Nicely done moderation on the Russian sexual harassment post. August 11, 2008 11:12 AM   Subscribe

Nicely done moderation on the Russian sexual harassment post.

Moderators likely don't get enough thanks. In this case, IMO, a post was recognized as a "diamond in the rough" and fixed, providing a better framing and opportunity for discussion. A lil' tip o' the cap.
posted by Cool Papa Bell to Etiquette/Policy at 11:12 AM (101 comments total)

Using the front page to make a point, by reposting a deleted thread with a grab-bag of poorly framed links, is not good metafiltering.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:16 AM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have very very mixed feelings about this, but from a moderator perspective, all I did was delete the totally awful post that was originally there.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:19 AM on August 11, 2008


I think the mods are great and all, but how are they responsible for "fixing" the post? The deleted post and the new one, which should probably also be deleted for poor form, were by different posters.

On preview: yeah.
posted by chinston at 11:20 AM on August 11, 2008


What do you mean, make a point?
posted by sondrialiac at 11:21 AM on August 11, 2008


Is this performance art?

I didn't find the original post to be that far below standards. I found it kind of interesting that a third of Russian women sleep with their bosses. And even early on, there were a few other interesting links added by commenters.

agregoli must have found it interesting too.

I think the moderation should have happened at the comment level, not the post level, but I can appreciate not wanting to babysit that thread all day. *shrug*
posted by Ynoxas at 11:26 AM on August 11, 2008


My mistake, then. I thought the mods fixed the post by pulling out the relevant links and re-framing the post. Didn't realize it was two different posters.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:26 AM on August 11, 2008


A less honest person (less honest than jessamyn) might have said, "Yes, it was I who did that thing you said." And then we would have jumped on that person for an obvious fib. So here's to you jessamyn, for not saying you did that thing that you didn't actually do.

I'm trying to keep it positive, yo.
posted by Mister_A at 11:27 AM on August 11, 2008


What do you mean, make a point?

What I mean: A handful of links awkwardly and haphazardly thrown into a post, with the intent to pummel its reader with the poster's point of view, done as an angered response to the deletion of the previous post — to make a point.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:31 AM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's still op-ed outragefilter, just not SLOE outragefilter.
posted by yhbc at 11:34 AM on August 11, 2008


And you know, this MeTa thread should also probably be axed too, because everyone who sees it will be confused by the misstated premise.
posted by yhbc at 11:37 AM on August 11, 2008


What I mean: A handful of links awkwardly and haphazardly thrown into a post, with the intent to pummel its reader with the poster's point of view, done as an angered response to the deletion of the previous post — to make a point.

I agree. Obviously the subject matter is critically important, but the new post is just kind of bad form. I dunno, though - maybe deleting it now would just cause more problems than it would solve.
posted by chinston at 11:38 AM on August 11, 2008


I say delete the second one, too. Purely from scientific curiosity--I want to see if the number of links jammed into it increases by merely an arithmetic or a logarithmic progression. Either way, delete the third and fourth to confirm. Beyond that, return to deleting purely on quality control.
posted by Drastic at 11:39 AM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


What I mean: A handful of links awkwardly and haphazardly thrown into a post,

Noted. I could have done better, and should have waited until tomorrow.

with the intent to pummel its reader with the poster's point of view,

What's the other point of view? Violence against Russian women isn't happening? I have never heard about violence against Russian women until today, so I have no long-held beliefs, nor is this a crusade of mine.

done as an angered response to the deletion of the previous post — to make a point.

I am not angry the other post was deleted. I am also not making any kind of point - the link posted interested me in the subject, I find it an important topic, so I sought out other links to make the post a more substantive one. That's it.
posted by agregoli at 11:39 AM on August 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


Uh, what the hell is going on here today? How is a post about sexual harassment and abuse of women considered an op-ed? The statements in the post are pulled from the articles they link to.

Also, I don't see how this is a point of view either. Is anyone suggesting that sexual harassment is acceptable?
posted by Pastabagel at 11:40 AM on August 11, 2008 [5 favorites]


Is anyone suggesting that sexual harassment is acceptable?

Do you still beat your strawman?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:45 AM on August 11, 2008 [20 favorites]


The first was was important, but a little thin. The second fleshes out the subject matter.

