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seething homophobia. seething.
January 4, 2010 10:57 AM   Subscribe

In the recent thread on the pitfalls of writing realistic LGBT characters, I stated how I didn't feel the "predatory gay man" trope was completely out of line given how I had encountered such people in real life. Great nastiness ensued.

Ok. Here goes.

I used my real-life example to demonstrate that the fictional trope does have basis in real life, just like fictional straight creeps do have some basis in real life. I then added the "of course there are lots of normal gay people, but jesus christ those cruising creeps aren't doing anyone favors" because I knew that there are some people who would otherwise take my original statement about a few creeps as some sort of blanket statement, which it most definitely was not.

In the fireball that followed, I was repeatedly called a homophobe, my statement saying that those few creeps do not represent gays in general was taken as a "whaddaya talkin' about, I'm friends with lots of n******s", it was suggested that I had a problem with it because I felt I was the one who should be "pawing women like a piece of meat", and it was suggested that getting my crotch grabbed is somehow funny, since "homophobes are always getting their crotches grabbed." That comment has four favorites right now.

Maybe this is all petty nonsense and I'm just rising to the bait here. Maybe I shouldn't mind what Internet Strangers say about me- the IRL shit I've taken for sticking up for gay rights has had way more bearing on my real life, making Thanksgiving dinner unbearable.
However, it really does bother me that when I mention how the behavior of a few creeps on the street is very much not cool, I get painted as some sort of seething homophobe and have my being sexually assaulted laughed at.
It's really not all right and being laughed at and called names for telling my story literally makes me feel nauseous.
posted by dunkadunc to Etiquette/Policy at 10:57 AM (627 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

Apparently you missed the point, dunk, so let's try it again:

"Some of my best friends are Jews, but..."

I'd have a lot more of a problem with the "Penny-pinching Jew" trope if I hadn't run into it repeatedly in real life.

I'd have a lot more of a problem with the "Gangster Nigger" trope if I hadn't run into it repeatedly in real life.

I'd have a lot more of a problem with the "Man-hating Feminist" trope if I hadn't run into it repeatedly in real life.

I'd have a lot more of a problem with the "Lazy Spic" trope if I hadn't run into it repeatedly in real life.


Got it yet? It may take you a while to realise that your statements are exactly the same.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:11 AM on January 4, 2010 [12 favorites]


If you, as you claim, "repeatedly" run into this:

You do not ever, EVER grab somebody else's crotch. Especially a stranger's.

Then you are either one of the following:

1. The hottest thing since chili sauce, too irresistible for every other gay men not to paw at; or,
2. Someone embellishing reality with vaguely homophobic seasonings

Either way, this thread is making me look forward to lunch. Best of luck with it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:14 AM on January 4, 2010 [9 favorites]


I didn't enter that thread because the very topic was idiotic and only idiocy would come of it.

But your comments aren't doing you any favors because you are not willing to examine the biases of your own thoughts.

Once I was walking past a 7-Eleven on halloween and a bunch of black kids were stealing candy. I could have thought, "They sure are giving blacks a bad name..." but I didn't. You know why? Because it's a stupid thing to say and is inherently racist, regardless of whether I myself am racist or not. Why? Because, being white, if they were white kids, their race would not even have entered my head. I would have thought, "Those kids are assholes. They're taking advantage of the fact that they're all justifiably wearing masks so that they can steal candy." You know, the same thing the black kids were actually doing.

To think, "they're giving blacks" a bad name is a racist thought not only because I brought race into a non-racially associated event, but because to suggest that the burden of what non-whites think of blacks is the responsibility of each black individually is racist. As a white male, I do not carry that burden for my race. Why should they? Why should you expect them too?

I'd bet that whenever you see a white person do something stupid or idiotic, you do not consider their race is a factor in their decision. Same should go for sexual orientation.

Unless you're willing to accept that a non-racist or non-homophobe is capable of thinking of racist or homophobic thoughts then it isn't too surprising that people are upset with the thoughts you're expressing.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 11:14 AM on January 4, 2010 [52 favorites]


Nauseated. It makes you feel nauseated. Nauseous materials make one feel nauseated.
/pedant pet peeve

You are willfully taking the linked comments in the worst possible and most literal light. You said something kinda dumb in a poorly worded way and offended a number of people. They felt individually assaulted and replied with a little heat. What to do you want to achieve by bringing this here? I have a feeling that the end result is going to be more people being more offended by what you said and responding with greater heat.
posted by Babblesort at 11:17 AM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


If you, as you claim, "repeatedly" run into this:

You do not ever, EVER grab somebody else's crotch. Especially a stranger's.

Then you are either one of the following:

1. The hottest thing since chili sauce, too irresistible for every other gay men not to paw at; or,
2. Someone embellishing reality with vaguely homophobic seasonings


And that, right there, explains the "gee, homophobes are always getting their dicks grabbed" statement.

This may also be relevant.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:18 AM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I believe people were trying to tell you not to be a Drama Queen.
posted by Rumple at 11:19 AM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I, too, have had my crotch grabbed by a gay man in an unwanted advance. Stupid me, I was 18 and didn't even realize this guy in his 40s was hitting on me at the hotel pool. This does not make me a homophobe, only a victim of assault. I would definitely consider him a "Predatory Gay Man." Don't worry, I recovered.

Is it possible to relate this story AT ALL without being accused of being a bigot?

Since the post is about writing gay characters realistically, what do you do about a character who has character traits that are often considered stereotypical?
posted by Roger Dodger at 11:20 AM on January 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


Happy new year!
posted by nevercalm at 11:21 AM on January 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


Is it possible to relate this story AT ALL without being accused of being a bigot?

Yeah, you just did.

Since the post is about writing gay characters realistically, what do you do about a character who has character traits that are often considered stereotypical?

Realise that even those who fit parts of a stereotype are not cookie-cutter one-dimensional boring people.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:22 AM on January 4, 2010


Is it possible to relate this story AT ALL without being accused of being a bigot?

Only if you don't embellish by using "repeatedly" to imply that your assailant is representative of all gay men. If you do that, you might get accused of bigotry, yes.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:23 AM on January 4, 2010


You are willfully taking the linked comments in the worst possible and most literal light.

some could say the people responded who responded to him were doing the same.



it's always a treat watching metafilter ouroboros when the victim of assault is a recipient of societal privilege and the assaulter is a protected class.
posted by nadawi at 11:24 AM on January 4, 2010 [25 favorites]


Is it possible to relate this story AT ALL without being accused of being a bigot?

Since the post is about writing gay characters realistically, what do you do about a character who has character traits that are often considered stereotypical?


I think the problem arises in the way dunkadunc used that story to kind of dismiss the idea that this is a trope or stereotype. Here’s the thing: individual counterpoints can never prove a generalization. The true story of a predatory gay man alone is realistic and plausible – just as much as a predatory straight man – and can be told without applying htat concept to an entire community.
posted by Think_Long at 11:25 AM on January 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'll put it like this : The problem that you encountered, dunkadunc, is not a "what they are" problem (insofar as homosexuality is concerned), but a "what they did" problem. Similarly to dnab, I gotta say the same of you: I can totally take at face value, your claim that you're not homophobic. Sold. Done deal. But what you said? That "I'd have a lot more of a problem with the "Predatory Gay Men" trope if I hadn't run into it repeatedly in real life." thing you said? That was maybe not such an enlightened thing to write, and I can understand why some people would ftfo reading that thing you wrote. I don't agree with it, and I don't agree with a lot of the responses you got, either.

Maybe coming out and saying something like "but I realize that's not indicative of all gay men", which you surely do realize, would be a nice way to start the process of reconciliation.
posted by boo_radley at 11:25 AM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


You can relate the story of having your crotch grabbed by another man without sounding homophobic. Like this: One time, I was at a hotel pool and this dude grabbed my junk. I told hotel security. The End.
posted by rtha at 11:26 AM on January 4, 2010 [8 favorites]


I, too, have had my crotch grabbed by a gay man in an unwanted advance. Stupid me, I was 18 and didn't even realize this guy in his 40s was hitting on me at the hotel pool. This does not make me a homophobe, only a victim of assault. I would definitely consider him a "Predatory Gay Man."

Is it possible to relate this story AT ALL without being accused of being a bigot?


Yes, by not specifying his sexual preference, or implying that it has anything to do with why he is a predator. Or by repeatedly referencing his sexual preference and implying that predatory behaviour is some sort of gay problem.
posted by zarq at 11:28 AM on January 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


I, too, have had my breasts grabbed by a man in an unwanted advance. This does not make me a misandrist, only a victim of assault. I would definitely consider him "a Predatory Man".

Some people are perpetrators of sexual assault. This includes both gay men and straight men, as well as gay women and straight women. To then make the claim that gay men are a special kind of predator (and to further imply that the portrayal of the majority of gay men as predators is justified) misses the whole damned point.
posted by muddgirl at 11:28 AM on January 4, 2010 [25 favorites]


Maybe coming out and saying something like "but I realize that's not indicative of all gay men", which you surely do realize, would be a nice way to start the process of reconciliation.

No, admitting that it was an embellishment (a la Blazecock Pileon, above), and a fucking stupid and sickeningly offensive thing to say, and absolutely no different than any other bigot defending any other bigoted statement by saying "yeah well I've met cheap Jews".... that would go a long way towards reconciling this. As it is, the truculent digging-in-the-heels behaviour just reinforces the bigotry and that he sees nothing wrong with it.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:29 AM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


There's an important broader point that could be made about how some generalizations/stereotypes are (wrongly) considered more acceptable than others depending on how PC they are. (For instance, generalizations about how "men" commit a lot of sexual assault are inevitably lauded.) But I don't know if the interchange in the Mefi thread is the best case study on this point. It may be that the people who responded to you don't have an assumption that all politically incorrect generalizations are wrong (which would obviously be incorrect), but that they were responding to the inflammatory tone of your comment.
posted by Jaltcoh at 11:30 AM on January 4, 2010


I'm going to stick up for duncadunc here. I don't believe his story was homophobic at all.

Men doing evil things to women are giving men a bad name, regardless of race. White kids wearing hoodies and stealing candy in a shop are giving white kids wearing hoodies a bad name. Old grannies going on about how coloured people are no good are giving grannies a bad name. This 'search your own heart and see how you are really racist' thing going on on Metafilter is making me really, really tired sometimes.

I know lots of good, loving men, I know lots of kids that wear hoodies, I stole candy myself when I was a kid and I've met loads of cheerful old people that are not racist at all. What's more, while I can recognise the stereotype and think about how terrible it is that I find myself in the company of a stereotype-affirming specimen of a certain group, it still does not affect my behaviour toward the other members of that group. There is no reason whatsoever to think that all grannies are kid-stealing hoodie-wearing candy rapists or what have you and no reason to treat them as such. Reading his post, I believe duncadunk is capable of making that distinction as well. I sometimes believe that some self-flaggelating types in here are not.

Oh my is that a stake I see?
posted by Skyanth at 11:30 AM on January 4, 2010 [22 favorites]


Andrew WK Is A Fiction Perpetrated By The Bilderberg Group
posted by Damn That Television at 11:32 AM on January 4, 2010 [17 favorites]


the assaulter is a protected class

Protected by whom? Not by most laws, and certainly not by most societies.

It's a kind of reverse rhetorical alchemy, turning people with vaguely homophobic attitudes into oppressed martyrs, like morphing gold into lead.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:32 AM on January 4, 2010 [6 favorites]


Skyanth, please see my first post in this thread. There's a nice big clue there, try looking for it again.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:32 AM on January 4, 2010


I don't think I've ever had a gay man grab my crotch, and I'm in musical theater; I don't actually know anybody who has had their junk grabbed, out of the blue, by a gay man. However, I don't know a single woman who hasn't been touched in an inappropriate and unwelcome way by a predatory straight man.

I often feel like myths like the predatory gay man are just pure projection. I mean, I'm sure there are some out there, but, for the most part, I think it is straight men considering the way they often treat women, then thinking, jeez, what if we were treated that way?

Not that this is what dunkadunc is doing; I don't mean this as a behavior that individuals do. No, I see it as more of a mass psychosis, a collective act of projection. Straight men are, as a whole, simply terrified of gay men treating them the way many of them treat women.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:33 AM on January 4, 2010 [33 favorites]


For instance, generalizations about how "men" commit a lot of sexual assault are inevitably lauded.

Isn't that the generalization that dunkadunc is making? In his case the men happen to be gay, but it's all part of the same stereotype that men are sexually voracious.
posted by muddgirl at 11:33 AM on January 4, 2010


Oh, and dirtynumbangelboy, this...

"I've said it before and I'll say it again: straight men get uncomfortable when gay men hit on them because it makes you realise how you treat women; you are suddenly being looked at--or pawed--like a piece of meat, something that you should be doing to a girl, dammit, not being on the receiving end of."

...is garbage.

I have never treated any woman like a piece of meat in my entire life. I'm straight and have been hit on by men. Sometimes it's been a comfortable experience, sometimes not. But any discomfort I experienced was not the result of a sudden realization that I was in some way guilty of treating women the same way I was being treated. I was made to feel uncomfortable because of their behavior, not mine.

Some guys are just assholes. In my experience, their sexual preference doesn't make them any more or less likely to be that way.
posted by zarq at 11:35 AM on January 4, 2010 [28 favorites]


Ahem. *self-flagellating.
posted by Skyanth at 11:36 AM on January 4, 2010


Straight men are, as a whole, simply terrified of gay men treating them the way many of them treat women.

Precisely what I was saying. At no point did I say that dunk specifically walked up to random women in the street and grabbed their junk. But straight men do do this; I have far, far more female acquaintances who have been randomly groped by totalt strangers than I do gay friends. It's happened, yeah, it's happened to me even--but the rate? Please. Women get this every day. Men far, far less so.

Call it garbage if you like, zarq, but what exactly about their behaviour was it that made you uncomfortable? Hmm? Could it possibly have been realising that the majority of straight men hit on women in aggressive and innapropriate ways? That you may well have been guilty--as we all have--of doing so in the past?

Surely not. Clearly you are an angel and a paragon amongst men.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:38 AM on January 4, 2010


I have never treated any woman like a piece of meat in my entire life.

I'd like to reiterate a point that I made the deleted thread about Australian racism. If you feel the need to jump into a discussion and defend yourself against a charge that men can be sexist, or men can be assaulters, or whatever, even though you haven't been specifically singled out, you're personalizing the discussion. Yes, you're probably one of the good guys. But the discussion is not about you, and making it about yourself is derailing, not helping, the discussion.

I sympathize. It used to be that when people would point out that a lot of men commit rape, I felt like I needed to jump in and say, well, I don't. When people would say that a lot of whites are racist, I would say, hey, wait, not me. Eventually, I realized that not everything is about me, and unless I myself was being specifically accused of these things, there was no real reason for me to get defensive, and a lot of reasons for me not to do so.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:39 AM on January 4, 2010 [54 favorites]


1. There IS something weird when a person is compelled to focus on the minority of real world examples of stereotypes. The point of that portion of the discussed article is that certain stereotypes are far too prevalent and that indicates social prejudice. When you feel compelled to respond "yeah but those bad creepy scary gay guys totally molested me" guess what? You sound like a homophobe just like someone who responded to say an article about how there are not enough positive portrayals of black characters in crime drama by interjecting "yeah but my apartment totally got robbed by black drug addicts!" sounds like a racist.

2. Really most of the most bombastic response was from dirtynumbangelboy and you have to put this into perspective as coming from the individual who started a big shouty MeTa post because someone in an AskMe question about selecting a suit described double breasted suits as "fruity plus." A grain of salt is advised in parsing his comments on the subject of homophobia.

3. It is obvious unless you are being willfully obtuse that the comment "Funny how homophobes are always getting their crotches grabbed" in its context meant "it is strange that it is generally homophobic men who are complaining of being sexually groped when this does not seem to happen to many of us who spend considerable time in the company of gay people." You can disagree with the sentiment but it is obvious the person was not saying they find your reported predicament amusing.

4. You haven't put up with shit for sticking up for gay rights, okay? Unless you've been beaten or put in jail or fired or lost your home or something like that this kind of plea for sympathy is severely misbegotten.

It is my opinion that every person in any condition of social privilege has more to learn about how these imbalances play out than they believe they do. It is, I have to say, a young man's conceit to believe that he has graduated out of playing a real role in perpetuating these imbalances because he has adopted certain moral and intellectual stances. Yes the observation of these realities can become in themselves prejudiced (the question of what prejudice really means when it is not backed up by an established social power-imbalance being a whole other question) and sometimes I think it is worthwhile for a person on the privilege side of the equation to speak to that reality. But if you decide to do that you better be prepared to get attacked for it, and if you can't hack that, then just don't say it in the first place. You're not going to find many defenders here.
posted by nanojath at 11:42 AM on January 4, 2010 [12 favorites]


Some gay men do live up to the stereotypes, certainly. Either they opt in to identify themselves to others, or they absorb it from pop culture, or that's just how they are.

But no gay man is wholly a stereotype, and suggesting that because some men act like this, you should depict them as such when writing fiction is missing the mark I think. We should aim higher than presenting the same swishing characters we've had for decades.

On the other side of the coin, some people here get very riled up very quickly over comments such as yours. It's happened to me, when I, gay myself, encountered some midday bathroom sex and described it as gross. I got much the same argument as you, right down to the "now you know how women feel" part. I believe that's some stereotyping going on there as well, as anyone made uncomfortable by a gay related situation is a homophobic cad who paws at women on the street. Again, yes some men act like that, but most do not.

It's several degrees of escalation from a bit of a clueless statement to calling someone a seething homophobe. Of course we should explain what's wrong with the statement, but we don't have to be so reactionary about it.
posted by yellowbinder at 11:42 AM on January 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


Straight men are, as a whole, simply terrified of gay men treating them the way many of them treat women.

See, this is practically the same statement but going the other direction. Aren't you stereotyping straight men (or are you doing this for effect)? I'm straight. I treat women (and men) with respect. And I do not fear gay people.

I've got two friends from college who, on separate occasions, woke up after passing out at a party being molested by man, who up until that time, was also a friend of ours. The first time he apologized and the guy let it slide. The next time it happened, pretty much everyone in our circle of friends cut him out of our social group. Obviously, the man had a problem. His problem wasn't that he was gay. The problem was that he was a predator. I agree that "Gay Predator" is not how he should be referred to when "Predator" will do just fine.
posted by Roger Dodger at 11:42 AM on January 4, 2010 [11 favorites]


it's always a treat watching metafilter ouroboros when the victim of assault is a recipient of societal privilege and the assaulter is a protected class.

what
posted by rtha at 11:42 AM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Really most of the most bombastic response was from dirtynumbangelboy and you have to put this into perspective as coming from the individual who started a big shouty MeTa post

Three years ago, but thanks for playing! Really, way to attempt to discredit what I'm saying based on something three years old. Does that make you feel like a big strong man?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:45 AM on January 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


dnab, respectfully and with the acknowledgment that I agree with you in general on a lot of stuff and sympathize with your arguments here, you are coming on fairly strong and could probably benefit from either taking it down a couple notches or just disengaging for a bit here.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:47 AM on January 4, 2010 [18 favorites]


But if you decide to do that you better be prepared to get attacked for it, and if you can't hack that, then just don't say it in the first place.

Either that, or post pictures. Because if you want the benefit of the doubt about claiming to repeatedly get crotchpawed by the gays, then I want to see pics. And you had better look like Enver Gjokaj.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:47 AM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Call it garbage if you like, zarq, but what exactly about their behaviour was it that made you uncomfortable? Hmm? Could it possibly have been realising that the majority of straight men hit on women in aggressive and innapropriate ways? That you may well have been guilty--as we all have--of doing so in the past?

The two incidents I'm thinking of, one guy tapped me on the shoulder and said "How about a blowjob, cutie?" The other, a guy grabbed my ass while I was standing at a bar and said something along the lines of, "Firm. Wanna come back to my place?"

There is not a fucking chance in hell that I would ever have been guilty of doing that to anyone, woman or man. a) I'm quite introverted and shy. And b) I was personally never comfortable with either casual sex or people who came on to me that aggressively

And no, I'm quite sure that it didn't occur to me at the time to think about the greater social implications of that one guy acting like an asshole.
posted by zarq at 11:49 AM on January 4, 2010


dnab, respectfully and with the acknowledgment that I agree with you in general on a lot of stuff and sympathize with your arguments here, you are coming on fairly strong and could probably benefit from either taking it down a couple notches or just disengaging for a bit here.

I was waiting for that. I'm just sick and fucking tired of bigots around here going "waaah I'm so oppressed when people get mad at me for displaying my bigotry waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah."

But woe betide anyone who gets pissed off by that bigotry. Plus ca change, Metafilter.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:50 AM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I had my crotch grabbed my Crazy Mary in Chicago on St. Patty's Day, 1990. Fuckin' toothless ex-whores always grabbin' my junk.
posted by Mister_A at 11:50 AM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


In my head, I'm assaulting all of you right now, because this kerfluffle is stupid. Worst of the Web.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:53 AM on January 4, 2010 [8 favorites]


Plus ca change, Metafilter.

More or less. Some elements of this site do seem to be okay with expressing homophobic sentiments that are allowed to slide. They're worth receiving more mockery than upset feelings, though. If you get upset, they win.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:53 AM on January 4, 2010


I don't think I've ever had a gay man grab my crotch, and I'm in musical theater;

sorry, are we doing stereotypes or not?
posted by criticalbill at 11:55 AM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


That comment has four favorites right now.

Four favorites is nothing. Some of my own comments which I am personally embarassed about having made, and which I would delete in a heartbeat if I could, have 3-5 favorites. If it had twenty, that would be something. If four favorites bothers you that much, I'd suggest you'd be much happier turning off visible favorite counts on your Preferences page.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:56 AM on January 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


piling on a person getting upset about being assaulted and discouraging him from sharing his story is one of the grossest blame the victim games i've seen here. his wording was charged, his point muddled, but if you go to the threads where girls share their stories of unwanted advances and assault, you'll notice similar tones from many.
posted by nadawi at 11:57 AM on January 4, 2010 [23 favorites]


I remember reading a mystery written between the wars in one of my English Lit classes. As we got near the end, the professor told us that we could rule out the Belgian character as the killer, because the Belgians were so put upon at the end of WWI that no one would ever write a Belgian villain (in an English novel) at that time.
posted by Mister_A at 11:57 AM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]

But woe betide anyone who gets pissed off by that bigotry. Plus ca change, Metafilter.
The problem isn't that you get pissed off by bigotry. The problem is that the stridency and vitriol with which you react to things that piss you off get in the way of people listening to you.

For whatever reason, you conflate people telling you "you are perhaps being a bit reactionary, shouty and/or fighty here" with "you are wrong and I wish to censor your viewpoint". They aren't the same thing, and you would be well served if you took that to heart.
posted by scrump at 11:57 AM on January 4, 2010 [25 favorites]


sorry, are we doing stereotypes or not?

There are a lot of gay people in musical theater.

See, this is practically the same statement but going the other direction.

I don't think so, and I think irt becomes impossible to discuss the way a lot of men are socialized to behave around women by behaving as though it is a stereotype, rather than a social fact. There are plenty of men who aren't aggressive sexually, but there are a whole lot who are. Heck, there are plenty of gay men who are super-aggressive sexually. I just haven't known many -- or any, for that matter -- who go out of their way to fondle straight men. But you go into certain gay bars with certain clientels, there is going to be package handling.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:01 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't think it's fair to call Dunkadunc a homophobe, or direct this level of vitriol toward him. I really don't. He was just relating an anecdote and maybe showed a bit of a homophobic streak, which is a different thing than being a homophobe.

We all have a little bit of prejudice in us in one way or another. The thing is to try to be aware of it and try to work against it and treat it as character flaw. Dunkadunc got backed into a corner and found himself unable to reflect on his answer because he was too busy defending himself.

I can't count the number of clear instances of sexism I've faced with men who were my friends, or more. If I had to hate on every guy who showed himself to be a little bit sexist...well, God. I'd be very busy is what I'm saying. In those instances if I thought well of them I'd talk to them about it or if they were irrelevant to me, I'd be indifferent toward it, but I wouldn't take it to be precisely the same as misogyny, which seems to be similar to what is happening here.

We all have our little prejudices and it's unfair to pretend that that isn't true. A little breather is in order--this could be a bit more constructive a conversation if the sides hadn't become so polarized and I really think there's a lot more room for thoughtfulness and nuance.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 12:01 PM on January 4, 2010 [10 favorites]


Ah yes, telling the uppity faggot not to be pissed off at bigotry... that's not blaming the victim, hmm? Vitriol is deserved for bigots. They deserve to be shown exactly why they are wrong. dunkadunc appears incapable of understanding why he was wrong, which would be a shame if people like him didn't run the planet.

Yet again, see my first post in this thread. There's a great big clue there.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:02 PM on January 4, 2010


Bah, you know what? Fuck this nonsense. Metafilter is A-OK with homophobes, and is definitely A-OK with defending the homophobes when some silly faggot forgets his place and gets pissed off about it. I am, finally, done. My account is closed, and mods will not be reopening it.

Bye.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:04 PM on January 4, 2010 [17 favorites]


piling on a person getting upset about being assaulted and discouraging him from sharing his story is one of the grossest blame the victim games i've seen here.

The initial comment that provoked this was stereotypical, not representative of the larger community despite its implication otherwise, and therefore offensive on its own merits.

Calling this a "blame the victim" game is wrong, let alone calling it a "game". But, again, there is that element here on Metafilter that continues to believe that people being called out for offensive sentiments are martyrs. It's rather sad, really.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:04 PM on January 4, 2010


Eventually, I realized that not everything is about me

AZ-

Straight men are, as a whole, simply terrified of gay men treating them the way many of them treat women.

the majority of straight men hit on women in aggressive and innapropriate ways?


These are both *huge* generalizations. I can find them gross and wrong without "making it all about me" thank you very much.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 12:05 PM on January 4, 2010 [6 favorites]


I was waiting for that.

You know what, if you want to take the position of telling sympathetic moderators to go screw for daring to suggest you not act like a jerk, you can do that, but don't try to dress it up as some sort of bucking of systemic oppression or whatever the fuck. It's just you reserving the right to act like a jerk on the basis being upset about something. Asking people not to act like a jerk is part of my job here, even if I more or less agree with them about the motivating topic.

This is me telling you that, regardless of however much I may agree with you about the stuff you're upset about, you're being kind of a jerk, and that that sucks, and it'd be cool if you could find a way to argue your position without doing that. This is me trying to be relatively polite doing it a second time despite you flipping me the rhetorical bird for doing it the first time.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:05 PM on January 4, 2010 [41 favorites]


Astro Zombie: Yes, you're probably one of the good guys. But the discussion is not about you, and making it about yourself is derailing, not helping, the discussion.

This is not the rape thread. I acknowledge that some men can be aggressive and act inappropriately towards women and men. I was quite vocal in that other thread about the importance of allowing those who have been affected by such experiences to own their fear, experiences and anger without being summarily dismissed.

He said:

straight men get uncomfortable when gay men hit on them because it makes you realise how you treat women; you are suddenly being looked at--or pawed--like a piece of meat, something that you should be doing to a girl, dammit, not being on the receiving end of."

Please note: All straight men are being accused of a crime here by dirtynumbangelboy. He accuses all straight men who are made uncomfortable by an unwanted advance from a gay man of treating women badly. That unwavering assertion right there is the source of our derail. How is this different in any way from someone accusing all gay men of being predators? Both are bullshit stereotypes, and I think I have every right to call them both garbage.

There are other reasons why a straight guy might feel uncomfortable with an unwanted advance from a person of either sex, and I'm sorry, but that needs to be said.
posted by zarq at 12:07 PM on January 4, 2010 [11 favorites]


the majority of straight men hit on women in aggressive and innapropriate ways?

I didn't say that.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:07 PM on January 4, 2010


dirtynumbangelboy: "But woe betide anyone who gets pissed off by that bigotry. Plus ca change, Metafilter."

Listen: It's fine to get pissed off. Do you want to do something with that energy or would you prefer to stomp around? Right now, at this time, you seem to prefer being fighty and GRAR around to educating. You've taken a tone that says "only complete and immediate capitulation is acceptable to me" and nobody's going to do that.
posted by boo_radley at 12:08 PM on January 4, 2010


Oh my God, dirtynumbangelboy has quit Metafilter FOREVER!
posted by nanojath at 12:09 PM on January 4, 2010 [28 favorites]


Happy new year everybody!
posted by inigo2 at 12:10 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


What are you implying, inigo2?
posted by Mister_A at 12:11 PM on January 4, 2010 [9 favorites]


Some human beings are sexual predators. Some human beings are straight and some are gay and some are bi- and some are pan- (and some are a-sexual, but they're probably not sexual predators what with the whole asexuality and all).

The issue comes when you say "A stereotype is true because it happened to me." No one person is a statistically significant sample. If one man encounters some number of gay men who are sexual predators, that doesn't mean that the stereotype of gay-man-as-sexual-predator is validated in any way, because it doesn't a) assess the percentage of non-predatory gay men to predatory gay men, or b) assess the percentage of sexual predators who are gay men vs. straight men or lesbians or straight women or bisexuals of any gender, etc. etc.

So, yeah, there are gay men who are sexual predators. There are Irish people who are loud fighty drunks. There are Scots who are miserly and judgmental. That doesn't make the stereotypes okay as stereotypes.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:11 PM on January 4, 2010 [22 favorites]


Wow. I can only suspect dirtynumbangelboy was actually working on dunkadunc's behalf considering the way he completely derailed this thread with his burnout. I've never had to wipe spittle off the inside of a monitor before.
posted by cimbrog at 12:11 PM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


There are Irish people who are loud fighty drunks.

After I finish this glass of Jameson, you and I are stepping outside the bar for that one.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:12 PM on January 4, 2010 [7 favorites]


I've never had to wipe spittle off the inside of a monitor before.

In my case, I wish it were limited to spittle.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:13 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


For instance, generalizations about how "men" commit a lot of sexual assault are inevitably lauded.

Isn't that the generalization that dunkadunc is making? In his case the men happen to be gay, but it's all part of the same stereotype that men are sexually voracious.


I don't think it's the generalization he's making. He seems to be saying there's a particular problem with gay men doing this kind of thing. Gay men are not the same thing as all men, though obviously every gay man is also an example of the much larger group of all man.

We'd probably all agree that there's a special problem with men (not just gay men, but men in general) doing this kind of thing. Men do it a lot more than women. For instance, you (muddgirl) recounted a man doing it to you, and I'm sorry to hear that. It's the kind of thing that justifies making a generalized criticism of men for acting like that -- even though I, for instance, am a man and don't act like that.

Clearly, we do not all agree that there's a special problem with gay men doing this kind of thing. I don't know if gay men do it more than men in general. For all I know, they might do it more than men in general, or they might do it less than men in general, or it might be the same. Isn't that a legitimate open question? I don't see how discussing this can be "offensive" when it's not offensive to point out that men in general do it. It might be inaccurate, but the best response to inaccurate statements would be to calmly explain why they're not true, not to criticize the person making the generalization for being "offensive."
posted by Jaltcoh at 12:13 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


guys guys guys, can't we all just grab each other's crotches?
posted by The Whelk at 12:14 PM on January 4, 2010 [20 favorites]


Who had the 5th day of.the year for the first flameout of 2010?

(Not Flameoutist!)
posted by Ufez Jones at 12:14 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


For all I know, they might do it more than men in general, or they might do it less than men in general, or it might be the same. Isn't that a legitimate open question?

Maybe, but saying "It's true because it happened to me" isn't a way of looking at the issue in any meaningful way.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:15 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


That doesn't make the stereotypes okay as stereotypes.

Unless the ones being stereotyped are gay, in which case we blame them for the stereotyping!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:15 PM on January 4, 2010


Bah, you know what? Fuck this nonsense. Metafilter is A-OK with homophobes, and is definitely A-OK with defending the homophobes when some silly faggot forgets his place and gets pissed off about it. I am, finally, done. My account is closed, and mods will not be reopening it. Bye.

