High heels are a physiological disaster. July 9, 2012 7:21 AM   Subscribe

I am surprised that the "are high heels sexist?" question was deleted as chatfilter, but the "what is 'female energy,' when it comes to cities?" question is staying up.

IMHO, the high heels question has several important and historically-substantiated answers, whereas the answers to the city question are an embarrassing mélange of second-wave-feminist, early-Judy-Chicago-style handwaving about curves and softness,and faux-Asian theories of "yin". What's more, the question is fundamentally unanswerable, since it's about the personal opinion of an anonymous artist.
posted by obliquicity to Etiquette/Policy at 7:21 AM (118 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

This is why the high heels question was removed. I have no opinion on the cities question.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:25 AM on July 9, 2012


We discussed the deletion of that question in this other open MeTa thread. There was some backstory that might not be immediately apparent. The city question does, to us, have an answerable question in it [a person trying to figure out what someone else meant by a phrase they used] though I'll agree, the answers seem to just be acting as if the OP asked "What is a female city, to you?" You're more than welcome to not read it if you find it bothersome.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:26 AM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


FWIW, obliquicity, I agree about the "female energy" question. But I did as jessamyn suggests, flagged it and moved on.
posted by crush-onastick at 7:50 AM on July 9, 2012


Missed that high heels thread, thanks. Although I totally disagree with the rationale, still. But then again, I don't see "high heels are a tool of the patriarchy" as a particularly outlying approach to the objects in question, and would question the extent to which MeFi is inadvertently asserting some middle-ground ideology of its own in identifying that as radical position-taking but the "cities have female energy" premise as not-disturbingly-sexist (or, more accurately, the seriousness with which we take that premise -- and no, not all answerers did, and I appreciate the more intelligent responses, etc.).

On a more basic level, I suspect a lot of folks raised by parents like the high heels OP's were given the same message, and in these post-feminist days are wondering why -- and the answers were, when it got deleted, so far thoughtful and helpful.

And yes, I flagged the city question (wondering why there's no "chatfilter" flag) and then moved on, and then came back to it, unable to move on as completely as I'd anticipated (I did stop reading it, because I'm not a masochist). Apologies all around.
posted by obliquicity at 8:10 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I agree with obliquicity too.

There might be a way to answer the question on cities that's not just personal opinion, but an unnamed and undocumented source material that mentions a term and asking "what that might mean" isn't going to lead to an answer, so much as the interpretation of each answerer...which is what is actually happening in the thread.

The high heel question seemed to be asking whether other people's experiences with high heels matched the OP's. The answer in the original AskMe thread being deleted may have confused the OP (which was their response later in the Metatalk thread), which to me is a plausible and not-at-all bad faith use of AskMe to see if your experience is wildly different. Especially given the quality of the answers, it seemed like a place where someone might realize "wait, that's not right at all" after they ask a question.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 8:13 AM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think the high heels question is a legitimate one, but the framing and the timing were bad. There are cases where a question shouldn't be viewed in isolation outside of a larger community dynamic, whether or not the question itself is answerable.

The cities question is also not fantastically framed, but I think it is answerable in a non-chatfilter fashion, in so far as the artist's description, and her audience's understanding of it, has a grounding in a shared cultural understanding of gendered characteristics (whether an individual finds it problematic or not).
posted by EvaDestruction at 8:22 AM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


The high heels question could have easily been a totally good question, but it wasn't. It was an attempt to manipulate the community into generating answers that might seem to contradict an absolutely appropriate mod statement of law. Good faith should absolutely be necessary, even if it isn't sufficient, for a question to survive on AskMetafilter.
posted by Blasdelb at 8:31 AM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think the high heels question is a legitimate one, but the framing and the timing were bad.

This is really where we are on it, too. If laconic s. wants to reframe a little and give it another go next week out of the weird dynamic where it first showed up, I think that'd be totally fine, but the way it originally went down was problematic above and beyond just the question of whether their was an answerable query at the nut of the thing. It's hard to remove it from context and still meaningfully discuss what happened in context, basically.

That's part of why we're so pro-doover in general; everything does not have to be one-strike-and-you're-out here, the stakes really aren't very high.

The city question is poorly framed, we were being nice and ran with it, and I feel like that hasn't paid off brilliantly in this case but given the alternative of always clamping down on anything that seems a bit wonky, no ifs and or buts, and so deleting a higher percentage of questions, I prefer the way we do it now even if it does mean people may occasionally feel like we're giving a question a little too much credit for being workable.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:35 AM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


I am surprised that the "are high heels sexist?" question was deleted as chatfilter

It wasn't deleted as chatfilter, either explicitly or implicitly. The quality of the answers to a question do not necessarily determine whether or not a question is deleted.

But then again, I don't see "high heels are a tool of the patriarchy" as a particularly outlying approach to the objects in question, and would question the extent to which MeFi is inadvertently asserting some middle-ground ideology of its own in identifying that as radical position-taking

This is also not a position present in the discussion of the question.

MetaTalk posts that assert a problem that is not actually either present or relevant get under my skin. They often start an argument that the user wants to have even if there is not really an extant problem that needs to be argued.
posted by OmieWise at 8:37 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


(wondering why there's no "chatfilter" flag)

If I had to guess it's because there's an "it breaks the guidelines" flag that covers that situation.
posted by radwolf76 at 8:37 AM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Omiewise: people said that it was deleted because it took an extreme approach to the topic that made answering the question challenging. I would say that my description of why it was deleted restated that in different words, and then suggested that there was a built-in assumption there that may (only in my own head?) be worthy of examination.

Perhaps your use of the word "argument" rather than "discussion" could be seen in the same way.
posted by obliquicity at 8:43 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


people said that it was deleted because it took an extreme approach to the topic that made answering the question challenging.

I think I missed that. Can you point to someone suggesting it was deleted because it was an "extreme approach" absent the context that's been discussed here?

Perhaps your use of the word "argument" rather than "discussion" could be seen in the same way.

