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Lauren founded this blog in 2001.
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163 Responses

  1. ginmar
    ginmar March 14, 2006 at 6:03 pm |

    I read these kind of threads, and something nags at me. Today, while writing a long ass post about real rebellion, it hit me.

    I was writing about what it was like in the dark ages of the Seventies, when boys could pull girls hair, pinch them, grope them, and do it in clear view of the teachers. When the girls finally had enough, the teachers would discipline them, not the boys. The boys were just being boys. And of course the boys were witty and boyish about it, while the girls were upset. Nobody likes a crybaby, do they? What a whiner.

    Every feminist blog has guys who poke and poke and poke. When people finally get pissed off, all that stuff is invisible. Sometimes these guys are charming, but they’re still assholes. People only focus on the girl’s reaction. They tell her she’s responsible for her reaction. They ignore that the guy is responsible for his actions, too, and he gets an infinite number of chances because he’s so charming. The woman might be upset—after all, it’s been going on her whole fucking life.

    It’s the same thing you see in battering cases, where the guy is perfectly calm when the cops get there, and the woman is a blubbery, sobbing, upset mess. She’s just gotten beaten and she’s not crying in that romantic novel heroine kind of way: he’s calm becuase he just got rid of all his aggression on her. Nobody likes a crybaby.

  2. Hugo
    Hugo March 14, 2006 at 6:09 pm |

    The feminist and pro-feminist blogosphere is, all things considered, remarkably young. Even those of us who’ve been blogging for a while are still feeling our way through, without the guidance of those who were doing this decades ago — because no one was. That means that the potential for hurt feelings is immense. It’ll be interesting to see where we all are in five years, after this medium has developed and morphed and we’ve had more time to learn from our mistakes.

    Your concluding sentiment, Lauren, is one I share.

  3. ginmar
    ginmar March 14, 2006 at 6:16 pm |

    That’s a generaal explanation that simply ignores the power dynamic in that thread, Hugo, where at least two male trolls simply tried to change the subject and did so with insults. There was also feminists calling male feminists on their behavior. Frankly, I find the idea that you can’t tell some who’s fighting for their rights from someone who’s devoted to taking those rights away—in a culture which seems hellbent on aiding the latter aim—to be extremely disturbing.

    What we need is more precise thinking, not less precision. Generalities are worthless. “Hurt feelings” is not a synonym for ‘lack of respect’. It’s a minimization.

  4. ginmar
    ginmar March 14, 2006 at 6:19 pm |

    You know what else is striking about that phrase? How it reduces the feelings to those of some oversensitive school girl. Hurt feelings is what you get when someone steals your lunch money. No big deal, easily fixable. Are our concerns seen as being that shallow and stupid?

  5. Hugo
    Hugo March 14, 2006 at 6:26 pm |

    Actually, I was referring to the hurt feelings that those of us who blog inflict on each other.

    Where you and I disagree, Ginmar, is here:

    To me, civility is not about ideology. It’s about tactics. I judge people less by what they believe, and more by the tools they employ to convey those beliefs. Or, to put it another way, I care less about the “ends” and more about the “means”.

    Call it elitist, call it obtuse, call it bizarrely privileged — but I don’t think it calls into question my feminist credentials. If you do, that’s fine. I will continue to call myself an aspiring pro-feminist (who falls short of the mark), and you can continue to challenge me to grow and change.

    I don’t want to use Lauren, Jill, Piny, and Zuzu’s space to quarrel. I am sorry if my actions — or my failures to act — have been hurtful. But I’m committed to the notion that how we argue matters as much as what we are arguing about.

  6. ginmar
    ginmar March 14, 2006 at 6:34 pm |

    You’re setting yourself up as judge, however, Hugo, and when you apologize, you do so with an ‘if’.

    I am sorry if my actions — or my failures to act — have been hurtful.

    You have been told over and over again. The fact that you can use an ‘if’ in that sentence indicates that either you haven’t been listening, you dismiss criticism out of hand, and that you doubt the reality of what people are telling you.

  7. ginmar
    ginmar March 14, 2006 at 6:35 pm |

    Well, Hugo, civility often serves as concealment. That, too, is a subject that’s been gone over and over again. You value the form of someone’s argument more than the substance? That explains a lot.

  8. Hugo
    Hugo March 14, 2006 at 6:43 pm |

    I’m bowing out of this thread because I think Ginmar and I are at an impasse, and I don’t want us to continue to talk past each other.

    I believe we’re on the same side, I really do — our language may be different, our experiences may be different, but our commitments are ultimately the same.

    All the best to you, Ginmar.

  9. Roxanne
    Roxanne March 14, 2006 at 6:45 pm |

    It’s also perfect for BlogHer. Send this to Lisa Stone =

    lisa.l.stone@gmail.com

  10. Lis Riba
    Lis Riba March 14, 2006 at 6:51 pm |

    The feminist and pro-feminist blogosphere is, all things considered, remarkably young. Even those of us who’ve been blogging for a while are still feeling our way through, without the guidance of those who were doing this decades ago — because no one was.

    There was Usenet. I don’t know precisely when the moderated soc.feminism group was first created, but it was well established before my earliest post (that Google Groups could find) in 1996 — a decade ago.

    I even recall an academic paper from 1999 about the rhetorics of gender in computer-mediated communication which focused on soc.feminism.

    The article doesn’t appear to be available freely online, though possibly you can get it through academic databases.

    Usenet isn’t blogging — for one thing, newsgroups were shared commons, while blogs remind me more of hosted salons, each with its owner.Nonetheless, the territory isn’t wholly new…

  11. Lis Riba
    Lis Riba March 14, 2006 at 6:54 pm |

    PS: Here are the Google Scholar links to the article I referenced if any of them will work for you…

  12. ginmar
    ginmar March 14, 2006 at 7:29 pm |

    Which mean, Hugo, for all the stroking you do of your male trolls, you refuse to consider what I say. I don’t know whose side you’re on, but seeing as how you listen almost exclusively to men who bash women, I rather doubt it’s mine.

  13. evil_fizz
    evil_fizz March 14, 2006 at 7:49 pm |

    you know what? I’m going to say it: ginmar, give it a goddamn rest. Hugo’s apologised, you clearly aren’t interested, and that’s pretty much where it ends. rip into me all you like for that, but honestly, if someone hasn’t listened to you by now, it ain’t happening. drop it.

  14. dith
    dith March 14, 2006 at 7:57 pm |

    Politricks is the law of the jungle disguised in the jungle of their laws.

  15. ginmar
    ginmar March 14, 2006 at 8:10 pm |

    Hey, evil fizz, fuck off. Hugo gave me a limp dick “I’m sorry if….” apology and if you don’t see that that’s your fuckin’ problem. I’m not going to let it go so just fuck off and save your breath, okay?

    Christ, the reason these passive aggressive dipshits get away with their troll-coddling ways is because some git like EF comes in and blames the messenger. Good job, asswipe.

  16. evil_fizz
    evil_fizz March 14, 2006 at 8:19 pm |

    *laughs* I still have no idea why you need validation from Hugo, for him to justify your anger, but you’re going to be waiting a damn long time for whatever apology you think deserve.

    You can insult me all you like, but it’s not going to affect the situation one way or the other. Grow up already.

  17. ginmar
    ginmar March 14, 2006 at 8:25 pm |

    Oh, look, another mind reader. Fuck off. You have nothing worthwhile to say to me, so piss off.

  18. Shannon W.
    Shannon W. March 14, 2006 at 8:32 pm |

    The argument still continues, but hey! a seminar! cool!

  19. Hugo
    Hugo March 14, 2006 at 8:39 pm |

    Lis Riba, thanks for the links. I stand — at least partially — corrected!

  20. Lis Riba
    Lis Riba March 14, 2006 at 8:42 pm |

    I stand — at least partially — corrected!

    Orthopedic shoes? :)

  21. Hugo
    Hugo March 14, 2006 at 9:36 pm |

    Well, I do overpronate badly. My left foot rolls too far to the left, and my right too far to the right… what that says, I don’t know. Something about political contradictions.

  22. Bitch | Lab
    Bitch | Lab March 14, 2006 at 10:06 pm |

    @ Lis Riba,

    Oh hellyeah. I’ve been around USENET and discussion list and chat boards for years. There’ve been scholarly papers all over the place on the topic. There’s another paper on the topic, only it’s about the discussion list, Anthro-L. It’s included in a book called _Gender and Language_ (can’t recall exact title at the mo’).

    As for pokers, I couldn’t help but have fun with that!

    Oh, and one of the conventions we came up with to ease of a heated topic and unite around something symbolically shared, but not invested with anything in particular: Share a recipe for lentil soup.

    It was a great way to stop the obsessiveness and it provided a way for those who wanted to bow out without looking like they were conceding any terrirotry.

    It was actually an idea developed in a male dominated space, the Defcon-Stuff list for hackers who attend Defcon.

    There are some fantabulous recipes that came out of ten years of debate. :)

  23. ginmar
    ginmar March 14, 2006 at 10:42 pm |

    Well, hey, Bitch, if it didn’t happen to you, then just go right ahead and make fun of it, because all your male buddies that you just go on and fucking on about wouldn’t approve. Christ. I especially liked the insincere disclaimer at the end. Are you that insecure that you have to boast and boast about your attractiveness to men, how many male readers you have, and how it’s never happened to you? You’re so feisty and special, aren’t you? Isn’t that just wonderful. But, gee, it does tend to look like you’re being an asshole to everybody who’s just not as special as you are.

    Awwwhellnawwwwwww. I was growing up then. I was fighting them on the playground during second and third grade. And, honest to gosh serious, none of them pulled my hair, punched me, groped me, or tried to tickle me. Maybe I wasn’t lucscious enough to be the object of such desire. Nah. A good number of us were on the playground kicking their butts. Yes, even then! And I don’t remember any girl ever getting in trouble for complaining. I even remember a boy getting spanked for picking on a girl.

    I also read this in the same comment: “Every feminist blog has guys who poke and poke and poke.”

    This is a feminist blog. There are no pokers here. Why not?! Where are the Bitch | Lab pokers, damn it? Is it because Bitch Lab is a paramecium in Blogoliciousville? Dayum.

    You know, Bitch Lab got slashdotted once. 800 mostly males showed up. How come Bitch Lab didn’t get poked?

    No poking from the geeks. Whaddup with that?!

    All those crazy techy geeks did was read an average of 4.3 pages of the Bitch Lab for an average of 10.32 minutes. A few dropped a comment here ‘n’ there. They may have stuck around. I dunno. They are quiet little buggers, those geekbuoyz.

    Funny thing is, though, my experience has been borne out by research. Yours hasn’t. You boast about what a feisty little thing you were and how many men you attract and how good they treat you. Isn’t that nice for you?

    Bitch Lab would like to get poked, lemme tell ya. Is it Bitch Lab’s frock or something? Should she change her blogdress to attract more pokers? What kind of blogdress would a good poker like? Is there a mating call Bitch Lab needs to make to attract the poking of good pokers?

