I only whine because I care. January 21, 2007 10:47 AM   Subscribe

I only whine because I care.
posted by tkolar to Etiquette/Policy at 10:47 AM (79 comments total)

Look, I realize that I've been cranky this week, but I am this >< far frombr> opening a competing askMe thread with the "question":

I think telling men to "embrace their feminine side" is offensive. Am I too sensitive?


I figure if there's going to be a trainwreck somewhere, I might as well be in a thread I started.
posted by tkolar at 10:48 AM on January 21, 2007


er... "it might as well be..."
posted by tkolar at 10:49 AM on January 21, 2007


Since, as you noted, jessamyn already commented in the thread rather than deleting it, and you've already registered your complaint in the thread, it seems like it's time to flag and move on.
posted by ludwig_van at 10:55 AM on January 21, 2007


Men choosing to embrace their femmy side (however it's defined) is not offensive. Being TOLD to probably is.
posted by The Deej at 10:55 AM on January 21, 2007


It's not chatfilter. There is a specific problem laid out: should I be offended when someone says this? How should I react?
posted by koeselitz at 10:56 AM on January 21, 2007


It's really not chatfilter at all.
posted by amberglow at 10:59 AM on January 21, 2007


(and grow a pair, why don't you?) ; >
posted by amberglow at 10:59 AM on January 21, 2007


Ovaries or balls?
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 11:05 AM on January 21, 2007


You didn't seem to think it was chatfilter until your third and fourth answers in the thread. Would it not have been chatfilter if more people had agreed with you?
posted by timeistight at 11:05 AM on January 21, 2007


What about men embracing their log-cabin repub private dick sentient fur vixen sides?
posted by cortex at 11:08 AM on January 21, 2007


ludwig_van wrote...
jessamyn already commented in the thread

jessamyn is entitled to make mistakes just like the rest of us.

it seems like it's time to flag and move on.

You're probably right. Especially since posting my actual thoughts to that thread will lead to a monumental flame war. I'll let someone else take the fall.

koeselitz wrote...
It's not chatfilter. [It's] "should I be offended when someone says this?"

If there is a more subjective question than that, I'd love to hear it. Is there any possible wrong answer?
posted by tkolar at 11:13 AM on January 21, 2007


timeistight wrote...
You didn't seem to think it was chatfilter until your third and fourth answers in the thread. Would it not have been chatfilter if more people had agreed with you?

It's chatfilter regardless of my feelings about it.

However, I'm not on a particular pogrom against chatfilter. I just have a fair inkling from my own deeply felt response to the topic just how badly that thread is going to go.

However, as per van_ludwig I've decided that I'm not going to be the one that takes the thread to it's destination. I'm going outside to play in the sun and dance with puppies. There will probably be sunflowers and salt-water taffy involved.

I apologize for the lame callout. Please feel free to delete this thread.
posted by tkolar at 11:18 AM on January 21, 2007


I think people calling out other people is offensive.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:22 AM on January 21, 2007


since posting my actual thoughts to that thread will lead to a monumental flame war

Then stfu - all four of your responses in that thread were derailing crap, and since no one there took the bait, you're dragging that shit over here?
You don't think it's valid, congrats.
It's not your call, condolences.

Man up and move on.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:23 AM on January 21, 2007


Man up and move on.

Yes, because quietly moving on is such manly trait.
posted by tkolar at 11:30 AM on January 21, 2007


Look, man, saying "get some balls" to a woman makes you sound like a dick. Saying it to a man makes you sound like moran, in need of some brain-getting. And I think this escapes chatfilter because it's a specific social situation that causes the poster confusion, and possibly anxiety, ergo, it's a problem that needs solving. If it's something that could be brought up with a shrink or counselor of some sorts, it belongs on AskMe, if you ask me.
posted by Kattullus at 11:30 AM on January 21, 2007


Incidentally, that was the impersonal "you"
posted by Kattullus at 11:32 AM on January 21, 2007


Will you anti-chatfilter sticklers stop trying to ruin the interesting threads?
posted by mullacc at 11:42 AM on January 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


tkolar: "Is there any possible wrong answer?"

For god's sake, yes. There are right and wrong ways of acting. Knowing whether a word or deed is sexist or not is an important part of that, especially in the society we live in.