I don't think so. You keep trying to make this about something that it is not. You seem to keep asserting that the question was deleted for a reason it was not deleted. All of that leads me to think you want to argue about something that is not actually an issue. If not, why not simply say, "You know what, I misunderstood why this question was deleted. My perception that MeFi mods are trying to assert a sort of middle of the road position vis-a-vis feminism is not supported by the evidence, or at least by this evidence."?
posted by OmieWise at 8:52 AM on July 9, 2012


Or, to put it another way, less fighty: hasn't the question about why one question got deleted and the other has stayed been answered? If it has, is there a different thing you would like to discuss that is not that?
posted by OmieWise at 9:04 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


As the person who made the response to laconic skeuomorph (the OP of the "are high heels sexist" thread on the green) in the open MeTa thread to which Jessamyn linked, I'm not keen to wear out my welcome on either thread, so I'll try to be both brief and clear here.

I know I was pretty tough on laconic s. in the open MeTa thread, and thus I probably didn't communicate this clearly enough, but had his high-heels Ask happened in a different context, I think that it would not only have survived, it would have led to a terrific conversation. As it was, it did generate some very good answers. The problem, as others in this thread said, was not that it was chatfilter, but that it was a stunt post -- or, at least, gave the very strong impression that it was a stunt post. (Since laconic s. has subsequently said that he was not stunt-posting, but asking in good faith, I'll take him at his word.)

I think that taz's summation of the events leading to the deletion is pretty good: pretty much what I wanted to say, only with fewer, better words. Which is why she is a mod and I am not. *grin*
posted by bakerina at 9:21 AM on July 9, 2012


I'm not sure how a question that seeks to validate or invalidate an opinion (such as the premise that "high heels are sexist" or "high heels are reflective of a sexist cultural history") can be reframed to not be chatfilter. I think the high heels question is pretty much a nonstarter. I suppose one could ask "what are some good resources that discuss the sexist cultural trappings of women's clothes, specifically high heels?" Those formulations do not identify the premise ("high heels are sexist") or indicate what opinion is seeking validation. In some way, they present a concrete problem with some measure of verifiable solution ("I have this opinion that high heels are sexist. What are some resources for examining/validating/challenging this opinion?"). I suspect you'd still get fighty answers and people just typing "in my opinion, high heels are not sexist". That was a huge part of the problem with the "female city" question, and I don't think the question was framed to minimize it. The problems of properly framing questions is on-going.

I tend to dump into the bin of "chatfilter"/"breaks the guidelines" more questions than are deleted. Particularly, every question seeking to validate or invalidate an opinion ("what shoes should I wear with this dress?" "what's a good name for a puppy?" both of which we seem to get all the time), which includes a lot of human relations questions.

I guess I see the utility in carving out a specific exception for questions looking for guidance in a particular user's particular relationship for the "validate this opinion" chatfilter, and for the "what's a good restaurant in town X?" where everyone's opinion/answer has the same measure of validity. I see far less utility in a lot of more amorphous questions and would personally err on the side of more deletions in ask.metafilter.

I don't think that's a majority opinion, however. I have had to change how and why I visit the site to accommodate my own opinion about chatfilter, which is how it should be. I do appreciate the metatalk opportunity to share them.
posted by crush-onastick at 9:23 AM on July 9, 2012


The way I read the question was "what might this phrase mean in this context" which struck me as fairly answerable (and I answered it accordingly.) Looking at it this morning, it seems that very few other people read it that way, which suggests I was being overly optimistic. Oh, well.

As my colleagues have explained above, the high heels question had a bunch of separate issues going on that made it really not a good parallel to this one. I think it totally could be a reasonable question, framed differently and without the problematic context. "Answerable" does not necessarily mean "one right answer," or we'd never have any relationship questions at all. (Which would make a subset of the population really happy, and another subset really sad.)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 9:42 AM on July 9, 2012


obliquicity: “I... would question the extent to which MeFi is inadvertently asserting some middle-ground ideology of its own in identifying that as radical position-taking...”

Calling that question a little aggressive and characterizing it as a bit of a rant is not the same thing as 'identifying it as radical position-taking.' In fact, nothing at all whatsoever was said about whether the position was radical or not.
posted by koeselitz at 9:47 AM on July 9, 2012


obliquicity: Missed that high heels thread, thanks.

I think that this might be the source of the disconnection between us. The other thread (the one to which laconic s. posted the comment that became the source of his Ask) was not a "high heels" thread. It was a relationship question. The OP had had an argument with her boyfriend over her clothing (which, yes, included her choice of footwear) and asked the community whether he was being controlling or she was being unreasonable. Over the course of that thread, she offered more information that indicated that her boyfriend was being controlling, and that the relationship bore the hallmarks of emotional abuse. Her boyfriend's issue with her heels was not that they were tools of the patriarchy, but that he "didn't want to feel like [he was] out with an escort."

Upon rereading my reply to laconic s. in the MeTa thread, I can see where my words could have been clearer, but I assure you, I was not saying that his Ask was "deleted because it took an extreme approach to the topic that made answering the question challenging." I said that it was deleted because he commented in another Ask thread, his comment was deleted, and then he posted a new Ask that was nearly identical to his deleted comment. There's a difference.

Okay, I'm really buzzing off this time, I swear.
posted by bakerina at 9:47 AM on July 9, 2012


it's about the personal opinion of an anonymous artist.

An anonymous deceased artist.

I agree with obliquicity three, and didn't flag it, but thought it was completely unanswerable since it's about an idiosyncratic and subjective opinion by someone who's no longer with us.
posted by Miko at 9:58 AM on July 9, 2012


...by which I mean, there is a definitive answer, but it's not possible for any of us to know it.
posted by Miko at 9:59 AM on July 9, 2012


On the other hand, did you know that toe rings are always silver and are definitely tools of the patriarchy?

They are only put on the toes of women when they get married, all the toes during the ceremony and then just the ones on the second toes remain, as not only a sign of marriage but also because it is believed that pressing that particular point on the underside of the toe acts like a bromide against rampant female libido, lust and sexuality, thus minimizing chances for hanky panky. (the stuff they say about how its really to help with back pain? pure BS)
posted by infini at 10:26 AM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


The high heels question was a classic example of one the types of routinely deleted questions described in the "My Ask Metafilter question was removed as chatfilter. What does that mean?" section of the FAQ:
Questions with no problem to be solved or where the problem is some variant of "I'm curious if other people feel like I do"
(Substituting "like my parents do" in this case.) It's a discussion topic, not a real question.

