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and god damn you for suggesting I should just suck that up
October 23, 2012 10:00 PM   Subscribe

Can we please stop with the sexism, it demeans the supposedly open, safe, inclusive nature of metafilter.

I have to call out EmpressCallipyos in this thread. I know this will be unpopular, but if you all can just take a deep breath, and read the following quotes to understand what, as a fellow community member, I am getting at, I would greatly appreciate it.

Hell, if the men ain't listening to US, then maybe they'll listen to another guy.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:44 PM on October 23 [14 favorites +] [!]


It is a common problem for women on EARTH.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:48 PM on October 23 [72 favorites +] [Flagged]


And if you were to do them for me, I would be able to tell that you are being altruistic about it. Many women can tell the difference between altruism and ulterior motive.

If your motives are indeed pure altruism, this article isn't talking to you. Don't worry. You're fine.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:20 PM on October 23 [4 favorites+] [Flagged]


Please don't generalize your experiences to all women. I'm a woman who has been approached by strangers in a very scary and threatening way, and I can report that I didn't like it when it happened and wouldn't have gone out with someone who didn't seem to notice he was scaring the shit out of me.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:15 PM on October 23 [4 favorites +] [Flagged]


The problem with the analogy in the article is that - as one woman pointed out in the comments -- that it doesn't address the fact that some of the people who try to hit on you get angry and threatening when they get turned down.

Them may be the breaks, but they sure as fuck SHOULDN'T be, and god damn you for suggesting I should just suck that up.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:58 PM on October 23 [5 favorites +] [!]


Now, please, imagine, if you replace the various pronouns from she to he, her to his, empress to emperor, etc. such quotes would be labeled flame bait, would not be constructive to conversation, would be flagged, and, in my opinion, be removed.
posted by Shit Parade to Etiquette/Policy at 10:00 PM (114 comments total)

I haven't read that whole thread so I may be misunderstanding the context, but I genuinely don't see what's wrong with (most of) those comments. For example, I don't think a man asking that his experiences not be generalised to all men would be "flame bait".

I read your comment in that thread and I do feel for you but I think you are possibly directing your anger in the wrong place.
posted by lwb at 10:05 PM on October 23, 2012 [11 favorites]


Well bless your heart.
posted by roll truck roll at 10:05 PM on October 23, 2012 [91 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos is one of the worst interlocutors on Metafilter but this is not the right callout.
posted by lalex at 10:06 PM on October 23, 2012 [18 favorites]


> Now, please, imagine, if you replace the various pronouns from she to he, her to his, empress to emperor, etc. such quotes would be labeled flame bait, would not be constructive to conversation, would be flagged, and, in my opinion, be removed.

Huh? No. Also, disagreeing with you is not sexism.
posted by desuetude at 10:07 PM on October 23, 2012 [63 favorites]


Now, please, imagine, if you replace the various pronouns from she to he, her to his, empress to emperor, etc. such quotes would be labeled flame bait, would not be constructive to conversation, would be flagged, and, in my opinion, be removed.

This sort of hypothetical sex-reversal isn't really applicable. History has treated men and women differently, so we can't expect the truth value (or moral value) of a statement to remain unaffected by switching gendered terms in that statement.
posted by Jpfed at 10:09 PM on October 23, 2012 [97 favorites]


I believe EC was responding to one of my questions ("Do women get hit on at Starbuck's?") but as a man I certainly did not feel like the victim of reverse sexism or whatever.

On the other hand, there were an awful lot of men in that thread downplaying the day-to-day harassment many women experience ("But how are we supposed to meet women???")
posted by KokuRyu at 10:09 PM on October 23, 2012 [24 favorites]


Now, please, imagine, if you replace the various pronouns from

This is pretty rarely a useful gambit in arguing anything, since context doesn't just transfer with superficial twiddling of words. If you want to talk about what you find problematic about what was actually written in that thread on its own terms, that's totally fine but this isn't really a great way to tackle that.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:11 PM on October 23, 2012 [55 favorites]


On the other hand, there were an awful lot of men in that thread downplaying the day-to-day harassment many women experience ("But how are we supposed to meet women???")

although I cannot say for sure, but I strongly suspect many such comments were removed by the moderators -- at least this comment: [Boy oh gosh let's not have a broiling Men's Rights: Pro Or Con derail in here, thank you.]
posted by cortex at 5:19 PM on October 23 [3 favorites +] [Flagged]
strongly suggests such to me.
posted by Shit Parade at 10:12 PM on October 23, 2012 [2 favorites]



This is pretty rarely a useful gambit in arguing anything, since context doesn't just transfer with superficial twiddling of words. If you want to talk about what you find problematic about what was actually written in that thread on its own terms, that's totally fine but this isn't really a great way to tackle that.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:11 PM on October 23 [+] [!]


Sure, the use of CAPS, the denigrating and paternalistic attitude towards an entire gender (aka, ~half of humanity), cursing at people, short pithy comments which seem more intended to incite than inform, these are the sorts of things I've seen flagged and removed before and I strongly believe that because it is a woman's hatred towards men/male culture the mod's on metafilter let it slide when they wouldn't put up with it in other contexts and cultures.
posted by Shit Parade at 10:16 PM on October 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


Surprisingly, transposing asymmetric parties in an interaction does not transpose their asymmetry, as one might imagine.
posted by ead at 10:16 PM on October 23, 2012 [64 favorites]


You flagged my mod comment? I mean, you can do that but you know we're the only ones who are going to see that, right? Just write us a note at the contact form.

In any case, there were three comments total removed that made up the brief MR derail, one kicking it off and two replying to that. I'm not sure what you're saying you suspect was removed, but there thankfully hasn't been much at all.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:16 PM on October 23, 2012 [24 favorites]


Now, please, imagine, if you replace the various pronouns from she to he, her to his, empress to emperor

Okay, so normally I'd point out that this is a ridiculous move because societal expectations of men and women are radically different, so a statement that points out a real problem can appear ridiculous and unwarranted when genderswapped.

But in this case? The comments you quote are pretty much fine either way, though one or two of them I guess sound a bit silly with dudes.