    And I’ll tell ya, just between us, I think Bitch Lab hasn’t ever been poked. Not by a real poker anyway. Bitch Lab’s cherry, never been poked. If she isn’t a virgin to a good poking, then I’ll bet she’s a little, shall we say, anxious? That might explain all these fucking posts about Ariel Levy.

    Bitch Lab ain’t had any good poking — not in a long ass time.

    The last time I heard someone making a joke that they’d like to be sexually harassed, it was a man. But we know where your priorities are.

  24. zuzu
    zuzu March 14, 2006 at 10:49 pm |

    Ginmar, maybe you could post responses to Bitch Lab’s posts on her blog instead of here.

  25. ginmar
    ginmar March 14, 2006 at 11:05 pm |
  26. zuzu
    zuzu March 14, 2006 at 11:07 pm |

    That’s great. But you two should take it outside rather than derailing this thread.

  27. ginmar
    ginmar March 14, 2006 at 11:33 pm |

    Taken. But I think my first comment stands. We’re trained from early childhood to find males acting up to be cute, while girls responding to it as being uppity and weak simultaneously.

  28. zuzu
    zuzu March 14, 2006 at 11:38 pm |

    Your first comment does stand. I know this isn’t my post, but I don’t want this to devolve into airing of personal grievances instead of getting at the real issues.

  29. ginmar
    ginmar March 14, 2006 at 11:57 pm |

    Over. Dont with. But any discussion of feminist….discussion… has to ask why some people feel it necessary to say, “Well, that didn’t happen to me, tee hee! I wish it would!”

    I have a long post about that tomorrow, but what strikes me about it remains the same: we excuse really shitty behavior by men against women, and then we punish women for reacting to it. Then we blame them when they don’t react. If she reacts, she’s a weak whining bitch and if she doesn’t react she gets blamed for tolerating it. Do men even see this pattern? I know it’s been written about extensively: there’s “Shortchanging girls, Shortchanging America” and a whole genre of books on how little girls abruptly lose confidence just before puberty. The probelm is, the same patterns get carried over into adulthood, and people don’t examine them, least of all males who still want to appeal to male readers, whatever they may be. They expect to be liked by women readers if they deviate even slightly from the artifically low baseline for male behavior.

  30. KnifeGhost
    KnifeGhost March 15, 2006 at 12:12 am |

    what strikes me about it remains the same: we excuse really shitty behavior by men against women, and then we punish women for reacting to it.

    Precisely. A highly gendered version of “nobody likes a tattletale”.

  31. ginmar
    ginmar March 15, 2006 at 12:21 am |

    And, when you add in the nearly universal belief that women are liars and/or overly emotional, one that will be indestructible unless we fight it at every turn. That means validating women, not telling them to shut up. Maybe there’s some men that need to shut up. You think?

  32. Bitch | Lab
    Bitch | Lab March 15, 2006 at 12:34 am |

    @ zuzu — for the record, I wasn’t comparing anything to harassment. I was riffing on the fact that the blog doesn’t get trolls. I have a dirty mind — as I make quite clear — and it had utterly nothing to do with anything other than the word, “poke” to describe what trolls do at blogs.

    my policy on trolls: they get ignored.

    Now, would people prefere a recipe for gender rolls or stingray soup? :)

  33. ginmar
    ginmar March 15, 2006 at 1:31 am |

    Neither, bitch, because you’re trying to minimze what you did. If you’re riffing, you need to fucking learn how to do it better.

    Your whole post was, “It didn’t happen to me, I”m special and sexy and so it doesn’t count! Tee hee!”

    You just want to back away from being insensitive. Deal with it. But don’t be any more cowardly than you’ve already been.

  34. ACS
    ACS March 15, 2006 at 1:32 am |

    The fact that women are frequently subjected to criticism for being “overly emotional” does not mean that everything you say automatically qualifies for support and validation, especially when that support and validation requires that other people back off from their principles. If you feel strongly enough about this that you are willing to keep up the argument, I’m not suggesting that you not, but don’t expect a whole lot of support.

    The fact that you’re a woman demands a close reading, a long pause, and an examination of biases. It also demands respectful wsilence, if you’re wrong but not oppressing anyone. That’s the angle I’ve taken so far. It does not demand reflex compliance followed by a dogpile on Hugo and Bitch | Lab.

    You spent the last quarter of the first thread and then the vast majority of this thread tilting at Hugo’s rapidly retreating windmill. Nobody’s asking you to stop trying to convince Hugo to change what I feel is a misguided comment policy — it will turn Hugo’s comments senction into ‘Hugo’s ministry to the cretins*’ — but trying to publically shame Hugo by comparing his behavior to battering, then (essentially) calling Bitch | Lab a dumb slut is totally beyond the pale.

    — ACS

    * I am not sure that this isn’t what Hugo wants.

  35. ginmar
    ginmar March 15, 2006 at 1:56 am |

    And it gets better. How dare you presume to tell me what age that was?

  36. Burrow
    Burrow March 15, 2006 at 1:58 am |

    evil_fizz: No ginmar is not seeking validation, but instead wants hugo to stop being sexist in his moderation policy.

  37. Mickle
    Mickle March 15, 2006 at 3:50 am |

    “It’s about tactics. I judge people less by what they believe, and more by the tools they employ to convey those beliefs.”

    Oh, god, I must call bullshit on this one. Seriously I’m all for non-violent protest, but that doesn’t mean that I think that it would have worked in ending slavery. Likewise, I don’t have anything against civility, but that doesn’t meann I’m under the impression that it’s always the most useful option, and I suspect that the fact that you see it as never being a bad option has a hell a lot to with the privilege you have as a man talking about feminism. Asking sure as hell didn’t stop my co-workers from ordering me to smile – going all psycho on their ass did, however.

    As far as the ends justifying the means: when the ends are to make sure everyone is treated with respect, it’s important to keep in mind that the veneer of respect is often more dangerous than honest disgust.

  38. Lesley
    Lesley March 15, 2006 at 7:24 am |

    To me, civility is not about ideology. It’s about tactics. I judge people less by what they believe, and more by the tools they employ to convey those beliefs. Or, to put it another way, I care less about the “ends” and more about the “means”.

    Is that really true? All the time? If someone came along spouting racist stereotypes in a polite manner, would you not judge them more for their racist beliefs? Is there even a way to spout racist stereotypes in a “civil” manner? If the answer to that last question is no, then why is it somehow possible for people to air sexist stereotypes in a “civil” manner?

    If the answer to the last question is yes, then I suspect you’re at an impasse with far more people than just ginmar. At some point, ideology has to trump tactics. Some ideology is simply not “civil” in and of itself, regardless of how it’s expressed. Then we get into where we set that line and why we set it there. Which I think gets to ginmar’s point about how we excuse poor male behavior when it’s expressed in the “right” way, but then condemn women who, unsurprisingly, react negatively to it.

  39. evil_fizz
    evil_fizz March 15, 2006 at 9:06 am |

    but instead wants hugo to stop being sexist in his moderation policy.

    So it’s your contention that he’s slapping down women and refusing to police men? Or that the MRA types are allowed to run their mouths when you think they should be banned?

  40. Sally
    Sally March 15, 2006 at 9:32 am |

    So it’s your contention that he’s slapping down women and refusing to police men?

    That.

    Did you read the comments thread where a bunch of white MRAs told women of color that they were the “real racists” for perceiving racism against themselves, and Hugo spanked the women of color for being insufficiently sweet in their responses? For instance, Uzzah, a white guy said this:

    Dr King was a great man, and has my respect. Unlike you, I was around in the 60’s and he truly was a man ahead of the times. Unlike many of the black leaders I see today, he didn’t preach hate and contempt for the white man as a means to achieve equality. He was a man of peace that preached true equality and not the type of “equality” you seem to want.

    From your posts, it appears to me you don’t want a colorblind society. You seem to want perpetual preferential treatment for blacks. In an amazing show of hypocrisy, you dismiss your own personal racism, and black on white racism in general, and justify it by comparing it to the actions of “all” whites or on stereotypical white men from a time way before your parents were even born. You conveniently ignore the many gains blacks have made, as well as your own personal academic achievements as examples that things are not the same as the when your grandmother marched. You conveniently ignore the many many whites that have stood behind you in your quest for equality. Your type of racism would be a lot more appalling to me if it wasn’t so damned sad.

    Sad because your type of racism is holding blacks back from achieving King’s dream of a color blind society. Racism against blacks is making a comeback because whites (and other minorities) that are making that conscious effort to treat all equally are getting damn tired of being demonized and used as your excuse for not achieving true parity by your own means. We find that racism hurtful as well.

    Shannon, a black woman, responded thusly.:

    Uzzah, how dare you lie so terribly about Dr King. Do you think anyone thinks someone who gave his life for his race would be for white kids getting the best education and being allowed into jobs regardless of talent, while blacks are locked out and forced into lower paying jobs if they get a job at all? Do you seriously expect Dr King to be for saying ‘we’re all equal’ but not actually doing anything for equality?

    Do you think Dr King was an idiot who didn’t know about the centuries of preferential treatment whites got(and still get after his death)? How dare you insult my intelligence by slandering this great man. Please recant your lies and educate yourself on the writings of Dr King and his speeches. They are freely avaliable online. How can you respect someone if you can not take the time to see what he actually thought?

    Not to mention, how dare you try to claim special rights for whites? Why should I pretend that whites act better than they do? If white people want me to speak kindly of them, they only have to act decently. I still have to hear about the mythical crack addict welfare queen who stole a million dollars by having ten zillion babies, and her pal, the ‘unqualified’ black man who stole a mythical white person’s ‘spot'(because we all know that colleges have spots reserved for whites only!), whether I have a baby, smoke crack, or make a F in a class or not. I have to worry about being judged about something that someone made up out of whole cloth, and you’re worried because we don’t like some people’s *actual* behavior and *gasp* complain about it? You have it tons easier than everybody else, and yet you’re still whinging.

    and Hugo said:

    Shannon, let’s cool down the rhetoric here. I don’t want to close this thread. My blog, my rules, and the first rule is civility regardless of perceived provocation.

    I don’t believe that Shannon’s comment was any less civil than Uzzah’s (or the one by Mr. Bad which preceded it.) I think that it was highly problematic that Hugo chastized her and not the guys to whom she was responding.

  41. evil_fizz
    evil_fizz March 15, 2006 at 9:44 am |

    Truthfully, I’d stopped reading at that point because Uzzah and Mr. Bad were off the deep end, but I know it went on for quite awhile. Do you have the link to the thread?

  42. evil_fizz
    evil_fizz March 15, 2006 at 9:52 am |

    Okay, never mind, I found the discussion you were talking about. You noticed he told Mr. Bad to be civil earlier in the discussion, right?

    Let’s keep this thread civil, and keep the lord off his pogo stick.