In the "female energy" question, the OP came across a the idea of cities having "male energy" or "female energy" and is trying to understand what the author meant by that. The question is at least hypothetically answerable. If the terms weren't original with author, somebody (most likely somebody familiar with art criticism in the late 70s or early 80s) might be able to explain what people who used these terms meant by them. There's a problem to be solved here, namely, the OP is trying understand what the author meant by the terms they used.

The criteria aren't "this is related to feminism" (you can ask about almost any topic here) or "I think this is kind of silly". It's 'is this an actual question or not'? (Or as the mods would say, 'is there a problem to solved?')

There is no policy that I'm aware of about what what sorts of feminist positions can be discussed on MetaFilter or asked about on AskMe, and I don't think there is one, even covertly. There is a policy that AskMe questions have to be actual questions or requests for advice.
posted by nangar at 10:36 AM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think the "female energy" idea is pretty woo-woo, but to me the original question could very reasonably be answered in the sense-- I think strongly implied in the question itself-- of, "What do you think this term means?" Someone might even have chimed in with cites of other uses of the term which would help to clear that question up. It's still sort of chatfiltery but it's not a completely empty question IMO.

Yeah, you could also answer the high heels question in terms of what you think "sexist" means, but you can do that relatively trivially with any question that involves a term. "Sexism" may be a controversial term but it is relatively common.
posted by BibiRose at 10:49 AM on July 9, 2012


So I didn't answer that thread because the only answer I had was "That person was talking bullshit that they made up out of sheer imbecility" but honestly, "What do you think this person meant by this? Is this a thing?" seems like a very different, and far more appropriate AskMe question than "What do you think about this?" which is obviously ChatFilter.

It seems that the "What did this person mean by 'female energy' in this piece of writing?" question is far closer to the questions we get from non-native English speakers about the meaning of idioms (see the very interesting question about The Call of the Wild today) or from people unfamiliar with the terms of art/jargons of specific fields (for example, the many questions about clothing terms like "What is a Nehru jacket?").
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:08 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


What's wrong with being sexy?
posted by Decani at 12:00 PM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's part of why we're so pro-doover in general

I need more coffee. I kept re-reading the earlier comments, trying to figure out who doover was.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 12:00 PM on July 9, 2012 [11 favorites]


High heels are because of male vanity. French Louis was so short he had no reason to live. So he had the royal shoemaker put little blocks under the heels of his shoes - thus the little curved Louis heel. This story might be apocryphal, but I like it.
Why hookers wear 7 inch heels is another story.
posted by Cranberry at 12:07 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why are people insisting that the high heels question is chatfilter, and that is why it was deleted? The mods themselves have repeatedly said it was 1) ranty, 2) read like a stunt post due to issues not apparent in the text of the question itself, and 3) would likely have stayed without #2 and would definitley be OK if #1 were addressed through minor rewording and it were resubmitted.

AskMe is a better place when people can use it to ask hard questions about ultimately unresolvable issues related to culture, philosophy, various -isms, individual perspectives, and interpretations of events and human interactions. Please don't lobby, even implicitly, for more limits on that sort of thing on the green. I believe that moving in that direction would make it a poorer resource.
posted by jsturgill at 12:39 PM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


What's wrong with being sexy?

What's wrong with not being sexy?
posted by Deoridhe at 12:43 PM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


I didn't answer that thread because the only answer I had was "That person was talking bullshit that they made up out of sheer imbecility"

Mine was "Oh yeah, I remember when I was 20."
posted by Miko at 12:43 PM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


What's wrong with being sexy?

What's wrong with not being sexy?


You won't be able to follow along with the LMFAO catalogue.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 12:49 PM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


I had a lot more male energy back when I was 20.
posted by ODiV at 12:49 PM on July 9, 2012


Why are people insisting that the high heels question is chatfilter, and that is why it was deleted?

Because even when directed to the instance of MeTa where it got wiped, the phrase 'stunt post' was not pointedly used. It covers this ground so much better than 'chatfilter' does. Characterizing it as 'chatfilter' allows us to have this conversation about why some posts stay and others go, while 'stunt post' brooks no discussion.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:59 PM on July 9, 2012


"AskMe is a better place when people can use it to ask hard questions about ultimately unresolvable issues related to culture, philosophy, various -isms, individual perspectives, and interpretations of events and human interactions. Please don't lobby, even implicitly, for more limits on that sort of thing on the green. I believe that moving in that direction would make it a poorer resource."

Yes.

I'm on board with the policy/sentiment against chatfiltery AskMe questions but I completely agree that there's something wrongheaded and extreme about disallowing any question that isn't either an actual problem to be solved or something that has an objectively verifiable true answer. The comment above about "opinions" makes a distinction that doesn't much exist in practice and arguably doesn't exist in theory.

There is a difference between "do y'all think high heels are sexist" and "what is the basis for the argument that high heels are sexist" or even "are high heels sexist?" because the second clearly has some sort of finite answer and the third at least can be understood as a loose phrasing of the second, while the first is, well, just shooting the shit.

It partly comes down to why is this question being asked? People chat for the sake of chatting, not for the sake of what they're chatting about.

Is the asker actually trying to learn something, or not? If so, then, yeah, there's some ambiguous phrasing (like the third formulation) that makes it difficult to tell whether you're chatting or asking a real question; but, still, such questions can be rephrased if necessary. But if they're real questions, they can be answered in some way. Maybe not as satisfactorily as we might like — thus we end up arguing about relationship questions, for example. But people ask them, people answer them, and most of us think that they're appropriate.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:25 PM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


I had a lot more male energy back when I was 20.
posted by ODiV at 8:49 PM on July 9


I didn't. But then I was terribly drunk at the time.
posted by Decani at 1:32 PM on July 9, 2012


"That's part of why we're so pro-doover in general"

For the love of doovers, would you like to buy a space and a hyphen?
posted by iamkimiam at 1:42 PM on July 9, 2012 [8 favorites]


For the love of doovers, would you like to buy a space and a hyphen?