Outrage is the necessary and natural response to something like this, and IMO, agregoli did a fine job of muting his.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:47 AM on August 11, 2008


agregoli is female. As I mentioned in a MeFi mail to her, just because the news articles use hyperbolic language, that does not necessarily mean those words are good phrasing for a post on MeFi. Topics that naturally lead to a bunch of "I am outraged!" "This is outrageous!" comments and a lot of other people goofing off of the serious nature of the topic -- as we saw in the deleted thread -- mean that these threads have a tendency to go poorly here unless they are carefully phrased. From a "I had no idea this was happening" perspective, I liked that he topic was brought up here, but I'm not sure how to best cover topics that some people will be deadly serious about and others are likely to make jokes about. ObitFilter posts have the same problem.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:52 AM on August 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure either, Jessamyn, but I appreciated your thoughts on the topic. Food for thought.
posted by agregoli at 11:57 AM on August 11, 2008


Noted. I could have done better, and should have waited until tomorrow.

It is clear your post is going badly, and you acknowledge it was not your best stuff. Perhaps you could ask the mods to remove it, and then you can come back tomorrow or later to put together a more intelligently constructed post, one that is more respectful of both the seriousness of the subject matter and the readers on this site.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:59 AM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


MODS ROLL OVER RUSSIA. COMMENTERS PRESUMED LOST.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:59 AM on August 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well, the new thread has already been completely derailed, so someone should make the call whether to keep it and clean up or axe it and try again tomorrow. It's certainly not working as is.
posted by team lowkey at 12:05 PM on August 11, 2008


It is clear your post is going badly, and you acknowledge it was not your best stuff. Perhaps you could ask the mods to remove it, and then you can come back tomorrow or later to put together a more intelligently constructed post, one that is more respectful of both the seriousness of the subject matter and the readers on this site.

Come on, dude. You've made your point. Leave her alone.
posted by shmegegge at 12:11 PM on August 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


I am very uncomfortable with the idea that a poster must water down the message of a link in order to make it more palatable to readers.
posted by loiseau at 12:12 PM on August 11, 2008 [13 favorites]


I don't believe it warrants removal. Admitting it wasn't my finest post ever doesn't mean I believe it's a shit post. The links are good ones, to well-written articles. But thanks for your input.
posted by agregoli at 12:15 PM on August 11, 2008


I am very uncomfortable with the idea that a poster must water down the message of a link in order to make it more palatable to readers.
posted by loiseau at 8:12 PM on August 11 [+] [!]


It's not watering down. It's civility. Instead of talking down to your readers and appealing to their raw emotions. It is encouraging intelligent discourse instead of shouting. Its New York Times vs. New York Post.
posted by vacapinta at 12:22 PM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


I did no "talking down." I used the titles of the articles for the links. People do that all the time here. I was actually trying to keep my own voice out of the post, since I am new to the topic as well.
posted by agregoli at 12:24 PM on August 11, 2008


(I am rethinking that strategy on jessaymn's suggestions.)
posted by agregoli at 12:24 PM on August 11, 2008


I am very uncomfortable with the idea that a poster must water down the message of a link in order to make it more palatable to readers.

And I think that understanding the audience you are writing for is pretty important to being able to get your message across.

I think agregoli and I are fine on this issue, so this is not in any way directed at her, but if the difference between your MeFi post being a total trainwreck and being one that people are reflective and considerate about is you using less dramatic or inflammatory language, I'd suggest that as a strategy.

You can trust your readers to know that terrible is terrible, but there are a large number of people here who feel that excessive editorializing is predisposing a post to a certain interpretation and for some people they react against that. I'm not saying that's cool, just that it's true and wishing the world were different doesn't change that. As someone who has to deal with the very real results of people deciding their unfiltered message is more important than its presentation to the community -- excessive angry emails and flagging, user fights, people quitting the site -- and with 4-5 years of watching how things go here I'd say there's a world of difference between watering down a message and simply knowing your audience and using good writing to achieve the results you intend.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:27 PM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


The statements in the post are pulled from the articles they link to.

If only there was some way to indicate when "statements in the post" were "pulled from the articles".
posted by smackfu at 12:28 PM on August 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: Uh, what the hell is going on here today?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:29 PM on August 11, 2008


I have a really sad story I want to share. My Kyrgyz wife was severely beaten by her first husband, a police officer. He beat her because his dad beat his mom, I guess, and that's the way things go in Kyrgyzstan.