    Looking back over the comment thread, the whole thing is pretty damn nasty and I have no idea why it didn’t get cut off at the knees sooner, but there is it.

  43. ginmar
    ginmar March 15, 2006 at 10:04 am |

    And it’s typical for him. I guess you must have missed the debates about how fucking UNcivil it is to allow men to go on and on about women aren’t human beings, how they lie about rape and so forth and so on. If that’s civility, you can keep it. But it’s not civility at all: it’s just a pretense. It allows men to act logical while reviving the women are hysterical cliche and to keep from seriously considering the reality of sexism and their place in a sexist world. Taht’s what all the thread derailment is about. These guys don’t want to end sexism: they want to either ignore it—at best—or they want to shout women into silence so nothing gets done.

  44. zuzu
    zuzu March 15, 2006 at 10:22 am |

    Over. Dont with. But any discussion of feminist….discussion… has to ask why some people feel it necessary to say, “Well, that didn’t happen to me, tee hee! I wish it would!”

    Sure. I just don’t want to have the discussion get over-personalized. You got a lot of space in the other thread to air specific grievances with Hugo and Ampersand; I’m asking both you and Bitch to keep the discussion about her post on her blog on her blog (and yours, if you see fit), not this one.

    Thanks.

  45. Hugo
    Hugo March 15, 2006 at 10:53 am |

    Well, I go to bed, go work out, have breakfast, and discover the discussion still continues!

    My remark about tactics mattering more than ideology is rooted not in my feminism but in my Anabaptist (Mennonite) religious principles. I am a pacifistm, and my faith calls me to renounce violence (both physical and verbal). My feminist commitments are important, but they are shaped and informed by my Christian beliefs. “Turn the other cheek” is an absolute moral imperative for me.

    Look, if someone wants to take a vote to suspend my feminist credentials, that’s fine. I prefer “pro-feminist” anyway, largely because I honor the reality that men and women will experience so many of these issues differently. As for me, I’ll continue to believe that the feminist big tent is big enough for Ginmar and Hugo, Bitch Lab and Lauren and Amanda and Ampersand and all the rest of us. Call me Pollyanna, tell me I “don’t get it” — and know that I am still listening.

    Cheers!

  46. zuzu
    zuzu March 15, 2006 at 10:54 am |

    Oh, sure, Hugo. Leave ME out of the big tent.

  47. evil_fizz
    evil_fizz March 15, 2006 at 10:59 am |

    they want to shout women into silence so nothing gets done.

    And what the hell do you think you’ve done with your comments here? You act likely they’ve cornered the market on acting like a jackass, and yet you tell people like me (who might have agreed with you if you evinced a scintilla of civility of any damn kind) to fuck off. Way to go.

  48. Hugo
    Hugo March 15, 2006 at 11:09 am |

    Oh, sure, Hugo. Leave ME out of the big tent.

    Whoops. “And zuzu, and Jill, and Piny and alll those who care to attach the sobriquet to their names…”

  49. ginmar
    ginmar March 15, 2006 at 1:10 pm |

    Evil_fizz, why do you think you’re entitled to more civility than you give? Drop it? That’s saying fuck off without the fuck off.

  50. zuzu
    zuzu March 15, 2006 at 1:20 pm |

    Ginmar, don’t make me come back there.

    Everyone please stop personalizing.

  51. ginmar
    ginmar March 15, 2006 at 1:32 pm |

    Well, good, then have a slap at ACS for me.

  52. Jbob
    Jbob March 15, 2006 at 3:27 pm |

    Hugo,

    I think it’s becoming clear that you and I disagree on more than the meaning of civility, which your allusion to your Mennonite tradition clarifies: thank you. And I do generally approve of inclusion “big tent” agree to disagree tactics.

    But your call for “civility” to Shannon, as quoted by Sally in 40, above, really angered me. She was passionate, yes, but keeping her temper better than I may have. As I think others here have pointed out, being even-handed to oppressors and oppressed alike is at best disingenuous, and frequently provokes righteous anger. I believe it is impossible to not be angry at times; to avoid verbal expressions as an “absolute moral imperative” is hiding from reality, IMO.
    Then again, I don’t frame my ethics in absolute moral imperative language anyway.

    Zuzu, your thread and your call, but I think Ginmar is mostly right, even when angry. I have points where I would not be so temperate as she, and therefore sympathize. I wish she had got a better hearing than folks here could give.

  53. zuzu
    zuzu March 15, 2006 at 3:36 pm |

    Jbob, I think Ginmar’s been given a great deal of leeway in this thread and the other one; I simply asked her (and Bitch) to take their dispute over Bitch’s post over to Bitch’s blog, where it belongs. I don’t want the discussion to be dragged off topic by personal disputes.

  54. TangoMan
    TangoMan March 15, 2006 at 4:05 pm |

    Sally,

    I imagine that you didn’t read those comments with a discriminating eye.

    Uzzah wrote: “Dr King was a great man, and has my respect. Unlike you, I was around in the 60’s and he truly was a man ahead of the times.”

    Shannon wrote: “Uzzah, how dare you lie so terribly about Dr King.”

    Uzzah wrote:”In an amazing show of hypocrisy, you dismiss your own personal racism, and black on white racism in general, and justify it by comparing it to the actions of “all” whites or on stereotypical white men from a time way before your parents were even born.”

    Shannon wrote:”Not to mention, how dare you try to claim special rights for whites? Why should I pretend that whites act better than they do? If white people want me to speak kindly of them, they only have to act decently.”

    It was plain to Hugo, and I suspect to a number of other commenters, that Shannon was making stuff up, inserting strawmen to argue against, and generally being disruptive. Uzzah, from reading Shannon’s comments, did pick up on her racism and addressed the issue. In fact, if you go to Shannon’s blog, she herself confirms Uzzah’s impression with this post:

    I have to admit that I hate white people. They have lost my trust. Some may say that this is the same as racism. I have to say no. Sure, maybe if a white person talks about how much they hate blacks in front of me, I may put them on blast . . .

    Look, she’s got her own issues and she brought them into her commenting, used Uzzah as a proxy target, filled her comment with strawmen, and then went way overboard. Hugo was completely justified in asking her, in a respectful and polite fashion, to cool her jets.

  55. zuzu
    zuzu March 15, 2006 at 4:34 pm |

    Tango Man, that’s a completely dishonest slice-and-dice of the comments Sally posted.

    Moreover, it’s highly insulting for you to tell her that you “imagine that you didn’t read those comments with a discriminating eye.”

    Don’t troll.

  56. TangoMan
    TangoMan March 15, 2006 at 4:53 pm |

    zuzu,

    It’s not dishonest at all and I’m not trolling. If you look back at the other comment thread, I came into that discussion on this very point which was also made by Sally. I’m more than happy to let ginmar vent herself here without commenting, but Sally really isn’t giving an unbiased presentation of this issue and no one should let that go unchallenged. As I said, I spent the time to read that whole thread and Hugo’s call was right on the money. I can’t speak to the larger issue of Hugo’s policies because I just came across his blog for the first time the other day.

    I have nothing to add to the inter-feminist dialogue so I’m staying quiet on that front, but all of us have something to add when we see faulty argumentation being used as a club against Hugo.

  57. Jbob
    Jbob March 15, 2006 at 4:54 pm |

    Absofuckinlutely, Tangoman. A casual glance revealed what you were up to.

  58. Jbob
    Jbob March 15, 2006 at 4:55 pm |

    You slipped, Tango. Zuzu was dead solid right and you’re a troll

  59. zuzu
    zuzu March 15, 2006 at 4:57 pm |

    Your dishonesty was revealed in your slicing and dicing of the comments. Sally posted Uzzah’s comment, then Shannon’s. You took excerpts from each to make it appear that Shannon was responding unfairly to particular points of Uzzah’s when she clearly did not.

    You’re really getting tiresome.

  60. TangoMan
    TangoMan March 15, 2006 at 5:00 pm |

    Really? Tell me then, which lie about Dr. King did Uzzah write?

  61. Sally
    Sally March 15, 2006 at 5:05 pm |

    The lie that Dr. King’s vision was more compatable with the racism of people like Uzzah than with the anti-racism of people like Shannon.

    Everyone can read the comment and decide for themselves if I’ve characterized it honestly. It’s quoted in #40, and there’s a link provided there. Now can we please ignore the troll and move on?

  62. zuzu
    zuzu March 15, 2006 at 5:11 pm |

    Yes. TangoMan, you’re on moderation.

  63. other ryan
    other ryan March 15, 2006 at 5:19 pm |

    Do we all still love blogs?

  64. TangoMan
    TangoMan March 15, 2006 at 5:25 pm |

    Yes. TangoMan, you’re on moderation.

    Your blog, your rules. See ya. It was Lauren’s writing that attracted me anyway and the character of the blog has changed since she left.

  65. zuzu
    zuzu March 15, 2006 at 5:30 pm |

    Do we all still love blogs?

    Why not?

    Nobody needed blogs to fight about these issues before, and they won’t need them after blogs are passe. Might as well enjoy blogs for what they are now.

  66. other ryan
    other ryan March 15, 2006 at 5:39 pm |

    I’ve never seen behavior like this in the real world… I read this and the other thread in their entirety and I’m at a complete loss. I just don’t get it. What’s the motivation to act this way? What’s accomplished?

  67. piny
    piny March 15, 2006 at 5:45 pm |

    Your blog, your rules. See ya. It was Lauren’s writing that attracted me anyway and the character of the blog has changed since she left.

    Damn, damn, damn.

    I’ll always wonder if we could have done more.

  68. zuzu
    zuzu March 15, 2006 at 5:59 pm |

    Pity, innit?

    I’ve never seen behavior like this in the real world… I read this and the other thread in their entirety and I’m at a complete loss. I just don’t get it. What’s the motivation to act this way? What’s accomplished?

    Guess that depends on what you’re talking about by “act this way.” Because there were an awful lot of “this ways” in those two threads, everything from discussion to heated discussion to trolling to calling bullshit to venting to making excuses to whimpering to throwing up hands in disgust to exasperation to… well, you get it.

  69. Shannon W.
    Shannon W. March 15, 2006 at 6:00 pm |

    For my part, I would like to note that stuff isn’t synmetrical. If I become angry because someone treats me and my whole family poorly, and makes up a bunch of excuses when called on it, it’s not the same as you know, treating me and my family poorly for no good reason.

  70. other ryan
    other ryan March 15, 2006 at 6:08 pm |

    Because there were an awful lot of “this ways” in those two threads,

    The bad stuff.

  71. zuzu
    zuzu March 15, 2006 at 6:12 pm |

    If I become angry because someone treats me and my whole family poorly, and makes up a bunch of excuses when called on it, it’s not the same as you know, treating me and my family poorly for no good reason

    You…you mean it’s not worse to be called on your racism than it is to be racist? Or to be called on your misogyny than to be a misogynist? Or to be called on your political corruption than to be corrupt?

    Gonna be some heads ‘splodin’ in the wankosphere.