ZOMG WHO IS GOING TO MAKE THE BAGELS NOW!?!?!?1>1>?!!?
posted by slogger at 12:15 PM on January 4, 2010 [25 favorites]


Even if you are sometimes correct anecdotally (I go to a gay heavy gym so I have experienced it) 1. it's a sensitive issue because they have less rights than you or I, and the are already assaulted with ridiculous claims of predatory sexual behavior (see also: blacks lynched for "whistling at a white woman", blacks before 1964, and even today) and 2. fuck you.
posted by plexi at 12:15 PM on January 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


i agree with this: So, yeah, there are gay men who are sexual predators. There are Irish people who are loud fighty drunks. There are Scots who are miserly and judgmental. That doesn't make the stereotypes okay as stereotypes.

but my question is - and i think maybe the root at what the OP was getting at (again, worded very badly) - because there is a stereotype, does that mean that your fiction can never include drunk irish, gay predators, or mean pit bulls? i think the OP said it well when he said I think it's important to avoid over-done tropes, but it's unfair to have to avoid predatory gay men more than predatory straight men. Both of them happen, and when either character is just an empty shell then the author's using a cheap cop-out. And again, if all the baddies are gay then it's rather suspicious.
posted by nadawi at 12:15 PM on January 4, 2010 [8 favorites]


The way dunkadunc framed his anecdote was sloppy and it reads as homophobic. dnab is justified in his offense, but he made his own unfair generalization of how straight men treat women. I realize straight men are a privileged group and all, but the slur was totally uncalled for.
posted by rocket88 at 12:16 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Having DNAB snap at the slightest provocation and bitch you out is like when Old Man Thompson down the road told you kids to get the fuck off his lawn when you neared the edge of the sidewalk. He does it (or at least did up until a few minutes ago?) to everyone, don't take it personally.
posted by 0xFCAF at 12:16 PM on January 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


I don't really get why this isn't being fought out in-thread, given that this subject is germane to the FPP itself. It's not like it's a big giant derail in an AskMe.

You said something kinda dumb in a poorly worded way and offended a number of people. They felt individually assaulted and replied with a little heat. What to do you want to achieve by bringing this here? I have a feeling that the end result is going to be more people being more offended by what you said and responding with greater heat.

Also, this.
posted by desuetude at 12:17 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


piling on a person getting upset about being assaulted and discouraging him from sharing his story is one of the grossest blame the victim games i've seen here. his wording was charged, his point muddled, but if you go to the threads where girls share their stories of unwanted advances and assault, you'll notice similar tones from many.

Repeated for emphasis. There is a lot of truly sickening victim blaming going on in this thread.

Because if you want the benefit of the doubt about claiming to repeatedly get crotchpawed by the gays, then I want to see pics. And you had better look like Enver Gjokaj.

This is a fucking disgusting and horrible thing to say, regardless of whether you think dunkadunc is a bigot.
posted by Lobster Garden at 12:18 PM on January 4, 2010 [23 favorites]


dirtynumbangelboy: "Bah, you know what? Fuck this nonsense. Metafilter is A-OK with homophobes, and is definitely A-OK with defending the homophobes when some silly faggot forgets his place and gets pissed off about it. "

Huh. If that's what you took away from all this, then we probably weren't ever having a real discussion anyway. Good luck to you.
posted by boo_radley at 12:19 PM on January 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yes. Nobody should ever get pawed against their will. It's sexual assault, and we shouldn't tolerate it from anybody.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:19 PM on January 4, 2010 [13 favorites]


But woe betide anyone who gets pissed off by that bigotry. Plus ca change, Metafilter.

dnab honey, c'mon, there's a whole lot of visible queers and straight folks around here who jump on homophobic shit. Hence the initial reaction to dunkadunc's comment. No-one's suggesting that you or anyone pipe down and let bigotry stand. Just sayin' that you made your point fine the first couple of times, and when one person gets increasingly frustrated and fighty, it tends to spur more reactionary fightiness and it gets into personal-attackland and distracts from the issue.
posted by desuetude at 12:20 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Why should we pretend that women and men are proportionately represented among the ranks of sexual predators? They're not. Like, not just a little bit "not," but, like, way not.

Men are not an object of sexual interest to straight-male predators, so it's predictable that their personal experiences might lead them to the false belief that gay men have a particular tendency toward sexual predation. If they paid a little more attention to what happens to women on the streets and listened to the stories their women friends tell, that might help them see the real reason for the fact that their own stories of sexual predation almost all involve men.
posted by palliser at 12:21 PM on January 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


iwas18andwearingahoodiewhenablacktrannygrannylazilygropedmyjunkthuspreventingme fromstealingcandyfrombabiesofallcolorsandcreedsdoesthismakemeorthemabadpersonfilter
posted by WolfDaddy at 12:22 PM on January 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


Sidhedevil: I don't think he said "this stereotype is true because it happened to me" though. As I understood it, he said "well I can understand why this stereotype exists as these experiences right here [I believe he named three, but I forget] have made this idea more real to me".

Generally, I think saying someone is a gay predator is just the same as saying someone is a straight predator. They're both just qualities describing the person, no necessary or even probable causal relation is implied (by me, should I use them), and therefore I see no problem with using them both in the same line. Dark-haired, fat, smart, gay, independent, smelly, whatever - combine as you wish.
posted by Skyanth at 12:22 PM on January 4, 2010


I can't tell if my outrage at dirtynumbangelboy assuming he knows and understands the experience of women (all of the experience, all the women) is misplaced or in exactly the right place, and now I'll never get a chance to have a flamewar about it.

I appreciate the solidarity with us ladies (I think it was solidarity?) but it's not like women have a monopoly on feeling violated.
posted by oinopaponton at 12:23 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


nadawi, I think dunkadunc's statement contains its own answer: I think it's important to avoid over-done tropes, but it's unfair to have to avoid predatory gay men more than predatory straight men.

The reason one avoids "predatory gay man" is because it's an overdone trope, both in fiction and in cultural discourse. The only reason it's "unfair" to writers is because there's a real-world stereotype that's unfair to actual people.

I'm a bit reminded of Colson Whitehead's great bit in Sag Harbor about how the narrator and his friends were reluctant, as young black men in a largely white area, to walk down the street holding a watermelon. Watermelon is delicious but Whitehead's characters aren't naive enough to pretend it doesn't come with cultural baggage. Predatory gay characters might be delicious but I am not naive enough to pretend that I might not be playing into a homophobic stereotype by writing one without being incredibly careful about it.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:23 PM on January 4, 2010 [19 favorites]


This is a fucking disgusting and horrible thing to say, regardless of whether you think dunkadunc is a bigot.

I am completely serious about wanting to see what someone making bigoted statements looks like. Maybe there are facial characteristics that are typical of all people who make bigoted statements. I was not at all trying to call him an embellisher in an ironic fashion.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:24 PM on January 4, 2010


I am, finally, done. My account is closed, and mods will not be reopening it.

jesus christ, finally. it's amazing that, after all the years of flipping his shit, what finally gets dnab out the door is having to defend his right to call someone an asshat.
posted by shmegegge at 12:25 PM on January 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


A lot of things go over my head, either through misunderstanding or more realistically lack of concern and an expectation to treat everyone exactly the fucking same regardless of any traits. What I'm saying here is that I honestly didn't know about a "predatory gay man" stereotype, and I'm not sure how, within the confines of literature, I feel about saying that a predatory gay man shouldn't be written about because it acts on a stereotype.

MetaFilter is persistently interesting to me because of what things get people riled up. One one hand Dunk didn't do a great job saying what he meant, and this is a community with members who enjoy circling like sharks and ripping you apart sometimes. Then we get comments like the
"Straight men are, as a whole, simply terrified of gay men treating them the way many of them treat women" and the whole conversation goes to hell in handbasket.

I think that being non-racist, non-sexist, non-whatever means that you take it as a given that most people are a bunch of insufferable fucks but you do your best to be nice to everyone, and you try to make the world a better place, and you don't feel bad (because of their specific trait) when someone upsets you, because their insufferable-fuckness is unrelated to his or her gender, persuasion, sexual preference, nationality, etc.

You heard it here: Metafilter: a bunch of insufferable fucks.
posted by TomMelee at 12:26 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


oh, and also: dunkadunc, that comment was pretty shitty.

you know, if you're keeping a tally or anything.
posted by shmegegge at 12:27 PM on January 4, 2010


Sidhedevil: I don't think he said "this stereotype is true because it happened to me" though. As I understood it, he said "well I can understand why this stereotype exists as these experiences right here [I believe he named three, but I forget] have made this idea more real to me".

You seem to have restated what I said in slightly different words--he is saying that he understands why the stereotype exists, seeing as he had $num experiences of encountering gay men who were sexual predators.

dirtynumbangelboy had a good point in his first post by pointing out that stereotypes don't exist because there are humans who correspond to them--they exist for other, more complicated reasons. Again, I meet lots of drunk, fighty Irish people, but I also know that the reason for that stereotype is a complex history of a lot of sociocultural issues, not that "the Irish" are somehow inherently fighty drunks.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:27 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Bah, you know what? Fuck this nonsense. Metafilter is A-OK with homophobes, and is definitely A-OK with defending the homophobes when some silly faggot forgets his place and gets pissed off about it. I am, finally, done. My account is closed, and mods will not be reopening it.

Good luck finding a general interest community on the internet that is less okay with homophobes than Metafilter is.
posted by Caduceus at 12:28 PM on January 4, 2010 [19 favorites]


Good luck finding a general interest community on the internet that is less okay with homophobes than Metafilter is.

Ha!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:29 PM on January 4, 2010


Blazecock Pileon: "Maybe there are facial characteristics that are typical of all people who make bigoted statements."

Ahaha, what? I love you more every day, Blazecock.
posted by boo_radley at 12:29 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sidhedevil - while we each have our own wording and experiences to get us there, by my reading, you, me, and dunkadunc all agree that to write a character that includes behavior that is stereotypical, the utmost care must be taken to flesh out a full character and not just an empty shell of a stereotype.
posted by nadawi at 12:31 PM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Generally, I think saying someone is a gay predator is just the same as saying someone is a straight predator. They're both just qualities describing the person, no necessary or even probable causal relation is implied (by me, should I use them), and therefore I see no problem with using them both in the same line.

Some of us have been discussing something similar in what has become the "Jewish American Princess" MeTa thread. While I don't mean to cross the streams and combine contentious debates, there is an awful, disgusting, sexist stereotype which is currently being perpetuated by the GOP which says that gay people are somehow more likely to be sexual predators, deviants or pedophiles and those lies are used to justify why they shouldn't be allowed to get married or have children. It's an incredibly damaging bit of bigotry. In the same way that the word "Jewish" makes the term "JAP" offensive, so does labeling someone a "Gay" Predator.

Just because you don't intend to imply a causal relation doesn't mean it isn't there, and severely problematic.
posted by zarq at 12:31 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Good luck finding a general interest community on the internet that is less okay with homophobes than Metafilter is.

You know, gay people use the internet too. There’s a possibility that they even have their own forums and websites that are largely homophobe-free
posted by Think_Long at 12:32 PM on January 4, 2010


Had I known DNAB was such a fighty commenter, I probably wouldn't have taken things so hard and just cleaned my apartment.

>: The issue comes when you say "A stereotype is true because it happened to me."

And it's this assumption that I think is the crux of the matter, because that's not the point I was trying to make at all.
My original point was not that any stereotype was true because something happened to me, nor that "there's a particular problem with gay men doing this kind of thing". I was saying that the use of a predatory gay man in a work of fiction is not completely divorced from reality- it happens, just like predatory straight men, who also get depicted in fiction.
In no way was that to be construed as a blanket statement, nor is that carte blanche to write a whole slew of trashy airport paperbacks about evil packs of gay men prowling the streets with pink Berettas.
posted by dunkadunc at 12:33 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I am really, really sorry that you were assaulted, dunkadunc. I worked for a long time with victims of every level of sexual assault, and I know how difficult it is to experience that. The reaction you want to avoid is to hate on the traits of the perpetrator that have nothing to do with the assault. The perpetrator's race, creed, sexual orientation, disability, religion and gender are irrelevant. The problem with your comment is what dirtynumangelboy pointed out in his first response on this thread.

Speaking of phrasing, by the way, I wasn't taken with this:

if you go to the threads where girls share their stories of unwanted advances and assault, you'll notice similar tones from many

Um, girls? And what similar "boy" bashing tones have you noticed, in what comments, on what threads? Maybe you could try to referring to those of us who are female here as women, and cite to alleged examples.
posted by bearwife at 12:33 PM on January 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


Just saying there's a world of difference between thinking a stereotype true and acknowledging it exists. But if we're essentially saying the same thing, yay. Let's have a beer.

Also: I am Belgian, and sometimes a villainess, and if anyone wants to write an original post-WWI novel about me (possibly also featuring my nan) I would love that.
posted by Skyanth at 12:33 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


TomMelee - the beautiful thing about the internet is that, if you find yourself ignorant about any topic, information is right at your fingertips. The Depraved Bisexual at TV Tropes. I think the Film section of the Depraved Homosexual entry is particularly enlightening for those who are unaware of the stereotype. Heck, just start at the top of the Queer as Tropes list and work your way down.

Of course, being a trope doesn't automatically make it untrue, but it certainly makes it a suspected class of character shorthand that should be scrutinized before use.
posted by muddgirl at 12:34 PM on January 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


I am completely serious about wanting to see what someone making bigoted statements looks like.

Your original statement is disturbingly similar to someone telling a female rape victim "You deserved it for being too pretty" or "You're so ugly, no one would ever want to rape you." A person does not have to be attractive to be assaulted. They have to be in the presence of a sexual predator.
posted by Lobster Garden at 12:35 PM on January 4, 2010 [16 favorites]


Maybe I shouldn't mind what Internet Strangers say about me...

You really should try working on that. Seriously. In the heat of such feelings, consider pulling away from a thread, MeFi and/or your computer for a while. In the end it's not worth getting so worked up about discussion/debate online.
posted by ericb at 12:35 PM on January 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


zarq: there is an awful, disgusting, sexist stereotype which is currently being perpetuated by the GOP which says that gay people are somehow more likely to be sexual predators, deviants or pedophiles and those lies are used to justify why they shouldn't be allowed to get married or have children

That's disgusting, but as I live in the Netherlands this is not a consideration that crosses my mind a lot. Maybe I should be more mindful of it when discussing these things with American people though; good point.
posted by Skyanth at 12:36 PM on January 4, 2010


Vitriol is deserved for bigots. They deserve to be shown exactly why they are wrong.

There's a difference between showing someone why they are wrong and spewing vitriol at someone who is wrong. The two can never go hand in hand.
posted by mpbx at 12:36 PM on January 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


[T]here is an awful, disgusting, sexist stereotype which is currently being perpetuated by the GOP which says that gay people are somehow more likely to be sexual predators, deviants or pedophiles and those lies are used to justify why they shouldn't be allowed to get married or have children. It's an incredibly damaging bit of bigotry.

Elements of the GOP and Metafilter aren't the only ones comfortable expressing that kind of stereotyping. For fun, I looked at Horatio Alger's wiki page this morning, because I couldn't remember if he was a fictional character or an actual writer. It turns out he was a real human being, after all, but he was also grouped in with Wikipedia's "LGBT Writers" group by virtue of being sexually attracted to children. So this stuff is as common as it is offensive.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:38 PM on January 4, 2010


That's disgusting, but as I live in the Netherlands this is not a consideration that crosses my mind a lot. Maybe I should be more mindful of it when discussing these things with American people though; good point.

No, I'm in the wrong here. I shouldn't have assumed you were American. Sorry.
posted by zarq at 12:39 PM on January 4, 2010


Thanks, dunkadunc, for further unpacking the point you had intended.

I was saying that the use of a predatory gay man in a work of fiction is not completely divorced from reality--it happens, just like predatory straight men, who also get depicted in fiction.

Yes. But the thing is that fiction is not completely divorced from stereotypes, either. Fiction has to make sense in a way that reality does not, and one of the ways humans make sense of the world is through stereotypes. Thus, when one is writing fiction, one has to take extra care in avoiding stereotypes that actually exist.

Nobody is suggesting that there are no predatory gay men, no parsimonious Scotsmen, no fighty drunk Irishmen, no black people who love watermelon. The point--and I didn't think the article cited in that post on the blue made it particularly well--is that when you're writing, you have to correct for the power of the stereotype.

Is that unfair? Well, yeah. But the unfairness is in the stereotyping in the first place. If there weren't stereotyping, there wouldn't be any need to correct for stereotyping.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:40 PM on January 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


Anyone know the current count on dirtynumbangelboy flameouts? I might make my over-under.
posted by found missing at 12:43 PM on January 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


I honestly had never heard of the "gay predator" stereotype, at least not in this context. I'm familiar with "teh gheys are gonna rape your Cub Scouts", but that is more about the stupid homosexual/pedophilia set of lies. Has this been around long and I've just completely missed it or or is a recent development that I can be excused for being unaware of?
posted by cimbrog at 12:43 PM on January 4, 2010


BTW -- how do you know it's a gay man who has grabbed your crotch?
posted by ericb at 12:43 PM on January 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


Skyanth, I am free to make you a villainess now, because the Belgians are doing just fine...

In fact...

[Harp music]
The air was redolent of brussels sprouts and frites with mayonnaise. Skyanth walked in and grabbed my package.

"Hey!" I shouted from across the room. "Make sure that gets to Antwerp by tomorrow, OK?"

"Sure thing, bub," Skyanth said smirkingly. Then she did that fake gun thing with her fingers. I hate that.

"I hate that," I told Skyanth.

She squeezed the package retributively and without mercy, possibly damaging the Hummel figurines and Thomas Kinkade sketches secreted therein.

~Fin~
posted by Mister_A at 12:44 PM on January 4, 2010 [13 favorites]


Your original statement is disturbingly similar...

Sarcasm can be difficult to interprete over the Internet. I'll try to remember to add "/sarcasm" next time.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:44 PM on January 4, 2010


um - i'm female too. i use girl/boy/woman/man/dude/chick interchangeably. sorry i didn't go over my comment with a fine tooth comb. to me girl=female=woman=lady=dudette.

and i tried searching metafilter for 5 minutes or so before i got bored - the threads i was thinking of were the "so what are you reading" on mefi, the corresponding metatalk thread, and the ask.me thread from about the same time where (i think) a guy was trying to figure out how to talk to women (maybe?). but really, any thread where assault is a central topic, you'll find some women/ladies/chicks/dudettes who have anger at their attacker that spills out into sloppy wording. this isn't every woman. this isn't every thread. but it is something that happens. hell, i think i've been guilty of it.

(as an aside, i find it so strange that i often "read as male" by a large part of the internet - i wonder if it is based on a sometimes muddy gender identity, aligning as butch with women, having two brothers and trying to be part of their club, or having a much larger percentage of male friends than female friends.)
posted by nadawi at 12:44 PM on January 4, 2010


1. Person says something questionably idiotic.
2. Incineration ensues.
3. Person thinks they're right, so they bring it to MetaTalk, where cooler heads will clearly prevail.
4. Unicorns bearing cheeseburgers appear. They also have ATM machines instead of buttcracks.
posted by Plutor at 12:45 PM on January 4, 2010 [18 favorites]


I sympathize. It used to be that when people would point out that a lot of men commit rape, I felt like I needed to jump in and say, well, I don't. When people would say that a lot of whites are racist, I would say, hey, wait, not me. Eventually, I realized that not everything is about me, and unless I myself was being specifically accused of these things, there was no real reason for me to get defensive, and a lot of reasons for me not to do so.

I can't speak for zarq, but my reaction was less "Hey I don't hit on women" (which you are correct is a common and unhelpful reaction in these kinds of threads) and more "Getting hit on or groped is crappy because it is uncomfortable/awkward/a violation/scary/etc., not because I have hetero-guilt for all of the bad things that straight men do." DNAB's argument would be similar to arguing that white people wouldn't like being the targets of racism because it would make them feel guilty for all of the racist things white people do, rather than because being the target of racism sucks.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:46 PM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


BTW -- how do you know it's a gay man who has grabbed your crotch?

How could a gay male possibly resist? /sarcasm
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:46 PM on January 4, 2010


I realized I need to apologize for my upthread comment which invoked the trope of an old man yelling at kids to get off his lawn. Senior citizens are valued members of our community, and while some may be prone to be overprotective of their lawns, I in no way meant to generalize that age group. I'm working with the AARP to incorporate some more diverse and representative elderly characters in to my next comment.

Sneak preview: On a very special episode of 0xFCAF's comments, Old Man Thompson gets hooked on caffeine pills. He's so excited... so excited... so excited... so scared
posted by 0xFCAF at 12:46 PM on January 4, 2010 [15 favorites]


Well, at least we all agree on one thing: all men, regardless of sexual orientation, are sexual predators.

or did I miss the point? oops
posted by davejay at 12:47 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


BTW -- how do you know it's a gay man who has grabbed your crotch?

His shoes.

zing!
posted by davejay at 12:47 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've never had to wipe spittle off the inside of a monitor before.

Call the Star Wars prequels "good" I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU!!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:48 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know, gay people use the internet too. There’s a possibility that they even have their own forums and websites that are largely homophobe-free

I don't want to start a sub-fight in this already incredibly fighty thread, but I think if an online community is based around gay people, it is by definition not a general interest community.
posted by Caduceus at 12:49 PM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


>: And you had better look like Enver Gjokaj.

I actually look like Toki Wartooth, but taller and more striking.
posted by dunkadunc at 12:50 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sarcasm can be difficult to interprete over the Internet.

Aw, shit. Totally didn't catch that it was sarcasm. Sorry.
posted by Lobster Garden at 12:50 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Plutor: "They also have ATM machines instead of buttcracks."

I'm not putting my credit card in that.
posted by boo_radley at 12:50 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


It turns out he was a real human being, after all, but he was also grouped in with Wikipedia's "LGBT Writers" group by virtue of being sexually attracted to children.

Huh? Was there any evidence he was attracted to girls (or women, for that matter)?
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 12:51 PM on January 4, 2010


My original point was not that any stereotype was true because something happened to me, nor that "there's a particular problem with gay men doing this kind of thing". I was saying that the use of a predatory gay man in a work of fiction is not completely divorced from reality- it happens, just like predatory straight men, who also get depicted in fiction.

If you didn't mean that there's any particular problem with gay men acting like this, and all you meant was that men of all sexual leanings tend to act like this, then you could have put this in a much clearer and less inflammatory way in the first place. That probably wouldn't have raised anyone's ire, and we could have avoided this whole MeTa thread.
posted by Jaltcoh at 12:55 PM on January 4, 2010


Huh? Was there any evidence he was attracted to girls (or women, for that matter)?

Being a pedophile is different from being straight or gay. An adult man who is attracted to boy children is a pedophile with male targets, not a gay man; an adult man who is attracted to girl children is a pedophile with female targets, not a straight man; an adult woman who is attracted to girl children is a pedophile with female targets, not a lesbian; an adult woman who is attracted to boy children is a pedophile with male targets, not a straight woman.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:56 PM on January 4, 2010 [9 favorites]


Huh? Was there any evidence he was attracted to girls (or women, for that matter)?

I would ask if it really matters. Associating child molesters with GLBT folks is offensive, regardless, for the same reason that vaguely exclusive associations of sexually predatory behavior with GLBT folks are also offensive.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:57 PM on January 4, 2010


then you could have put this in a much clearer and less inflammatory way in the first place. That probably wouldn't have raised anyone's ire, and we could have avoided this whole MeTa thread.

Yeah, or people could have refrained from being reactionary jacka^H^H^H^H^H^H meanies. You're saying, in effect, that it's not okay for him to make people angry because those people are vitriolic when angry. Forwarding that proposition is a hostile act on your part, and really not okay behavior.
posted by jock@law at 1:01 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Being a pedophile is different from being straight or gay.

Exactly.

BP, do you have a url to that page? I have a wikipedia account (unused for years) and would like to change the reference. There's no mention of his sexual orientation other than pedastery on his main bio page, but the referral page can and should be altered.
posted by zarq at 1:01 PM on January 4, 2010


I already edited out the group association.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:03 PM on January 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


I can't speak for zarq, but my reaction was less "Hey I don't hit on women" (which you are correct is a common and unhelpful reaction in these kinds of threads) and more "Getting hit on or groped is crappy because it is uncomfortable/awkward/a violation/scary/etc., not because I have hetero-guilt for all of the bad things that straight men do."

This was more along the lines of what I meant to convey. And should have said.
posted by zarq at 1:03 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sorry.

No problem.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:03 PM on January 4, 2010


I already edited out the group association.

Good. Thank you. Nice work.
posted by zarq at 1:04 PM on January 4, 2010



dnab, I'm sympathetic to your underlying concerns and clearly this is a hot-button issue for you, but your over-the-top hostility seems completely unjustified given that at worst it seems like a case of poor phrasing on the part of dunkadunc. in any event, it's not the first time you've left in a huff, so i thoroughly expect (and hope) you come back again when you've had some time to cool off.
posted by modernnomad at 1:08 PM on January 4, 2010


The simple solution here is to ban fiction.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:12 PM on January 4, 2010 [10 favorites]


I believe you may need to do some research on confirmation bias.
posted by theora55 at 1:13 PM on January 4, 2010


A simpler solution, perhaps, is to think about one's prejudices before typing.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:13 PM on January 4, 2010


In any event, it's not the first time you've left in a huff, so i thoroughly expect (and hope) you come back again when you've had some time to cool off.

I was gonna ask.... I remember that MeFi thread, but not the MeTa flameout it spawned.
posted by zarq at 1:14 PM on January 4, 2010


I was saying that the use of a predatory gay man in a work of fiction is not completely divorced from reality

There are actual pregnant lesbians, too, but it doesn't mean it's not a totally overused plot device. Did you even read the somewhat boring, preaching-to-the-choir article that was the subject of the post?

Speaking for killer bisexuals, I'd really like to not be so judged on just the murdering thing! I also mesmerize your men with the promise of girl-on-girl action and ruin your women by insisting on their inalienable right to oral sex!
posted by desuetude at 1:17 PM on January 4, 2010 [13 favorites]


Being a pedophile is different from being straight or gay. An adult man who is attracted to boy children is a pedophile with male targets

If he's generally understood to have been attracted solely to (male) children, I see the point. Most references to the Brewster scandal I can find describe the victims as "teenage boys". Is there much known about his relationships in later life?
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 1:18 PM on January 4, 2010


>: Did you even read the somewhat boring, preaching-to-the-choir article that was the subject of the post?

Yes, I did actually. Of course it was preaching to the choir but I actually found it rather funny and engaging.
On a not-quite-related note, I wish more people would read through the threads before posting here.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:21 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


person: Something bad happened to me. It made me understand mistrust and negative portrayal of certain people.
other persons: That's not a good reason for you to mistrust all those people.
more persons: You should feel bad for mistrusting all those people.
still more persons: The bad thing was probably all in your head anyway.

All these people get failing marks in practical communication and telepathy.
posted by zennie at 1:22 PM on January 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


> I realized I need to apologize for my upthread comment which invoked the trope of an old man yelling at kids to get off his lawn. Senior citizens are valued members of our community, and while some may be prone to be overprotective of their lawns, I in no way meant to generalize that age group.

I am a member of AARP and I'm telling you: get off my lawn!
posted by languagehat at 1:22 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Preaching to the choir"?

What on earth do priests and choirboys have to do with predatory gay sex?
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:24 PM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Being a pedophile is different from being straight or gay.

To be completely thorough, being a pedophile is also different from being a pederast; it appears Alger preyed upon adolescent boys.
posted by palliser at 1:30 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


>: What on earth do priests and choirboys have to do with predatory gay sex?

In high school, I once suggested that there might be something weird about the Catholic church that somehow led to priests abusing kids. The teacher didn't agree and later, during deliberations over which two students would get full 4-year scholarships to my current university, used my statement to argue that I hated catholics and that giving me the scholarship (which other teachers were arguing for) would be a bad idea because I was a "bad example" for other students.
Between then and the time I found about about that, I starred in a promotional video for my high school in which I said some rather nice things about her.
They ended up giving the scholarship to the girl who she was rooting for, who wasn't even planning on going to my university.
Lesson? Some people will wildly, willfully misinterpret things you say, and it can come back to bite you.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:34 PM on January 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


Some people will wildly, willfully misinterpret things you say, and it can come back to bite you.

You're not a martyr, here.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:35 PM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


But I am!
posted by Meatbomb at 1:39 PM on January 4, 2010


>: You're not a martyr, here.

Sometimes I feel a little annoyed that she misconstrued my words to give the scholarship to someone who never used it, but no. It would have saved me $20,000 in debt, but life goes on.

Now I need a hug.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:44 PM on January 4, 2010


I have a total crush on this bartender at the neighborhood gay bar.
I was quite disappointed to find out that he was straight, but he's a good friend, and I come in on his shifts to support him, since he's newest bartender, and gets the crappiest shifts.

I have seen guys grab his crotch more than once in a single evening, and he's not the only person being groped by a long shot. The bar earns it's nickname of "cringes". It does happen repeatedly.

When the Hep-C poster wants to appeal to gay men to wrap it up first, they appeal to a sense of community responsibility. I'm not clear why we should give some bad apples in the gay-bar scene a pass on behavior that would get their ass kicked in a straight bar, especially when the rest of the bar just looks on and laughs when it happens.
posted by No1UKnow at 1:46 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


To be completely thorough, being a pedophile is also different from being a pederast; it appears Alger preyed upon adolescent boys.

I thought his victims were in the same age group as his heroes--9-13? I've only read one bio of Alger, though, so I may be misremembering.

Lesson? Some people will wildly, willfully misinterpret things you say, and it can come back to bite you.

Interesting, because the lesson I would have taken from that, as well as this thread, is "Be careful not to make statements that seem as though one is espousing hurtful stereotypes."
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:46 PM on January 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


Sometimes I feel a little annoyed that she misconstrued my words to give the scholarship to someone who never used it, but no.

How are you not getting that when you're discussing groups of humans who have a real and valid history of being discriminated against (Catholics in the US, gay men pretty much everywhere), you need to be more careful with your words than when discussing pie or songbirds or state capitals?
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:49 PM on January 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


Whoa! Keep pie out of this.
posted by found missing at 1:50 PM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Like priests not being allowed to marry?
posted by dunkadunc at 1:51 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


oh my god, man. no, catholics have actually been discriminated against in the US. you need to stop.
posted by shmegegge at 1:54 PM on January 4, 2010 [8 favorites]


Sometimes I feel a little annoyed that she misconstrued my words to give the scholarship to someone who never used it, but no. It would have saved me $20,000 in debt, but life goes on.

I was fairly convinced you were making an analogy with your feelings about some people's responses to your original comment and this thread, with your experience with the Catholic Church.

If you were making an analogy with how people have responded to your poorly-worded comment that provoked the thread that you opened up, then I'll reiterate that you are not a martyr and no one should be treating you as such.

If you are not making that analogy, then I apologize for assuming you made that analogy. In that case, if you are simply commenting on the Catholic Church alone, then I empathize with you about the cost of school.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:56 PM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Like priests not being allowed to marry?

Oh for fuck's sake. Try this for a little historical context.
posted by scody at 1:59 PM on January 4, 2010


"...evil packs of gay men prowling the streets with pink Berettas"

Finally! A great phrasing take-home summary; it rounds out the other two in my collection, "gay elf sex" & "When the leopards get unleashed, this may change."
posted by Tuesday After Lunch at 2:05 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


dunkadunc: "Like priests not being allowed to marry"

God damn man. It is time -- to reference what you wrote above -- to clean your apartment. If your apartment is clean, go clean somebody else's.
posted by boo_radley at 2:08 PM on January 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


>: Oh for fuck's sake.