It's economies like this that keep memberships $5. Fortunately, we have imagination!
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:50 PM on July 9, 2012


Yeah, seriously, every keystroke counts. This is why I am so characteristically terse.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:54 PM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


If I had $5 for ever doover I've pro'd...
posted by infini at 1:54 PM on July 9, 2012


$5? I thought it was $20, same as in town.
posted by palomar at 2:03 PM on July 9, 2012


One of the best skills that librarians can teach us in general is to ask better questions, by clarifying our premises and objectives, and I think that both questions could have used a consultation with a librarian to really figure out what they wanted answered by the community.
posted by klangklangston at 2:11 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's a fine idea klangklangston, but librarians don't grow on trees.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:12 PM on July 9, 2012


If only they did.

*sigh*
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:15 PM on July 9, 2012


"This is why I am so characteristically terse."

hardly-char-char
posted by iamkimiam at 2:15 PM on July 9, 2012


But seriously, "pro-doover" is a mess but I ended up in a fail state this morning because I didn't like my options and my caffeine hadn't kicked in yet and I just wanted to move on with the sentence. My original plan was "pro-do-over" but I hate having two hyphens in the same string when the hyphens have different constructive functions; sticking an "attaching a nonce prefix" hyphen to one side of token and a "hyphenating a compound word" hyphen to the other side just feels cruel. (Though I apparently have no such reservations about stringing-several-words-together hyphenation when there's no conflict of type.)

So then: "pro do-over"? No good, the lack of a hyphen connecting the prefix weirds things up a bit and creates the ambiguity of a professional do-over, or even a person who is a professional as regards the "do-ov" act. Neither of which is really plausible but the key thing is the weird signaling of something other than the default prefix interpretation of the unhyphenated "pro".

And my brain probably got as far as "well, then, uh, 'pro-doover'? No, that's terrible. 'pro-do-over'? No, that's terrible again, full circle, PANIC!" and my will gave out. If I'd thought about it for five more seconds I'd have just rewritten it as "...why we're so okay with do-overs..." or something.

I wish I could take a doover.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:23 PM on July 9, 2012 [11 favorites]


I'm the Pro from Doover, and this is my caddy.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:35 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


We need to define terse now?
posted by infini at 2:44 PM on July 9, 2012


Briefly, yes.
posted by radwolf76 at 2:47 PM on July 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


pro- do-over. or pro–do-over. We need to embrace the en—and don't forget the em—dash more.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:05 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't think the ambiguity in pro do-over is too great, but when faced with awkward punctuation and ambiguity, the correct response is often to do-over by rewriting the sentence.
posted by klangklangston at 3:18 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd advocate the New Yorker route: pro-doöver.
posted by junco at 3:22 PM on July 9, 2012 [8 favorites]


I'm pro-hors-d'oeuvre.
posted by box at 3:47 PM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


>That's a fine idea klangklangston, but librarians don't grow on trees.

If only they did.

The job market is tight enough for the new crop graduates, thank you.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:02 PM on July 9, 2012


Ümläüts för everyöne!
posted by ocherdraco at 4:02 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why hookers wear 7 inch heels is another story.
You gonna tell it?
posted by adamvasco at 4:06 PM on July 9, 2012


I'm the Pro from Doover, and this is my caddy.

Doover DE, Doover OH or Doover Foxcroft ME?
posted by fixedgear at 4:20 PM on July 9, 2012


I'm pretty sure that's one of the Just So Stories Apocrypha.
posted by darksasami at 4:23 PM on July 9, 2012


Howdy, well, I never expected a sincere question to cause such fuss. I could not remove the booklet from the archive to scan it, so I wish I could share it. I didn't think the artist's identity was integral to the question since the work she left behind was rather small. But just so people don't think I was trolling, her name is Jasmine Valentina.
posted by Calzephyr at 4:28 PM on July 9, 2012


"pro-doover" is a mess

Your punctuation crashed into the white cliffs of doover.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 4:30 PM on July 9, 2012


The other day as I was waiting to cross the street, I saw a woman on a bike stop at the corner I was waiting on, look another woman in heels up and down, and start lecturing her on how high heels were a tool of the patriarchy and that they were sexist.

I was thisclose to jumping in to say that assuming that you had the right to critique a stranger's personal choices just because she was a woman was also sexist.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:34 PM on July 9, 2012 [13 favorites]


There once was a pro from Do-over
Whose mod job would all have been clover
If no one complained
That the posts that remained
Were monsters. Like Elmo. Or Grover.

He spoke to a gal from Prodoover
Who said "It's quite hard to maneuver
People moan and they wail
And you feel like a fail-
Ure, like Fillmore, van Buren, or Hoover."

But in chimed a fellow from Dovver,
"You're doing the best you can, lover!
Set your woes on the shelf
You had best please yourself
Others' sore spots aren't your job to cover!"

posted by Sidhedevil at 4:51 PM on July 9, 2012 [14 favorites]


Klangklangston, this is where I embarrassingly admit that I am a library technician and part of my job at the moment is helping people figure out what they want by querying them.

Asking online questions, however, is a constant struggle for me. When I give too much information, people forget/don't see the actual question I'm asking. Details I don't consider important always seem important after the posting.

The lack of face to face interaction seems to doom more nebulous questions for me.

If the question is straightforward (What is the average speed of a European swallow), it's usually not an issue :D
posted by Calzephyr at 4:58 PM on July 9, 2012


I think your question was fine, actually. It was a little open-ended at the end [i.e. you might get better results with something slightly more directed than "Any ideas?" because that opens the door to a lot more randomness than you might want] but generally it had what was to me an answerable question but people took it in a different way than I think you were thinking which is that they narrowly answered the above-the-fold question without being clear that they read and understood the rest of it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:14 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think the high heels question is a legitimate one, but the framing and the timing were bad.

Bad how? I'm not seeing it.

1. The framing is pretty much to-the-letter how AskMe questions should always be written: Question, background, same question again.

2. The timing: Yeah, it was fresh in the asker's mind. And? So?

To be honest, it looks to me like the mods were (perhaps rightfully) pissed off and (perhaps wrongfully) vindictive. If it broke any guidelines, I can't for the life of me figure out which ones. Questions must be not only answerable now, but super answerable? Three sentences constitute a rant? Sorry, no.