  72. Hugo
    Hugo March 15, 2006 at 6:13 pm |

    Well, I love blogs a lot today, even in moments of profound exasperation.

  73. sophonisba
    sophonisba March 15, 2006 at 6:15 pm |

    Look, if someone wants to take a vote to suspend my feminist credentials, that’s fine.

    I respect your rules just barely enough to refrain from saying this on your own civil blog, but: Bite me.

    Because you posted this on your blog, with apparent sincerity, and none of the martyred humor you show here:

    Yet a number of feminist bloggers have told me, here and elsewhere, that they no longer feel my blog is a safe place for them.

    So every feminist argument that’s not about “safety” can be safely (ha ha) ignored. Feminists are allowed to express our feelings, like girls do, especially if those feelings are scared or unsafe or intimidated, but criticising sexism with our minds is “questioning feminist credentials.” Perhaps you’d like to throw in “policing,” while you’re at it, just to show us what our thoughts are really worth, when we’re not emoting in the approved way.

    As for me, I’ll continue to believe that the feminist big tent is big enough for Ginmar and Hugo, Bitch Lab and Lauren and Amanda and Ampersand and all the rest of us. Call me Pollyanna, tell me I “don’t get it” — and know that I am still listening.

    Room for all of us in the big tent of feminism? Sure, fine. What the hell’s that got to do with anything? Is it that being a feminist means never having to say you’re sorry? If we all agree you’re every bit as much a feminist as ginmar, we’ll stop caring what you say? For fuck’s sake.

    I know you’re a feminist. We all know you’re a feminist. That doesn’t mean you have special rights to have every moment of sexism go unnoted and unchallenged. God knows feminist women don’t enjoy that privilege – nor should we.

  74. Shannon W.
    Shannon W. March 15, 2006 at 7:06 pm |

    Zuzu, the fact I even had to type that out is ridiculous. I agree with sophansba(sp?) eternal viligance is the price of liberty they say.

  75. Hugo
    Hugo March 15, 2006 at 8:18 pm |

    Is it that being a feminist means never having to say you’re sorry?

    I may apologize more often than any other blogger on this thread. I’m often in error, even more often in doubt.

    I was making a joke about “feminist credentials”; all of this brouhaha began when someone challenged zuzu’s last week. The whole idea of feminist credentials is inherently ludicruous.

    When I’m being sexist, you all call me on it. I’m grateful! I’m not whining or complaining; I’m asking you to understand what it is that I’m trying to do — which is create a unique space. There aren’t any other consistent-life ethic, pro-feminist Christian bloggers out there, so I’m pretty much it. And while everyone else and their brother was on usenet, I discovered blogging in 2003, and have been at it ever since. Toes are crushed and feelings are hurt indeed, as Lauren notes — and I am sorry that I’ve done my share of toe-crushing.

    I’ve also been on the receiving end of a fair amount of snarkiness. Is it because we have so few avowedly feminist male bloggers that everyone gets so exasperated when we (me, Amp) fall short of the mark? I’m not whining, I’m asking seriously.

  76. zuzu
    zuzu March 15, 2006 at 8:18 pm |

    Zuzu, the fact I even had to type that out is ridiculous.

    No shit, right?

  77. Chris Clarke
    Chris Clarke March 15, 2006 at 9:23 pm |

    Is it because we have so few avowedly feminist male bloggers that everyone gets so exasperated when we (me, Amp) fall short of the mark? I’m not whining, I’m asking seriously.

    Because Piny, and Norbizness, and Berube, and PZ Myers, and Auguste, and me, and NTodd, and Angus at Brooklynite, and a thousand other male bloggers like us, who fight sexism and abhor misogyny and try to support our sisters – even if we don’t always get it right – aren’t as feminist as Amp and Hugo.

  78. Robert
    Robert March 15, 2006 at 10:34 pm |

    So with all those male bloggers out there, why such focus on two? OK, they don’t moderate the way you want them to moderate. Decide if that means you can’t participate there or not, and then move on with your life.

  79. Burrow
    Burrow March 15, 2006 at 11:05 pm |

    Because if they’re claiming feminism (I’m not saying that anyone’s not, but if you behaved in a similar way and weren’t a feminist blog I wouldn’t be as angry) then you need to deal with your own sexist bullshit. Yeah we can not read their blogs, but they’re shutting women down and claiming feminism. Where is that feminist?

  80. Chris Clarke
    Chris Clarke March 15, 2006 at 11:23 pm |

    OK, they don’t moderate the way you want them to moderate. Decide if that means you can’t participate there or not, and then move on with your life.

    Shrug. I did. I have. Does that mean I can’t offer an opinion in threads on blogs i do still read?

    I don’t go to McDonalds, either. But if Ronald McDonald started posting comments to Feministe claiming that his food was good for you and made of gold and angel semen, I’d be happy to offer my opinion that his hamburgers were not what he claimed them to be.

  81. Q Grrl
    Q Grrl March 16, 2006 at 12:05 pm |

    “I’ve also been on the receiving end of a fair amount of snarkiness. Is it because we have so few avowedly feminist male bloggers that everyone gets so exasperated when we (me, Amp) fall short of the mark? I’m not whining, I’m asking seriously. ”

    You could start by recognizing that there are no male feminists that are blogging. Even you put the “avowedly” before feminist, so I think you know the deal. You like to think Hugo; and you like concepts of equality. But you fail to recognize that equality cannot be built on the back of an already unequal social paradigm. You don’t want to believe that civility is an ideology, but there have been quite a few feminist writers that have proved otherwise, myself included. [Check Alas! from Feb 2004] Civility is a code for what behavior is beleived, regardless of any proof to the contrary. Usually civility is biased against class, race, ethnicity, and sex. Why else would terms like “jungle bunny” and “castrating bitch” or even “whoremonger” exist in reference to those who don’t mould their sensibilities to those of the dominant, civilized, paradigm?

    Ginmar is right: you can afford to be civil because in the end you can walk away from all of this. It’s not just that feminism is theoretical to you: women are theoretical in your world. The biggest leap you could make would be to stop thinking about equality and to start thinking of women as human, just as you are. Women don’t want to be equal to men because that still leaves men as the status quo to achieve. And that is what civility begs of angry women: be like men to be treated like men, ergo equally.

    Fuck that.

  82. Nemesis23
    Nemesis23 March 16, 2006 at 12:17 pm |

    “I was writing about what it was like in the dark ages of the Seventies, when boys could pull girls hair, pinch them, grope them, and do it in clear view of the teachers.”

    One thing that has always puzzled historians is the complete absence of positive social change from post-late antiquity up to the modern era. In fact, as late as the 12th century, the phenomenon of schoolboys flicking the back of little girl’s ears and making crude noises in math class wasn’t even fully acknowleged in society beyond a small subset of actvists who were almost universally shunned.

    Alas it wasn’t until the early 70’s, somewhere in the suburbs of northern Michigan, where an unassuming schoolgirl was too tired to deal with her tormenter & struck back at him. The significance of the act itself is considered more a first strike against patriarchal tyranny than a first strike for female emancipation, but it was the first indicator to other schoolgirls that they need not put up with spitballs & loud chair shuffling behind them. Activists refer to this moment as the beginnings of the revolution, but the more formal term in academia is “The setting of the dark ages & the rise of feminism.”

    Two years later, Roe Vs. Wade was decided.

  83. Maayan
    Maayan March 16, 2006 at 2:40 pm |

    There aren’t any other consistent-life ethic, pro-feminist Christian bloggers out there, so I’m pretty much it.

    LAMom, one of the only pro-lifers I can stomach.

    Did you mean male “consistent-life ethic, pro-feminist Christian bloggers”?

  84. Hugo
    Hugo March 16, 2006 at 3:54 pm |

    Sorry, Maayan — “pro-feminist” almost always is used only for men. It was a term developed to describe male allies of feminism; saying “male pro-feminist” is a bit like saying “female lesbian”; it’s almost certain to be a redundancy.

  85. ginmar
    ginmar March 16, 2006 at 5:43 pm |

    Gotta love people who think they’re making a point by jeering at what other people go through, and doing it literally besides.

  86. Nemesis23
    Nemesis23 March 16, 2006 at 8:25 pm |

    Oh come now Ms. ginmar, I hope you don’t mean to imply you’ve never jeered someone else because you thought the source for their sanctimonious self-pity was supficial & substanceless.

    I actually had such tormenters when I was young. I even had a real jerk of a boy cut my hair with scissors in class. Of course he was punished and I got to go home. This was in the 70’s too, although I don’t refer to it as “The Dark Ages.”

  87. ginmar
    ginmar March 16, 2006 at 8:37 pm |

    You know, I’d answer that, except there’s so much assholishness there it’d be like ripping out a seam. Could you be any more fucking anal? Get over the one fucking phrase and start addressing the actual point. And if you want to know any damned thing about me, don’t suppose, ask.

  88. Kevin Andre Elliott
    Kevin Andre Elliott March 16, 2006 at 8:39 pm |

    Since we’re speaking of safe spaces, raise your hand if you are African American, Latina, Asian, Native American, well, any person of color (I hate that term) participating in this discussion.

    Yes, I know Shannon is here, but I’m still curious about others.

    I see a lot of institutionalized racism at work in a lot of the so-called progressive and radical blogs out there. I also see racism, sexism, and homophobia as one–so I’m bothered. There have been too many times that I’ve seen the black voices on these types of threads immediately dismissed. Now, I’m not accusing Feministe of being a non-safe place for people of color. I see Feministe as one of the few places we CAN let our voices be heard, but I still find comments in these spaces that are troubling. And, I’m sorry to say, but I often find that the opinons of people of color are often dismissed (in the most rational way, of course) in these threads.

    Again, I’m not saying that this is what I see going on here at Feministe (although I did note the disturbing lack of response to a commenter pointing out a Black response to contemporary feminism a few months back). But I have seen it happen on other so-called progressive/radical blogs. I think it needs to be put out there.

    So yes, Hugo, I think your attitude towards Shannon was bullshit. “We have a right to be hostile. Our people are being persecuted.”

  89. piny
    piny March 16, 2006 at 9:01 pm |

    For what it’s worth–not much, that is–I don’t think I’ve yet followed up on any of the other suggestions in that thread. Transphobia and radical feminism, for example, which subject fills me with no little forboding. I didn’t have much of a response to the post besides, “Well, that’s all true.” I’m not sure how to develop those issues into a more concrete thesis.

    As to the gist of your post, I agree with you and must disagree with Hugo. That’s the issue: neutrality towards the elephant standing on the mouse’s tail. If you practice assiduous neutrality towards two people who interact across inequality, you do nothing to solve the power disparity; if you insist otherwise, you are perpetuating the disparity and giving it safe space to flourish.

  90. Sally
    Sally March 16, 2006 at 9:07 pm |

    I think that’s fair, Kevin, and I can think of at least one time when I’ve been part of that troubling dynamic. I wish I had brilliant suggestions about how to change it.