And further 'right and wrong ways of acting,' the wrong way to act was to throw up an ill-conceived and badly-constructed callout in MeTa. But maybe I'm being too sensitive. Besides, you're done here, I guess.
posted by koeselitz at 11:58 AM on January 21, 2007


Yes, I was surprised that thread wasn't deleted. I would not have thought there could be a better example of chatfilter as defined in the FAQ. On the other hand, boys suck amirite?
posted by Methylviolet at 12:00 PM on January 21, 2007


I thought it was a stupid question that could not be answered othwerwise than by a plethora of subjective opinions.
So I moved on.
And so can you.
posted by jouke at 12:04 PM on January 21, 2007


Had the response been overwhelmingly "Oh stop being little Miss sensitive-pants" I would have tried very hard to be less bothered. If the response had been overwhelmingly, "That is stupid AND offensive," I would have felt fine about my reaction. As it is, I've decided to go with "That is stupid and lazy" while trying not to take it as anti-female.

And Tkolar, berating me twice in the thread AND bringing it over to MetaTalk is a bit much.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:05 PM on January 21, 2007


All is Vanity
posted by Burhanistan at 12:13 PM on January 21, 2007


I find pussyfooting around to be HIGHLY OFFENSIVE.

Am I wrong?
posted by shownomercy at 12:38 PM on January 21, 2007


Secret Life of Gravy writes...
And Tkolar, berating me twice in the thread AND bringing it over to MetaTalk is a bit much.

Please accept my apologies. In the first place I should have posted directly to metatalk without polluting the thead, and, upon further reflection I should have just flagged your question and moved on in the first place.
posted by tkolar at 12:44 PM on January 21, 2007


Flagging and moving on really is great. I did it to my supervisor the other day. I didn't like what he was saying so in mid sentence I pulled out a little red flag from my pocket stash of flags, placed it on his desk, and got up and walked away without a word.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:46 PM on January 21, 2007 [3 favorites]


I am this far >< from adopting this symbol and spreading it as a meme.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:48 PM on January 21, 2007


I should have posted directly to metatalk without polluting the thead

That was my feeling, I removed two of the four of your comments that were just "This is chatfilter why is this here?" Maybe I just felt like I understood what SLoG was getting at, but it seemed like a topic with a problem that people's opinions could help get at. We routinely allow questions that are along the lines of "I am having a hard time getting used to this social convention, am I too uptight or is it something I don't need to put up with?" and this is just a variant on that, in my opinion.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:49 PM on January 21, 2007


Callouts like this really get on my tits.
posted by Abiezer at 1:36 PM on January 21, 2007


i can't decide whether y'all need to grow a pair of balls or take a couple of midol ... please advise
posted by pyramid termite at 1:53 PM on January 21, 2007


Some guys really need to clean the sand out of their vaginas.
posted by solid-one-love at 1:53 PM on January 21, 2007


And some just need to shut the fuck up.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:57 PM on January 21, 2007 [4 favorites]


So, Secret Life of Gravy asks:
I think telling women to "get some balls" is offensive. Am I too sensitive?
And in reaction to the answers decides:
Had the response been overwhelmingly ... I would have tried very hard to be ... . If the response had been overwhelmingly, ... I would have felt fine about my reaction.
Um, right..
posted by Chuckles at 1:58 PM on January 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


I would like to talk about grandfather clocks.
posted by Meatbomb at 2:02 PM on January 21, 2007


I only whine care because I care whine.
posted by peacay at 2:04 PM on January 21, 2007


Oh ya, all these words and idioms, surely they are just shorthand, and thereby inherently lazy, right? I mean, if you really have a thought that is important, and you really need to express it, surely you can find some way to channel straight into the subconscious of your subject, right?
posted by Chuckles at 2:04 PM on January 21, 2007


I would like to talk about grandfather clocks.

yours needs to grow a couple of counterweights
posted by pyramid termite at 2:05 PM on January 21, 2007


Your grandfather clock is running a bit fast, I think you need to lengthen your pendulum.
posted by Chuckles at 2:07 PM on January 21, 2007


If balls are figurative and not literal (but still based on stereotyped manliness) doesn't that support the flip-side type comment of "get in touch with your feminine side"? I mean, if there are stereotypical positive male traits to be figuratively referenced, what's the problem with referencing positive stereotypical female traits? I know, I know, tt's no sand in your vagina crack at women's expense, but isn't it a comment based on exactly the view of the world that the balls comment promotes?
posted by OmieWise at 2:08 PM on January 21, 2007


Some women, too, apparently.
posted by solid-one-love at 2:13 PM on January 21, 2007


Oh ya, all these words and idioms, surely they are just shorthand, and thereby inherently lazy, right?