Good question, good thread, terrible deletion.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:17 PM on July 9, 2012


Like we said, we were all trying to figure out why people were flagging the hell out of it because it seemed borderline-but-okay (where we'll see some but not many flags and make a judgement call on our own). Once it became clear that it was basically reposting a deleted comment from a thread with no additional explanation or context it took on a new light, it was clear why so many people were flagging it and looked like a stunt post.

General open-ended questions like "Is this racist?" and "Is this sexist?" and "is this person a bad parent?" are already a little tough. In addition, basically adding a one line rant about shoes that someone could reasonably expect a chunk of the reading audience to be owners/wearers of and it just seemed like posturing. If you have a question about shoes, ask about shoes. If you want to complain about shoes, you may want to go elsewhere or wait for an appropriate FPP to come along in MeFi.

The combination of stuntiness and the "XYZ sucks AMIRITE" aspect to it made it one of those "This doesn't seem to be a timely question, maybe ask again when you can rephrase it" situations so it wasn't a "Guy makes deleteworthy comment in fast-moving thread, reposts comment as AskMe question for some reason. Confused MeFites flag it. Confused mods try to figure out what to do." situation

No one was pissed, at least none of us. It takes a lot more than that to piss us off.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:26 PM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


My two cents, i didn't see the question as a rant, just as someone who wasn't up on the haps of third-wave feminism and wanted to know about the perceived difference between their understanding and the understanding of everyone else in that other thread that heels in-and-of-themselves weren't the problem.

But, oh well, stuff happens. I really love how this community can hash this stuff out.
posted by bleep at 6:43 PM on July 9, 2012


Yeah, seriously, every keystroke counts. This is why I am so characteristically terse.

Each keystroke counts, so I'm terse.
posted by moss at 7:43 PM on July 9, 2012


I suppose one could ask "what are some good resources that discuss the sexist cultural trappings of women's clothes, specifically high heels?" Those formulations do not identify the premise ("high heels are sexist")

Well, yes it does. That question is more or less saying that high heels are sexist (just in verbose, quasi-academic language).
posted by John Cohen at 7:53 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Are philosophical questions permitted on AskMe, that is to say, is it permissible to ask questions which are answerable but which do not have a truly definitive answer? Questions of ethics, ontology, etc.
posted by Scientist at 8:22 PM on July 9, 2012


It's saying that "high heels are sexist" is a recognised position that will have resources, and could you be directed to some please. It says nothing about the question-author's opinion about high heels - for all you know, they may be looking for sources so they can rebut them.
posted by harriet vane at 8:25 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Are philosophical questions permitted on AskMe, that is to say, is it permissible to ask questions which are answerable but which do not have a truly definitive answer? Questions of ethics, ontology, etc.

Generally not - those tend towards the chatfilter. Ethics questions are great when it's a specific use case - less so if it's a generality. Likewise everything else, really - "What did Plato think about x, and what sources should I be reading about" is fine, whereas "Is the idea of the platonic form a useful one in modern society" not so much.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:25 PM on July 9, 2012


Dang. I had a burning one. Perhaps I could use AskMe to help me locate resources on existing philosophical work for the class of problem that I am pondering, and then use that information to put together a post on the Blue about it wherein people could (if they wanted) discuss it in the context of some choice source material?
posted by Scientist at 8:38 PM on July 9, 2012


As long as the framing were done carefully, of course – such that the AskMe question was clearly a request for sources rather than a subtle invitation to just chat about the topic I was requesting sources about.
posted by Scientist at 8:40 PM on July 9, 2012


Oh, yeah, requests for sources on a topic are pretty routine.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 9:26 PM on July 9, 2012


obliquicity: "But then again, I don't see "high heels are a tool of the patriarchy" as a particularly outlying approach to the objects in question, and would question the extent to which MeFi is inadvertently asserting some middle-ground ideology of its own in identifying that as radical position-taking but the "cities have female energy" premise as not-disturbingly-sexist (or, more accurately, the seriousness with which we take that premise -- and no, not all answerers did, and I appreciate the more intelligent responses, etc.)."

The mistake you're making here is assuming that the mods choose which threads stay up and which don't based on ideology. Instead, they make choices based on what works both for the website/community in general and particularly in the context of the moment. This context changes constantly and also reflects the motives of the poster or the framing of the post.

I have never, never ever ever been successfully convinced that the whole "why was this allowed but not this" discussion has any merit whatsoever.
posted by Deathalicious at 6:43 AM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


crush-onastick: "I'm not sure how a question that seeks to validate or invalidate an opinion (such as the premise that "high heels are sexist" or "high heels are reflective of a sexist cultural history") can be reframed to not be chatfilter."

Nonetheless, it describes a huge number of (often wonderful) questions on the green. "This happened, am I crazy or are they crazy" which, I have to say, probably describes 99% of relationship questions for sure, is a perfectly valid question even though the answers are going to naturally be chattier than, say, the answer to a question about the proper foobarmeter to use on a thingamajig.
posted by Deathalicious at 6:50 AM on July 10, 2012


Oh, and also:

I see far less utility in a lot of more amorphous questions and would personally err on the side of more deletions in ask.metafilter.

In my opinion the goal of deleting questions in AskMe is to keep it from being just a chatty forum. Some of the greatest questions have been ones that are largely amorphous because in the end we humans are all basically philosophers at heart, and amorphous questions often bring out the best in us.

What I like is that practically no topic is taboo on this site (seriously) and how important framing is on the belonging-ness of a question here. So "Justin Bieber sucks amirite?" would get canned, but a question asking just what it is about Justin Timberlake that is so appealing stays, because the framing is good and it is trying to answer a question, albeit one that has the potential to be very chatfiltery.