  91. Slant Truth » Fuck Your Civility…
    Slant Truth » Fuck Your Civility… March 16, 2006 at 9:18 pm |

    […] nder: Slant Truth News — Kevin @ 9:18 pm

    I read the recent threads over at Feministe and Pandagon, and all I can think is that 1) they should all spe […]

  92. nubian
    nubian March 16, 2006 at 10:38 pm |

    i have seen issues relating to people of color ignored on feministe many times. this is one reason why i don’t visit much. this is not a safe space for me.

  93. Hugo
    Hugo March 16, 2006 at 10:44 pm |

    I ought to have told other bloggers to tone it down before we got to Shannon. I don’t have any problem demanding civility, but I failed to demand it from all sides in that debate.

    FYI, I teach at an 80% non-white college and am married to a woman who is of mixed African and Latin heritage; not a guarantor of my progressive bona fides by any means, but part of a larger picture.

    I’m not sure I accept, piny, the notion that Mr. Bad and his ilk represent an elephant standing on the tales of shrinking violets like Amanda and Ginmar and many other outstandingly brave feminist bloggers.

    I’m not blind to ideology – hell, I was teaching it before some folks on this thread were in high school. (I can quote Cixous and I can quote Mary Daly ’till the cows come home). But we aren’t disembodied ideologies; we’re all individuals here on the internet. And I’m going to moderate based on the willingness of individuals to use civil language, rather than on the content of the message they are conveying with that language. I might make exceptions for thread drift, but not for ideology.

  94. nubian
    nubian March 16, 2006 at 10:46 pm |

    FYI, I teach at an 80% non-white college and am married to a woman who is of mixed African and Latin heritage

    and your best friend is black, huh?
    whatever.

  95. Hugo
    Hugo March 16, 2006 at 10:48 pm |

    Well, given that my wife is my best friend, yeah.

  96. nubian
    nubian March 16, 2006 at 10:52 pm |

    i don’t understand why you felt the need to mention that. is it to prove how much of a racist you are not?

    that narrative is so, so played out.

  97. Kevin Andre Elliott
    Kevin Andre Elliott March 16, 2006 at 10:57 pm |

    FYI, I teach at an 80% non-white college and am married to a woman who is of mixed African and Latin heritage; not a guarantor of my progressive bona fides by any means, but part of a larger picture.

    What the fuck is this shit you’re spewing?

    Damn. I just noticed that Nubian beat me to calling you on this shit, but I still gotta ask if you think anyone is going to take this “I have a Black friend” bullshit seriously.

    Give me a fucking break.

  98. Sally
    Sally March 16, 2006 at 10:59 pm |

    Perhaps he was just looking out for anyone at home who might be playing white liberal bingo.

    Brings up race of POC partner or children randomly, in order to prove lack of racism.

    (Is it even vaguely appropriate for a white girl like me to link to that? I’m sort of drunk at the moment. I think propriety has gone out the window.)

  99. Hugo
    Hugo March 16, 2006 at 11:00 pm |

    I’m not going to go down this road. You and I both know you can’t prove a negative, and the more I insist on my inclusiveness the less chance I have of convincing anyone.

    Look, I’m done defending myself here and elsewhere. I’ve been battered pretty good (and please don’t critique my use of that verb, I’ve heard it all before) this week by a whole lot of folks, and I’m really, really tired. My explanations seem to further annoy rather than mollify, and now I’m in danger of wandering into the minefield of race. I shouldn’t have brought my wife into it, and I regret that.

    I hope that some of you have, at least periodically, found something useful in my posts. I’ll be commenting regularly here at Feministe on other issues, but I’m done debating the merits of my commenting policy.

    In peace,

    Hugo

  100. zuzu
    zuzu March 16, 2006 at 11:48 pm |

    i have seen issues relating to people of color ignored on feministe many times. this is one reason why i don’t visit much. this is not a safe space for me.

    nubian, I’d be interested in a fuller explanation of this. I’m still kind of new at this blogging thing and am trying to avoid falling into the trap of having only a few go-to sources because writing for the blog (and trying to hold down a job) has cut into my blog reading time.

    I also approach issues about race, or issues that I don’t have much personal perspective on or experience with, with a bit of trepidation, because who the fuck am I to make pronouncements about this stuff? Shannon called me on that when I wrote about people feeling free to offer opinions about my paleness and need to get a tan. I’m quite aware that there’s a lot of colorism within the black community, but again, who the hell am I to talk about it with any authority?

  101. Kevin Andre Elliott
    Kevin Andre Elliott March 17, 2006 at 12:00 am |

    I’m not going to go down this road

    Read: I’m not going to listen to the Black people calling foul. Instead, I’m going to avoid the minefield of race (why is race a minefield, anyway?) and play the inclusive card (ahh…can’t we all just get along?).

    Again I say (as uncivil as I can get away with):

    What-the-fuck-ever.

  102. nubian
    nubian March 17, 2006 at 12:34 am |

    kevin–
    i thought the same exact thing!

  103. ricia
    ricia March 17, 2006 at 12:57 am |

    had to jump to the end of this thread, i’ll appologise now for addressing earlier comments, late. i’m pasting some bits from the last thread, below. but first i need to say this:

    i “get” the issue of so-called male-appropriate and female-appropriate behavior. i don’t agree with it nor subscribe to it in anyway.. but let’s put things in another perspective: what sort of People do want to be? what is the point to participating in a “movement”, working toward social change, if all were looking at becoming is more of the same? do we all want to be assholes, is that the objective?

    i don’t dig no man and no woman calling me names, talk’n down to me, making presumptuous or condesending remarks, shut’n me down or tuning me out. i work toward hope for a world of people who are respectful and mindful of each other – through law and policy, reflected in structure and culture, and one on one. that whole bit about the personal being political and vice versa? yeah, i still believe in that bit. therefore i do my best not emulate oppressive behavior…

    In what way is that due to MY “priviledges”? i am not a white /collar, educated male… so what’s my problem?

    who are we “equal to”? do i need to use oppressive tactics and language to be equal? must i degrade and belittle another to be equal?

    i don’t dismiss agression nor it’s value – but i question the rationale behind pulling out the “priviledge card” on this premise all unto itself.

    understanding someone’s motives or even their reasoning isn’t in anyway related to the kind of brick-throwing i’ve read early on this thread. having discourse involves listening and asking questions as well as having a vocal presence. i don’t give a rats ass about the concept of “civility” – but i don’t see the point if it’s not discourse.

    and you know what? if the bully doesn’t have any friends, the bully isn’t empowered. if no one’s comfortable hanging out somewhere, and they don’t, there isn’t anyone around to make uncomfortable. if u don’t buy in, for whom is it profitable? if we don’t play, there isn’t a game.

    if the MRA boys (for eg) didn’t have someone to argue with, they’d have no one to argue with. some feminists want to have that arguement and sometimes (believe it or not) both parties can be informed by it. let alone, the arguement that happens there is observed by more than two camps and it makes a difference to those folks, that the arguement occurs. if you’re not one who can stomache it (and I usually cannot) – lock ‘em out and the rest of us will nod our heads in support and understanding.

    i don’t see the point to the “who IS a feminist” arguement. try nailing down the definition of a man or a woman as an identity, and see how constructive that is.

    i believe in constructive revolutions.

    i also feel the need to paste this (a partial qoute from a comment on the last thread):

    “if we consider why one bothers to create and sustain a blog, it has (usually) something to do with the want for another kind of personal space where others can visit and chat and share too. in life, in our own spaces, it is a healthy policy – to establish our personal boundaries (what is acceptable, unacceptable to us). this gives others the awareness needed to choose whether or not they should be present. this kind of information is invaluable between friends, lovers, even coworkers, or complete strangers sharing space for whatever length of time. respecting each others boundaries, go a long way in terms of respecting ourselves as much as others.”

    “everyone need not be providing the same space. everyone has differing boundaries. there is room for diversity among feminists.”

  104. ricia
    ricia March 17, 2006 at 1:09 am |

    oh.. and for the record.. i’m not jumping in on “hugo’s side” here either. i’m responding to some of the very particular diatribe that is being used to tackle the issue his moderating choices evidently present.

  105. piny
    piny March 17, 2006 at 1:44 am |

    I’m not sure I accept, piny, the notion that Mr. Bad and his ilk represent an elephant standing on the tales of shrinking violets like Amanda and Ginmar and many other outstandingly brave feminist bloggers.

    Uh, no. Sorry, but there’s nothing insulting about saying that these assholes make life more difficult for feminists attempting to have feminist discussions. It’s not sexist to say that they shouldn’t have to put up with trolls, any more than it’s sexist to say that women should have adminsitrative protection from sexual harassment rather than toughing out a hostile environment on their own. I doubt very much that Ginmar would appreciate you defending her against this non-slight.

    FYI, I teach at an 80% non-white college and am married to a woman who is of mixed African and Latin heritage; not a guarantor of my progressive bona fides by any means, but part of a larger picture.

    Of…what larger picture, exactly? The one that these words here are somehow not part of? “My very best friend is [whatever]” is meaningless. It has nothing to do with the way you treat other people in [whatever] group. It’s nowhere written that bigotry has to be consistent, or that it can’t fit the self-serving purposes of the individual bigot. That’s straight out of Non-Starters 101.

  106. piny
    piny March 17, 2006 at 2:09 am |

    I also approach issues about race, or issues that I don’t have much personal perspective on or experience with, with a bit of trepidation, because who the fuck am I to make pronouncements about this stuff? Shannon called me on that when I wrote about people feeling free to offer opinions about my paleness and need to get a tan. I’m quite aware that there’s a lot of colorism within the black community, but again, who the hell am I to talk about it with any authority?

    Okay, so I’m sure the person you were actually talking to will give a much better answer, but speaking as your coblogger…is that an excuse for either of us? It’s unlikely in the extreme that I’ll ever get pregnant, but I wouldn’t feel any compunction about blogging about reproductive rights. I wouldn’t feel weird about linking to a blog post about being high femme, even though that identity and its attendant problems are the complete opposite of mine.

    Especially since there is a sort of intermediary function, one that makes the lack of communication between blogs so inexcusable. We can link to a post, make a few points of our own, and wait for discussion to develop among and between all our commenters. We don’t have to be authorities, and we don’t have to set our conclusions up as authoritative–indeed, we do that when we fail to hold them up for scrutiny. I don’t think we can really subtract from the discussion by making our own blogs into space for it to happen, however rudimentary that space might be.

  107. Tuomas
    Tuomas March 17, 2006 at 4:16 am |

    Sally:

    In the bingo, there was also

    Claims that not dating POC is purely a matter of physical preference—“I don’t date short/redheaded men, either!”

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  108. Tuomas
    Tuomas March 17, 2006 at 4:18 am |

    I probably should be staying out of these intra-feminist fights, though.

