Join 3,519 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

Tags:

Baa, baa, bah.
September 24, 2013 2:15 PM   Subscribe

I was faced with a choice in this thread, between responding with satire, or curling up in a ball in the corner. I chose the former.

I understand that this was not the most popular response, but I believe it was the most productive one I could muster. And I was not about to just let it alone.

On a few occasions I've tried to present balanced explanations of why there are real issues facing men and boys, and why those issues really need to have people speaking and acting up. I've even felt encouraged a few times by the discussions that resulted, and the way that people on MeFi actually seemed to be responding well and engaging.

But a thread like that one... is one step forward, ten million steps back. It's taking some people who are extremists and some people who aren't, and who actually have quite legitimate points to make on quite legitimate issues, and lumping them all together and making light of it, and in the process essentially saying that those points aren't legitimate and those issues either don't exist or don't really matter (mixed in with some defensive platitudes when that stance is challenged).

We should not tolerate that, and we should not expect anyone to tolerate that. That thread should not be on MetaFilter. It is not the best of the Web. It is not funny, nor is it cute, nor is it harmless; hence my first limerick in the thread was about a guy who ended up at suicide after failing to get help for himself and failing to secure long-term help for others like him. That thread contributes to an environment which drives people to such desperate ends.

No amount of "it's not about you personally" can fix that. No amount of "my theory of power dynamics says it's OK" can fix that. No amount of anything that's going on in the thread can fix that.

It needs to go, and items like it need to be discouraged in future.
posted by ubernostrum to Etiquette/Policy at 2:15 PM (1202 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

Making one or more metafilter posts about the real issues facing men and boys is a great idea that you should seriously consider.
posted by medusa at 2:17 PM on September 24, 2013 [40 favorites]


there are real issues facing men and boys

(those problems are caused by the patriarchy)

the way to raise awareness of those issues would probably be to make a post about those issues rather than to attempt to transform threads about other things INTO threads about those issues
posted by titus n. owl at 2:18 PM on September 24, 2013 [61 favorites]


Making one or more metafilter posts about the real issues facing men

Been there, done that, the GRAR MRA crap started within quite literally minutes.

Still stuck with it, still do my best to make the arguments. Still think that thread has no place on MeFi.
posted by ubernostrum at 2:20 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


That thread contributes to an environment which drives people to such desperate ends.

Not at all. As I said in that thread: There is nobody at the OP's link or in this thread or in any of your links that's doing anything remotely close to what you're accusing them of.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:21 PM on September 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


Yeah, I'm really confused. That looks like a thread that is making fun of the concept of widespread, powerful "man-hating feminazis." What does that have to do with the real issues facing men and boys, and why those issues really need to have people speaking and acting up?
posted by muddgirl at 2:21 PM on September 24, 2013 [25 favorites]


I fail to find your assertions compelling.

That thread contributes to an environment which drives people to such desperate ends.

I do not believe this is true.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:22 PM on September 24, 2013 [10 favorites]


those problems are caused by the patriarchy

If you'd like my view on that, feel free to memail.

There is nobody at the OP's link or in this thread or in any of your links that's doing anything remotely close to what you're accusing them of.

If you can't see how a default position of mocking and dismissing people who claim there are such issues, and that such issues are unaddressed by current mainstream gender movements, contributes to the sad ends of those people, then I do not know what to tell you.
posted by ubernostrum at 2:23 PM on September 24, 2013


If you can't see how a default position of mocking and dismissing people who claim there are such issues, and that such issues are unaddressed by current mainstream gender movements, contributes to the sad ends of those people, then I do not know what to tell you.

I can see that, just not in that thread.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:24 PM on September 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


I sincerly apologize for some over the top comments early in the thread. I was kind of in a state of shock which led me to fail to put enough care and sensitivity in how I crafted my comments, which stinks when you are trying to communicate that you want more of that care and sensitivity.

That said, I do think this was a bad post because of the violent content of some of the jokes. As someone who has experienced the death of children and of men that are very important to me I consider it a very sensitive topic even though those deaths were not from feminist murder squads. It's better to make points without having to use things like dead baby imagery if you can do it that way.

It may not really matter if you are punching up or down because you are unintentionally punching wildly at various sensitivities people hold. You aren't just punching the MRA crowd when you use child or spousal abuse as a punchline. There are men living right now in abusive relationships. People joke about that concept, a lot. You can be sensitive to them without making yourself less funny or insightful.

Punching up is a goal to create good humor that can avoid offense to vulnerable groups and target it in the right places while often making a serious point at the same time. I think it can be the absolute highest form of humor when done right. You might undercut that goal by unnecessarily referencing dead babies. Punching up is part of what makes a good joke, but it's also only one component among many.

Are there hordes of women out there murdering baby boys? No, but there are a lot of boys who were abused by their fathers and mothers who may not appreciate referencing abuse of young men as a tool for humor regardless of the context. I think this would be a great meme if it didn't cross over the line into violent jokes. There is some really good stuff there and I'm glad the thread didn't go down the violent humor path as much as it could have.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:24 PM on September 24, 2013 [30 favorites]


I can see that, just not in that thread.

Then, as I said, I do not know what to tell you.
posted by ubernostrum at 2:24 PM on September 24, 2013


If you can't see how a default position of mocking and dismissing people who claim there are such issues

I really don't see that it does. The thread seems to be mocking people who believe that our society is run by man-hating feminists. Since our society isn't run by man-hating feminists, what does that thread have to do with the real issues facing men and boys in our society?
posted by muddgirl at 2:25 PM on September 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


Looking at your title, I think you should ask yourself "What would Pappy Boyington do?"
posted by octobersurprise at 2:26 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Then, as I said, I do not know what to tell you.