Being a policeman he was allowed to beat her frequently and openly. Eventually he smashed her in the head so bad that she had to go to the hospital, and after that she escaped with her two year old boy.

After a few years of living with her I had to get away. She would fly into emotional rages, completely out of control, no reasoning with her at all.

Well here is the really shitty part of this story. Turns out she has some sort of serious brain damage, as a result of the head injuries those many years ago. She has recently been having serious memory lapses, stronger and longer emotional episodes, and periodic blindness. I am really worried about what will happen to her, and to my son.

I saw and heard women getting beaten all the time in Kyrgyzstan. There was nothing I could do, I was a Martian, the police would have seen my Quixotic intervention as an excuse to shake me down. It's just the way things are done over there.

A few months ago my Tajik fiance had to move out of her parents' house and live with her aunt, because she was attacked by her younger brother. For being a dirty whore and sleeping with a foreigner (me) while she is not yet divorced. Her parents couldn't understand why she wouldn't try to be better behaved and listen to her brother's orders. Instead she has chosen to shame the family.

As I write this, I am trying to remember any woman from Central Asia I knew well enough to confide in me that didn't have an episode of physical abuse in her past. I am drawing a blank, but I won't bore you with the many other stories.

Central Asia is a terrible, horrible place full of bad wrong men. As a long term observer my conclusion is that there is nothing redeeming in the culture. Rescue the women and children, reeducate the boys, and then nuke the whole fucking place.
posted by Meatbomb at 12:30 PM on August 11, 2008 [8 favorites]


smackfu said: "If only there was some way to indicate when "statements in the post" were "pulled from the articles"."

You mean like, actually reading the post?

Well we all know that FPPs are just a formality, a mere obstacle between us and our next display of awesome wit and snark.
posted by loiseau at 12:34 PM on August 11, 2008 [5 favorites]


Jesus, Rev. Bomb, get outta there man.
posted by Mister_A at 12:36 PM on August 11, 2008


You mean like, actually reading the post?

I like quotation marks, but that works too.
posted by smackfu at 12:37 PM on August 11, 2008


I did, Mister_A, I did.
posted by Meatbomb at 12:39 PM on August 11, 2008


The second post could have been better, but some topics are worth the attempt at salvage. Live and learn.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:42 PM on August 11, 2008


fascinating that my comment was deleted, but the terrible two word joke comments remained. I get that moderation can be inconsistent, but inconsistent AND pro-belittling of Russian women? Fantastic. I'll make sure to be more chauvinistic next time.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 12:45 PM on August 11, 2008


Central Asia is a terrible, horrible place full of bad wrong men. As a long term observer my conclusion is that there is nothing redeeming in the culture.

They also have the quaint practice of bride kidnapping. The sad thing is that after the Soviet Union collapsed, there has been a move toward "traditional values", which includes violence against women.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:48 PM on August 11, 2008


fascinating that my comment was deleted, but the terrible two word joke comments remained.

I suggest that people who are advocating this post stay up be a little patient while the thread gets moderated in realtime. Thank you.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:53 PM on August 11, 2008


The only reason I hate posts like this is because I hate the whole "hurr hurr jokes" "it's not funny!" "I'm allowed my own opinions!" "My opinion is that you're a jackass!" call-and-response that happens about 50% of the time. And then things degrade into "it's sad that people are posting stupid things." (That's why I prefer to get my outrage from Jezebel, where everyone is blind with rage just like me. heh)

But um, anything that gets the word out is good in my opinion. As long as there are people out there who think this stuff is unacceptable, we're still doing okay.
posted by giraffe at 12:55 PM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow, your job is maybe less easy than I thought, jessamyn.
posted by Mister_A at 12:55 PM on August 11, 2008


anything that gets the word out is good in my opinion.