I don't get this intellectually lazy accusation that people keep throwing around. A) we aren't talking someone using the phrase "get some balls" in their Phd dissertation and B) if you use a metaphorical and especially insulting phrase to imply what you really mean, isn't that more creative and less lazy than just saying it?
posted by mullacc at 2:39 PM on January 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


People were using the word "pussy" as another example of sexist language, which I do agree to, to an extent but isn't "dickhead", the same? Both have negatie connotations linking weakness or stupidity to genitals, so I think in a lot of cases it's tit for tat.
posted by liquorice at 2:39 PM on January 21, 2007


...which I do agree with to an extent/ negative
posted by liquorice at 2:41 PM on January 21, 2007


If your metaphorical phrase is a cliche, then it's neither creative nor industrious; but the larger answer is that telling someone to "grow some balls" is lazy in the same way that describing how someone feels as "upset" is lazy. In most cases, it's too generic and nondescript to be useful.
posted by cribcage at 2:48 PM on January 21, 2007


Oh ya, all these words and idioms, surely they are just shorthand, and thereby inherently lazy, right? I mean, if you really have a thought that is important, and you really need to express it, surely you can find some way to channel straight into the subconscious of your subject, right?

Attacking strawmen is doubleplusgood.
posted by poweredbybeard at 3:09 PM on January 21, 2007


Dudes and dudettes, untwist the panties.
posted by Durin's Bane at 3:22 PM on January 21, 2007


OmieWise writes...
If balls are figurative and not literal (but still based on stereotyped manliness) doesn't that support the flip-side type comment of "get in touch with your feminine side"? ...

Dude.

Dancing with puppies. Sunflowers. Salt-water taffy. Seriously.

Just because you're freezing your nipples off is no reason to go on a rampage.
posted by tkolar at 3:34 PM on January 21, 2007


There is a specific problem laid out: should I be offended when someone says this?

That's a problem? Seems like you can figure that out at home, unless you honestly believe there's a chance the poster would be convinced otherwise by the postings of strangers on the Internet. Seems more likely she'd see through their patriarchal reinterpretation of hystery and ignore opinions to the contrary.
posted by yerfatma at 3:40 PM on January 21, 2007


If this is an example of the problems the askMeta poster has to deal with I'd recommend they get a fracking life, because I want theirs. ...do these shoes make my mouth look small?
posted by econous at 3:45 PM on January 21, 2007


I just have a fair inkling from my own deeply felt response to the topic just how badly that thread is going to go.

And yet, having just read the thread, I can assert with confidence that it's not going badly at all. There is disagreement without much animosity; views are being exchanged; things are, hopefully, being learned. Bad callout; think twice next time.
posted by languagehat at 3:45 PM on January 21, 2007


econous, your comment was generally worth ignoring but I thought I'd point out that I discovered that "frak" "frakking" and "frakked" are the generally-accepted spellings of that word and its various permutations. I wanted it to be "frack" with every fiber of my being but it ain't and that's just one more reason to dislike that stupid show.
posted by wemayfreeze at 4:10 PM on January 21, 2007


tl; dr.

I knew that thread would end up here, but not for any good reason at all, and now I am vindicated. It's here. For no good reason.

I am going to go eat some delicious chocolate rugelach that I am going to consider my prize for my amazing prognosticative skills. GO ME!
posted by exlotuseater at 4:11 PM on January 21, 2007


also, did you ever resolve that weighty beard problem?
posted by wemayfreeze at 4:11 PM on January 21, 2007


wemayfreeze, I hope the beard thing got sorted, I asked on behalf of another user so have no idea. I'd like to thank you for spelling my name correctly, and also for the whole 'frak' thing. As a fan of BSG it embarrasses me that I could get something so basic so wrong, and I'm humiliated to be corrected by a non fan.
posted by econous at 4:33 PM on January 21, 2007


Do we really want women to grow balls?

I thought not.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:19 PM on January 21, 2007


Well, balls just ruin a chick if you ask me.
posted by jonmc at 5:22 PM on January 21, 2007


I find it amusing in certain contexts, offensive in others. But the question did strike me as pretty much straight chatfilter.
Then again, I enjoy male privilege and rarely have to worry about whether I should be sincerely offended by things like that.
Should I be more worried that the constant stream of butt sex jokes among my male friends could be construed as homophobic or that they might take me up on my offers?
posted by klangklangston at 6:16 PM on January 21, 2007


At least a large part of what the questioner was saying seems to be: I don't understand this position that seems clearly wrong to me. Can anyone explain what merits it may have that I'm missing?