Pointing out examples of commentors "mocking or dismissing people who claim there are such issues, and that such issues are unaddressed by current mainstream gender movements" would be a start.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:26 PM on September 24, 2013 [11 favorites]


ok i'm going to do another post where titus talks about his own life, but i think i understand how you feel because i also feel hurt about things sometimes

ALL of my friends are feminists (and i consider myself a feminist as well) and sometimes when i'm on social sites with them and i'm seeing a lot of posts about how men are terrible oppressors i start feeling really really bad! (especially since i'm not cis, and sometimes i start feeling like - even tho i didn't choose to be trans, i did choose to come out and to transition, and my internalized societal transphobia makes it easy for me to slip into feeling like "i chose the role of oppressor" or something)

the thing is, it's not my friends who are making me feel bad and it's not feminism that's wrong. my friends POINTING OUT the ways that men oppress women in the world, that's not CAUSING IT. it's the patriarchal system as a whole that's creating this role for men, that's telling men This Is What You Do, and that role happens to overlap with "oppressing women." that's not my fault, but it's definitely not my friends' fault, and their anger isn't directed at ME but at THE PATRIARCHY, which is MY ENEMY TOO
posted by titus n. owl at 2:27 PM on September 24, 2013 [67 favorites]


It's taking some people who are extremists and some people who aren't, and who actually have quite legitimate points to make on quite legitimate issues, and lumping them all together and making light of it, and in the process essentially saying that those points aren't legitimate and those issues either don't exist or don't really matter

I have complicated feelings about the post as something for the front page of Metafilter, because on the one hand I don't really agree that what you're describing is what's going on with the original link or the riffing-on-the-joke in the thread, but at the same time edgy humor is always tricky and I can understand it being a sore spot if you feel like something you care about or have an emotional stake in is being mocked or made light of.

Basically, the link reads to me as specifically a collection of jokey manifestations of an imagined literary culture of bloodthirsty misandrists—something that in practical fact doesn't exist, aside entirely from any question of whether misandry itself is a thing that exists, etc. It's satire of a very specific concept coming from a very specific set of people, not a dismissal of the idea that men sometimes deal with legitimate systemic problems.

I know that the subject of men's rights as a general thing about those legit issues vs. MRA as a label folks use for some actually pretty gross assholes, and the muddiness of the line between those groups that can present itself when people talk/argue/joke fast and loose about such stuff, is one you care about and have basically dug into on the site before, ubernostrum. I can dig that this may just be a tough subject for you to put up with stuff that seems dismissive or mocking or whatever, I feel you on that. But I think you're reading some stuff into that actual thread that's not so much there, and lowering a shoulder and bouldering in with a bunch of sarcasm and oh-yeah-but-what-about-this-then stuff instead of just talking about what was bothering you seemed like a really bad approach to the thread.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:28 PM on September 24, 2013 [23 favorites]


Pointing out examples

I point to the existence of the thread and the concept behind it. Its only purpose is to lump together some people who are wrong with some people who kinda look like them if you don't pay that much attention, and mock them in general.

Let me show you just how much that makes me think we could find common cause.
posted by ubernostrum at 2:28 PM on September 24, 2013


Thank you for making this metatalk thread. I hope it goes well.

I went back and read the OP from the MeFi piece, then read your comments all together. I feel like there's validity to what you're saying, but there's some missing link that you may be instinctively aware of that I am failing to see or understand.
posted by boo_radley at 2:29 PM on September 24, 2013


If you can't see how a default position of mocking and dismissing people who claim there are such issues

Those nursery rhymes are mocking Men's Rights Activists and their propensity to shout about feminazis and female conspiracies keepin' the man down and spermjacking. There is nothing in them about denying aid to battered men or prison rape or any of a number of serious, legitimate issues that concern everyone, men and women alike.

I believe your response, ubernostrum, strikes many folks as equating fears about feminazis with fears about prison rape and the like, which is a pretty ludicrous comparison and actually disrespects the serious issues.
posted by jess at 2:29 PM on September 24, 2013 [35 favorites]


it's one of those things where the idea was fine and the execution was straight up awful

parodies like this need to rhyme and they need to scan - period

Georgie Porgie, puddin’ and pie,
Kissed the girls and made them cry,
When the boys came out to play
The girls sharpened their knives and made a decision.


no

georgie porgie, puddin' and pie
kissed the girls and make them cry
when the boys came out to play
the girls got knives and hacked away

see? same concept, but it sounds like a nursery rhyme
posted by pyramid termite at 2:30 PM on September 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


but not having it scan is its own form of humor by subverting your expectations that it WILL rhyme. different people find different things funny
posted by titus n. owl at 2:31 PM on September 24, 2013 [81 favorites]


Drinky Die: " It may not really matter if you are punching up or down because you are unintentionally punching wildly at various sensitivities people hold. You aren't just punching the MRA crowd when you use child or spousal abuse as a punchline. There are men living right now in abusive relationships. People joke about that concept, a lot. You can be sensitive to them without making yourself less funny or insightful. "

Agreed.
posted by zarq at 2:32 PM on September 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


It's taking some people who are extremists and some people who aren't
...
Its only purpose is to lump together some people who are wrong with some people who kinda look like them if you don't pay that much attention

Couyld you get into more detail about which people you're talking about here? I'm not quite following you.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:32 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I point to the existence of the thread and the concept behind it. Its only purpose is to lump together some people who are wrong with some people who kinda look like them if you don't pay that much attention, and mock them in general.