In my opinion, this is fantastic. We still get a website that looks nothing like Google Answers or, thank heavens, AskReddit (I think an entire corpus of research papers could be written comparing and contrasting the Reddit and MetaFilter ecosystems, and how their different cultures, infrastructures, and motivation systems lead to vastly different content output). But we also get to ask questions that we really do wonder about, rather than limiting ourselves to the purely practical. Just the fact that we allow more than one "best" answer shows that, in its heart, AskMe is inherently amorphous.
posted by Deathalicious at 6:58 AM on July 10, 2012


I feel like it's OK to have slightly lax standards for questions in AskMe, as long as it keeps to its basic purpose of being a question-and-answer site. Difficult-to-answer-definitively questions don't really erode the overall culture or utility of the site, and if they're not to your taste then you can just pass them over. If I had my druthers I would actually argue for a little fewer deletions for "amorphousness" myself.
posted by Scientist at 7:09 AM on July 10, 2012


Since the original question is no longer up (and given the context, I understand why), I have to challenge this here:

Cranberry: "High heels are because of male vanity. French Louis was so short he had no reason to live. So he had the royal shoemaker put little blocks under the heels of his shoes - thus the little curved Louis heel. This story might be apocryphal, but I like it.
Why hookers wear 7 inch heels is another story.
"

This is just not true. If you want to argue about high heels, you should at least know that the person that brought them into popular fashion was in fact a woman. You can find out more via the history of high heels website: It was in 1533, when Catherine de Medici decided to wear heels on her wedding day to Henry II, a Duke and the future King of France. She was 14 and quite short (not more than 5 foot), so asked a cobbler to make her shoes that would make her appear much taller on her wedding day. Dangerous Eloquence also goes into the background.

You can even just go to to Wikipedia to verify that they were not originally invented as a tool of the patriarchy if you really wanted an answer (rather than making a stunt post).
posted by misha at 11:28 AM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


The question about the feminine city is tough.

Personally, I'd feel a "feminine energy" was more likely in a city where women felt safe from violent crime or oppression, but others might think "feminine energy" is all about a curvy skyline with angels in the architecture instead of phallic obelisks or something. If you're into fashion, you'd probably consider Paris/New York/Florence as the feminine epicenters. All of those views, as well as the neopagan outlook restless nomad mentions, are equally valid.

As Miko says, we can't possibly know what the original poser of that opinion felt, and just naming cities "feminine" or "masculine" doesn't really help much. Seems pretty unanswerable as it stands.
posted by misha at 11:36 AM on July 10, 2012


"You can even just go to to Wikipedia to verify that they were not originally invented as a tool of the patriarchy if you really wanted an answer (rather than making a stunt post)."

I dunno...maybe you could actually read Cranberry's comment (that you quoted!) before you assume what it said and why it was posted before you write an aggrieved response to it? Maybe you could read it now? And see that it wasn't asserting that high heels were invented as a tool of the patriarchy?

I know you have this woman-apologizing-for-sexism schtick going on here, and I guess that's fulfilling for you, but could you at least limit your knee-jerk responses to things which are actually claiming sexism?
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:42 AM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


As Miko says, we can't possibly know what the original poser of that opinion felt

But the person who asked the AskMe question didn't know whether it was a term of art that would be readily identifiable in feminist urban studies or whatever discipline, or just an idiosyncratic category that the writer had created themselves.

We get lots of questions like that, about whether some phrase or category newly encountered is A Thing within the writer or speaker's professional field, or just their particular idea that isn't really part of the field's taxonomy.

I remember teaching a college English class in which a student asked "Why are Keats and Wordsworth considered 'romantic' poets? Most of what they write is about nature or history." Just as "Romantic" is a specific term and "romantic" a term in everyday use, there could have been a context in which "feminine energy" might have had a specific meaning in a scholarly discipline that MeFites familiar with that discipline would have been aware of.

As it turned out, it was just something the writer had made up, but the asker didn't know that.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:48 AM on July 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Okay...to be fair, after I wrote my comment I realized that maybe misha's last sentence and the "you" in it wasn't referring to Cranberry which she had just quoted, but was a nonsequitor (within the context of the rest of the comment and quote) and was, rather, a response to and addressed to the poster who posted the AskMe question about high heels.

If so, I apologize.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:51 AM on July 10, 2012


If so, I apologize.

For what it's worth, you have kind of a habit of getting in people's faces and maybe reining that instinct in a little first would save on the conditional apologies later on. It's okay to just roll your eyes and move on.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:03 PM on July 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


I know you have this woman-apologizing-for-sexism schtick going on here, and I guess that's fulfilling for you, but could you at least limit your knee-jerk responses to things which are actually claiming sexism?
You really deserve a Fuck You too for that comment , which would have been vaporised and quite rightly so. However I see you apologized. Sort of. So that´s all right then.
posted by adamvasco at 12:29 PM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


MeFi Cocktail:

Two parts RYEAMO
One part FIAMO

Shake until it becomes a nice professional white. Garnish with taters; serve with a plate of beans.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:30 PM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


"You really deserve a Fuck You too for that comment , which would have been vaporised and quite rightly so. However I see you apologized. Sort of. So that´s all right then."

I didn't apologize for that and won't because misha shows up in almost every one of these discussions and argues against complaints about sexism. She couldn't resist doing so in this thread even when, as she pointed out, her complaint properly belonged in the deleted thread.

Assuming I actually misread her, then the comment posted in this thread to which she responded deserved only a correction of fact and didn't involve in any respect an argument about high-heels being a patriarchal invention — yet she felt she needed to take a heavy swipe against it. Or, alternatively, she misread Cranberry. Either way, she gratuitously and inappropriately took the opportunity to defend against a charge of sexism.

It's fair to characterize me and two or three other men as a Male Feminist Mefite Who Always Argues about Sexism and, better or worse, like it or hate it, I do play that role and that fairly describes me (and them). It rubs a lot of people the wrong way. Misha plays a female opposing role, better or worse, like it or hate it. This also rubs a lot of people the wrong way.

"For what it's worth, you have kind of a habit of getting in people's faces and maybe reining that instinct in a little first would save on the conditional apologies later on. It's okay to just roll your eyes and move on."

I could just not admit when I think I might have misread someone, like most people. But, yeah, aside from my dispute of your contention that I have such a habit, or that it's common, I'll take it both as good advice and an Official Mod Reprimand™ that when I have such an urge, it's better to roll my eyes and move on.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:28 PM on July 10, 2012


Can we please figure out how to rub people the right way and do so before dinner?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:33 PM on July 10, 2012


$20, same as in town.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:28 PM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow. That just...really came out of nowhere.