Sheesh.
posted by moss at 10:18 PM on October 23, 2012 [12 favorites]


Please feel free to accost women at Starbucks, men.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:19 PM on October 23, 2012 [8 favorites]


I flag mod comments when I believe they are chilling debate or trying too hard to direct otherwise healthy discourse, I certainly do not believe it will be "removed", but I do it to let the mod's know my take on it (I certainly don't work with the assumption that everything a mod does is faultless, and neither do the mods).
posted by Shit Parade at 10:21 PM on October 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't see where any of those comments are even vaguely inflammatory.

I do see that EmpressCallipygos sounds pretty pissed off in a couple of those. I do not see how that makes her a sexist or anti-men or anti-male culture, though. Is a woman being angry about crappy aspects of her own life experience in itself somehow sexist?
posted by thehmsbeagle at 10:23 PM on October 23, 2012 [41 favorites]


Eponysterical.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:23 PM on October 23, 2012 [68 favorites]



Please feel free to accost women at Starbucks, men.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:19 PM on October 23 [+] [!]


So yeah, I know, meta and all, we can be a lot more open etc, and I expect plenty of snark, irony, and a list of recipes to come out in this thread, but truly, the comments I cited in thread tend to bring out this exact attitude which does not lead to a great discussion because that, what you wrote, is an awful straw (wo)man of a derail/argument.
posted by Shit Parade at 10:23 PM on October 23, 2012


> Sure, the use of CAPS, the denigrating and paternalistic attitude towards an entire gender (aka, ~half of humanity), cursing at people, short pithy comments which seem more intended to incite than inform, these are the sorts of things I've seen flagged and removed before and I strongly believe that because it is a woman's hatred towards men/male culture the mod's on metafilter let it slide when they wouldn't put up with it in other contexts and cultures.

The women are being...paternalistic?

The vast, vast majority of the thread, as well as most of the comments you quoted, are intended to "reform."

Denouncing behavior by a subset of men is not "hatred toward men." The criticism leveled at men by other Mefites is clearly limited to particular behavior, not the entirety of the male sex.

Mods, not mod's.
posted by desuetude at 10:24 PM on October 23, 2012 [16 favorites]


and I strongly believe that because it is a woman's hatred towards men/male culture

I think this is where most folks are going to have a disconnect with your read on this. I think discussions about this stuff are tricky and a little fraught with emotional baggage, for sure, because everybody's had their own experiences with e.g. loneliness, social interaction, attraction, rejection, hostility, etc., but the discussion in that thread has had just about zero to do with women's "hatred towards men/male culture" and everything to do with some women's sense of exhaustion about aggregate exposure to specific recurring social pressures and interactions, along with discussion in general of women and men's experiences with larger social issues that touch on that.

I certainly don't work with the assumption that everything a mod does is faultless, and neither do the mods

Sure, but a flag tells us very, very little—we necessarily already know about the comment, we're obviously not going to look at whether it needs deleting, and it's not the kind of high-bandwidth channel where you can give us any detail about what's bothering you. Like I said, you can do it if you want to, but it's sort of explicitly purposeless to the point where it feels like you're wasting both of our time in lieu of communicating directly with us.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:24 PM on October 23, 2012 [18 favorites]


I've seen some misandrist comments on MeFi, but I've never said anything, because 99% of men who talk about misandry are really just misogynistic assholes. Misandrist comments are fairly rare here, but they do occur.

But those quotes up there, above? Not misandrist at all. Sorry.
posted by Bugbread at 10:25 PM on October 23, 2012 [58 favorites]


I know this will be unpopular, but if you all can just take a deep breath, and read the following quotes to understand what, as a fellow community member, I am getting at, I would greatly appreciate it.

I did. Also, I was following and participating in the thread before seeing this MeTa. I wasn't a fan of her "Please don't generalize..." comment, as it seemed rather dishonest; the person she was responding to wasn't generalizing, he was criticizing someone else's comment for generalizing. And yeah, the "god damn you" comment probably should have been deleted.

But I don't see sexism. I read your post. I looked for it. I don't see it.
posted by cribcage at 10:27 PM on October 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Your sole comment in the thread at issue indicates that you think total strangers are scowling at you multiple times a day without provocation. I think you should perhaps recalibrate how you ascribe negative intentions to people.

the supposedly open, safe, inclusive nature of metafilter.

The mods have repeatedly said that MetaFilter is not a "safe space."
posted by grouse at 10:30 PM on October 23, 2012 [22 favorites]


This one, in particular, I just can't see where your complaint is: "If your motives are indeed pure altruism, this article isn't talking to you. Don't worry. You're fine.". I mean, that seems like exactly the kind of comment that someone who was worried about misandry would want, an explicit statement that "these comments are not directed at all men, and, assuming you're a decent person, they're not directed at you". Why would you find that comment to be sexist?
posted by Bugbread at 10:30 PM on October 23, 2012 [19 favorites]


It isn't sexist to generalize and stereotype a gender?
posted by Shit Parade at 10:31 PM on October 23, 2012


I skipped that post because it was pretty obvious GRARstorm bait and I don't need that today. EC's posts that you quote are kinda fighty in a way that would maybe be tolerated less well if she were speaking as a male, but don't seem really out of bounds to me. They're just an annoyed person speaking her mind.

On the one hand, there is kind of a meme that sexism is okay as long as it's the right people being sexist, and I think that meme is vile and needs to die. On the other hand, I don't think that's especially on display in this particular case.
posted by hattifattener at 10:32 PM on October 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


Yes. If she were doing that, that would be sexist.

Note use of subjunctive.
posted by Bugbread at 10:34 PM on October 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Bugbread: Actually, that's the comment I find closest to actually offensive: it's oh so close to "Hey, [minority] are all stupid and dirty, right? Present company excepted, of course." But I don't think EC meant it that way.
posted by hattifattener at 10:34 PM on October 23, 2012


"If your motives are indeed pure altruism, this article isn't talking to you. Don't worry. You're fine.". I mean, that seems like exactly the kind of comment that someone who was worried about misandry would want, an explicit statement that "these comments are not directed at all men, and, assuming you're a decent person, they're not directed at you". Why would you find that comment to be sexist?
posted by Bugbread at 10:30 PM on October 23 [+] [!]