On the contrary, I think it's mocking only the people who are wrong. There's nothing there about denying that men are abused or raped, for instance.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:32 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


parodies like this need to rhyme and they need to scan - period

No way! A bunch of them are great because of the clumsy broken rhyme and meter that hit at the same exact time as the punchline.
posted by RogerB at 2:32 PM on September 24, 2013 [16 favorites]


If you can't see how a default position of mocking and dismissing people who claim there are such issues, and that such issues are unaddressed by current mainstream gender movements, contributes to the sad ends of those people, then I do not know what to tell you.

I hope you understand that mocking and dismissing people who bring up inapplicable, real-world events involving the actual suffering of actual human beings with names and faces and compare them to the fictional content of nursery rhymes is by no means mockery and dismissal of the social issues themselves.
posted by griphus at 2:32 PM on September 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


see? same concept, but it sounds like a nursery rhyme

I read the frequent deliberate breaks from meter and rhyme as part of the caricature of zealousness overwhelming aesthetics. It not scanning was a major stylistic part of the joke.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:32 PM on September 24, 2013 [53 favorites]


The reason why this is so funny is because THE IDEA OF ANY OF US KILLING ANY MEN IS SO ABSURD. That's why it's funny. It's funny because it's absurd to us. At least to me.

None of us are going to bust out a scythe. None of us are going to kill someone with an axe. None of us are going to hang anyone from a tree.

You know who does do those things? Men. Men do. Men do those things every single day, hundreds or thousands of times, all over the world.

We do not want to kill men. We are not trying to kill men. We are trying to make the world better for everyone.

Being accused of being murderous harpies out to chemically castrate and slay all men IS FUNNY to us because IT'S SO DIVORCED FROM REALITY.

Being accused of those things BY THE PEOPLE WHO DO THEM makes it even funnier.

That's why.
posted by cairdeas at 2:33 PM on September 24, 2013 [88 favorites]


And the reason why it's not funny when men make jokes about killing women is because men really do do that. Pretty much constantly.
posted by cairdeas at 2:34 PM on September 24, 2013 [52 favorites]


it sounds clumsy and broken to me - i'm not one of those poetry has to rhyme to be good people, being well acquainted with 20th century prosody, but it just doesn't work for me
posted by pyramid termite at 2:35 PM on September 24, 2013


instead of just talking about what was bothering you

Some people seemed to try that further up in the thread before I arrived, and got the usual responses:

I entirely believe you're sincere, but it still seems like a kind of concern trolling to me.

(to take one example, there are more)

And since I went through the thread again, zombieflanders, here you go:

Because violence against women truly happens, endemically, everywhere.

(implies that violence against men doesn't truly happen, or isn't endemic -- either way, is a falsehood and a denial of a real issue)

Because violence against women is a real, widespread, pervasive thing. Also, because if an MRA or other misogynist is making the joke, they're doing it because they support that kind of thing, whether it be literally or culturally.

(that one, I hope, is obvious enough to need no elaboration)

If the genders were reversed this wouldn't be funny because violence against women is actually a thing, as opposed to springing from the minds of angry, frightened men with persecution complexes.

(ditto)
posted by ubernostrum at 2:37 PM on September 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


We do not want to kill men. We are not trying to kill men. We are trying to make the world better for everyone.

I think ubernostrum's point is that some women do try to kill men, and do kill men, and are not trying to make the world better. (I mean, I think. It is a little muddled.) Women molest, abuse, and damage. People who deny those facts are not doing the discussion any favors.

That said, I disagree with his assertion that such facts (which I wholeheartedly acknowledge) make this kind of parody out of order. This parody is not making fun of men who have been hurt by women, despite the fact that some men have perceived it that way. This parody is making fun of men who hate women, and view their desire for basic respect and equality as the equivalent of armed uprisings and the crushing of the human (read: male) spirit.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 2:38 PM on September 24, 2013 [19 favorites]


(implies that violence against men doesn't truly happen, or isn't endemic -- either way, is a falsehood and a denial of a real issue)

And almost all violence against men is committed by other men. Not by feminists, not even radical feminists, not even LESBIAN radical feminists. Quite the opposite.
posted by cairdeas at 2:38 PM on September 24, 2013 [32 favorites]


No one is denying that violence against men exists. People are saying that there does not exist a thousands of years long systemic repression and subjugation of men by women.
posted by elizardbits at 2:39 PM on September 24, 2013 [76 favorites]


I think ubernostrum's point is that some women do try to kill men, and do kill men, and are not trying to make the world better. (I mean, I think. It is a little muddled.) Women molest, abuse, and damage. People who deny those facts are not doing the discussion any favors.

By "we," I'm talking about feminists or the women's rights movement or people who support gender equality.

The idea in the jokes is that feminists are out to kill men etc. Nobody's denying that there are female outliers who do those things, just that it is absurd to talk about it as a feminist goal.
posted by cairdeas at 2:41 PM on September 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yeah, the systemic repression and subjugation of men is almost always by other men.

Um, not sarcastic.
posted by Justinian at 2:41 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


And almost all violence against men is committed by other men.