Yeah, I don't really care that agregoli's post isn't perfectly worded or whatever; it assembles some good links and gets the information out there. I don't quite understand the outrage from some quarters. Do posts have to be perfect to live?
posted by languagehat at 1:01 PM on August 11, 2008 [6 favorites]


Sorry for the short-temper jessamyn.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 1:05 PM on August 11, 2008


I don't see what's so funny about gorillas getting sexually harassed.
posted by dgaicun at 1:07 PM on August 11, 2008


FWIW, the outrage, such as it is, stems from the rather hasty exhumation of a once-deleted post. Doesn't seem kosher to some.
posted by Mister_A at 1:08 PM on August 11, 2008


>>You can trust your readers to know that terrible is terrible

I used to think that. But I've seen enough "jokes" about horrific things like rape, even on "enlightened" MeFi, to alter that mindset. And of course, the backlash, ranging from "lighten up, Francis" to "LOLZ, sort out your own personal problems" when I've dared to suggest that there's nothing funny about such stuff.

I'm not sure if empathy is a dead concept, but lots of folks who have not personally experienced rape, sexual abuse, or a home filled with violence seem to think it's not anything to get worked up about. As if, because they can't imagine what the big deal is, because they haven't been forced to look that evil right in the eye, you shouldn't feel anything they don't. Bullshit. Rape, domestic violence, and sexual harassment destroy souls. And not just the souls of the victims. These things create a legacy of brutality that ripples far and away from the crimes themselves.

Insofar as "an unfiltered message" goes, it seems to me that the less filtered this message is, the better. It provokes an emotional reaction?! People get angry? Good! Then maybe we can tell this like it is, and sickening crimes like these can be stopped by greater enlightenment, on a cultural level. It's always easy to brush it off when it's been sanitized. If it's raw, wounded, filled with terror and vitriol, it might actually convey a tiny, tiny sliver of the inhumanity and destructive power of the topic.
posted by SaintCynr at 1:08 PM on August 11, 2008 [11 favorites]


It seems to have been established that the post, whatever its imperfections, is staying up, and that further discussion of its worthiness is thus unnecessary, so maybe this grey thread can be closed up? What further purpose does it?
posted by WPW at 1:15 PM on August 11, 2008


Central Asia is a terrible, horrible place

It's not just Central Asia. Marat Akchurin, in his Red Odyssey (which I highly recommend to anyone interested in the Soviet Union during the very tail-end of its existence—it's about a road trip through the non-Russian regions in 1990), describes a horrible scene in a dance hall in Cheboksary (in the Volga region) that involves his having to smash a guy in the face with brass knuckles and break a bathroom window in order to save an underage girl from gang rape. Things are horrible for women in much of the world; it's probably especially appalling in much of the former Soviet Union because the rules that protect "good" women to some extent in traditional cultures have disappeared but the rules that govern behavior between the sexes in modern Western countries have not been imported.
posted by languagehat at 1:15 PM on August 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


... does it serve?

Twitchy mouse finger.
posted by WPW at 1:15 PM on August 11, 2008


languagehat writes "Do posts have to be perfect to live?"

No, but we can expect them not to be inflammatory (agregoli's post looks fine in that regard to me). And I don't think "getting the word out" is a sufficient justification for a FPP. It would be trivial to generate 30-40 posts a day "getting the word out" (all I'd have to do is redirect my inbox from a certain aunt to a posting script).

SaintCynr writes "I used to think that. But I've seen enough 'jokes' about horrific things like rape, even on 'enlightened' MeFi, to alter that mindset. And of course, the backlash, ranging from 'lighten up, Francis' to 'LOLZ, sort out your own personal problems' when I've dared to suggest that there's nothing funny about such stuff."

In the eternal words of George Carlin, "I believe you can joke about anything". It all depends on the exaggeration.
posted by Mitheral at 1:22 PM on August 11, 2008


If it's raw, wounded, filled with terror and vitriol, it might actually convey a tiny, tiny sliver of the inhumanity and destructive power of the topic.

I respect and appreciate where you are coming from, but different people from different backgrounds deal with touchy subjects in different ways and you can't make them see things your way just by shocking them. The most obvious example of this that I see here a lot is PETA. For every person who doesn't eat a hot dog because they were shown nauseating abbatoir footage, someone else is like "fuck those guys I'm gonna get a DOUBLE cheeseburger instead" and you have to ask, as someone who cares about animals, are their tactics effective? And I think people's opinions on that would vary.

