As happy an ending as we're going to get. April 19, 2012 1:58 PM   Subscribe

I have to say that I disagree with this deletion.

We're no stranger to discussing sexism internet drama, and I just think a relatively high-profile (at least as far as anyone who follows gaming and/or webcomics is concerned) story that starts off hitting all the same notes but ends with a heartfelt apology and an unprompted donation is man-bites-dog enough to stick around. God knows most of the time it's just escalation and, at best, an apology revolving around a resentful I'M SORRY YOU'RE OFFENDED.

I mean, FPPs should stand on content and not on principle or newsworthyness or whatever, I don't think I've ever seen something similar happen and while not a watershed moment, it's an event of relevance in the grand discussion.
posted by griphus to MetaFilter-Related at 1:58 PM (83 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

(I blame any grammatical errors in the above on the cognitive dissonance brought on by having to defend The Oatmeal's place on the front page.)
posted by griphus at 2:02 PM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not every bit of Internet Drama in the grand discussion needs to be on Metafilter. That said, if the post was better composed, it probably would have stayed.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:04 PM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


story that starts off hitting all the same notes but ends with a heartfelt apology and an unprompted donation is man-bites-dog enough to stick around.

I think a post that was more clearly about that arc and it's noteworthiness and less a drama-bait lede might be fine, but that's not the post I deleted.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:08 PM on April 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


It's so rare these stories have any sort of resolution, and instead tend to just whip up so much ire. It's nice that this one ended with the original author saying "Whoops! I guess my experiences were too limited! I have learned something new!" And donating money was a classy gesture.

That being said, this was sort of a thin post.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 2:11 PM on April 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Fair enough. I was actually in the middle of a comment about the shitty framing when I saw the lifeclock crystal go off.
posted by griphus at 2:11 PM on April 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


it's an event of relevance in the grand discussion

That sounds like a very low bar. Almost any news about anything could be called "an event of relevance" to something. If memory serves, there have already been many Metafilter FPPs specifically about sexism in online gaming, which itself is a niche issue within a much larger issue. Not saying there should never be another FPP about it, but "an event of relevance" sounds more like something that could maybe go in a comment if it happens to be relevant to an FPP.

And frankly, someone's decision to donate $1,000 to charity as some kind of dramatic, look-what-a-good-person-I-am-after-all gesture doesn't even register on my newsworthiness radar. People gives thousands of dollars to charities all the time, which may be perfectly admirable but generally doesn't merit a whole online discussion thread about it.
posted by John Cohen at 2:12 PM on April 19, 2012


Wow, Matthew Inman apologized for something? That is something I never expected to actually happen.
posted by koeselitz at 2:13 PM on April 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


i wish a post on this topic had been better and i agree with the deletion. the framing is one of the reasons i dropped the source links in the thread. i thought about making this post yesterday, but i couldn't figure out the best way to walk the line of information and hoping to not inspire two minutes of hate.

sometimes i wish as a community we could sit on our hands a little more on these topics, wait for them to mature for a month or two and then make a big post of "here's where smaller community butted up against larger/different community and here's the fallout" maybe even "here's 5 or 6 of those examples and here's how there responses differed. i think those would be great posts for metafilter.
posted by nadawi at 2:18 PM on April 19, 2012


I am honestly curious--given that mods (I remember Jessamyn in particular) have said a few times recently that the policy is to err on the side of not deleting posts, how is this worse than a post about a blog that shows celebrities without their eyebrows or some miscellaneous "d'aaawww" YouTube animal post? Is it failing the "potential to cause a ruckus" test?
posted by Kimberly at 2:28 PM on April 19, 2012


The mods will certainly have a better answer to that question than me, Kimberly, but yeah – I would think the problem here is that inflammatory topic + poor framing = potential disaster, whereas harmless if unimportant topic + poor framing = eh, probably not going to cause a shitstorm I guess. That's simplistic, I know, but basically the more inflammatory the topic, the more essential the framing doesn't start things off wrong, correct?
posted by koeselitz at 2:31 PM on April 19, 2012


the problem here is that inflammatory topic + poor framing = potential disaster

I think the deletion reason is pretty clear that the post was just moot. As I said in the thread itself, it was just some thing that happened on the internet today.