That a life of celibacy is not an easy thing to uphold?
posted by dunkadunc at 2:11 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


as someone who gave you the benefit of the doubt and thought the piling on was unwarranted - i agree with boo_radley, go clean something. if your foot gets crammed in your mouth any harder i'm afraid that even a surgeon won't be able to remove it.
posted by nadawi at 2:14 PM on January 4, 2010 [7 favorites]


Can we switch flameouts and get dnab back?
posted by mediareport at 2:21 PM on January 4, 2010 [18 favorites]


dunkadunc, I wonder if there's a bit of ships-passing thing here, where

- you were trying to bring up priest celibacy as an example of your recalled discussion of Catholic structures you see producing sex abuse (i.e. you say "I once suggested that there might be something weird about the Catholic church", then you elaborate "Like priests not being allowed to marry?"), but

- other folks here thought you were trying to invoke priest celibacy as a high-water mark for how bad Catholics had ever had it in the US (i.e. they say "you're discussing groups of humans who have a real and valid history of being discriminated against (Catholics in the US...)", and you rebut "Like priests not being allowed to marry?")

Not that either of those discussions isn't plenty complicated on it's own, but I get this feeling it might be two different discussions being had by two different sides because of a miscommunication and not because you're actually discussing the same thing there.

Or not, correct me if I'm wrong.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:21 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


What. Apart from the whole whole discrimination debate, what weird thing about the Catholic church would somehow lead to priests abusing kids? The catholic "vibe"?
posted by Skyanth at 2:21 PM on January 4, 2010


dunkadunc, you seem to have a problem with what you say not being what you actually mean. There is one common element here, and it's not other people being against you.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:21 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


This leads me to suspect he's not really interested in discussing the issue of anti-Catholicism in good faith (ba-dum-bum).
posted by scody at 2:23 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


What. Apart from the whole whole discrimination debate, what weird thing about the Catholic church would somehow lead to priests abusing kids? The catholic "vibe"?

Doom cookies?
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:24 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


cortex: It's number 1: I was suggesting that not being allowed to marry might be a cause of abuse in the catholic church.

I'm going to tiptoe backwards very quietly now.
posted by dunkadunc at 2:25 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Doom cookies?

Delicious with trunk muffins, I hear!
posted by scody at 2:26 PM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


What. Apart from the whole whole discrimination debate, what weird thing about the Catholic church would somehow lead to priests abusing kids? The catholic "vibe"?

Several places have discussed how pedophiles admitted that they were attracted to the Catholic priesthood because either 1) it would give them access to children or 2) they hated themselves very much for their urges, and thought that the enforced celibacy would be a "refuge" from them.
posted by Melismata at 2:26 PM on January 4, 2010


I don't think it's so much "ships passing" as dunkadunc seems really unaware or misinformed about what causes people to sexually assault, molest, or rape other people.

Like, maybe dunkadunc thinks it has to do with horniness or sexual desire? And is unaware that it's really a factor of maintaining and asserting a power dynamic?
posted by muddgirl at 2:27 PM on January 4, 2010


It's number 1: I was suggesting that not being allowed to marry might be a cause of abuse in the catholic church.

And that's bullshit. People don't molest kids because they're horny for sex with adults.

Now, there is an issue around evaluating people's fitness for participating in a celibate clergy by unrealistic standards, which may screen out people who are honest about their wish to have sex with adults (esp. those of the same sex) but pass people who are dishonest about their wish to have sex with kids.

But that's another issue entirely. And the Roman Catholic Church isn't the only religious organization to have celibate religious, either.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:30 PM on January 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


Doom cookies and trunk muffins are what you feed your unleashed leopards, I believe. I read that on the internet, so it must be true.
posted by rtha at 2:30 PM on January 4, 2010


Note: "have sex with kids" was meant as the language pedophiles would use to describe themselves, not as my description of their actions.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:31 PM on January 4, 2010


Since the post is about writing gay characters realistically, what do you do about a character who has character traits that are often considered stereotypical?

A few things, and this is an actual thorny issue in writing:

1) As said above, balance it out. Don't write stereotypes or cliches, period. Make the character have an interesting motivation for his behavior, or make a speech explaining in so many words, "I know my behavior is bad but I feel justified because of X Y Z."

2) Balance it out. You can't really have one Jewish guy in your movie, and make him greedy, and say "oh but it's just an individual!" Of course there are greedy Jewish people, like there are greedy people of all races and religions. But if that is your only Jewish character and you make explicit note of his religion, that comes off as a blanket statement, or why did you mention his religion at all?

If you must have characters like this, you need to balance them with non-stereotypical members of the same group. Stories do need bad guys, and bad guys need to do bad things. But if the only Jewish/gay/black guy in your story is the bad guy, yeah, that's a problem.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:32 PM on January 4, 2010


... as dunkadunc seems really unaware or misinformed about what causes people to sexually assault, molest, or rape other people.

Like, maybe dunkadunc thinks it has to do with horniness or sexual desire? And is unaware that it's really a factor of maintaining and asserting a power dynamic?


Maybe I shouldn't even go there, but is there any scientific validation for this? I hesitate to ask, knowing we all stand on the precipice of derailment, but I rarely see this theory presented so forthrightly as fact.
posted by Bookhouse at 2:33 PM on January 4, 2010


Doom cookies?

Well, my Catholic mother is responsible for my addiction to these cookies, are entirely about corporate shilling and are the doom of both my principles and my waistline, as I cannot celebrate the holidays without eating most of a batch. They're especially extra good if you spread the chocolate all over the top of the cookie rather than following the serving suggestion.

posted by EvaDestruction at 2:34 PM on January 4, 2010


Several places have discussed how pedophiles admitted that they were attracted to the Catholic priesthood because either 1) it would give them access to children or 2) they hated themselves very much for their urges, and thought that the enforced celibacy would be a "refuge" from them.

Yeah but (and I know this is a bit simplistic), isn't that the same as saying there's something weird about wearing white sheets and a pointy hat that makes people want to burn crosses and kill black people?
posted by Skyanth at 2:34 PM on January 4, 2010


I just love a good flameout.
posted by everichon at 2:36 PM on January 4, 2010


This is a self-link, but I've recently been wondering whether contempt can ever be moral?
posted by anotherpanacea at 2:36 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


3) Don't use the phrase "balance it out" too much.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:37 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


(packs bowl, hugs duncadunc, avoids midsection with hands)
posted by jtron at 2:38 PM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Dear people of MetaFilter: Linking to that Onion article "Why Do All These Homosexuals Keep Sucking My Cock" in threads about homophobia is fucking tiresome. It's eleven years old, for christ's sake.
posted by the_bone at 2:39 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh, so close, I had January 5th as the date for the first flameout of twenty ten.
posted by fixedgear at 2:39 PM on January 4, 2010


And again, if all the baddies are gay then it's rather suspicious.

Unless they're from one of those gay SS squads.


oops. stereotype.
posted by philip-random at 2:41 PM on January 4, 2010


Dr. David Lisak seems to currently be the preeminent researcher in this field and this fact sheet is widely linked. Start on page 5 if you want the summary without the results. Of course his studies have focused mostly on rape perpetrated by males against females and against children.

If we look at the specific types of assault reported by zarq and others in this thread - a group of people "acting out" in a situation that they perceive has no consequences, it's easy to imagine that their actions are similar to bullies on a playground, with much more serious results. They don't seriously think that the straight man is secretly wishing to be harassed - they want to get a rise out of him and assert their superiority. There's little difference between a group of gay men harassing a straight man at a gay bar and a group of women harassing someone during a bachelorette party, except that straight men rarely feel threatened by a group of sexually aggressive women. The case of the bartender is unique in that this happened while he was at work, adding an extra layer of being unable to deny or reject their advances for fear of losing his job or tips.

(This is not to say that woman-perpetrated or straight-male-victim harassement isn't a very serious issue. I'm just trying to work out some thoughts in my own head about different motivations for harassment).
posted by muddgirl at 2:49 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Bookhouse - at least in my readings and discussions and groups about rape/molestation - i don't think i've ever heard it said to be anything but about power and violence. if you google rape is about power and then google rape is about sex, you'll find that a lot of the results for the second actually say "rape is about power, not sex". i can't point to a scientific study, but as far as i've seen anyone knowledgeable about the dynamics puts forth as fact that rape is a power game, not an attraction game.
posted by nadawi at 2:52 PM on January 4, 2010


it's really a factor of maintaining and asserting a power dynamic

This ^.

I've seen more heterosexual inter-gender power games (mostly by men, but have seen some done by women) involving crotch grabs, threats of forced sex, butt-touches while making appreciative noises, etc., than homosexual.

The question: How do you know the man was gay? (paraphrasing) pertains.

I'm sorry to see DNAB get so angry and lose the plot. He's a sweet thoughtful person who has bigger ups and down than most people. The challenges of those enormous ups and downs are large, and he usually copes pretty well. Sometimes he doesn't. I hope he comes back.
posted by reflecked at 2:54 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Bah, you know what? Fuck this nonsense. Metafilter is A-OK with homophobes, and is definitely A-OK with defending the homophobes when some silly faggot forgets his place and gets pissed off about it. I am, finally, done. My account is closed, and mods will not be reopening it.

Hasn't dirtynumbangelboy done this like five or six times?
posted by xmutex at 2:57 PM on January 4, 2010


he can be a bit of a drama monarch
posted by found missing at 3:00 PM on January 4, 2010 [9 favorites]


Thanks, muddgirl, I'll give that a read.
posted by Bookhouse at 3:06 PM on January 4, 2010


Maybe I shouldn't even go there, but is there any scientific validation for this? I hesitate to ask, knowing we all stand on the precipice of derailment, but I rarely see this theory presented so forthrightly as fact.

Yes.

Our understanding of the factors involved in child molestation have evolved rather drastically in the last 20 years. It is generally acknowledged that a power imbalance between adult abuser and the child being molested is part of the dynamic.

However, it's important to recognize that there are many factors involved, often including sexual desire. The APA and DSM IV recognize pedophilia as a paraphilia disorder involving children.

Additional reading: This is an interesting article about Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome, a working theory which was first presented in 1983, then adopted as an analysis tool by various legal authorities. It gives more info about what prosecutors look for in child abuse cases, and discusses the ways in which the theory can and has been misused since its introduction.

PDF slideshow breakdown of CSAAS. (Honestly, if you're going to read only one link from this comment, make it this one.)
posted by zarq at 3:06 PM on January 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


Metafilter is A-OK ... with defending the homophobes when some silly faggot forgets his place and gets pissed off about it.

Oh, that's nonsense. Because you definitely know where your place is.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:06 PM on January 4, 2010


No sooner do I figure out the "bagel" confusion than the knowledge becomes useless.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:06 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Thank you for posting Dr. Lisak's fact sheet muddgirl. I hadn't seen it before. What an excellent breakdown.
posted by zarq at 3:09 PM on January 4, 2010


Holy shit.
posted by gjc at 3:26 PM on January 4, 2010


What I think is really sad here is that dunkadunc made a good-faith effort here to say "Hey, a remark I made was questioned, let's talk about it" and dnab basically went "talk about it!? How dare you! I quit!".

dunkadunc put his reputation on the line and demonstrated genuine interest in understanding other people's opinions, and for this alone I feel he deserves our respect.

On the other hand, I understand that this subject hits close to home for dnab -- or actually I don't, because I'm not in his shoes. But I try to understand. I imagine that the world at large's apparent insistence not to accept you as a peer or as the person you are must be unfathomably depressing and frustrating.

But frustration can be voiced differently and more productively than through passive-aggressiveness and outright hostility, which I'm sure dnab agrees don't help anyone.

I feel for him though. But he's made it pretty hard on the rest of us to continue to humour his outbursts.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:26 PM on January 4, 2010 [14 favorites]


What an excellent breakdown.

We're all sort of thinking that.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:31 PM on January 4, 2010


Dear moderators: How many times will you entertain "Please reactivate my account" requests?
posted by boo_radley at 3:33 PM on January 4, 2010


I'm Chinese.
I'm going to tell you a joke.
I've urinated in your drink.
posted by Damn That Television at 3:39 PM on January 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


Man, stumbling into a flameout thread always feels like witnessing a particularly awkward family fight.

*covers ears, shuts eyes*

"STOP IT, ALL OF YOU! JUST STOP! Dirtynumbangelboy, you can come back now... Look, Grandma made pie..."
posted by functionequalsform at 3:40 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


……………./´¯/)
……………/…./
…………../…./
……../´¯/’..’/´¯¯`·¸
…../’/../…./……./¨¯\
…(’(…………. ¯~/’..’)
….\…………….’…../
…..’\'……………_.·´
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FUCK THE COLT'S
posted by Damn That Television at 3:48 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


How many times will you entertain "Please reactivate my account" requests?

I would hope it's as many times as folks would like to come back after leaving. Why do you ask?
posted by mediareport at 3:48 PM on January 4, 2010


I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along? Can we stop making it, making it horrible for the older people and the kids?...It’s just not right. It’s not right. It’s not, it’s not going to change anything. We’ll, we’ll get our justice....Please, we can get along here. We all can get along. I mean, we’re all stuck here for a while. Let’s try to work it out. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to work it out.
posted by flabdablet at 3:52 PM on January 4, 2010


Dear moderators: How many times will you entertain "Please reactivate my account" requests?

We have never had occasion to seriously contemplate a policy for it. It's very, very rare that there's an intersection between closing your own account, wanting to coming back, and not being welcome back, and as frustrating as dnab's fightiness can be at times this isn't a case that tests that.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:56 PM on January 4, 2010 [8 favorites]


It's number 1: I was suggesting that not being allowed to marry might be a cause of abuse in the catholic church.

And that's bullshit. People don't molest kids because they're horny for sex with adults.


I will give dunkadunc perhaps a bit of benefit of the doubt for making the for corelation/causation conflation as a highschooler. Unless he thinks that priests are molesting kids because they can't get married, in which case I return to my regularly scheduled GRAR stomp.
posted by desuetude at 4:00 PM on January 4, 2010


dunkadunc, you seem to have a problem with what you say not being what you actually mean. There is one common element here, and it's not other people being against you.

I have this problem too. That's why I'm a full time lurker.
posted by phelixshu at 4:00 PM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


So there can always be a Brand New Day, then?
posted by boo_radley at 4:01 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sun comes up again every morning, I figure.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:02 PM on January 4, 2010 [10 favorites]


Hey, you're alright.
posted by boo_radley at 4:03 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


fwiw, i'm straight and have had my crotch grabbed by a gay guy. but it was just that kind of party.
posted by empath at 4:07 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


nadawi: piling on a person getting upset about being assaulted and discouraging him from sharing his story is one of the grossest blame the victim games i've seen here. his wording was charged, his point muddled, but if you go to the threads where girls share their stories of unwanted advances and assault, you'll notice similar tones from many.

That is not blaming the victim. This is blaming the victim: "You had it coming because you were wearing that speedo." It's not discouraging people from sharing their stories; it's encouraging them to have a bit of a clue as to when their story is relevant.

It wasn't a thread about sexual assault. It wasn't a thread about gay men perpetrating sexual assault. It wasn't a thread about gay men perpetrating sexual assault on straight men. It was a thread about gay/lesbian/bisexual stereotypes in fiction, and what can or should be done about them.

If it had been a thread about sexual assault, gay men perpetrating sexual assault, or gay men perpetrating sexual assault on straight men, then the story would have been relevant. But it wasn't, and isn't.

Getting one's crotch groped does not give one license to chime in with, essentially, "Some of you really are aggressive perverts" whenever gay men complain about being stereotyped as aggressive perverts. Neither does having been cheated on by a bisexual grant license to drop "you people just can't be trusted" whenever the supposed intrinsic infidelity of bisexuals comes up.

If there were ever a discussion of the offensiveness of the You Gonna Get Raped meme, I'm fairly certain that women here would see the problem with "Grain of truth: I was raped by a black man."

All those things suck. All those stories have a time and a place. If your tale of woe or trauma actively reinforces the stereotypes under discussion, that thread isn't it.
posted by CKmtl at 4:23 PM on January 4, 2010 [8 favorites]


Well, my Catholic mother is responsible for my addiction to these cookies....

Am I a bad person for assuming that link would point to communion wafers? Or at least Necco wafers?
posted by stet at 4:28 PM on January 4, 2010


I said good day sir.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:33 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm sure this comment will get lost way down here, hell, I'm not even reading this far down in this terrible thread, but I want to say I'm really bummed to see dirtynumbangelboy go. He was a great member of this site - really thoughtful contributions to the front page and often excellent answers on AskMe. I more or less agreed with the points he was making in this thread and more or less disagreed with the agro-ness of how he was expressing it, but jesus christ am I ashamed to be part of a community where when a long-time member gets really hurt and angry and finally in desperation quits after having clearly invested a lot of love and time, the crowd rallies around to yell, "Good Riddance".

That's fucking ugly.

I'll miss you dirtynumbangelboy - you were one of the people here I always felt like I'd really connect with face to face.
posted by serazin at 4:36 PM on January 4, 2010 [12 favorites]


It was a thread about gay/lesbian/bisexual stereotypes in fiction, and what can or should be done about them. If it had been a thread about sexual assault, gay men perpetrating sexual assault, or gay men perpetrating sexual assault on straight men, then the story would have been relevant. But it wasn't, and isn't.

Yeah, because threads always stay on a single topic, and anybody at all can appoint themselves to declare what that topic is, and which tangents are non-kosher. And real-life anecdotes of sexual predation have nothing whatsoever to do with stereotypes of predators in fiction.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:39 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


the crowd rallies around to yell, "Good Riddance".

That's fucking ugly.


yeah, well maybe it's b/c it's the dirtynumbangelboywhocriedwolf
posted by found missing at 4:42 PM on January 4, 2010


CKmtl - are you suggesting that people should confine their stories and histories of assault until they reach a conversation discussing it? that if it were a thread about the stereotype of men with mustaches being child molesters then it would be out of bounds for people to chime in with "the guy that molested me had the worst molester-stache"? again, i don't support his wording or his tone. i think he said things sloppily (and his further inputs into this thread makes me think that he truly doesn't understand the way he comes off when he uses broad statements). but i won't get on board for keep your rape stories to yourself unless we, the general public, are ok with hearing them right now.

i understand your points and agree with some of them (for instance, this one - Getting one's crotch groped does not give one license to chime in with, essentially, "Some of you really are aggressive perverts" whenever gay men complain about being stereotyped as aggressive perverts.). however, saying that there's been no victim blame in this thread and the other one seems to me to be a fairly generous reading. unless you think suggesting that he either has to be totally hott or totally lying isn't victim blaming - or if you think that suggesting that he's only upset by it because Straight men are, as a whole, simply terrified of gay men treating them the way many of them treat women isn't fucked up.
posted by nadawi at 4:44 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I just think it's completely on-topic in a discussion of stereotypes, for people to chime in with anecdotes that support or deny those stereotypes, eg:

[Post about Korean BBQ, beer & karaoke]

A: "Hey, I knew some Koreans who were totally into drinking beers whilst eating BBQ, then going off to a karoaoke bar!"

B: "Yeah, but I knew some who didn't!"

A: "Well, it's just a stereotype, it isn't ever going to apply to all..."

B: "Maybe it's a stereotype of those who enjoy such things?"

C: "Well, that's a trivial truth, isn't it? What point is there in saying that X = X?"

D: [makes reference to Laurie Anderson]

E: [noting the Socratic dialogue unfolding, makes point about Platonic Forms]

F: "I could totally make short work of a Platonic Form of a cupcake!"

[further discussion of cupcakes ensues, along with jokes about stereotypical cupcakes, stereotypical eaters of cupcakes, etc etc]
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:58 PM on January 4, 2010


Some people prefer cupcakes exclusively. Personally, I care less for them.
posted by flabdablet at 5:13 PM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


I more or less agreed with the points he was making in this thread and more or less disagreed with the agro-ness of how he was expressing it, but jesus christ am I ashamed to be part of a community where when a long-time member gets really hurt and angry and finally in desperation quits after having clearly invested a lot of love and time, the crowd rallies around to yell, "Good Riddance".

I don't think anyone here said that. Did they? Did they tell him not to let the door hit him, or something similar?

For the record, I like him. He's witty, smart as hell, adds an awful lot to this place and I agree with his opinions far more often than not. I'd be truly bummed to see him go.

But apparently his history of angrily flouncing off the site and then returning has become an in joke around here, which even he has joked about. So now he's left in a huff and essentially said, "AND THIS TIME, I MEAN IT!" I bet most folks in this thread are pretty sure he'll be back sooner or later, and suspect that's why they're not begging him to stay.
posted by zarq at 5:15 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


... but jesus christ am I ashamed to be part of a community where when a long-time member gets really hurt and angry and finally in desperation quits after having clearly invested a lot of love and time, the crowd rallies around to yell, "Good Riddance".

Well, there was the part where he bitched out cortex for politely suggesting he tone it down. I like dnab too, but in terms of invested love and time, he has nothing on the mods.
posted by Ritchie at 5:20 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


nadawi, can you please explain again how gays and lesbians make up a protected class? As far as I can tell while living in the United States, I do not receive most of the same legal protections that women and ethnic minorities enjoy. I would be very interested to hear about these new rights I was not aware I had.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:24 PM on January 4, 2010


Well, my Catholic mother is responsible for my addiction to these cookies

I love those cookies too! Yet I can't eat them without remembering that my Catholic father, my Catholic godfather, and my Catholic father's Catholic business partner, as well as many of the other Catholic men I knew in twelve years of going to Catholic Mass and attending Catholic school in St. Mary's Roman Catholic Parish—they all called those cookies "n-word tits." And that does dim my enjoyment somewhat.

There might be something weird about the Catholic church that somehow led to white men raised in small towns in Texas during the mid-decades of the last century becoming racists.

And I did think about using the n-word itself, just to show they're not the boss of me or some such bullshit. But then I weighed that highly questionable benefit against the immediate klonk-in-the-chest of reading an ugly phrase that applies to me... well.

dunkadunc, if you want to talk about the idiotic celibacy requirement, fine. Ditto the stupid refusal to ordain women. Mega-dittoes for discussion of the shameful coverup of child sexual abuse. Throw in liberation theology and I'm right there with you. But it's lazy, cheap bullshit to blither out a mass (ha!) condemnation of the Roman Catholic Church and all its adherents, cafeteria or otherwise.

Think about what you write. Post a tenth of that.
posted by dogrose at 5:28 PM on January 4, 2010


Yet again, see my first post in this thread. There's a great big clue there.

Metafilter Presents : The Hardly Boys in .... Mystery of the Dirty Numb Angel Boy
posted by mannequito at 5:30 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Welcome to the Pleasuredome! Oh, wait that song just came up on iTunes shuffle. Cheers. Beers, wine and cocktails for all.
posted by ericb at 5:40 PM on January 4, 2010


blazecock pileon (eponysterical, btw)- i used the wrong word. i meant "generally discriminated class", and you're plenty smart enough to know that. if you want to get into a war of nit picking because your hackles are up, i'm simply not interested.
posted by nadawi at 5:44 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


they all called those cookies "n-word tits." And that does dim my enjoyment somewhat.

True. Why make the association in the first place, and then lame out by using a 'polite' euphemism?
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:45 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would love to read a tactful, well-thought-and-researched article on whether and how various stereotypes are used by actuaries in insurance and credit card companies. Does anyone know of one?
posted by potch at 5:46 PM on January 4, 2010


While flameouts are usually amusing, this isnt the first time that someone has left mefi because of homophobia.

Poster of this thread looks like a troll to me.

Has mefi ever banned anyone for homophobic statements ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:52 PM on January 4, 2010


FWIW - The majority of pedophiles are straight men.
posted by ericb at 5:57 PM on January 4, 2010


I pissed off cause I was gonna send him a birthday gift from France and now dirtynumbangelangelboy don't have mefite mail so I have to do it the SLOW way.

So there.
posted by The Whelk at 5:57 PM on January 4, 2010


This is a self-link, but I've recently been wondering whether contempt can ever be moral?

You say that you don't understand how emotions (principally disdain?) could ever be true; that makes most sense if you mean that it doesn't make sense to think of disdain as having a truth value. You worry about throwing out the baby with the bathwater: how, given this, do you account for the apparent connection between emotions and moral judgments?

Have you ever read D'Arms/Jacobson on emotions? On their view, emotions are best described as 'fitting' rather than right or wrong; there are standards of 'appropriateness' for emotions that are independent of moral judgments-for example, if we are playing tennis and you hit me in the nuts really hard with a tennis ball and I'm rolling around on the ground in pain, it might be appropriate to find that situation funny-it meets the standards for funniness-even though finding it funny might be immoral. Certain emotions, like guilt and shame, serve an important social role in structuring our moral discourse-like, if I steal something, then that might meet appropriate standards for feeling guilty, and that feeling might influence your moral behavior and moral discourse. (You probably have to be an internalist about moral motivation to make it work.) If you buy this, you can then say that disdain (suppose) is appropriate without either morally endorsing that sentiment or excising it from one's moral calculus altogether. This seems like it might be friendly to your intuitions. (This position shares some features with Gibbard's norm-expressivism, if you've ever read any of that.) "The Moralistic Fallacy" (2000) is the place to start with the D/J, though their view has been revised somewhat since then-in "Anthropocentrism and Human Value", I think? (D'Arms was my advisor, but I've been out of the game for almost two years now.)
posted by Kwine at 6:12 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I pissed off cause I was gonna send him a birthday gift from France and now dirtynumbangelangelboy don't have mefite mail so I have to do it the SLOW way.

Please let him know that there are folks here who want him to come back.
posted by ericb at 6:13 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Several places have discussed how pedophiles admitted that they were attracted to the Catholic priesthood because either 1) it would give them access to children or 2) they hated themselves very much for their urges, and thought that the enforced celibacy would be a "refuge" from them.

Two holes in this argument, however:

a) This is not an instance of celibacy causing pedophilia (or, to be more accurate, hebephilia), which was the argument at hand. This is a case of someone who already had those traits joining the church. Claiming that "some pedophiles join the church" is proof of "the church causes pedophilia" is like claiming that my deciding to stop eating turnips because they give me gas is proof that I can magically cause any food to become a gas-producing food simply by choosing to not eat it.

b) The church tests for this kind of thing now. I know someone who actually went into a seminary in the 1980's (he got to the point where he was about a month away from taking Holy Orders before he thought, "wait, I'm not sure I want to be a priest after all"), and he reported that before they even confirmed his acceptance into the seminary, they gave him a huge battery of psychological tests of every description - precisely because they wanted to screen out anyone who was not mentally and emotionally able to handle the priesthood. They re-tested people a couple times, too. And yes, screening for potential sexual misconduct was one of the tests.

The actual source of the abuse cases, to my mind (she said, deftly tying this back to the original issue) is more likely because of church leaders in the early part of the century not really knowing how to else handle abuse reports except for transferring priests to other parishes and saying "seriously, cut it out." But people in the secular world didn't really know how to handle abuse reports, largely because abuse wasn't reported as much, and when it was, there was a lot of misinformation and mis-directed blame flying around ("My daughter was molested! It must have been Sid, because Sid's gay, which means he's a freak, which means...!") All of which left a sad legacy of stereotypes, which more accurate information has only discounted comparatively recently.

In short: the only characteristic which influences whether someone is a sexual predator or not is whether they prey on people sexually. Their religion, sexual orientation, profession, gender, chromosomal makeup, shoe size, or ice cream preference is only incidental information.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:18 PM on January 4, 2010


screening for potential sexual misconduct was one of the tests

Hoo boy, I'd love to see the methodology for that test.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:29 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


nadawi: (Rearranging things a bit...)

however, saying that there's been no victim blame in this thread and the other one seems to me to be a fairly generous reading.

Chalk that up to a misread. I'd thought you meant that the very act of (rightfully, imo) piling on was an act blaming the victim. Piling on with victim-blaming stuff isn't cool.

if it were a thread about the stereotype of men with mustaches being child molesters then it would be out of bounds for people to chime in with "the guy that molested me had the worst molester-stache"?

When there's a lot of mustachioed men, and people who love them, talking about how much they hate that and other mustache stereotypes, or how such stereotypes have affected them, yes. Or, rather, the person should not be surprised if they catch flack from the mustache brigade.

are you suggesting that people should confine their stories and histories of assault until they reach a conversation discussing it? ... but i won't get on board for keep your rape stories to yourself unless we, the general public, are ok with hearing them right now.

What I'm suggesting in that vein is what's in the very last sentence of my comment.

I'm not saying: [Share rape/assault/crime/tragedy] IF-AND-ONLY-IF [thread about rape/assault/crime/tragedy]

I'm saying: IF [thread about group X stereotype re: r/a/c/t] THEN [not the time to share group X r/a/c/t story]

A thread about the perceived criminality of minority youths is not the time for me to relate how I was mugged by a couple of black teenagers, or how I was nearly stabbed by a Native kid.

A thread about racially skewed auto insurance costs is not the time for me to share how I was nearly backed over by an asian dude, or nearly run over by an Indian woman who sped through an intersection going the wrong way down a one-way street.

If I were to do those things, I would expect flack. Including some variation of "I don't mean to offend, but..." won't shield me much either.
posted by CKmtl at 6:38 PM on January 4, 2010


Am I the only one who always reads his name as dirtydumbbagelboy? I don't do it on purpose but something about the meter or scansion or (handwave) makes it happen.

Anyway, come back bagelboy! Come back! Except with less dickish-to-cortex behavior!
posted by Justinian at 6:42 PM on January 4, 2010


True. Why make the association in the first place, and then lame out by using a 'polite' euphemism?

Read more, please.
posted by dogrose at 6:43 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, yikes, UbuRoivas, that wasn't a funny story.
posted by palliser at 6:59 PM on January 4, 2010


Hold on everyone, I have* to get some popcorn.

Said like Howard Stern said "I love WNBC" in Private Parts. But seriously, I do have to get some popcorn so can everyone just hold on. For just a minute. I'll be right back. Swear. Kisses!

[pantomimes kiss, runs in a very masculine/not effeminate at all/impossible to detect but openly bisexual way for store]

posted by humannaire at 6:59 PM on January 4, 2010


sorry, that wasn't funny.

*heads off to do some work make own popcorn*
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:17 PM on January 4, 2010


All mefites use web browsers.
posted by purephase at 7:26 PM on January 4, 2010


As a straight guy I've had more uncomfortable experiences with drunk women making passes at me than I have with gay men making passes at me. I suspect alcohol is the key factor.
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:33 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


As a straight guy I've had more uncomfortable experiences gay men making passes at me than I have with drunk women making passes at me. I suspect, eh, let's just leave it there.
posted by unSane at 7:41 PM on January 4, 2010


I've had to deal with the crotch grabbing too. Not from drunk women.
posted by unSane at 7:42 PM on January 4, 2010


blazecock pileon (eponysterical, btw)- i used the wrong word. i meant "generally discriminated class", and you're plenty smart enough to know that. if you want to get into a war of nit picking because your hackles are up, i'm simply not interested.

This was so not obvious to anyone, even the smart people.
posted by desuetude at 7:47 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


zarq:Some most guys are just assholes.
posted by Mike Buechel at 7:58 PM on January 4, 2010


This whole thread makes me sad.
posted by kylej at 7:59 PM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


desuetude - i don't know how to help you with your contextual deduction issues.
posted by nadawi at 8:03 PM on January 4, 2010


blazecock pileon (eponysterical, btw)

How so? No one is piling on dunkadunc. I simply think his comment is questionable and I'm one of only of a very few who are saying why. That's not piling on, despite what you keep insinuating.

- i used the wrong word. i meant "generally discriminated class", and you're plenty smart enough to know that. if you want to get into a war of nit picking because your hackles are up, i'm simply not interested.

I'm not picking nits. You've made several passive-aggressive comments in my direction (re: victim blaming, in particular) and I'm calling you out on whether you and your bandwagon jumpers know what you're talking about. For one, your dismissiveness and inability to distinguish valid criticism from "piling on" leads me to believe you are not as capable as you think of understanding why dunkadunc's comment is problematic for gay folks.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:04 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


dirtynumbangelboy:

Take it from me; there's no shame in coming back. Wait a month, wait two months if you want - and when you come back, the only people that'll even remember this thread will probably be people who like you and are glad to have you back. You're upset about this right now, and frankly I don't blame you - I've been upset about similar shit on here lately, so you have my sympathy - but that doesn't mean you can never come back.

And just because you got upset enough that you declared you'd never want to come back - doesn't mean you wouldn't be welcome here. I've quit the site before, too - and what's more, I know cortex, and believe me, he's an easy-going guy, easy-going enough that, in the future, if you would like to come back and hang out with us again, he'll probably be pretty cool about it. He was just doing his job, you were just really pissed off at latent homophobia, water under the bridge, right?

