls close true in all 50 states? I believe that Indiana nominally has a different law, that you must be inside the polling building when the polls close in order to vote, which is not quite the same thing. although in practice, it's usually enforced as "be in line" instead 15:30, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

Frankly, The Hillary Logo isn't particularly egregious. He has two elements suggesting to vote for Hillary (the logo, and the "her"), and 5 elements about increasing general voter turnout. I don't like Clinton, but the comic is mostly about voting, nor voting for Clinton. 17:41, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

Randall's fiance/wife has been diagnosed with cancer, hasn't she (per xkcd 1141: "Two Years")? So if/when President Trump repeals ObamaCare --- and in particular repeals the provisions in regard to "pre-existing conditions" --- then his wife loses her healthcare coverage, doesn't she? This is ample reason for Randall (and his wife, and all cancer patients and their families) to oppose Trump, isn't it? PNWoldguy (talk) 18:07, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

An ad for Hillary? Well, I just removed Thing Explainer and What If from my whistlist. I gave Thing Explainer as a gift last year. I now regret that. Oh, and a coworker's husband blacklisted XKCD from their router. Great idea. -- Dayfall (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Hmmmm...given how this election polarizes (look e.g. in the "Scientific American" for a clear anti-Trump statement which is rather unprecedented for them; dunno about "Science") this is a rather mildly pro-Clinton comic. So what? Other celebs took their stance too. (Eagerly still awaiting NSFWComix's comment :-) 23:16, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

Definitely not a Trump supporter here... But on the topic of political propaganda on a nerd comic... And the "free speech" comic about free speech "not existing on discussion forums"... The purpose of discussions is to have your beliefs challenged, so you can distinguish good and bad reasoning, refine your beliefs, and alter them due to evidence. Unpopular opinions should be refuted (if faulty premises), or discussed so everyone can decide for themselves. Banning members for unpopular opinions is not a debate, it's an echo chamber. And I mean this for both sides of a discussion, not just supporting one ideology in particular. Jimbo1qaz (talk) 23:29, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

Also, I'm a bit disappointed that this comic is a Clinton campaign sign (although nowhere near as much as I would be if this comic was a Trump sign). Jimbo1qaz (talk) 23:31, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

Explanation needs, somewhere on it, the interesting fact that citizens don't receive fines or criminal charges for not voting. I didn't realise that this was so in the U.S., and many other non-U.S. readers might not realise that it's legal to not vote in the U.S. 01:27, 9 November 2016 (UTC)

  • Most of the world doesn't have compulsory voting. I'm guessing you may be in Australia which does have compulsory voting, but New Zealand doesn't, nor do Canada, UK, Ireland, South Africa, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Russia, Japan, China, Nigeria, Finland, Pakistan, Denmark ... -- 17:44, 9 November 2016 (UTC)

Seriously,don't get heated about it. I agree that:

  • This is just expressing Randall's opinion.
  • Even if it wasn't, he deserves a comic off from jokes.
  • The campaign is going o end before I wake up at 6 tomorrow.

Also, could you fucking watch your language? Jacky720 (talk) 03:27, 9 November 2016 (UTC)

I saw the two forward facing figures as Clinton and Kaine. Miamiclay (talk) 03:49, 9 November 2016 (UTC)

Encouraging people to vote, and helping to know how, great. But I was disappointed that he stooped to campaigning for a specific candidate right in his comic, as opposed to his blag. This is a sad day for XKCD. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

  • I wonder if Randall realized that his "get a ride to the polls" link would only work for residents in one district of Nebraska -- less than 0.25% of his U.S. readership. -- 17:44, 9 November 2016 (UTC)

Hilarious comic as always! Hillary as president, lol. Good one, Randall :^) -- 21:15, 9 November 2016 (UTC)

Why is the discussion 3/4th of the page with only 1/4 being related to the explanation? And most of the comments being replied to are ones on Women or Sexism, which is bad. Instead they should bitch about Donald Trump, he is the most sexist and racist here. 12:45, 10 November 2016 (UTC)

Comments from 2017 and later
Found the joke

It turns out that this comic was funny in hindsight. 08:50, 12 January 2017 (UTC)

Ha ha ;-) But I think that most of those that rooted for Randall and Hillary fails to see the funny part now, especially Randall, but probably also several of those that actually voted for Trump in a protest either against the system of Hillary personally... --Kynde (talk) 14:29, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
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