In the US, around 80% of men who have been sexually assaulted report that the perpetrator was a woman. Though dig into some of my comment history and you'll find that they don't count, because in the research what happens to them doesn't count as "rape". Or go have a look into when I tried to talk about partner violence. We're at a point now where, for a couple decades running, the recent prevalence of partner violence has been close to parity for men and women.

No one is denying that violence against men exists.

People do seem to be saying that it exists only as a fevered paranoid dream of misogynistic MRAs.
posted by ubernostrum at 2:42 PM on September 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


cairdeas: "The reason why this is so funny is because THE IDEA OF ANY OF US KILLING ANY MEN IS SO ABSURD. That's why it's funny. It's funny because it's absurd to us. At least to me."

I'm a feminist. I'm a guy. I'm an abuse survivor. I don't think they're at all funny. Perhaps that's part of my personal privilege in being male -- but I don't see the humor here, even with jokes reversing/turning the tables on oppression.

I wouldn't crack similar jokes about anyone, man or woman.
posted by zarq at 2:42 PM on September 24, 2013 [27 favorites]


There is nothing in them about denying aid to battered men or prison rape or any of a number of serious, legitimate issues that concern everyone, men and women alike.

Here is something it took me a long time to figure out. There are at least two major camps when it comes to humor. Group one thinks you can never really mix humor and seriousness at the same time. Joking about something is implicitly a message that it is not serious.

Group two sees these concepts as totally unconnected. So, the second group might laugh and joke at a wake because it it is how they compensate for the sadness and angst they are feeling. It's how they mourn. The other group will assume they are laughing because they don't care about the deceased or their family.

Both groups need to try and understand the other exists, but I've always felt there is a higher burden on the second group to try and avoid offense and to understand what they may be unintentionally saying, because we are all aware of group one and how they feel.

In reality, we are all usually somewhere in between these groups depending on how close to home the issue is. So, I would say to the jokers here to be sensitive to people who for various reasons take this seriously. I would ask people like me complaining about it in this case to be sensitive about what the intent of the jokes is in this case. I think, "Keep joking but try to avoid the most extreme, violent stuff." is a good compromise that respects everybody involved.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:43 PM on September 24, 2013


And the thing is, all the ideas you were upset enough to write into nursery rhyme parodies -- all of which are legitimately terrible things -- NONE of those are enforced by radical feminists. They're enforced by men, by the very same men who enforce similarly terrible things about women, and by our patriarchal culture.
posted by KathrynT at 2:43 PM on September 24, 2013 [25 favorites]


No one is denying that violence against men exists.

People do seem to be saying that it exists only as a fevered paranoid dream of misogynistic MRAs.
posted by ubernostrum

Who/where?
posted by cairdeas at 2:43 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


The key word is "seem". This is why he can't provide any actual examples, as per requests.
posted by elizardbits at 2:44 PM on September 24, 2013 [15 favorites]


Because violence against women truly happens, endemically, everywhere.

(implies that violence against men doesn't truly happen, or isn't endemic -- either way, is a falsehood and a denial of a real issue)


What? No.

Because violence against women is a real, widespread, pervasive thing. Also, because if an MRA or other misogynist is making the joke, they're doing it because they support that kind of thing, whether it be literally or culturally.

(that one, I hope, is obvious enough to need no elaboration)


Yes, I believe that people who are misogynist enjoy rhetorical and physical violence against women, or the justice-porny comeuppance tales about exes. What of it?

If the genders were reversed this wouldn't be funny because violence against women is actually a thing, as opposed to springing from the minds of angry, frightened men with persecution complexes.

(ditto)


MRA types and misogynists are defined by the angry, frightened men with persecution complex description. This doesn't say that it applies to all men.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:44 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Been there, done that, the GRAR MRA crap started within quite literally minutes.

You mean this one, yes?

I'm sorry you read the thread that way; that's not all I see there.

Some subjects are hard going. More threads about those things often seem to help, because that's where we hash shit out and establish site norms. You've been here long enough to remember the casual "I'd hit it" stuff, and the many fpps and meTas that resulted in change.

On preview:

(implies that violence against men doesn't truly happen, or isn't endemic -- either way, is a falsehood and a denial of a real issue)

A post or comment about This Issue Here isn't, merely by its nature, denying the existence of That Issue There. Do you go into threads about violence in general, or in video games, or about war, or in literature, or about prisons and so on and try to shift the conversation to your specific concerns about men as victims of violence and a lack of societal response to that? Why *this* thread in particular?
posted by rtha at 2:44 PM on September 24, 2013 [19 favorites]


None of us are going to bust out a scythe. None of us are going to kill someone with an axe. None of us are going to hang anyone from a tree.

You know who does do those things? Men. Men do. Men do those things every single day, hundreds or thousands of times, all over the world.


cairdeas, I think this is sort of not a great way to frame this. The nursery rhymes aren't premised on the idea that women never kill people and men in general just do all kinds of killing all the time; that's clearly not the case and it's kind of whipsawing into very different territory to go down that road.

People do seem to be saying that it exists only as a fevered paranoid dream of misogynistic MRAs.

