So. Many (eight) years ago, I drew a cartoon that came to me while I was at Web Directions North. The inspiration was a keynote by one of my web heroes, Molly Holzschlag, titled Crimes Against Web Standards. And it was great.
So I drew that cartoon and posted it, and Molly reposted it on her blog with some very kind words — and the comment “I had this passing thought that the guy should be female and have curly hair, but that’s just me.”
I didn’t take that as criticism at all — there’s a pretty strong implied wink in her comment — but it still stung to realize what I’d done: for the last eight years, I’ve wondered off and on why the hell I drew that speaker as a guy when a woman inspired it. Now, assuming that any speaker at a tech event must be male is not a rare ailment, but I’m not proud that I have the odd flare-up myself.
In the meantime, I’ve followed Molly’s career and web standards advocacy, as well as a grave health crisis (one that should shake anyone’s belief in the robust integrity of Arizona’s health insurance system) with respect and admiration in equal measure.
When I saw Molly pop up in my mentions a while ago, I finally decided that I’ve had enough of that cartoon hanging out there, and I’ve redrawn it. No, the woman in that cartoon isn’t necessarily Molly Holzschlag circa 2007; she’s just a very dynamic, inspiring speaker who is female and has curly hair. (This disclaimer is necessary not because I don’t want to draw Molly, but because my record as a caricaturist is pretty hit-and-miss, which I suspect this cartoon establishes nicely.)
Thanks for all you’ve done for the web, Molly. This cartoon may be eight years late, but your work is no less timely.