Ivan, I know you don't like me. Apparently, since I don't agree with your stance on every feminist thread, ever, I'm also an embarrassment to my own sex, too. I don't know why you've decided I'm your own personal punching bag. I don't know why you feel the need to jump up and insult me personally every chance you get, but you win. I can't take the abuse. Congratulations.
posted by misha at 5:07 PM on July 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


There may be things I wish you did different in how you participate in feminism/sexism threads here, and there may be things I'd wish you'd rethink about these issues, but leaving the site isn't any of those things.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:45 PM on July 10, 2012


Ok then.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:56 PM on July 10, 2012


Come back, misha!
posted by Burhanistan at 7:22 PM on July 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


Ironic really that a male self proclaimed pontificator on a female subject can drive a female pontificator with a different viewpoint off the site.
Ivan you are very clever even pedantic (read sometimes boring) in your choice of words and the preciseness you use them to eviscerate other peoples opinions.
People got pissed at you before for this and you had a brand new day. I can see history repeating itself if you continue to be so fucking arrogant.
posted by adamvasco at 7:29 PM on July 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


[Folks, not okay to bring offsite drama into MetaTalk, even in small text.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:48 PM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


"It's fair to characterize me and two or three other men as a Male Feminist Mefite Who Always Argues about Sexism and, better or worse, like it or hate it, I do play that role and that fairly describes me (and them). It rubs a lot of people the wrong way."

Yes, because you are constantly telling me as a woman what Correct Opinions I Ought To Hold As A Female. I can't recall seeing a thread on sexism wherein you don't explain to the ladies the One True Way To Be A Feminist, and argue down women whose actual lived experience contradicts your beliefs about it.

Yeah, I think there are a lot of feminist men out there with a lot of great things to say about feminism. But you spend a lot of time telling women that their experiences of the world as women, or their interpretations of their experiences of the world as women, or their choices about how to navigate the world as women, or attempts to change the world to be better for women, are incorrect and not really feminist. Or not feminist enough. Or not feminist in exactly the right way. And I haven't gotten up in your face about it because I don't want to tell you that your experience of the world isn't valid (the way you often tell women on this site their experience of it isn't valid), and obviously feminism is an issue you care a lot about and I respect that, but yeah, since you brought it up, it rubs me the wrong way. The level of "Ladies, ladies, calm down, I understand your world and can explain it to you properly!" that you bring to a lot of your comments on feminism is tremendously offputting and condescending and reads as a very anti-woman form of feminism. As if your feminism is mostly for the joy of getting to judge others who don't adhere to the orthodoxy, which I know isn't the case because I understand from your posts that you feel very deeply about it, but that's how your words come across a lot.

Even when I agree with your point in a thread on feminism, I'm often thinking to myself, "OH MY GOD STOP MANSPLAINING."

You seem like a nice guy. You seem like an interesting guy. You seem like a genuine guy. You seem like a guy who cares a lot about equality. But you don't seem like a guy who listens to what women have to say.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:31 PM on July 10, 2012 [16 favorites]


misha, please come back! i value your contributions here, a lot.
posted by palomar at 8:48 PM on July 10, 2012


I didn't apologize for that and won't because misha shows up in almost every one of these discussions and argues against complaints about sexism.

I feel like this is a really big pot/kettle moment for you.
posted by palomar at 8:51 PM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


There may be things I wish you did different [sic] in how you participate in feminism/sexism threads here, and there may be things I'd wish you'd rethink about these issues, but leaving the site isn't any of those things.

Did you hear that, misha? Don't reconsider. The site is better without you, if I'm reading that correctly (and we know I am because he doesn't make errors like that). Now IF can school us silly women/men proper [sic] without your input.

Please, really, come back. There's no shame in it, and shit, I don't even always agree with you, but I absofuckinglutely recognize your value. The site will be poorer without you.
posted by heyho at 9:02 PM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


"But you spend a lot of time telling women that their experiences of the world as women, or their interpretations of their experiences of the world as women, or their choices about how to navigate the world as women, or attempts to change the world to be better for women, are incorrect and not really feminist."

Gender is not determinative in general about issues involves gender and social justice. It's rarely determinative but frequently authoritative in specific. And, specifically, I don't ever tell individual women that their experiences or viewpoints as women are invalid.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:42 PM on July 10, 2012


I didn't have any specific beef with you this morning, IF, but this might be one of those teachable moments. Or, less charitably, one of those moments where if you find yourself in a hole, you should quit digging.
posted by box at 9:49 PM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Misha, please come back. In the arguments we've both been stirred enough to be part of, I've almost never agreed with you, but I respect you, and I want to hear your voice.
posted by gingerest at 9:53 PM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, generally people dont split up their experience like that where it's a meaningful distinction between what their experiences "as women" are versus whatever criteria for a proper feminist outlook is.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:54 PM on July 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


"And, specifically, I don't ever tell individual women that their experiences or viewpoints as women are invalid."

You are literally doing so right now. And if you don't understand that a man telling women how they ought to be feminist and how they ought to feel about sexism is something that raises issues of male privilege, then I don't know what to tell you. You are literally responding a post telling you that your tone, your words, your method of argumentation in feminism threads come across as a man talking down to women, by saying, "No, look, you're wrong, let me explain it to you properly!" The level of irony is threatening to make my head explode.

I was trying to (mostly nicely) point out to you that your style of interaction in sexism threads screams "male privilege" and "I understand the world of women and you, ladies, do not" and, really, the level of gender policing you engage in towards women who don't hold exactly to your feminist orthodoxy is UNREAL. In those threads you create a really unfriendly space for women. My experience of those threads is that clearly the way I choose to live my life as a feminist is UNACCEPTABLE and if I dare to speak up, I will be shamed and shouted down by you for not being feminist enough -- and I'm someone who agrees with most of your positions. It feels just as poisonous as "Dress like a girl! Wear makeup!" It's a strange sort of feminism that consists of a man telling women they are BEING WOMEN WRONG if they don't agree with him. There's no point in even entering most of them because you will be every sixth post, refusing to allow any kind of discussion to go on that doesn't adhere to your orthodoxy, even if it's women in a thread about sexism or women's issues talking about their lives and experiences as women. That is not as important as you telling everyone how to be feminist right, because your discourse is clearly privileged over the discourse of the women you're protecting from themselves. Maybe you think by enforcing your orthodoxy you're preventing those threads from becoming boyzones, I don't know, but you're turning them into your own kind of boyzone when you do, because you drown out everyone else's voice and you are SO INSISTENT that your way is the only right way. I don't really even understand WHY you engage so heavily in sexism threads; I mean, I believe you when you say it's an important issue to you, but I really don't understand why, because you don't seem interested in what women have to actually say about anything. Maybe you aren't condescending towards women. Maybe you do want to hear what women have to say. Maybe you aren't trying to enforce a normative position that women must adhere to to be "good" women. But you really need to look at your communication style in those threads, because that's how you're coming across, at least to me. As a woman.