People are mostly saying the idea of some oppressive misandrist regime grinding menfolk under their bootheels only exists as a fever dream. Again, I don't think edgy humor is the best way to communicate nuance on the subject in mixed company, but there's a big distinction between mocking weird conspiracy theories and mocking the idea of violence against men as a thing that ever happens at all and I feel like you're not making that distinction here so much.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:45 PM on September 24, 2013 [14 favorites]


cairdeas: "Who/where?"

ubernostrum: "I entirely believe you're sincere, but it still seems like a kind of concern trolling to me."
posted by boo_radley at 2:45 PM on September 24, 2013


NONE of those are enforced by radical feminists. They're enforced by men, by the very same men who enforce similarly terrible things about women, and by our patriarchal culture.

Sure. The patriarchal men who staff the domestic-violence hotlines and tell 70% of male victims who seek help that there is none. Oh wait.

How about the patriarchal men who make sure research on rape defines the term in a way that excludes most male victims and female perpetrators. Oh wait.

Shall I go on? Feminism isn't Hitler, but it also has some major issues, and there are ways in which it actively contributes to problems faced by men and boys, such that blaming it all on "the patriarchy" is not valid (and getting to a point where feminism could work on those issues requires acknowledging this).

The key word is "seem". This is why he can't provide any actual examples, as per requests.

It "seems" to me that I pointed to a few. They took about thirty seconds to find.

It's funny because it's absurd to us. At least to me.

And with that, I think I'm out for a while.
posted by ubernostrum at 2:46 PM on September 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Ubernostrum, I'd let the nursery rhymes slide. Nobody is killing anyone with a scythe, except in The Frighteners, starring Michael J. Fox, now available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

That said, I do remember your post about male DV resources, and I do remember when a vocal minority of people pooped a lot of unhelpful "blerp blerp MRA" poop into it. So, I'm sympathetic to the fact that you have real concerns about real things, and that you feel people are not listening to you.

However, I don't think the nursery rhyme thread is the hill to die on. I get the joke, some of them are funny.

...

I can't speak for ubernostrum, but many men really are survivors of abuse by women. Those people might not be thrilled by things like the nursery rhyme jokes, even if they're not the intended target of the satire. But, I guess if those triggers aren't important to you, then they're not important to you.

This does not invalidate the obvious truths that women have been the subject of thousands of years of systemic oppression by the patriarchy, that the vast majority of serious intergender violence is perpetrated by men against women, and so on.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:48 PM on September 24, 2013 [8 favorites]


Deleting a long point-by-point comment on preview - if ubernostrum is out, what's the point of this thread?
posted by muddgirl at 2:50 PM on September 24, 2013


ubernostrum: "I entirely believe you're sincere, but it still seems like a kind of concern trolling to me."

I don't have a problem with how Ivan handled that. There is often a ton of disingenuous conversation from men on gender related topics so I think he gave me an appropriate amount of assumption of good faith for comments I was not phrasing well.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:50 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Feminism isn't Hitler, but it also has some major issues, and there are ways in which it actively contributes to problems faced by men and boys.

Feminism (feməˌnizəm) noun
the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men
posted by troika at 2:50 PM on September 24, 2013 [24 favorites]


I think, "Keep joking but try to avoid the most extreme, violent stuff." is a good compromise that respects everybody involved.

Well look, for what it's worth I think there is an argument to be made that intense violence is not that funny in a mixed crowd and I know I personally wouldn't have posted that link as "the best of the web". ubernostrum's point, however, seems to be that those nursery rhymes aren't funny because feminists really are terrible people who hate men.
posted by jess at 2:51 PM on September 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Feminism isn't Hitler

Kudos to you for trying to see both sides of the issue.
posted by octobersurprise at 2:51 PM on September 24, 2013 [56 favorites]


if ubernostrum is out, what's the point of this thread?

Well, he's only out "for a while". If the OP leaves to eat dinner, does the thread have to close?
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:51 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


muddgirl: "Deleting a long point-by-point comment on preview - if ubernostrum is out, what's the point of this thread?"

Out for a while. If people snarked at me because they didn't read the examples to a point I gave them, and then further snarked that I didn't do it in an actual minute, I'd probably be frustrated too.
posted by boo_radley at 2:52 PM on September 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


Sure. The patriarchal men who staff the domestic-violence hotlines and tell 70% of male victims who seek help that there is none. Oh wait.

How about the patriarchal men who make sure research on rape defines the term in a way that excludes most male victims and female perpetrators. Oh wait.


Look, this sort of arch "say the opposite of what I mean thing" makes it very, very hard to have a real discussion in good faith; could you not do that if that's your goal?

Both of the examples you give are shitty things. And yes, while domestic violence hotlines are staffed by women largely, the problem isn't theirs -- the problem is that we have a cultural narrative about who is capable of violence and who is a victim of violence, and that cultural narrative involves such a strong gender component that it blurs the actual facts and results in shitty, inequitable outcomes, and that cultural narrative is enforced by the patriarchal elements of our society, not radical feminists. The same is true about definitions of rape. Gender essentialism is a tool of the patriarchy!
posted by KathrynT at 2:52 PM on September 24, 2013 [58 favorites]


Ubernostrum, i think there's more people who would agree with you here than you might think. Because when i tried to bring up:

No one is denying that violence against men exists. People are saying that there does not exist a thousands of years long systemic repression and subjugation of men by women.

As a reason that trying to derail a thread about violence(including sexual violence) against women with comments about how IT HAPPENS TO MEN TOO, AND EVEN WOMEN DO IT TO MEN! both with well, that, and that statistically it's tiny and that i don't really buy that people are bringing it up in good faith or to do anything but go "but men need to be included in this discussion too" then well...

I got crapped on.

