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244 Responses

  1. Marksman2000
    Marksman2000 March 1, 2013 at 1:53 am |

    I love Feministe.

    (Hope I didn’t break any rules by stating that).

    1. A4
      A4 March 1, 2013 at 9:09 am |

      Ha! Me too.

      1. tigtog
        tigtog March 1, 2013 at 10:56 pm | *

        Shenanigans of the affectionate kind seem fine to me!

  2. tigtog
    tigtog March 2, 2013 at 5:50 pm | *

    Moderator Alert System Report: to date the mods have received only one Giraffe request.

    Just a reminder that the alert system exists, for anybody who wasn’t around when it was introduced last month.

  3. tomek
    tomek March 7, 2013 at 11:32 pm |

    well i want to speak what is in my mind right now. i cannot find space to discuss this in because always my posts are deleted, but i would like to discuss with feministe commenters because i respect many of your views even when i disagree on many of them too. if this were not so i would not remain.

    always i cannot shake the feeling that feminism has low opinion of men, and no not because of there actions but they just have a low opinion of men right from the start without even knowing them. it seems to me that feminist believe that men have no problem that are just there own. that men all are living in fantasy privilege land where it is like the sun in the sky and cats and dogs relaxing together. and with this idea of mens lives they can dismis any man who has a problem. you can see it all the time on the feminist sites

    man comes into feminist site to talk about male problem in context of gender equality. he is said this is not his place to talk, he is privileged, make his own site.

    if a man make his own site, one of two things happen:

    1) he talk about his own problems, he honest about his feelings. he is called whiner or nice guy or mra or misogynyst.

    2) he make a site where he insincere and spend time just reiterating all feminist things with a little bit of his own thought sprinkled in. this is like hugo schwyzer or this olly/ozy guy.

    we need to have, to have progress, to have honest dialogue on site like this between man and woman, about all there problems and about how they are actually linked together. the problem that effect women are linked completely to the problems that effect men. that is how gender works.

    at the moment feminist just give lip service to things like “patriarchy is bad for man. man shouldnt get gender policed”. but then as soon as man turns up to talk, woman gang up on him tell him he is whiner and so on. and this is not gender policing? i am serious about this. woman on this site (whom shall be anonymous) write extremely long comment about themself full of self pity and then other woman come around them to say aww it will be ok you are great etc etc. man write comment with maybe 1/100th of this amount of self pity? women are saying go away and whine somewhere else.

    you say this is not a site for discuss men issue, you have to discuss your own issue. well, the amount of time you spend discussing how men should not be talking about there issue on the site or making fun of them and so on when they come to comment… what if instead this time was spent having honest discussion? maybe then some progress would actually get made to understanding gender equality issue. instead of go round and round in circle like this:

    woman write feminist site -> man come, give male perspective on issue to expand discussion and help understanding of issue -> woman say he whiner, tell him to get his own site -> man annoyed, go to his own site and write opinion -> woman write article about how he is mra and misogynyst -> new man come to investigate, see other male getting attacked for just expressing opinion, get turned off from feminism -> woman wonder why men are not supporting feminism as much -> to infinity.

    1. tigtog
      tigtog March 8, 2013 at 6:45 pm | *

      So far as I can see, tomek, you mainly get negative reactions because you insist on generalising from anecdotes, you rarely if ever link to cites that support your claims, and you continually veer off-topic. [eta] People telling you to stay on-topic would do it if you were talking about striped-sock-wearer issues when they were talking about spotty-sock-wearer issues – no matter how much you care about your striped socks, those anecdotes really have little to add to a discussion of spotty socks.

      For you to frame people’s personal reactions to your individual irritating habits as somehow representative of a horrid monolithic feminist hivemind that is responding to “all men”, everywhere, when they respond to you, here, with low opinions of your efforts is quite an over-reach.

      1. tomek
        tomek March 8, 2013 at 7:09 pm |

        no tigtog i am not generalisaing from how i am responded to. people respond to me here like this because my views are contrary to them, so i understand why they disagree. and some people are just respond because they think i am trolling and pretending only to have poor english.

        but my comment is not of how am i responded to. it is about how i see other man who come on this site and talk honestly and agree with feminist views in the 90% (they are agree much more than me), but have some disagreement. i see it often, they come, they are made to cannot say anything and they must leave. i am talking about man like Sam whom used to comment here.

        if femenism cannot listen to the male perspective which dont agree with it 100% then we wont ever have understanding between feminist and non-feminist male. it is not surprise that male and female do not see things in exactly the same way. this is part of what is leading to sexism and gender equality not happening to start with.

        i want to have discussion with feminist without feeling like i am banging my head against door which will not open. all the time it is say “go to read feminism 101″. i have read feminism 101. almost every guy coming here which you disagree with probably has read feminism 101. but they disagree with some parts of the feminism 101. if you want to have progress, discussion must be had around this.

        1. tigtog
          tigtog March 8, 2013 at 7:40 pm | *

          tomek, right here and now you are generalising with anecdata because you are not linking to examples of what you claim is so common in the comment threads of this very blog.

        2. mxe354
          mxe354 March 8, 2013 at 7:50 pm |

          people respond to me here like this because my views are contrary to them, so i understand why they disagree

          If you aren’t even aware of the nature of people’s responses to you, then how can you expect us to take you seriously? Right there in that quote you assume once again that we only have one singular reason for not liking your contributions here.

          if femenism cannot listen to the male perspective which dont agree with it 100% then we wont ever have understanding between feminist and non-feminist male.

          Male perspectives and feminism are not always mutually exclusive. Moreover, there isn’t just one feminism, just as there isn’t just one male perspective (and likewise feminist men and non-feminist men are not monolithic groups). And many male perspectives happen to be feminist ones.

          i want to have discussion with feminist without feeling like i am banging my head against door which will not open. all the time it is say “go to read feminism 101″. i have read feminism 101. almost every guy coming here which you disagree with probably has read feminism 101. but they disagree with some parts of the feminism 101. if you want to have progress, discussion must be had around this.

          Solution: hang out at feminism-101 spaces.

    2. mxe354
      mxe354 March 8, 2013 at 7:07 pm |

      The problem with you and commenters like you is that you make generalizations about feminist discourse all the time and pay very little attention to what feminists say.

      woman on this site (whom shall be anonymous) write extremely long comment about themself full of self pity and then other woman come around them to say aww it will be ok you are great etc etc.

      The fact that you are so quick to label this woman’s lamentations as mere products of self-pity really shows how insensitive and judgmental you are.

      man write comment with maybe 1/100th of this amount of self pity? women are saying go away and whine somewhere else.

      The only times I see men with complains being criticized is when they center their complaints around MRA talking-points like how horribly exploitative all women (especially feminist women) are. I have seen many male victims of sexual violence post here about there experiences – and they pretty much always receive a lot of sympathy. So the reality is not quite what you think it is.

      1. mxe354
        mxe354 March 8, 2013 at 7:08 pm |

        Sorry, I messed up the blockquotes AGAIN. X_X

        [Moderator note: fixed them for the sake of clarity ~MT]

      2. tomek
        tomek March 8, 2013 at 7:23 pm |

        The fact that you are so quick to label this woman’s lamentations as mere products of self-pity really shows how insensitive and judgmental you are.

        mxe maybe i have got the wrong word. what i mean is when people write about what they are feeling without the levity, and to get comfort from the others. i dont think theres anything wrong with this in small amount. but on this site whenever a man does a comment with even a tiny bit of this, he is called whiner. but woman can do comment with large amount of this, she is not.

        for example, if i was write a comment about how as a male frequently i feel like i do not have worth compared to a female. like to have worth i have to succeed in what i do, while female has worth regardless if she succeed or not. then i will be called either whining, or mra or something, but it is not it is just being honest about my own thoughts.

        The only times I see men with complains being criticized is when they center their complaints around MRA talking-points like how horribly exploitative all women (especially feminist women) are.

        do you not think these men feel exploited by woman for a reason? even which you disagree with? i am not mra, but i dont think men just become mra for no reason or because they are jerk or something (some mra are jerk for sure, but obvious there is some shared feeling in them or they would not join together like that). maybe if feminism took time to understand why mra is feeling like they do, then mra would be more sympathetic to feminism. this would not work for section of mras which is just woman haters. but there is some section of mras who were probably once interested in feminism but then was pushed away. why not have this support each other here?

        1. Emolee
          Emolee March 8, 2013 at 7:48 pm |

          tomek, I think part of the problem may be that you ask women/feminists to put effort toward empathizing with the way men (read:you) experience the world, and even ask us to empathize with MRAs (see above), but do you actually try to empathize with women? For example, you talk about men not having worth as compared to women, and I believe you feel this way, but frankly, it is absurd. You are seeing something from one tiny direction (and I don’t know what that is) and then extrapolating erroneously.

          I don’t have time to dig in any further on this, but I do like this image:

          cats and dogs relaxing together

          have a nice weekend everyone

        2. mxe354
          mxe354 March 8, 2013 at 7:57 pm |

          but on this site whenever a man does a comment with even a tiny bit of this, he is called whiner.

          [Citation needed]

          for example, if i was write a comment about how as a male frequently i feel like i do not have worth compared to a female. like to have worth i have to succeed in what i do, while female has worth regardless if she succeed or not. then i will be called either whining, or mra or something, but it is not it is just being honest about my own thoughts.

          Uh, the assumption that women are privileged because they are put on “the pedestal” is something a lot of MRAs have.

          Also, women have worth regardless of whether they succeed? I wonder if you even know anything about what many women experience in this world. Just as it is an oversimplification to say that no man can possibly have a shitty life, so it is an oversimplification to say that women are praised all the time. In fact, if you’re observant, you’ll noticed that women are criticized for quite a few things and not, contrary to popular belief, put on a pedestal all the time as many MRAs claim.

        3. tomek
          tomek March 8, 2013 at 9:43 pm |

          mxe being on the pedalstall does not mean not getting criticism. i mean in the more broad sense than that.

          for example, in my university time once year i was searching for flat to stay. i met with many people who had flat, had good time and had the spark with them. but each time i did not get flat. however two female friend, they find flat after only week or two weeks of looking. on the small paper it say always – “looking for person for share flat – prefer female”. take me two month to find flat.

          the next year, i retain flat and there is spare room, i put out the small paper and i write “looking for person for flat share”. i do not write “prefer female” because i remember how it was for me looking for flat. but still when comes to meet me, i am thinking in myself i would prefer to have a female. not because i am sexually attracted to her, because i just am thinking subconscious that she has more worth.

          this is why it annoy me when i hear talk of how it so easy to be a male. well if it is so easy and i have so much privilege, someone would like to swap places with me? then maybe we will learn something both of us.

        4. tigtog
          tigtog March 8, 2013 at 10:18 pm | *

          In my experience, when people seeking potential flatmates advertise that they ‘prefer female’, it’s because they believe (since they have lived in their culture and seen it all around them) that women are more likely to have been trained during their youth to do their share (and often more) of those mundane daily/weekly chores around a household that keep it tidy and vermin-free. If the woman they choose to share their flat/house turns out to not live up to doing the expected chores, then these people feel cheated and will ask that woman to leave so they can find a tidier flatmate. Sometimes the woman disappoints because she only does exactly her share of the chores instead of doing the men’s share of the chores as well. In either scenario, I have little sympathy for the chore-shirkers, whatever sex/gender they may be.

          The feminist argument is that girls are trained to do this house-work more thoroughly than boys are trained to do this house-work because women’s time is valued as of less worth than men’s time, so house-work is considered women’s work which they are expected to do so that the men have more time for men’s (worthy) things.

          So the people who reject tomek as a potential flatmate simply believe that he is likely to result in them doing more work around the home than they would do if they chose a woman to share the flat, because they think that tomek, as a man, is more likely to feel that he has far more important things to do than wash today’s dishes or vacuum the carpet, whereas a woman is more likely to have been trained to view washed dishes and vacuumed carpets as essential chores.

          I agree there’s a sexist expectation and imbalance there, but I don’t agree that it’s to do with women being viewed as having more worth than men – it’s to do with women being viewed as more useful in limited circumstances precisely because women are viewed as having less general worth than men.

        5. tomek
          tomek March 8, 2013 at 11:06 pm |

          [as a side comment: if people are feel that i am commenting too much and taking over discussion please say, i do not wish to do this.]

          tigtog you are right i do think woman would do a better job cleaning than a guy in a flat. but i do not think this is the root reason for this preference, it is just added bonus.

          for example, i would not expect woman in my flat to do more than her share of cleaning because my mother has not raised me to do this. always at home i was doing a good amount cleaning and helping her out. but still despite this, i felt like i will prefer to have a female flatmate in flat. why is this? like i say to iowagirl, i think it is perceived that woman have like a woman touch, she bring a certain value. it is hard to explain, but i think a lot of people feels this.

        6. tigtog
          tigtog March 9, 2013 at 4:12 am | *

          tomek, I’m going to drill down a bit further on this one. You believe that you would be an egalitarian flatmate with regard to cleaning etc because that was how you were raised. You also believe that women would be more willing/more capable regarding getting housework done. Do you generally think most people prefer to live with people who already know how to keep a living space clean and tidy and who are willing to do it without being reminded every day, or not?

          Now, do you think that women in your culture are generally socialised to be more conflict-averse than men are? This is certainly true for women in my culture (don’t raise your voice :: don’t fight you’ll get hurt :: don’t make him angry :: don’t show anger you’ll look ugly :: don’t make waves :: it’s our job to smooth things over :: boys don’t like girls who disagree :: boys don’t like girls who are smarter than they are :: remember the little things he likes so he’ll be in a good mood etc etc etc). Do you generally think most people prefer to live with people who have been socialised to smoothly avoid picking fights about little things, or not?

          Little girls are taught to be helpful around the house with more than just cleaning. Little girls are taught to put the comfort (physical and emotional) of the men in the family before their own, because that’s what mummy does at home (and grandma and the aunties and the older sisters and cousins at family gatherings).

          I’m sure you’re correct that many people prefer to have female flatmates rather than male flatmates, but I don’t think it’s because they think that women will wave evanescent rainbow wands of “woman’s touch” around the home. I think it’s because they think that living with women will simply be easier, because they know that the average women will have been expected to make things easier for others around the house ever since she was tiny, whereas the average man will not have been expected to do the same.

          Being expected to put others’ needs constantly before one’s own needs is certainly sexist, but it’s not sexist against men. People expecting that this socialisation will make women easier to share a flat with are perpetuating sexist gender roles which diminish the personhood of women – just because the perception that women are less difficult to live with happens to disadvantage some men as well does not make it an always positive phenomenon for women.

        7. tomek
          tomek March 10, 2013 at 8:24 am |

          Being expected to put others’ needs constantly before one’s own needs is certainly sexist, but it’s not sexist against men. People expecting that this socialisation will make women easier to share a flat with are perpetuating sexist gender roles which diminish the personhood of women – just because the perception that women are less difficult to live with happens to disadvantage some men as well does not make it an always positive phenomenon for women.

          im not saying it is completely positive phenomanan for woman. but you cannot disagree that this assumption, though maybe like you say it is sexist against woman, also has huge disadvantage to men. in precise: they dont get flat. from my perspective, i much prefer to have some unfair assumption of how i am accomodating or doing more than share of housework, if it mean it is much easier for me to get flat.

          i think this is one thing in which again there is going to be much disagreemant between feminist and non-feminist male. look how you brush aside that man is less likely to get flat. getting place to live is high high importance. feminists often are give much resistance to admitting that there is two direction street of advantage and disadvantage shared between man and woman in this way.

          so in continue with example, if guy comes to feminist website and hears talk of male privilege and “men not expected to do as much housework as woman in shared flat” or something. immediately his is going to think “very much easier for woman to get in flat at the start!”. but if he does say this feminist say to him “stop whining” or “it is not your place to say, this is about woman only”. well clearly this is going to build bad feelings. much better if we discuss the situation with honesty, aknowledge both sides of argument here.

      3. Lolagirl
        Lolagirl March 8, 2013 at 10:36 pm |

        Honestly, I think most women who are skittish about having men for roommates have security issues as their primary concern. It’s one thing to share living space with someone you know already, but an absolute stranger who is also a man is an entirely different matter. I’m not going to wag my finger at a woman having reservations in this sort of scenario, beacuse, yeah, living with someone means trusting them with your personal safety, not just the safety of your personal property.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune March 8, 2013 at 10:40 pm |

          Yes, and to be honest, I’d side-eye a guy looking for a female roommate in particular not because I’d think he’s a rapist, but because I’d think he’s looking for somebody who’s socialised to clean up after him. (I’d still check it out, because it’s always possible dude’s a neat-freak who wants to live with someone who doesn’t mind being neat, but still.)