I just want you to know: you're always welcome back here, regardless of anything that's been said.
posted by koeselitz at 8:04 PM on January 4, 2010 [39 favorites]


Blazecock Pileon - maybe we just define a pile on differently?

also - please don't use us vs them language with me wrt GLBT issues. i'm bisexual and take my position in that community very seriously.
posted by nadawi at 8:10 PM on January 4, 2010


Oh, what the hell:

Metafilter: We don't know how to help you with your contextual deduction issues.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 8:23 PM on January 4, 2010


Sidhedevil:Being a pedophile is different from being straight or gay.

How so? Because straight and gay people don't engage in role play like "Who's your daddy?" and "Mommy loves her little girl/boy?"

An adult man who is attracted to boy children is a pedophile with male targets, not a gay man; an adult man who is attracted to girl children is a pedophile with female targets, not a straight man; an adult woman who is attracted to girl children is a pedophile with female targets, not a lesbian; an adult woman who is attracted to boy children is a pedophile with male targets, not a straight woman.

Is "target" a diagnostic word?

"Preference for children as sex partners may not be exclusive, and more often than not, pedophiles have no gender preference in prepubescent children."

The disinformation, ignorance and prejudice on every side here astounds me.
posted by Mike Buechel at 8:23 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nauseated. It makes you feel nauseated. Nauseous materials make one feel nauseated.
/pedant pet peeve


Next time you feel like making a statement like that, you might want to make good and sure that you're actually right.
The two literal senses of nauseous, “causing nausea” (a nauseous smell) and “affected with nausea” (to feel nauseous), appear in English at almost the same time in the early 17th century, and both senses are in standard use at the present time. Nauseous is more common than nauseated in the sense “affected with nausea,” despite recent objections by those who imagine the sense to be new. In the sense “causing nausea,” either literally or figuratively, nauseating has become more common than nauseous: a nauseating smell.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:38 PM on January 4, 2010 [10 favorites]


... You'd take "Who's your daddy?" as an indication of actual pedophilic and/or incest tendencies?
posted by CKmtl at 8:47 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


How so? Because straight and gay people don't engage in role play like "Who's your daddy?" and "Mommy loves her little girl/boy?"

I'm not an expert, but I I'm pretty sure that is vastly different than pedophilia.
posted by kylej at 8:48 PM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Take it from me; there's no shame in coming back.

I totally agree. Sometimes leaving is the best thing one can do, either to prevent a head-explosion or just to make more room for the rest of your life. I've taken a few short vacations from MetaFilter; I even closed my account once. And the way everything continues, and no one notices one is gone, is a good reminder of one's place in the world.

More generally, I think that MeFi is going to keep having these brutal little convulsions over sexism, racism, and more for some time yet. The culture of the site is so clearly in flux; the old rules aren't working but there isn't a new structure to replace it fully in place. I wish there was a better, or at least easier, way to do this, that didn't make people whose contributions I enjoy feel the need to leave, and didn't create such stress for the moderators.

But honestly, even though I wish the mechanism for this change could be more gentle, I am really optimistic about the overall direction of the shifts in the culture of the site. It's not all teddy bears and unicorns -- but there's a growing ability to handle the raw growth without becoming a fetid pit of nastiness, either.
posted by Forktine at 8:55 PM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


desuetude - i don't know how to help you with your contextual deduction issues.

nadawi -- I don't know how to help you proofread, but don't blame those of us for misunderstanding you from reading the words that you actually use.
posted by desuetude at 9:05 PM on January 4, 2010 [10 favorites]


Sidhedevil:Being a pedophile is different from being straight or gay.

How so? Because straight and gay people don't engage in role play like "Who's your daddy?" and "Mommy loves her little girl/boy?"


Sexual. Role. Play. It's sexual (post-pubescent), role (as differentiated from a complete person), play (not real life.)
posted by desuetude at 9:13 PM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


... You'd take "Who's your daddy?" as an indication of actual pedophilic and/or incest tendencies?

Your question is so absurd, I really don't want to answer it. But here goes: If your role-play fantasies include having sex with your mother/father/son/daughter then, umm, yeah. There are probably some tendencies. [hit a nerve, eh?]

I'm not an expert, but I I'm pretty sure that is vastly different than pedophilia.

Differences, yes; vastly different, no.

sgt.serenity:Poster of this thread looks like a troll to me. Has mefi ever banned anyone for homophobic statements?

And there is the crux of this thread. Is dunkadunc a homophobic asshole? No, he is a person with sensitivity who expressed his thoughts and feelings with the rest of us. They are legitimate ideas and are an expression of his of experiences. No one needs share his ideas, but wtf, a lot of people here are being, what's the word? Jerks?
posted by Mike Buechel at 9:18 PM on January 4, 2010


is more likely because of church leaders in the early part of the century not really knowing how to else handle abuse reports except for transferring priests to other parishes and saying "seriously, cut it out." But people in the secular world didn't really know how to handle abuse reports

The cover-ups and shuffling around of pedophile priests remained an institutionalized response of the Catholic Church well into the "late part of the century" - so late that "not really knowing how to else handle abuse reports" is a pathetic excuse for their behavior. The above explanation is frankly shocking as an attempt to explain the cowardly, despicable, pedophile-sheltering behavior of Catholic leaders until nearly the end of the 20th century.
posted by mediareport at 9:24 PM on January 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


b) The church tests for this kind of thing now.

That was great, I really did laugh out loud. Just curious, is the church still shunning victims and families of victims?
posted by mlis at 9:27 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


EmpressCallipygos The actual source of the abuse cases, to my mind (she said, deftly tying this back to the original issue) is more likely because of church leaders in the early part of the century not really knowing how to else handle abuse reports except for transferring priests to other parishes and saying "seriously, cut it out."

That is a generous interpretation. There were priests that were identified as "unrepentant, manipulative and dangerous abusers" by the church leadership in the early 1950's.

Early Alarm for Church on Abusers in the Clergy

“We are amazed,” Father Fitzgerald wrote to a bishop in 1957, “to find how often a man who would be behind bars if he were not a priest is entrusted with the cura animarum,” meaning, the care of souls.
posted by mlis at 9:29 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Differences, yes; vastly different, no.

Um, nope. I'm pretty sure they're vast.

Pedophilia=sex with children (or at least wanting to)

Role-play=sex with fully consenting adults
posted by kylej at 9:30 PM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


koeselitz: "250Take it from me; there's no shame in coming back. Wait a month, wait two months if you want - and when you come back, the only people that'll even remember this thread will probably be people who like you and are glad to have you back."

What koeselitz said. Sure I would prefer you tone down the hostility in some cases, as I hope to have explained to some extent upthread. But yes, I too honestly value your contributions and I would sincerely like to see you back.

If you have to come back under a different username, may I suggest "shoutinglagerlagerlagerlagerlager"? It only seems natural. ;)

But regardless of all this I do wish you the best, dnab.

Sincerely: XO.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:31 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Role-play=sex with fully consenting adults

"...the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), adds another (controversial) criterion for diagnosing pedophilia. It includes, in its diagnostic definitional criteria, that the fantasies, urges, or behaviors " [Source]

But pedophilia doesn't have anything to do with the original thread, so why are we discussing it? Can we get back on topic please?
posted by Mike Buechel at 9:41 PM on January 4, 2010


Role-play=sex with fully consenting adults

Although I'm pretty sure when I dress a boy up as a policeman and have him handcuff me to the bed and read me the riot act, I actually want to have sex with a policemen but there just isn't on handy!
posted by crossoverman at 9:41 PM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Eh, I may be incorrect but I feel like the whole "mommy/daddy", "son/daughter" has more to do with a power dynamic rather than an attraction to children. The sex is still with adults, and I'm operating under the assumption that the participants are attracted to each other as adults, and the role playing is just to add another dimension to the bedroom.

If two people are having sex and one's thinking, "I wish this was actually a ten year old I'm having sex with!" then it's a completely different matter.
posted by kylej at 9:46 PM on January 4, 2010


“We are amazed,” Father Fitzgerald wrote to a bishop in 1957, “to find how often a man who would be behind bars if he were not a priest is entrusted with the cura animarum,”

Thanks for that, MLIS. Seriously, Empress, what on earth were you thinking with that stuff?
posted by mediareport at 9:53 PM on January 4, 2010


Skip the big old copy/pastes, Ubu.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:56 PM on January 4, 2010


I don't think I've ever had a gay man grab my crotch, and I'm in musical theater; I don't actually know anybody who has had their junk grabbed, out of the blue, by a gay man.

Well, I have had a gay man grab my ... well, my crotchal area, with obvious lascivious intent. He was, however, extremely drunk at the time. I did not attribute it to his gayness but to the alcohol content of his blood. Yes, even in the heat, as it were, of the moment.
posted by dhartung at 9:57 PM on January 4, 2010


But pedophilia doesn't have anything to do with the original thread, so why are we discussing it? Can we get back on topic please?

You're the one keeps bringing it up on the back of your bizarre definition of role-play fantasies being indicative of pedophilic intent. And you snipped that quote at a very convenient place.

Let's look at the whole thing, shall we?
The effective diagnosis and treatment of pedophilia is threatened by three key developments going into the new century. The 1994 (Fourth) edition of the professional therapists' bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), adds another (controversial) criterion for diagnosing pedophilia. It includes, in its diagnostic definitional criteria, that the fantasies, urges, or behaviors "...cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning." This latest definitional criterion has met with considerable resistance, due to the fact that so many pedophiles deny that their conduct is harmful. The denial serves to assuage any guilt, and therefore may significantly mask or otherwise repress any distress or impairment on the part of the perpetrator.
This isn't saying we can find pedophiles from people who have "who's your daddy" fantasies, but that a pedophiles fantasies can be seen to cause distress or impairment in the pedophile - and treatment based on this can be difficult because pedophiles mask this distress. It has absolutely nothing to do with your ridiculous hypothesis.
posted by crossoverman at 10:06 PM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


But pedophilia doesn't have anything to do with the original thread, so why are we discussing it?

Because this thread is about stereotypes about gay people, and why those stereotypes are false and damaging and should be avoided, whether on Metafilter or anywhere else.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:11 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'll dress somebody up like they're in the SS, but it doesn't mean I actually want to have sex with a Nazi.

Too much information?
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:17 PM on January 4, 2010


When the mods came for the Riot Act,
I remained silent;
I was not a Riot Act.

When they deleted the Treaty of Westphalia,
I remained silent;
I was not a Treaty of Westphalia.

When they came for the entire Carlos Santana guitar solo, transcribed as musical notation into ASCII art,
I did not speak out;
I had fallen asleep by the third bar.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:18 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


The disinformation, ignorance and prejudice on every side here astounds me.

Are you sure you haven't brought some of your own to the table? First, you take issue with the statement that " [b]eing a pedophile is different from being straight or gay." Then, you provide a quote that seems to support the position that ... being a pedophile is different from being straight or gay:
... more often than not, pedophiles have no gender preference in prepubescent children.
One of these things is not like the other.
posted by me & my monkey at 10:18 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


You're the one keeps bringing it up on the back of your bizarre definition of role-play fantasies

I'm not the one who introduced the pedophile angle.

It has absolutely nothing to do with your ridiculous hypothesis.

And my hypothesis is what? That adults who engage in adult/child or parent/offspring role-play between adults have no inclination of or tendencies to pedophilia? Your full quote doesn't refute the hypothesis.

Please think for a few moments. The role-play is daddy and daughter. Or mother and son. Or any combination you want to come up with. Are you really asserting there is no correlation with pedophilic desires?

As I said in a few comments above this, let's stop the pedophilia derail. If you or others want to discuss this further, pm me.
posted by Mike Buechel at 10:35 PM on January 4, 2010


sorry, that wasn't funny.

I take it back.
posted by humannaire at 10:36 PM on January 4, 2010


Are you sure you haven't brought some of your own to the table? First, you take issue with the statement that " [b]eing a pedophile is different from being straight or gay."

You're right. You got me. I didn't mean to imply that being straight or gay was the same as being a pedophile. Nor did I mean that being a zoophile was the same as being a necrophiliac. Huge distinction between those and thanks for pointing it out.
posted by Mike Buechel at 10:44 PM on January 4, 2010


Okay, I have to call it quits. It's been hours scouring this thread and it justs gets trashier and trashier. I have to go to bed.

And I ate three bags of popcorn. Blech.
posted by humannaire at 10:57 PM on January 4, 2010


Please think for a few moments. The role-play is daddy and daughter. Or mother and son. Or any combination you want to come up with. Are you really asserting there is no correlation with pedophilic desires?

Yup. No correlation. (Good lord, this isn't even my kink and I'm defending it.)

People fantasize about all kinds of power dynamics and situations that have absolutely nothing to do with what they would want (or get off on) in real life. It's a little like dreams; the fantasies are emblematic, not literal.
posted by desuetude at 11:03 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


And I'm not even halfway through. I haven't even gotten to the pedo derail yet!

(Well, kind of. I got lost in the Blazecock's bomb about Horatio Alger being a predator. That completely gave me a mental somersault. After googling on the subject for twenty minutes, I even had to post that one on my Facebook page.)
posted by humannaire at 11:08 PM on January 4, 2010


When they came for the entire Carlos Santana guitar solo, transcribed as musical notation into ASCII art,
I did not speak out;
I had fallen asleep by the third bar.


Oh. I see now. Funny means something different than what you think it means.
posted by humannaire at 11:12 PM on January 4, 2010


...must...escape...gravity...of thread...
posted by humannaire at 11:14 PM on January 4, 2010


wow. this thread took a bizarre turn during dinner.
posted by nadawi at 11:41 PM on January 4, 2010


I haven't read this thread yet, but I will say that it reminded me of the only time that I've woken up with a man's hand in my underpants, which was an occasion for me of no small hilarity and bemusement, for what it's worth.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:54 PM on January 4, 2010


Funny means something different than what you think it means.

It's not a clown dying of a heart attack, but landing with his hand down an audience member's underpants?
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:16 AM on January 5, 2010


Astro Zombie: I'll dress somebody up like they're in the SS, but it doesn't mean I actually want to have sex with a Nazi.

Too much information?


Not nearly enough information! Details plz, pics if available.
posted by eatyourcellphone at 1:41 AM on January 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've never been groped by a man. One time though I was at a bar in the 16th and Mission neighborhood in about 1990 and a man offered me "all the coke I could snort if he could lick me up one side and down the other". What he could not have known was the lifestyle I led growing up in the late 70's.

The poor fellow found himself unable to continue to fulfill his end of the bargain before he got to my knee.
posted by vapidave at 2:30 AM on January 5, 2010 [7 favorites]


I'm usually not one for flip answers that could be interpreted as an insulting reply, but.

Why Do All These Homosexuals Keep Sucking My Cock? (The Onion)
posted by kalessin at 4:51 AM on January 5, 2010


This starts about homophobia and then takes a sharp turn to pedophilia city? It's like CHRISTMAS! In January!

Actually, I do have something "relevant" to say about pedophilia and priests: I saw a documentary a long time ago (like, five years ago, bare minimum) about sexuality and the clergy - talking about both priests and nuns. It did cover the pedophilia angle, and the hypothesis, which was very thoughtfully presented, was that anyone (man OR woman) who enters a life of celibacy in late adolescence (this was of course mostly focusing on those who entered the clergy after graduating from traditional secondary education, so we're talking being "in the church" from age 17-18 onward, some even younger - I recall interviews with 16 year old boys who were considering the priesthood) doesn't have a chance to fully develop their own sexuality. Add to that being repressed - not just not allowed to marry, but not allowed to have any kind of sexual life whatsoever, to have sexual thought itself be considered abberant - leads to some weird stuff happening.

Some of those priests had affairs with adult female parishoners, which isn't really all "that bad" and was usually covered up pretty well, being that both parties were adults and could maintain a certain amount of secrecy. This particular form of clergy sexuality is pretty old, since like, the dawn of time. (Or rather, the dawn of priests being required to take a vow of celibacy.)

A few others just got SO WACKED OUT that they didn't develop in any kind of normal way at all. And the theory as to why some of them went to experimenting with children is that since everything was "off limits" it seemed just as sinful to go all the way into weirdo-land as to commit the more "normal" crime of having an affair with an adult. Not that this was thought through consciously, but rather that having it emphasized so many times that they couldn't have sex with adult women, they internalized the message and their sexual drives sought other avenues, which are less accepted in the non-clergy world, but to a priest is just "as sinful" as "normal" sex.

I don't know if it's true or not, but it was a really interesting documentary to watch and I wish I could remember the name of it because it said this way better than I just did. Again, I'm not asserting that this is 100% TRUFAX, but rather that it's a point of view that I came across that I think is an interesting way to think about the problem of priests being associated with pedophilia. It would be interesting to see what sexuality in the priesthood would look like if they weren't required to be celibate, but that will never happen, so there's no real control group to say whether or not the celibacy leads to stunted sexual development - except, I suppose, that other Christian sects don't require celibacy from their ministers/pastors/vicars/whatever and there doesn't seem to be the high incidence of reported abuse.

TL;DR: Perhaps celibacy, by virtue of stunting normal sexual development, causes priests to just go all weird.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:42 AM on January 5, 2010


I'm usually not one for flip answers that could be interpreted as an insulting reply, but.

Also not one for reading the whole thread since the joke's already been made.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:46 AM on January 5, 2010 [10 favorites]


It would be interesting to see what sexuality in the priesthood would look like if they weren't required to be celibate, but that will never happen, so there's no real control group to say whether or not the celibacy leads to stunted sexual development - except, I suppose, that other Christian sects don't require celibacy from their ministers/pastors/vicars/whatever and there doesn't seem to be the high incidence of reported abuse.

There most certainly is a high incidence amongst non-Catholic clergy. There are far fewer accusations and convictions being made, but it's still a serious problem.

The Awareness Center has an Alleged and Convicted Sex Offender Registry Page for Jewish Communities. Clergy Abuse: Cantors, Rabbis and other trusted officials.

A similar page exists listing news reports about abuse by Protestant Ministers at reformation.com

On the Catholic side, the Survivor Network for those Abused by Priests has a priest database.
posted by zarq at 7:16 AM on January 5, 2010


TL;DR: Perhaps celibacy, by virtue of stunting normal sexual development, causes priests to just go all weird.

I'll grant you that I'm working with a sample size of precisely one, but...that kind of thing is addressed in seminary. And he seemed to have turned out pretty normal in that regard, to boot.

It's an interesting theory, but I'm not sure that you can have any one unified field theory of any aspect of sexual development. Sure, a documentary crew can probably find a number of people who may be able to assert on camera that "celibacy at an early age stunts development," but - you could probably go back into the sample pool of "all priests" and find an equal number of cases where "celibacy at an early age alleviated a lot of the weird competitive pressure for mates and made them better adjusted". Or even "celibacy at an early age made them vegetarians" or whatever.

My point is that the subset "priest" is drawn from a fairly heterogenous main set, with a wide range of characteristics, and I don't think you'll find that there are many proportional differences in given character traits between the main set and the subset. You'll find given examples, sure, but you can find the same proportion of given examples in the main set of "humanity as a whole," so I'm not sure that's a fair assesment.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:18 AM on January 5, 2010


For comparison's sake:

From here: "According to the John Jay report commissioned by the U.S. bishops, allegations of sexual abuse were made in 1950-2002 against 4,392 priests.

Reformation.com lists 838 offenders, over a much shorter time period:
147 Baptist Ministers
251 "Bible" Church Ministers (fundamentalist/evangelical)
140 Anglican/Episcopalian Ministers
38 Lutheran Ministers
46 Methodist Ministers
19 Presbyterian Ministers
197 various Church Ministers

The awareness center lists 482 offenders, also over a much shorter time period:
109 Cases of Clergy Abuse and Other Trusted Officials
278 Cases of Other Trusted Officals (Parents, Teachers, Camp Counselors, etc.)
85 Unnamed Cases
10 "Other"
posted by zarq at 7:23 AM on January 5, 2010


There most certainly is a high incidence amongst non-Catholic clergy. There are far fewer accusations and convictions being made, but it's still a serious problem.

Yeah, I just said it wasn't as widely reported. Not at all surprised to hear that it happens anyway.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:28 AM on January 5, 2010


I haven't read this thread yet, but I will say that it reminded me of the only time that I've woken up with a man's hand in my underpants.

I haven't read it either, but it reminded me of the time when I woke up with my knob in a young man's arse.

I've no idea how it happened. I think I probably just tripped and accidentally entered the boy. As far as I'm concerned, that is the end of the matter.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:40 AM on January 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


Mike Buechel: Your question is so absurd, I really don't want to answer it. But here goes: If your role-play fantasies include having sex with your mother/father/son/daughter then, umm, yeah. There are probably some tendencies.

How can "Are you saying X?" be absurd when your answer is "Yes, X."?

I guess people who call their partner Bitch, in some watered-down D/s fashion, during sex are really playing out some repressed desire to fuck dogs, too.

[hit a nerve, eh?]

Charming. I could fire back with some equally nasty personal attacks laden with armchair psychology. But I won't. Because I'm a better man than you and always will be.
posted by CKmtl at 8:00 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


grapefruitmoon: "Also not one for reading the whole thread since the joke's already been made."

I generally try not to say these sorts of things to folks participating in a Metatalk thread that is almost 300 comments long.
posted by kalessin at 8:14 AM on January 5, 2010


Wow! I made it to the end. I'm sad that dnab left. I value his contributions here. The problem with this thread is that he got so aggressive that, even though I agreed with what he wass saying, for a while he had me feeling sorry for dunkadunc. Once he started fighting with cortex he lost me. Still, one of the things I like best about this place is that, if he does want to come back, I know that the mods will be cool with that. As it says below, everyone needs a hug.
posted by ob at 8:21 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's the lowest of low stakes, kalessin, but a quick search for "onion" would do if reading the thread itself isn't in the cards.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:21 AM on January 5, 2010 [7 favorites]


is problematic for gay folks.

Speak for yourself, I had no problems with his statement, and I'm gay and folksy.

I feel like the whole "mommy/daddy", "son/daughter" has more to do with a power dynamic rather than an attraction to children.

And hasn't there been a lot of discussion that rape is mostly about the power, not the sex?
posted by nomisxid at 8:35 AM on January 5, 2010


I'm gay and folksy.

Like a fancy Paul Harvey?
posted by electroboy at 8:44 AM on January 5, 2010


Once he started fighting with cortex he lost me.

You know what, I agree with dnab on this one. Not cool, MetaFilter.

Well, there was the part where he bitched out cortex for politely suggesting he tone it down.

Really, really not cool, MetaFilter.

He was just doing his job, you were just really pissed off at latent homophobia, water under the bridge, right?

Why is it cortex's job to silence people who are "really pissed off at latent homophobia"?

The bridge is out, and so am I.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:46 AM on January 5, 2010


Why is it cortex's job to silence people who are "really pissed off at latent homophobia"?

It's not. It is my job to try and keep this place from going off the rails, and that includes gently asking people to cool it a bit if they're being over the top. I get pissed off about latent homophobia too, and I think addressing it is a good idea, but that doesn't give anyone carte blanche and dnab knows that very well.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:48 AM on January 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


And hasn't there been a lot of discussion that rape is mostly about the power, not the sex?

WTF. Seriously, stop for a second, put aside any sort of need to get a zinger or a point in, and think about what you just wrote.

We're talking about two different concepts that have suddenly become conflated - pedophilia, which is "a psychological disorder in which an adult or older adolescent experiences a sexual preference for prepubescent children", and the rape of young children. NOT ALL PEDOPHILES ARE RAPISTS; although general pedophilic behavior is an element of diagnosis, it is not the only one. And not all child rapists are pedophiles.

Mike Buechel's very trollish claim was that consensual, adult-adult role-playing about an incestuous or child-adult relationship is an indication pedophilia. He said nothing about child rape.
posted by muddgirl at 8:54 AM on January 5, 2010


Here's an opinion that's bound to be unpopular:

Getting your crotch grabbed by a drunk guy in a bar is often not as bad for a man as it is for a woman. Not always, mind you. Not for every man, nor every woman. Many men have developed physical and psychological equipment to deal with this sort of thing. A punch in the face (or yarbles), or plausible threat of same, is an effective deterrent to repeat offenses. When this happens to a western man, it is not usually part of a grinding life-long oppression at the hands, etc. of the gropers, and it is not likely to be followed up with more forceful, violent, traumatic, non-consensual sexual activity. The threat of escalation of sexual violence is not generally (generally! May not apply in all cases!) as severe and immediate for a man, and that makes a huge difference. It's the difference between nuisance and oppression.

Things I am not asserting:
-Getting grabbed in a bar is the same as prison gang rape
-Prison rape is OK
-No man should ever have negative feelings after an undesired physical assault
-Every man should feel like I do about this
-Punching people is always a great way to handle things
-It's OK to grope male underlings, waitstaff, or musical theater people
-This is directed at the OP
-Boys are fondled/molested should just toughen up

That's just my 2¢ on the matter. I would not be reduced to tears by an unwelcome random sexual advance, because I don't have to deal with it every day – I don't have to cross the street because I'm walking alone at night, I don't have to structure my life around fear of sexual oppression at the hands of men.
posted by Mister_A at 8:54 AM on January 5, 2010 [12 favorites]


I'm gay and folksy.

"Big Burly Bear Ives"
posted by The Whelk at 8:57 AM on January 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


Forgot to add that it's silly to conflate ALL sexual power dynamics with rape. Playing around with BSDM is almost certainly playing around with a sexual power dynamic, but that doesn't mean that it's non-consensual or even harmful. Writing fan fiction is playing around with a sexual power dynamic, but that doesn't mean it's the same thing as raping someone.
posted by muddgirl at 8:58 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh for fuck's sake. There's a way to make a point and there's a way to make a point. Dnab was getting over the top. I'm a firm believer in picking one's battles. There wasn't and isn't one with cortex and he's made that abundantly clear from the beginning.
posted by ob at 8:58 AM on January 5, 2010


Links to the Onion.
posted by fixedgear at 8:59 AM on January 5, 2010


I feel like the whole "mommy/daddy", "son/daughter" has more to do with a power dynamic rather than an attraction to children.

And hasn't there been a lot of discussion that rape is mostly about the power, not the sex?


Ah ha!!! That's RIGHT! Oh wait. Consensual sex versus nonconsensual sex.

Are totally fucking different types of power.
posted by desuetude at 9:00 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh that was to address Sys Rq, btw.
posted by ob at 9:00 AM on January 5, 2010


Have we had a thread with more than one flameout-disabling before? This is engrossing.
posted by everichon at 9:04 AM on January 5, 2010


everichon: "Have we had a thread with more than one flameout-disabling before? This is engrossing"

It is, isn't it? Threads like these are why I'm in absolutely no position to ever throw stones at people triggering traffic jams by rubbernecking at accidents.

A couple of the infamous "boyzone" metatalk threads had multiple account-disablings, but it is pretty rare, I think.
posted by Drastic at 9:09 AM on January 5, 2010


TL;DR: Perhaps celibacy, by virtue of stunting normal sexual development, causes priests to just go all weird.

At least in majority Catholic communities, like Quebec, the clergy was also a privileged position that served as the sole alternative to "normal" married life. It would, logically, attract the power-hungry and misfits of various kinds... (and people who really believed they had a vocation, obviously...)
posted by ServSci at 9:20 AM on January 5, 2010


Sys Rq: "Why is it cortex's job to silence people who are "really pissed off at latent homophobia"?

The bridge is out, and so am I
"

Asking someone to "take it down a notch or disengage for a bit" is silencing? Listen, I know you disabled your account, but seriously, fuck that. Asking someone to think about how he's coming off isn't fucking censorship and fuck you for suggesting it is.
posted by boo_radley at 9:30 AM on January 5, 2010 [8 favorites]


Things I am not asserting:

Such a list must now be attached to every Metafilter comment so as to avoid any possibility of unintended offense being taken (which will happen anyway).

Why is it cortex's job to silence people who are "really pissed off at latent homophobia"?

For the record, dirtynumbangelboy silenced himself. Cortex did say, "you are coming on fairly strong and could probably benefit from either taking it down a couple notches or just disengaging for a bit here." before this happened, and afterward commented, "This is me telling you that, regardless of however much I may agree with you about the stuff you're upset about, you're being kind of a jerk, and that that sucks, and it'd be cool if you could find a way to argue your position without doing that."

I would hardly call this "silencing".
posted by philip-random at 9:31 AM on January 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


cortex: "It's the lowest of low stakes, kalessin, but a quick search for "onion" would do if reading the thread itself isn't in the cards."

cortex, I searched for "sucking" and somehow missed the mention of it that the_bone made.

The point is, I did a cursory search AFTER I read about half of the thread. I didn't click dnab's link and it wasn't well-described.

I feel like I'm getting the blame for a semi-useful comment on MetaTalk (where usually anything goes) because I wasn't telepathic/clairvoyant enough or effective enough to find the comments I should have. But I don't think they would have prevented me from addressing the same issue (I disagree with the_bone's opinion - that the editorial is old doesn't make it useful) in my original comment.
posted by kalessin at 9:31 AM on January 5, 2010


Why do people think that you should be allowed to flip the fuck out and lose your shit when someone says something offensive/stupid? The site would implode under the weight of its own craziness if this were the case.
posted by 0xFCAF at 9:36 AM on January 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


I feel like I'm getting the blame for a semi-useful comment on MetaTalk (where usually anything goes) because I wasn't telepathic/clairvoyant enough or effective enough to find the comments I should have.

For what it's worth, I'm not trying to blame you for anything, just sort of nodding along to the "yes, you were beat to that predictable Onion reference" sentiment. It is a kind of predictable Onion reference and I think I may disagree with you about whether it qualifies as even semi-useful at this point in internet discourse about homophobia in general, but I don't have any more stake in it than that and I regret seeming to belabor the point.

I think addressing the point explicitly in your own words is almost always going to be more useful than addressing the point implicitly by linking to an Onion article, for just about any point anyone could ever want to make. That way it's more of a conversation and less of a quip-and-an-arched-eyebrow sort of thing, and it sidesteps the sort of race-to-make-the-obvious-reference distraction as a bonus.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:41 AM on January 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


I generally try not to say these sorts of things to folks participating in a Metatalk thread that is almost 300 comments long.

I've said it over and over and over again, but I'll keep saying it: If you're "too busy" to read the whole thread, you don't need to post in it. If you feel like you have something urgent to say and the thread is 300+ comments long, you can pretty much bet that it's been said already, so why not just read a bit and THEN comment if your oneliner hasn't already been made?

(Not addressing kasselin personally, just the phenomenon in general because it comes up in every long thread "Oh! I can't possibly read the whole thing!" when actually, yes, you can.)

(Also, totally unsure why there's so much beef being made about having it pointed out that yeah, you got beat to the punchline. This isn't a personal attack or an attack of any kind. Just, yeah, that joke's been covered.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:46 AM on January 5, 2010 [17 favorites]


I was going to say something about everybody just chilling out, but I'm late to the thread and, my God, it has turned into such a clusterfuck that I don't think anything I could say at this point that wouldn't just sound trite and/or patronizing. So instead, I'm just going to wish you all peaee and go back to enjoying my big gay Tuesday.
posted by darkstar at 9:46 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Or "peace", whichever feels better...
posted by darkstar at 9:47 AM on January 5, 2010


I'm gonna miss Sys Rq and dnab.

(can we make Big Gay Tuesday a national holiday?)
posted by The Whelk at 9:52 AM on January 5, 2010 [9 favorites]


I'm going with Peaee/moops/jerk store.
posted by Mister_A at 9:52 AM on January 5, 2010


We may need to form a new nation, Whelk. Not a bad idea, really...
posted by Mister_A at 9:53 AM on January 5, 2010


Some of us are lucky enough that every Tuesday is a Big Gay Tuesday.
posted by crataegus at 9:59 AM on January 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


Or "peace", whichever feels better...

I'd feel a lot better about this ambiguous (pro-Communist? what's with the "quotes"?) statement if you'd attach an 8-point disclaimer to clarify exactly what you're NOT asserting as Mr_A did above.