I think people know what is terrible, but their reaction to terrible varies. I don't believe personally that any responses are right or wrong in and of themselves, but they definitely have different effects and utility in the "mixed company" atmosphere that is MetaFilter. In this space "raw, wounded and filled with terror" goes over about as well as "lol rape." I am sorry this is the case, but again we need to work with what we have and I don't see MetaFilter as the "safe space" that some people seem to want or need for discussing these issues free of less-serious remarks.

I hope I'm not sounding like an apologist for the snarkers here and we do try to moderate somewhat closely and keep "I bet she was asking for it" type of trollishness out of those threads. As someone with a background that wasn't at all violence-free, I can see both that this is a very serious topic which has huge impacts in the lives of everyone and at the same time that not every forum is the best place for healing those cultural rifts and injuries.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:29 PM on August 11, 2008 [6 favorites]


Well, Mitheral, let me know how jolly and jokey you're feeling after you've been beaten with a crowbar, tied to a chair, and gang-raped. What? That hasn't happened to you? Shocking!

Well if it ever does happen to you, shoot me an email. I'd love to hang out with you and share jokes about it.
posted by SaintCynr at 1:29 PM on August 11, 2008


Insofar as "an unfiltered message" goes, it seems to me that the less filtered this message is, the better. It provokes an emotional reaction?! People get angry? Good! Then maybe we can tell this like it is, and sickening crimes like these can be stopped by greater enlightenment, on a cultural level. It's always easy to brush it off when it's been sanitized. If it's raw, wounded, filled with terror and vitriol, it might actually convey a tiny, tiny sliver of the inhumanity and destructive power of the topic.

I would assert that, some jokers aside, Metafilter's readership is very nearly unilaterally cognizant that domestic violence and violence against women are Bad Things.

I submit that this raw approach invites the vast noise of outraged OMGTHATISNTFUNNY responses and jokes seen in the two crap posts in question.

I submit that this raw approach is greatly disrespectful of the deep and broad pool of intelligent and moral regulars of Metafilter, even if it makes the parties responsible for said raw approach feel validated.

The serious issue of violence against women, and the potential for interesting and vital discussion about this issue, is done no favors whatsoever with such sloppy, hamfisted, charged presentations.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:33 PM on August 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


I long for a MetaFilter where any post that boiled down to "OMG! Read this and you'll be just as outraged as me!!!" would get the boot.
posted by GeekAnimator at 1:33 PM on August 11, 2008


>>I don't see MetaFilter as the "safe space" that some people seem to want or need for discussing these issues free of less-serious remarks.

Nor do I. But humor on this topic comes from ignorance of it. Sorry if it annoys folks to have things put in their face that they're uncomfortable with. But if a mere description is too much for some to bear, imagine the crimes themselves! I tell what I know so that others don't have to experience it firsthand to understand it. If their minds are closed because it makes them uncomfortable, then that kinda underscores why things of this nature occur in the first place.
posted by SaintCynr at 1:36 PM on August 11, 2008


Insofar as "an unfiltered message" goes, it seems to me that the less filtered this message is, the better. It provokes an emotional reaction?! People get angry? Good! Then maybe we can tell this like it is, and sickening crimes like these can be stopped by greater enlightenment, on a cultural level.

This does not work. Anti-abortion groups hold up shock images in public, PETA puts out ridiculous ads, etc. but that's all just a lot of noise that stops people from having real discussions about the issues. Making people angry is not a good persuasive technique.

The only way to make change in the world is to actually get up from your computer and make a commitment to take serious actions toward that change. People "spread awareness" on the internet all the time, for the most part this is all a big echo chamber that never has a direct impact on the real world. Angering people on the internet will never contribute to a greater good, and in my mind purposely provoking people is trolling, plain and simple.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:38 PM on August 11, 2008


Getting angry because people don't have the same reaction as you won't convince them to have the same reaction as you. It won't even get them to listen to you.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:41 PM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Blazecock, I get that you don't want to be taught anything on a topic you seem to feel you know all about. That fact shows you know almost nothing about it. Lucky you. In a way.
posted by SaintCynr at 1:42 PM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]



with the intent to pummel its reader with the poster's point of view,

What's the other point of view? Violence against Russian women isn't happening?


nice try. no, the actual other point of view is that posting stuff out of spite of a deletion that just happened is conductive to weak posts. weaker than the usual "stupid YouTube video / 4-day-old newspaper story / stuff recycled from Digg or Reddit" that makes the front page the exercise in middlebrow mediocrity it generally is? no, there's much worse stuff than your post on the front page today. which is not saying much, actually. but it doesn't change the fact that posting out of spite is a bad idea. especially since one can say many things about jessamyn, but she's not exactly an apologist for men who beat their wives, in Russia or elsewhere. so it really made you look like you were going "ahaha delete THIS now, woman-hating assholes".

but then again, PSAs are hardly MeFi's problem anyway.