        2. tomek
          tomek March 8, 2013 at 10:42 pm |

          yes that is understandable if it is safety concern, but most often flat which i was trying to get room in was already woman and man mixed or sometimes even just guy. so it was not safety concern in that instance.

          people see woman as bringing the “woman touch”. like they brighten up whole place just by being there.

        3. tigtog
          tigtog March 8, 2013 at 11:34 pm | *

          A “woman’s touch” has always been applied with elbow grease, tomek. It’s got nothing to with any feminine aura and everything to do with unpaid domestic labour.

        4. Past my expiration date
          Past my expiration date March 10, 2013 at 8:34 am |

          Here’s the “woman’s touch”, tomek: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUY9nlwkdAc

          Note the prominent references to brooms, dustpans, polishing, paint, nails, mops, and baking.

        5. tomek
          tomek March 10, 2013 at 6:15 pm |

          past my exipration date, maybe i have got the wrong phrase. by “woman’s touch” i mean the female essence.

          like there is the certain amount of good and respectableness that people associate with woman. like for sales person in shop, they get a woman for job. because they know that customer on average is going to prefer dealing with woman. if you are looking for someone to teach children or to take care of small child, who are you going to bring, not man thats certain.

          so, maybe this expectation it is not so good for woman some times. but certainly it is not so good for man either, who have a lot of bad result from this situation.

        6. wembley
          wembley March 10, 2013 at 9:12 pm |

          Yeah, as a woman, when I look on Craigslist for a place, I’d rather not live with a guy, because he might be a rapist. Sure, a woman could be, too, but it’s less likely.

          If a guy posts an ad that’s like, “My roommate and I are two grad students, male or female roommates are fine, blah blah,” it doesn’t seem too sketchy, but you never know. If it’s one of those ads that’s like, “$1 a night, underweight female preferred,” then, um, YEAH. NO. The fact that ads like that even exist shows why women would prefer a female roommate. And if a guy only wants a female roommate? He may have perfectly valid reasons, but yeah, I’m going to assume something rapey’s going on even if that’s not a nice assumption. Safety comes first, dude.

        7. wembley
          wembley March 10, 2013 at 9:20 pm |

          like there is the certain amount of good and respectableness that people associate with woman. like for sales person in shop, they get a woman for job. because they know that customer on average is going to prefer dealing with woman. if you are looking for someone to teach children or to take care of small child, who are you going to bring, not man thats certain.

          What the shit? Tomek, this all comes down to sex and rape, all of it. Pink collar ghetto/glass ceiling issues aside, if someone is deliberately hiring women instead of men for a customer service job — and if it’s not about keeping wages low because they think female employees are less likely to ask for a raise… and if it’s not about the pool of potential hire-ees being female due to it being a pink collar job or because it’s been heavily socialized as feminine or because it’s low-wage or, most likely, a combo — then they’re probably deliberately hiring conventionally attractive women because they think it’ll help them with sales. None of these are ways women have it “easier” — all of these perks are actually negatives in disguise.

          And they’re hiring women for childcare because they’ve been socialized to think women are more nurturing, and because they expect dudes to be pedos. Not because women are actually more nurturing, and not because they think women are Better Than Men. Just because they expect them not to be pedos. It’s a pretty low bar to clear.

    3. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune March 8, 2013 at 7:21 pm |

      1) he talk about his own problems, he honest about his feelings. he is called whiner or nice guy or mra or misogynyst.

      Well…is he being misogynistic? I’ve yet to see someone post about their puppies and be called a misogynist.

      2) he make a site where he insincere and spend time just reiterating all feminist things with a little bit of his own thought sprinkled in. this is like hugo schwyzer or this olly/ozy guy.

      Why do you assume that all feminist men are insincere? Or that even a non-feminist man who says something feminist is lying? Do you honestly believe that no man could ever want gender equality? That shows a very poor opinion of men, Tomek. Have you tried not being a misandrist?

  4. amblingalong
    amblingalong March 8, 2013 at 10:26 pm |

    Ok, a very intensely feminist friend just posted this about a proposed ban on porn:

    “Finally someone’s talking sense! This is a civil rights issue, not a free speech issue. You can speak freely with your clothes on. Try it some time.”

    Someone have a suggestion for how to respond in such a way that a) highlights the problematic nature of the statement and b) isn’t hopelessly mansplainy?

    1. tomek
      tomek March 8, 2013 at 10:33 pm |

      for convincing some of my friends who are feminist often i give them link to evolutionary psychology research done by woman. in fact even there are some evolutionary psychologist who are identify as feminists, and even they are quite promanent in there field. maybe this can show her that it is possible to be not sexist but also believe in some gender biology things?

      1. amblingalong
        amblingalong March 8, 2013 at 10:49 pm |

        It’s beginning to stretch credulity, how fast you swing between an oddly advanced grasp of English idiom and total lack of comprehension.

        I mean, well-played- obviously- but still.

        1. tomek
          tomek March 8, 2013 at 11:05 pm |

          you think i would choose to do fake bad english for what reason? it benefit me absolutely none on here, and people listen to me less.

          i have comprehension of the situation. your friend which you say is intensely feminist obviously believes in a 100% equality viewpoint. so she see in porn women are on display for the pleasure of men, it is not equal to her. so i say show to her evolutionary psychology which explains why this situation has come about. i do not understand why people on here are not willing to think about evolutionary reason for things?

        2. tigtog
          tigtog March 9, 2013 at 4:49 pm | *

          i do not understand why people on here are not willing to think about evolutionary reason for things?

          Try using evolutionary psychology studies which don’t contradict so much of what is known from history and anthropology, which means you might need to learn more about history and anthropology to make sure that you don’t make trivially obvious errors.

          e.g. in the surnames thread you asserted that women changing their surnames on marriage was “something biological [...] in all cultures woman takes the name of the man, throughout all of history” – people responded by showing you that surnames as we use them today are a modern concept only a few centuries old, that marriage/surname traditions in Spain, Quebec, Japan and elsewhere do not conform to Anglocentric norms, and that essentially you were wrong-wrongitty-wrong. And what was your response to being shown that you were in error? You ignored them entirely.

          If you want people here (and on other internet forums) to treat you with less impatience/contempt, owning your errors (and ensuring that you don’t repeat them) after those errors are pointed out to you would be a fine start.

        3. matlun
          matlun March 9, 2013 at 5:16 pm |

          I quite like evolutionary psychology in principle (if not perhaps current practice), so in addition to what tigtog said, I want to address this

          i do not understand why people on here are not willing to think about evolutionary reason for things?

          Evolutionary psychology, when done right, is interesting because it can be another perspective used to create explanatory models for human behavior. But we are talking about very complex systems here, and any very simple model will typically be incorrect or at least incomplete.

          Done right, we need to treat it as a science and verify any theory against actual reality. Unless the theory matches observed reality in controlled studies, it is just wrong.

          Here is Feynman discussing the scientific method.

        4. tomek
          tomek March 10, 2013 at 8:09 am |

          If you want people here (and on other internet forums) to treat you with less impatience/contempt, owning your errors (and ensuring that you don’t repeat them) after those errors are pointed out to you would be a fine start.

          tigtog i did read those comments and i found them interesting, i did not know those facts. however at this time comment thread has becoming very huge so i thought probably people will not see if i reply there.

          and matlun i think in this case theory does match reality. evolutionary psychology explain why we like sex and have the sex drive and also why woman in general like male dominance, and male in general like female submission, like it is in porn. and even there are feminist evolutionary psychologist.

          so if ambalingadong show such research to his friend, maybe she will be comfortable more with the idea of porn as it is something both woman and man want and can enjoy.

        5. tigtog
          tigtog March 10, 2013 at 4:27 pm | *

          tigtog i did read those comments and i found them interesting, i did not know those facts. however at this time comment thread has becoming very huge so i thought probably people will not see if i reply there.

          They’re certainly not going to see a reply that you don’t bother to make. If you did make a reply there, anybody who is following the thread via email subscription would see your reply, and being willing to acknowledge your errors and thank people for informing you would definitely make some positive impressions (so long as you don’t later repeat those same errors in another discussion).

        6. matlun
          matlun March 10, 2013 at 9:19 am |

          @tomek: You did not specify which specific work on evolutionary psychology you were referring to, so that we can not judge.

          In general it can be a very useful tool. In practice, though, it has been far too commonly used to spin too pat “just so” stories without grounding in solid observation.

    2. amblingalong
      amblingalong March 8, 2013 at 10:39 pm |

      If that’s too open ended; a link to a strong argument defending sex-positive feminism would be a great tool to have.

    3. Radiant Sophia
      Radiant Sophia March 9, 2013 at 12:08 am |

      At the risk of being attacked, why shouldn’t porn be banned?

      1. amblingalong
        amblingalong March 9, 2013 at 12:13 am |

        No attack, just a general refusal to do sex-positive feminism 101 for the second time in twenty minutes.

        1. amblingalong
          amblingalong March 9, 2013 at 12:33 am |

          Incidentally, that came out way snarkier than it should have. I’m a bit emotionally exhausted after an hour-long yelling match with someone I absolutely should not have had this discussion with, but I’ll happily have it again after I take a break.

          Sorry.

        2. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia March 9, 2013 at 3:04 am |

          O.k. I read up on it (the political situation, not sex-positive feminism), and it seems like it could have much broader-than-intended consequences. I have a few thinks on my bookshelf that others might consider porn (Satomi Yamagata).

        3. tinfoil hattie
          tinfoil hattie March 13, 2013 at 4:56 pm |

          I think “sex-positive feminism” is a straw term. Feminists do not, by and large oppose sex.

          Many feminists, myself included, oppose porn because most of it is built around the subjugation of women for the pleasure of men. It is a horrific industry, full of abuse, danger, hazards, humiliation, and wretchedness. For the few women who actively enjoy participating in porn, there are many more who suffer from it instead.

        4. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia March 14, 2013 at 12:13 pm |

          tinfoil hattie,

          What is your definition of “porn”?

      2. Henry
        Henry March 11, 2013 at 4:36 am |

        (1) free speech, as Radiant notes above. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_v._Freeman

        (2) just because an industry has serious problems with exploitation does not mean the solution must be its complete shut down. It would be like banning plastic children’s toys because most/some of them are made by exploited labor.

  5. amblingalong
    amblingalong March 9, 2013 at 12:18 am |

    So here’s the full conversation, which happened after I made a sarcastic post on ‘Sarah’s’ (name and personal details changed) wall and then thought better of it. I probably didn’t do a good job at all, but I’m happy to be told how I fucked up. Actually, I’d appreciate it.

    Sarah:
    Hello,
    I see that you now believe you’re an expert on the topic of pornography. Perhaps we should have a conversation about it since it is also my expertise (and am soon to earn a degree, having studied the topic extensively for the past six years). In fact, perhaps I can provide you with a short list of incredibly prominent contemporary feminists who are also against the brutalization and dehumanization of women via pornography: Adrienne Rich, Andrea Dworkin, Catherine MacKinnon, Kathleen Barry, Diana Russell, Susan Brownmiller, Gloria Steinem, Robert Jensen, Gail Dines, Sheila Jeffreys, Chris Hedges, D. A. Clarke–well, suffice it to say that I could go on and on and on. I have to tell you that I am deeply offended that an armchair feminist studies scholar (ha!) such as your self, being totally and completely ignorant of the extensive research and academic foundational works, presumes to inform a person soon to hold an advanced degree on the topic about her own field. After you’ve read at least one or two of the theorists above, or looked into the research studies on the topic (one of which, recently out of NYU and looking at pornographic titles only on INDUSTRY lists of most watched, found that over 89% of MAINSTREAM and POPULAR pornography extensively depicts either verbal or physical violence or both (the breakdown being approximately 82% depicting physical violence and 48% depicting verbal violence), with over 94% of the recipients of this violence being women and NOT men, as well as that 41% contained ASS-TO-MOUTH (I’ll assume you’re not a dirty little freak and don’t know what this is–if you dare, google it to find out more)) then perhaps we can have a mutually informed and PRODUCTIVE conversation on the matter. I would advise you to think twice in the future before a) calling yourself any sort of feminist besides the backlash kind, or b) calling into question the legitimate feminism of someone who actually knows something about the topic!
    Best regards,
    Sarah

    Amblingalong:
    I deleted my comment ’cause I didn’t want to get into it with someone I occasionally have to work with (though I hope you’re well).
    That said, your list of transphobic (though I’m sure to you, that’s a compliment- after all, trans* women are really just evil men trying to invade women’s spaces, right?) sex-negative assholes does not impress me. You also have no idea what my academic studies consisted of, so you can fuck right off with that.

    Incidentally, there are a ton of honest-to-god feminist sex workers talking about the issues that affect them; any discussion of the feminist merits of a given choice should center the voices of the people making it (though again, your particular brand of radfeminism has never been particularly friendly to people of color or anything other than white middle-class cis American women, has it?).

    I’m sure in your head you’ve already written a narrative about how I’m a secret anti-feminist MRA who’s in it to mansplain all over the place. That possibility is a big part of why I deleted my post less than ten seconds after I posted it on your wall. But frankly, and I’m being really honest here, I think that what you’re arguing for isn’t feminism- it’s misogyny. And if it was just me with all my male privilege, I might doubt I had it right, but it’s not; sex-positive feminism is important, it’s morally just, and it contains pretty much every modern feminist who’s worth listening to. Hate me if you have to, but don’t fool yourself into thinking I’m just hating.

    PS- I’m not going to google it, but I think the phrase “ass-to-mouth” is probably self-explanatory. Here’s the thing; if two consenting adults are doing it, that’s absolutely fine. They are not ‘dirty little freaks.’ They are human beings who are having a type of sex you don’t enjoy. You don’t have to enjoy it! But you don’t get to externalize that to anyone else.

    Sarah:
    Really, so selling or posting videos depicting ass-to-mouth isn’t misogyny, but preventing it via law is? What a persuasive argument! I overestimated your reading level, apparently, since it seems you didn’t even browse my message.

    You’re actually contending that millions of women enjoy ingesting feces for small fees, and being captured on video doing it? You’re that indoctrinated?

    Amblingalong:
    I think the women doing it almost certainly prefer it to their next-best alternative, or they’d be doing that. Economic coercion is real, but banning pornography won’t fix it.

    Maybe trust the women who are signing up for the job to evaluate their own lives and figure out what their best option is- even if that option is awful. If you ban porn, all you’re doing is forcing those women to do the thing they did porn instead of. Yay feminist victory!

    You can keep talking to me like I’m a misogynistic twelve-year-old, if it makes you feel validated, but this probably will be an easier conversation if you acknowledge that sex-positive feminism is hardly a fringe movement among feminists, and that it’s possible I’ve thought this shit through- in the tutelage of people with a fuckload more moral authority than your ‘trans people aren’t really people’ list.

    Sarah:
    It’s unlikely that women will literally be allowed to starve in the streets in this society, as draconian as it is. A crack down on prostitution and pornography as a form of prostitution will necessitate economic alternatives. In any case, the fees they make are on average nominal, and most don’t work in the industry for very long. Obviously socialism is the ideal goal, but there’s a reason even socialist countries in Europe have either already banned pornography or are considering banning pornography. Your rational could also be used to allow child labor, etc.

    You are ignorant on this topic, Mikio. I wouldn’t pretend to be capable of discussing medicine with a doctor. What books, articles, classes, research on feminist have you read/participated in?

    Amblingalong:
    So basically you’re going to decide for women that they’re better off on welfare, despite that fact that welfare was presumably one of their options, and they picked porn instead. So you know better what they should do with their bodies than they do.

    Funny how much radfems have in common with the religious right, isn’t it.

    Sarah:
    Do you lack knowledge of venereal disease? This is incredibly dangerous for the people involved and society at large. Have you heard of AIDs, or gonorrhea of the eye?

    Amblingalong:
    Ok, so you fucking cited Shiela Jefferies as a moral authority and you want me to cite MY education?

    Jesus wept.

    Shiela trans-people-are-insane-and-should-be-committed Jefferies.
    I’m the ignorant one, yeah.