Guy says something dumb, people call him on it, guy apologizes. The framing didn't raise the possibility of a disaster; it didn't really raise the possibility of anything.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:37 PM on April 19, 2012


Guy says something dumb, people call him on it, guy apologizes. The framing didn't raise the possibility of a disaster; it didn't really raise the possibility of anything.

Which brings me back to my question I guess. There are a lot of posts that don't have a lot of point to them, but they stay. I'm not clear on why this wasn't a "Don't care? Don't read." situation.
posted by Kimberly at 2:46 PM on April 19, 2012


The Oatmeal sucks, the author is a putz and we've had this discussion with a better foundation more than once. Where's the problem.

Honestly, The Oatmeal should have some cookie-based logic that prevents you from looking at more than 3 comics in a month so you never notice it's the same joke every time. "No no, honey, this time the large animal is a WHALE!"
posted by yerfatma at 2:50 PM on April 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


when I saw the lifeclock crystal go off.

You try like hell for reframing. You have the same chance as anyone else . . . carousel.
posted by radwolf76 at 2:51 PM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, Matthew Inman apologized for something?

Yeah, the bigger story is that the misogynistic asshat actually apologized for one of his misogynistic comics.

It's a start!
posted by 6550 at 2:53 PM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Reframing basically means linkspamming it, as far as i can tell.
posted by Artw at 2:55 PM on April 19, 2012


I'm not clear on why this wasn't a "Don't care? Don't read." situation.

I think there's a palpable difference between, for instance, framing a post on the abuse and invective hurled at women in online games (which seems FPP worthy, even if someone doesn't want to read it), versus framing a post as something dumb the Oatmeal did and for which the author has already apologized. It's a crisis that has already seen its resolution.

A real thread featuring fat, ugly, or slutty would be interesting. I gave up on Xbox Live long ago due to all the abuse.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:59 PM on April 19, 2012


No, it means make it clear what the actual narrative is, providing some smidge of context, I instead of just reusing an eye-grabbing lede for a Kotaku link and calling it a day.

Not every multilink post is padded, and multiple links aren't always necessary to frame something well, but it can be done better than it was in this case.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:02 PM on April 19, 2012


how is this worse than a post about a blog that shows celebrities without their eyebrows or some miscellaneous "d'aaawww" YouTube animal post?

Jokes and stupid one-off dawwww stuff don't beget more drama. Posts about sexism tend to. Gawker-empire has a tendency to frame stuff in the clickbaitiest way possible and this doesn't tend to encourage good discussion. We're still (as of the last time I checked which was a few hours ago) discussing sexism 101 in another thread currently and that's going about as well as expected.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:05 PM on April 19, 2012


Admiral Haddock: “I think the deletion reason is pretty clear that the post was just moot. As I said in the thread itself, it was just some thing that happened on the internet today. Guy says something dumb, people call him on it, guy apologizes. The framing didn't raise the possibility of a disaster; it didn't really raise the possibility of anything.”

Yeah, but it didn't say that in the post itself. The post itself, as it stood, was just "douchey guy says douchey thing." And my experience is that that is likely to beget drama even if somebody notes in the thread that that douchey guy has apologized. Particularly if said douchey guy has regularly said and done misogynist things in the past without apologizing.
posted by koeselitz at 3:07 PM on April 19, 2012


I suppose that's fair, although like others I thought the outcome was surprising given the source (and I like the oatmeal).
posted by Kimberly at 3:08 PM on April 19, 2012


A mildly controversial online comic. Wow, I can just feel our culture collapsing.
posted by jonmc at 3:13 PM on April 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not every multilink post is padded, and multiple links aren't always necessary to frame something well, but it can be done better

Perhaps. But it's apparently the case that if your link is contentious then padding it with another one seems to be the way to get it to stick.