Keep hacking away at it, you'll find someone who agrees with you. They're definitely out there, even on here.

As it is, you're soapboxing in the wrong place and embarrassing yourself and adding to the wall of noise that makes people want to ignore any "But you can't say that about MEN!" they see out there. And i'm saying this as a guy whose stood where you are, frustrated, wondering why it's ok that what's being said is being said.

It's not serious, it's blowing off steam, and it's a freaking drop in the bucket compared to like say... reddit, where all kinds of jokes about violence against women are mainstream.

If you think that the fact that a similar thread joking about violence against women wouldn't stand is a double standard, i think you need to reflect a bit on the context of this post and the context of "jokes" in general in society. Especially violent ones.
posted by emptythought at 2:53 PM on September 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Alright cortex, I'll frame it a different way.

Let's take this one:

Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack,
All dressed in black, black, black,
Like an Angel of death, death, death,
come for men who talk back, back, back.

Out on the street, street, street,
Where men cat-call, call, call,
She swings her scythe, scythe, scythe,
And ends them all, all, all.
I once wrote here about an episode of street harassment in which I genuinely feared that I was moments from being raped or murdered.

I found the rhyme above funny, because the reality is, when men catcall me on the street, I am pretty defenseless. If anyone gets injured or killed after I get catcalled, it's almost a certainty that it would be me.

The absurdity of it is what's funny. The idea of being able to swing a scythe and you know, keep walking down the street minding my own business without being raped and murdered, has a certain comic-book superhero appeal to it. But it is not something I ever could or would do. (Fistfight yes, if I were able to, scythe no.)

So the idea that feminists are being accused of being murderous by MRAs - not even just plain old murderous, but rampantly, excessively, gruesomely murderous - is funny to me, because of that.
posted by cairdeas at 2:54 PM on September 24, 2013 [8 favorites]


If people snarked at me because they didn't read the examples to a point I gave them, and then further snarked that I didn't do it in an actual minute, I'd probably be frustrated too.

Oh, I absolutely agree. That's why I deleted my point-by-point comment. No one is going to convince ubernostrum that they are wrong about that thread. The mods have already spoken and the thread clearly isn't going to be deleted. Ubernostrum isn't going to convince any of us feminists that we hate men, so... where do we go from here?
posted by muddgirl at 2:54 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


(that second-to-last line is tongue in cheek. I don't think that ubernostrum thinks that feminists hate men.)
posted by muddgirl at 2:55 PM on September 24, 2013


Well look, for what it's worth I think there is an argument to be made that intense violence is not that funny in a mixed crowd and I know I personally wouldn't have posted that link as "the best of the web". ubernostrum's point, however, seems to be that those nursery rhymes aren't funny because feminists really are terrible people who hate men.

I see what you are saying and I disagree with arguments that feminists are terrible people. I was just attempting to explain how some folks may end up feeling this style minimizes abuse even if it is clearly not the intent.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:55 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


ubernostrum: "Sure. The patriarchal men who staff the domestic-violence hotlines and tell 70% of male victims who seek help that there is none. Oh wait.

Cite?

How about the patriarchal men who make sure research on rape defines the term in a way that excludes most male victims and female perpetrators. Oh wait.

Cite?

Shall I go on? Feminism isn't Hitler, but it also has some major issues, and there are ways in which it actively contributes to problems faced by men and boys."

Cite?

I don't think that any of these three things are accurate.
posted by zarq at 2:56 PM on September 24, 2013 [22 favorites]


troika: "Feminism (feməˌnizəm)"

Jeez, I'd flagged this becaue I totally misread the pronunciation. Those schwa are tricky.
posted by boo_radley at 2:58 PM on September 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


I always find it ridiculous when, somehow, DV support needs to be gender neutral. In spite of the issues that causes for the main demographic (women with children) and the fact that the abuse manifests differently and needs different treatment because of our gendered ideas around DV as a society. And that the main goal of feminism, the rubric by which our efforts much be judged, is how many men we can serve in our limited money/time/effort networks.
posted by geek anachronism at 3:00 PM on September 24, 2013 [19 favorites]


I wrote a comment in response to you that I ended up abandoning. But I was mainly struck by the bad faith of you bringing up rape when a) early in the thread there was a comment that said, yeah, jokes about rape are generally bad; and b) no one except you had brought up rape.

This especially bothers me because while I usually talk about my rape crisis experience in terms of violence against women (which is 90% of the total), I also encountered men who were raped by other men and men who were raped by women. Like the comment in the thread which I mention in the previous paragraph, I think it's a very serious problem that the possibility of male rape by a female is thought in our society to be self-evidently impossible. And so I, for one, being a person who participated in that thread and who you link to above as part of the problem, would be very outspoken against any comments that made light of men being raped, including men being raped by women.

I can't take you seriously because your ignoring the sentiment in the thread that rape jokes are universally bad combined with the fact that it's only you who used rape as a rhetorical device for me raises a big, huge, bright red flag of "bad faith".

Also, jennaratrix and I had an exchange that discussed these issues of whether these jokes are appropriate and I even mentioned my concerns about a few ways in which men are oppressed. But this didn't involve you and you also completely ignored it there and here — I don't think either of those things are unrelated. It didn't involve you because we approached these issues in good-faith, while in your case it's a hobbyhorse and you didn't engage in anything remotely like a productive fashion. And you don't mention the exchange here because it doesn't fit the narrative that you need to present.