    Sarah:
    By the way, the term “sex-positive” is extremely offensive and outrageous, frankly. As Gail Dines states so eloquently, calling someone who is anti-pornography anti-sex is like calling someone anti-McDonalds anti-food

    First of all, you spelled her name incorrectly. Secondly, she is not insane, and neither is Andrea Dworkin for that matter.

    Amblingalong:
    I didn’t say she was insane

    I said she claims trans* people are

    And I don’t think you’re anti-sex, I think you just want everyone to like the exact same type of sex you do

    Oh yeah, also, trans* women are oppressing women. And GRS should be banned.

    According to your feminist hero

    Sarah:
    You’re arguing for something that is sick, that hurts women all over the world, based on some uninformed armchair theoretical denial of lived experiences.

    Amblingalong:
    YOU bring up lived experiences?

    You who literally is prioritizing what you read in radfem books over the voices of actual sex workers?

    are*

    Sarah:
    I also have a minor in Sexuality and Queer Studies, and it is a very complex issue. Perhaps you should study it beyond Wikipedia.

    Amblingalong:
    Hahahaahahaha

    yeah, ok

    your minor definitely trumps actually listening to trans people about their lives- and you accuse me of ‘theoretical denial of lived experiences?’

    You keep finding new ways to call me stupid and ignorant, because I assume nobody can be smart and well-informed and still disagree with you about anything, yeah?

    Sarah:
    What do you even know about it? Where are you getting your information? I know trans* people, have studied with trans* people, have read and listened to trans* people. And it’s a complex issue that can’t be boiled down to a summary on Wikipedia. Sorry.

    Amblingalong:
    Who brought up wikipedia?

    Sarah:
    WHAT HAVE YOU READ ON THE TOPIC?!

    Please tell me, if you want me to think you’re informed.

    Amblingalong:
    which one? trans people, or sex work?

    Sarah:
    It’s a manner of speech

    Amblingalong:
    I’m happy to link you to blog posts, articles, whatever, if you would like to hear people with actual experience talk about their lives

    Sarah:
    Either. Both. Perhaps you could consider a whole book, or even a class!

    What do you benefit from pretending to be an expert? You’re making yourself look silly, frankly

    Amblingalong:
    happily, though I don’t know how to recommend a class to someone at a school I never went to?

    Sarah:
    I mean, tell me the names of classes you took on the topic(s)

    Amblingalong:
    I’m not an expert, at all. I don’t have to be to recognize a transphobe when I see one.

    You keep appealing to your supposed academic authority to bolster your argument.

    It suggests it can’t stand on its own

    Sarah:
    Excuse me?! What basis do you have for calling me a transphobe? You’re the misogynist who’s okay with ass-to-mouth, and who has the audacity and sexist SM mentality to think women actually enjoy it!

    Amblingalong:
    Ah yeah, that’s a totally fair represenation of what I said

    But yes, for the record, if two consenting adults want to have ‘ass to mouth’ I’m fine with it, assuming I don’t have to watch.

    Sarah:
    You said they were “consenting adults” and that it was sexuality that I didn’t like but others do

    Amblingalong:
    Sarah- do you want to talk about this or just yell at me? I’ll happily talk about this until my face turns blue, but if you’re just looking for an outlet for a rage I’m going to go do something more productive.
    Seriously, I wish you all the best, and I hope you meet some sex-positive feminists who you can respect. I truly do believe it’s the only pro-woman position. But I realize I’m not going to change your mind over facebook.

    Sarah:
    Yeah, okay, Mikio, you have seriously offended me. I wanted to help inform you on a topic I have taken 20+ classes on, that I have read dozens of books on, that I have read hundreds of articles on, and you decide that your armchair knowledge trumps mine. It’s just laughable. I really overestimated your capacity to be open to new knowledge. In any case, I need to go now. But you’ve genuinely depressed me in your failure to at least acknowledge that I’ve done considerably more research on this topic than you have and that perhaps, maybe just perhaps, I know a thing or two about it that you don’t.

    Amblingalong:
    You know so much about my studies. It’s impressive.

    Sarah:
    Inform me of them, then.

    Amblingalong:
    So much for needing to go.

    Sarah:
    Name a book, a professor, a class

    Amblingalong:
    Well, probably the brightest person I know on the subject of porn is PJ McGann, from the UMich department of Women’s studies

    Sarah:
    Why are you pretending to have studied this when you haven’t? That’s extremely juvenile, I’m sorry.

    Amblingalong:
    look her up. I’d take her over Dworkin any day.

    Sarah:
    Right, so which of her classes did you take?

    Amblingalong:
    Sarah, this was like seven years ago. Sex and Gender… more with names like that?

    Deviance and human sexuality, I think

    but honestly it’s totally irrelevant

    I listen to people’s experiences before I listen to any academic source. The best thing you can do to educate yourself about sex work is listen to sex workers

    Sarah:
    Uh-huh. Because you’ve taken two. It’s very insulting to me because this is WHAT I study. I’m kept up at night thinking about these issues. They are what I care about in this world. You’ve really hurt my feelings, Mikio.

    I have read endless books and essays by and with interviews with prostitutes, Mikio. Again, this is what I study.

    Amblingalong:
    I’m sorry, Sarah. Genuinely. I don’t like making anyone sad, least of all someone who clearly has their heart in the right place. But I believe with all my being that the brand of feminism you espouse is wrong, and that’s probably not going to change. I’m sure you feel the same way about me.

    Amblingalong:
    So this isn’t going anywhere, probably.

    Sarah:
    Yes, I do. But again, this is my life pursuit. Is it yours?

    Amblingalong:
    Anti-porn? No.
    Social justice? With all my heart.

    Sarah:
    Feminism. Women’s issues specifically.

    Yeah, okay. Whatever. Why don’t you put yourself in the place of these women and tell me how you feel about it.

    Amblingalong:
    Please. You haven’t bothered. If you had, you might consider why someone would take such a job- what their alternatives might be, and what they’d have to do if you won and their main job became illegal.
    Likely, they’d do the same thing, just underground- with even more potential for abuse, coercien, violence, and no recourse to the law.
    coercion*

    That’s how prohibitions tend to work.

    Anyways, I can tell this is going nowhere. I genuinely wish you all the best, regardless of reciprocity, and I hope someday we can have this conversation again, and do it better.

    1. Asia
      Asia March 9, 2013 at 3:04 pm |

      Sarah seems to think that because she’s studied and studies this issue that she automatically know more than you. I understand why she thinks that but theory doesn’t always relate to real life. And she isn’t thinking about the real-world consequences of making people criminals.

      I would tell her that humans have been creating sexual images and art since cave painting time. She should look up the statistics on how many people actually watch porn. As for bdsm porn, Pandora Blake is example of a feminist that enjoys and creates BDSM porn. Kink.com has a entire pr committee dedicated to illustrating that their submissive stars are consenting. Porn is just modern societies way of doing it and outlawing it will only make women alienated and more likely to be hurt.

    2. Evan Carden
      Evan Carden March 9, 2013 at 3:16 pm |

      This may be irrelevant, or you may have intended to, but there’s a couple of places in the transcript where your name appears. If that’s not deliberate, you might want to have the mods remove it.

      Other than that…it’s a conversation I’ve observed a couple of times in different forms and I have yet to see it come out any differently than this. There must be a better way to have the argument, but I sure haven’t come up with one yet.

      1. amblingalong
        amblingalong March 9, 2013 at 5:54 pm |

        Changed that too, but thanks :)

    3. A4
      A4 March 9, 2013 at 4:37 pm |

      In my opinion, the mistake was responding to that kind of long and angry screed. Depending on how charitable I was feeling I would have either:
      a) deleted the comment with the explanation that though I was sorry to have provoked so much anger, I feel no need to host such vitriol toward me on my own wall.
      b) Responded to the comment by sayin “Thank you for your viewpoint. I really value that you felt you could be honest with me even though you are obviously very angry.”

      Because that much anger in response to your facebook comment that you later deleted is definitely about something or someone else and not you. I say this because I’ve been that person who responds with disproportionate anger on facebook. The nicest and most productive thing you can do is not engage with more negativity. Unless of course, you yourself have got some anger you’d like to vent on some shmoe on facebook.

    4. matlun
      matlun March 9, 2013 at 4:40 pm |

      I have had pretty much that same conversation a couple of times. I think you kept your head pretty well. At least it did not devolve into a total flame fest.

      If you are wondering what more you could have said to get your point across, I would say the answer is: Nothing.

      If you find that this is wrong and come up with an argument that works, then I would be very interested in knowing it. This is one of the debates I have mostly given up on. (Feel free to call me chicken if you want. I do myself sometimes…)

    5. amblingalong
      amblingalong March 9, 2013 at 5:54 pm |

      Thanks for the feedback, everyone.

      I believe what I believe really passionately, so when I have conversations like these I tend to go over them endlessly trying to figure out why I failed to make a difference. It’s really profoundly good to hear other people have similar difficulties.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune March 9, 2013 at 6:01 pm |

        amblingalong, I was about to respond, but I saw you already had (also holy hell scrolling to grab replies!), so I just wanted to say:

        1) I know you’re concerned about mansplaining, but being a man and explaining things isn’t mansplaining. I realise that she’s trying very hard to construct this as BUT MY MINOR ELEVENTY, but honestly, I don’t care. Satoshi Kanazawa has a PhD and I wouldn’t trust him to analyse the solidity of a rock.

        2) Yes, you’re a strong speaker. You’re also sarcastic and frankly you’re contentious and abrasive. None of which I necessarily think is a bad thing! Fuck knows I’m one. And you’re not exactly shy about owning up to mistakes or acknowledging alternative viewpoints, unless those viewpoints are hogwash. Which, frankly, hers are.

        tl;dr you’re fine, carry on, and FUCK! I don’t even know her but she annoys me.

        1. amblingalong
          amblingalong March 10, 2013 at 9:11 am |

          Thanks Macavity, that means a lot to me. I think the mansplaining thing is mostly just that the dynamic of being a dude telling a woman with a degree in women’s studies that she doesn’t understand feminism makes me inherently nervous about my footing, even when I’m damn sure of the actual question at stake. Occasionally I see white people telling black people they don’t ‘get’ some aspect of anti-racism, and even though I might actually agree with the white person’s point, I can’t help but be annoyed. Like, it’s not your movement, so let us hash out our differences without you taking charge, ya know? But maybe this isn’t the same thing.

          You’re also sarcastic and frankly you’re contentious and abrasive.

          No argument from me, though I occasionally also suffer from retroactive guilt over the degree of assholery in my replies and end up coming across as fake-nice in my attempts to beat a retreat.

          Anyways, I really am grateful you suffered through that long and contentious post to let me know what you think. It’s totally irrational but every time one of these conversations happens I end up going over it multiple times trying to find my mistake (because obviously if only I expressed myself well enough everybody would realize I was right donchaknow).

    6. Buttered Lilies
      Buttered Lilies March 9, 2013 at 7:39 pm |

      Her minor included 20+ classes? 20+ credits, sure, but that comes out to 6-9 classes, normally, and hundreds of articles (that few actually read, especially beyond the intro) on sexuality in general, not sex work specifically. I think she’s exaggerating how extensively she’s actually read – especially if she’s not bringing up any sex-positive writers and debunking their arguments.

      Three things you could improve upon for the future:

      1) Name actual things you’ve read. The personal blogs of sex workers, academic texts, Red Umbrella Project, whatever. By not naming them, it makes it easier for her to infer that you’ve gotten your info off Wikipedia.

      2) The transphobic viewpoints of the are kind of an ad hominem. I think there’s a reason so many who are anti-sex work are also transphobic, but technically they’re two different arguments that tend to come out of the same larger viewpoint on women and patriarchy. So keep your arguments on sex work on sex work, unless you’re making a point about how sex work relates to trans issues or about the underlying attitudes in both arguments and how you disagree with it. Otherwise it leads too easily to comments about broken clocks being right twice a day.

      3) Critique her actual logic. Accusing all women who claim to enjoy ATM of not knowing their own minds is less of a really sound argument and more a way to discount anyone who disagrees. That she’s taken all these classes doesn’t mean she’s right; there are tons of tenured professors who’ve written big sex-positive works who’ve read even more than she has, so her whole “my minor!!” thing is more of a reason to not debate you specifically than a reason why she’s actually right. She talks about several different radfem authors, but they don’t all have the same critiques of sex work, so which specific positions is she taking? Etc, etc.

      But I’ve very rarely seen the argument go better than what just happened there, so woot.

      1. amblingalong
        amblingalong March 10, 2013 at 5:10 am |

        A lot of good advice in there; the only thing I really disagree with is the part on transphobia. I think it’s totally within bounds to call out when someone lists a dozen writers as outstanding feminist thinkers and all but two are vocal transphobes. It seems to point to a wider worldview, which is reinforced by the way Sarah said “it’s a very complicated issue” after I pointed out that one of the writers she likes suggested mandatory institutionalization of trans folk.

    7. Radiant Sophia
      Radiant Sophia March 9, 2013 at 10:21 pm |

      O.k., the sex-positive thing confuses me, but that’s nothing new. My question is: why does radical = transphobic? In my experience transphobia is associated with reactionaries and regressives. I honestly cannot comprehend the logic behind it.

      1. tigtog
        tigtog March 9, 2013 at 10:31 pm | *

        Not all radical feminists are transphobic, Radiant Sophia. Some people refer to the subset as TERFs to make this clear.

      2. amblingalong
        amblingalong March 10, 2013 at 5:16 am |

        If this is in reference to the original conversation- I brought up transphobia because ‘Sarah’ listed a whole bunch of people she thought were really excellent feminist thinkers, the vast majority of whom were transphobes. She dodged the issue for a while and finally just went ‘I have a minor in Queer Studies; it’s a very complicated issue’ in response to being confronted with one of her author’s position supporting institutionalizing trans* people.

        So while I agree not all radfems are transphobic, this doesn’t seem to be one of those cases.

        1. tigtog
          tigtog March 10, 2013 at 5:24 am | *

          Totally agree with your characterisation of those particular authors, amblingalong. I’m just 101-ing on the problematic aspects of how such authors have led to many (not necessarily you) thinking that all radfems share those transphobic views.

        2. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia March 10, 2013 at 5:50 am |

          No. I get that this person was citing transphobic authors, and that not all radicals are transphobic (I’ve got some radical, way-out-there beliefs). What I don’t understand is how the transphobic radicals became that way. I’ve NEVER heard or seen an argument that makes any sense supporting that stance. Every argument I’ve heard/seen on the exclusion of trans* women ultimately boils down to “women born woman” is a privileged position and must be protected, and if that was the case, would we even need to have feministe? (sorry if I’m ranting or off/over topic)

        3. tigtog
          tigtog March 10, 2013 at 6:42 am | *

          Focussing in on one tiny point:

          (sorry if I’m ranting or off/over topic)

          There’s no such thing as off-topic on #spillover, so as far as the Moderator Team goes, no problem.

        4. matlun
          matlun March 10, 2013 at 8:43 am |

          What I don’t understand is how the transphobic radicals became that way. I’ve NEVER heard or seen an argument that makes any sense supporting that stancetransphibia.

          [Potential TW for transphobia. - C]

          As far as I understand their stance, they see gender as completely socially constructed, and are committed to the idea that there are no natural psychological or brain differences between sexes.

          Thus they do not accept the experience of the trans person where brain and body did not match. They see this as just delusion not deserving of respect. The trans experience is in fact a direct challenge to their world view which works as an additional spur to feelings of antipathy and transphobia.

        5. amblingalong
          amblingalong March 10, 2013 at 9:01 am |

          No. I get that this person was citing transphobic authors, and that not all radicals are transphobic (I’ve got some radical, way-out-there beliefs). What I don’t understand is how the transphobic radicals became that way. I’ve NEVER heard or seen an argument that makes any sense supporting that stance. Every argument I’ve heard/seen on the exclusion of trans* women ultimately boils down to “women born woman” is a privileged position and must be protected, and if that was the case, would we even need to have feministe? (sorry if I’m ranting or off/over topic)

          So I want to make it really clear that I don’t endorse any of these arguments, but I’ve encountered others that seem to flow more logically from the radfem position (again, I’m not suggesting the arguments themselves are logical). I thought it might be useful to make those arguments explicit; that said, this is seriously toxic stuff, so a potential TW for transphobia.