  109. That Girl
    That Girl March 17, 2006 at 5:33 am |

    Is there a foolproof way to tell if you are Native American or African American, Latino or Asian?

  110. Tuomas
    Tuomas March 17, 2006 at 5:48 am |

    Also, I can’t resist pointing out that

    Brings up race of POC partner or children randomly, in order to prove lack of racism.

    Is gender neutral…

    While

    Claims that not dating POC is purely a matter of physical preference—“I don’t date short/redheaded men, either!”

    Is about women (okay, or about gay men). It does not take a big cynic to air out the suspicion that the author is a man of color, or at the very least working for the benefit of her Brothers if a woman. If that (“if you don’t date/have sex with me, you are a racist!”) works in getting dates, well, who am I to judge?

  111. Ampersand
    Ampersand March 17, 2006 at 9:10 am |

    You think a guy like robert, who feels that women need to be forced to give birth so that they are taught to be responsible for their actions, will stop if a woman said no to him, after he bought dinner and she got him hard with her cockteasing ways?

    Actually, I’m unclear about if Robert actually favors forcing women to give birth or not; it’s my impression that Robert, like Hugo, may have moved into the “change hearts and minds, not laws” camp of opposing abortion, although I’m not certain.

    I think it’s awfully convenient to endorse a theory that says pro-forced-childbirth folks are probably rapists. In real life, people are more multifaceted than that. Studies have found that rapists on average tend to be more concerned than the average man with maintaining their masculinity, and tend to be hypermasculine; I don’t think Robert fits into either of those descriptions, but I’ve known many liberal, pro-choice men who have issues along those lines. For that matter, I’ve known feminist men who have issues along those lines (often expressed as white-knight syndrome).

    I can’t say for certain that Robert, or any other man I know, is not a rapist. What I can say – from real-life experience, since I went to college with him – is that Robert chose to spend his college years primarily socializing with a group in which virtually all the women (and many of the men) were proud and loud feminists, and who generally decried standard gender role ideology. And I know that – unlike a lot of liberal, pro-choice men I’ve met – Robert didn’t act differently when it was “just guys” in the room, as opposed to when the room was mixed sex. (I hate it when guys do that.)

    Based on my real-life experience with him, I would be very surprised if Robert were a rapist. And if I had to rank how likely it is that men I’ve known HAD raped at some point, there are definitely some pro-choice men I’d rank as more likely than Robert.

    I’m not saying Robert is perfect (god no!), or that there was nothing in his college behavior I’d criticize, or that I don’t find much of his current ideology sexist, deplorable and wrong. But I have no reason to think he’s a rapist (and if I did, I’d cut him off, both as a friend and from my blog). But the “pro life = probably rapist” formulation is too convenient a standard when endorsed by pro-choicers, and I’m not convinced that in real life liberal pro-choice guys are really any more likely to be rapists.

  112. Ampersand
    Ampersand March 17, 2006 at 9:13 am |

    I wrote:

    But the “pro life = probably rapist” formulation is too convenient a standard when endorsed by pro-choicers, and I’m not convinced that in real life liberal pro-choice guys are really any more likely to be rapists.

    Er, that should have read, “any less likely to be rapists.”

  113. piny
    piny March 17, 2006 at 9:40 am |

    Is about women (okay, or about gay men). It does not take a big cynic to air out the suspicion that the author is a man of color, or at the very least working for the benefit of her Brothers if a woman. If that (”if you don’t date/have sex with me, you are a racist!”) works in getting dates, well, who am I to judge?

    Actually, I think it takes someone who desperately wants to ignore the argument entirely to air that suspicion. If any given writer uses the most personal example to illustrate a larger standard, why does that mean that they don’t agree with the larger standard?

  114. Sally
    Sally March 17, 2006 at 9:43 am |

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    Here’s a hint. Using your wife as a “get out of accusations of racism free” card is not the same as marrying inter-racially. Similarly, it is possible for someone not to date inter-racially without claiming that a racial preference is analogous to a hair-color preference.

    It does not take a big cynic to air out the suspicion that the author is a man of color, or at the very least working for the benefit of her Brothers if a woman.

    It takes a not-very-perceptive person, since most places don’t have gay marriage yet, and the author refers to her “husband.” Also, if you click on the link to her page, you’ll see that her name is “Michelle”. But really what it makes you is a jerk who wants to pit feminism against anti-racism and instruct feminists that we have to choose. And I’m not buying it.

    I’m off to work now, Tuomos, so sadly I won’t be able to argue about this with you any more today. Tragic, I know!

  115. ginmar
    ginmar March 17, 2006 at 10:06 am |

    I’m not sure I accept, piny, the notion that Mr. Bad and his ilk represent an elephant standing on the tales of shrinking violets like Amanda and Ginmar and many other outstandingly brave feminist bloggers.

    Hugo, are you trying to miss the point? Because that’s the only excuse I can come up for this piece of idiocy.

    Oh, and Amp, it’s itneresting you forget Robert’s statement that he views rape as a temptation he doesn’t know he could resist. Or something like that.

  116. zuzu
    zuzu March 17, 2006 at 10:23 am |

    Okay, so I’m sure the person you were actually talking to will give a much better answer, but speaking as your coblogger…is that an excuse for either of us?

    No, it’s not. Which is one reason I’m trying to tease out some more of nubian’s meaning. I see statements like nubian’s from time to time, but stated flatly and without elaboration, i.e., without any following, and here’s what I think you should do about it. I’m not sure that just guessing what nubian means and then flailing around blindly is more productive than just asking, and also owning up to hesitancy. I’d rather admit to being a little gunshy than just bloviating.

    You also get sort of comfortable with the issues you’re interested in and know something about and miss a whole lot that you just aren’t attuned to for various reasons. I know what I’m attuned to, and what I’m not. As a woman, I’m attuned to certain things that men aren’t. As a fat person, I’m attuned to things that thin people aren’t. But as a white person, I’m not as acutely attuned to certain things that people of color are. Sometimes I do need to be smacked in the head to see them; the problem comes in when I get lazy and don’t go seeking ways to get smacked in the head.

    God, that’s a lot of metaphors in one paragraph.

    Actually, I’m unclear about if Robert actually favors forcing women to give birth or not; it’s my impression that Robert, like Hugo, may have moved into the “change hearts and minds, not laws” camp of opposing abortion, although I’m not certain.

    Because congratulating Nick for not killing her baby is the way to win hearts and minds.

  117. zuzu
    zuzu March 17, 2006 at 10:29 am |

    Is about women (okay, or about gay men). It does not take a big cynic to air out the suspicion that the author is a man of color, or at the very least working for the benefit of her Brothers if a woman. If that (”if you don’t date/have sex with me, you are a racist!”) works in getting dates, well, who am I to judge?

    That redheaded/short men thing came out of the “White Boy Seeks To Own Brown Girl” discussion. The redheaded men thing was raised by a black woman as the kind of men she didn’t find attractive, and the short men was raised and subsequently flogged by He Who Shall Not Be Named Lest My Post Go Into The Moderation Queue as an example of how fickle and inconstant women were, with their preference for taller men (without of course acknowledging the general male preference for shorter women). So it did arise from some kind of context.

  118. Tuomas
    Tuomas March 17, 2006 at 12:29 pm |

    Okay, fine. I didn’t read much about the page, just checked the bingo, should have probably read more.

    I do not pit feminism against anti-racism. I pit honesty and open discussion against rampant accusations of racism and double standards (because a [white] racist is about the worst thing anyone can be, dontchaknow). What I’m saying is that pleas such as why is race a minefield, anyway? Are silly when everyone knows people can lose all credibility (or face criminal charges, or get fired…) by failing to sufficiently defend themselves against an accusation of racism (you had some fun with that lately, eh, zuzu?) at least when you’re talking about a white person, due to historic burden. In a sense, “anti-racists” are trying to eat the cake and keep it (“we just want openness!” and “how dare you say something like that? Fired/banned!”)

  119. zuzu
    zuzu March 17, 2006 at 12:34 pm |

    You’re rambling.

  120. Tuomas
    Tuomas March 17, 2006 at 12:36 pm |

    Insult away.

  121. zuzu
    zuzu March 17, 2006 at 12:40 pm |

    If I could figure out what the hell you were trying to say there, maybe I could work up something.

  122. Tuomas
    Tuomas March 17, 2006 at 12:45 pm |

    I don’t really know how to make it simpler. (That reference to you was about that time you had used the the term “white trash” in sarcastic way.)

  123. zuzu
    zuzu March 17, 2006 at 12:50 pm |

    How about dropping all the insinuations and just spitting it out?

    You’re from Finland, are you not? Your frame of reference on race issues is much different than that of Americans.

  124. nubian
    nubian March 17, 2006 at 12:56 pm |

    No, it’s not. Which is one reason I’m trying to tease out some more of nubian’s meaning. I see statements like nubian’s from time to time, but stated flatly and without elaboration, i.e., without any following, and here’s what I think you should do about it. I’m not sure that just guessing what nubian means and then flailing around blindly is more productive than just asking, and also owning up to hesitancy. I’d rather admit to being a little gunshy than just bloviating.

    well, i am not in a place to tell you what you should do about your own blog. i do think though, that many posts that i have read here in regards to anything about “marginalized people,” have been turned into a joke in the comments. i don’t remember the exact postings, but a number of them i have read where the comments are not about the issue at hand and as the moderators, you (or anyone else) didn’t try to offer any insight to what the original posting was about. so to me, it’s like why even try and blog about those types of things if they are used only for some white folks amusement? it’s actually very disappointing.

    You also get sort of comfortable with the issues you’re interested in and know something about and miss a whole lot that you just aren’t attuned to for various reasons. I know what I’m attuned to, and what I’m not. As a woman, I’m attuned to certain things that men aren’t. As a fat person, I’m attuned to things that thin people aren’t. But as a white person, I’m not as acutely attuned to certain things that people of color are. Sometimes I do need to be smacked in the head to see them; the problem comes in when I get lazy and don’t go seeking ways to get smacked in the head.

    isn’t that the essence of white privlege? you don’t have to notice anything because, you just don’t have to.

  125. Tuomas
    Tuomas March 17, 2006 at 1:03 pm |

    Okay. I realize that the fault is with the writer, not the reader, if the message doesn’t get through. Communication 101.

    I hear from people nominally opposed to all manner of racism pleas of openness and honesty about race issues. But since people who are open about those issues, perhaps admitting their own racism, are punished and marginalized, I am forced to conclude that this openness really means: Accept our framework in the issue.

    By framework I mean all the leftist theories on privilege* etc. and the remedies offered to the said problems (affirmative action…).

    * I do not outright reject such things as white privilege or male privilege. What bothers me about the said theories is that they do not operate on their original intent (challenging whites and males on their thinking), but instead they have become dogmatic Truths that must not be challenged (=they exist no matter whether you want to admit it or not. And God exists whether you want to admit or not, eh?).

  126. Tuomas
    Tuomas March 17, 2006 at 1:13 pm |

    Your frame of reference on race issues is much different than that of Americans.