(and since until today you had posted 11 links in 7 years so it's not like you're exactly a front page junkie -- you posted to make a point. point made. now let's move on to posting stuff that was a few days on BoingBoing)
posted by matteo at 1:42 PM on August 11, 2008


Mithereal: Are you sure you're in the same league as George Carlin?
posted by not sure this is a good idea at 1:43 PM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


In the eternal words of George Carlin, "I believe you can joke about anything". It all depends on the exaggeration.

Yes, Elmer Fudd throwing Porky Pig down a flight of stairs because dinner wasn't on the table is funny, but that's only because you know Porky is going to get back up and see some birdies at the very worst (maybe that's why he stutters?). And they certainly don't have a child that has to watch it. And that child doesn't go on to throw other pigs down flights of stairs because he was served some bad coffee.

Angering people on the internet will never contribute to a greater good...

I dunno, after the Myanmar Cyclone, when everyone was reporting the deplorable conditions people were living in, I donated some money. Throwing money at problems makes them go away, right?
posted by giraffe at 1:43 PM on August 11, 2008


I am very uncomfortable with the idea that a poster must water down the message of a link in order to make it more palatable to readers.

Can you "favorite" things more than once?
posted by Zambrano at 1:48 PM on August 11, 2008


How did I know it would come to this? :)

I don't mind that ya'll think differently than I do on this. I'm just glad none of you backlashers have ever personally been raped.

I know now that however good my intentions are/were, this won't be solved by talking, and I apologize for offending the sensibilities of the community. Pleasant day, everyone.
posted by SaintCynr at 1:49 PM on August 11, 2008


Blazecock, I get that you don't want to be taught anything on a topic you seem to feel you know all about. That fact shows you know almost nothing about it. Lucky you. In a way.

I get that you're angry. But your anger doesn't give you the right to strike out at others. I hope that, when you cool down, you'll rethink your approach.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:49 PM on August 11, 2008


not sure this is a good idea writes "Mithereal: Are you sure you're in the same league as George Carlin?"

Pshaw, not even close, the man was my Joe Pesci. But I do strongly believe that there shouldn't be topics about which one cannot joke around. In fact, I believe that humour is often a coping mechanism, too often one has to either laugh or step in front of a bus.

SaintCynr writes "Well, Mitheral, let me know how jolly and jokey you're feeling after you've been beaten with a crowbar, tied to a chair, and gang-raped. What? That hasn't happened to you? Shocking!
"Well if it ever does happen to you, shoot me an email. I'd love to hang out with you and share jokes about it."


I'm sorry that happened to you SaintCynr.
posted by Mitheral at 1:58 PM on August 11, 2008


Blazecock,I've already apologized. No, I did not intend to go down this road. What I'm angry about, if anything, is that lots of people here have a strong opinion about something they don't have firsthand knowledge of, but they use that "I know it all, why are you annoyed?" as a pulpit from which to tell others that their opinion is "too much" Please don't lecture me as though you're so much more knowledgeable and I'm an untutored savage.
posted by SaintCynr at 1:59 PM on August 11, 2008


I'm sorry I was so nasty about that, Mitheral. You didn't deserve that response. I always go wrong thinking that if I could just tell others about how evil this topic is, it'd have some positive outcome. But that was wrong of me, I know it, and I have another error to learn from and hopefully not repeat. Thank you for addressing it, and again, my apologies.
posted by SaintCynr at 2:05 PM on August 11, 2008


Please don't lecture me as though you're so much more knowledgeable and I'm an untutored savage.

Blaze and I have our differences, but I actually like and admire the guy for his irrepressible sincerity, and I agree with him here. And you're lecturing him (and the rest of us) as much as he you about correctness and incorrectness.