          Anyways, the big three I’ve seen:

          1) Trans* is a result of patriarchal society. Our culture codes certain things male/famale (colors, names, clothing etc); despite this, there is no rational connection between, say, blue and male or pink and female. As a result, men who like pink or women who like blue experience confusion; ultimately, instead of questioning gender coding, they sometimes embrace said patriarchal codes and simply believe they’ve been assigned the wrong ones. Thus, trans people come into existence. If the patriarchy is disassembled, then people won’t need to be trans, because they can simply be men who like pink.

          2) It doesn’t matter why trans exists. Biological sex is a real thing, even if gender is socially constructed. People who identify as trans are either lying, or insane- that is, a female who identifies as male is equivalent to a person who identifies as a dog, in terms of mental health. At best, trans* people simply need psychiatric care; more likely, “trans women” are simply men who refuse to let women have their own spaces/issues/organizations, and trans men are really women who have given into the patriarchy and tried to escape by becoming the oppressor. That is, the simple existence of trans* is a patriarchal assault on women.

          2b) Some people who believe 2) also argue that gender is socially constructed, but sex is not, so a male is always a male, but potentially also a women. Female issues (such as reproductive rights) and women’s issues (such as workplace discrimination) overlap, but are not always the same; trans women are still male, so they have a place in the latter set of discussions, but not the former.

          2c) Similarly, they may argue that trans people are oppressing women because the existence of trans requires gender as a concept to function, and gender exists to maintain the patriarchy.

          3) Trans is a political attempt to destroy feminism/oppress women. Because it creates a hierarchy between cis/trans, it suggests that some women have more gender-derived privilege than some men in the exact same circumstances (i.e, if trans is real a cis women can be oppressing a trans women, even though that trans woman is really a man). This presents a threat to feminism because it destroys the central premise that men oppress women, and not the other way around.

          There’s a bunch of other nasty shit out there too, of course; a lot of the same people will propose any combination of the above plus miscellaneous objections like trans supporting capitalism (“Gay is free. Transgender involves selling product. Acquiring stuff, whether it be clothes or makeup or actual body parts, is essential to transgenderism”). But that’s basically the sum of what I’ve encountered.

        6. matlun
          matlun March 10, 2013 at 2:59 pm |

          [Potential TW for transphobia. - C]

          I should probably have been clearer, but the above post was an attempt at analysis of transphobia. In no way, shape, or form do I agree with the above positions.

          I really hope no one misunderstood this.

        7. Caperton
          Caperton March 10, 2013 at 4:34 pm | *

          I should have been clearer about that — the TW was because the subject discussed was potentially triggering, not because I was accusing matlun of transphobia. I think I’m not very good at trigger warnings.

        8. tigtog
          tigtog March 10, 2013 at 4:49 pm | *

          A habit I picked up from somewhere else was to do such TWs or CNs as “discussion of [trigger issue]” to make it clear that the commentor is not themselves being a jackass about the trigger issue.

        9. amblingalong
          amblingalong March 10, 2013 at 4:49 pm |

          Urgh, not sure if I did mine right either.

        10. matlun
          matlun March 10, 2013 at 5:10 pm |

          @Caperton – no problem, then.

          I just got worried that I had been misunderstood, but as long as that was not the case, I am happy :)

  6. Radiant Sophia
    Radiant Sophia March 9, 2013 at 12:30 am |

    ” just a general refusal to do sex-positive feminism 101 for the second time in twenty minutes.”

    I’m not sure what you mean. This is the first response I’ve made to this.

    1. Radiant Sophia
      Radiant Sophia March 9, 2013 at 12:32 am |

      Sorry, that was supposed to be a reply to amblingalong.

      1. amblingalong
        amblingalong March 9, 2013 at 12:33 am |

        Oops, and I replied to you up above.

        Yay nesting!

    2. Safiya Outlines
      Safiya Outlines March 10, 2013 at 5:32 pm |

      [TW discussing transphobia]

      Radiant Sophia – Just chipping in here to agree with you about Transphobia being utterly unradical (whichever way you look at the word radical).

      I have a big issue with some of what passes for “sex-positive feminism”, in fact I hate the very term “sex-positive” as it carries the assumption that those who disagree with you are sex-negative, which is just a academic way of calling someone frigid, which is a nasty misogynist slur.

      So it pains me that a sizeable chunk of people who have good critiques of this stuff, I can never stand with, because of their bigotry towards trans people. Transphobia just needs to GTFO of feminism.

      1. amblingalong
        amblingalong March 10, 2013 at 5:51 pm |

        I actually think it’s fair to characterize people who essentially say “the only right way to have sex is the way I, personally, enjoy having sex” as sex-negative, though I wouldn’t extend that to all radfems.

        But it’s also not true to say that sex-positive implies everyone else is sex-negative; there are more than two ways to feel about sexual liberation. Most radfems certainly feel positively about at least some types of sex, I think; sex-positive, for me, just means embracing the full spectrum of consensual human sexual expression, instead of just specific parts.

        1. namelesschaos
          namelesschaos March 14, 2013 at 5:19 pm |

          The terms I personally use for this is sexually pluralistic vs. sexually dogmatic. I feel they better encapsulate the issues then the positive/negative phrasing.

      2. trees
        trees March 10, 2013 at 6:10 pm |

        I have a big issue with some of what passes for “sex-positive feminism”, in fact I hate the very term “sex-positive” as it carries the assumption that those who disagree with you are sex-negative, which is just a academic way of calling someone frigid, which is a nasty misogynist slur.

        Yeah me too. I hate the term “sex-positive” in the same way as I hate the term “pro-life”.

        1. EG
          EG March 10, 2013 at 6:15 pm |

          Agreed. It’s the same kind of facile manipulative bullshit.

        2. matlun
          matlun March 10, 2013 at 7:10 pm |

          I hate the term “sex-positive” in the same way as I hate the term “pro-life”.

          “Sexually liberal” feminism would perhaps be a more exact term than “sex-positive”, but I still see sex-positive feminism as a fairly reasonable descriptive name.

          It needs to be read in the context that it started as a reaction against what can very reasonably be described sex negative feminism. It does not imply that all other strains of feminism are sex negative, but rather that this was the big contrast against previous ideology.

        3. EG
          EG March 11, 2013 at 9:51 am |

          It does not imply that all other strains of feminism are sex negative, but rather that this was the big contrast against previous ideology.

          I strongly disagree. That is indeed “sex-positive” feminism’s mythology of itself, that it created the idea of pro-sex feminism, but it’s not historically accurate. Further, in practice, its proponents were as judgmental as the people they claimed to be contrasting with: if you didn’t think that all sex was super-awesome, and your experiences suggested otherwise, you were doing it wrong and your experiences were ignored.

        4. EG
          EG March 11, 2013 at 9:52 am |

          In other words, in practice, it ignored sex as a locus of oppression.

        5. matlun
          matlun March 11, 2013 at 11:15 am |

          @EG:

          if you didn’t think that all sex was super-awesome, and your experiences suggested otherwise, you were doing it wrong and your experiences were ignored.

          In other words, in practice, it ignored sex as a locus of oppression.

          I agree that these can both sometimes be real problems.

          But surely those are not argument against the validity of the “sex-positive” label? Ie these are issues with being too uncritically positive and overlooking/denying valid problems.

          Btw, you are also correct that the sex-positive feminism movement did not “create pro-sex feminism”. The push for sexual liberation was quite a common theme already in first wave feminism.

        6. tomek
          tomek March 11, 2013 at 12:32 pm |

          In other words, in practice, it ignored sex as a locus of oppression.

          it is this point why sex positive feminism has come. sex is a personal thing, oppression doesnt come in, it is not political.

          it is this notion which some kind of sex is oppressive and some kind of sex is not oppressive which sex positive feminism reject. sex is a natural process, you do not try to “fix” this.

        7. tigtog
          tigtog March 11, 2013 at 4:53 pm | *

          it is this notion which some kind of sex is oppressive and some kind of sex is not oppressive which sex positive feminism reject.

          That is utter crap, tomek. I assure you that sex-positive feminists believe that sexual coercion exists and that sexual coercion must end.

          The whole point of the sex-positive movement is not that any sex is good sex. The point of the sex-positive movement is that sex is not inherently shameful/demeaning, not that sex is never used/experienced oppressively/exploitatively.

          sex is a natural process, you do not try to “fix” this.

          Childbirth is a natural process too, and when not “fixed” it leads to many women and babies dying. Since “we” decided that it was important to make childbirth better (at least in the wealthier nations who can afford to build modern facilities, and who have formalised the philosophy of ‘informed consent’) far fewer women or their babies die during childbirth.

          Myopia is a natural condition as well, and now we fix it so routinely that most people don’t even remember/realise that it’s historically been a serious disability that led to many people having awful lives. We change “natural” to be better all the time.

        8. tomek
          tomek March 11, 2013 at 6:24 pm |

          yes but sexuality is very different from which examples you give, childbirth and myopia.

          sexuality is where there is thing that make the person feel very good, when they pursue that thing. childbirth and myopia it is not like this. so if you say, the way you are choose to pursue sexuality is bad/wrong, you are saying, you may not experience the good feeling in this way, because we do not like this.

          feminists have for long time being opposing facts of sex which they dont like and dont regard equal. such as male sexual aggression, female sexual submission. when you tell people that there sexuality is wrong and sexist, they dont like this of course. and this is why sex-positive feminism is borne — to say all sex is good, except when it really is without consent.

        9. tigtog
          tigtog March 11, 2013 at 10:03 pm | *

          tomek, if the way you choose to pursue sexuality makes other people feel bad about being the target of your sexual desire, then they are perfectly within their rights to say that the way that you choose to sexually pursue them is alarming for them and that they want you to stop doing it at them.

        10. EG
          EG March 11, 2013 at 10:24 pm |

          But surely those are not argument against the validity of the “sex-positive” label? Ie these are issues with being too uncritically positive and overlooking/denying valid problems.

          For me, it is. That is what sex-positive feminism has meant in practice whenever I have encountered it, and I’m not interested in some “no true Scotsman” argument about the true nature of pure sex-positive feminism. I find it so off-putting that for a while I did indeed describe myself as sex-negative, just as a form of spitting in its eye. Others can claim the label if they like, but avowedly sex-positive feminists and feminism gets no benefit of the doubt from me. Look at the numerous issues that arose when Clarisse Thorn posted here.

          Tomek, I’m not even going to respond in detail to your nonsense. The fact is that sexual interactions are major loci of oppression and exploitation for many women. Go read some basic feminist work.

        11. EG
          EG March 11, 2013 at 10:28 pm |

          sexuality is where there is thing that make the person feel very good, when they pursue that thing. childbirth and myopia it is not like this.

          See, here’s a good example: for tomek, sexuality is defined as something that makes a person feel good. Thus he erases the many negative experiences many women have with sexuality as it is constructed and channeled under patriarchy by indicating that if it makes you feel bad, it can’t be sexuality, because sexuality is what makes you feel good.

          Note too the conflation between analysis and condemnation: because you don’t want people who are happily into BDSM feel bad, you’re not supposed to analyze the social construction of those dynamics? Like, gendered power differentials magically stop having an effect at the door of one’s bedroom?

        12. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune March 11, 2013 at 10:34 pm |

          because you don’t want people who are happily into BDSM feel bad, you’re not supposed to analyze the social construction of those dynamics? Like, gendered power differentials magically stop having an effect at the door of one’s bedroom?

          Maybe we’d feel a bit better about that analysis if, when BDSM is described 99% of the time, people manage to acknowledge that it can involve something other than “straight man dominates straight woman” in the way they describe it.

        13. EG
          EG March 11, 2013 at 10:41 pm |

          I have no problem that. My problem is not with calls to analyze BDSM better, but with the shutting down of discussion because sex is good! Good, I tell you!

        14. GallingGalla
          GallingGalla March 11, 2013 at 11:25 pm |

          feminists have for long time being opposing facts of sex which they dont like and dont regard equal. such as male sexual aggression, female sexual submission.

          Tomek, are you *seriously* suggesting that male sexual aggression / female sexual submission, with all the homophobia and misogyny that implies, should be the way of the world? Please tell me that it’s because of how I’m reading your word-salad style of writing and not how you actually think.

        15. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune March 11, 2013 at 11:45 pm |

          I have no problem that. My problem is not with calls to analyze BDSM better, but with the shutting down of discussion because sex is good! Good, I tell you!

          I don’t like that either. I do to some extent believe in black-box sexuality, but there are certain kinks I side-eye the hell out of. My point, though, EG, was that even in your comment, when you described BDSM, you automatically went with “straight pair, male dom, female sub”. Which is exactly what 90% of people analysing kink wind up doing, and then, instead of criticising the gendered bullshit, they wind up criticising kink itself, which is frustrating as fuck as a kinkster who isn’t really interested in het relationships, let me tell you.

        16. EG
          EG March 12, 2013 at 12:02 am |

          I don’t think I did, mac. I didn’t specify anything about the dynamics of the BDSM in question. I think the misinterpretation may be because I understood the paragraph break as signifying a shift in topic (the equivalent of “and another thing”). It was not supposed to have anything to do with the negative sexual experiences under patriarchy; certainly mine have had nothing to do with BDSM.

        17. EG
          EG March 12, 2013 at 12:05 am |

          And I do apologize for not making the topic change clearer, if that was the source of the problem.

        18. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune March 12, 2013 at 12:10 am |

          Ah, got it, EG. Thank you for the explanation.

        19. matlun
          matlun March 12, 2013 at 2:16 am |

          @EG: I think we are talking past each other. I was just discussing whether sex-positive was a good, descriptive name for the movement, while you were getting into your problems with the ideology in practice.

          Consider the type of sex-positive feminist you have a problem with: Someone who never, ever will accept any criticism of any sexual habit. Surely describing that person as “sex-positive” is not incorrect, since the problem is an extreme, overly positive view of sex.

          The larger discussion as to whether sex-positive feminism is good or bad ideology is something I think we would have a harder time reaching agreement on, and I will just dodge that discussion for this thread (perhaps being a bit of a wimp).

      3. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune March 10, 2013 at 6:25 pm |

        I have a big issue with some of what passes for “sex-positive feminism”, in fact I hate the very term “sex-positive” as it carries the assumption that those who disagree with you are sex-negative, which is just a academic way of calling someone frigid, which is a nasty misogynist slur.

        I absolutely agree with you on this. The only downside I see to it is that I’d no longer have a term to describe the hateful shit that gets thrown at me as a kinkster in a same-sex relationship. I DO think that people who get all up in my face about what I like in bed, and who I like in bed with me, and how many, are being bigoted assholes. The level of their libido has nothing to do with it, but I’d really appreciate a term that covers the kind of judgmental shit that’s basically led to me studiously ignoring everything feminists say about polyamory/kink/libido/sexuality in the history of ever, unless they’re part of the marginalised group in question themselves. (And even then, I dunno; I’ve read some things by polyamorous/kinky/gay/ace-spectrum people that make me feel sick.)

  7. wembley
    wembley March 10, 2013 at 9:40 pm |

    TW: discussion of transphobia

    As long as we’re talking about transphobia and radfems/TERFS, I might as well ask a question that’s been on my mind for a while: Transphobia and radfems: WHAT’S THE DEAL?

    I don’t mean, “Why do they believe this,” because it’s not a new thing, from what I’ve gleaned from threads here, it’s something they’ve believed since the ’70s. But it seems like it’s their main thing now. Is it that the other things that radical feminists brought to the table* — “the personal is political,” the idea that women should actually expect pleasure and orgasms out of sex, rape as an act of power, patriarchy should be dismantled — have all been folded into liberal feminism now, and so this is like the only thing they have left that distinguishes them? Or is my whole premise suspect, is transphobia not the hill they’ve chosen to die on? Because it damn well feels like it.

    Anyway, is there anyone that knows the history and evolution of radical feminism, especially on the internet, that wants to expound?

    (I also don’t get the whole “We’re the true hardcore real feminists and you liberal feminists are just ‘fun feminists’” thing I’ve heard from the radfems that come here to troll, because I thought the porn wars were an intra-radfem fight and that liberal feminists were more concerned about equal pay laws. Possibly my women’s studies prof led me astray.)