I am trying, very hard, to be an honest interlocutor because I appreciate the shaky ground many grant me in even entertaining this line of inquiry and that is why I am quoting entire snippets instead of just phrases. it is the comment directly above, the "And if you were to do them for me, I would be able to tell that you are being altruistic about it. Many women can tell the difference between altruism and ulterior motive." which i was really highlighting -- If I suggested that, as a man, I would assuredly not have a misunderstanding and know somehow supernaturally which women are into me I would be widely thought a fool, and rightly so.
posted by Shit Parade at 10:36 PM on October 23, 2012


I understood that comment ("I would be able to tell that you are being altruistic") to be speaking in the context of the interaction (holding the door, buying coffee, etc.). In other words, she is not saying that she can supernaturally divine which men are altruistic and which are creeps, she is saying that she can tell from context clues. If you said the same thing as a man ("I can tell from interacting with a woman whether she's into me"), I don't think you would get pushback.
posted by cribcage at 10:44 PM on October 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why is context always so difficult in these discussions?
posted by rtha at 10:46 PM on October 23, 2012 [8 favorites]


I've seen some misandrist comments on MeFi, but I've never said anything
-Bugbread

If you see them, please do flag them. Misandrist comments are no more okay than misogynist comments. Both have a small amount of gray area (in which a somewhat offensive comment might not be removed even if it's flagged) due to comment length, context, where the comment occurs within a thread etc, but in general both are the kind of thing that's worth flagging.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:46 PM on October 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


SP, is it possible you're reading a meanspirited sarcasm into EC's comments that isn't quite there? (Maybe they're worth rereading in context, with the original preceding direct quotes restored?)

With that last one, it sounds like you think she's being misguided, maybe naive, but I'm having a hard time understanding where your sense of offense is coming from there. Are you assuming that it's such a misguided position that it can't possibly be sincere?
posted by nobody at 10:47 PM on October 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


It isn't sexist to generalize and stereotype a gender?

Shit Parade, introspection in this particular area is something that Metafilter Does Not Do Well.

Given that plus the lateness of the hour in the U.S. you are unlikely to get the sort of carefully considered discussion you may prefer on the topic. Personally we're I in your shoes I'd be taking the position that I said what I had come to say and go do something else for a few hours.

My $0.02 .
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:49 PM on October 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Shit Parade, it is considered courteous to post a link in the thread where you are calling someone out from and also to let the person you are calling out know about the Meta. You did let EmpressCallipygos know about this Meta, right?

Also, are you in the same time zone? You don't list one on your profile page but Empress does and you could have easily seen from a brief look at her comments that she is active during the day in her time zone, but not so much late at night.

It is not sporting to start a Meta, get a head start by shaping the discussion and posting at length for 8 hours or so while the person you have called out can not respond.
posted by mlis at 10:50 PM on October 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


I agree with latex. That is kind of her shtick but this thread wasn't the worst example of it.
posted by stp123 at 10:50 PM on October 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm making some goddamn popcorn for this one.
posted by hypersloth at 10:51 PM on October 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


@Cribcage, are we reading the same thread? The entire thread is about the assumption that men don't know that all those women they hit on aren't into them.

@nobody, this is frowned upon, but I strongly suspect that EC is not being sarcastic, and I say that based on many other threads and conversations I've had read/had with her on meta.
posted by Shit Parade at 10:51 PM on October 23, 2012


Christ, what thread are you reading?
posted by rtha at 10:54 PM on October 23, 2012 [26 favorites]


Why is context always so difficult in these discussions?

Because so many people have such deep wounds.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:55 PM on October 23, 2012 [12 favorites]


Metafilter: Because so many people have such deep wounds.
posted by dephlogisticated at 10:56 PM on October 23, 2012 [11 favorites]


I actually do think there are plenty of examples of anti-male sexism in comments on Metafilter, but I don't think the comments quoted here are such examples. It isn't sexist to make an accurate observation about how different kinds of people behave. Also, observations can even be inaccurate without being sexist. People can be mistaken about something gender-related without being sexist. If you think they are inaccurate, it would probably be more worthwhile to explain that straightforwardly, instead of doing a call-out where you suggest how people would react differently if the pronouns could be reversed. Many statements about gender would make less sense, and would thus become more objectionable, if you reversed the pronouns; men and women aren't identical.
posted by John Cohen at 10:56 PM on October 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is bullshit. The meta should be closed until 9am Empress time.
posted by mlis at 10:58 PM on October 23, 2012 [12 favorites]


I am exhausted myself -- I am not trying to ignore community norms, nor getting a "head start" on EC.

Let me clarify that I appreciate much of EC's contributions, and know they have made a difference for many mefi's, and I don't want her to be put down by all of this, I just want to express that the general attitude on metafilter has swung far enough in the gender wars to make me feel uncomfortable about expressing myself on such issues. I grok inequality, appreciate that metafilter tries to correct by being a little more on one side, but I am beginning to feel very much attacked for being male whenever such issues arise.
posted by Shit Parade at 11:01 PM on October 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


How do you think the comments you've quoted in here could be phrased so as not to feel like attacks?
posted by thehmsbeagle at 11:03 PM on October 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


The meta should be closed until 9am Empress time.

I'm not fond of it, and "popcorn" comments are extremely discouraging. It is pretty awful timing, shitparade, and I'm not sure exactly what you are hoping for here. Basically we need to be talking about site behavior norms more than your personal feelings about what you think EC really means in a given comment.
posted by taz (staff) at 11:04 PM on October 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't know how to say this any more diplomatically than to just say it: there is absolutely no way in the world that Metafilter has swung too far towards the distaff side of the fence, and while I have seen occasional misandrist jokey statements, I have never seen anyone be attacked simply for being male. If you have examples that I have missed, I would love to see them.
posted by KathrynT at 11:05 PM on October 23, 2012 [69 favorites]


I think it's important to remember that oftentimes the one thing that isn't being heard by a man is that it's not about how that man feels about how women feel. Hence the need for it to be repeated over and over. Like EC said, if it doesn't apply to you, you're fine.
Popcorn's good, but the callout seems like a swing and a miss to me.
posted by hypersloth at 11:06 PM on October 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


ah crap, just saw taz's comment - sorry, I did follow up with an actual thought
posted by hypersloth at 11:08 PM on October 23, 2012


It isn't sexist to make an accurate observation about how different kinds of people behave

Unless you are grouping people by behavior you'll never be able to make an accurate statement about how different kinds of people behave.

Men will steal.
Women will steal.
Thieves will steal.

One of these statements is unambiguously accurate.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:09 PM on October 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


the general attitude on metafilter has swung far enough in the gender wars to make me feel uncomfortable about expressing myself on such issues.