(No offense intended to adamvasco, I'm sure the New Yorker article stands on it's own)
posted by Artw at 3:20 PM on April 19, 2012


No, we weren't that psyched about that repost either, but it got flagged less and after some early threadshit deletions the conversation went slightly better. It didn't hit my personal "Make a decent post about this touchy topic" bar, but other folks were okay with it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:26 PM on April 19, 2012


Well anyway, I'm sure you can guess what I think of that deletion and associated excuse.
posted by Artw at 3:32 PM on April 19, 2012


But can you guess what we think of what you think?
posted by yerfatma at 3:35 PM on April 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Lol
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:37 PM on April 19, 2012


Ah whatever, if doing a little bit of padding is required to defend against lazy deletions if a mod is feeling a bit nervous about a subject then I guess it's what has to be done.
posted by Artw at 3:42 PM on April 19, 2012


I'm sorry I thought I deleted the comment where I said "No I actually can't guess what your opinion on that deletion is." before I posted it.... This has nothing to do with nervousness or laziness. If you want to talk about it, let's talk about it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:51 PM on April 19, 2012


Wow, I can just feel our culture collapsing.

I think that might just be a minor myocardial infarction, jon. All good!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:00 PM on April 19, 2012


Trust me, if the culture collapses, you don't want to eat that yogurt.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 4:02 PM on April 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


If you want to talk about it, let's talk about it.

OK... it irritated the shit out of me. Firstly, it seemed like using an arbitary excuse to cave to people who might cause trouble on the thread, and that bunging in another link let it stand just shows that up. Secondly, the whole creeping trend where links have to come with a bunch of justification as insurance against deletion . I don't just link random articles, if I link it you can assume it's something i read a thought was worth sharing, I shouldn't have to put in a bunch of additional verbiage or puff it up with links as a buffer against haters.
posted by Artw at 4:12 PM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here goes nothin'.
posted by griphus at 4:16 PM on April 19, 2012


griphus: Here goes nothin'.

Is this minor incident really important enough to warrant throwing against the wall to see if it'll eventually stick?
posted by gilrain at 4:19 PM on April 19, 2012


That actually seems to me like an exceptionally well-done FPP, griphus.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 4:20 PM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Enjoy your sexism thread, I think I'm going to get a drink.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:20 PM on April 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


WHO SAYS WE CAN'T DO BOTH actually maybe that's a bad idea.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 4:22 PM on April 19, 2012


Thanks!

And, yeah, I think it is important enough to get a fair chance. I tried my best and if it's deleted, c'est la vie.
posted by griphus at 4:22 PM on April 19, 2012


Sorry griphus, it seems really stunty to put it up again with more links to see if it'll pass muster. This doesn't feel like a major story worth discussing, just a lapse in judgment by a comics guy that apologized several times for it (I'm not a fan of the comic, myself).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:22 PM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


...that "thanks" was to Bunny Ultramod, not for driving one of the mods to drink. Again.
posted by griphus at 4:22 PM on April 19, 2012


And so it's c'est la vie. Nice try. Maybe it is a bit of a tempest in a teapot.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 4:23 PM on April 19, 2012


C'est la vie.
posted by griphus at 4:23 PM on April 19, 2012


Hah. I got to see the 'this post is deleted' thing pop up for the first time, sadly when I was writing a plug for MefightClub as a place where female gamers or gay gamers or [fill in group that gets crap online] gamers can come and frolic safely. Ah well.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:23 PM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, I dunno if you're a member over at Gamefilter, griphus, but it'd be supercool if you wanted to repost it over there. (Not anything like the number of eyeballs we have here, though, of course. YET, DAMN IT, YET.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:27 PM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Enjoy your sexism thread, I think I'm going to get a drink.