    1. tomek
      tomek March 10, 2013 at 9:59 pm |

      i think it is more complicated than that. some idea which you give as idea which is now part of liberal feminism “personal is political” “rape is act of power” i think liberal feminism is actually in reaction to.

      i see big part of liberal feminism is fuck to “personal is political” my personal life is my choice “personal is personal”. this is part of liberal i very much like in response to radical feminism. i hope also liberal feminism question the idea of big evil “patriarchy” and realise that both man and woman have advantage and disadvantage.

      radical feminist is stuck in 70s/80s equality of outcome viewpoint

      1. EG
        EG March 11, 2013 at 12:19 am |

        You have no idea what “the personal is political” means, and you have no idea of what either liberal or radical feminism is/

    2. EG
      EG March 11, 2013 at 12:21 am |

      I think it’s that transphobia is their ticket into mainstream attention and acceptance. They can get validation from the mainstream bigots while pretending that they’re oh-so-radical.

      1. Lolagirl
        Lolagirl March 14, 2013 at 11:23 am |

        I can’t even take radfems seriously on any other radfem issue because of the nasty anti-trans crap they spout. It doesn’t even make logical sense, and yet, it is apparently a cornerstone of rad feminism now.

        1. EG
          EG March 14, 2013 at 11:58 am |

          I agree. I used to have a t-shirt that said “radical feminist” on it in sparkly pink script that I always wore when babysitting. I liked the dissonance it sparked in non-feminists, and I like a lot of what the mainstream thinks of as “radical” feminism. But when I became more familiar with the transphobia of radical feminism, I threw the shirt out. I don’t want to be associated with that harmful bullshit.

    3. Henry
      Henry March 11, 2013 at 3:15 am |

      You don’t need to look too deeply, like all prejudice it is founded in some level of hatred of the “other”. Maybe they think trans people did not grow their bits in the uterus and are therefore not entitled to them?

      Question: do they hate trans-women and trans-men, or or one or the other?

      1. amblingalong
        amblingalong March 11, 2013 at 9:35 am |

        Question: do they hate trans-women and trans-men, or or one or the other?

        Both, though I personally have seen more vitriol aimed at trans women, because that’s who they’re trying to exclude from their events/meetings/the umbrella of feminism, generally.

    4. Buttered Lilies
      Buttered Lilies March 14, 2013 at 3:20 am |

      You are correct that the porn wars were a split within radical feminism, not radical feminism vs liberal feminism. However, one of the big tactics of anti-porn radical feminists were to frame their position as THE radical feminist position and eventually THE feminist position on porn. They tend to see pro-sex/sex-positive radical feminists as just giving up on radical feminism and not being interested in hardcore theorizing, instead of having hardcore theorizing that comes to a different conclusion.

      1. wembley
        wembley March 14, 2013 at 9:37 am |

        Interesting!

  8. wembley
    wembley March 10, 2013 at 9:43 pm |

    Whoops, I forgot to add my footnote:

    *At least, those are the things I was taught that radfems brought to the table, whereas liberal second wave feminists were more into changing institutions through laws. I assume there was probably a lot of one shading into the other, though. If this is even true and I’m not remembering everything wrong.

  9. GallingGalla
    GallingGalla March 12, 2013 at 11:07 pm |

    Back on the monumentally huge “Don’t change your name when you get married” comment thread, Igglanova said:

    But one shouldn’t dismiss the discrimination faced by butch women and female-bodied* genderqueers for not wearing makeup.

    I wanted to say this: Igglanova, some of us butch women are trans*, and your use of the “butch women and female-bodied genderqueers” construct erases our existence.

    In general, I very rarely see the existence of butch trans* women even acknowledged. This bothers me.

    1. GallingGalla
      GallingGalla March 12, 2013 at 11:12 pm |

      Not to mention that assigned-female-at-birth genderqueer folk can be femme. I know a couple that are.

    2. Donna L
      Donna L March 12, 2013 at 11:15 pm |

      Thank you. As I indicated, I thought that comment erased trans women entirely. (Some of whom, of course, are “female-bodied,” although I doubt that Igglanova meant to include them either; I assume she was trying to convey “AFAB”).

    3. igglanova
      igglanova March 13, 2013 at 9:56 pm |

      This is fair. I should have been more careful.

      The people with whom I actually have a beef on the makeup issue are not trans*. I conveyed that inelegantly. I just find it tiresome when discussions on ‘feminine behaviour x’ end up dominated by cis straight women’s defensiveness. As though only an asshole would dare to ponder what widespread capitulation (wearing makeup, shaving legs, plucking facial hair, what-the-fuck-ever) means for those who cannot comply.

  10. wembley
    wembley March 13, 2013 at 8:10 am |

    Replying to tinfoil hattie here: http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2013/03/12/ending-violence-against-women-remains-controversial/#comment-615923

    I think religion is kind of simultaneously the cause and the reaction. Like, I think the misogyny and the homophobia, etc., would exist without religion, and existed before religion. Religion’s just an excellent delivery system for these beliefs, because everything’s easier when you can convince people you’ve got an all-powerful, all-seeing being on your side. Like, religion didn’t just spring up out of nowhere… people created it, and specifically baked these things into the texts, because they were beliefs that they already had. So the misogyny, etc., had to come first. That said, at this point, thousands of years on, so many people get indoctrinated into beliefs that the fundamentalist sects of certain religions are pretty much to blame now. That said, homophobic, *ist fundies clearly value those beliefs more than a lot of other shit in their texts, since they pick and choose. So in some ways, I guess, the reactionary beliefs still come first. Religion’s just a really powerful vehicle. I don’t think we’re ever going to get rid of it, because a lot of people (including usually-atheist secular Jew me!) are terrified of death and need to believe in an afterlife to not lose their minds, plus rituals, community, etc. That said, I understand your frustration.

  11. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie March 13, 2013 at 3:59 pm |

    Well, religion is used as a method for keeping people in line. So, as a “moral authority,” it is abusive.

    I don’t care if we ever “get rid of” religion or not. It is misogynist. Like everything else.

  12. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie March 13, 2013 at 4:43 pm |

    From the Name Change Thread That Will Not Die, a commenter noted: “The number of men who adopt their wife’s surname is so few as to be statistically insignificant.”

    So here’s an idea: Challenge men to make the change. Don’t blame women for not being able to change patriarchy all by ourselves!

    1. tomek
      tomek March 13, 2013 at 4:47 pm |

      the head of a giraffe against a bright blue sky: its mouth is pursed sideways

      [Moderator note: your repeated admonitions regarding "reality" are tiresome, judgemental, and almost always counterfactual. Be more perspicacious.]

      1. tomek
        tomek March 13, 2013 at 5:01 pm |

        ok, this comment maybe was too harsh.

        what i mean to say is that man is unlikely to take his wife’s surname because this is viewed as the step down for him, putting her in the control. i think many man and woman is going to look down on him for that.

        man is not in free position to choose any thing he wants like you think he is.

        1. EG
          EG March 13, 2013 at 5:13 pm |

          Yes, he is. He is free to choose to take his wife’s name and decide not to give a shit about the people who will look down on him. He can put up with the same judging and shaming by patriarchal assholes that women get.

    2. Emolee
      Emolee March 14, 2013 at 2:39 pm |

      Agreed, tinfoil hattie. Let’s put the pressure on men for a change.

  13. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune March 13, 2013 at 10:12 pm |

    >.< Um. If Denise Winters is reading this thread by any chance: I wanted to apologise. I wanted to wait until my head was cool to do it, so I'd do it right, and then comments were closed. I wasn't trying to ignore you or dismiss you by not apologising. Also this thread (and the open one) is dead so you might not see it, obviously, but I didn't want to wait until Friday for the next open one either. Sorry. Thanks.

    1. Denise Winters
      Denise Winters March 19, 2013 at 11:12 pm |

      Thank you. I think I owe you an apology too and should have had the head to wait before spouting off post after post.

  14. tigtog
    tigtog March 15, 2013 at 6:59 pm | *

    Regarding the criticism of the classic feminist slogan “Feminism is the radical idea that women are people” from the latest Ending Violence Against Women thread – here’s a summary of various conceptions of personhood/individuation that are tied up in the concept of “people”.

    1. matlun
      matlun March 15, 2013 at 7:33 pm |

      Yes. But are you defending that slogan?
      On the other thread you said “Never said that only feminists believe women are people”.

      Your link discusses the word “person” and not “people” (is that really “group of persons” as opposed to “group of humans”? In all the different senses of the concept of person or just some?), but leaving that aside there seems to be no reading of the slogan that makes sense to me.

      Some possibilities:
      * Legal person: Perhaps you can find someone that believes that women should not be granted full legal personhood. Someone who is against women’s right to vote might be an example, but it is such a marginal position that it can probably be ignored.

      * If you load the concept of person with some theory of basic rights, the idea implies that women too should have their rights respected. But that is just the rights theory you are using. The definition of person is not the critical point.

      * Using some fuzzier idea that implies in the concept of person a group identification or positive view also seems weird to me. I have no problem recognizing that eg serial murderers and rapists are people. There is no contradiction between seeing someone as a person and finding them a despicable, monstrous piece of scum. Even if we go that route, this type of psychological depersonification is a very, very high bar, and would be applicable to very few people.

      In short, I would say that the vast, vast majority would agree that women are people. This is not feminism.

      A bit of a rambling post, but we are on spillover now (good decision, tigtog)

      1. EG
        EG March 15, 2013 at 7:46 pm |

        Your link discusses the word “person” and not “people” (is that really “group of persons” as opposed to “group of humans”?

        “People” is the plural of “person,” so I’d say yes, it is. (“Persons” is of course also a plural of “person,” but I’d argue that its usage is limited to rather formal settings.)

      2. Past my expiration date
        Past my expiration date March 15, 2013 at 8:09 pm |

        In short, I would say that the vast, vast majority would agree that women are people. This is not feminism.

        A photo caption I have seen many times: “People [something]ing” (accompanying a picture of a group of men).

        A photo caption I have also seen many times: “Women [something]ing” (accompanying a picture of a group of women).

        A photo caption I do not remember ever having seen, not even once: “People [something]ing” (accompanying a picture of a group of women).

        People are men. Women are women.

        1. tigtog
          tigtog March 15, 2013 at 8:31 pm | *

          Good point.

          It’s also important to note the common dissonance between what someone says they believe, and then what they actually do based on assumptions/presumptions that they may not even be conscious of having made. So it wouldn’t surprise me at all that most people would say, if asked, that of course they believe that women/blacks/natives/immigrants are people – that doesn’t mean that their presumptions/actions necessarily actually treat women/blacks/natives/immigrants as fully people.

        2. Lisa
          Lisa March 16, 2013 at 12:33 am |

          Right, just look at stick figures. If you just draw a regular stick figure, it’s automatically a dude. You have to add something to it (curly hair, eyelashes, a skirt) in order to denote it as a woman. But you don’t have to add a beard or a dong to show it’s a guy. I think this illustrates perfectly how deeply ingrained society’s perception of “people” vs. “women” really is.

      3. tigtog
        tigtog March 15, 2013 at 8:23 pm | *

        matlun, what EG said. Also, if you are not familiar with how the slogan arose during the campaign for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment to the US Constitution, and how it consciously harked back to arguments that were had almost a century earlier during the campaigns for the passage of the 14th and 15th Amendments to the US Constitution, then you are missing way too much background context to discuss this issue knowledgeably.

        The footnote-link in the RationalWiki to the HuffPost article on the 2011 comments by Justice Antonin Scalia where he opined that the word “person” in the US Constitution Equal Protection Clause does not include protecting women against sex discrimination alludes to some of that historical context, and that context matters: feminists didn’t just invent the controversy over who legally counts as a person with fully equal legal rights from nothing – it was in response to legal decisions which refused to take women into account as persons, and some of those legal decisions have not yet been overturned (and the US is not the only country with legal peculiarities which have a similar legacy effect).

        1. tomek
          tomek March 15, 2013 at 8:33 pm |

          i have always understanding this slogan to mean “woman is like anyone else, they are individual in choice/desire and not mystic and such”. which is why i do not think slogan is so good, because it discourage people from thinking of sex and gender and how this bring about situations in the world, including on the woman side.

        2. matlun
          matlun March 15, 2013 at 9:05 pm |

          @tigtog:
          If you are specifically using it in the legal context of “full citizens”, then historically it was more correct. And if you look globally, then there are obviously many, many places where women do not have full legal rights. But that is hardly the case in the US today (which I thought was the context)

          Still – are you saying that any minor discrimination in the legal system would mean that women are not considered people? With that reading saying that “women are people” would be demanding a total lack of discrimination, which would bring the slogan pretty close to being true. But that is an interpretation that sounds very strange to me.

          Saying that any injustice in the legal system with some sort of discriminatory effect would be tantamount to declaring the affected group “not people” would be pretty absurd. So there clearly has to be some threshold of systemic discrimination before you can say you have reached. It is subjective, but for me that bar would have to be high to match my instincts about the semantic meanings of the terms.

          And I am not convinced that the full citizen requirement in the person definition is that clear either. Do we not consider children “people”? Even 17 year olds? And while the attitudes towards illegal immigrants are very often deplorable, most would still say that they are people.

          One additional question is whether it is enough to be in favor of equal legal rights to be a feminist.

        3. tigtog
          tigtog March 15, 2013 at 11:52 pm | *

          matlun, you appear to be stretching for a semantic quibble on this, and I frankly don’t have the energy for you. For every question above where you asked the equivalent of “are you saying [strawman]“, the answer is no, that’s not what I’m saying.

          I direct you to the general distinctions between de jure and de facto statuses, and to my comment above regarding the common dissonance between what someone says they believe and what they actually presume and how they actually act – it’s not enough for me whether people answer that they regard women as people, that has to be displayed in their actions towards and assumptions about women. We see non-feminists assume monolithic universal attributes as belonging to all women everywhere all the time – that is not regarding women as people, no matter how much they might protest that they really really do.

          One additional question is whether it is enough to be in favor of equal legal rights to be a feminist.

          No. It is a necessary but not a sufficient condition.

        4. matlun
          matlun March 15, 2013 at 9:19 pm |

          I guess it goes back to what you semantically put in the term “people”. You seem to be reading into the term that if you call someone people this means that you recognize that they are part of the “in group”. I do not see this connection.

          To me, it means just that you recognize their basic humanity, and even that depends on context.

          If some dictator or slave owner is talking about “his people” it can even mean the opposite due to the very real claim of ownership.

          Since this is semantics and fairly subjective, I can not make a hard claim that I am right. Just that the slogan does not work with how I understand the words.

        5. matlun
          matlun March 16, 2013 at 3:24 am |

          @tigtog: Yes, I was talking about semantics. As in why that slogan does not work for me.

          Wasn’t that what this whole subthread was about?

        6. tigtog
          tigtog March 16, 2013 at 3:45 am | *

          Your semantic points seem to veer between recreational and obtuse, matlun – and right now with what’s going on in my life I’m not in the mood for either. The original raiser of the objection to the slogan hasn’t even had a chance to comment because you’re dominating the thread so completely.

        7. matlun
          matlun March 16, 2013 at 5:58 am |

          Ok, if you feel that way I will bow out. As you say, it is mostly a recreational discussion for me, so if the parties do not enjoy it there is little point.

        8. tigtog
          tigtog March 16, 2013 at 6:52 am | *

          matlun, I appreciate your decision to drop this.

          For the benefit of the lurkers, I offer this link regarding recreational intellectual discussions: I Am Not a Political Football by Melissa McEwan at Shakesville

        9. matlun
          matlun March 16, 2013 at 10:35 am |

          @tigtog: I should clarify that I was not trolling and trying to provoke. I was trying to make an honest argument.

          In my eyes, this was a fairly unimportant philosophical discussion about the value of a specific slogan. About form and not substance. I honestly did not predict that anyone would be emotionally invested and find it provoking. Which is a type of mistake I have made before, so I should try to learn from this.

        10. tigtog
          tigtog March 16, 2013 at 4:32 pm | *

          matlun, this response from you was a very pleasant surprise to wake up to. Thank you for reading the link and thinking about it and self-examining.

          I should clarify too that I never thought you were trolling (a term which is grossly over/misused). It was more like you’d jumped on a particular logic train and couldn’t get off, and I’ve been there before myself, and made mistakes as a result too. I get it. It’s just not a kind habit, and I try really really hard not to do it any more.

  15. IrishUp
    IrishUp March 18, 2013 at 7:20 pm |

    Honestly? For the same reason I didn’t write about the 900 other important things that happened last month. I don’t get around to writing about everything. I tend to blog about whatever piques my interest at the particular 30-minute timeframe I have to write on any given day. That method is really the only one available to me right now, given my employment situation, and so it makes for a lot of imperfect blogging and coverage.

    - Jill’s response to Miss S’s question on the “Targeting six-year olds” thread.