The Girlzone Meta just happened Aug 15 through Sep 3 of this year. I guess the struggle for equality for women is going a lot better than I had realized.
posted by bardophile at 11:10 PM on October 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


The framing of this Meta is going to be its undoing. I think a legitimate criticism can be made about the posting style exhibited by EC in the linked thread in that many of the comments read as the sort of "Oh, SNAP" variety which seem more about increasing favorite counts than engendering meaningful discussion. But as far as being an example of reverse sexism or getting away with an anti-male bias that would not be tolerated if the genders were reversed, I'm not seeing it.
posted by The Gooch at 11:11 PM on October 23, 2012


I actually do think there are plenty of examples of anti-male sexism in comments on Metafilter

Metafilter can be an unkind place sometimes, particularly when talking about politics or nuclear power or whatever, so you may be encountering that, so it kind of goes with the territory. Flag and move on.

On the other hand, Metafilter is often outrageously male-dominated, particularly in threads about harassment, feminism or anything like that.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:15 PM on October 23, 2012 [12 favorites]


I think, hypersloth, that one thing that you are not hearing is that it's not about how EC feels about how SP feels.
posted by hattifattener at 11:16 PM on October 23, 2012


I just want to express that the general attitude on metafilter has swung far enough in the gender wars to make me feel uncomfortable about expressing myself on such issues. I grok inequality, appreciate that metafilter tries to correct by being a little more on one side, but I am beginning to feel very much attacked for being male whenever such issues arise.

If you think this is a community that attacks participants on the basis of gender alone, I submit you have never actually experienced this phenomenon.
posted by scody at 11:21 PM on October 23, 2012 [61 favorites]


"Men will steal.
Women will steal.
Thieves will steal.

One of these statements is unambiguously accurate.
"

All four are unambiguously accurate. One of them is tautologically precise. One is ironic.
posted by klangklangston at 11:21 PM on October 23, 2012 [61 favorites]


Shit Parade: “I grok inequality, appreciate that metafilter tries to correct by being a little more on one side, but I am beginning to feel very much attacked for being male whenever such issues arise.”

Please pardon my bluntness, SP – but this is bullshit.

I don't doubt that you've thought a lot about inequality, but you are absolutely incorrect in making the wild and frankly ridiculous accusation that metafilter "tries to be correct by being a little more on one side."

Look, I'll be honest here. I have been working hard for the past few weeks to understand and appreciate where the "men's rights movement" is coming from. I've been reading reddit.com/r/mensrights daily, just to try to understand the perspective there. And I think I've started to figure out the core mistake that Men's Rights Activists make in their approach to these issues.

The problem isn't that equality is a bad thing. The problem isn't even really these academic questions that the MRM concerns itself with, like "is there really a patriarchy?" and "do women really earn less than men?" These are factual questions, not substantive issues. The problem is one of perspective.

The core issue is that the Men's Rights Movement, as a group, believes wholeheartedly and entirely that feminists believe women are better than men, that feminists believe women should be privileged over men, that, most of all, feminists believe the solution to inequality is to privilege women over men consistently.

Feminists do not believe this. There are probably crazy feminists somewhere who believe this, but they do not exist on Metafilter. EmpressCallypigos does not believe this. None of the male or female feminists on Metafilter believe this.

You may go on feeling attacked, but please accept that that feeling is entirely of your own manufacture; nobody said anything to make you feel that way here, and if you believe that they did, then it's because you heard something that wasn't said. I'm sorry; I know your feelings may be very real. But you need to accept that EC didn't say anything even remotely prejudicial against men.

I'll say it this way, as a man, as a feminist, as someone who believes absolutely in equality: every single damned thing that EC said in that thread that you've quoted absolutely does apply to men just as much as women. I don't see anywhere that anybody even remotely suggested it shouldn't. Women shouldn't go up to men and make them feel uncomfortable. Women shouldn't go up to men and sexualize them in an unwanted way. Nobody ever suggested that it was okay for women to do these things. Nor should they. I invite you to ask feminists whether they believe there's a double standard here. I can almost guarantee that they will assure you: there's not.
posted by koeselitz at 11:21 PM on October 23, 2012 [213 favorites]


lalex: “EmpressCallipygos is one of the worst interlocutors on Metafilter but...”

This crude and unnecessarily insulting comment might have been at least slightly worthwhile if it weren't the opposite of the truth.
posted by koeselitz at 11:22 PM on October 23, 2012 [66 favorites]


To clarify: If you think this is a community in which it is an accepted norm to attack participants on the basis of gender alone, I submit you have never actually experienced this phenomenon.

Which is to say: what you have experienced at Metafilter as a male is not one fraction of what most women have experienced repeatedly in most online communities, much less in our workplaces, in public spaces, in churches, and the countless host of other places in which attacking women on the basis of our womanhood alone has been institutionalized and normalized.
posted by scody at 11:26 PM on October 23, 2012 [77 favorites]


shitparade: @Cribcage, are we reading the same thread? The entire thread is about the assumption that men don't know that all those women they hit on aren't into them.

Wait, I am honestly confused by this line. The implication of this line is that men do know the women they hit on aren't into them, and it's sexist to have a thread saying they are ignorant of that. Am I reading this wrong?
posted by cairdeas at 11:26 PM on October 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


One of her comments really bugged me, and I did notice she was posting a lot and getting increasingly upset, but eh.

Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.


You got some shitty people which causes the article to be written. You got some people who don't get it reacting with OH WELL THEN HOW CAN I. You got some people reacting to those people.

It's all just bleh.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 11:26 PM on October 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


You guys want to stare into a sexism abyss, you should read more human relations AskMes. That's all I'm sayin'.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 11:27 PM on October 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


If I were king I'd just close this. What good thing is going to come out of this thread other than a rehearsal of the same endless, nasty fight? If we want to have a real conversation about sexism, let's have it framed in a way that isn't a "callout" and isn't therefore (yes) an inevitable shit parade.