Seriously, it's the least you could do. And by way of disclaimer, I should point out that when I say, "seriously", what I mean, of course, is "not even remotely seriously".
posted by philip-random at 9:59 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


cortex: "That way it's more of a conversation and less of a quip-and-an-arched-eyebrow sort of thing, and it sidesteps the sort of race-to-make-the-obvious-reference distraction as a bonus."

cortex, that's an absolutely important and relevant point, and I will try to keep it in mind. Thank you for pursuing it with me. Sorry to make a mountain out of a molehill.

grapefruitmoon: "Also, totally unsure why there's so much beef being made about having it pointed out that yeah, you got beat to the punchline. This isn't a personal attack or an attack of any kind. Just, yeah, that joke's been covered."

grapefruitmoon, saying it this way is okay. Saying it the first way was not okay from my point of view.

I disagree with you about gargantuan discussions, though, especially on MetaTalk and whether it's required that you read the whole goddamned thing before you say something.

I think all I sought with you is the understanding that even if I had read the whole thing, especially given the way dnab originally linked the Onion editorial, I could have missed or simply disagreed with the_bone and posted my comment anyway.

And also in the spirit of full disclosure part of the reason I missed some of what dnab said is that I've been asked specifically by the moderators to stay away from interacting with dnab since he and I don't seem to get along well together. Even though it this case we may have agreed about that small jokey point.

To try to close the loop, I can't speak for dnab at all, but for me personally, the joke encased in the old Onion editorial is still relevant. I don't care how old it is. There are a lot of folks I still run into these days who seem to miss that particular jokey point about how it's possible that the impression you make on folks is part of the systemic problem you complain about about how they perceive you. And even further there are folks who don't seem to think that it's obvious they're doing it on purpose (though I can't say that about the poster, since I don't know him). And it seemed more efficient at the time I posted my first comment here to just link, but I take cortex's point and will continue to try to express personal opinions personally in the future. Or if I feel like I need to talk about the Onion article I'll do so in my own words.
posted by kalessin at 10:01 AM on January 5, 2010


wtf philip-random. Would you accept a great big sign that says MY SPEECH IS BEING OPPRESSED BY METAPHORICAL NAZIS that you can wave around in lieu of snarking about it every chance you get?

It's clear you don't think anyone should spend one extra second reading over what they wrote and considering whether or not it clearly conveys what they want to say without relying on alienating and exclusive language. But that's the price we pay to live and interact peaceably in a diverse community of human beings.
posted by muddgirl at 10:08 AM on January 5, 2010


Philip is confusing me. Make him stop!
posted by Mister_A at 10:08 AM on January 5, 2010


dirtynumbangelboy: Apparently you missed the point, dunk, so let's try it again... "I'd have a lot more of a problem with the 'Penny-pinching Jew' trope if I hadn't run into it repeatedly in real life."

So I'm careful with money. This is a crime?
posted by Joe Beese at 10:12 AM on January 5, 2010


jesus christ am I ashamed to be part of a community where when a long-time member gets really hurt and angry and finally in desperation quits after having clearly invested a lot of love and time, the crowd rallies around to yell, "Good Riddance".

Others have made this point already, but as per usual, dnab was being an incredible jerk, probably jerkier than anyone else in this MeTa, before he hit his well-worn Button. dnab will be missed, people will be sad, he'll eventually come back, people will be happy, he'll get het up about something and have a legit beef, then he'll lose his shit, and he'll go. Then dnab will be missed, people will be sad...

Sys Rq just came off as an ass at the end there, though.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:15 AM on January 5, 2010


In a thread where I make sweeping statements about the clergy and pedophilia, it's my one liner about not reading the thread that gets someone else wrankled.

Between that and the NAP EMBARGO OF 2010, this year is getting off to a wicked cranky start.

Does Big Gay Tuesday come with a side of vodka?
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:15 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


grapefruitmoon: That is my understanding of the holiday.
Joe Beese: You may be a Scotsman.
posted by Mister_A at 10:17 AM on January 5, 2010


So I'm careful with money. This is a crime?

I realize you're probably trying (and failing, imnsho) to be funny, but can we please not start this shit again? Hasn't the antisemitism issue been pounded to death already?

Plus, this thread is already a train wreck of epic proportions. Losing both DNAB and Sys Rq is bad enough. I'd really rather not see anyone else leave.
posted by zarq at 10:19 AM on January 5, 2010


wtf philip-random.

Either:

A. this is the thread that fun forgot, or
B. I did a really bad job of expressing myself with my past two comments

To clarify: in doubly commending Mister_A's 8-point disclaimer, I was in no way trying to make fun of it. Far from it. It illustrated for me the depths of utter ridiculousness to which overly sensitive "ears" can demand discussion go, and caused me to laugh out loud, with Mr_A, not at him. I even got yogurt up my nose.

And by way of disclaimer, let me please clarify that this is a funny Onion bit that (hopefully) has nothing to do with anything that's been discussed here.
posted by philip-random at 10:22 AM on January 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Consensual sex versus nonconsensual sex.

You mean, "Consensual sex where the participants are fantasizing about a non-consensual sex vs actual non-consensual sex"?

NOT ALL PEDOPHILES ARE RAPISTS

If you mean not all people who fantasize about pedophillia are rapists, I'll agree. If you are claiming that 8 year-olds can give valid consent to a 38 year old, I don't agree.
posted by nomisxid at 10:23 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wait, wait - NAP EMBARGO? Who's embargoing naps? How can I have a Big Gay Tuesday with Vodka if there's no naps?
posted by rtha at 10:29 AM on January 5, 2010


it reminded me of the only time that I've woken up with a man's hand in my underpants

Oh, I've had that happen. What really worried me was not knowing whose hand it was, or where the rest of him went.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:32 AM on January 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


I once woke up to discover a man's hand in my spaghetti sauce. Fortunately, it turned out to be a prop. People do the darnedest things at Halloween parties.
posted by philip-random at 10:35 AM on January 5, 2010


wtf...wtf...wtf...It's clear you don't think anyone should spend one extra second reading over what they wrote and considering whether or not it clearly conveys what they want to say without relying on alienating and exclusive language. But that's the price we pay to live and interact peaceably in a diverse community of human beings.

The internet needs a "do as I say, not as I do" tag.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 10:37 AM on January 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


allegations of sexual abuse were made in 1950-2002 against 4,392 priests.

I wonder if the percentage of abusers is more or less than non-clergy.
posted by Tenuki at 10:37 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Goddamn, I've run out of popcorn.
posted by nevercalm at 10:44 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


To clarify: in doubly commending Mister_A's 8-point disclaimer, I was in no way trying to make fun of it. Far from it. It illustrated for me the depths of utter ridiculousness to which overly sensitive "ears" can demand discussion go

I didn't miss your point at all, philip. Can I call you philip? I may be mistaken, but this is not the first time you've wrung your hands over the "sensitive ears" of some people who participate on Metafilter, and how damaging they are for all the folks who want to have good, honest, insensitive fun at the expense of others.
posted by muddgirl at 11:00 AM on January 5, 2010


but for me personally, the joke encased in the old Onion editorial is still relevant. I don't care how old it is.

kalessin: A Google search on this site for "homosexuals keep sucking my cock" turns up 38 hits, and that's not counting more oblique links such as dnab's at the beginning of this thread. So I stand by my opinion that the joke is as played out as Monty Python references. (Oddly enough, the very first hit on that search is to a reference to the article that you made over a year ago. It's apropos of nothing, I just found that fact funny.)

My contention with the joke isn't totally that it's old; I like lots of old stuff. It's more that the article has become this lazy reflexive joke whenever the topic of homophobia comes up. And because links to that article have become kind of cliché, I'm not sure they add much of merit to this particular discussion. Your milage may vary, of course.
posted by the_bone at 11:00 AM on January 5, 2010


I searched for "sucking" and somehow missed the mention of it that the_bone made.

Man if I had a dollar for every time that happened...
posted by nanojath at 11:01 AM on January 5, 2010


zarq: "I realize you're probably trying (and failing, imnsho) to be funny, but can we please not start this shit again? Hasn't the antisemitism issue been pounded to death already?

Plus, this thread is already a train wreck of epic proportions. Losing both DNAB and Sys Rq is bad enough. I'd really rather not see anyone else leave
"

I've identified myself as Jewish on several occasions. (Most conspicuously, perhaps, in the title of this FPP.) And if my wife's observations can be trusted, I incline towards stinginess. I don't mind laughing at my conformation to the stereotype. Nor do I fear emboldening anyone else's prejudices. Those were set in place long before I showed up - and will remain durable whatever I do.

I meant to lighten the tension with my jest - not increase it. So I am sorry if it has put you further on edge. However, I don't think this situation warrants the degree of anxiety it seems to have produced in you. dnab - if history is any guide - will be back. Sys Rq may as well, we can hope. MetaFilter will endure, regardless.

Perhaps the idea has been suggested before. But might there be an advantage to requiring a 24 hour cooling-off period before an account can be disabled? Think of all the steps Ripley had to go through to blow up the Nostromo in Alien. You don't want it to be a one-button affair.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:02 AM on January 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


the_bone: "So I stand by my opinion that the joke is as played out as Monty Python references."

To be fair to both The Onion and Monty Python, Maybe I Can Impress Her With My Holy Grail Quotes could easily suit many AskMe questions.
posted by Drastic at 11:04 AM on January 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


This? All of this? This is a disappointment.
posted by greekphilosophy at 11:06 AM on January 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


If you mean not all people who fantasize about pedophillia are rapists, I'll agree. If you are claiming that 8 year-olds can give valid consent to a 38 year old, I don't agree.

She means that pedophilia is not the act of raping a child, but is in fact a psychological disorder, which she defined in the very comment you're quoting. She also means that not all pedophiles act on their disorder and rape children.

I have no idea what fantasizing about pedophilia might entail. Would that be someone who doesn't have the disorder fantasizing about having it? Or fantasizing about people who do have it? You're not actually making any sense.

(My point in making this comment is that your comment is the height of obtuseness, as it was obvious what she was saying in her comments and your request for clarification shows a deliberate misinterpretation of what she wrote. You should feel bad.)
posted by Caduceus at 11:11 AM on January 5, 2010


I'm okay with Joe Beese mocking his own inclinations toward stinginess. I drink a lot, and I'm Irish-American (besides being Jewish), and that's a frequent source of humor for me, even though, preperly, I'm not a drunk.

At least not yet, but I only started drinking at noon.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:13 AM on January 5, 2010


You mean, "Consensual sex where the participants are fantasizing about a non-consensual sex vs actual non-consensual sex"?

So? Even if you take mutually consensual "Who's your daddy?"/"Come to Momma!" as more than just sex babble, what's it to you or anyone else?

What's it to you or anyone else if a couple of people get off on roleplaying as a stubborn lightbulb and a boatload of very confused Newfies?

"You and your partner(s) kink, which is shared by consenting adults, is bad and you should all feel bad for it" is an ugly road to go down.
posted by CKmtl at 11:16 AM on January 5, 2010 [7 favorites]


Why is it cortex's job to silence people who are "really pissed off at latent homophobia"?

The bridge is out, and so am I.


Sys Rq, it took me a long time to figure this out so, if you're reading this (and for anyone else who's puzzled), here's the answer:

The mods are truly serious about this "community" business. Really, they're absolutely serious about it. I know. It took me a long time to wrap my mind around it.

So they want to keep their community nice, and have a nice little community. That's the highest value in MetaFilter. Once you understand that, it really explains a lot.

One could speculate endlessly as to why this is the case, but I won't. It's just the way it is.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 11:21 AM on January 5, 2010


So, shall we break out a case of hugs and maybe some vodka, then naps?
posted by Mister_A at 11:22 AM on January 5, 2010


Perhaps the idea has been suggested before. But might there be an advantage to requiring a 24 hour cooling-off period before an account can be disabled?

Yeah, it's come up before; the thread I recall specifically was this one from a few months after the feature was added, but I know there were discussions earlier than that in random metatalk threads.

It's not something we intend to do. Folks stormed off before there was a closure button too; the phenomenon of doing the Quitting And Never Coming Back thing is independent of being able to close one's own account formally, and the drama that is or is not generated in someone's departure is likewise not primarily a function of having such a button to press.

And since we don't throw away the key when someone hits the button, the consequences of a rash self-closure aren't dire either.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:24 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


the_bone: "It's more that the article has become this lazy reflexive joke whenever the topic of homophobia comes up. And because links to that article have become kind of cliché, I'm not sure they add much of merit to this particular discussion. Your milage may vary, of course."

Yeah, I think that posts like this one are also a cliché, so to me answering a cliché with a cliché was not as problematic as you seem to have thought. In light of cortex's feedback, though, I think I agree.
posted by kalessin at 11:27 AM on January 5, 2010


Er, agree with you, the_bone.
posted by kalessin at 11:28 AM on January 5, 2010


Joe Beese: Nor do I fear emboldening anyone else's prejudices. Those were set in place long before I showed up - and will remain durable whatever I do. I meant to lighten the tension with my jest - not increase it. So I am sorry if it has put you further on edge. However, I don't think this situation warrants the degree of anxiety it seems to have produced in you.

Perhaps. I admit to being a bit anxious about the amount of bigotry around here. Since the aforementioned rape thread, I've watched and participated in a number of threads (including this one,) where a few MeFites expressed some rather ugly sentiments. I'm tired of it, and would simply prefer that not be encouraged, that's all.

Also, I knew you were Jewish, but didn't remember.

dnab - if history is any guide - will be back. Sys Rq may as well, we can hope. MetaFilter will endure, regardless.

True. But I still hate seeing them leave.
posted by zarq at 11:29 AM on January 5, 2010


I'm huggin' people up in this piece!

/hugs some motherfuckers
posted by Mister_A at 11:31 AM on January 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Morning, all - did I miss anything?
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:35 AM on January 5, 2010


So, Big Gay Tuesday: hugs, naps and vodka?

The only thing left to do is decide whether it will be weekly, monthly or annually and what our logo will look like. Perhaps something with a drunken, slumbering teddy bear?

I propose, for our official drink, this recipe for a Slow Comfortable Screw:

3 oz. sloe gin
3 oz. Southern Comfort peach schnapps
3 oz. vodka
3 oz. orange juice

Stir together & serve over ice in a Collins glass. Savor over time.
posted by darkstar at 11:55 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Holy shit, apparently we missed a lot
posted by Think_Long at 11:55 AM on January 5, 2010


I admit to being a bit anxious about the amount of bigotry around here... I'm tired of it, and would simply prefer that not be encouraged, that's all.

I really don't see much that could justifiably be called "encouraging" in all this. There is always going to be disagreement over what really constitutes bigotry and I'm of the opinion that the impact of shutting down discussion of where the lines are would do a hell of a lot more harm to the cause of bringing relatively well-meaning people to awareness of their ingrained prejudices. What mostly seemed to be going on here was people making observations to dnab like

The problem isn't that you get pissed off by bigotry. The problem is that the stridency and vitriol with which you react to things that piss you off get in the way of people listening to you.

and dnab firing right back with what he apparently heard that individual say, which was

Ah yes, telling the uppity faggot not to be pissed off at bigotry

If the culture of Metafilter became that it is not acceptable to question that sort of behavior because the person who has clearly gone over the rhetorical top might take their ball and go home over it then I sure wouldn't want to be here anymore.
posted by nanojath at 11:57 AM on January 5, 2010


MISTER_A IS TOUCHING ME
posted by everichon at 12:04 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Sys Rq, it took me a long time to figure this out so, if you're reading this (and for anyone else who's puzzled), here's the answer:

The mods are truly serious about this "community" business. Really, they're absolutely serious about it. I know. It took me a long time to wrap my mind around it.

So they want to keep their community nice, and have a nice little community. That's the highest value in MetaFilter. Once you understand that, it really explains a lot.

One could speculate endlessly as to why this is the case, but I won't. It's just the way it is.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 1:21 PM on January 5 [+] [!]
Something about this - maybe the scare quotes, maybe the latter two blocks of text - that gives it a certain rhetorical flavor not unlike that of, say, Severus Snape being forced to say something nice about Harry Freakin' Potter; I'm sure there's a proper term for this on the same wavelength as "damning with faint praise" but as I'm not totally awake yet, one of you boffins'll have to remember it for me
posted by jtron at 12:08 PM on January 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


I really don't see much that could justifiably be called "encouraging" in all this. There is always going to be disagreement over what really constitutes bigotry and I'm of the opinion that the impact of shutting down discussion of where the lines are would do a hell of a lot more harm to the cause of bringing relatively well-meaning people to awareness of their ingrained prejudices.

I have spent the last few months contributing to various discussions here regarding the ways in which different terms / slurs used to describe various groups might cause offense.

If the culture of Metafilter became that it is not acceptable to question that sort of behavior

That's not what I'm saying. Nor am I censoring Joe Beese or anyone else. And if you read this thread then you know I challenged dnab when he said something I disagreed with.
posted by zarq at 12:14 PM on January 5, 2010


If the culture of Metafilter became that it is not acceptable to question that sort of behavior because the person who has clearly gone over the rhetorical top might take their ball and go home over it then I sure wouldn't want to be here anymore.

Well, if somebody brings a ball with them when they go over the top, it must be for one of those Christmas day football matches in no-man's land.

If they take their ball & leave again, then it's back to the trenches for everybody, which is a lose-lose for all concerned.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:14 PM on January 5, 2010


I can't believe DNAB flamed out and closed his account! That is complete bullshit. Definitely not cool at all - DNAB I hope you're joking and just taking a break. At least consider coming back with another username. I didn't always agree with you but you are a valued member of this community, an important ingredient in the metafilter souffle, I have innumerable memories of great conversations that you were a part of and frankly, losing you is almost as frustrating as when quonsar left. It is never an opportunity for celebration when a member leaves, in my opinion, even when they tend to be confrontational or controversial. We're all poorer for it and this entire operation takes one more step toward homogeneity. Dude, stick around.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 12:28 PM on January 5, 2010 [10 favorites]


aw jesus just saw that Sys Rq left too. That truly sucks. What a shitty metatalk this has been.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 12:31 PM on January 5, 2010 [8 favorites]


The only thing left to do is decide whether it will be weekly, monthly or annually and what our logo will look like. Perhaps something with a drunken, slumbering teddy bear?

As I am trapped in an airport trying not to be OBVIOUSLY checking out cute guys, I declare today to be Big Gay Tuesday in my heart. Go out and hug someone who shares your gender phenotype!
posted by The Whelk at 12:34 PM on January 5, 2010


And once again, JaySmooth has sage advice. How to tell someone they sound racist. Replace racist with homophobic or anything else, and it still works. His comments were unaacceptable, but focusing on calling him a homophobe leads exactly to this conversation, which is unwinnable. Watch it!
posted by lazaruslong at 12:39 PM on January 5, 2010 [8 favorites]


I am pretty sure that The Whelk isn't trying to suggest that it is verboten to hug people who don't share your phenotype thingy on this Very Special Day. Any kind of consensual hug is Kosher. I'm going to hug my cats!
posted by Mister_A at 12:42 PM on January 5, 2010


BIG GAY HUGS FOR ALL! BIG GAY VODKA DRINKS FOR SOME!
posted by The Whelk at 12:42 PM on January 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


BIG GAY INTERSPECIES HUG!
posted by The Whelk at 12:43 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


am hugging my cat but we are of opposite genders is that ok? y/n
posted by jtron at 12:45 PM on January 5, 2010


WILL BIG GAY TUESDAY EVENTUALLY ECLIPSE FLASH FRIDAY, CATURDAY AND EVEN MOONS OVER MY HAMMY MONDAY??

Some say yes.



(Oh, and I also hope dnab and Sys Rq aren't gone forever.)
posted by darkstar at 12:45 PM on January 5, 2010


am hugging my cat but we are of opposite genders is that ok? y/n

as long as its not a KITTEN you PERVERT
posted by scody at 12:47 PM on January 5, 2010 [9 favorites]

Oh, I've had that happen. What really worried me was not knowing whose hand it was, or where the rest of him went.
I Hold Your Hand In Mine
posted by Karmakaze at 12:49 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


She's a year and a half old, so I think I'm safe

Besides, she initiated it

ok, stopping now, getting creeepy
posted by jtron at 12:52 PM on January 5, 2010


I woke up with a cat's paw in my underpants once - but it's a long story.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:56 PM on January 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


WILL BIG GAY TUESDAY EVENTUALLY ECLIPSE FLASH FRIDAY, CATURDAY AND EVEN MOONS OVER MY HAMMY MONDAY??


If me and my golden army have anything to say it, yes.
posted by The Whelk at 12:56 PM on January 5, 2010


my golden army consists of me, my spouses, and an elderly budgie named Earl
posted by The Whelk at 12:58 PM on January 5, 2010


Earl is mean as a snake, though.

[NOT SNAKE-IST]
posted by Mister_A at 12:58 PM on January 5, 2010


Aw, man, it's Golden Army training again this weekend? Guess it's off to the dry cleaners; my uni's still trashed from last time - and I haven't gotten any mail about y'all paying off my college loans, what's up?
posted by jtron at 1:08 PM on January 5, 2010


NUMBER 31! WE DO NOT CALL THEM "UNIS", THEY ARE SACRED VESTMENTS! Gah, why do I even bother?

Can we vent about the new papercut the TSA has inflicted on American citizens? You have to have a little form telling them your name - cause after the passport and the boarding pass and showing them a total of 4 times before I get to the gate THIS is where I'll trip up and write. Mr. Explodeypants Von Hatemerica! Drats! Foiled again!
posted by The Whelk at 1:15 PM on January 5, 2010 [6 favorites]


My idea for a summer trip to Iceland is getting less desirable by the second is what I'm saying.
posted by The Whelk at 1:16 PM on January 5, 2010


Hah! That's why I drive everywhere. Drivin' to France this summer.
posted by Mister_A at 1:17 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


A leather boat was good enough for St Brendan; you know how to work in leather, right?
posted by jtron at 1:18 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


A leather boat, you say? I assume it should be not a short boat nor a medium boat...
posted by Mister_A at 1:29 PM on January 5, 2010


>: Why is it cortex's job to silence people who are "really pissed off at latent homophobia"? The bridge is out, and so am I.

Come back, Sys Rq. You were a good poster here and disabling your account over this over my silly comment is, well, silly.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:32 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


but for me personally, the joke encased in the old Onion editorial is still relevant. I don't care how old it is.

I hope this isn't beating a dead horse, but the point is not that it's old in general, the point is that it's old here, old as in All Your Base and "does it vibrate" and, well, you get the point. It may well be useful in other areas of your life, but around here it is pretty much guaranteed to get rolled eyes, and the eye-rolling would have nothing to do with the politics of homophobia.

OK, off to hug the cats. If I don't come back, I'll be bleeding from the strips they have torn off my overly affectionate flesh.
posted by languagehat at 1:38 PM on January 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


The mods are truly serious about this "community" business. Really, they're absolutely serious about it. I know. It took me a long time to wrap my mind around it.

So they want to keep their community nice, and have a nice little community. That's the highest value in MetaFilter. Once you understand that, it really explains a lot.


If you are suggesting we should have other priorities, I would really really like to know what they are. Otherwise this leaves literal-minded me thinking "He said something that sounded nice and yet for some reason I don't feel like he was trying to say something nice at all"

It's very very hard to try to manage hurt feelings in this community generally. It's also difficult to try to ascertain how much is enough when trying to profess the values of the site generally speaking as differentiated from the values of the individual people who make up the site.

I'm fine with saying that making casually homophobic remarks is not okay with us, but then we have to discuss what a casually homophobic statement is, and what a sanction of some sort might be, and how that balances against the other things you're not supposed to do on the site and what's the proper balance.

I'm sorry that I haven't shown up in this thread before now, I honestly wasn't sure what to say.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:42 PM on January 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


The Whelk: "You have to have a little form telling them your name - cause after the passport and the boarding pass and showing them a total of 4 times before I get to the gate THIS is where I'll trip up"

Have you thought about writing "See passport" in these fields?
posted by boo_radley at 2:00 PM on January 5, 2010


[TSA] We need you to move over to this other line, Mr. Passport.

[Whelk] Is there a problem?

[TSA] I'm afraid the name you've written here doesn't match what's on your other paperwork, Mr. Passport.
posted by flabdablet at 2:31 PM on January 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


Hi Jessamyn. I'm feeling kind of tired now, so I'll be lazy and just respond to what you said.

If you are suggesting we should have other priorities, I would really really like to know what they are.

In my value system, sure, I think you should have other priorities, but this is your (or mathowie's) site. I was only trying to state what I believe to be facts about this site, and that only in the service of helping other people, who may be baffled by some of the mods' actions (as I used to be), understand what's going on a little better.

Otherwise this leaves literal-minded me thinking "He said something that sounded nice and yet for some reason I don't feel like he was trying to say something nice at all"

I wasn't trying to say something nice, merely to state facts (or, if you prefer, the facts as I perceive them). And I don't believe that I said anything nice. I was also trying not to say anything "mean." On the other hand, I didn't want to leave the impression that I consider the emphasis on community to be a good thing; jtron sort of picked up on this, but didn't really get it. I think what may have confused you both is that the word "community" probably has warm, fuzzy associations for you. (Note that those were not scare quotes.)

It's very very hard to try to manage hurt feelings in this community generally. It's also difficult to try to ascertain how much is enough [...]

I agree with this. Indeed, I think it's too hard. You might consider just not doing it.

I'm fine with saying that making casually homophobic remarks is not okay with us [...]

I wasn't addressing that issue at all.

If you're really interested in how I'd run the site if I were in charge, I could try to write something up. I don't think it would be more than a curiosity for you, though, because our values in this area are just too different.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 2:46 PM on January 5, 2010


"Right this way, Mr. Passport"

"Please, call me See."
posted by qvantamon at 3:11 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was also trying not to say anything "mean." On the other hand, I didn't want to leave the impression that I consider the emphasis on community to be a good thing.

Okay, thanks, that's sort of what I thought. It came across as something jerkish, basically saying how you think we view things with the tacit implication that you don't at all agree with that choice and yet at the same time not saying how you'd do things any differently.

And yet, here you remain instead of going someplace that is more to your liking/preferences, so I guess we're stuck with each other.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:21 PM on January 5, 2010 [14 favorites]


OK, off to hug the cats.

All your cats are gay?
posted by small_ruminant at 3:24 PM on January 5, 2010


Oh, please, please, please come back sys rq and dnab. Or not. What do people who stomp their feet and leave really want, to be begged? I'd have much more respect for you if you just left.
posted by fixedgear at 3:33 PM on January 5, 2010


If you're really interested in how I'd run the site if I were in charge, I could try to write something up.

oh god please do not do this.
posted by lazaruslong at 3:34 PM on January 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


I think what may have confused you both is that the word "community" probably has warm, fuzzy associations for you.

Well, it's more that it doesn't have explicitly negative associations for us, I think, which I gather is something you don't share with us, and fine, that's your thing. There's a lot of value to this place as a community, in my opinion, but your twice emphasizing the "nice" in your characterization feels like you think that we just and only want this place to be a hugfest and god forbid anyone ever disagree or have conflicts. It's a lot more complicated than that, and Metafilter has a long and storied history of less-than-nice behavior that still falls within the bounds of what makes this place what it is. It's just not a total free-for-all.

So, yes, in that context being mindful of the health of this place as a community, as something more than just a place for strangers to chuck words at each other to see what happens or to see who wins or whatever, is really important to us.

And while I don't doubt there are some folks who might share your puzzlement about that, for whatever reason that is puzzling, I'd guess that most of the folks who spend time here find nothing at all confusing or unlikeable about the idea that we'd strive to make this a community rather than just, I don't know, an extension of USENET or whatever else it might be instead.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:34 PM on January 5, 2010 [15 favorites]


I only started drinking at noon.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:13 AM on January 5


Dude - if you've been drinking for +23 hrs and you're still sober, you've definitely got yourself a problem.

Drink faster!
posted by mannequito at 3:41 PM on January 5, 2010


If you're really interested in how I'd run the site if I were in charge, I could try to write something up.


oh god please do this.
posted by yellowbinder at 3:45 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just read this flame out thread. It makes me sad that two good members left and I hope they'll come back.
posted by litleozy at 3:47 PM on January 5, 2010


Jessamyn, I'm not trying to turn this into a big argument; I'd really like to know a couple of things.

1. Was I wrong about how you view things?

2. Is the fact that I disagree with your views sufficient reason for me to go away?

3. If I want to stay around for other reasons (that, let's say, don't have anything to do with you), should I pretend that I agree with your views?

4. Do you not believe that it took me a long time to understand that "community" is really such a big deal to you that it trumps other values that I hold in high regard?

5. Do you not agree that there might be others on the site who are similarly confused?

6. Do you think my explanation might help them?

7. Do you think it's not important?

8. Why did those particular remarks of mine bother you so much?

9. What do you think would happen if I did say how I would do things differently? I've got a pretty good idea (having been through similar exercises here before).

I guess we are stuck with each other. I'm not going to flame out, or give up my account voluntarily. If my remarks made you mad enough to pull the plug on me, well, that would say a lot. My participation here has dwindled and it will probably continue to over time as the site continues to change (as it inevitably will). I guess that's about the best you can hope for.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 3:49 PM on January 5, 2010


All your cats are gay?

In the dark, all cats are gay.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:52 PM on January 5, 2010 [11 favorites]


METAFILTER: And yet, here you remain instead of going someplace that is more to your liking/preferences, so I guess we're stuck with each other.
posted by philip-random at 3:53 PM on January 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


A small number of egregious trolls and a somewhat larger contingent of the intellectually dishonest make MetaFilter an inhospitable venue for reasoned discourse. (In case you're wondering why you don't see me participating in many discussions here.)

So why hang around? Pull the plug, man!
posted by fixedgear at 3:56 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


The mods are truly serious about this "community" business. Really, they're absolutely serious about it. I know. It took me a long time to wrap my mind around it.

So they want to keep their community nice, and have a nice little community. That's the highest value in MetaFilter. Once you understand that, it really explains a lot.


Your tone here - with the caveat that "tone" is a really hard thing to convey/interpret in the written word - sounded to me like you think the mods valuing community is wrong and bad. That the site is run in a way that's not simply different from the way you'd run it, but is run in a way that is bad and stupid.

Which, you know, your opinion and you're entitled to it and all, but it can't be that surprising that someone who runs this place might take issue with the way you've framed your opinion of how they run it.

To stick around here, you don't have to agree with the opinions of the mods, or how they run this place, but you do have to abide by the rules. And you already knew this, but apparently you couldn't resist a dig in your point #3.
posted by rtha at 3:58 PM on January 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


You know what I like? A good list of demands. I never get to issue one of those.
posted by Bookhouse at 4:00 PM on January 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


Crabby Appleton, I definitely don't speak for jessamyn, but in my view, you seem to come around MetaTalk a lot being sort of a snide jerk to the mods, for no apparent reason other than you don't seem to like the way things are run around here. Surely you can see why they (and I and I'm sure others too) are confused as to why you seem to spend time in a place that you hold such contempt for. Care to elaborate on what you find enjoyable about the site? It's perplexing to me.
posted by chiababe at 4:01 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


*whips up another pitcher of frothy vodka cocktails*
posted by darkstar at 4:05 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is it really necessary for a whole parade of people to come in here and tell CA to shut up or leave? It's a little why-don't-you-just-move-to-Canada-then-hippie, no? There aren't so many functioning communities on the internet to choose from that it's reasonable to expect everyone here to be gung-ho about every administrative eccentricity of this one.
posted by enn at 4:12 PM on January 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


Thank you very much Pearson Intl for resembling downtown Cleveland on Thanksgiving at 3 A.M

I'm gonna need so many vodka drinks on this plane. There size and orientation is immaterial.
posted by The Whelk at 4:13 PM on January 5, 2010


> Do you not believe that it took me a long time to understand that "community" is really such a big deal to you that it trumps other values that I hold in high regard?

I think this is only true if the mods are in the habit of removing posts and comments that they disagree with, rather than removing posts that threaten to escalate threads from heated comments to textual screamfests.