I am unbelievably sick and tired of these "won't someone think about the men" whines and rants. I'm a man and I do think that there are numerous ways in which men have grievances under the patriarchy, and yet at this point I have come to feel the enormous urge to stab someone, myself or anyone nearby, whenever I encounter one of these fucking comments inappropriately inserted into every goddamn thread about sexism.

Also, Drinky Die objected to my infanticide lullaby, but a) infanticide is not the same thing as child abuse; and b) the line in question is extremely specific about killing a male child because male children are unwanted in this fictional society, which is not the case, but it is certainly the case that female children are unwanted in many societies and in those societies there've been frequent female infanticide. So, again, the claims of equivalency seem very wrongheaded to me. But, as I wrote in the thread, I do believe that the objection was made in good-faith and it's telling to contrast how Drinky Die behaved in that thread and this one with how ubernostrum has.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:00 PM on September 24, 2013 [68 favorites]


both with well, that, and that statistically it's tiny

Um, this should in no way be taken as a defense of shitty, shitty MRA groups but it isn't tiny statistically; domestic violence against men isn't uncommon. Less common than against women, yes, and usually (and this is important) less severe given the strength disparities involved but let's not go so far as to exaggerate how uncommon it is in support of what is apart from this quibble a good point.
posted by Justinian at 3:04 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't think that any of these three things are accurate.

I think you don't think two of those three things are accurate.
posted by octobersurprise at 3:04 PM on September 24, 2013


Male victims are frequently not taken seriously because men are expected to be strong and invincible, and that is a gender essentialist social construction of what "manly" means that is bullshit and absolutely a product of patriarchal thinking. The "boys will be boys" response to male students who struggle in a flawed monolithic education system is, likewise, a bullshit gender essentialist social construction that men are rowdy and violent and not sensitive and thoughtful, and this patriarchal stereotype contributes to real obstacles when it comes to finding solutions to those problems. However, these are still patriarchal constructions. The patriarchy can and is enforced by men and women, just as PoC can be racist and women can be misogynist. That's why models of supremacy are so dangerous - they are pervasive and hegemonic.

Feminism has many problems, but the lack of social and emotional support offered to men because "men don't need help" is not a product of feminism. I can understand your discomfort with violent jokes in general, and I am 100% with you in condemning people who argue that men-as-a-demographic-group don't face any issues. But I think that you'll find a lot of resistance to the idea that these issues are the result of feminism and its structural superiority over the patriarchy, which is precisely what the MRA-driven concept of "misandry" is, and what these self-labeled misandrist jokes are meant to be lampooning.
posted by Be cool, sodapop at 3:05 PM on September 24, 2013 [94 favorites]


Ubernostrum, I'm sympathetic to a lot of the MRA's causes and receive quite a bit of flack for that. Inequality of reproductive choices for men, problems with the educational attainment of men, the prevalence of male suicide, limited respect and oppertunities for men who don't meet the masculine stereotypical role, inequality of outcomes in Family Courts*, inequality in criminal courts (including the problems with getting some courts and police to take DV against men seriously), and other issues are close to my heart and which don't seem to be actively addressed by most feminists.**

And if these limericks had actually been mocking these I would have been quite upset and up in arms in the thread. But they're not. They're mocking some theoretical madmen who think that there's a plot of feminists to over throw the social order and start slaughtering men. While there may be some MRAs who believe that, I haven't seen them. That strikes me much more of mocking Rush Limbaugh-like bombastity than any serious discussion of Men's Issues that I've seen. And that, frankly, deserves to be mocked.

Yeah, some of the commenters in the metafilter thread conflate reasonable MRA issues with people who are, frankly, totally cracked misandrists, and that's not nice and I don't like to be lumped in with them because it doesn't accurately reflect my beliefs and hurts my feelings when people seem to think that I'm a totally cracked misandrist. But plenty of people conflate streams of self-described feminism together and pretend that people who just want equality with people who want men castrated and tracked like criminals. I don't see a way around it either. People are going to call themselves whatever they want and that means some crazy people are going to latch on whatever label you choose.

All this is preamble for this. I feel where you're coming from, but in this case I think your wrong. I don't think this particular thread scanned as anti-male.

*which, I have to say, I think is overblown by a lot of MRA's, at least in California. As far as I can tell everyone feels screwed over by Family Court.

**Not that a lot of feminists are pro any of these things, but that's just not where their efforts are to going. People tend to try to solve issues that effect them personally, because they effect them personally, so I expect these issues to be taken on by men. Think of the various threads where women talk about issues they've had and the problems that some men having getting a grasp of the problem. These men aren't being evil, it's just hard to put yourself in other people's shoes and seeing the problems. This isn't only true for men, it's true for women too and they often have problems grasping the problems that men face and, sometimes, deny those problems exist in the same way than men sometimes deny women's problems. This shit IS NOT EASY for anyone and it's a lot more comfortable to ignore and deny other people's issues.
posted by bswinburn at 3:09 PM on September 24, 2013 [17 favorites]


Dinner's in the oven, so I've got a couple minutes.

are staffed by women largely, the problem isn't theirs

So, show me the partner-violence awareness campaigns that make a significant effort to mention that men are also victims and women are also perpetrators. Show me the sexual-assault awareness posters that make a significant effort to mention that men are also victims and women are also perpetrators.

You can't really, because the line is always, exclusively, "MEN do..." and "MEN can stop..."