A lot of questions with that structure pass by without callout of chatfilter.

(That said, yeah, the other parts of the question not covered by the above, e.g., am I being oversensitive, are men offended by this other thing, do seem to have the chatfilter nature.) (That said, I think it's an interesting and relevant question and I'm personally glad it escaped the deletehammer.)
posted by Zed_Lopez at 7:01 PM on January 21, 2007


GROW A HIDE.

on yr womb. and/or sack. please.
posted by loquacious at 7:57 PM on January 21, 2007


I've decided that I quite like the "feminine side" bit, and intend to tell a few particular women in my life that they should get in touch with it.
posted by dreamsign at 9:56 PM on January 21, 2007


tkolar writes "Dude.

"Dancing with puppies. Sunflowers. Salt-water taffy. Seriously.

"Just because you're freezing your nipples off is no reason to go on a rampage."


No rampage, it was a serious question. I don't care much, I'm just curious about whether the two positions are really at odds or are commensurate. To me they seem like the same position, and I'm not a fan of either. If they aren't the same position, I don't understand why not. I know you made the original comment, but my comment was more general and not directed exclusively at you.
posted by OmieWise at 4:42 AM on January 22, 2007


I'm just curious about whether the two positions are really at odds or are commensurate.

Well, for what it's worth I think they're absolutely identical, although I would expect the ensuing discussions to vary widely. My intent, in fact, was to point out that simple variations of the original question would be immediately shot down as chatfilter.

I have to say, opinion questions on hot button topics really annoy me. Maybe I should have gone with "I believe life begins at birth, but my Grandmother says I'm going to hell if I allow my wife to abort our baby. Should I be offended?"

(although for real what I should have done is gone and had some breakfast instead of posting a lame callout)

The reason I picked your comment out as flamebait is that you suggested that a male making a similar complaint to the OP was "making a crack at women's expense", instead of expressing a perfectly valid annoyance. Them's fightin' words.
posted by tkolar at 9:54 AM on January 22, 2007


No, no, I think you misunderstood. I think "sand in your vagina" cracks are at women's expense, and blatantly so.
posted by OmieWise at 10:02 AM on January 22, 2007



No, no, I think you misunderstood. I think "sand in your vagina" cracks are at women's expense, and blatantly so.


Oh. You had a typo in your post and I fixed it in my head the wrong way. Sorry.
posted by tkolar at 10:11 AM on January 22, 2007


And in reaction to the answers decides:

Had the response been overwhelmingly ... I would have tried very hard to be ... . If the response had been overwhelmingly, ... I would have felt fine about my reaction.

Um, right..

posted by Chuckles at 4:58 PM EST on January 21

I'm not sure why you feel the need to call me a liar, but possibly it is because you yourself are incapable of receiving input from others and revising your opinion.

If this is an example of the problems the askMeta poster has to deal with I'd recommend they get a fracking life, because I want theirs. ...do these shoes make my mouth look small?
posted by econous at 6:45 PM EST on January 21

Why on earth would you assume this to be my only problem? First of all it is not a problem-- just a desire to get more information and second of all I have other issues which I don't care to bring to MetaFilter. Do you assume that people who are looking for cheap hotels in New York or people who want to install sliding glass doors in their kitchens have no other problems?

Seems like you can figure that out at home, unless you honestly believe there's a chance the poster would be convinced otherwise by the postings of strangers on the Internet. Seems more likely she'd see through their patriarchal reinterpretation of hystery and ignore opinions to the contrary.
posted by yerfatma at 6:40 PM EST on January 21

The reason why I posed this question to AskMe ("bunch of strangers") is because I knew I would receive (mostly) thoughtful answers from a number of people with a wide variety of socio-economic backgrounds. Sometimes this is more useful than confining my questions to my own circle of friends.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:31 PM on January 22, 2007


people with a wide variety of socio-economic backgrounds

That's about the funniest thing I've ever read. MetaFilter is hardly what I'd call "diverse."
posted by dead_ at 1:02 PM on January 22, 2007


It's not exactly the U.N., sure, but the idea that we cover a lot of social and economic continua isn't exactly out there.
posted by cortex at 1:15 PM on January 22, 2007


That is to say, I've heard funnier assertions around and about this place.
posted by cortex at 1:17 PM on January 22, 2007


Unless I read him wrong, Tkolar wasn't calling Gravy out for being a loser who cares about dumb stuff, he was calling her out for chatfilter. The only thing that makes this a lame callout is that Jessamyn already made the call, and let the question stand. Ergo, not chatfilter. Alrighty then.