    Jill, I found this response very disappointing.

    I appreciate that you only have so much time in your day, and blogging about things that interest you is one of the ways you are navigating your various commitments.

    That said, setting up Black History Month as one of a [hyperbolic number] of Unidentified Important Things does VERY little to correct the impression that you don’t really have a commitment to reaching out farther to WOC and POC. That NOT ONE thirty minute block of the 28 blocks of BHM sufficiently piqued your interest to put *something* down implies very unflattering things about how much interest you actually have in any of the myriad ways BHM and Feministe *might* have intersected. An omission of this sort is a damn sight more than “imperfect”, ESPECIALLY in the context of the history here @ Feministe.

    Perhaps if you interrogated that lack of interest more, other pieces like “Don’t Change Your Name” would be able to address intersectional issues around navigating various patriarchal oppressions with more nuance.

    1. Miss S
      Miss S March 18, 2013 at 7:42 pm |

      That NOT ONE thirty minute block of the 28 blocks of BHM sufficiently piqued your interest to put *something* down implies very unflattering things about how much interest you actually have in any of the myriad ways BHM and Feministe *might* have intersected.

      Yes, this very much. I have to go, but I’ll post later.

    2. trees
      trees March 18, 2013 at 7:56 pm |

      Perhaps if you interrogated that lack of interest more, other pieces like “Don’t Change Your Name” would be able to address intersectional issues around navigating various patriarchal oppressions with more nuance.

      Definitely this. It doesn’t have to be about entire posts, but rather looking at issues of individual interest from a variety of angles. Yes to an intersectional approach.

    3. tmc
      tmc March 19, 2013 at 7:09 am |

      Yah. How many more times do we have to have this fucking conversation? At what point are black women going to actually be any sort of fucking priority around here?

  16. Denise Winters
    Denise Winters March 18, 2013 at 10:43 pm |

    Was it really not worth the time to bring attention to the blogs of black feminists and womanists during BHM? Not so much as a weekly link round-up or featured blog that would hep increase the platform of black feminists and womanists? Its amazing that black history is allowed to go completely unmarked. There was not even a call for submissions from the readers. It was apparently considered too much to remind readers that they can submit posts, and that posts pertaining to BHM would be especially welcomed.

    1. tmc
      tmc March 19, 2013 at 7:12 am |

      Black women are not worth the effort, I guess. Neither is responding to their concerns until the umpteenth time that the question is raised.

  17. Emolee
    Emolee March 19, 2013 at 1:56 pm |

    I am curious if I am doing something that causes my comments to go into moderation. When I am on my work computer, they ALL do, even if they are one word, or whatever. But when I am on my phone, they never do. This is not a complaint, just a question. Thanks.

    1. Jill
      Jill March 19, 2013 at 2:05 pm | *

      It must be your work IP address. You probably share it with someone who has been banned or put on mod. Sorry :-(

  18. tinkdnuos
    tinkdnuos March 19, 2013 at 4:03 pm |

    In the discussion about Ta-Nehisi Coates’s op-ed in the nyt, two folks in nested comments agreed that in some parts of the world, due to the particulars of history and legacy social structures, white people actually are the victims of racism.

    I asked for examples because, well, I’ve never heard of such places.

    Now, Japan was mentioned, but I asked a simple follow-up about Japanese society that was never addressed.

    So…can anyone direct me to either a) some scholarship (formal or not) about the institutional marginalization of Japan’s white population, or b) some scholarship on anywhere else in the world where white people suffer at the bottom of the social hierarchy?

    P.s….before anyone suggests I look it up myself, try googling “racism against white people” and you’ll discover the filthy morass of American white “victim” claiming about affirmative action, etc…so totally and completely not helpful, at all.

    Thanks, in advance.

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune March 19, 2013 at 4:10 pm |

      Afaict there is currently no white group as a whole being discriminated against. THere have definitely been such groups in the past in Indian history, though. (Remnants of Alexander’s army who stayed behind, etc.) I don’t know about Japan, sorry, so I can’t confirm or deny.

      1. tinkdnuos
        tinkdnuos March 19, 2013 at 4:23 pm |

        Thanks!

        I think the original comments were made to preempt a criticism that wasn’t even forthcoming, I.e. that there’s something EVIL about white people that makes them uniquely prone to racism. I think I understand that desire, because it avoids reductive thinking, but at the same time I think it rejects the idea that the concept of whiteness itself exists to justify oppression and discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, race, skin color, or what have you. And since I happen to believe that about whiteness, and about race generally, I’m intrigued by anything that looks, acts, sounds, smells and shits like racism, but is not built around a “white vs. non-white” social dynamic. In other words, if history contradicts what I believe about racism, I’m eager to know more and to improve my understanding.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune March 19, 2013 at 4:34 pm |

          anything that looks, acts, sounds, smells and shits like racism, but is not built around a “white vs. non-white” social dynamic

          Reading into Dalit politics in India will give you a world of information on racism-by-any-other-name. So will reading Indian politics on north vs south (fuck knows I’ve faced more racism from north Indians than I ever have from whites!) intracolonialism, if I may coin a word. There’s also racism against black people in Asia, racism against south Asians in Africa, Koreans in Japan, indigenous people of the Americas vs black people, etc, etc.

        2. tinkdnuos
          tinkdnuos March 19, 2013 at 5:14 pm |

          I knew this was worth another shot. Thanks again!

    2. thinksnake
      thinksnake March 19, 2013 at 4:25 pm |

      At least when this gets discussed in Australia, people often bring up Zimbabwe under Mugabe. Which is simplifying the effects of colonialism to a disgusting degree if that’s being claimed as ‘racism against white people’, especially considering the often far worse treatment his regime has meted out to black opponents.

    3. Donna L
      Donna L March 19, 2013 at 4:28 pm |

      I have certainly read that the Ainu people, Japan’s indigenous population, suffer from severe institutional discrimination and marginalization, but I don’t think anybody reputable considers them “white” or “Caucasian” anymore; see Wikipedia:

      Full-blooded Ainu, compared to people of Yamato descent, often have lighter skin and more body hair.[36] Many early investigators proposed a Caucasian ancestry,[37] although recent DNA tests have not shown any genetic similarity with modern Europeans.[citation needed] Cavalli-Sforza places the Ainu in his “Northeast and East Asian” genetic cluster

      Maybe these people were talking about the Ainu. I have no idea what kind of discrimination white people of European or U.S.A. origin who live and/or were born in Japan suffer there; I’ve read a lot more about discrimination against Koreans.

    4. tinkdnuos
      tinkdnuos March 19, 2013 at 5:15 pm |

      …by which I meant (above, nested, grrr) thanks to all of you!

    5. amblingalong
      amblingalong March 19, 2013 at 5:30 pm |

      I mean, there are plenty of white people who live in countries which are majority not-white, and I’m guessing a fair few of them experience racism. I realize you’re talking about larger ethnic groups as opposed to individuals, but (for example) I know two white people who grew up in Toyko and experienced some pretty serious discrimination.*

      I don’t like the whole “white exists to justify racism” conception because it ignores the way other races can be racist when they have power; as a brown guy who spends significant time in Japan on business (seriously sorry to keep picking on this one country, it’s a coincidence, not malice) I can attest the racism I experienced there was equivalent to the US version in intensity and (again, in my experience) actually much less covert. Similarly, both Koreans in Japan and Japanese people in Korea can/do experience racism; for me this really highlights the fact that it’s not a specific race which creates/justifies racism, but the concept of race itself.

      The ‘creation’ of race in the US was all about white supremacy, but it’s needlessly amerocentric to assume it’s the only place where that process has happened.

      *As a kind of odd aside, one of the smaller things that nonetheless they remember hating the most was the constant stream of people they didn’t know coming up and touching their hair/commenting on how it was different/weird/cool. Sound familiar?!

      1. tinkdnuos
        tinkdnuos March 19, 2013 at 5:46 pm |

        Well…yeah, I know what you mean about the americentrism in the idea about race and whiteness, although from my understanding the roots were also (not exclusively) in western Europe and the justification for the crusades.

        I guess I’ve always regarded white supremacy and colorism as just a really popular european export, without considering whether (to keep abusing a metaphor) there were some markets more inclined to buy into it than others.

        Still, regardless of where else it might have been independently created, I think it’s fair to say that euro-american white supremacy is currently the most popular model on the market, and I don’t think there are many racial discourses in the world that aren’t heavily informed by it. So I still think it’s telling that we’re not aware of anywhere in the world where a majority brown or black population systematically marginalizes a measurable white population. I think it’s less about “ARRRGGHHHH STUPID WHITE PEOPLE” and more about “what made this insidious notion so particularly resilient and effective?”

        1. amblingalong
          amblingalong March 19, 2013 at 6:04 pm |

          I think it’s less about “ARRRGGHHHH STUPID WHITE PEOPLE” and more about “what made this insidious notion so particularly resilient and effective?”

          Agreed, but I don’t think it has to do with the idea being particularly effective at reproducing itself- I think it has to do with Europe successfully colonizing much of rest of the world (and as for why Europe and not some other place, I heavily recommend Jarrod Diamond). If in some alternate reality China had never closed its borders and ended up colonizing Europe/Africa/The America, I’m guessing Asian supremacy would be where white supremacy is today.

          I think you can see the evidence for this in microcosm in places where there were non-white imperial powers, such as (again) Korea and Japan or Turkey and Kurdistan.

        2. amblingalong
          amblingalong March 19, 2013 at 6:11 pm |

          Americas*

          So I still think it’s telling that we’re not aware of anywhere in the world where a majority brown or black population systematically marginalizes a measurable white population.

          Yeah, but again, racism doesn’t have to be along white/black or brown lines. There are tons of totally indigenous racist ‘models’ (to borrow your term); while I agree that few of them target white people, we also have to start interrogating what we mean by whiteness to prove that. Whiteness in the US context probably isn’t the same as whiteness in every other context; the Iranic peoples are Indo-Europeans with light skin, many of whom are literally Caucasian (i.e. settled the Caucasus mountains) but definitely are systematically oppressed in many places. Are they white? I don’t have a good answer, but the definitions get increasingly fuzzy.

        3. tinkdnuos
          tinkdnuos March 19, 2013 at 6:28 pm |

          Well when I talk about whiteness, I don’t mean skin color, really, but the sociological heuristic employed for in-grouping and stratification purposes (e.g. “how the Irish became white”).

          But I’m not a scholar so I don’t know if the relationship between nominal color and social stratification plays out the same way, nor whether racial categories in other cultures have the same degree of social malleability as whiteness does, outside of the north American and European context. My impression from the comments here is that it’s all kinda shitty and hard to tease out.

          If there’s one thing I’m pretty sure we could all agree on, unfortunately, it’s that the darker one’s skin, generally, the worse one can expect to be treated in MOST of this world.

        4. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune March 19, 2013 at 6:36 pm |

          tinkdnuos, if we’re just looking at fairness of skin, there’s no perceptible difference in complexion between, say, a random Greek person and a random Iranian/Kashmiri/Kazakh, but the other groups are definitely racially marginalised.

      2. trees
        trees March 19, 2013 at 6:41 pm |

        *As a kind of odd aside, one of the smaller things that nonetheless they remember hating the most was the constant stream of people they didn’t know coming up and touching their hair/commenting on how it was different/weird/cool. Sound familiar?!

        If you’re making an allusion to the experiences of bearers of tightly coiled and/or kinky hair, there really is no comparison. They are completely different experiences with different histories and ramifications.

        1. amblingalong
          amblingalong March 19, 2013 at 7:12 pm |

          I found the comparison to annoying shit I had experienced growing up interesting, despite the (painfully obvious) difference in historical baggage and context; not so much as “these people experienced the same racism I did” as “how weird/interesting/mildly obnoxious is it to listen to white people complaining about dealing with something that, facially, appears similar to stuff I dealt with.”

          Do you have a problem with this? I’m sincerely curious.

        2. trees
          trees March 19, 2013 at 7:31 pm |

          Do I have a problem with what exactly?

          In the context of your comment, you present this as a micro-aggression comparable to the oppression of others. Your reply to me suggests that that is not what you intended to convey.

        3. amblingalong
          amblingalong March 19, 2013 at 8:05 pm |

          I don’t think hair-touching means the same thing for white people in Japan that it does for black people in the US. There’s different history, different baggage, different everything. I didn’t mean to suggest it was. I was simply taken aback by the fact that- despite all the differences in context, which clearly matter- white people who’d grown up in Japan were frustrated by the same physical act that pissed me off growing up here. It doesn’t mean the act represented the same thing to them that it did to me (or any other brown person in the US).

          Basically, I just thought it was an interesting exchange. Maybe it wasn’t logical to introduce it in the context I did.

          In the context of your comment, you present this as a micro-aggression comparable to the oppression of others.

          Well, if pressed, I do think hair-touching is a form of othering that could represent a micro-aggression against white people in Japan, who I think can legitimately claim to experience oppression based on race; I just don’t think it’s the same as the US context, where there’s just a way longer history of baggage.

        4. trees
          trees March 19, 2013 at 9:49 pm |

          @amblingalong
          That seems fair; I don’t think we’re in disagreement.

    6. matlun
      matlun March 19, 2013 at 5:44 pm |

      @tinkdnuos

      Now, Japan was mentioned, but I asked a simple follow-up about Japanese society that was never addressed.

      Sorry, I missed the follow-up on that discussion. When I was discussing Japan I was thinking about recent white immigrants.

      As I said, there are very significant differences in the dynamics compared to for example the US. Ie in this case we are not talking about an established oppressed minority, and you do not have the same intersectionality with economic class. So I am not sure how much it was an answer to what you were looking for.

      Donna L’s answer was very interesting, too, but not something I can take credit for.

      1. tinkdnuos
        tinkdnuos March 19, 2013 at 5:50 pm |

        No need to apologize for missing the followup…it was getting away from the main topic anyway so I’m happier to bring it here, where it “belongs”, as it were.

  19. tmc
    tmc March 20, 2013 at 6:51 am |

    The concerns of black women are being dismissed, ignored, or downplayed here on Feministe? Say it ain’t fuckin so.

    Jill, this is not going away. Either you give a fuck or you don’t. Your actions (or lack thereof) indicate that you don’t give a fuck and if that’s so, then why not just admit it? This site has had a horrific history with black women’s issues and from all appearances, that seems to not even rate for you. There used to be a bunch of black women who posted here regularly, but from what I can tell, the vast majority of them (myself included) have long since become lurkers or have disappeared altogether. Many of us have gone quiet. Do you know why that is? Do you even care?

    1. IrishUp
      IrishUp March 20, 2013 at 3:08 pm |

      tmc, I am seeing what you are seeing as well. And FWIW, it’s not just you who’s gone quiet.

      I am upset at the loss of your voices (yours, Miss S, Angel H, and all the of the other commenters I can think of who I don’t see as much if at all any more). I find it impoverishes the discourse here. It’s such a HUGE loss of talent, perspective, and Grade-A Funny. I’m sure the universe of What Isn’t is much larger still – all the women who take a peek around and see the magnitude of Hell No! going on who just won’t bother.

      It’s the antithesis to “My Feminism will be intersectional” – it’s silencing, exclusionary bullshit.

      And then I argue with myself about whether to speak up – why participate at all if all I’m going to do is criticize, amirite? But that’s tacit complicity, and that’s fucked up too. Not to mention completely unfair to you, Miss S, and everyone else. So here I am.

    2. Miss S
      Miss S March 20, 2013 at 5:02 pm |

      Right, because she’s replied to other comment threads on here, after Irishup, you, trees, Denise, and I have started this discussion. But silence on this topic.

      Own up to it. Seriously. I don’t believe for one second that you don’t realized just how whitewashed this site is. It’s not like black women don’t come here to comment ever, it’s just that most of us don’t stay. I stopped commenting for awhile because this shit gets so old.

      I said this last year, and I’ll say it again. Black women don’t have many allies here. (I got mocked and shitted on for that for weeks, by the way, all for pointing out that some commenters seem to garner far more respect, and none of those commenters are black women).

      Irishup, your comments are appreciated and they don’t go unnoticed. It just sucks that when it comes to black women, there are only a few voices speaking up. Jadey was one of the few consistent allies, but I haven’t seen her posting here. (Jadey, if you’re reading this, I miss your comments and perspective). Why are so many commenters here willing to overlook black women repeatedly?? Why is our perspective worth so much less to that many people? Oh right… racism.