Or think of it this way: It's possible to call somebody a fascist without Godwining. And it's possible to accuse somebody of hewing to particular stripes of absolutism without having to use the word fascist. Failing to make the first comment in because you took a moment to edit for clarity and a better chance your message'll get through to the people you disagree with is a gain, not a loss.
posted by ardgedee at 4:14 PM on January 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


There aren't so many functioning communities on the internet to choose from that it's reasonable to expect everyone here to be gung-ho about every administrative eccentricity of this one.

You used the c word in your answer, please try again. Also, trying to maintain a reasonable level of discourse is not really an administrative eccentricity, is it?
posted by fixedgear at 4:19 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


RE the mods: after serving as the Senior Admin over at Linkfilter for a year, I have nothing but respect (and a little pity) for anyone modding a large online community like this.

Now, say it with me, slowly: "cock-tails"
posted by darkstar at 4:22 PM on January 5, 2010


Care to elaborate on what you find enjoyable about the site? It's perplexing to me.

He enjoys the non-enjoyment of the site, but is strangely still too terrified to acknowledge it publicly. It's a weird masochistic gene found in griefers like Crabby Appleton, and why he comes back again and again.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:44 PM on January 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


Chia Babe to Crabby Appleton: "Care to elaborate on what you find enjoyable about the site? It's perplexing to me."

...He gets to make weak little comments that he thinks sound all urbane and shit, and everyone falls all over themselves asking him what the hell that was all about, and for one brief shining moment eveyrthing's about him.

Not perplexing to me at all.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:44 PM on January 5, 2010 [12 favorites]


too loudly: COCK-TAILS!
posted by everichon at 4:44 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: I guess we are stuck with each other.
posted by EatTheWeak at 4:45 PM on January 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


1. Was I wrong about how you view things?

Yes. And uncharitable.

2. Is the fact that I disagree with your views sufficient reason for me to go away?

Nope. But enough for me to ask why you continue to want to stay since this sticks in your craw enough to bring it up in snide ways.

3. If I want to stay around for other reasons (that, let's say, don't have anything to do with you), should I pretend that I agree with your views?

No, but since you've decided to stay it seems like you might want to acknowledge that while you might not like the way things are run, that you at least tolerate/accept them. If you do not tolerate/accept them, I hope you'd work to change them and not be such an ankle-biter.

4. Do you not believe that it took me a long time to understand that "community" is really such a big deal to you that it trumps other values that I hold in high regard?


I don't understand this.

5. Do you not agree that there might be others on the site who are similarly confused?

You seem to be one of very few people who continually come to MeTa to say you don't like the way the site is run and also who do absolutely nothing to help make it better. I don't know about others' confusion.

6. Do you think my explanation might help them?

Not in the snarky way you phrased it, no.

7. Do you think it's not important?

I think if you want to help in a way that is helpful, you could do a much better job. I don't think you were trying to be helpful.

8. Why did those particular remarks of mine bother you so much?

Yes. It hasn't been a great day in jessamyn-land. I miss my friend Brad terribly. I like working towards common ground even with people on the site that I don't have much in common with. This works pretty okay for most people and then there are people who just seem to want to say "No, I don't like it" in some sideways way as if it's a coded message to other people who don't like it here, maybe some underground resistance, I have no idea. I don't know how to work towards common ground with you because all I know is you don't like the site in what you continually seem to imply is "our way" but offer nothing in the way of constructive criticism unless you consider "You might consider just not doing it." constructive, which I don't. There are things you obviously like about the site enough to continue to participate and yet you deride our community-building attempts. So, okay, I don't know where to go from there, personally.

MeTa is usually for people who want to understand the site, help make the site better, or get some sort of redress of grievances. The mods hang out here because it's part of our job. Again, I'm not sure why you hang out here.

9. What do you think would happen if I did say how I would do things differently? I've got a pretty good idea (having been through similar exercises here before).

People would probably address your specific issues on their merits the way they perceived them and you'd probably have to face the fact that the community, such as it is, prefers things more the way they are than the way you would prefer them. They might also wonder why you don't start your own community of like-minded folks instead of staying here. There would be some cognitive dissonance in you interacting with the community, the fairly nice community if I do say so, regarding your ideas about not liking the "emphasis on community"

If my remarks made you mad enough to pull the plug on me, well, that would say a lot.

That never, ever, happens here, for what it's worth.

I guess that's about the best you can hope for.

I can hope for better, actually.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:52 PM on January 5, 2010 [46 favorites]


oh god please do not do this.

Why, lazaruslong, I'm surprised at you! After all, this is something that Jessamyn "would really really like to know". You're not suggesting I disappoint her, are you? (By the way, Lazarus Long would feed you to a loper for defiling his name.)

To those who posted more thoughtful responses, I apologize, but I have to leave the computer for the rest of the evening. I'll be back sometime tomorrow.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 4:52 PM on January 5, 2010


maybe some underground resistance, I have no idea

There is no CAbal.
posted by flabdablet at 4:59 PM on January 5, 2010


John has a long moustache...


...and a kickin' set of leather chaps.
posted by darkstar at 5:02 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, I previewed, but didn't see Jessamyn's response until after I had posted.

I can't do your reply justice now, but I think you're way off on some stuff. I'll say more tomorrow.

I'm sorry for your loss.

For what it's worth, I would have sent my comment to Sys Rq as a MeMail, but it was impossible because he disabled his account.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 5:04 PM on January 5, 2010


I've gotten in dnab's blast zone before. Never found his actual contributions so insightful (with a few topical exceptions) that I'll really miss the drama. But sys_rq? That's more of a loss, in my view.

Coming to this thread late and without a dog in the race just to see what all the hubbub was about and man is it awful.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:22 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why, lazaruslong, I'm surprised at you! After all, this is something that Jessamyn "would really really like to know". You're not suggesting I disappoint her, are you? (By the way, Lazarus Long would feed you to a loper for defiling his name.)

Am I the only person who read this in a Bond villain way?
posted by CKmtl at 5:28 PM on January 5, 2010 [7 favorites]


Am I the only person who read this in a Bond villain way?

Begin the unneccessarily slow-moving dipping mechanism!
posted by scody at 5:34 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can't do your reply justice now, but I think you're way off on some stuff. I'll say more tomorrow.


Tune in tomorrow for the next episode of: seething homophobia. seething.
posted by fixedgear at 5:40 PM on January 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


> I'll say more tomorrow.

Oh thank god! I was afraid we would be deprived of further deliberately annoying comments!
posted by languagehat at 5:42 PM on January 5, 2010 [13 favorites]


Am I the only person who read this in a Bond villain way?

Don't you mean a gay Bond villain way?


*ducks*
posted by darkstar at 5:51 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ok, you know what drives me nuts about all this? That's right, Lemurs on the ground. Fuckers need to learn to move on the ground in a more serious manner pronto or I'll go over there and make the little furry fuckers take moving on the ground seriously. You can quote me.
posted by vapidave at 5:57 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Don't you mean a gay Bond villain way?

Don't worry, I'm pretty sure those two were thrown off a boat and exploded in Diamonds are Forever. Maybe CA is a Daniel Craig reboot type of villain, meaning he's European and dresses handsomely.
posted by Think_Long at 5:59 PM on January 5, 2010


*guzzles pitcher of martinis*
posted by rtha at 5:59 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Lazarus Long would feed you to a loper. . .

Umm. .. so am I stupid for wondering what a loper is? I'm trying to determine if it's a mispelling or a non-American English term or something, but I've got nothing. TEACH ME
posted by Think_Long at 6:01 PM on January 5, 2010


Don't you mean a gay Bond villain way?

Does the unnecessarily slow-moving dipping mechanism grab strange men's crotches in public?

*also ducks*
posted by nevercalm at 6:05 PM on January 5, 2010


If you go to Iceland, ask for cocktail sauce with your fries. Nothing to do with cocktails or horseradish, but just MAD FATTY DELICIOUSNESS.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:06 PM on January 5, 2010


Umm. .. so am I stupid for wondering what a loper is?

It's a tater with a hitch in its get-along.
posted by scody at 6:11 PM on January 5, 2010 [8 favorites]


So, essentially, a lemur who dresses handsomely.
posted by darkstar at 6:15 PM on January 5, 2010


And really, one look at those flamboyant lemurs should be enough to tell you which side they bat for.

I mean, it's like you can hear them shout "Fabulous! Fabulous! Fabulous!" with every bounce!
posted by darkstar at 6:17 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


ericb: From Crabby Appleton's profile:

I flagged this.

Haven't we already agreed that posting a user's private profile information into areas that are indexed by search engines is uncool? I realize you're not outing him or anything, ericb. But this doesn't seem right.
posted by zarq at 6:38 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Loper is a Heinlein reference: Six-legged predator on New Beginnings. They will attack mules, but the mules usually win. They are edible though not very palatable to humans. From Time Enough For Love.

Scody's definition is more fun though. :)
posted by zarq at 6:41 PM on January 5, 2010


I flagged this.

Yeah sorry team, dragging text from profile pages over is more or less not okay. Deleted that comment.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:49 PM on January 5, 2010


Circuit party lemur!
posted by darkstar at 6:58 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks, Jessamyn. I'm deeply sorry for your loss as well. As I commented in the other thread, I truly regret never meeting Brad in person. :(
posted by zarq at 7:01 PM on January 5, 2010


So, Sys Rq and DNAB are gone, CA is staying and he plans to return tomorrow with more beratement and snideness and persecution fantasies.

I think I hate this thread.
posted by EatTheWeak at 7:02 PM on January 5, 2010 [7 favorites]


Wow. Back when I was an admin of a much smaller community, there was a guy like CA who copped the same attitude. Do I know you CA?
posted by kalessin at 7:51 PM on January 5, 2010


"I'm okay with Joe Beese mocking his own inclinations toward stinginess. I drink a lot, and I'm Irish-American (besides being Jewish), and that's a frequent source of humor for me, even though, preperly, I'm not a drunk."

Two responses: First off, that the "I'm a drunk, 'cuz I'm IRISH" schtick is something that, God love ya, you've been overplaying a lot lately (though maybe it's just confirmation bias on my part) and not to great comic effect.

Second, I'll note that—and this isn't necessarily unfair or wrong—as someone whose ethnic heritage is primarily German, I've been called to the carpet more often for ironic ethnic humor. When I hear someone making an ethnic joke like the ones here or the guidos or some of the JAP stuff, I tend to assume that they're of the ethnicity that is "allowed" to tell those jokes. Coming from German stock, the perception of us is as racists and anti-Semites—Nazis, even—which I realize has a bit of a higher bar to make clear that I'm mocking that perception, but it also means that I think I'm a bit more aware that there's more than just a "I'm part of this ethnic group, I get to mock their stereotypes" thing going on. And don't even get me started on lederhosen…
posted by klangklangston at 7:54 PM on January 5, 2010



4. Do you not believe that it took me a long time to understand that "community" is really such a big deal to you that it trumps other values that I hold in high regard?


Don't be so fucking coy. USE YOUR WORDS. What are your other values? Just speak your fucking mind or else STFU. jeez.
posted by Rumple at 8:12 PM on January 5, 2010 [8 favorites]


First of all, I've yet to go out to a Toronto meet-up, but I always wanted to meet dnab in person. That said, I initially stopped reading this thread one comment before he bailed b/c his vehemence was just uncomfortable to see. In any case, I really hope he comes back. And sys_rq too.

zarq: Since the aforementioned rape thread, I've watched and participated in a number of threads (including this one,) where a few MeFites expressed some rather ugly sentiments. I'm tired of it, and would simply prefer that not be encouraged, that's all.

This isn't the thread for it, but I would love to see some frank discussion on Metatalk about how community deals with divergent views; Metafilter is far from uniform of opinion of course, but where commonality does lie, real divergence is all too frequently taken as grounds for a pile on and some pretty disgusting techniques seen in Metatalk over and over and over (this thread is a good example) whenever respect for another user is gone.

Basically, I wonder if Metafilter doesn't have a hard time with its 'shadow', if I can be Jungian here? It shouldn't be so surprising when you consider how nice the site is overall, genuinely helpful and civil. Meta threads on sexism and racism have wrestled with that uglier side, but at the same time I worry its absence has a hidden cost.

I guess I'm saying is that, unlike zarg, I would encourage discussion of how to deal with ugly sentiments frankly & honestly, if not the expression of ugly sentiments themselves. I love that the site is just speech, just text and links. It seems that, ideally, that text should be free of any restrictions, barring legal issues. I understand and accept that that can't be here, but we should examine how that effects the site, and the content of our discussions here.
posted by stinkycheese at 8:35 PM on January 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


in a thread where people are regretting the departure of a couple of people, it's kind of tacky to suggest that others should leave
posted by pyramid termite at 9:01 PM on January 5, 2010


Holy Hell.

For all the none of you wondering why I don't comment as much as I once did, it's because shit like this depresses the hell out of me and then forces me to write long rambling responses like the one you're about to read or else wisely ignore.

emotions are best described as 'fitting' rather than right or wrong; there are standards of 'appropriateness' for emotions that are independent of moral judgments

If I had the power, I would put this quote right at the top of this thread. Yesterday. And force everyone to read and reread it before commenting. Because this describes dnab's flameout better than anything else I've read here.

dunkadunc's original comment wasn't perfectly worded, and was maybe inappropriate to begin with, but it was at least a little bit on-topic. The discussion was about tropes, which aren't exactly the same thing as stereotypes and are a far cry from sweeping generalizations. Tropes (in the character sense, as here) are regularly-used character types bordering on the cliche. Stereotypes are characteristics regularly assigned to a certain group. Generalizations are, well, generalizations that all members of a group are like X. The "gay predator" thing is particularly touchy because it has often been used in all three categories, and is horrifically damaging to the gay community as a generalization and as a stereotype, and when it is used as a trope, it contributes to the stereotype and generalization.

(If you followed all that, congratulations. I only barely did myself, but I'm a drunken Irishman.)

That said, it's fairly clear to me that dunkadunc was speaking firmly within the "trope" category, to the idea that there are gay creeps out there just as there are straight creeps, and questioning the validity of shutting that character out of fiction when it exists in reality. There's a lot to talk about there, with a lot of good points to be made on both sides. What's great about that discussion, however, is that no one needs to get fighty about it.

That's a conversation that can be had completely civilly, at least on MeFi where not only are we (usually) free of hate speech and intolerance, but we are also pretty well aware of that. We've got to keep on our toes about sexism and homophobia and racism and other prejudices, of course, and we thankfully do, and bring them up, but this is a bunch who will (again, usually) own up to being sexist/racist/homophobic/prejudiced/otherwise stupid if other members call us out on it, and who don't do it on purpose. This is, in fact, maybe my favorite thing about MeFi (and I thank the mods for it.)

dunkadunc said something offensive, which could charitably - and I believe accurately - be read to have been on topic and not meant for any offensive or hateful purposes. Of course it needed to be called out. In particular, the "if this was done to a woman, violence would be acceptable, not a hate crime" bit, which no one seems to have discussed here, but which, to me, skirts closest to actual trollishness.

dirtynumbangelboy did so in the worst way, however. His moral judgments were basically correct, but his emotions were far from appropriate. He responded to the original comments with three immediate comments of his own. The first made WTF sweeping generalizations about all straight men, saying that offense that straight men might take to violent unwanted sexual advances from a gay man are simply about being confronted with straight men doing the same thing to women. That was fucking weird, and wrong, and more about that later (maybe.) The second one then claimed that by "normal," dunkadunc meant, "passing for straight," rather than "not sexually assaultive," as the context of dunkadunc's comment made plainly clear. The third then went into all the different well-known slurs which he then copypasted at the top of the thread here.

In other words, damn right dunkadunc got defensive - he had a lot to suddenly defend himself about. Only dnab's third response had even the faintest whiff of sense to it, and even that was needlessly inflammatory.

The real weirdness, I think, is that when dunkadunc opened up this thread to explain himself and stop the derail, and dnab brought the exact same arguments over here, the thread generally ignored dnab, instead focusing closer on what (I think) was the more legitimate debate, i.e. whether the existence of some predatory/sexually aggressive gay men justifies a trope which feeds into dangerous stereotypes and generalizations about all gay men, the grand majority of whom don't fit the trope. dnab just kept getting angrier and angrier then, shouting at the wind and trying to elicit a response, until finally he got one ("I was waiting for that.")

In other words, dnab basically flamed himself out here, without our help or assistance or provocation. We don't know what was going on, exactly, but this seems like it had to do with something outside of our vision and dnab needed a place to throw a temper tantrum. I hope (and trust?) that dnab will be back, but I'm also not going to dote on him for making a scene out of wholecloth here. He had a decent point or two underneath all the vtiriol, but he made it in the wrong way and continued to make it for the wrong reasons, I think.

Sys Rq is even weirder to me, as he apparently closed his account on behalf of dnab's non-censoring by a very reasonable cortex. I'm not even going to speculate on that one.

I'll just say that I hate flameouts. I hate it when we lose any member, but especially valuable ones like dirtynumbangelboy and Sys Rq. I also think it's weird that, given what a sense of community this place has, people can't see the other members here as, you know, people, who don't always say things in the right way, or think through what they might be implying, or who might rethink their positions if engaged with rather than sniped at. This whole thread has seemed to be a string of every comment being taken in the worst possible way and then attacked with equal force. I'd like it if we didn't do that.

All of that said... (whew) it's Big Gay Tuesday, and since Vodka doesn't work for me most of the time, hopefully my straight ass can still stand in solidarity with my beer (mmm... beer) and say this.

dunkadunc: in response to quote I mentioned way above, earlier this year in DC a man beat a gay man to death outside a gay nightclub. The perpetrator claimed that the victim grabbed him, and that was enough for the grand jury to refuse to indict him on any more than simple assault, which was then what he was convicted of. He was given the maximum sentence of 180 days including time served. But you can't tell me that, even if the victim did grab him - or grab him in the crotch even - that his murder wasn't a hate-crime. I, too, have been groped and molested by (presumably) gay men. I understand the trope has some basis in reality. But the generalization that it serves to perpetuate allows gays to be beaten to death in public and have it be a misdemeanor.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:02 PM on January 5, 2010 [48 favorites]


in a thread where people are regretting the departure of a couple of people, it's kind of tacky to suggest that others should leave

Is this directed at me? I'm not suggesting anyone should leave, nor do I even vaguely see where you might have got that idea.
posted by stinkycheese at 9:47 PM on January 5, 2010


This whole thread has seemed to be a string of every comment being taken in the worst possible way and then attacked with equal force. I'd like it if we didn't do that.

Nicely put, Navelgazer. But this bit's even better:

His moral judgments were basically correct, but his emotions were far from appropriate.

Thirteen words, twenty-three syllables. If this thread were a dead man, I can't imagine a more apt epitaph for his headstone.
posted by philip-random at 10:00 PM on January 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


no, it wasn't directed at you
posted by pyramid termite at 10:01 PM on January 5, 2010


okay, thanks.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:32 PM on January 5, 2010


Sys Rq: “Why is it cortex's job to silence people who are ‘really pissed off at latent homophobia’?”

[I have been avoiding this thread, so I didn't see this response, Sys Rq. And I know you're gone now. And frankly I'd welcome you back just as much as I'd welcome dnab. But I have to say that it's pretty damned hurtful to accuse somebody of that when they clearly have no intention whatsoever to silence or censor anybody. cortex was just doing his job - which, as he sees it, is keeping people from flying off the handle too much. It's not an enviable job, but he's scrupulous in his efforts to remain politically neutral and at the same time morally above-bar. And if you have really managed to convince yourself that he's either taking it upon himself to silence frustration at homophobia, or employed explicitly to do so, then... well, I just don't see how you could honestly think that. Is it not clear that he, mathowie and jessamyn are, without exception, the most progressive set of moderators on any major web community out there? If you can think of another team doing what they do on that scale who have the same steadfast commitment to equality and a zero-tolerance attitude toward bigotry in all forms, I'd like to know about them.

That's just something to think about. Again, you're always welcome - in fact, that's the point: that I thought you must have known how welcome you were, and I'm kind of sad and maybe a little disappointed that you didn't.)
posted by koeselitz at 10:33 PM on January 5, 2010 [12 favorites]


dnab wrote me an email a little earlier to ask me to let folks know that he "will not be returning under the dnab username or any other."

I'm not really interested in engaging in ongoing message-passing stuff here, so if he wants to get ahold of anyone or vice versa that's gonna have to be done via other channels. But there you go. He knows he's welcome back if he changes his mind, but it sounds like he's fairly well committed to staying gone.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:52 PM on January 5, 2010


Well, I wish him well, anyhow.
posted by koeselitz at 10:54 PM on January 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


(Thanks for passing that on, cortex.)
posted by koeselitz at 10:54 PM on January 5, 2010


dnab wrote me an email a little earlier to ask me to let folks know that he "will not be returning under the dnab username or any other."

Well, I hope he changes his mind.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:55 PM on January 5, 2010


wait, who's danb then?
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:13 PM on January 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yes. It hasn't been a great day in jessamyn-land. I miss my friend Brad terribly.

Okay. This made me cry.
posted by humannaire at 1:29 AM on January 6, 2010


It is 4:37AM. I have who knows how much work to do tomorrow (today) beginning at 9AM. I'm out of snacks; I ate everything. And the cat has fallen asleep in my lap because she got tired of waiting for me to GO TO BED.

But I got to the end of this thread. And I got angry. And bored. And defeated. And renewed. And pissed. And excited. And torn. And then I got slap happy about the time Crabby Appleton entered the thread and laughed myself into tears. (Especially reading this priceless Apple of a thread.)

And then that got stopped dead in its tracks by Jessamyn's bringing real death into the thread and real loss. Not flameouts: Death. I went from great hilarity to sobbing tears. Then somehow it came around to be as good at the end as at the beginning.

It was like a ride!

And now I have made it to the end. And you know what? It was definitely worth it. People came out of the woodwork here for this thread I have never heard of before. (When the Old Users in the 10k-to-20k range show up, you know something amazing is going on.) And call me cornball but I get just as excited when I see new users whose user number is double my own making a name for themselves.

This has been a freaking freaky freak show and a damnable good one. The whole thing is amazing.

And C-word? I never knew it was community. For some reason, I get choked up knowing it now.

Metafilter: Best of the best. I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!
posted by humannaire at 2:01 AM on January 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


In other words, dnab basically flamed himself out here, without our help

Sys rq, I think, had a solid point, and it should not be obscured by the white hot of the preceding flameout. While I may disagree with the initial line of reasoning advanced by d.n.a.b. et al, throwing variations on bitch his way was well out of line. This isn't a Team Fortress 2 server, favorites are not powerups, and a certain bandwidth of fist-pumping, dominance-displaying banter does not carry the same effect here as it does on Battlenet. I don't think any real cruelty was intended so much as frustration at the color and tenor of debate. Still, not cool.
posted by kid ichorous at 5:26 AM on January 6, 2010


I am sorry that dnab and Sys Rq are gone and I will miss them.
posted by Kwine at 6:06 AM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the update cortex. Okay, well, you have to accept people's choices, and that they are doing what's right for them. But it is always nice to say goodbye.

Goodbye dnab.
posted by anitanita at 7:30 AM on January 6, 2010


(Well, kind of. I got lost in the Blazecock's bomb about Horatio Alger being a predator. That completely gave me a mental somersault. After googling on the subject for twenty minutes, I even had to post that one on my Facebook page.)

gives a whole new meaning to "ragged dick," man.
posted by liketitanic at 7:36 AM on January 6, 2010


Navelgazer: "The discussion was about tropes, which aren't exactly the same thing as stereotypes and are a far cry from sweeping generalizations."

I would really like to have this conversation about tropes, stereotypes and sweeping generalizations and would start another MeTa post about it now except that I both wonder whether it's too soon and I also don't think I'd be able to attend it right now enough to justify starting the conversation.

But maybe it's something we can discuss later? Because I think we could make significant headway in developing a useful system of rhetoric on Metafilter. No, I don't wish such a think to be proscriptive, but I do think it would be a great idea to discuss not only this stuff but also to discuss which memes and tropes don't seem to be a good idea on Metafilter.

I say this being one of the several people whose first (and for me, only) post on MeFi was the (immediately deleted) vibrating broom toy post. I didn't know until this thread that the Onion article I linked to was equally reviled (in fact I linked to it not knowing it had ever been mentioned on Metafilter). It would be great to have a reference where we could know about that sort of thing without having to learn it firsthand the hard way, and if I were primary (not that I am saying I want the role, just saying what I'd do if I had it) in developing a guideline for rhetoric on Metafilter I'd include that sort of reference as part of the whole guideline.
posted by kalessin at 7:39 AM on January 6, 2010


Am I the only person who read this in a Bond villain way?

If you associate a Bond villain with tedious pomposity, general spinelessness, and being far too in love with the sound of their own voice despite having very little of actual substance to say, then no.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:43 AM on January 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


kalessin, are you serious? Your old joke was old. It's nothing personal. All your old joke are old, man.
posted by Mister_A at 7:52 AM on January 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, there's a wiki that may have some of the history you're talking about.
posted by Mister_A at 7:54 AM on January 6, 2010


I'm pissed, but not about the use of tropes, sterotypes or latent phobias. This thread cost me a cooking buddy... I don't know him well enough to know his email address. I don't know where to find him again, and that means I loose the ability to live an old life - which I miss dearly - vicariously through him.

Well... time to learn to make new friends.... bleh.

I'm now taking applications. If you cook prefessionally and are really pushing the curve - let me know. You can be gay, straight, catholic, christian, muslim, wiccan, black, white, asian, whatever... I really don't care. Honestly, if you are a biggot, or act like a jerk to people to feel better about yourself... well I care... but I can overlook some of that as long as your cooking posts don't reflect that and you really keep your focus on that. Its actually amazing how frequently professional kitchens reflect a great deal of diversity and differing ideas and how - like it or not - you have to work with people you may not like, may not agree with and generally you'd throttle any day of the week outside of work... and in a kitchen you do it because you all have to do it to survive....

Kitchens in that respect - are a utopia - moreso even than the internet. Nothing clears up a bit of division and disagreement quite like a busy night of service...

You need the pans from the dishwasher. It doesn't matter that the grill cook is a woman. It doesn't matter that she likes other women... Your sous chef may only speak enough english to insult you... and actually, the english your sous chef speaks may be an insult because they have to speak english to you. There's drama - there's hookups - there's mistakes... but ultimately regardless of how anyone feels - you are all working towards a goal.


There's a point I'm making here by the way. I'm not just talking about cooking, and realistically I cooked long enough that I hate people and don't want friends (hello internet!). I'm not pointing out what sometimes makes it tough for us as a community: asides from a few specific instances there is very little which requires we treat eachother with respect - there is no common cause. There is no actual inscentive to get along.

Some people don't care that we lost two members today - statistically speaking, there's a chance on any given day that any one of us will flame out and disable our own account. We can rationalize it as "It was there time. Its not my fault. They were being hot headed and it was ultimately their decision." The same thing goes with "a portion of the comments will incite and offend someone despite our best efforts to contain or curtail our latent predjudices." Statistically its going to happen.

Let me tell you. Even if statistics hold up - it doesn't make it okay.

So here's where I challenge every member, every moderator, and anyone who reads this site. Find something: some method of unification, cohesion and an urgency to do the best we can as a community every day because we are forced together and there are lassting consequences when we fail as a community. This thread - in my opinion - demonstrates perfectly what a failed night in a kitchen looks and feels like - a night where we fail to see the urgency of coming to terms with eachother.

Last side note:
Jessamyn, I feel for your loss. You have my condolences.
posted by Nanukthedog at 8:27 AM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Mister_A: "kalessin, are you serious? Your old joke was old. It's nothing personal. All your old joke are old, man."

It's bullshit like this that encourages flouncing or flaming out.

Of course I'm fucking serious. If I'm not serious I post short-ass comments that are flippant. If I'm serious, I put time into writing some words out and hoping that they make sense to the next poor bastard that reads them.
posted by kalessin at 8:37 AM on January 6, 2010


Mister_A: "Also, there's a wiki that may have some of the history you're talking about."

Cool, thanks!
posted by kalessin at 8:37 AM on January 6, 2010


Well flame and/or flounce out then, man. I was just surprised to see the lengths to which you're willing to go with this. I think it's a silly idea inspired by a perceived loss of face among internettoes over an old sex joke, but if it makes you happy then go write your guidelines.
posted by Mister_A at 8:42 AM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


This thread keeps making me sadder and sadder. Two of my favorite posters gone, Jessamyn making me realize how trivial that really is, and yet I'm still getting sadder. Why am I still reading it?

I'd really like it if dirtynumbangelboy and Sys Rq come back, but I really hope I never read another thread like this again.
posted by This Guy at 8:45 AM on January 6, 2010


Er, I'll just take this little person-to-person convo to MeMail then.
posted by kalessin at 8:46 AM on January 6, 2010


kalessin, are you serious? Your old joke was old. It's nothing personal. All your old joke are old, man."

It's bullshit like this that encourages flouncing or flaming out.


You, sir, puzzle me greatly. You tell someone who's letting you know"Hey, look, this WASN'T personal - ANYONE who made an old joke would get told 'Dude, that already happened'" that this is bullshit?

I totally, totally don't understand the POV here that believes that vitriol is the correct response to gentle correction.

You really seem to have a hard time letting go of this and no one here means any malice by pointing out that some jokes have already been made. Really, this has gone past absurdity totally into "WTFBBQ."
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:50 AM on January 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Here's something I say frequently to my kids:

If you have a problem with something I say, you can talk to me calmly and respectfully, and I will always listen to what you have to say. I may or may not change my mind, but I will listen and think about it. I do NOT listen to screaming. If you can not talk to me without screaming, go be by yourself until you can.

It is okay to be mad. It is not okay to be mean. You may not hit, kick, call names, or otherwise try to hurt anyone. If you can not keep yourself from doing those things, you should not be around other people. Go to your room until you get yourself under control, and then we can talk.

---

My six-year-old gets this now. The four-year-old still struggles with it. So do oh-so-many grown-ups on metafilter.
posted by Dojie at 8:57 AM on January 6, 2010 [27 favorites]


Two responses: First off, that the "I'm a drunk, 'cuz I'm IRISH" schtick is something that, God love ya, you've been overplaying a lot lately

Not just lately.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:03 AM on January 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yeah, hey Jessamyn, hang in there.

This thread adds "stereotypes" (and tropes and generalizations) relating to ethnicity, race, sexuality, gender, etc. to the list of things metafilter demonstrably Does Not Do Well.

Histrionics over ambiguous language obviously not derogatory in conscious intent accomplishes nothing. There are actual instances of hatred, oppression, and cruelty out there worth getting on a moral high horse about. They're not happening on Metafilter, and if they do, the vast majority of community members would stand in opposition (and sometimes has).

If there's room for debate, there is room for civility. Period.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:15 AM on January 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


Two responses: First off, that the "I'm a drunk, 'cuz I'm IRISH" schtick

Yeah. the Russians drink at least as much as the Irish, but you never see a pub-grub chain called 'Trotsky's.' the fuck is up with that?
posted by jonmc at 9:19 AM on January 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


Find something: some method of unification, cohesion and an urgency to do the best we can as a community every day because we are forced together and there are lassting consequences when we fail as a community.

I back your sentiment here at the same time I question whether it's always possible to pursue methods of unification/cohesion without pissing someone off. Case in point, an attempt I made about two-thirds of the way through the thread to see some humor in the tenor of the discussion, and share this humor. A few people "got it". I also got firmly told to cut my snarking and stop being insensitive (or words to that effect), all rather disingenuously, I feel. Were I younger man, I'm sure I would have fired back, likely uncharitably. But I'm not, so I bit my tongue.

I've already quoted Navelgazer on this but it bares repeating:

This whole thread has seemed to be a string of every comment being taken in the worst possible way and then attacked with equal force.

Oddly enough, this reminds me of how my extended family sometimes works. That is, we treat each other with less patience, less charity, less empathy than we'd ever treat "strangers". Maybe that's what's been going on in this thread. We all just spent Christmas with family etc and have reverted to some sloppy communication tactics that just can't work in an online "community" such as Metafilter.