    True, but I do believe I can offer a perspective that seems to be often missing from these discussions, and I also believe I can learn something.

  127. zuzu
    zuzu March 17, 2006 at 1:14 pm |

    well, i am not in a place to tell you what you should do about your own blog. i do think though, that many posts that i have read here in regards to anything about “marginalized people,” have been turned into a joke in the comments. i don’t remember the exact postings, but a number of them i have read where the comments are not about the issue at hand and as the moderators, you (or anyone else) didn’t try to offer any insight to what the original posting was about. so to me, it’s like why even try and blog about those types of things if they are used only for some white folks amusement? it’s actually very disappointing.

    I could respond better to this with some more specific examples.

    isn’t that the essence of white privlege? you don’t have to notice anything because, you just don’t have to.

    Isn’t that what I just said? I know I have white privilege. Merely pointing that out and acknowledging it doesn’t really move things forward. What I’m looking for, I suppose, are some concrete suggestions about what I can do to get beyond just recognition of the existence of privilege to being able to see how it works. Which is something like what we try to do with people who want to learn something about feminism but don’t see how the patriarcy works.

  128. zuzu
    zuzu March 17, 2006 at 1:16 pm |

    And, obviously, “read blogs of feminists of color” has already been suggested.

  129. Kevin Andre Elliott
    Kevin Andre Elliott March 17, 2006 at 1:44 pm |

    I hear from people nominally opposed to all manner of racism pleas of openness and honesty about race issues. But since people who are open about those issues, perhaps admitting their own racism, are punished and marginalized, I am forced to conclude that this openness really means: Accept our framework in the issue.

    Huh? There’s a big difference between admitting your priviledge, admitting your racism, admitting your sexism, and trying to work on those issues and acting on your priviledge, racism, or sexism. To put simply, there is a difference between being open about these issues and being or acting racist or sexist or homophobic. No one is punishing or marginalizing Piny or Zuzu for admitting their shortcomings. We all have them, ya know?

    And quite frankly, if you are racist or sexist or homophobic, you should be punished and marginalized. But I have no clue where you’re getting the idea that people being open and honest about these issues (unless of course, you’re honestly being a racist, sexist, homophobe) are being punished or marginalized.

  130. Tuomas
    Tuomas March 17, 2006 at 1:58 pm |

    To put simply, there is a difference between being open about these issues and being or acting racist or sexist or homophobic. No one is punishing or marginalizing Piny or Zuzu for admitting their shortcomings.

    And… This difference is judged by whom? This was exactly my point: The openness does work ONLY within certain framework. There are things that Must Not Be Said.

    And quite frankly, if you are racist or sexist or homophobic, you should be punished and marginalized. But I have no clue where you’re getting the idea that people being open and honest about these issues (unless of course, you’re honestly being a racist, sexist, homophobe) are being punished or marginalized.

    You are blind to your own vindictiveness.

  131. Mickle
    Mickle March 17, 2006 at 2:32 pm |

    “I’m not sure I accept, piny, the notion that Mr. Bad and his ilk represent an elephant standing on the tales of shrinking violets like Amanda and Ginmar and many other outstandingly brave feminist bloggers.”

    Hugo,

    I’m not your fucking superhero. Part of expecting to be treated with respect means not expecting to have to justify my very existence time and time again. Mr. Bad and his ilk do expect me to do that. If you don’t call them out on it as well, then you are expecting me to do that as well.

    You can have all the reasons you want for doing so or not, but I’m just me, I’m not perfect either and I don’t have unlimited time and energy. If commenting at your blog requires my dealing with crap like that, I stop doing commenting on your blog. Which is why I generally avoid the threads that they’ve already commented on and may soon stop commenting altogether.

    Personally, I think Kevin brought up a great point (here and at on his blog) by simply pointing out that this isn’t the conversation I need to be having. I don’t need to argue with members of a more privileged class over whether my struggle for equality is limiting them in some way. (Note that by this I not mean conversations about gendered expectations for men and boys, but idiotic fights about if women have more sexual “power” etc.). I need to spend more time reading the opinions of people who aren’t like me and have less privilege than I do so that I can discover the bits of racism, classism, etc. that I still hang onto and do something to change that. Hopefully I will also learn from their example how best to deal with and fight how my gender marginalizes me.

  132. zuzu
    zuzu March 17, 2006 at 2:36 pm |

    You are blind to your own vindictiveness.

    And you’re WAY out of line.

  133. Ampersand
    Ampersand March 17, 2006 at 3:00 pm |

    I have to apologize for my post #111, which was written in response to something someone posted on Pandagon, but somehow I managed to post it here. I really have no idea how I managed to make a bonehead mistake like that.

  134. Robert
    Robert March 17, 2006 at 3:02 pm |

    I really have no idea how I managed to make a bonehead mistake like that.

    You’re the pretty housemate. Charles is the smart one.

  135. Kevin Andre Elliott
    Kevin Andre Elliott March 17, 2006 at 3:19 pm |

    There are things that Must Not Be Said.

    It’s simple. Being open and honest about race, sex, gender, and oppression, does not give one the right to SAY racist, sexist things or to act that way without being called on it.

    If you say, “well there’s a difference between niggers and Black people. that person over there is a nigger, you’re a Black person” (and I’m willing to bet that every adult Black person in America has heard that line at least once in their lives) and try to pull some open and honest crap, most people are not going to buy it and rightly so.

    And it works both ways. If I make a wrong assumption about someone because of their gender or if I make a sexist comment that I didn’t realize was sexist. I should be called on my shit.

    My point in all of this is to get people to understand that we are in this together. Or at least we should be. No one is saying that one form of oppression is more important than another or any such nonsense. Oppression sucks. Period. Racism, sexism, homophobia are ills that are intricately interrelated in complex ways. I’m not trying to say we Black Folk got it all figured out. My current beef is with Black homophobia. That’s some fucked up shit in my book and so I speak out against it. I get the feeling that you feel as if you are being attacked. No one is attacking you. We’re just trying to get people to see a bigger picture.

    There’s nothing wrong with chosing your battle, but be aware that others are fightling alongside of you.

  136. piny
    piny March 17, 2006 at 3:38 pm |

    True, but I do believe I can offer a perspective that seems to be often missing from these discussions, and I also believe I can learn something.

    QED.

    I hear from people nominally opposed to all manner of racism pleas of openness and honesty about race issues. But since people who are open about those issues, perhaps admitting their own racism, are punished and marginalized, I am forced to conclude that this openness really means: Accept our framework in the issue.

    Yeah. Stop harassing people, Kevin, you racist, or you’re banned.

    And… This difference is judged by whom? This was exactly my point: The openness does work ONLY within certain framework. There are things that Must Not Be Said.

    Well, you get to judge things one way, and Kevin gets to judge things his way, and everyone else gets to decide which one of you is talking out of his butt.

    You are blind to your own vindictiveness.

    There’s no vindictiveness. Kevin has been very respectful, even, dare I say it, civil on this blog. When he really wanted to rant, he went to his own blog and did it there. Even then he wasn’t particularly vituperative; even then he was constructive. His complaint is both relevant and valid–he’s talking about a “missing perspective” so conspicuous in its absence as to render this entire discussion so much gibberish. Even now, after the “vindictiveness” comment, he’s being polite to you and patient with this discussion. I have not been attacked. You have not been attacked.

  137. piny
    piny March 17, 2006 at 3:50 pm |

    well, i am not in a place to tell you what you should do about your own blog. i do think though, that many posts that i have read here in regards to anything about “marginalized people,” have been turned into a joke in the comments. i don’t remember the exact postings, but a number of them i have read where the comments are not about the issue at hand and as the moderators, you (or anyone else) didn’t try to offer any insight to what the original posting was about. so to me, it’s like why even try and blog about those types of things if they are used only for some white folks amusement? it’s actually very disappointing.

    I understand completely if you’d just plain rather not do our work for us, but if you have any suggestions besides this one and are refraining out of courtesy, speaking for myself: please, presume away. You’re a commenter on our blog, which means that you have every right to tell us how to do our jobs. I don’t see many other people here exercising much restraint on that end, anyway.

    As far as the description you’ve offered here: this past week has been an education in smoke, mirrors, and derailments of one kind and another. I’ll try to keep a more careful watch on them in future, particularly if the switches get thrown on a discussion about race. And again, should you want to complain about the direction any given thread is taking, you’re welcome to.

  138. Chris Clarke
    Chris Clarke March 17, 2006 at 5:13 pm |

    But since people who are open about those issues, perhaps admitting their own racism, are punished and marginalized, I am forced to conclude that this openness really means: Accept our framework in the issue.

    Utter, complete bullshit.

    I am racist. I don’t like it, and I’m tring my best to both eradicate it and keep what I can’t eradicate from affecting my outward behavior. And I have both posted on my own blog about exactly this subject, and commented elsewhere, including, I believe, here.

    And the only people who have responded to those posts with anything other than understanding and constructive criticism are racists. The people you try to tar with the “intolerant of intolerance” strawman respond with grace.

    And Kevin, to mention one exemplary person, has consistently been one of the most constructive and gracious of said respondents, and he doesn’t need to be. I’m a white guy perhaps twice his age, and he owes me nothing as far as my struggling with racism is concerned. And yet he’s been an ally, constructive even in his rants.

  139. Tuomas
    Tuomas March 17, 2006 at 8:22 pm |

    Piny:
    I agree that Kevin has been respectful. I thank him for that.

    I do not feel particularly attacked. With a comment like if you are racist or sexist or homophobic, you should be punished and marginalized. I get a feeling of vindictiveness, and I think such policy, being subjective, does not lead to anything good, despite the noble intentions. Quite the opposite, that is the road to totalitarism. I do not think people should be punished for thoughtcrimes.

    Chris Clarke:

    Utter, complete bullshit.

    I am racist. I don’t like it, and I’m tring my best to both eradicate it and keep what I can’t eradicate from affecting my outward behavior. And I have both posted on my own blog about exactly this subject, and commented elsewhere, including, I believe, here.

    Tell me how it is bullshit, instead of just throwing an accusation.

    I am a racist too, to some extent, and I try to treat people not of my race as inviduals too.

    You are a liberal (in the modern PoMo sense) and you accept the framework, I do not, at least unconditionally (I’m sorry, but the articles of faith I choose to accept are chosen by me).

  140. Tuomas
    Tuomas March 17, 2006 at 8:26 pm |

    Being open and honest about race, sex, gender, and oppression, does not give one the right to SAY racist, sexist things or to act that way without being called on it.

    Of course you should have a right to call me upon it, but would you limit your power there? Or would you like to punish me in some way if you thought I was racist, sexist or homophobic?

  141. Lauren
    Lauren March 17, 2006 at 8:44 pm |

    With a comment like if you are racist or sexist or homophobic, you should be punished and marginalized. I get a feeling of vindictiveness, and I think such policy, being subjective, does not lead to anything good, despite the noble intentions.