      1. Lolagirl
        Lolagirl March 20, 2013 at 5:28 pm |

        For whatever it’s worth, I absolutely agree with your take on this issue, Miss S. I do try to be an ally to whatever extent I can, and I always think it’s a good thing to keep intersectionality in mind when discussing social justice issues. Feminism is often guilty of ignoring and even erasing the concerns of POC, that definitely must stop.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune March 20, 2013 at 5:33 pm |

          Okay, well, WordPress is “duplicate comment detected”ing me for seconding anybody (wtf, wordpress, yo), so how about this: THIS

        2. Miss S
          Miss S March 20, 2013 at 8:57 pm |

          Also, thanks to all the people who commented as an ally.

      2. Donna L
        Donna L March 20, 2013 at 6:17 pm |

        Miss S, I agree with everything you and everyone else are saying about this issue, and your take on it, and the general silence on, and absence of posts addressing, the concerns of black women and other WOC.

        But this I remember:

        I got mocked and shitted on for that for weeks, by the way, all for pointing out that some commenters seem to garner far more respect, and none of those commenters are black women).

        That was all based on one thread in which you came across to many people as defending the religious homophobia of another commenter, and then singled out, by name (which was totally unnecessary) a group of so-called “core commenters,” all of whom had disagreed with you on that particular issue and all or most of whom are Jewish. It came across as a personal attack on those people (including me), but I don’t think anything I said to you could be called either mocking or shitting on you.

        1. Miss S
          Miss S March 20, 2013 at 8:47 pm |

          DonnaL, for what it’s worth, I don’t think you were one of the ones mocking me. What I was trying to say then, and what I’m saying now is that certain commenters get respect, and have allies, and get treated like their perspectives matter. Those commenters are not black women.

          As for the “core commenters” comment, I still think it’s worth asking, “Why don’t more black women contribute here regularly?” Do you really think it’s a random coincidence, or do you think it’s something more?

          It sucks, and it’s tiring, and it’s draining, to even have to point out on a feminist site that black women aren’t being treated as equals. Sometimes it makes me want to cry, which is why I had to step away for awhile. It’s 2013, why in the world is this still happening?

        2. Miss S
          Miss S March 20, 2013 at 9:01 pm |

          I don’t think anything I said to you could be called either mocking or shitting on you.

          I missed this part. I was definitely not talking about you. A few others thought it would be funny to address each other as “core commenter” on threads.

          Maybe I was so frustrated when I was writing what I wrote that I wasn’t as clear as I could have been, but it still hurt that people made fun of what is, to me, a serious issue- the way black women keep disappearing, the way this site is becoming more and more whitewashed, the way the perspectives of black women are treated compared to non black women.

      3. trees
        trees March 20, 2013 at 6:30 pm |

        I’m thinking maybe Jill wants to get a bit of distance from what may be feeling like a personal attack. She may be waiting for the time when she feels better able to provide a well-thought-out and proper response. I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt.

      4. tigtog
        tigtog March 20, 2013 at 6:41 pm | *

        I cannot speak for Jill on the questions posed to her about posts, and I’m only speaking for myself rather than the full Moderator Team here.

        I just want to address some of the points about Feministe’s notoriously hostile commenting environment, an environment which has been a reason often given when some bloggers refuse offers to guest-blog here, and also why some of the regular posters take long breaks to rebuild their willingness to engage here. Hell, it’s why I limited myself to tech-support only for the last few years.

        The frequently noted silencing of marginalised voices was one of the reasons for the changes to the moderation procedures over the past few months, including the introduction of the weekly open threads and these spillover threads to allow for meta-discussions without derailing on-topic discussions on other threads.

        There has been a clear improvement in the pile-on aspect and the drive-by derail aspect that was common on many threads, and I’m proud to be one of the agents who has built those improvements, but we’re still only starting out on the journey to turn the toxic aspects of the commentariat around so that Feministe can become a more generally constructive space.

        I hope that commentors who have previously found the commentariat here to be excessively hostile can at least acknowledge that efforts have been made and that improvements have occurred. We’re not yet where we want to be, but we’re on the way, and I have no doubt that as improvements continue it will be easier to find previously unwilling bloggers interested in guest post slots here.

        1. IrishUp
          IrishUp March 20, 2013 at 7:31 pm |

          tigtog – I am thankful for the very positive changes I have seen here. I have tried to make sure to thank the mods – including Jill – for timely Giraffes and the like. I realize that modding is a time-consuming activity which gets no dollars and a lotta shit. I really, honestly appreciate that everyone at Feministe is making that commitment. It creates much more space in which to embiggen the conversation, as it were.

          It’s in that larger space that Miss S, Denise, tmc, trees et al. have started *this* conversation. The issues these women have raised extend far beyond commenting, as positive as those changes may be. Creating space for WOC needs to be on all sides of the equation. These women have made constructive suggestions as well as voicing clear boundaries about what’s hurtful and not. I hope to see that their voices get heard and taken seriously.

        2. tigtog
          tigtog March 20, 2013 at 7:44 pm | *

          Creating space for WOC needs to be on all sides of the equation.

          I totally agree. It’s just that I don’t think embiggening the space on all sides can adequately be done all in one step. We have to extend the foundation out further before we can build our extensions, as it were. We are building the bigger spaces as fast as we can while ensuring that it doesn’t just fall over if pushed too hard.

      5. tomek
        tomek March 20, 2013 at 6:43 pm |

        [Moderator note: comment content deleted. Tomek, stop butting in on discussions which have absolutely zero to do with you and trying to make them all about you. This is a major reason that you are permamodded.]

        1. IrishUp
          IrishUp March 20, 2013 at 7:36 pm |

          (And seriously, thank you so much for THIS, might I say PHEW!)

    3. Katniss
      Katniss March 20, 2013 at 5:53 pm |

      I am only an occasionally commenter but I read every post and most of the comments and I am upset by general silence about this issue as well. I don’t have anything useful to say but I would also like to voice my support. Something needs to be done to make this site more inclusive, or what is it even worth?

    4. SophiaBlue
      SophiaBlue March 20, 2013 at 6:13 pm |

      I absolutely agree with this. Jill’s comment to Miss S was extremely dismissive, especially given the history this site has, and she really needs to address this.

      1. GallingGalla
        GallingGalla March 20, 2013 at 6:21 pm |

        Seconded.

      2. (BFing)Sarah
        (BFing)Sarah March 21, 2013 at 6:35 pm |

        Thirded.

    5. Jill
      Jill March 20, 2013 at 7:22 pm | *

      I haven’t responded to the comments on this thread because I hadn’t looked at this thread until now. I’ve been traveling and focusing on modding my own threads, and hadn’t read the spillovers.

      On the issue of Black History Month: You’re right, I should have written a post about it. I’m not sure what to say beyond “I dropped the ball.” My earlier comment to Miss S wasn’t meant as dismissive; it was an attempt to explain how the day to day process of blogging works for me. And yes, it came in part from a place of frustration, since “Why didn’t you write about X???” is a pretty regular comment ’round this parts. And it can be a frustrating one, as someone who runs a space pretty close to for free, and puts in a ton of time and effort. There really are a bunch of important things I should have written about but didn’t — I have 30 different tabs open in various browser windows, all displaying articles that are really good and important that I wanted to write about but just didn’t have time to give them the attention and long-form coverage they deserve. I haven’t written about Women’s History Month either, and I probably won’t. That isn’t an indication that I don’t care about women’s issues.

      All of that said, I do hear what you are saying. We are working on a guest blogger invitation policy to make sure that we get more voices into this space. And yes, I dropped the ball on Black History Month and should have written something. I apologize.

      1. Jill
        Jill March 20, 2013 at 7:30 pm | *

        Also, I will add: I am feeling (perhaps unfairly) a little frustrated and burnt out right now. So if I don’t respond to other comments tonight, it’s not because I’m intentionally ignoring anyone or hoping this will go away. It’s because I am clearing my head, calming down, remembering this is not All About My Feelings and getting to a place where I’ll be able to give this issue the more reasoned and fair response it deserves.

      2. trees
        trees March 20, 2013 at 7:51 pm |

        @Jill

        This isn’t just about a lack of acknowledgement of Black History Month, but also about accepting the benefit of black women’s voices and perspectives in general. It’s about an intersectional approach, so when writing about topics that are of personal interest to you (e.g. name change upon marriage), you look at it from a variety of angles.

    6. dc
      dc March 20, 2013 at 10:19 pm |

      (Im also going to stand up and be an ally here.
      i have often avoided mainstream blogs, as well as this one, for all these reasons:
      blogs now are like the new social clubs or “country clubs”.
      & there are always a core group of commenters who are valued by coming back daily,but everyone should be valued.not just regulars.
      lots of trans people are wary for these reasons.
      and this blog needs to reach out to poc,older women,trans people,glbt,etc.
      how about poc as regular posters/bloggers?
      trans people?older women?
      really,these points do need to be addressed.
      otherwise its not intersectional feminism.
      not that complicated.

      but, really,these particular women like miss s calling for inclusion are due a real answer….a new post is in order.an answer.why not?)

      so when writing about topics that are of personal interest to you (e.g. name change upon marriage), you look at it from a variety of angles

      (actually jill is entitled to HER own opinion on this topic!
      i for one agree with her.so that may be a derail….
      but the initial comment re inclusion still remains very valid.)

      1. trees
        trees March 20, 2013 at 11:04 pm |

        @dc

        (actually jill is entitled to HER own opinion on this topic!

        Yes, yes of course. That goes without saying. When I said:

        It’s about an intersectional approach, so when writing about topics that are of personal interest to you (e.g. name change upon marriage), you look at it from a variety of angles.

        I’m talking about dialogue, about gathering perspectives from a variety of sources. I’m not seeking the formation of some sort of hive mind where everyone thinks the very same way about some set of prescribed issues. Quite the opposite in fact, I’m talking about a place where a variety of voices are considered worthy, and we don’t all have to agree about everything.

      2. Donna L
        Donna L March 20, 2013 at 11:11 pm |

        there are always a core group of commenters who are valued by coming back daily,but everyone should be valued.not just regulars. lots of trans people are wary for these reasons.

        Believe me, I was wary when I started commenting here 15 months or so ago, given the reputation this place (and especially the commentariat) had — not as bad as Feministing’s reputation, but still awful — of being fundamentally clueless and dismissive about, and in some cases hostile to, trans people, and as having fostered an atmosphere that had driven away every single trans person who used to comment here. So much so that there were no other trans people, so far as I remember, and certainly no other trans women, commenting regularly at the time I started. (Believe me, I’m happy not to be the only one anymore. That kind of attention I don’t need.)

        It took a very long time of reading every day before I got up the nerve to say anything at all for the first time, let alone anything about trans issues. (I do find it amusing in a way that not that many months later, I somehow ended up being viewed by Miss S as being in the “core commenter” category!) But I do have to say that almost without fail, the horrible transphobia that shows up here in every single thread touching on trans issues has not come from the regular commenters. It’s come from people who show up out of nowhere. So it’s only natural that I’m more likely to trust and “value” the many people who’ve commented enough that I know that they’re trans-friendly, and aren’t likely to suddenly say something awful.

        Anyway, strange as it may sound given that I’m always complaining about the transphobia that gets expressed here with such depressing regularity, I still think that this place has definitely become more receptive to trans commenters since I started commenting here, in a relatively short period of time — and that’s without any actual blog posts at all from trans people, I think. So at least it’s possible for this place to become more inclusive, at least towards commenters, and I certainly hope that efforts are made to facilitate that happening with other populations of women that have historically been marginalized here, and historically have been driven away, over and over again, even if it hasn’t been deliberate.

        1. Donna L
          Donna L March 20, 2013 at 11:12 pm |

          Sorry for saying “Believe me” twice in the same paragraph. I hate it when I do things like that.

        2. amblingalong
          amblingalong March 21, 2013 at 6:38 pm |

          So it’s only natural that I’m more likely to trust and “value” the many people who’ve commented enough that I know that they’re trans-friendly, and aren’t likely to suddenly say something awful.

          This. The whole ‘core commentator’ critique is valid to the degree that WOC or other demographics aren’t represented in that group, but fundamentally it doesn’t seem surprising or problematic that people would pay more attention to commentators who they’re familiar with and who’ve demonstrated their commitment to being an ally.

        3. Miss S
          Miss S March 22, 2013 at 7:39 pm |

          but fundamentally it doesn’t seem surprising or problematic that people would pay more attention to commentators who they’re familiar with

          Well, yes, but the ones who are familiar are the ones who feel comfortable enough posting here to do it repeatedly. Which is the point. Why do the voices of black women keep disappearing? Why are they less consistently posting here?

  20. amblingalong
    amblingalong March 21, 2013 at 1:15 am |

    I was really happy to see this; the study it references is really worth reading and a good tool to have on hand in general.

  21. matlun
    matlun March 21, 2013 at 5:46 pm |

    Spillover from the Standing With Aria thread.

    What is going on in that thread?
    I understand that the mod team can not necessarily answer where the troll storm is coming from, but if the whole thread really now is pre-mod:

    Why are so many post coming through (at least some which, IMO, should not), and
    How can there be fluffinated posts? (If they deserved to be fluffinated – why let them through).

    I would be interested in getting an answer to what was going on. After the storm has calmed down, I guess.

    (And mod-team: If you are planning to answer this in some other way through for example a post – feel free to ignore this question)

    1. tigtog
      tigtog March 21, 2013 at 6:14 pm | *

      matlun, the storm is because this incident is the current BIG SEXISM ARGUMENT in tech circles. It’s no surprise that some of Team DudeBro have set up alerts for Adria’s name and that they found this thread very quickly.

      As to why so many antagonistic posts are coming through: commentors being clueless and antagonistic is not in itself a breach of the comments policy. Yes, there’s a lot of 101-ing but on this particular post that’s on-topic, and since there are few places on the net right now discussing this case from a feminist/womanist perspective it’s important that our perspective can be presented here in response to the clueless, in a space where no actually abusive comments will be approved.

      You also seem to miss the point of fluffinating – it’s to visibly demonstrate the presence of the Moderator Team. If we just deleted them, who would know we were there?

      1. amblingalong
        amblingalong March 21, 2013 at 6:21 pm |

        DudeBro

        Is this synonymous with misogynist/MRA now? I always just thought it was referring to frat guys who like natty light and Madden.

        1. tigtog
          tigtog March 21, 2013 at 6:28 pm | *

          No, I used it specifically to refer to the ‘Bros Before Hos’ type of teaming that is a large part of the dynamic I’m seeing in this incident. That guy-teaming is obviously grounded in underlying (and often unconscious/unexamined) sexist attitudes, but it’s certainly not unique to MRAs.

        2. amblingalong
          amblingalong March 21, 2013 at 6:32 pm |

          Gotcha, thanks for explaining!

      2. matlun
        matlun March 21, 2013 at 7:05 pm |

        Ok. I do not envy you the task of getting that thread in order…
        Good luck!

    2. tigtog
      tigtog March 21, 2013 at 6:35 pm | *

      As a quick note for those who are still stunned by the influx of critical comments on the Adria Richards post, there’s several years of background hostility to the concept of starting to have anti-harassment policies in place at tech conventions in the first place which is feeding the rage. Expecting tech-types to be just as professional as a conference of lawyers or car-salesmen is apparently a cowardly surrender to the whining victimhood-embracers of the PC Social Justice Brigade, because geeks are so exceptionally rational that they obviously wouldn’t engage in hostile, passive-aggressive, chilling-environment behaviours ever, so anti-harassment policies are just not needed. Also, FREEZE PEACH.

      1. amblingalong
        amblingalong March 21, 2013 at 6:43 pm |

        FREEZE PEACH.

        It took me way too long to get this.

        1. tigtog
          tigtog March 21, 2013 at 7:08 pm | *

          It’s a trope/meme from FTB, where so many people are so very terribly upset at any breach of their alleged constitutional right to comment on a blog which is the private property of another person.

      2. tomek
        tomek March 21, 2013 at 6:58 pm |

        tigtog i tried to post this on other thread but it was removed and i think you misunderstand what i say there. i am not dismising that woman experience sexism in tech. i am software engineer, i have saw this happen.

        however [content deleted indicating that you have still not read Adria's full description of what happened, because your arguments talk about her not being part of the conversation. Go do your homework and then comment ~ tt]

        1. tomek
          tomek March 21, 2013 at 7:15 pm |

          i have read the full description, twice now from this post http://butyoureagirl.com/14015/forking-and-dongle-jokes-dont-belong-at-tech-conferences/

          she say she speak to guy behind her who says he found a python visualisation thing interesting, he thinking about forking that repo. then guy beside that guy make sexual joke about forking. but adria was not the target of this joke. he did not say “hey girl i wanna fork your repo”. he was making just general sexual joke, not about woman.