I wish we could have a Brand New Day on Boyzone/Girlzone and talk about these issues without two years of grudges being dragged into it every time.
posted by gerryblog at 11:28 PM on October 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not a huge fan of what often seems to be "The Metafilter model of Feminism," and I think EC got her call-out about generalization completely wrong, but there's really nothing in her statements that I'd construe as sexist. She seems to even make an effort to *not* paint with too broad a brush: "many women," "some people," etc. So while I acknowledge the problem does arise from time to time, I really don't think this particular call-out is a good example of it.
posted by Amanojaku at 11:31 PM on October 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think, hypersloth, that one thing that you are not hearing is that it's not about how EC feels about how SP feels.

what

I just don't even know what to say to this. Unless I missed something, EC never said anything to/about SP. In fact, as far as I can tell, he showed up late to the thread, after her last comment. So... huh?
posted by hypersloth at 11:34 PM on October 23, 2012


This is frowned upon, but I strongly suspect that EC is not being sarcastic, and I say that based on many other threads and conversations I've had read/had with her on meta.

I really have to go to bed, but if you're not taking the comment you most recently quoted as sarcasm, then I really don't understand where your offense is coming from. She is literally, in that comment, saying that the subject of critique does not include those who might, say, hold open a door without any ulterior motive. You've then pointed out here that that's a naive position to take, but it seems given a touch more thought you'd likely both agree that living in a world that does include way more explicitly creepy attention than it should means some non-creepy acts are going to get swept up by any alert-enough creep defense system.

Now I'm going to add a thought that might be offensive (but which, I'll note, EC's comments do not include), and I'll preface this by saying that there's a good chance I'm off base here and that I'm basing this on a very small sample of anecdotal evidence, comments I've heard in person like the one you made in that thread, but which include a bit more overt rage than you're communicating: If you weren't expecting anything from these women you've previously smiled at or made eye contact with and whose gaze you now feel forced to explicitly avoid, worrying at that moment that you might then be interpreted as ogling their bodies, why would a scowl instead of a smile from these total strangers affect your day? I should point out that I live in a big city; we ride the subway; there are always people in one's field of vision and some might be smiling and some might be scowling and none of it's really about you, especially if you're truly not intending to transgress the little bubble that keeps strangers apart from strangers, if you're truly intending to just keep walking. That said, I understand how an overly self-conscious person might get stuck in a trap on this front, becoming awkward precisely because of the worry that they might offend, and subsequently, if they're the self-doubting self-aware type, being forced to question their own motives. Sexism -- the way it systematically pervades our culture -- is bad for everyone. Everyone's day is ruined. The situation you describe, the one with the series of (hopefully) misplaced scowls, should have made you a feminist by now.
posted by nobody at 11:35 PM on October 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


... the gender wars ...

I can be overly sensitive to language, but seeing you use that phrase makes me wonder about the way you view the relationships between men and women. I know there are lots of people who like to fight on one side or another of that war, but if you're open to suggestions, I'd say it could be useful for you to think about where you got that idea, and if it's of any use to you. You'll probably end up happier if you can find a way to relate to women you want to be romantically or sexually involved with that doesn't use that framework.

/I seem to have turned this into an AskMe question instead of a MetaTalk post.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:35 PM on October 23, 2012 [35 favorites]


nobody: "If you weren't expecting anything from these women you've previously smiled at or made eye contact with and whose gaze you now feel forced to explicitly avoid, worrying at that moment that you might then be interpreted as ogling their bodies, why would a scowl instead of a smile from these total strangers affect your day? I should point out that I live in a big city; we ride the subway; there are always people in one's field of vision and some might be smiling and some might be scowling and none of it's really about you, especially if you're truly not intending to transgress the little bubble that keeps strangers apart from strangers, if you're truly intending to just keep walking."

I think he's saying scowling at him, as in "they were walking along without a scowl, and then they saw me, and they scowled". I mean, if someone is walking down the street with a scowl, and they see me, that wouldn't do anything to my mood. But if somebody was walking down the street, saw me, and scowled, it would totally affect my mood. Doesn't matter if it's man or woman, young or old (well, okay, if it were a two year old, I'd probably chuckle).

That said, if your experience is that you are frequently scowled at by the people you pass by every day, you're probably doing something pretty wrong, albeit unconsciously.
posted by Bugbread at 11:42 PM on October 23, 2012


"gender wars" is as old as Lysistrata, likely older, and is just short hand for gender identity discussion -- sorry I am an American, "war" probably permeates all my thoughts, and I don't feel especially the need to speak like a pomo academic.

I am likely going to sleep soon, maybe I'll try again tomorrow. I agree that singling out EC was the wrong tactic, unfair of me, and "too easy" since EC is a very vocal active mefi. Perhaps I'll take the time to go through the whole thread and pluck what I think are the posts which are sexist/offensive.

I would do that, engage with people on the blue, but I very seriously believe my posts would be deleted, I am chilling my own speech in the anticipation that it would be unacceptable which makes me somewhat uncomfortable.
posted by Shit Parade at 11:47 PM on October 23, 2012


The thread has examples of people talking about their "bitchface", or of getting The "oh no not again" look

I find it unsettling that I profess an experience and there is a blame the victim shaming occurring here.
posted by Shit Parade at 11:51 PM on October 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder if it's even possible to derail this thread at this point. Although ironically we would be attempting to derail it in order to *prevent* a train wreck.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:51 PM on October 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Haha, he pulls out Lysistrata. Isn't that the one where the women all wear leather phalluses?
posted by KokuRyu at 11:52 PM on October 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Shit Parade: “I find it unsettling that I profess an experience and there is a blame the victim shaming occurring here.”

Victim of what?
posted by koeselitz at 11:53 PM on October 23, 2012 [23 favorites]


I'm disinclined to leave this up as some sort of open referendum on what anyone might guess about what EC's comments might mean beyond what they were actually conveying in context within the thread, especially as she's not here, and it's extremely late night where she is. If anyone has a feeling about the possible positive utility of this thread, I'm willing to hear it, but otherwise I think that if we want to talk about site norms in gender-related threads it needs to be framed differently, and using Metatalk to discuss points that actually belong in the original post because you think you'll be deleted there isn't how this space is meant to be used.
posted by taz (staff) at 11:54 PM on October 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


Lysistrata is a hilarious (and not particularly self-serving) reference to pull out in a thread related to when it is correct to hit on women, and when it is not:

Lysistrata persuades the women of Greece to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands and lovers as a means of forcing the men to negotiate peace — a strategy, however, that inflames the battle between the sexes.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:55 PM on October 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Haha, he pulls out Lysistrata. Isn't that the one where the women all wear leather phalluses?

I think it's the one where they chop off that dudes penis because he burned his daughter for Jesus. Then Troy.

I was in college.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 11:55 PM on October 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


koeselitz: "Victim of what?"