Wait for me!!!
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 4:35 PM on April 19, 2012


When you've finished drinking, you should come back to the sexism thread.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:36 PM on April 19, 2012


Male to female gamers... no difference. We learned this in our Clan, its being learned online, and even the card game/war game folks are taking their sweet time in wrapping their heads around the concept.

Now, if you're comparing non-gamer girls to gamer guys... yeah. You're going to see the country of Slackvia be overrun by a thousand scouts before year 0. You'd also see that from a non-gamer guy who also just started in on the game. Its not about gender, its about n00bs.

I'd talk about the state of affairs with integrating n00bs into games, but there's a lot of nerd-rage still bubbling over that hour and a half long, awesome game we somehow managed to lose in Company of Heroes because derpy-mc-herp pants on the left flank couldn't keep his men alive.
posted by Slackermagee at 4:38 PM on April 19, 2012


I totally get the original deletion, but griphis' post seemed excellently presented to me. This might not be a major story, but it is an interesting thing found on the internet. I'm kind of sad to see it not be presented here.
posted by Blasdelb at 4:42 PM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Enjoy your sexism thread, I think I'm going to get a drink."

Because of your mention of that other existing sexism thread, I went looking for it. Scanning it, I found that I was relieved that I'd missed it when it came around and wondered why I was subjecting myself to it now.

We (all of us) talked a fair bit about sexism and feminism back when I was here before in 2004-2008, but my impression is that it comes up a lot more often now. While reading that thread, I was wondering why that is.

My guess is that it's a combination of things. There's a larger portion of active women on MeFi now as compared to before — the reduction of the boyzone culture really did eliminate something that had been, I strongly believe, driving women away from MeFi. Back then, there were maybe four women, at the most, plus often me, who would regularly speak up when this stuff came up. And that was at any one time; there was a kind of revolving door thing where someone old would get fed up with it all and become inactive (or leave) and someone would take her place, and rinse and repeat. Now, though, there's at least a dozen women, and a few men, who are present and willing to do the Feminism 101 thing, and over and over. Which is pretty amazing.

But the bigger part is that I think because of this change of composition of MeFi and just maybe because of some changes in Internet culture and external culture (both in good and bad respects), it feels to me like there's actually a sort of long-form discourse going on here. A sort of community hashing-out of these things. Not that I expect some resolution. But that the mere presence of an ongoing discussion (as antagonistic and infuriating as it often can be) is a good sign, a sea-change, perhaps.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:59 PM on April 19, 2012


Stavros, if I was going to direct people to a mefi sort of group of gamers, should it be to MeFightClub or gamefilter or some TF2 server you guys still run?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:02 PM on April 19, 2012


a few men, who are present and willing to do the Feminism 101 thing, and over and over. Which is pretty amazing.

And probably maddening. Although I hope I have become less contrary when I throw around the privilege word.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 5:07 PM on April 19, 2012


Stavros, if I was going to direct people to a mefi sort of group of gamers, should it be to MeFightClub or gamefilter or some TF2 server you guys still run?

MefightClub is our home -- that's the semi-private forum, where there's about 2100 of us now. A large percentage of us are Metafilter members, but we've pretty much relaxed the requirement that you be a Mefite to join for the last couple of years. Still, most of our new members trickle in from mentions in various threads here at the mothership. Gamefilter is the MeFi sort-of-clone linkblog companion site for MefightClub itself, and doesn't require any kind of signup process to read (but you have to signup to post). We also run FullGlassEmptyClip as a long-form gaming blog (for MefightClub members to write about gaming, and the home to the podcast that a couple of our members were running), but it's kind of gone by the wayside of late. The Aporkalypse is our main Minecraft server, but there are a bunch of other Minecraft servers we run, too.