        2. tigtog
          tigtog March 21, 2013 at 7:20 pm | *

          How does that make Adria not part of the conversation (which is what you claimed twice)? She was having a professional conversation with one guy, and then the guy next to them *interrupted* that professional conversation with a juvenile sexual innuendo.

          It’s professionally inappropriate and it’s a classic chilly climate microaggression that has the effect of excluding women from the “one of the guys” atmosphere.

        3. tomek
          tomek March 21, 2013 at 7:33 pm |

          [JAQing off deleted: this is not a dedicated 101-space. If you've never heard of "chilly climate" or "microaggressions" before, go and google them. ~ tt]

    3. PeggyLuWho
      PeggyLuWho March 22, 2013 at 3:32 am |

      Thanks mods for keeping on keeping on.

  22. tigtog
    tigtog March 21, 2013 at 9:33 pm | *

    Just to note, there were some mentions of our moderator giraffes in the Adria Richards thread, but nobody used the full alert phrase, which is more complicated than just any reference to a giraffe for a reason.

    A reminder to anyone who wants to alert the moderators – the full phrase is “we need a giraffe here”.

    If anybody feels that any particular comment on that thread needs reassessment by the Moderator Team, please reply to the comment with the Giraffe Alert phrase so that we can take a closer look.

    1. Alexandra
      Alexandra March 22, 2013 at 12:23 am |

      I see that the Adria Richards thread is closed for comments. Can we keep it closed? The trolls were depressing.

      1. Radiant Sophia
        Radiant Sophia March 22, 2013 at 1:10 am |

        Yeah, but those were “guest trolls”. Very different from our usual trolls.

        1. tigtog
          tigtog March 22, 2013 at 4:14 am | *

          I hesitate to even call most of those dissenting visitors “trolls”, which is a word that has been generalised so far from its original meaning as to become almost nonsensical.

          Trolls in the original sense don’t actually care about anything other than disrupting a discussion to get a strong reaction. Most of our visitors cared very much for persuading us to their point of view, although too many of them went straight to insult mode once it was clear that wasn’t going to happen, and that was when they breached the comments policy and were moderated accordingly.

          The only classic trolls in that thread got fluffinated.

  23. wembley
    wembley March 22, 2013 at 10:24 am |

    I was reading the Adria post, and… I am really, really, really sick of the way we just throw up our hands and expect rape threats, death threats, and doxxing. Where are the feminist tech-savvy ladies that can dox the doxxers and the people who send ugly threats? Why isn’t this a thing? And can we make it a thing?

    I’m not interested in a philosophical debate here on the ethics of doxxing, I just want to hear from people who are interested in organizing tech-savvy ladies (I’m a lady, but wouldn’t even know how to figure out someone’s IP address).

    1. amblingalong
      amblingalong March 22, 2013 at 1:17 pm |

      From a purely technical view, there is still a huge problem with this. Doxxing is obviously possible, but there isn’t a 1:1 relationship between an IP address and a person; it’s a common misconception but absent a ton of other information you can’t just find someone’s IP to learn who they are (even if you have subpoena powers- look at the growing body of law surrounding digital piracy cases). In the case of someone like Violentacrez, for example, the reporter was tipped off to the poster’s identity by a friend, and then personally matched the voice of the poster to the voice of the actual person in two separate phone interviews.

      Anyways, all this is a long way of saying that actually turning an anonymous post on a blog or news article into the name of a real person is essentially impossible; it’s only when you have a huge body of content and some real-life contact that you can really successfully do this.

      Reference: http://ia701202.us.archive.org/32/items/gov.uscourts.casd.387721/gov.uscourts.casd.387721.14.0.pdf

      1. tigtog
        tigtog March 22, 2013 at 3:03 pm | *

        +1 to ambling along. Remember that the women are targeted are those who have fair-sized digital footprints which use their own name and tend to speak about where they work/study. The howler monkey brigade rarely use their own name, so it’s very different to only have pushback going into their pseudonymous inbox and not affecting them otherwise.

        It’s interesting that in the ongoing campaign against social justice activism within atheism/skepticism (the Atheism+SJ agenda is most visibly advocated by Skepchick and FreeThoughtBlogs), there are a few (mostly) male critics who tweet/blog under their own name, and who therefore get a lot of tweet/blogs in response because they have an open digital footprint and communicating with a meatspace identity feels more real to many people. Simply being tweeted/blogged about by name has been enough for those critics to call their own critics “FTBullies”, yet they’re not the ones getting nameless harassment via suggestive photoshops and vile nicknames posted about them all over the net. They just don’t see the asymmetry, or if they do they don’t think it’s that bad, or that it just doesn’t matter because it’s not them getting the nastiest stuff.

      2. Miss S
        Miss S March 22, 2013 at 7:30 pm |

        Anyways, all this is a long way of saying that actually turning an anonymous post on a blog or news article into the name of a real person is essentially impossible; it’s only when you have a huge body of content and some real-life contact that you can really successfully do this.

        That’s interesting to know. I always assumed (maybe because of TV) that people who knew what they were doing could tap a few keys and access your name, address, employer, etc. Isn’t that website 4chan basically known for tracking down people using their IP address?

        1. tomek
          tomek March 22, 2013 at 7:45 pm |

          an ip address tell you what isp someone is register with, what town they are in. you combine this with information they have told about themself, maybe you are in luck to find someone. (law enforcement obviously can ask isp with court order to simply give name of customer associated with certain ip at certain time, 4chan cannot so much do this).

          someone who really want the privacy can of course make it so you cannot find there true ip in the first place (go through multiple intermediate system, etc)

        2. Caperton
          Caperton March 22, 2013 at 8:18 pm | *

          Not necessarily. If someone is on a Tor network, for instance, you aren’t going to see their IP address — they’ve been routed all over the place, and you’re only going to see the IP of the last node you hit before arriving at your destination. 4chan can frequently dig up and publish people’s personal information (doxxing) because there are so many users and such a large percentage without lives that they’re able to collaborate, infinite-monkey style.

    2. wembley
      wembley March 24, 2013 at 9:52 pm |

      Sad. That’s good to know, though. Thanks for the info, guys!

  24. Tyris
    Tyris March 22, 2013 at 11:33 am |

    Spilled over from the Zerlina Maxwell thread.

    Are you suggesting that all masculinity is inherently unhealthy?

    Every facet of it we’ve ever come across is either unhealthy (recklessness, aggression, refusal to ask for help, systematic repression of all thoughts and ideas deemed “feminine”), or only harmless to masculine men (strength, confidence, hirsuteness).

    This sounds vaguely dismissive of trans* men. If all masculinity is inherently unhealthy, then someone who identifies as masculine is compulsively unhealthy, i.e. sick.

    Indeed, someone who identifies as masculine is compulsively unhealthy… regardless of whether they’re trans or cis.

    (Technically, someone could “identify as” masculine without expressing any of the aforementioned unhealthy traits, in which case a) great for them! b) we’d love to know what traits they do identify with and consider masculine).

    I think it’s more about expressing healthy HUMANITY through a male lens. i.e. a good human being stands up for what’s right, takes care of the people they love, respects others’ boundaries, etc. For some men, it will be useful to frame it in terms of what a good MAN does.

    Sure, we’ll buy that.

    We define what masculinity is. What is considered masculine has changed throughout history and is defined differently across cultures. So if we don’t define masculinity as having power over women, ability to control women, ability overpower other beings, stop considering anger and aggression as masculine qualities… then yea men can express healthy masculinity.

    Which leaves… what?

    I am certainly on board with understanding gender as many different kinds of spectrums, which can be fluid for a person (or not, as they wish), but getting rid of masculinity and femininity as concepts is neither possible nor, in my opinion, particularly desirable, considering how much a part of many people’s identities they are. I’d vote for remaking them every time.

    We’d see remaking them as step one on the road to abolishing them. It’d certainly be impossible to do it all at once.

    But I can’t see how masculinity or femininity can exist as concepts separate from gender essentialism. So not *bad*, per se, but not something I can ever see as being a useful concept for me.

    Indeed.

    In current western culture, long hair is coded feminine. That doesn’t mean you can’t have long hair and be masculine; it means that the long hair itself isn’t considered feminine, and that’s only a problem if femininity is somehow lesser or worse than masculinity.

    You can have long hair while retaining other masculine traits, to be sure, but the hair will get singled out from all the masculine bits and used as a lever, or possibly a thumbscrew.

    1. Emolee
      Emolee March 22, 2013 at 3:39 pm |

      Tyris,
      This question is unrelated to the specific content of what you wrote, but since this is spillover…

      How is it that your multiples all agree? Is it just that they agree on this issue? I have never seen a comment of yours on here where you disagree with yourself. I’m curious how your multiplicity impacts your commenting here.

      Please note: I am not trying to challenge you. I am curious, I have a history of what some may consider multiplicity, and I feel that since you brought up the subject of multiplicity yourself, that you probably would not mind this question. However, if this question is too personal, or offensive, please feel free to either ignore it or tell me so. Thanks.

      1. Tyris
        Tyris March 28, 2013 at 6:31 pm |

        We don’t always agree unanimously – there are two arguments in particular that have been going on for six years. But any opinion that makes it into a post is held by at least a 2/3 majority.

        Even the shortest, simplest post is the end product of debate and discussion, but you don’t get to see that (even this is just a heavily simplified dramatic re-enactment for humorous purposes. We can’t really do a transcript of the actual conversation, not with written words). It’s slow going, which is why this post has gone through nineteen drafts over seven days and the reply to igglanova’s post below is taking even longer.

        Do you think you’d get some value out of seeing more of the discussion process, or a tally of who holds which opinions? We’re open to feedback.

    2. Donna L
      Donna L March 22, 2013 at 4:08 pm |

      Indeed, someone who identifies as masculine is compulsively unhealthy… regardless of whether they’re trans or cis.

      No.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune March 22, 2013 at 4:28 pm |

        I would go so far as to say FUCK NO.

      2. Emolee
        Emolee March 22, 2013 at 5:22 pm |

        Yeah, I don’t agree with that either. You can identify as masculine and be healthy.

        Maybe Tyris means one is unhealthy if ze internalizes *all* of *stereotypical* masculinity?

        1. Tyris
          Tyris March 28, 2013 at 6:33 pm |

          Any or all. It’s like taking only a little bit of cyanide.

          But we should probably clarify that this is not intended to reflect on those who identify as male.

      3. igglanova
        igglanova March 22, 2013 at 5:43 pm |

        Indeed, someone who identifies as masculine is compulsively unhealthy… regardless of whether they’re trans or cis.

        That’s a bold claim. I suppose you have something to back it up? Whether something is healthy or unhealthy is not a matter of personal opinion.

        1. igglanova
          igglanova March 22, 2013 at 5:44 pm |

          ^ (That was meant to be a reply to Tyris, but I guess you all could probably figure that out. :P)

      4. Radiant Sophia
        Radiant Sophia March 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm |

        I honestly didn’t expect this to be controversial. I had something else here, but I can’t. Not after everything else that happened this week.

  25. Barnacle Strumpet
    Barnacle Strumpet March 23, 2013 at 10:36 am |

    What’s up with me always being in moderation? I haven’t done anything to tick anyone off other than call out homophobia in one post, and make a joke/dig at Shakesville.

    Yet other people get to call people assholes right and left. Other people get to say shit like “people with liberal arts degrees act like robots” and all kinds of offensive shit, without being put in moderation.

    I’ve posted here for 5 years. If I am seriously at risk for being a troll, a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a transphobe, or any other kind of bigot, and making posts reflecting that, I would think it would have, you know, turned up sometime in the last 5 years.

    I’d like to know more about what this is all about, and if I’m going to go into moderation forever, because it makes it hard to stay in an ongoing conversation, and I’m about to give up.

    1. Barnacle Strumpet
      Barnacle Strumpet March 23, 2013 at 10:37 am |

      people *without liberal arts degrees.

      And for the record I have read the comments policy and the FAQ. They aren’t clearing this up for me, so hence, this post.

    2. RichardVW
      RichardVW March 23, 2013 at 1:28 pm |

      I feel like I should apologize for my use of your full username in the thread from which you quoted. I was torn between “this is the name they chose for themselves” and “one of these is a word that I should not be using as a form of address”.* I was presumptuous; I should have used “Barnacle” only. I try to be conscientious of the fact that this is a place for women’s voices to be heard, and I hate to think that I added to your feeling of being disrespected at Feministe.

      *It didn’t help that I have the linguistic sophistication of a five year old; it’s legitimately hard for me to not register your username as “Squidward’s clarinet”.

      1. Barnacle Strumpet
        Barnacle Strumpet March 24, 2013 at 4:16 pm |

        You have nothing to apologize for Richard, at least not to me. You’ve never said anything to me that I’ve found in the slightest offensive. If I didn’t want to be called by the word, I wouldn’t have incorporated it into my username.

        Though I have questioned myself if I have a right to use that as part of my username; sure, any woman has a right to reclaim the promiscous/loose woman/ part of the word’s meaning, but do I have a right to use a term, even an archaic one, that has also been used as a derogatory word for a sex worker?

        I should have considered the bind it puts male posters inl, given that it’s essentially putting them into the position where they have to use a slur.

        I honestly wouldn’t mind other people weighing in on the appropriateness of this term’s usage; is it so archaic that anyone should be able to get away with using it, or is it still appropriative and disrespectful for even women to use it?

        At least, Richard, you’ve given me a back-up username if ‘Strumpet” comes across as too offensive. I’ll respond to Squidward’s Clarinet as well :P

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune March 24, 2013 at 4:40 pm |

          >_> Er, yeah. Is “Barnacle” okay, then? Because I usually acronymise longer handles, but I’m not really comfortable calling you BS. For, uh, obvious reasons.

        2. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet March 25, 2013 at 3:07 pm |

          Yeah, just Barnacle is fine.

          *snort* I would answer to BS, but people would probably get confused since I use the acronym to refer to the other, er, BS, all the time.

    3. tigtog
      tigtog March 23, 2013 at 3:46 pm | *

      Barnacle Strumpet, apologies for the delayed answer – I’ve only just seen your question because I’ve only just woken up here downunder.

      A few weeks ago there was a heated conversation that I wanted to keep a moderator eye on, so all the nyms that were unfamiliar to me in that conversation were put in the automod filter. I haven’t been an active moderator for that long, so I didn’t recognise your nym, and if I weren’t dealing with the distractions of a serious family illness I would have removed all those nyms from the automod filter by now anyway, because that thread is no longer active.

      So, your name is being taken out of the automod filter right now.

      1. tomek
        tomek March 23, 2013 at 3:59 pm |

        i think the same thing has happened to me. all the comments which i write are in moderation, which makes not much sense because more than half of which are unmoderated?

        1. tigtog
          tigtog March 23, 2013 at 4:18 pm | *

          Nice try, but there’s nothing accidental about keeping you in permamoderation, tomek.

      2. matlun
        matlun March 23, 2013 at 4:23 pm |

        Ok. Any chance of me escaping pre-mod?
        Worth a try at least?

        1. tigtog
          tigtog March 23, 2013 at 4:45 pm | *

          matlun, I’m not the one who placed you in pre-mod, so I’m not going to make a unilateral decision.

        2. matlun
          matlun March 23, 2013 at 5:00 pm |

          Ok. If there is some kind of process to lift that with the rest of the mod team, I would be happy if you did so (I have no idea who place me in pre-mod).

          Still: Your blog, you rules.
          No overly harsh feelings from me whatever the result will be.

      3. Barnacle Strumpet
        Barnacle Strumpet March 24, 2013 at 4:03 pm |

        Thank you tig-tog. I mean that sincerely; I expected to come back here and see nothing but mocking for being a baby who complains about going into modded-mode. I guess it’s partly my fault for changing my handle a month or so ago.

        Anyway, it probably did me some good, I know I have a bad temper sometimes and it doesn’t hurt to be reminded that there’s consequences for not reining it in.

        I hope your family member’s health improves.

  26. tigtog
    tigtog April 1, 2013 at 5:19 pm | *

    Thread closed. New #spillover thread.

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