Whether or not you agree with him, don't pretend to suddenly have forgotten what he's talking about.
posted by Bugbread at 11:56 PM on October 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


it is the comment directly above, the "And if you were to do them for me, I would be able to tell that you are being altruistic about it. Many women can tell the difference between altruism and ulterior motive." which i was really highlighting -- If I suggested that, as a man, I would assuredly not have a misunderstanding and know somehow supernaturally which women are into me I would be widely thought a fool, and rightly so.

I'm really confused by what you're taking issue with. I am a rabid Metafilter feminist and I firmly believe that men in these same situations would be just as good at noticing whether women are being creepy or not. It's not our womanness that makes us good at detecting sincerity (or which forces us to), it's the fact that many of us have been in this situation a million times, whereas most men have not. Anyone with good social intuition would be able to detect these kinds of ulterior motives; for people with bad social intuition, it just takes practice, which women usually have more of, having dealt with more unwanted public come ons.

I think you're taking conversational shorthand a bit literally here. When I am talking about this as a systemic problem, I might say "men" and "women" but only because it seems obvious to me that we're only talking about certain men and certain women in these scenarios. I would never dream of making the (rather asinine) point that women can always tell when a man is being a buffoon because they're so savvy but men can never tell because they're buffoons, or whatever else you seem to think women are implying in that thread. If someone were actually saying that, it WOULD be sexism, but I don't see that kind of childish you-vs.-me "gender war" anywhere in the thread.

It isn't sexist to generalize and stereotype a gender?

Yes, but where are the generalizations?
posted by stoneandstar at 11:57 PM on October 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


Bugbread, I was curious too. Now I'm wondering what I've forgotten.
posted by hypersloth at 11:57 PM on October 23, 2012


Whether or not you agree with him, don't pretend to suddenly have forgotten what he's talking about.

No, seriously, victim of what?
posted by stoneandstar at 11:58 PM on October 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


I am happy to reframe the thread -- Meta, I thought was expressly to talk about site norms and to take the discussion off the blue when it becomes meta and flame-y
posted by Shit Parade at 11:58 PM on October 23, 2012


Shit Parade: “I find it unsettling that I profess an experience and there is a blame the victim shaming occurring here.”

me: “Victim of what?”

Bugbread: “Whether or not you agree with him, don't pretend to suddenly have forgotten what he's talking about.”

Sorry, I was typing out an expansion, and should have posted that with the comment. It's this:

SP, there's no way you're a victim of what people are talking about in that thread; I don't dispute that you're a victim of something, but it's utterly unrelated. You don't (I'll be presumptuous, but I'm really quite sure you don't) go around hitting on women or making inappropriate advances on them, or otherwise making them uncomfortable.

If women did that to you, I would suggest you'd have every right to do what women in the thread are describing. That's equality.
posted by koeselitz at 11:59 PM on October 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm too old for this
posted by edgeways at 12:02 AM on October 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


/I seem to have turned this into an AskMe question instead of a MetaTalk post.

I'm so sorry you're going through this.
posted by hypersloth at 12:03 AM on October 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Sorry, I thought it was clear what SP was getting at. He is saying that EC is attacking men. As a man, he is one of the targets of her attacks.

I mean, personally, I don't think EC was attacking men, so I don't think SP has been the victim of anything, but I understand that he considers himself to be the victim in this scenario, and EC the attacker.
posted by Bugbread at 12:03 AM on October 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


benito.strauss: "/I seem to have turned this into an AskMe question instead of a MetaTalk post."

Do you have any projects regarding this topic? If so, we could maybe get cortex to write a song about the project, and then we'd have covered every part of the site.
posted by Bugbread at 12:04 AM on October 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Except IRL. Maybe we should avoid that one, though.
posted by koeselitz at 12:05 AM on October 24, 2012 [9 favorites]


god I am being really unclear (how depressing).

"blame-the-victim" shaming is meant in this way:

I post a comment in the "simple question" FPP and people quote that comment here and tell me my experience is my fault (I am doing something wrong etc to experience such interactions). the "blame-the-victim" is a reference to victim blaming, which you know, is a common phrase (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victim_blaming)
posted by Shit Parade at 12:10 AM on October 24, 2012


Meta, I thought was expressly to talk about site norms and to take the discussion off the blue when it becomes meta and flame-y

Metatalk is for talking about site norms, yes. If you want to call someone out, it needs to probably be not so "my feeling about what these comments probably mean" and/or "if pronouns were reversed," because that is a different conversation than what's actually taking place in that thread. If you are saying that you wanted to make this thread in order to be flame-y, which you would not be able to do in the original, this is a misunderstanding of why we say "go to Metatalk." That suggestion from moderators often means, "if you believe that this person is not participating in good faith, that needs to be discussed in Metatalk; go there." (Likewise other user behavior that one feels is affecting the functioning of the site.)

I think that there are some things you would like to talk about that have to do with the site generally, and that would be a fine post to make. Conflating those concerns with specific comments by one other user that don't actually seem to reflect the site issues you have is confusing, and not really a great situation when the person in question is unable to respond until hours later.
posted by taz (staff) at 12:20 AM on October 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


I post a comment in the "simple question" FPP and people quote that comment here and tell me my experience is my fault

Your experience with people scowling at you is a normal human experience, I think that's the thing. I don't perceive what you're a victim of, except living in the world. People scowl at me when I don't think I deserve it and I might feel a bit testy for a moment but it's really just an occupational hazard of being alive. (I responded to that comment in the FPP.)

Plus, I've been scowled at and called "bitch" for not smiling at a guy on the sidewalk. Twice! If women approached you and whispered "loser" or "fuck-off" because you were looking at the ground and not making eye contact with them that would also be terrible.

To be honest, saying you don't like that women feel potentially unhappy to be looked at by you (by men) sounds to my ear a bit like if I were to say I didn't like feeling guilty about having so much first world material privilege and wished that I didn't have to see any more commercials about starving children because they make me feel bad, in fact I don't even watch TV anymore because it's too awful. The commercials suck and women are maybe being unfair to you, but there have to be starving children for the commercials to be made (however maudlin/exploitative) and there has to be a large-scale societal reason for women to feel uncomfortable being looked at for so many of them to react negatively to being looked at.
posted by stoneandstar at 12:20 AM on October 24, 2012 [46 favorites]


Perhaps I'll take the time to go through the whole thread...