Well, that -- and an boring shortage of real vitriol here, though Jessamyn telling somebody to shut the fuck up after the sand in the vagina thing was pretty good.
posted by Methylviolet at 3:41 PM on January 22, 2007


Hey, Secret Life of Gravy, dude/et please pick up on the self depreciation in my comment, and use it as a salve or something. Crapsticks..., do I blink too much?
posted by econous at 5:52 PM on January 22, 2007


I'm not sure why you feel the need to call me a liar

I had absolutely no intention of calling you, or implying that you are, a liar. I'm sorry that I left that impression. My intention, clumsy as it was, was to imply that you probably come across the suggestion "grow a spine" more often than other people, and that this might explain why you take such suggestions so personally.
posted by Chuckles at 6:07 PM on January 22, 2007


Well, as long as you are actively raising the specter of class, SLoG, I would like to say something I didn't think was appropriate to the thread in response to this comment, and that is that my impoverished, barely high-school educated mother would have slapped the white off your smile if you had dared utter a phrase such as grow a pair, much less pussy or cunt or blow me to her, as men unfortunate enough to speak to her rudely in the street learned at no small cost. I most certainly never learned to cherish that language as a form of class solidarity. The site's active posters obviously tend to middle class, so when someone pops in with a minority viewpoint, it tends to get treated as representative. Lychee's savoring of such "deliciously crude" language is one tack, but my mother's dignified refusal of it is another -- just as some working class men wouldn't hesitate to hurl that language at a women while others would never stoop to do so. So, please do not assume a monolith opinion from the lower orders here. Thanks.
posted by melissa may at 10:32 PM on January 22, 2007


Worrying oneself to a frazzle over stuff like this while big issues rage on is one reason why feminists are stereotyped as neurotic scolding humorless nitpicks.

I'm just saying.
posted by jonmc at 7:07 AM on January 23, 2007


Failing to understand that persistent negative stereotypes of women (and minorities), which are often expressed in derogatory language, authorize the material inequalities that define parts of our culture, and characterizing legitimate and measured concern with that language and those stereotypes as "frazzled", is one reason why people who claim to care while dismissing understandable concerns are often scoffed at.

I'm just saying.
posted by OmieWise at 7:33 AM on January 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


I understand it. I just think it's tilting at windmills. Thousands of linguistic habits aren't going to change. Besides, it's too satisfying to call somebody a pussy, it's way too effective at getting their dander up. And the linguistic alternatives PC people come up with are usually either sterile sounding or ridiculous.

Of course, I'd be lying if I said that I actually gave a shit one way or the other. I'm just killing time till I can go have a cigarette.
posted by jonmc at 7:45 AM on January 23, 2007


or as a wiser man than I put it:

you can pray every night
when the sun goes down
but there's only two things that make the world go round...
posted by jonmc at 8:15 AM on January 23, 2007


Wow, that comment you linked to made me nauseous, melissa may.

*Goes back to cleaning up my deliciously crude apartment, sorting my preciously unstylish clothes, and getting ready to go to my adorably declasse job.*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:51 AM on January 23, 2007


*Runs off to listen to the surprisingly good William Shatner cover of "Common People".*
posted by tkolar at 9:59 AM on January 23, 2007


Guh, I hate people who stereotype feminism because of a fanatical minority. You'd never do it to Islam or some other sort of ideology but "female-bashing" is a-ok?

If you're going to use that kind of language don't dress it up and pretend it's something it's not. It's not "deliciously crude" it's just crude. If you're unable to express yourself articulately without having to refer some worn-out sexist saying then I doubt you are one who can claim what is "delicious" (language-wise) or not.

There is no feminist "establishment" that thinks that way, only certain individuals that has snow-balled with the help of the media so that the first thing that comes to mind when someone says "feminism" is "hairy-legged lesbian". Grr.

okay, i'm going for a walk now
posted by liquorice at 1:37 PM on January 23, 2007


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