So let me repeat it because you didn't hear me say it the first time: You don't seem to listen to women.

I'm sure you'll find things you can formally argue with and pick apart in this post, because it is late here and I'm not as calm as I was when I posted my first comment. You seem to enjoy doing that, and that's fine, I spend a lot of time with lawyers and it's no skin off my nose. But I'd really ask you to try to see the point I'm trying to make and not get lost in arguing with the semantics. You're preaching in a way that's making the choir quit the church.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:33 PM on July 10, 2012 [23 favorites]


"...if I'm reading that correctly (and we know I am because he doesn't make errors like that)."

It's not really an error but it's ambiguous. I don't want misha to leave. I was saying there are things I wish she'd change, but leaving the site isn't a change I'd want her to make. I wasn't aware of the distinction at the time, but I wrote it from the pre-leaving perspective and not the post-leaving perspective. Kind of how in this comment I chose "to leave" and not "to have left". People can have their accounts re-enabled, and I hope that's what she does soon enough so that she's never really "left".
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:41 PM on July 10, 2012


I want to favorite Eyebrows McGee's comment but I can't because I hit my favorite limit in the Daniel Tosh rape joke thread.
posted by palomar at 10:57 PM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


"But I'd really ask you to try to see the point I'm trying to make and not get lost in arguing with the semantics."

I do see the point you're trying to make but unfortunately I disagree with you. I want to emphasize that even though I disagree, I think your point is generally important, some of your criticisms surely must have at least partial merit, and while I find it very unpleasant to be accused of doing the things you're accusing me of doing, I also see that you're making an effort to be generous in a context where you have strong feelings and a strong personal investment. I think we could have a good conversation about this where we could understand each other much better than we do presently...but I don't think that conversation can happen here and now.

And this is more generally true — and so I'm going to end my part in this discussion. If anyone wishes to discuss this in good-faith (and not just, you know, yell and insult) then you're welcome to memail me and perhaps we might better come to understand each other.

Otherwise, I'll leave this with a repeat of my desire that misha not leave and an affirmation that she is a valuable member of the community without whom we're the poorer.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:26 PM on July 10, 2012


Misha's a friend, and this officially bums me out:-(
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:40 AM on July 11, 2012


Ivan Fyodorovich: I do see the point you're trying to make but unfortunately I disagree with you. I want to emphasize that even though I disagree, I think your point is generally important, some of your criticisms surely must have at least partial merit...

Even your attempts to reconcile end up being jabs. It's like you're incapable of interacting with other human beings in a manner that isn't utilizing linguist backflips to poke at people in the most annoying way possible. I must say, it's quite the skill.
posted by gman at 4:50 AM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ugh. The wrong one left.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:19 AM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow IF, reading this thread has been like watching someone furiously digging a deep hole and insisting that the sky is just a little bit farther.
posted by Blasdelb at 5:49 AM on July 11, 2012


Ivan, try this: "I apologize. I wasn't behaving well, and will endeavor to learn something from this, and not do that again."

Full stop. It's actually very freeing.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:21 AM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think the high heels question is a legitimate one, but the framing and the timing were bad.

I don't understand this concern over "timing". Either the question meets the guidelines or it breaks them.
posted by spaltavian at 7:25 AM on July 11, 2012


Not really, no. There are a few context-specific concerns around posts and there always have been.

On MeFi there are

- there is an open post about this topic
- this seems to be a stunt post based on something elsewhere because of $_REASONS
- this is a breaking news story with no real linkable online content, maybe wait a while

On AskMe there is

- this seems to be a response to an open AskMe thread, maybe it needs to go there instead
- this thread seems to be an excuse to have a chatty thread about a subtopic in MeFi that we've asked you to not talk about there
- this seems to be a stunt post based on something elsewhere because of $_REASONS

Context matters here and part of the context is what was going on on the site when the post was made. It's one of the reasons that we have a hard time with the "Why is THIS okay but THAT wasn't?" questions, because context and framing do matter. This is different than larger sites that have less of this going on, but it's been true here pretty much since the start.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:56 AM on July 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ivan, you know I love you and I love what you bring to this site but you are not being your best self here. Sometimes it's better to just stop the rationalization and explanation, even if it feels wholly justified, even if it is wholly justified, and just apologize unconditionally and sincerely.

You have put yourself in a position where despite your most earnest efforts to improve the site-as-you-see-it and get your fellow MeFites to see things from your perspective, all you can do is burn social capital and create more disturbance and ill-will both toward you and amongst the general population here.

You need to back down. There may be things that you can learn from this experience to improve yourself and your interactions with others both here and elsewhere, and you can work on that privately if you wish. There may be things that you can teach the site as well, but this is no longer the time or place for it.

It's time to make peace, man. You can't make peace if you won't lay down your weapons. It's time to step away, realize that the situation is never going to be resolved to your satisfaction, make a sincere apology (even if you feel you are entitled to one in return and even if you know you won't get it), not take the opportunity to further air your own grievances, and just let the matter die down and begin to heal over.

It's not about fairness. It's about doing what you can to reinstate peaceful relations among the community. Permanent damage may already have been done. It's time to do what you can to halt that and initiate healing.
posted by Scientist at 10:44 AM on July 11, 2012


Maybe we can avoid a massive pile-on here. MeMail exists, and IF has already stepped away.
posted by Miko at 11:32 AM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, right! My apologies. I somehow missed the part where he said he was leaving the thread and thought that this was still an active issue. I didn't mean to shame or pile onto anyone. Again, apologies.
posted by Scientist at 12:50 PM on July 11, 2012


Come back, misha!

Indeed. Please.
posted by anigbrowl at 1:07 PM on July 11, 2012


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