Please do, but this time remember that they're not talking to you.
posted by hypersloth at 12:23 AM on October 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


stoneandstar: "Your experience with people scowling at you is a normal human experience, I think that's the thing."

Wow, really? Either I'm just not very observant, or it's a regional/cultural thing. I can't even remember the last time someone on the street scowled at me.
posted by Bugbread at 12:24 AM on October 24, 2012


stoneandstar: “Your experience with people scowling at you is a normal human experience, I think that's the thing. I don't perceive what you're a victim of, except living in the world.”

True, but that still counts as victimization, I guess, on some level. The point is more that it doesn't really count as being a victim of feminism, or of women in general, or even of a woman in particular; you can't really hold people accountable for the looks on their faces on public transportation, as that's a really tiny detail about how we live, not something we can always control and not something that necessarily means a whole lot.

I don't deny that SP might feel hurt by a glance or a foul look. I also don't think we can find and accuse a perpetrator, a victimizer, in that equation.

SP: “god I am being really unclear (how depressing). 'blame-the-victim' shaming is meant in this way: I post a comment in the 'simple question' FPP and people quote that comment here and tell me my experience is my fault (I am doing something wrong etc to experience such interactions). the 'blame-the-victim' is a reference to victim blaming, which you know, is a common phrase (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victim_blaming)”

SP, I went through this thread, and I can only find one single comment that I think you might be talking about. (Can you please tell me if there are any other comments that you feel are victim-blaming?)

The comment is this:

BugBread: “That said, if your experience is that you are frequently scowled at by the people you pass by every day, you're probably doing something pretty wrong, albeit unconsciously.”

I want to say – I don't think this is intended as blame. BugBread said the word "pretty wrong," yes, but tacked on the caveat that one might be doing that wrong thing completely unconsciously. It sounds to me like BugBread was heading in the direction of advice about how to interact with other people in the world, rather than a disapprobation of anybody's conduct.
posted by koeselitz at 12:29 AM on October 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


and people quote that comment here and tell me my experience is my fault

Sorry about my contribution to that, SP. I would have deleted my last paragraph -- and almost did -- had I not become enamored with its sudden conclusion that you should be a feminist by now. (You should!)


I can't even remember the last time someone on the street scowled at me.

(Oh my god I hope this next bit can be recognized as irony because I'm not going to be able to help myself typing it out:) That's because you're not a creep!
posted by nobody at 12:31 AM on October 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Plus, I've been scowled at and called "bitch" for not smiling at a guy on the sidewalk. Twice! If women approached you and whispered "loser" or "fuck-off" because you were looking at the ground and not making eye contact with them that would also be terrible.

Thanks, I agree, I don't write a blog post and tell you all that "women" need to loosen up, no I just think those people kinda suck.

I purposely avoided gender in my post because one, it isn't true, men will scowl at me too, and two, it isn't a useful or responsible statement and only inflames the conversation. And telling me being scowled at is a "first-world-problem" sucks, getting hit on too much at starbucks also sends like a "first-world-problem", but don't let that stop you.
posted by Shit Parade at 12:32 AM on October 24, 2012


I'll probably have to go to bed soon too, but SP: I don't mean any of this as an indictment, seriously. I think you're very wrong about EC's motives, and about the motives of feminists on Metafilter in general; but that doesn't mean I dislike you or think you or other men shouldn't be listened to or have their feelings considered. Indeed, this is what feminism means: learning to consider the feelings and experiences of all. Pretty much all I'm saying here is that I think nobody in that thread or in this thread is endorsing causing difficult experiences or saying you or anybody deserves them.
posted by koeselitz at 12:35 AM on October 24, 2012 [8 favorites]


I want to say – I don't think this is intended as blame. BugBread said the word "pretty wrong," yes, but tacked on the caveat that one might be doing that wrong thing completely unconsciously. It sounds to me like BugBread was heading in the direction of advice about how to interact with other people in the world, rather than a disapprobation of anybody's conduct.

If you get "cat calls" you might be doing (or wearing) the wrong thing completely unconsciously.

The above, bolded statement, is sexist and offensive, and I don't engage with it, why are you defending a parallel comment? Sure, perhaps my experience isn't nearly as common as a cat call but, the thread where people mention "bitchface" or The "oh no not again" look is hardly unique and both are degrading and hurtful.
posted by Shit Parade at 12:36 AM on October 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is it really parallel, though? I mean... facial expressions are often completely involuntary. Cat calls are not.

I really am still having a hard time seeing how you can blame people for facial expressions.
posted by koeselitz at 12:39 AM on October 24, 2012 [13 favorites]


Have people actually done those things? Is it a trend in your life and the lives of other men you know? Do you think women have no reason for being "uptight" about strangers? Except that actually, that doesn't seem to have been your point:

I purposely avoided gender in my post because one, it isn't true, men will scowl at me too

Then okay, I don't actually see how it's relevant at all.

And telling me being scowled at is a "first-world-problem" sucks

I didn't do this at all.

getting hit on too much at starbucks also sends like a "first-world-problem"

It's not, except maybe it taking place at Starbucks... except that Starbucks is everywhere. But good to know you feel that way.

You seem to be seriously conflating some stuff and it's hard to tell what point you're trying to make except that bad things happen to you too and so you don't think gender ever plays a role. Which is an unusual point to make based on the amount of research there is on these kinds of topics. (Which, P.S., Women's Studies isn't all pomo jargony academia, there's also some actual sociological surveying and research going on there.)
posted by stoneandstar at 12:39 AM on October 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


what...? What is the parallel behavior? The scowling?

because, dude.. one is an overt expression oftentimes meant directly as inviting sexual overtones, and the other is a 'I don't want to deal with you' expression used at and by all genders. You are seriously arguing that you are gender victimized because... people scow at you? And that it is equivalent to 'cat calls'?

I think you are bean-plating it too much, son.


(first world problems are problems of excess, not of scowling)
posted by edgeways at 12:46 AM on October 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


Bitchface is a way of expressing "do not hit on me" because your usual experience is being aggressively hit on in public. What do you think those women should actually do? Do you have any sympathy for the fact that they're between a rock and a hard place, or do you just see people glorifying bitchiness? Do you think if the behavior were not so widespread that people would still advocate bitchface (because I personally don't find it optimal and would gladly be friendly and smiley if it didn't "invite" come ons)? In my experience if I really do not want to be bothered and interrupted in public, putting on a cold expression is the only defense I really have. In fact, if I don't put on a cold expression, I'll be victim blamed for not being properly assertive of my boundaries.