Our members also run servers for a bunch of other games, but the longest running ones are a public server for TF2 (pubbie.mefightclub.com should get you there in your Steam server browser) and a passworded private server for TF2 (privie.mefightclub.com).

There are a few other satellite sites and offshoots-of-offshoots, too. We've been growing pretty steadily over the years.

Short answer: MefightClub is the hub of our gaming stuff. To participate, you need to sign up, though -- we like to have that little speedbump to keep random drivebys at a minimum.

Thanks for asking, Matt.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:20 PM on April 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


And thanks again and as always for this place, which made all of those sites and the great subcommunity we have around them possible.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:23 PM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


...and wondered why I was subjecting myself to it now.

It's like crack, isn't it? One just can't stay away from the subjects that interest them.

... but my impression is that it comes up a lot more often now. While reading that thread, I was wondering why that is.

Having established MeFi as place to discuss and comment on feminist issues, posts about the subject come up more often. But not everyone understands or even agrees with the theory, hence the intense discussion on the 101 level. Considering that racism is less tolerated in society than sexism and the internet is full of people expressing racist sentiments as common sense, it'll be a while before sexism diminishes from society in general, let alone the web.

All of this is occurring as Western society becomes more receptive to women as equal members. This produces a lot of cultural friction, which is being reflected in more discussion of the subject.

I use to think the American shift from being white to minority dominated would be a hellish change. Now I think the it's going to be the ascension of women to first class status in this particular country. We're going to get one hell of an education.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:23 PM on April 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sorry, also, there's a many-hundreds-strong Metafilter group on Steam, as well, for people that just prefer to do that. That's our default Steam group for MefightClub, though we have dozens of other, game-specific groups too.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:26 PM on April 19, 2012


This is something I would have very much like to have discussed given my intersecting love of gaming & The Oatmeal, however I understand why this post had to be deleted. ...After all, these things never do end well, do they?
posted by smirkette at 6:24 PM on April 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I second smirkette. I am also impressed that he donated $1000.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:37 PM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Indeed, jenfullmoon. How often does some random (i.e. not rich, probably doesn't have a professional PR drone) person on the Internet not only admit they might have been wrong, but then donate money to a sensible cause? Well played, I say. Goodness knows I've been called on my wrongness online from time to time and have become a better person for it.
posted by smirkette at 6:44 PM on April 19, 2012


But that the mere presence of an ongoing discussion (as antagonistic and infuriating as it often can be) is a good sign, a sea-change, perhaps.

Are you talking about the horribly regressive STOP TAKING THIS PICTURE thread? Because that one, to me, seemed like it came straight from MetaFilter 2006. I was actually surprised that so many people failed to understand that women super/heroes on movie posters are nearly always portrayed as accommodating, approachable, indecisive, alluring, or basically anything other than about to kick your ass, while in the case of men, generally the pose is aggressive and/or menacing. Somehow the fact that both are supposed to be kick-ass characters yet women are portrayed as available instead of combative seems to be something that a number of commenters in that thread think is just dandy.

Man, I hope you're talking about a different thread. Because we've had much better than that one.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:04 PM on April 19, 2012


I think the case was not that we're past the Feminism 101 discussion, but that it is no longer so hostile and alienating that droves leave, and that there is a growing body of people who are willing to engage that conversation from the Feminism 101 position.

It's cold comfort, I guess, but I agree that this place seems less hostile to the conversation itself. But maybe I have gotten better at offering up my positions. Still, we haven't had a really big blowout about this on MeTa like we used to, when we would lose, I dunno, six or seven members in one fell swoop. That's definitely an improvement, and I hope it isn't just a lull.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:14 PM on April 19, 2012


I was actually surprised that so many people failed to understand that women super/heroes on movie posters are nearly always portrayed as accommodating, approachable, indecisive, alluring, or basically anything other than about to kick your ass, while in the case of men, generally the pose is aggressive and/or menacing.