Do I have something/anything to actually suggest here toward methods of encouraging unification/cohesion? Maybe. How about a Meta (not now, maybe after things have cooled down a bit) where we can discuss how to positively, creatively, effectively negotiate the complex behavioral and political ramifications inherent in this second comment of Navelgazer's (also alluded to already):

His moral judgments were basically correct, but his emotions were far from appropriate.

Seriously. Passion is beautiful, is vital, is proof of life itself. But when our passions collide (ie: when a slight, maybe not intended but definitely FELT, triggers righteousness, triggers judgment, triggers condemnation) these same passions can quickly become the worst kind of ugly, as way too much of this thread attests.

Love is the answer but there's a damned complex calculation required before you can get to it.
posted by philip-random at 9:24 AM on January 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


... talk to me calmly and respectfully, and I will always listen to what you have to say. I may or may not change my mind, but I will listen and think about it.

This crucial part is sometimes missing.
posted by CKmtl at 9:26 AM on January 6, 2010


grapefruitmoon: "You, sir, puzzle me greatly."

Okay, we can talk about this here instead of in MeMail (but I've gotten the impression from cortex and jessamyn that they'd prefer I take this kind of lower level strata discussion to MeMail).

Here are my impressions, and please be aware that one of the reasons I prefer to deal with discussing these kinds of discussions one-on-one is that it is at this point I strongly feel like any progress being made is purely accidental and that the risk is ultra-mega-great that what I say has already been taken out of context and will continue to have that done to it.

Also, before I continue, I feel it prudent to remark that I am a wordy bastard. Lots of people seem to misinterpret this wordiness as a mark of anger, aggression, hand-wringing, obsession, or whatever, but I am simply very verbose and I tend to feel like it's only in verbosity that serious subjects get the serious treatment they deserve. That I am occasionally wordy is not a good paralinguistic representation of my emotional state. If you want a better representation of my emotional state you should look for my frequency and kind of typo.

Impressions/Key Phrases:
Hypocrisy: We are talking about people's responses to old news, but when I object to being repeatedly informed that my shit is old (even though I've already been told so in public earlier in the same thread) I am told that I am the problem, but to me it seems pretty hypocritical that folks who are doing the repeated telling are engaging in the same problematic behavior: delivering old news (in this case to me) that I have already clearly communicated I have heard, have got and am moving along from having done so.

"It's nothing personal.": This is an empty phrase to me that almost always covers for the fact that someone is about to get personal. I tend to ignore it because of its lack of efficacy. I do get that there are times when "It's nothing personal." is actually sincerely stated and meant in the fullest sincerity, but this was not one of those times (at least from my POV).

vitriol: It is true that I can get sarcastic and vitriolic. From my POV, this happens after I have gone to all reasonable lengths to be as supportive, communicative and compassionate, and I am out of patience and someone stands on my last nerve. But also I know that I am a freakin' mutant because usually when I say or act like I am over it, I am, at least until another person asks me interesting questions about what's going on in my head. When that happens I usually try to answer those. But only if I can do so respectfully. Or I can just be over it when I'm done with the conversation. But most of the time even if I leave the conversation I try to do so in the spirit of no hard feelings. In general if I have an issue with someone whom I like and respect I will hash it out with them rather than wanting to let the issue lie and fester.

My use of "bullshit like this", if I think about it, stems from this sort of train of thought:
We minorities (I have some in commonality with d.n.a.b.) feel isolated, whether or not we talk about it, by being minorities, having those differences from the majority and I think it tends to color how we talk with folks about the related dynamics of communication. I think that trivializing the communication with remarks that indicate I should just get over it and move on and simultaneously baiting me over it with remarks that are denigrating is not only rude but it tends to emphasize and strengthen that feeling of isolation to the point where we wonder, "Well, self, why do we bother trying to keep communicating?" That's the kind of "bullshit like this" that I was talking about, and that's why I can totally empathize with d.n.a.b.'s flameout.

I am not comfortable talking about the subject of the MeMail I exchanged with Mister_A, but I would like to say that I think we resolved our difficulties.

Finally, grapefruitmoon (and anyone else about to tell me that it puzzles me that I don't seem to be over this discussion because I keep participating in it), I am still talking about it because YOU are still talking about it. I am talking about it because the conversation is two-sided and there seems to be some interest in talking about it.

That I am talking about it does not mean I am not willing and able to drop it. I am willing to and able to, but I am talking about it, participating in the conversation because it still interests me. (And it apparently interests you too, because you are still writing about it too.)
posted by kalessin at 9:51 AM on January 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Two of my favorite posters gone, Jessamyn making me realize how trivial that really is, and yet I'm still getting sadder.

I'm really sorry. I wasn't trying to do any competitive suffering thing there, but trying to explain my sort of "not this shit again" mood. I also hope SysRq decides to come back. If dnab wants to, he is of course welcome; I admire his mind but I worry about his temper.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:57 AM on January 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


And it apparently interests you too, because you are still writing about it too.

If by "interests" you mean "baffles," then yes. But your very lengthy comment has pretty much addressed all sides of the issue, so that's the end of that.

PS: If "minorities," you mean the "GLBTQWTFBBQ" community - please don't assume that anyone telling you to move on is NOT a member of that group.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:45 AM on January 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


grapefruitmoon: "If "minorities," you mean the "GLBTQWTFBBQ" community - please don't assume that anyone telling you to move on is NOT a member of that group."

I do not see what I said that was exclusionary. I am one of the least exclusionary people I know. It saddens me that I am often misinterpreted as being exclusionary when I'm trying my darndest to be as clear as possible that I'm not being exclusionary.

It may be informative to know that I do not assume communal feelings or sentiments with folks with whom I share a (minority or otherwise) community, though. It has not been my experience that folks with whom I share community are folks I can by default trust to be any more loving, supportive or kind than strangers can by default be trusted to be.

On the other hand, I also do not expect that anyone who disagrees with me is not in my community, nor do I habitually assume that folks who disagree with me are doing so in any personal or targeted way.

I am generally comfortable with and okay with folks disagreeing with me publicly. I don't take it personally.

There are other aspects of communication that I do have trouble avoiding taking personally but I think I already treated that in my comment above.
posted by kalessin at 11:58 AM on January 6, 2010


Oh Crabby Appleton. You're the Crabby Apple-ist.

I don't pretend to speak for Jessamyn, and my hoping that you don't actually take the time to write out yet another sarcastic and fighty screed, on how MetaFilter would be better if you were in charge this time, has nothing to do with her, and everything to do with the brain cells I lose every time you take the time to explain to this community how much you dislike it here.

As for the "real" Lazarus Long feeding me to a loper for defiling his name, that's a matter of opinion I suppose. If you want to get into a debate concerning who a fictional character would like more, that's a conversation you are free to have without me. For what it's worth, Bill Hicks would like me more than you.
posted by lazaruslong at 12:12 PM on January 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Can we stop using the word 'fighty?' It's a stupid word.
posted by jonmc at 12:15 PM on January 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


jonmc: "Can we stop using the word 'fighty?' It's a stupid word.
posted by jonmc
"

No thanks, mate.
posted by lazaruslong at 12:16 PM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I, too, prefer kampfy.
posted by kid ichorous at 12:16 PM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Bellicose for me.
posted by boo_radley at 12:27 PM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can we stop using the word 'fighty?' It's a stupid word.

I find that it pretty well expresses what I'm trying to get across. Do you have other good suggestions? Some that I've discarded

- pugilistic
- oppugnant
- belligerent
- irascible
- combative [probably closest]
- scrappy
- truculent
- bellicose

And really, do you have a better argument for not using it than you personally thinking it's stupid?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:31 PM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'll take any of those, jess. I just figured that since we're a community of relatively intelligent people, we could do better in the adjective department than attaching a 'y' to a noun. It sounds like a word a toddler would use "Mom, Jimmy's being fighty!"

(also, I know that nobody will stop using it because I don't like it, if anything it'll probably increase. but I had to get my annoyance out of my system.)
posted by jonmc at 12:38 PM on January 6, 2010


I have no problem with fighty, but I'd have no problem if we re-popularized pugilistic. It makes me think of old-timey dudes with handlebar moustaches and Brylcreemed hair, and I think picturing fighty MeFites in that fashion might help defuse future conflicts.
posted by shiu mai baby at 12:41 PM on January 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


We say "crabby" in our house, but it's accompanied by little pinching gestures with our hands and some sideways walking.

I guess it wouldn't translate.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 12:42 PM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


stop being so jonmcy, jonmc.
posted by boo_radley at 12:44 PM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I had to get my annoyance out of my system.

The word "yum" or "yummy" makes me want to jump out a window. Or people who refer to their infants as "babes", not as in, I got you babe, but as in "the babe is asleep."

*shudder*

I like the turn this thread has taken.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 12:44 PM on January 6, 2010


I like ‘irascible’. It sounds like lovable rogue a la Han Solo – though I suppose that’s not the tone we’re trying to find here
posted by Think_Long at 12:44 PM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I personally prefer truculent.
posted by kalessin at 12:45 PM on January 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


I have no problem with fighty, but I'd have no problem if we re-popularized pugilistic. It makes me think of old-timey dudes with handlebar moustaches and Brylcreemed hair, and I think picturing fighty MeFites in that fashion might help defuse future conflicts.

Yes, a thousand times yes. Reminds me of this
posted by ob at 12:45 PM on January 6, 2010


Oh, and johnmc -- you can thank Joss Whedon for the newish convention of adding y to a noun to turn it into an adjective.
posted by shiu mai baby at 12:45 PM on January 6, 2010


old-timey dudes with handlebar moustaches

Don't even get me started on the handlebar mustache plague. Same with the thick-beards-on-young-men trend, makes them look like fucking rabbis.
posted by jonmc at 12:46 PM on January 6, 2010


Ooh, thanks for the Raffles, Gentleman Thug link, ob.

Metafilter: given to immense erudition and wanton violence.
posted by shiu mai baby at 12:47 PM on January 6, 2010


Oh Crabby Appleton. You're the Crabby Apple-ist.

DAMN YOU! Just when I had finally gotten that freakin' song outta my head, too.
posted by zarq at 12:48 PM on January 6, 2010


It doesn't mean the same thing, but I like the word "punchy."

I mean, as long as we're just talking likes and dislikes.
posted by Bookhouse at 12:49 PM on January 6, 2010


Ooh, thanks for the Raffles, Gentleman Thug link, ob.

You're welcome. It's wonderfully silly.
posted by ob at 12:50 PM on January 6, 2010


you can thank Joss Whedon for the newish convention of adding y to a noun to turn it into an adjective.

Well, you can thank him for some recent pop-culture visibility. The usage is not new; OED cites for the modern usage start in the mid-19th century and it tracks the general evolution of the -y adjectival suffix back several hundred more years, mentioning as half-a-millenia old such new-fangled terms as chilly, haughty, lanky, and slippery.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:57 PM on January 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


i <3 the word stabby.
posted by nadawi at 12:58 PM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oppugnant! Oppugnant!
posted by EvaDestruction at 12:59 PM on January 6, 2010


You know what? I totally agree with nadawi.
posted by kalessin at 1:01 PM on January 6, 2010


I think there should be more handlebar mustaches and big sideburns but that cowboy hats and John Deere hats should be outlawed when worn as an "ironic" statement by urbanites.
posted by small_ruminant at 1:08 PM on January 6, 2010


That's just something to think about.
posted by koeselitz at 1:33 AM on January 6


I am deeply troubled by your use of a starting bracket and then an ending parentheses and that your whole comment is written as an aside.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:13 PM on January 6, 2010


It makes me think of old-timey dudes with handlebar moustaches and Brylcreemed hair, and I think picturing fighty MeFites in that fashion might help defuse future conflicts.

Flash animation opportunity:

Construct some basic South Park style animation of an old time bare-fisted boxing match which, given certain relevant conditions (ie: an eruption of META-fightyness) can quickly be launched featuring the profile pictures of the two pugnacious members. I'm sure I could dig up some relevant sound FX.

Further development could include a battle-royal setting (multiple members beating on multiple members) and a pile-on setting (multiple members beating on a single member).

All matches would end with either A. a hug or B. one (or perhaps more than one) of the fighters erupting in flames not to be seen again ... for a while anyway.
posted by philip-random at 1:13 PM on January 6, 2010


I had to get my annoyance out of my system.

....I actually don't like the word "annoyance", since we're sharing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:23 PM on January 6, 2010


Me don't like the word "I'
posted by found missing at 1:25 PM on January 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


wot, fisticuffs?
posted by scody at 1:31 PM on January 6, 2010


There's two "i"s in idiot.
posted by philip-random at 1:35 PM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


mentioning as half-a-millenia old such new-fangled terms as chilly, haughty, lanky, and slippery.

Imagine just how fucking irritating it must have been in the 17th century when everyone in the castle was was suddenly all "ooh, watch out, the floor is super slipper-y!" and you'd be like "why don't you just say wet like we have since the fucking dark ages?" and they'd be all "don't be so haught-y squire" and you'd think Christ Allmight-y the King's English is going to hell in a hand-y basket.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 1:36 PM on January 6, 2010 [32 favorites]


I have just fallen in love with Combustible Edison Lighthouse
posted by scody at 1:41 PM on January 6, 2010


wot, fisticuffs?

No, Bartitsu!
posted by electroboy at 1:42 PM on January 6, 2010


....I actually don't like the word "annoyance", since we're sharing.

Yes, it is extremely annoyancey.
posted by Rumple at 1:43 PM on January 6, 2010 [3 favorites]



....I actually don't like the word "annoyance", since we're sharing.


I'm not a big fan of "disrespect", as a verb.
posted by electroboy at 1:44 PM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not a big fan of the word "fan" as it's just short for fanatic and everybody knows fanatics are responsible for most of the world's wickedness.

DEATH TO ALL FANATICS!
posted by philip-random at 1:46 PM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


half-a-millenia old such new-fangled terms as chilly, haughty, lanky, and slippery.

Really? It's pretty hard to imagine the last three words denuded of their adjectival y.

At party w/ very drunken John Lyly. 1 haught little slipp of a girl was like chill, Falstaff, and you'll lank me theater. Lyly fain swoon of funny.
posted by kid ichorous at 1:47 PM on January 6, 2010


OK, work day done. Where were we? Ah yes...
posted by fixedgear at 1:50 PM on January 6, 2010


Kalessin and I both like the same word, see that?

A close second is "belligerosterical".
posted by Mister_A at 1:55 PM on January 6, 2010


This thread has really made me think. Examine basic assumptions. Chiefly: Is it possible that I am not as sexy as I think I am? REDUNCULOUS!

I work out. I can crack wall nuts with my butt. I have a great come hither eye brow arch. So. Why won't anybody grab my dick anymore?

What am I? Chopped liver?

Oh. Right. My wife.
posted by tkchrist at 2:02 PM on January 6, 2010


Is it possible that this thread will be all go ony forevery?
posted by ob at 2:03 PM on January 6, 2010


I refuse to stop commenting in this thread until dnab gets all come backy.
posted by found missing at 2:07 PM on January 6, 2010


hmm
posted by found missing at 2:07 PM on January 6, 2010


Dammit, scody, did you have to go evoke musical theater memories? I'll have that song stuck in my head for hours.
posted by EvaDestruction at 2:10 PM on January 6, 2010


Sure enough, haute, lank, and slipor were words in Old or Middle English. It's just that the y-less forms of the words fell out of use, and the y-ful ones stuck around.
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:12 PM on January 6, 2010


It's a good thing they got all y-fuly then.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:15 PM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the -y being an apparent pairing of the Germanic -ig to Romantic roots like haute-
posted by kid ichorous at 2:25 PM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Get offy my lawny, douchebaggies.
posted by jonmc at 2:28 PM on January 6, 2010


...which uh just goes to show that all differences can be decoded reconciled under some handwave-y application of language and time. There! No more flamewars and banishings.
posted by kid ichorous at 2:30 PM on January 6, 2010


and reconciled. fuck it, peace is too hard, back to war.
posted by kid ichorous at 2:31 PM on January 6, 2010


Same with the thick-beards-on-young-men trend, makes them look like fucking rabbis.

Actually, some of the young men I know with thick beards really get a kick out of people thinking they're rabbis. I'd do it if I could.
posted by dunkadunc at 2:57 PM on January 6, 2010


I'm going to put forward what is likely to be an unpopular opinion. I'm glad dnab has committed himself to not coming back. He was clearly not happy here. In the time I've been here, he has consistently flipped his shit over things that really just weren't worth flipping one's shit over. With the amount of vitriol he spewed in this thread and in other past threads, it's clear to me that he's just not a good fit here, and that he causes more problems than he helps to fix with the admittedly excellent contributions when he's not flipping his shit.

Metafilter is less tolerant of bigotry in all its forms than any other community I've ever participated in, on the internet or in real life, and what's more, when bigotry rears its head here, is on the whole better able to explain to people why the things they're saying are not okay than any other forum of discussion I've encountered. Metafilter has forced me to confront more prejudices and presuppositions than I even knew I had, and when I joined this website I was already a decidedly liberal, progressive human being (compared to the American average) committed to combating bigotry and injustice when I encountered it. Metafilter has made me a demonstrably better person in this regard. And dnab, when he flips his shit, as he so often does, damages the discourse here. He interferes with the process of getting through to people who, though well meaning in most ways, possess prejudices they don't even realize.

Everything Navelgazer said above is true, and his comment is well worth reading again. The last paragraph is a perfect answer to dunkadunc's poorly phrased but genuine question that started this whole mess. An answer like that could have happened in the original thread on the blue and completely precluded this entire MeTa, except that dnab's vitriol happened first.

If Metafilter was the source of dnab's unhappiness, or whatever problem it is that has made him flip his shit here so regularly, then I'm glad he's finally torn himself away. If (as I suspect) the source is somewhere else, I'm sorry for him, and I hope he can get to a place in his life where he can come back and not shit all over this site. Until then, I'm glad he's torn himself away so that he doesn't bring his outside baggage here and inflict it on the rest of us. Hopefully, while he's gone, we can do a better job of becoming even less tolerant of bigotry than we already are, by educating people about why their unconscious prejudices aren't okay without anyone's shit flipping putting their backs up.

I don't know what happened with Sys Rq, who I've always respected enormously, but I hope his crazy reaction to the thread was an overreaction rooted in things external to Metafilter, and that he'll come back to us. But then again, if he's determined to be pissed off and stay away over a completely insane reading of cortex's eminently reasonable comments to dnab, maybe it's better than he stay away too. Seriously, the accusation of censorship at cortex in this thread is one of the most bizarre things I've ever seen on this site.
posted by Caduceus at 2:59 PM on January 6, 2010 [24 favorites]


IMO, no one has ever gotten positive change enacted in a site by leaving or threatening to leave, except in the case that their leaving is what improves it.
posted by empath at 3:43 PM on January 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Metafilter has forced me to confront more prejudices and presuppositions than I even knew I had, and when I joined this website I was already a decidedly liberal, progressive human being (compared to the American average) committed to combating bigotry and injustice when I encountered it.

I second this.
posted by Think_Long at 3:50 PM on January 6, 2010


I still think the appearance of bitched out in Sys Rq's cites was significant. I'm surprised that particular phrase flew in this particular context, as did (I think) "drama queen."
posted by kid ichorous at 3:53 PM on January 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


How about thespian instead of drama queen?
posted by fixedgear at 3:59 PM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Metafilter has forced me to confront more prejudices and presuppositions than I even knew I had

I agree with this, and it was largely done by proxy, when other people have said things that I found completely unobjectionable or that I agreed with, which were then challenged by others.
posted by empath at 4:00 PM on January 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


If you mean "flew" as in "didn't get deleted", I don't really have much I can say; we don't delete much here, and in this case neither of the things in question seem like they come close to crossing that line.

I can see a thorny reading Ritchie's usage of "bitched out" when you put a fine point on it, but it didn't leap out at me as other than fairly typical (if arguably problematic and worth discussing, maybe) usage. I think it'd take some effort or some context I'm missing to read it in this case as likely being a specific attempt to indirectly say dnab was a bitch, but I acknowledge that that's only my personal (lack of any striking) impression of it.

As for "drama queen", it's such a gnarled and overloaded bit of site-historic jargon at this point that trying to unpack what someone means by it in a random metatalk snark in a contentious thread seems near impossible. I agree that as an attempt to jab at some old, hopefully mostly scabbed-over site drama it's not great, but again there's a big distance between "not great" and "being deleted from metatalk". And short of that, going ahead and just addressing it in conversation is probably your standard recourse. So, hey.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:04 PM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I understand, and I don't think it violates any kind of community standard. It was only that it stood out among the few words Sys Rq chose to write in departure. The only times I ever hear variations on 'bitch-' or "bitchy-" delivered between males are in simulated and actual aggression, Counterstrike or throwing punches, so I can understand if someone were to quit mid-argument upon hearing it. I also take the point that bitching is a different thing from an accusation of bitchcraft. Not quite low blows, either word still tends to lower Defcon just a little, I think.
posted by kid ichorous at 4:35 PM on January 6, 2010


"It's for their own good" or "it all worked out for the best" justifications strike me as Sister Betty Bowers style creepiness. Joy at their departure because they were irritating is a lot more honest and therefore less icky, in my opinion.

Whether someone is happy here or not isn't my business and maybe happiness isn't what they were here for to begin with.

I'm sorry dnab and Sys Rq left. I wish they'd taken a cooling off period instead, but then they didn't ask me.
posted by small_ruminant at 4:41 PM on January 6, 2010


Oh dear. Until my name was mentioned I had no idea my innocuous comment had caused a problem. I used the term 'bitched out' as synonymous with 'chewed out'. I could've used 'chewed out' without losing anything. Not knowing that 'bitched out' might be fraught, it was pure chance I used it in place of something else. No malice was or is intended or harbored toward dirtynumbangelboy.

Happy to discuss, now I know that it caused some raised eyebrows. Or not: I'm happy to drop the usage altogether, both on Metafilter and off - I'm hardly stuck for alternatives. It seems pointless to delete the comment now, as doing so would make nonsense of Sys Rq's sign-off. Knowing that it may have factored into his decision to leave, I wish he'd mentioned it to me beforehand, as I'm sure it could've all been sorted out without rancor.
posted by Ritchie at 4:48 PM on January 6, 2010


The only times I ever hear variations on 'bitch-' or "bitchy-" delivered between males are in simulated and actual aggression, Counterstrike or throwing punches

Yeah, for me it was pretty normal to hear people in my family say they, or someone else, was "bitching" about something as just a straightforward or very slightly intensified synonym for "complaining" without any particular charge to it, regardless of the gender of the person relating the story, the person doing the complaining, and the person being complained to or about. So it doesn't have the same strikingly specific connotation for me in an otherwise null context. Different experiences and all that.

Whether someone is happy here or not isn't my business and maybe happiness isn't what they were here for to begin with.

Yeah, I don't really feel like it's specifically my business whether someone is happy or unhappy either; I've certainly had conversations with people where I've wondered what they get out of being here, but "being happy" isn't a requirement to be a part of the site community.

Where my confusion or concern for someone comes in on that front is mostly when it seems like it's spending time on Metafilter that is seeming somehow to be contributing to making them unhappy. Which, again, fundamentally whether someone wants to choose to spend time somewhere that they find actively unpleasant is their own thing, but it does get to be a weird emotional load on any interactions that involve having to deal with the site-problematic behavior that unhappiness ends up producing.

And that generalizes beyond just Metafilter to just about anything in life. It may not be my business whether someone I know is happy or unhappy, or whether they things they choose to do cause them to become more happy or unhappy. But if the behavior that that state of being produces starts affecting my life directly, it becomes my business as far as finding out how to mitigate or manage that effect goes. And even if it's not directly affecting me, I may wish that something in their life could change that makes it possible for them not to have such a lousy time of things.

There's a lot of basic empathy that comes into it, when you see someone you care about hurting; when they seem to somehow be hurting themselves and hurting others because of choices they make or continue to make, it's a specific kind of painful to watch or be involved with.

So I don't think there's anything inherently creepy about thinking someone partitioning off some part of their life may be for the best or for their own good. Someone could be creepy about that kind of sentiment, but I don't think it's a given and I don't think that's so much what folks in here have been doing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:57 PM on January 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Whether someone is happy here or not isn't my business and maybe happiness isn't what they were here for to begin with.

"Happy" was probably a poor choice of words. "Satisfied" or "content" or "copasetic" or some shit I can't come up with right now might have been better. My point is that he blew his top here an awful lot, and however great a commenter he was when he wasn't losing his cool, he caused more problems than was really okay, and was not good a civil discourse. If it was Metafilter that was causing him this stress, I hope for his sake he can have a less angry life from now on. If he was getting his upset from somewhere else and taking it out on us here, then fuck him.
posted by Caduceus at 5:09 PM on January 6, 2010


Also, I want to take this opportunity to really, truly sincerely thank the mod team as a whole for the amazing job they do on this site. I've participated in a fair number of forums and things resembling forums on the internet, and Metafilter is the only one that A) doesn't have a mod team that ran/runs things like a third-world dictatorship and B) doesn't have occasional all out, bigot-heavy flamefests where the mods aren't clearly on one side or the other. Now, there's a lot of forums on the internet, and I'm sure there are others that aren't operated like metaphorical gulags, but I really appreciate it that the mods here work so hard to keep things civil and don't abuse their powers to punish people they don't like. Thanks guys.
posted by Caduceus at 5:15 PM on January 6, 2010 [13 favorites]


Been working on some stuff AFK, just popping my virtual head in to see if Crabby's to-do list has been posted! Not yet?

also, what Caduceus said in their last comment
posted by jtron at 5:24 PM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


And I want to take this opportunity to apologize for using three adverbs in a row in the first sentence of that last comment.
posted by Caduceus at 5:37 PM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


THAT'S IT, I WANT ATTENTION SO I'M LEAVING METAFILTER FOREVER!
posted by fuq at 5:53 PM on January 6, 2010


not really
posted by fuq at 5:57 PM on January 6, 2010


"This thread adds "stereotypes" (and tropes and generalizations) relating to ethnicity, race, sexuality, gender, etc. to the list of things metafilter demonstrably Does Not Do Well."

Is there someplace that does them better? I consider many of these threads to be the best of metatalk. If you skim past the histrionics and pay attention to the folks who are making good-faith efforts to communicate with the other side, they are filled with a wealth of candid insight on difficult to discuss topics that I don't know you can find elsewhere.

The recent "Tran 101" thread and the one about how women feel when approached by strange men were both revelatory for me. I feel like these huge blind spots about how my behavior could affect other people were suddenly uncovered and I'm a better person for it.

So, in an effort to return the favor I'll point out that the Onion article is problematic and undermines the point that people posting it think they are advancing. Posting it in response to someone upset about being sexually assaulted is really disgusting victim-blaming.

I get the point that the article is trying to make and there is something to it. But, as a thought experiment change the victim to a woman upset about being sexually assaulted, or a homosexual upset about being battered by homophobes. Would you find it useful and acceptable then? What kind of message are you sending to someone who has experienced just such an assault (minus the exaggeration for comedic effect)?
posted by Manjusri at 6:12 PM on January 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


Wow. Just....wow. You know, some topics, we just do not do well. Having just read this entire Brecht-ian drama, I'm just floored. One one hand, we have some insane levels of willful ignorance and baiting, and on the other, a few gems of beautifully polished thought.

But I'm not sure the gems can outweigh the absolute destruction of the train wreck. I'm sad that we lost two valuable members over this. I hope they both realize that emotions around here are running very high today, and that they will reconsider and rejoin us.
posted by dejah420 at 7:51 PM on January 6, 2010


Is it too late to say that "scrappy" is a great word for "fighty"?
posted by jgirl at 8:00 PM on January 6, 2010


Someone I worked with called me "scrappy" once. I wore it proudly thereafter, except that it occasionally makes me think of a tiny bulldog puppy trying to show something larger and less cute who is "the boss."
posted by ltracey at 8:16 PM on January 6, 2010


To me, Fighty sounds like the least-loved of the dwarves...
posted by ersatzkat at 8:22 PM on January 6, 2010 [9 favorites]


scrappy reminds me of scrappy doo which makes me feel all fighty and stabby.
posted by nadawi at 8:24 PM on January 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm just here to state my immense love for the word FISTICUFFS. and also because I like clicking on the rainbow-maned pony. WHAT OF IT.

You may go about your business, internets.
posted by elizardbits at 8:27 PM on January 6, 2010


Manjusri — I don't think there's any contradiction there. When people say "MeFi does X badly," they usually seem to mean "MeFites sure do like to fight over X." Sometimes the fight winds up shedding some light on the subject. (Sometimes — like this time around — it doesn't.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:28 PM on January 6, 2010



Irrespective of how we hope people will behave when they are angry, and independent of what kind of discourse we choose to allow in any given community we are part of, I hope that one thing people will notice and think about here is that when an issue effects someone in real life, they may get emotional about it. And even if being emotional means that they act in a way we'd prefer they didn't, it's possible that their feelings are worth paying some attention to in that moment - in fact, what someone says when they are that angry might be worth paying extra attention to because as ugly as the presentation might be, chances are the angry person is speaking with honesty about some very real issues. Sometimes the amount of emotion can communicate something more and something different than any intellectualized discussion would.

Personally, I wasn't so enraged by dunkadunc's comments and dunkadunc, I take your post here as a good faith effort to have respectful dialog. However, I also believe that what you said was laiden with unconscious homophobia for reasons several people have explained above. And when I see or hear someone say something even a little homophobic, even when I know that person has good faith intentions and is generally a good person, I am prone to feel a little irrational about it, because I am gay, and homophobia isn't just theoretically troublesome for me, it is actually causing me very real harm. I've been in situations where I know people truly hated me just because I'm gay. I've had to call myself single when I wasn't. I've had many very close people in my life lose their families because they're gay or trans. Real people I know in real life have experienced physical violence because they are queer or trans. So sometimes when someone says something homophobic, even if I know that the most useful response might be to pull that person aside and gently explain that my feelings were hurt or what not, sometimes I just feel fucking pissed off. Or really scared. And maybe I might not express myself in the best way. But maybe I'm worth listening to in those moments too because what I do most often is I just say nothing and absorb it and then feel like shit later for saying nothing which is the most harmful response of all from my view.

I don't know why sys rq left, and I thought your comment to DNAB was appropriate Cortex, but it seems possible to me that sys rq might actually feel like this is not a welcoming place for queers. Which is something I hope folks will consider.

In conclusion, I really enjoy metafilter and I'm glad it's here. I am grateful for the excellent, thoughtful and compassionate work of the moderators. I am glad that this community as a whole opposes homophobia and regularly calls it out. And, I hope that we choose to get something useful out of what happened in this thread by thinking about what we can learn when people don't act the way we wish they would.
posted by serazin at 8:39 PM on January 6, 2010 [10 favorites]


and also because I like clicking on the rainbow-maned pony. WHAT OF IT.

this is what i see, right before everything goes blood
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:43 PM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you skim past the histrionics and pay attention to the folks who are making good-faith efforts to communicate with the other side, they are filled with a wealth of candid insight on difficult to discuss topics that I don't know you can find elsewhere.

This, a million fucking times.
posted by the_bone at 9:46 PM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Potomac Avenue, you are missing the Narwhal Preview Upgrade.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:49 PM on January 6, 2010


Posting it in response to someone upset about being sexually assaulted is really disgusting victim-blaming.

For all the victim-blaming that is being accused in this thread, how many more times do gay men get called sexual predators of all stripes? Why is it so difficult to understand why the original comment is questionable? I see a lot of defense for Metafilter as a welcoming place for gays and lesbians, but when I see how many people are so defensively putting their blinders on in response to questioning this, I really have to wonder if dnab didn't have a point, to some degree.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:41 AM on January 7, 2010


I really have to wonder if dnab didn't have a point, to some degree.

Yup, me too. I just think, as I said above, that he managed to undermine this point when he got over-aggressive. A shame really.
posted by ob at 7:04 AM on January 7, 2010


For all the victim-blaming that is being accused in this thread, how many more times do gay men get called sexual predators of all stripes? Why is it so difficult to understand why the original comment is questionable?