"I get that you don't want to be taught anything?" Yeah. Somewhere, there's a cross you need to climb down off.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:21 PM on August 11, 2008


Most people don't have firsthand knowledge of being tied to a chair, beaten with a crowbar, and gangraped--thank goodness.

Many people, I propose, have had very bad things happen in their lives, and for them dark humor is an approach they find appropriate.
posted by everichon at 2:29 PM on August 11, 2008


I posted the original terrible post, and I wasn't outraged at all. I mean, I thought it was horrible that sexual harassment was so deeply entrenched in Russia, but I didn't intend to stir people into a froth, nor did I think there would be some ugly discussion. I just thought it was something worth knowing about, that I didn't know about until today.

I've been away from the blue for a while, but something I notice is that a lot of people are often more interested in whether or not the post is an official Good Post than what's in the post. I think they count the links first, the primary-ness of the links, and then they start reading. If something's not quite perfect, they practically ejaculate with glee over it.

Well, it's the Internet. So, as is often said about it: Eh, whatever.
posted by ignignokt at 2:39 PM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


SaintCynr, I only know three people (two women and a man) who make really spectacularly off-colour jokes about rape, and all three of them have been violently raped themselves. Perhaps that's an unusual response, but it might not be a good idea to instantly assume that folk joking about rape or violence have no firsthand knowledge of the subject.
posted by jack_mo at 2:47 PM on August 11, 2008


Why I like Metafilter:

I read SaintCyr's earlier responses, and was all set to give what would (hopefully) have been a measured and reasonable response stating that I thought she was being a tad unfair. Then I read further down to see that SaintCyr had apologized to people and generally been really classy about things.

So thanks, SaintCyr. That was really nice.
posted by shmegegge at 2:48 PM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


CPB, If you wanted to really know what a foreign nation was like, would you ask someone who'd been there, maybe go yourself? Or would you ask someone who saw a movie about it once?

That sounds tart, but the analogy is solid.

I have erred in being too emotional, I have erred in being too snappish, I have been too quick to take offense. And I've apologized. Not just meaninglessly, but for real.

But please take time to reflect on what I said above. I know you won't, but hey, hope springs eternal.
posted by SaintCynr at 2:51 PM on August 11, 2008


>>she was being a tad unfair

I'm pretty sure I'm a dude. :)

Thanks for saying so, shmeggege.


jack_mo: I get that. But a joke, in person, from a person you know knows what time it is is vastly different from "lolz" on the internet. This medium does not convey one's life experiences, demeanor, or tone very well. I should have been clearer above. That said, yes, I know where you're coming from.
posted by SaintCynr at 2:58 PM on August 11, 2008


anything that gets the word out is good in my opinion.

This kind of "by any means necessary" approach is where Christian rock, "positive" rap, and bad internet content come from.

The serious issue of violence against women, and the potential for interesting and vital discussion about this issue, is done no favors whatsoever with such sloppy, hamfisted, charged presentations.
Exactly.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:58 PM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


she was being a tad unfair

She is actually a he.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:58 PM on August 11, 2008


I'm pretty sure I'm a dude. :)

My bad. Sorry about that.
posted by shmegegge at 3:12 PM on August 11, 2008


No worries!
posted by SaintCynr at 3:13 PM on August 11, 2008


I have erred in being too emotional, I have erred in being too snappish, I have been too quick to take offense. And I've apologized.

Thank you.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:14 PM on August 11, 2008


But a joke, in person, from a person you know knows what time it is is vastly different from "lolz" on the internet. This medium does not convey one's life experiences, demeanor, or tone very well.

That's why it was a bad idea to call the people telling the jokes ignorant, rather than just calling them out for being inappropriate. Assuming something that isn't necessarily true about someone is a good way to get into a pointless argument about nothing. Now that you've explained what you really meant there's a lot less to argue about.
posted by burnmp3s at 3:24 PM on August 11, 2008


Is it time for beer yet?
posted by languagehat at 3:26 PM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm drinking a Negro Modelo right now!
posted by SaintCynr at 3:29 PM on August 11, 2008


Negra Modelo. Wow, that worked fast.
posted by SaintCynr at 3:31 PM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


matteo? I didn't post it out of "spite." I wasn't even mad that the original post was deleted. It's amazing how many hateful motives have been attributed to me, but I assure you, they have no factual basis.