Everyone understands that. It's just really annoying.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:51 PM on April 19, 2012


It's nice that you're here to speak for everybody.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:35 PM on April 19, 2012


smirkette: “How often does some random (i.e. not rich, probably doesn't have a professional PR drone) person on the Internet not only admit they might have been wrong, but then donate money to a sensible cause? Well played, I say. Goodness knows I've been called on my wrongness online from time to time and have become a better person for it.”

I would question whether Matthew Inman is "not rich," given his general success at the spamming game some year back. Moreover, what's crazy about him apologizing is that he's been called to task for sexism many, many times, most notably for this vile crap, and it's apparently never occurred to him to apologize until now. Indeed, in the past, when people criticized him, he'd dig up private details about them and publish them online.

So, yeah. This whole apology thing is pretty shocking. I think it's an indication that the tide against sexism on the internet is finally getting strong enough that people like Inman have to take it seriously if they want to keep making money here.
posted by koeselitz at 8:58 PM on April 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


"I think the case was not that we're past the Feminism 101 discussion, but that it is no longer so hostile and alienating that droves leave, and that there is a growing body of people who are willing to engage that conversation from the Feminism 101 position."

Yeah. It is an infuriating thread that's like the arguments in 2006. But then, I think all sexism/feminism threads are like the ones in 2006. It's not so much that there's fewer people who are anti-anti-sexist or Just Don't Get It, because I think there's not (maybe overall, but in raw numbers, there's just as many who show up in these threads); but that there's more people who are anti-sexist and who Do Get It and speak up. And there are a small minority of people who testify that they've learned things from these threads. So I think it's an improvement, overall. But the arguments keep repeating, that's true.

But then, so do the arguments about racism. And all other, similar things. There's a loud group of people in every case who are reactionary and are proud of it.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:24 PM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's nice that you're here to speak for everybody.

Fair point. I apologise.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:48 PM on April 19, 2012


We (all of us) talked a fair bit about sexism and feminism back when I was here before in 2004-2008, but my impression is that it comes up a lot more often now. While reading that thread, I was wondering why that is.

The vast, vast majority of people don't read every thread. And large amounts of people who are active commenters now weren't active even 2 years ago. And since it only takes one or two shitty comments to totally derail a thread into sexism 101, there will always be threads which are derailed into sexism 101. There is no institutional memory, at least to the degree most of us wish there was.

I opened that movie poster thread, saw that one of the first comments was along the lines of "they're hot, what's the big deal", and closed the hell out of that tab. Sounds like I made the right decision.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 12:07 AM on April 20, 2012


I found the movie-poster thread a lot less acrimonious and soul-killing than the Geeklist/Shanley Kane one of three weeks back. Partly, I think, because the digressions cover topics that interest me instead of round-and-round-and-round.
posted by gingerest at 12:41 AM on April 20, 2012


I think the thing the original comic illustrated happens sometimes. I think it is part of a much bigger picture though, in which sometimes folks just over-compensate on the praise to try and keep women involved because they know the stupid misogynist shit rains down from the sky in the gaming community. Sometimes it's just lonely nerds trying to score. Sometimes the person involved is a great player and the response is the appropriate one for any player in that situation and the guy who gets called a retard is a terrible player who can't learn how to play right, goes AFK every 5 minutes, and never shows up on time...

So it's a slice of life, devoid of much meaning, and in some ways offensive. With the right context the post could work, but I don't think that post would be centered on the comic, there would have to be some other bigger theme you are working it in to.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:44 AM on April 20, 2012


Is there a mefi company of heroes group ? (Note: everyone needs a wibblewind flakpanzer.)
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:26 AM on April 20, 2012


Dunno, offhand, but this is the thread to find out (or ask (or propose one (or announce one))).
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:56 AM on April 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Barry pal
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:51 AM on April 20, 2012


We're a' Jock Tamson's Bairns
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:12 AM on April 20, 2012


the vast, vast majority of people don't read every thread. And large amounts of people who are active commenters now weren't active even 2 years ago. And since it only takes one or two shitty comments to totally derail a thread into sexism 101, there will always be threads which are derailed into sexism 101. There is no institutional memory, at least to the degree most of us wish there was.