A lot of people have acknowledged that there are, indeed, a bunch of problems with the comment duncadunk made. The most generous reading of his comment that started this is that it was a poor context for, and poorly thought-out way of, conveying that anecdote; a less generous reading is that it betrayed some problematic assumptions or associations on his part about gay vs. straight sexual predation. A really ungenerous reading is that this was the slip that reveals him to be a seething homophobe who believe terrible things about gay men and etc.

There's a spectrum there, and I think most folks are reading at different spots in the middle, and there's been some totally decent and nuanced discussion in here about both the original comments and the reactions they have gotten, and that's a good thing and I'm glad that folks who do think his original comment was problematic have been willing to talk about that. Metafilter does well when folks can break down their objections to what other folks say in a productive and respectful fashion.

What people have been objecting most strongly to is the ungenerous extremity of that spectrum of interpretation—the stuff that goes beyond "what you said was problematic and seems kind of homophobic" into "you are a homophobe" territory—and honestly I think that's a fair objection and that dnab was being pretty unfair in basically treating anything other than a declaration that duncadunk was a terrible person as a betrayal of metafilter's gay community. Which is a hell of a line to draw in the sand, much as I can empathize with the combination of personal experience and possibly the weight of an especially bad day/week/month that might land him in that kind of emotional neighborhood.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:09 AM on January 7, 2010 [14 favorites]


What cortex said. Also, I like "fighty."
posted by languagehat at 7:21 AM on January 7, 2010


Yup, me too. I just think, as I said above, that he managed to undermine this point when he got over-aggressive.

I think the point is still valid, regardless of how angry dnab was being about it. The goal of convincing others was undermined, perhaps, but that doesn't invalidate criticism of dunkadunc being portrayed as the victim.

A shame really.

If point-invalidation is the source of shame, that's more of a reflection on the participants in this thread not understanding why the comment is a problem, and not so much on dnab, himself, being angry.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:39 AM on January 7, 2010


Really important things are rarely said really well. It's hard to communicate when you're choked with rage or grief. I try to understand that when the manner in which a point is made seems to be undermining the point itself, in part because I sometimes don't express myself well when I tackle a really big subject, and in part because I often hear valid criticisms or observations rejected because the listener didn't like the way the speaker expressed them.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:55 AM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I also agree with serazin. I think it's worth considering that not all folks (queer or not) seem to think that MetaFilter is a welcoming place for queers. Perhaps that's what all of my longer comments can boil down to.

Honestly a lot of what I was verbosely objecting to was stuff that regularly goes down for any activist. You say "Hey, that was fucked up." or "Hey, I don't know if you noticed or meant to come off sounding like it, but what you said sounded really XXX-ist to me." or whatever and it's not your feedback that is responded to but something else taken more personally and defensively than you ever dreamed (though that dreaming changes with experience).

Obviously cortex and other mods and other users all have a lot of good feedback about how best to say "Hey that was fucked up." in a way that's less confrontational and more likely to succeed in getting the point across, but also one of the things that I saw dirtynumbangelboy objecting to was essentially, (paraphrased) "Why do I have to be extra polite and careful when I and my people were the ones who were wronged?"

I think that the frission represented by these conflicting viewpoints (boiled down to "Be nice." vs. "That was fucked up, why do we have to be nice?") may be one of the reasons that not everyone agrees that MetaFilter is a welcoming place for queers. Queers already have it tough. It can be very hard for even committed, experienced, patient and compassionate activists (no, I don't put myself in that category) to respond positively to more of the same potentially hateful rhetoric.

I do want to make it clear that I do not agree that dirtynumbangelboy's typical reaction to issues that are what he broadly referred to as "homophobic" (to digress, I really disagree with his and many queer activists' use of the word as it is not intuitively descriptive) is constructive. That degree of reaction is rarely helpful for anyone to digest and respond positively.
posted by kalessin at 7:56 AM on January 7, 2010


I mean, what if the Greeks had said, well, you can't trust Pheidippides; that motherfucker can't even say something without straight-up dying.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:58 AM on January 7, 2010


Really important things are rarely said really well. It's hard to communicate when you're choked with rage or grief.

And that is precisely why I appreciate it so much when one of my friends takes me aside and says, "um, dude, you're getting a little overwrought trying to make your point here, maybe you should go get some fresh air."

They're not saying I don't have the right to speak. They're not saying that they disagree with me. They're saying that "you're letting your rage get the better of you and it is starting to work at cross-purposes with what you're trying to say."

Granted, maybe in the heat of the moment I get pissed at them, but that's also only because I'm overwrought and haven't calmed down yet. But invariably, after a good deep breath I realize that they were looking out for me and they were right.

That's what the mods were doing -- telling dnab "your rage is making you shoot yourself in the foot." They weren't saying "you shouldn't speak up about this."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:06 AM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's hard to communicate when you're choked with rage or grief.

I agree that dnab was not being very convincing. But I'm not sure he intended (or should have needed) to convince anyone of the problematic nature of what caused this post in the first place. Fightiness doesn't make dunkadunc a victim, nor does it excuse some of the people in this thread making him one, whatever one's personal opinion of dnab happens to be.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:06 AM on January 7, 2010


"Why do I have to be extra polite and careful when I and my people were the ones who were wronged?"

On one hand, I see the logic to this.

On the other hand, I don't think it's being extra polite as just simply not responding with equal vitriol because an eye for an eye making the world go blind and whatnot. I certainly wouldn't ever advocate for telling someone to "calm down" for a simple objection - but totally going off the rails only makes people defensive.

I am not speaking of anyone in this thread, just to the general point that while it is an understandable sentiment that you shouldn't have to be "extra" polite to someone who is wiping their butt on your quiet beach community, you shouldn't get a free pass for being a jerk either.

(Again, this is not related to anyone's actions in this thread.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:07 AM on January 7, 2010


It can be very hard for even committed, experienced, patient and compassionate activists (no, I don't put myself in that category) to respond positively to more of the same potentially hateful rhetoric.

And that's totally fair. I'm not bothered that people in a (willing or unwilling) activist role would be angry or want to object to shit they think stinks, that's totally reasonable and I think one of the better things that can happen when it's done well. And by "done well" I don't mean "be nice", I just mean "be minimally civil and constructive", and I feel like that's where the disconnect with dnab's approach to stuff comes in.

In other words, I agree with the sentiment in your paraphrase:

"Why do I have to be extra polite and careful when I and my people were the ones who were wronged?"

And I don't think people should have to be extra polite compared to baseline normal in those situations. I just also don't think that that's a fair characterization of the response dnab was getting and has in the past gotten; people generally aren't telling him to be extra polite, they're telling to not be extra impolite.

Which is certainly not something unique to him and I feel a little weird going on about it at length in his absence, but I feel like that's where it breaks down a little: where "please don't be an outright jerk about [thing x you're passionate about]" gets treated as "you have to be nicer about [thing x] than people who disagree with you", we end up at a tricky impasse; telling someone to cool it a little gets read as stifling, not telling someone to cool it gets read as endorsing shitty behavior.

And it doesn't help where (and I'm not sure this case is the best example of this) the person the activist is reacting to has actually been pretty shitty in their initial behavior that prompted the response. Because the feeling becomes: "why do I have to be extra polite compared to this person who is being awful", and that's a pretty understandable reaction. But it's a short circuit that ignores the larger social context: the person behaving badly in the first place does not get to be the baseline for how people behave; community expectations about baseline behavior remain, and it's that expectation that people need to abide by, not whatever elevated level of incivility someone being a jerk in the first place might have established.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:16 AM on January 7, 2010


As a mostly silent observer to this debacle, and a straight woman who would like to be queer-supportive, I have to agree with cortex. I found the original statements that were brought to MeTa problematic for reasons that have been thrashed to death in this thread (wrong place/wrong time, why does this asshole who grabbed you reflect on all gay men?, etc.). But on the other side, I did feel like there was a call for a two-minute hate going down, and I was really bothered by that, too.

As a feminist and a reader of/participant in boyzone discussion threads, I understand the urge to reach through the screen and throttle someone who's being a jackass on issues dear to my heart. I don't want the GLBTQ members of the community to feel unwelcome. But I don't know what to do to express support without becoming part of a different problem. I've seen people run out of online communities as an expression of social solidarity in the community, and that's no good either. I wish dnab and Sys Rq would come back, but that doesn't mean I want dunkadunc run out on a rail for what he said either, particularly if he's trying genuinely to learn what he did that offended other people and how to avoid that offense in future dealings on the site.
posted by immlass at 8:18 AM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


But I'm not sure he intended (or should have needed) to convince anyone of the problematic nature of what caused this post in the first place.

FWIW, I thought we were having a debate/discussion about this. The fact that dnab was basically right doesn't mean that he then has a right to fight with everyone.

Fightiness doesn't make dunkadunc a victim, nor does it excuse some of the people in this thread making him one, whatever one's personal opinion of dnab happens to be.


Again, I think you're right, but dnab was getting so out of hand that he was making him look like one.

I agree with you and I agree with the broad point. But this is a place for discussion and a place where I and many others have learned a lot about all sorts of issues. In this context dnab was getting out of hand and I think it was right to ask him just to calm down and take a breath. Frankly cortex (and others) have articulated this much better than I.
posted by ob at 8:37 AM on January 7, 2010


If someone makes a statement like dunkadunc's, which was not overtly straight-up offensive and homophobic, but had definite shades of insensitivity that he likely wasn't even aware of, it's almost never a good idea to react with vitriol and fightiness, as dnab did. If the goal is to point out and hopefully correct offensive behaviour, this is best done with empathy, understanding, and gentle re-education. (eg. "Dunkadunc, I'm sorry you were assaulted and I get that it affected you negatively, but don't you see how your reaction to it is wrongly blaming all gays for the action of one individual and furthering unfair stereotypes?")
dnab's approach was to go on the attack against dunkadunc personally and against straight men as a group. It was in every way the wrong approach to the problem. I understand his frustration and obviously so did cortex, but I get the idea that dnab just wanted a fight and when the mods wouldn't let him have one on his terms, he left.
For what it's worth, I think Metafilter *is* a welcoming place for gays and queers, but it's not a welcoming place for aggressive fightiness. And that's a good thing.
posted by rocket88 at 8:44 AM on January 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


The Narwhal Preview Upgrade is a must-have. I'm previewing right now.
posted by mendel at 9:13 AM on January 7, 2010


Honestly a lot of what I was verbosely objecting to was stuff that regularly goes down for any activist.

And I think some of the disconnect comes from the fact that the MeFi population largely isn't activist. I consider my positions on some topics activist. And I label them that because I feel strongly enough about them that I would rather lose friends than have to not talk about how I feel about a particular topic, i.e. that my feelings about the topic are more important than my general feeling for social cohesion on a particular topic. My sense is that for most people, there's a stronger need to get along, find common ground, be decent with each other, than support topics/issues. I sympathize with both sides.

We've definitely had people leave the site in the past because they feel that we, as mods, didn't do enough to moderate people's behavior around certain topics, notably homophobia, feminism/misogyny, treatment of the mentally ill. For people for whom these topics are particularly important -- people I might call activists, and I'm using sort of flat language to describe it only to be careful not because I'm not actually pretty passionate about this idea -- not doing anything is sometimes as damning as doing something. Some users have, in the past, emailed us personally saying "how can you let that comment stand?" and pointing to a comment that might be like dunkadunc's.

Frequently we get emails from people who say that our removal of their angry comments without the removal of the comments that made them angry implies some sort of anti-them bias [and along with that, people like them who might be gay, disabled, male/female, another race, etc] and calls us bigoted or whatever. We have to draw a line that feels to us sort of baseline-normal as far as how much we think it's important to remove offensive [to some people] comments and how much it's important to let the community sort it out together. The flag queue informs a lot of this and some decisions get made a little bit more by fiat [i.e. the casual racism stuff or the prison rape stuff].

As far as this particular topic, I have to feel that something that throws one member into an absolute rage is likely problematic enough that another non-rage-filled member will be able to discuss it and help make people aware of just what's so annoying/problematic/wrong about whatever it was. If that is not the case [i.e. whatever throws one person into a rage isn't even seen to be much of a problem to anyone else] then it may be on that member to figure out how to manage their expectations vis a vis the larger community.

I've said before, I consider it a small failure any time a member leaves because they're unhappy. However, as large as the site is, all decisions and mod/community actions are not going to please everyone. Sometimes people are going to make personal decisions that they can no longer abide by whatever's going on here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:23 AM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


cortex: "But it's a short circuit that ignores the larger social context"

I completely agree. I do think that the excesses of emotion that dirtynumbangelboy seemed to both encounter and express were sometimes out of the bounds of reason and were not only unfair but interfered with more reasonable discourse. I hope that if he changes his mind and comes back he'll be able to find a way to express himself with less extreme frontloading of rage, because I agree with you that it wasn't really productive and that it wasn't fair to the larger context of the discourse.

Also I wanted to thank you again for being such a careful and thorough communicator. It's very reassuring to me that you take the time to articulate your reactions to our questions and opinions and that you'll do it in a way that isn't truculent and really serves to make our overall discourse more profitable.
posted by kalessin at 9:31 AM on January 7, 2010


That laddie got ays crotch felt, and no cunt leaves here till we find out what cunt did it.
posted by sgt.serenity at 9:53 AM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


To be clear, I was not criticizing the moderators here, in any way.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:56 AM on January 7, 2010


jessamyn, thank you also for being such a careful and thorough communicator for the same reasons.

jessamyn: "I have to feel that something that throws one member into an absolute rage is likely problematic enough that another non-rage-filled member will be able to discuss it and help make people aware of just what's so annoying/problematic/wrong about whatever it was"

This is good to hear and precisely why I go out of my way (sometimes, but certainly not always) to discuss these sorts of things when I have the reserves/time to do so.

I know that my delivery is not always ideal, but I do try to be more meaningfully communicative than stabby. When I don't feel I can be anything other than stabby, I try not to be the one who comments.

For what it's worth, I do hear you and cortex about how this is a very difficult set of decisions to make, and I'm glad to hear that you both are aware of the other side of the coin (how could you not be) and I agree with you that the line you are walking seems to be the fairest.

I know you hear this a lot (but probably not enough). I really do think the MeFi mod team is absolutely the best mod team I have ever run across on the Internet. You are fair, consistent, compassionate and just. I think that you draw the right lines for difficult mod issues and, having been a mod on smaller communities, I think you are all very conscientious and effective and I trust the decisions you all make both individually and collectively. I very much appreciate what you all do for MetaFilter and also for me individually. Thank you.
posted by kalessin at 10:03 AM on January 7, 2010


grapefruitmoon: "...while it is an understandable sentiment that you shouldn't have to be "extra" polite to someone who is wiping their butt on your quiet beach community, you shouldn't get a free pass for being a jerk either. "

Agreed.
posted by kalessin at 10:18 AM on January 7, 2010


: Fightiness doesn't make dunkadunc a victim, nor does it excuse some of the people in this thread making him one, whatever one's personal opinion of dnab happens to be.

As far as I can tell, people in this thread are referring to duncadunc being a victim of sexual assault (per his original comment), not to him being a victim of dnab's vitriol.

duncadunc was assaulted, and responded with an inappropriate generalization that was not beyond ken if you have a little empathy. dnab was affronted, and responded with a disproportionate tirade that was not beyond ken if you have a little empathy.

Then everyone fought pointlessly about who had a right to feel which way.
posted by zennie at 10:32 AM on January 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


Responding to stuff in this thread has become a victim of my load-shedding algorithm (i.e., it ain't gonna happen). I apologize for saying I was going to do something that, it turns out, I'm just not going to do, or at least not any time soon. And I particularly apologize to anyone who was genuinely interested in what I have to say (a very small set, I imagine).
posted by Crabby Appleton at 10:46 AM on January 7, 2010


Well I’m genuinely curious, if only because you’ve hyped it up so much.
posted by Think_Long at 10:53 AM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks thoughtful, feeling, LIVING Community of MeFi, I think I get it now (ie: why I haven't been able to let this particular thread go).

THE BASIC QUESTION: "Why do I have to be extra polite and careful when I and my people were the ones who were wronged?"

THE BASIC ANSWER: His moral judgments were basically correct, but his emotions were far from appropriate.

I guess sometimes it just takes 500+ comments (and counting) to find out what the hell we're really talking about. All apologies if you feel I'm being too reductive here, but as someone with no particular horse in this race other than NOT wanting to see my favorite online community torn apart by rage, frustration, enmity (however righteous), these are the two basic points I will take away with me and, hopefully, use as my own personal guides when I feel my own bile rising in future situations (both here and not here).
posted by philip-random at 10:55 AM on January 7, 2010


Ego is a veil.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:12 AM on January 7, 2010


I apologize for saying I was going to do something that, it turns out, I'm just not going to do, or at least not any time soon.

Despite being deeply disappointed in missing what would indubitably have been a truly edifying experience chock-full of the eminently sensible and profoundly thoughtful contributions which have become synonymous with the name Crabby Appleton, I forgive you.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:18 AM on January 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


"Why do I have to be extra polite and careful when I and my people were the ones who were wronged?"

Because you're trying to lead them to a rational sympathetic understanding of your situation and you can almost never get there by yelling. If violence begets violence and you want to stop the violence, you need to be the civilizing, rational response that breaks the chain.
posted by doctor_negative at 1:20 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks, Alvy. Coming from you, that really means a lot.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 2:23 PM on January 7, 2010


the person behaving badly in the first place does not get to be the baseline for how people behave; community expectations about baseline behavior remain, and it's that expectation that people need to abide by, not whatever elevated level of incivility someone being a jerk in the first place might have established.

Does anybody else share my feeling that the world would be a better place were cortex in charge of US foreign policy?
posted by flabdablet at 4:19 PM on January 7, 2010


Does anybody else share my feeling that the world would be a better place were cortex in charge of US foreign policy?

There would certainly be more donuts. I can't imagine more donuts making the world a poorer place, that's for sure. He could probably even manage a world-wide meetup tour under the guise of diplomatic talks!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:45 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


CORTEX FOR SECRETARY OF STATE
posted by scody at 4:52 PM on January 7, 2010


JESUS CHRIST WHAT IS THIS 1950

IT'S ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT OF STATE
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:57 PM on January 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


YES YES, WHATEVER IT IS, BRING THE WOMENFOLK SOME DONUTS AND COFFEE

*pats cortex's ass*
posted by scody at 5:30 PM on January 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


"Honestly a lot of what I was verbosely objecting to was stuff that regularly goes down for any activist."

Not everyone is an activist, not everyone wants to be an activist, not everyone cares about your (or anyone's) activism, and activists can be pretty goddamned obnoxious, myopic, dogmatic and idiotic—and I say this as someone whose current day job is gay marriage activism.

And let's be honest—you weren't being an activist when you were posting your clichéd Onion links, and only attempted to shoulder the aegis of activism after being told those links were trite and late. Too many folks who are activists pretend to such inherent nobility that every disagreement is not just a disagreement but a slight against the universal justice they embody. It's not. Have some humility.
posted by klangklangston at 5:45 PM on January 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


klangklangston: "And let's be honest—you weren't being an activist when you were posting your clichéd Onion links, and only attempted to shoulder the aegis of activism after being told those links were trite and late."

I may not have been being a good, supportive, communicative and righteous activist at that time, but in my head, in my thoughts and emotions when I posted my clichéd Onion link (singular) I was in the activist (for me) space.

I'm good with having my shit be called bullshit, but I'm not okay with that happening and the caller trying to tell me what I was thinking in contravention to my stated narrative. I know what I was thinking, and I have stated it honestly and forthrightly. Why are you trying to play a game of bullshit chicken with me, klangklangston?
posted by kalessin at 7:35 PM on January 7, 2010


We were looking after a neighbor's goat a while ago. Bruce is a Boer, so he's much, much bigger than any of our Angora boys, but even so there was apparently an awful lot of rearing and head butting that needed doing in order to determine who was going to be the Bestest Goat of All. Bruce would take on our boys one at a time, and they'd do this thing where they'd both get way up on their hind legs and then kind of fall over at one another, making an almighty CLACK as the horns bashed together.

Bruce the Boer was, as I said, by far the biggest combatant, but he had three of ours to contend with, and since somebody had attempted to burn his horns off when he was a little kid, he didn't have much in the way of skull bumper bars; what little he did have was fairly quickly knocked off.

His poor old head bled profusely. We felt really bad about it, but we had to put him on a tether around the side of the house where the others couldn't get at him, until the owners got back from their trip and took him home.

Goats will be goats, I guess, but it really was a shame that they couldn't come to a more amicable arrangement for sharing the back paddock.
posted by flabdablet at 9:32 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


"I know what I was thinking, and I have stated it honestly and forthrightly. Why are you trying to play a game of bullshit chicken with me, klangklangston?"

Bullshit chicken? Not what I'm going for. Bullshit chicken? I am calling bullshit.

Even if you intended it to read in your activist voice—your arch, sarcastic activist voice—no one else is obligated to indulge your activist voice. It's bullshit to pretend that the righteousness of your voice enables your rhetorical foibles, especially when your "activism" is fundamentally indistinguishable from snark. Activist all you want, but it sounds like you're actually more comfortable in an academic activist context, where your audience already agrees with you and the activism comes from expanding the threshold of justice. While that's necessary and often laudable, that doesn't mean that expecting a quip that is practically to the point where it needs to be defended from charges of internet ageism to be received as relevant or even apt. We're not that same audience, and that's not our problem—it's yours.

So, no chicken. An honest appraisal of how I read your comments.
posted by klangklangston at 10:07 PM on January 7, 2010


I have to say that insofar as someone can be said to win this this tragic clusterfuck of trainwrecks of a thread, it has to be Navelgazer. His thoughtful comment and others too numerous to name put the lie to the "MeFi doesn't do x well" cliché. I think it's inevitable that on a site this large, there will always be people who say things that are insensitive, inflammatory, cruel and even hateful or bigoted. Otherwise good, well intentioned people can say these things occasionally, and with so many active members participating in heated discussions of contentious subjects, these comments, and the ensuing response are inevitable. What I think is often overlooked is that it takes a lot less time to make a flippant comment reeking of unexamined prejudice or an angry missive fired off in the heat of the moment than it does to read a thread and craft a thoughtful response.

One thing that struck me about this thread, but on reflection is not unusual for Metafilter, is that it started off in the worst possible way, but toward the end, became a civil and insightful conversation about community standards. I can think of no other community I have belonged to—online or otherwise—of which I could say this.

To get back to the issue of bigotry and this being a hostile environment for certain groups, I'd like to reiterate what others have already said: This is the most accepting, progressive and diverse and downright friendly community I know of, and it is in no small part due to the tireless, intelligent and compassionate mods. As a result, Metafilter has actually made me a better person. People here have made me examine my own biases and prejudices, and made me aware of the extent to which my privilege colors my thinking. I have also learned the hard way that I may need to work on being a bit less of a jerk when I think I'm right. [NOT ONANIST]

As an aside, I just finished reading the entire thread on my iPhone and it feels like I just ran a marathon on sand, specifically black sand thats been baking in the sun.

Jessamyn, I lost two people close to me in the past year. It's never easy, and you have my sincerest condolences.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 12:22 AM on January 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


klangklangston: "especially when your "activism" is fundamentally indistinguishable from snark"

Let me first say that I do hear you and I think it's okay for you to essentially think "that kalessin (you can call me Malcolm, if you like), he's no activist the way I think of activism. He's making us look bad. He sucks. He should shut up or at least mind his manners." I get that. I feel that way about a lot of activists I know or know of too.

But this thing you did here? That sucks, because it is a rhetorical trap and it invalidates both the good and the bad I do here equally. Snarkiness is part of who and what I am, and through trying to be unsnarky when teaching, activismating, speaking, writing, I found that complete subsuming the snarkiness in a persona that isn't snarky when I am activismating is something that totally doesn't work for me and usually backfires in a big way.

I agree with jessamyn that we here at Metafilter are mostly here not as activists professionally (and lord knows I rarely get paid for the stuff I do - it's even not often a volunteer gig, just an in-the-moment "hey, that was fucked up and here's why") sort of thing. But I am being an activist when I write or speak here about things that are fucked up (and usually within a couple of specific domains of social injustice).

I do not agree that it's fair for you to take my remarks somewhat out of context and then invalidate what good work I do by distilling it into the bad and knocking over that straw man. It just isn't.
posted by kalessin at 4:35 AM on January 8, 2010


kalessin: While klang may have been a little harsh, he's basically correct that it's pretty silly to post a link to an ancient Onion piece and claim it as activist activity. I'm sure you're correct that your intentions were the best and that you posted the comment out of the activist center of your brain, but the more you insist on that, the sillier you look. I gently suggest it's time for you to back away with a rueful chuckle and a mental note to check the sell-by dates on your hilarious/insightful links. (Hey, have you seen the one about "on the internet, no one knows you're a dog"?)
posted by languagehat at 6:44 AM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


check the sell-by dates on your hilarious/insightful links.

Speak for yourself languagehat, I'm still getting tons of mileage off of my hamsterdance-laced rhetoric. If there is a better metaphor for the modern day, I have yet to see it.
posted by Think_Long at 6:53 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


kalessin: While klang may have been a little harsh, he's basically correct that it's pretty silly to post a link to an ancient Onion piece and claim it as activist activity

I would agree. Not to say that ancient Onion pieces can't be hilarious, but that it's not terribly "activist" in this context (the context being a mostly liberal setting where more than half of the people involved agree with you to begin with) - yeah, I get that you were trying to convey an activist sentiment, but I can't manage fitting "posting Onion pieces on MetaFilter" into my mental list of "activist activities."
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:58 AM on January 8, 2010


I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with you both, languagehat and grapefruitmoon. As I've now said three times (in general), even though I would never put my linking to Gays Keep Sucking My Cock in the top 10, top 100 or even top 1,000 Malcolm's greatest activist hits, I am not being revisionist, lying or even twisting the truth when I say that when I did so, it was meant in an "activist" mode. I didn't do it solely to be snarky. I did it in a "Methinks he doth protest too much" sort of mode, and it was topical.

I didn't know until I did it and got unequivocal feedback that it was a particularly bad choice for this community, and if I had known, I wouldn't have chosen that particular bit of feedback, but I probably would have found another way to say the same thing. I now know what the Onion means on MetaFilter and absolutely will not link to it again.

Also, just a courtesy note, but I won't be responding to this thread again.
posted by kalessin at 9:11 AM on January 8, 2010


I now know what the Onion means on MetaFilter and absolutely will not link to it again.

That's totally missing the point. The point is not the Onion. The point is not that you linked to the Onion. The point, which has been missed over and over again, is that you linked to a joke that had already been made in the same thread. You meant well, obviously, but the reason it bombed is that it was a double, not because it was from the Onion.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:16 AM on January 8, 2010


Here's something I say frequently to my kids:

If you have a problem with something I say, you can talk to me calmly and respectfully, and I will always listen to what you have to say. I may or may not change my mind, but I will listen and think about it. I do NOT listen to screaming. If you can not talk to me without screaming, go be by yourself until you can.

It is okay to be mad. It is not okay to be mean. You may not hit, kick, call names, or otherwise try to hurt anyone. If you can not keep yourself from doing those things, you should not be around other people. Go to your room until you get yourself under control, and then we can talk.

---

My six-year-old gets this now. The four-year-old still struggles with it. So do oh-so-many grown-ups on metafilter.
posted by Dojie at 8:57 AM on January 6


This. Too bad so few participants seem to have read it. It's tempting to snark that perhaps it was beyond their reading skills, but in suppressing that temptation, it occurred to me that it really might be the case that they ignored it because they thought it beneath their reading skills. So, let me touch that up a bit by inserting a grown-up type word:

My six-year-old gets this now. The four-year-old still struggles with it. So do oh-so-many putative grown-ups on metafilter.

There. Maybe the grown-up type word will get their attention enough to re-read the original.

I'm kinda "meh" about the word "fighty", but jonmc's insightful commentary that it's like a toddler's word made me realize that it's actually a pretty good choice, beause sometimes, we -act- like a bunch of obstinate, disruptive, out-of-control, tantrum-throwing toddlers.

-----

For adult-like words, it was the discarded "oppugnant" that sent me to the OED:

A. adj. = OPPOSING adj.; antagonistic; oppositious; repugnant.

So close; closer than a lightning bug is to lightning, but

opprobrious

A. adj. 1. a. Of words, language, etc.: conveying opprobrium; expressing scorn; vituperative; reproachful; shameful. Occas. of a person: using such language.

evidently better conveys the vehement closed-mindedness being displayed.

The hateful fury; the refusal to acknowledge any responsibility whatsoever for one's own part in the mess; the seemingly willful provocation of future hostility is in itself destructive, but who has to pay the price of that destruction? The people who are trying to make a positive contribution, whether by posting something useful, or by harvesting something helpful towards making the world more habitable place.

"I gotta go..." -- Ian Sholes
No, really, I do. Best wishes to all, and to all a good night weekend life.
posted by Tuesday After Lunch at 10:03 AM on January 8, 2010


No, really, I do. Best wishes to all, and to all a good night weekend life.

Wait, was that a flameout? Now I'm just confused.
posted by Think_Long at 10:50 AM on January 8, 2010


I now know what the Onion means on MetaFilter and absolutely will not link to it again.

Oh my god, so disingenuous.

And I wasn't gonna go here, but you seem to think that there's some deep, deep truth contained in that joke article, but it really doesn't say anything at all. Really. Yeah, some people are self-loathing homosexuals in denial and have lots of gay sex. If you think that explains all homophobia, you're mistaken (Kinsey zeros do exist, you know, and there are enough bullshit religious reasons contra homosexuality that one can't possibly say in good faith that all homophobia is about a sublimated desire for sucking a dick). And, who were you claiming was a self-loathing homophobe? The original poster? Because I don't get that impression at all.
posted by the_bone at 11:08 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


No, really, I do. Best wishes to all, and to all a good night weekend life.

Wait, was that a flameout? Now I'm just confused.


You're confused too? 'Just be glad that you're not me -- now I'm depressed about how abysmal my writing must be; sorry and embarrassed that I've been misunderstood; sorry, embarrassed and feeling guilty for posting something that prolongs but does not improve this train wreck of a fighty thread, and terribly, terribly confused. Anyway:

It was intended to be an elaboration on the Igottago closing; normally I don't elaborate on that closing, but since Ian Sholes tags his routine as "Social commentary with a sneer", I wanted to remove the interpretation of sneering. So:

"No, really, I do." -- Means I honestly need to logout [and do something locally useful].

"Best wishes to all" -- Means I wish the best for each and every one, including those I think polluted the thread with infuriating posts.

"and to all a good night weekend life." -- Well, I really wanted to allude to the schmoopy-quonsar vibe last week (or month, or year, depending on what time units you use), but I couldn't readily find either of the terms "schmoopy" or "quonsar". But, I figured "...to all a good night" was famous enough that it'd allude to Christmas time (and by extension, the Christmas Truce, which I think is a pretty cool moment in history) without specifically mentioning that holiday, so people could substitute whatever they thought appropriate (there being a bunch of holidays around that time of year, and they all seem to have a spirit of generosity, forgiveness, peace, etc. as a general theme). Immediately after typing "night", I realized that the weekend was coming up, and immediately after that, I realized that the weekend was too short a time, and what I really meant was everyone's future, but the word choice of "future" didn't occur to me until after I hit post.

Oh, there's a strikethru for "night" and "weekend" -- I wasn't aware that those wouldn't necessarily be seen. And, at the time, this thread hadn't really gotten off the ground.
posted by Tuesday After Lunch at 4:38 PM on January 8, 2010


I'd just like to say WAAAAY after the fact that I have no idea why so many people piled on dunkadunc post-DNAB flameout and I completely sympathize with his view expressed from then on, and I guess you should probably aim some scorn at me as well
posted by tehloki at 10:32 PM on January 19, 2010


well, ok then.

*aims scorn.*
posted by shmegegge at 8:54 AM on January 20, 2010


*puts on his scornglasses*
posted by tehloki at 8:10 PM on January 20, 2010


Lead shield over your groin, too, unless you want your future children to grow up surly.
posted by kid ichorous at 9:32 PM on January 20, 2010


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