    I don’t think so at all. Social rejection is a powerful force. Say, for example, that a friend of mine got in a fight with his girlfriend and hit her, and even though he apologizes, says he loves her and didn’t mean it, the rest of our friends decide to continue to talk and socialize with him anyway even though we find his behavior deplorable. Now imagine how he might think a harder about his decision to hit his girlfriend if we plainly told him that we were disgusted by his actions and no longer felt free to socialize with him without it weighing heavily on the collective conscience, among other things.

    To ignore and justify someone else’s, or our own, bad behavior and thoughts is to tacitly condone that behavior, whether it means trying to explain the difference between a black person and a nigger, believing that gay relationships are cool as long as they don’t display it in public, hitting your partner in a fight, or reassuring ourselves that we’re not like those people, whoever those people might be.

    To me, people who express the kinds of thoughts and behaviors that marginalize minorities need a wake-up call, no matter their intent. Social distance is one tool we have in the toolbox, especially amongst our own.

  142. piny
    piny March 17, 2006 at 8:47 pm |

    I do not feel particularly attacked. With a comment like if you are racist or sexist or homophobic, you should be punished and marginalized. I get a feeling of vindictiveness, and I think such policy, being subjective, does not lead to anything good, despite the noble intentions. Quite the opposite, that is the road to totalitarism. I do not think people should be punished for thoughtcrimes.

    On a blog! In comments! Via the comments of other commenters! I’m sorry, but the idea that there’s anything remotely threatening or hateful about this assertion, in the context of playing nice in the face of bigotry, is just ridiculous. His whole point is that people who say stupid things should be called out, and called out vehemently, rather than served tea and scones. It is an angry statement, but it is an entirely just one. Your assumptions are making it impossible to read his words as anything more reasoned than pique. You’re holding him to a double standard.

    There. You’ve been punished. And marginalized.

  143. That Girl
    That Girl March 17, 2006 at 8:51 pm |

    Lauren, this is why I love blogs. If I was on anyone’s “side” in the Hugo vs. Ginmar debate it was Ginmar simply because I think she’s fabulous. I didnt really understand too well what she was saying because she was framing Hugo’s civility policy as a misognist tactic. Then Piny (thanks) linked to Kevin (double thanks) who linked to darkdaughta. Her post was so well-written but more than that – it framed the issue as oppression.
    And I realized that it was hard for me to see civility as patriarchial oppression because it’s my mom who insists on it (and my mom who is an oppressor extrodinaire) while my dad is happy to have us girls yell right back at him.
    So I got it, even if it took 140 comments and 2 trackbacks. Every day I learn something is a good day. That’s why I love blogs.

  144. piny
    piny March 17, 2006 at 8:51 pm |

    Of course you should have a right to call me upon it, but would you limit your power there? Or would you like to punish me in some way if you thought I was racist, sexist or homophobic?

    Is the “unapprove” function on the moderation cue attached via electrodes to your genitals or something? What other power does Kevin–or for that matter, your humble moderators–have here? What context are you trying to force into this conversation?

  145. Robert
    Robert March 17, 2006 at 8:51 pm |

    Social rejection is a powerful force.

    True. But when conservatives say that we should use social rejection to improve outcomes for people, it’s called “shaming” and the tactic is attacked as unacceptable. (It’s bad for teenagers to get pregnant. The most direct way to not get pregnant is not to have sex. If we use social rejection to make young people who have sex feel bad, we will reduce teenage pregnancy.)

    Is it the tactic that is objectionable, or is there just disagreement about which outcomes we want to disincent?

  146. Tuomas
    Tuomas March 17, 2006 at 8:54 pm |

    Now imagine how he might think a harder about his decision to hit his girlfriend if we plainly told him that we were disgusted by his actions and no longer felt free to socialize with him without it weighing heavily on the collective conscience, among other things.

    Lauren, I agree in part. Social pressure (positive and negative) is powerful. But I do not think being a racist, a sexist, or a homophobe is analogous to committing acts of violence toward a GF.

    To me, people who express the kinds of thoughts and behaviors that marginalize minorities need a wake-up call, no matter their intent.

    Quite frankly, I am much more concerned about laws on “anti-racism”, “hate speech” and such (State power on such a subjective matter) than the actions of invidual people (who are of course free to tell someone they perceive as a racist to fuck off).

  147. Lauren
    Lauren March 17, 2006 at 8:57 pm |

    Social pressure (positive and negative) is powerful. But I do not think being a racist, a sexist, or a homophobe is analogous to committing acts of violence toward a GF.

    However, hitting one’s girlfriend in an argument is quite arguably sexist behavior that should be marginalized.

  148. Lauren
    Lauren March 17, 2006 at 9:00 pm |

    But when conservatives say that we should use social rejection to improve outcomes for people, it’s called “shaming” and the tactic is attacked as unacceptable. (It’s bad for teenagers to get pregnant. The most direct way to not get pregnant is not to have sex. If we use social rejection to make young people who have sex feel bad, we will reduce teenage pregnancy.)

    The teen pregnancy parallel is rather poor. Teen parents can be and are successful if they have the resources necessary to be good parents, and are largely unsuccessful if they and their children are mired in social shame.

    Are babies a blessing or a shame today? Or is it about the parents? I forget.

  149. Tuomas
    Tuomas March 17, 2006 at 9:01 pm |

    I believe it is not to be marginalizes because it is sexist, but I believe it should be marginalized because it is an attack on the bodily integrity and freedom from violence.

  150. Tuomas
    Tuomas March 17, 2006 at 9:06 pm |

    I believe it is not to be marginalizes

    Eh. To be marginalized. Drunk commenting. :P

    The truth is heard from the mouths of the drunkards, as the saying goes, so perhaps this is a good thing.

  151. Robert
    Robert March 17, 2006 at 9:16 pm |

    The teen pregnancy parallel is rather poor.

    OK. Replace it with whatever shaming example you find more intellectually consistent, or whatever, and then answer the conceptual question. Is this tactic intrinsically evil, or does it depend on what’s being shamed?

    Are babies a blessing or a shame today?

    Babies, I think, ought to be considered a blessing. Pregnancy for the unprepared ought to be avoided. YMMV.

  152. Chris Clarke
    Chris Clarke March 17, 2006 at 9:19 pm |

    Tell me how it is bullshit, instead of just throwing an accusation.

    I cleverly hid it in the part of my comment where I described those of my experiences that disproved your assertion. You know, the rest of the comment after the word “bullshit.”

    You are a liberal (in the modern PoMo sense) and you accept the framework, I do not, at least unconditionally

    It’s really quite remarkable how you’ve gauged my personal beliefs and ideology and approach to critical thinking just by pulling it out of the air, and despite the fact that I would have characterized my beliefs, mindset and approach utterly differently. It’s a fascinating skill, and I marvel at it.

    Tell me, Tuomas: what am I thinking now?

  153. zuzu
    zuzu March 17, 2006 at 9:23 pm |

    Is the “unapprove” function on the moderation cue attached via electrodes to your genitals or something?

    Oh, piny. Don’t tease me. You know how I’d love to have that power occasionally.

  154. Tuomas
    Tuomas March 17, 2006 at 9:28 pm |

    No, Chris. I pulled it by looking at your blog and by seeing your contributions here.

    And I’m pretty sure you are thinking “I got that right-wing asshole now” currently. But you are wrong, on more than one issue. ;)

    The rest of your comment include:

    1) The accusation that I demand tolerance towards intolerance. No. I demand honesty and people being open about their beliefs.

    2) Smarmy praise towards Kevin Andre Elliot. Not surprising, since many “progressive” circles are all about congratulating each other and posture.

  155. Lauren
    Lauren March 17, 2006 at 9:38 pm |

    2) Smarmy praise towards Kevin Andre Elliot. Not surprising, since many “progressive” circles are all about congratulating each other and posture.

    Bullshit, and out of line.

    1) The accusation that I demand tolerance towards intolerance. No. I demand honesty and people being open about their beliefs.

    Then what? So we’re honest and open and reveal our ugliness. To what end? What do we do once these unacceptable beliefs are aired?

  156. Tuomas
    Tuomas March 17, 2006 at 9:44 pm |

    Bullshit, and out of line.

    Sorry, it was out of line.

    Then what? So we’re honest and open and reveal our ugliness. To what end? What do we do once these unacceptable beliefs are aired?

    We decide that whether these beliefs are the best, or whether egalitarian philosophy would be better. I am quite confident on the result.

  157. Chris Clarke
    Chris Clarke March 17, 2006 at 9:58 pm |

    No, Chris. I pulled it by looking at your blog and by seeing your contributions here.

    Then how’d you get it so ludicrously, palpably, one hundred fucking percent wrong?

  158. Tuomas
    Tuomas March 17, 2006 at 10:04 pm |

    Then how’d you get it so ludicrously, palpably, one hundred fucking percent wrong?

    Are you not a liberal? Do you not believe in white/male privilege?

    One hundred percent? Hyperbole much?

  159. Chris Clarke
    Chris Clarke March 17, 2006 at 10:14 pm |

    Are you not a liberal?

    Absolutely not.

    Do you not believe in white/male privilege?

    I do not believe in it. I have seen it with my own eyes. It has been proven to my satisfaction.

    Hyperbole much?

    Fairly often. I find it a useful tool in communicating with people who seem to possess limited ability to read for comprehension.

  160. Tuomas
    Tuomas March 17, 2006 at 10:19 pm |

    Oh, you prefer progressive? Socialist? What?

    I find it a useful tool in communicating with people who seem to possess limited ability to read for comprehension.

    Let’s call it quits, okay? That being the last insult between the two of us. It is an irrelevant discussion at best.

  161. Chris Clarke
    Chris Clarke March 17, 2006 at 10:22 pm |

    At last we reach agreement on something.

  162. Kevin Andre Elliott
    Kevin Andre Elliott March 18, 2006 at 1:00 am |

    Toumas, you aren’t seeing my point here at all. Lauren got it right. I’m not saying that every person that utters something that might be offensive to someone else should be punished and marginalized. (Hell, I know that I’ve said some things that make other people mad, and I appreciate it when they call me on my shit and educate me further in my own personal fight against opression.) I think they should be called on it, but not punished. My statement, however poorly worded, was meant to say that if you are an out right racist (i.e. a white supremacist) or an outright sexist (i.e. you hit your girlfriend), then you should be punished and marginalized for your fucked up behavior. You seem to want to use the notion of open and honest as an excuse to say things that may be offensive to others without being called on it. That’s where I call bullshit. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  163. Kevin Andre Elliott
    Kevin Andre Elliott March 18, 2006 at 1:06 am |

    Oh, and That Girl, please don’t think I’m ignoring you over at my place. I’m just one busy mf and (unfortunately) can’t spend all of my time in blogland. I’m not sure I completely understand where you are going with your question, but I think it’s a good one. So, please elaborate and I will gladly continue the discussion.

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