I get the distinct impression that a lot of the newer people in threads about sexism are being dismissive and hostile not because they are clueless, but because they're opposed to the idea women are people.
posted by winna at 4:26 AM on April 20, 2012


That's just silly.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:47 AM on April 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


...but understandable, I guess.

There are lots of awful people -- and sometimes the internet amplifies the apparent number of them for us (THANKS INTERNET) -- but mostly the ones that make us recoil in horror aren't actually evil, they're just young, or dumb, or clumsy, or inarticulate, or unaware, or self-centred, or typing on a fucking phone, or angry, or drunk, or some combination of all of the above and et cetera, and the best we can do is to never give up hope or our halfassed efforts to nudge them back on course. And Be Excellent as a Model to Emulate.

Sometimes they are actually wool-dyed sexist or racist or whateverist shitheads. That happens, even here.

So yeah, I understand the despair and the fuckyounery, I do. Capitalized the T in the and the S in stupid for long years until I realized that it was just self-aggrandizing, and got tired of being angry. Better I reckon to just let the butter churn itself, step back when it gets on the floor, and make fun of the dummies afterwards in hopes that they learn better.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:07 AM on April 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


there is a growing body of people who are willing to engage that conversation from the Feminism 101 position

People not willing to take whatever is currently accepted thought on these issues might also just choose to disengage. Without census data it is hard to tell, my gut says those threads tend to have the same small subset of the community participating again and again.

There's a loud group of people in every case who are reactionary and are proud of it.

but because they're opposed to the idea women are people


Yeah, I am just no longer ready to expend energy butting heads with righteous culture zealots. "Let's talk about something else" is my current M.O., but don't read into that "we are all on the path to redemption" as far as the population of MF goes. That's just the ones choosing to engage in these sorts of threads.
posted by Meatbomb at 5:59 AM on April 20, 2012


"Feminism 101" is just a reflection of this being a generalist site open to anyone with $5 dollars to spare.

There will always be different starting positions and if people don't want to discuss "Feminism 101" then they don't have to.

If people want to discuss a topic only with people who agree with them, who have attended the same courses and have the same assumptions then there are other places that fit that bill.
posted by Reggie Knoble at 6:36 AM on April 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


Some people like to talk about sexism and feminism in any context. Other people will only get involved in threads about stuff they are otherwise interested in, like movie posters. The people in the first group don't always realize the people in the second group are always changing.
posted by smackfu at 6:36 AM on April 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


(Also the whole, "we hashed this out in a 1000 comment MetaTalk thread two years ago, didn't we" just loses meaning over time.)
posted by smackfu at 6:37 AM on April 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, and lots of stuff was deleted but canned polar bear was trolling the fuck out of that thread, which might have contributed to some of the dismay seen here.
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:05 AM on April 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Also the whole, "we hashed this out in a 1000 comment MetaTalk thread two years ago, didn't we" just loses meaning over time.)

Plus things aren't unchanging (otherwise that 1000 comment MeTa thread would have been pointless). So just because something was decided a few years back doesn't mean it has to stay that way.
posted by Reggie Knoble at 7:12 AM on April 20, 2012


I don't think that a single link to a Kotaku article that's about a single webcomic strip is really that interesting, so I agree with the deletion.
posted by 200burritos at 9:55 AM on April 20, 2012


canned polar bear was trolling the fuck out of that thread

Yeah we shut that down a little later than we would have liked to but people also did a really poor job of ignoring him once it became clear that he was clearly just button pushing. Once someone's incendiary comments are wrapped up in a bunch of other people's rplies it becomes a lot harder to do anything about them.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:20 AM on April 20, 2012


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