If anyone takes the time to actually read/listen to the links, they really are quite good and informative.
posted by agregoli at 3:49 PM on August 11, 2008


Sigh, I guess it's too late.
posted by agregoli at 3:58 PM on August 11, 2008


I missed the original post and read the links in the new post. I was shocked, having had no idea what was going on there (side note: Russian mail-order brides make a lot more sense now). I'm not sure what to do from here. There are certainly many, many women (also men) suffering from domestic violence and sexual assault here in the US, where I have more of a chance of making a difference. I've made a degree of difference in individual lives by helping women get out of dangerous situations, but I fear that nothing will ever be enough until societal mores change to a point where violence against another is inconceivable.
posted by desjardins at 4:18 PM on August 11, 2008


"What's the other point of view? Violence against Russian women isn't happening?"

Sometimes women are hard to hit!

I used to hang around with a handful of Soviet ex-pats (they used to come to our community blogger meet-ups, get drunk and make fun of each other for wearing shiny shirts), and I guess I wish I was a little more surprised at how horrid life is for women over there, especially the non-Russian ethnics.

This came up in an AskMe once, where there was a quote-unquote uppity Russian bride that the guy wanted advice on dealing with. So I asked that group and the drinking buddies from the Russian Lit program (they went to the bar on the same night that one of my classes did) and both groups vehemently recommended domestic abuse. It was definitely one of those weird "Uh, yeah, but aside from that…" "No, really!" moments.
posted by klangklangston at 5:20 PM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


"If only there was some way to indicate when "statements in the post" were "pulled from the articles"."

Summary marks?
posted by klangklangston at 5:21 PM on August 11, 2008


Summary marks?

Heh. I remember those from LiveJournalism School.
posted by Kwantsar at 5:53 PM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Outrage and obituaries.
posted by LarryC at 6:01 PM on August 11, 2008


The canonical term is "summary quotes", fwiw.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:07 PM on August 11, 2008


*canonizes cortex, knowing full well that in Soviet Union, cortex canonizes you*
posted by Mister_A at 6:26 PM on August 11, 2008


agregoli, while I may not comment in such posts often, please let me thank you for reframing the post and rescuing the links. I thought they were important and fascinating. I mentor a lot of young women at work, some of them Russian (and from other Eastern European countries). It's always important (to me at least) to understand where these kids are coming from. We never really know what we teach until much later.

Sincerely, thanks for the perspective.
posted by bonehead at 7:10 PM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


after all is said and done, the discussion of this matter on metafilter is critically important to the well being of russian women.
posted by quonsar at 7:34 PM on August 11, 2008


I feel very, very confused. There has been some discussion here of the "hyperbolic language" of agregoli's post, "talking down to your readers and appealing to their raw emotions", "excessive editorializing", etc. Has agregoli's post text been edited since those comments? Because I'm really, really not seeing any of that in her text. At all..

I'm not snarking, I'm not trying to make any point - I'm just really absolutely baffled, because none of that makes sense unless the text I'm seeing now is totally different than it was before.
posted by taz at 10:16 PM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


after all is said and done, the discussion of this matter on metafilter is critically important to the well being of russian women.

Agreed, just as the discussions regarding LOLXTIAN-type posts and casual sexism were completely pointless, since it didn't affect any real people with any real concerns.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:52 PM on August 11, 2008


Ah, didn't see who the commenter was before I responded. Never mind.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:53 PM on August 11, 2008

everyone who sees it will be confused by the misstated premise.
I am deeply disturbed that my brain initially interpreted this as "everyone who sees it will be confused by the misstated penis."
posted by scrump at 7:57 AM on August 12, 2008


Oh. It's not "misinflated", either. Huh.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:53 AM on August 12, 2008


Thinking about all of this, I realize that I have behaved a bit like an asshole to agregoli, ascribing bad faith motivations to her where none existed, and for that I'd like to offer an apology to her. I still feel the second post was put together a bit hurriedly and perhaps doesn't do as much justice to the subject as it deserves, but in the end I'm glad it was posted and am grateful for the thoughtful contributions it elicited. For what it's worth, I am sorry for being a dick.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:03 PM on August 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Well, I found it interesting. I'm not sure what it is about Russians and domestic violence that turns matteo into such a raging fuckwad, though.
posted by rodgerd at 4:06 PM on August 12, 2008


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