It's just a scowl, man. People scowl.
posted by stoneandstar at 12:48 AM on October 24, 2012 [25 favorites]


if I were to say I didn't like feeling guilty about having so much first world material privilege and wished that I didn't have to see any more commercials about starving children because they make me feel bad, in fact I don't even watch TV anymore because it's too awful. You compared the scowling to such.

If i begin to construct an explanation of why I get scowled at that uses the very large construction of gender, I'll be framing my inquiry in a way that almost assures me that I'll end up more confused, and having formed a thought without actually thinking. It is lazy and bullshit.
posted by Shit Parade at 12:49 AM on October 24, 2012


Taz.. if you are still around would you consider closing this?
posted by edgeways at 12:52 AM on October 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


So...you'd like to just leave the moral here as: People should really make nicer facial expressions to strangers on the street?
posted by nobody at 12:53 AM on October 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


SP, scowling at people isn't wrong. That's the point here, I think. Catcalling people is wrong – so it's 'victim-blaming' to accuse those who've been catcalled of bringing it on themselves. But there is no moral obligation that people have not to scowl at each other. If there is, then the entire city of Boston is more steeped in sin than anyone realizes.
posted by koeselitz at 12:53 AM on October 24, 2012 [22 favorites]


Why close it?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:53 AM on October 24, 2012


Wow, really? Either I'm just not very observant, or it's a regional/cultural thing. I can't even remember the last time someone on the street scowled at me.

I do believe it is a regional/cultural thing, based on my various experiences. I don't know where Shit Parade lives so I don't know if we're experiencing the same thing.

Yeah, this should be closed.
posted by stoneandstar at 12:53 AM on October 24, 2012


As koeselitz pointed out, the "albeit unconsciously" part of my comment was important. My dad, for example, furrows his brow unconsciously when deep in thought, and he likes to think a lot, so his brow is pretty deeply furrowed a lot of the time. To someone who doesn't know him well, it looks like he's either angry or really worried. If you had a similar unconscious habit, like a facial expression that looked like a scowl, people seeing you might scowl in response. The cause would be in you, even though it was totally unconscious. It doesn't mean you're a bad person, it just means that something about you is the cause.

If saying "the cause is in you" is blaming the victim, well, then, c'est la vie. I'm fine with that. There are many, many situations in which victims should not be blamed (rape, catcalls, etc.), but I've seen people pick fights and get beat up, and I have no problem assigning some of the blame to them. Unlike most people on MeFi, I don't agree that "blaming the victim" is ipso facto wrong in all situations.
posted by Bugbread at 12:54 AM on October 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


my use of the word scowl was a phenomenological exploration of "bitchface".

Such assumptive behavior towards another person is offensive but part of life, continuing to construct ourselves and our interactions based on gender perceptions is a foolish game and we need to move past it in both speech and act.
posted by Shit Parade at 12:54 AM on October 24, 2012


because metafilter isn't charging therapy rates.
posted by edgeways at 12:55 AM on October 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


stoneandstar: "I do believe it is a regional/cultural thing, based on my various experiences. I don't know where Shit Parade lives so I don't know if we're experiencing the same thing."

Ah, ok, that makes sense. And, if that's the case (if there are cities where people just scowl at other people for no real reason), then, Shit Parade, I owe you an apology. Maybe it isn't you, maybe it is them. I dunno.

Still, man, there are places where people just scowl at each other for no reason? That's pretty fucked up!
posted by Bugbread at 12:58 AM on October 24, 2012


Well said bugbread.

I was thrown by the reappropriation of the word victim, especially coming from that thread where women seemed to own the word, but in all reality, look: it's either you, just your perception, or the whole world needs to stop making faces. No offense but I suggest we tackle the catcalls first. That's not a perception.
posted by hypersloth at 1:01 AM on October 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


The scowling situation is not really an issue that Metatalk should be dealing with, and is probably more an Ask Metafilter thing than a site issue to discuss here.

Shit Parade, I'm going to suggest that you go ahead and maybe reframe your post for next week focusing on site issues that you feel are a problem for Metafilter. If you have any questions about framing or intent, you can run it past us, or ask us any questions.
posted by taz (staff) at 1:03 AM on October 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Shit Parade: “Such assumptive behavior towards another person is offensive but part of life, continuing to construct ourselves and our interactions based on gender perceptions is a foolish game and we need to move past it in both speech and act.”

The whole point of the thread you were commenting in was that women walk around all day hoping to move past gender perceptions only to have gender perceptions forced upon them by people hitting on them. So, yeah. I don't think anybody here needs to be told not to construct themselves on gender perceptions.

If you want a phenomenological exploration of the word "bitchface," here it is:

(1) Woman is walking along, just being a human being.
(2) Man walks up to woman and forces gender role on woman by making moves to get in her pants.
(3) Woman knows that she has had gender imposed on her, and therefore knows that her actions will be perceived as gendered; but she also knows that the swiftest and cleanest way to end the interaction would be to scowl angrily. She recognizes that, having gendered her, the man will see this angry scowl as a "bitchface." She accepts that as a the price she has to pay.

Does this make sense? "Bitchface" here isn't some sort of reveling in gendered inequality. It's an acceptance of the fact that sexism means creeps will see women who glare at them as "bitches" making "bitchfaces." A sad fact of the world, and one that we ought to work against.

Which is, I think, the point of the thread we're talking about.
posted by koeselitz at 1:03 AM on October 24, 2012 [44 favorites]


But it's not a "parallel comment". A scowl is a defensive response. Catcalls are aggressive; they come spontaneously without the receiver's action or participation. A gender-neutral framing is, "if your actions are frequently provoking a defensive response, perhaps you are behaving in a way that is being perceived as aggressive."

I suppose we could argue whether a particularly nasty scowl might be perceived as aggression. And whether being on the receiving end of one makes you a victim of aggression, which seems to be the crux. But either the scowl was already there, in which case it has nothing to do with you, or else it was a response, which means it is defensive (though perhaps hostile), and thus it's fair game to ask why your actions tend to prompt hostile defensive reactions, if such a pattern exists. Note I'm still gender-neutral here.
posted by PercussivePaul at 1:03 AM on October 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


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