(well, you can, in a way, but the only such that I'm aware of were made by MRA groups, and were loudly denounced round the internet as a result)

and that statistically it's tiny

There are stats in the FPP I did on partner violence. From reputable neutral sources. I can proceed to shower you with more bibliography if you like, and you're going to find that it is not as "tiny" as you think.

zarq, I suggest you start with Cite for 1, then read this on the definition of rape, and it links to the NIPSVS which includes all the data you'd like, albeit hidden sometimes behind weird definitions.

Also see the first part of this comment about awareness campaigns for an example of contributing to the problem. When issues are framed as inherently male-on-female gendered, that's contributing big time. Explaining everything that's wrong would take a very long time, but I'll point out a simple and obvious thing: the response to, say, male victims of partner violence and sexual violence, is often a "well, men can be victims too, but..."

On the other end of the "but..." will be something like "it's not as common/big of an issue as what happens to women", which is minimizing and erasing and is not the way you should start to engage with a victim who's opening up about something that's strongly stigmatized in our society, or "it's the fault of the patriarchy", which is victim-blaming, albeit in a roundabout way. You can see examples of both here in this thread, should you doubt that it happens.
posted by ubernostrum at 3:09 PM on September 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


"it's the fault of the patriarchy", which is victim-blaming, albeit in a roundabout way.

Chart the roundabout way for me, please. I don't follow.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:11 PM on September 24, 2013 [25 favorites]


Yeah, some of the commenters in the metafilter thread conflate reasonable MRA issues with people who are, frankly, totally cracked misandrists, and that's not nice and I don't like to be lumped in with them because it doesn't accurately reflect my beliefs and hurts my feelings when people seem to think that I'm a totally cracked misandrist.

I think bswinburn means "misogynist" here where he says "misandrist," in case anyone got tripped up there.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:13 PM on September 24, 2013


Ultimately what people want to do while dinner's in the oven is up to them, but I will say that if you started this thread in reaction to the Metafilter thread in question but are going to return to it mostly to argue with people about side points rather than anything specifically pertaining to that thread, this really ends up feeling more like a "I have complaints about the state of the world" thing than a "I need to discuss this actual Metafilter situation" sort of thing and is not really what Metatalk ought to be used for.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:15 PM on September 24, 2013 [15 favorites]


So, show me the partner-violence awareness campaigns that make a significant effort to mention that men are also victims and women are also perpetrators. Show me the sexual-assault awareness posters that make a significant effort to mention that men are also victims and women are also perpetrators.

This sounds to me like you're saying "Women not spending the same level of resources on male-victim issues as they do on female-victim issues is misandry."
posted by KathrynT at 3:15 PM on September 24, 2013 [50 favorites]


Rustic is right, I stink.
posted by bswinburn at 3:16 PM on September 24, 2013


Drinky Die objected to my infanticide lullaby, but a) infanticide is not the same thing as child abuse; and b) the line in question is extremely specific about killing a male child because male children are unwanted in this fictional society, which is not the case

Ivan, this isn't true. It's been covered on Metafilter, even.

I do find it odd that people are saying "Sure, men are subject to oppression and violence of the sort described in these 'jokes', but not by feminists." Cortex seems to think that my bringing up dickwolves is a gotcha, but it's not, or at least not a mere gotcha. The objection to dickwolves was "Sure, no one has ever been 'raped to sleep by dickwolves,' but people have raped, and this joke will be upsetting for them." It was a given that the important thing wasn't the (fictional) perpetrator, it was the victim." And that made some sense. But now many of the same people who made that case are saying "These rhymes are harmless because because while men are victimized by violence, the perpetrator in these rhymes is fictional." And that seems hard to square.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 3:16 PM on September 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


For the thousands of years of history that happened before feminism came along, I'm pretty damn sure that male victims of violence by women were not taken terribly seriously. It sure has hell wasn't feminism that set up a system where male victims of rape (by male or female perpetrators) are regarded as emasculated, weak, gay.
posted by rtha at 3:17 PM on September 24, 2013 [63 favorites]


Cortex seems to think that my bringing up dickwolves is a gotcha, but it's not, or at least not a mere gotcha.

What I think was that you were doing an enormously bad job of injecting it into the thread, and that continuing to try and do it a couple more times after having it deleted was crappy behavior that needed to stop. If you didn't mean it as a gotcha, you needed to find a much, much better way to broach it than you had so that it didn't read like a straight up axe-grind move.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:18 PM on September 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


"Show me the sexual-assault awareness posters that make a significant effort to mention that men are also victims and women are also perpetrators."

It was twenty years ago, but the rape crisis center I worked at, and which at the time was the second largest rape crisis center in the US, certainly did talk in its education/outreach programs about male survivors of sexual assault, including those who were assaulted by women.

You're operating on your (convenient for your argument) version of reality that just discards the things that disprove it.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:20 PM on September 24, 2013 [19 favorites]


So, show me the partner-violence awareness campaigns that make a significant effort to mention that men are also victims and women are also perpetrators. Show me the sexual-assault awareness posters that make a significant effort to mention that men are also victims and women are also perpetrators.

I recommend the stunning, devastating Project Unbreakable. It was started by a 21 year old woman and features survivors of sexual assault with quotes from the people who attacked them. It features quite a few men, both men who were attacked by women and by other men.
posted by cairdeas at 3:22 PM on September 24, 2013 [31 favorites]



I wouldn't crack similar jokes about anyone, man or woman.


I feel exactly the same way which is why that thread was not for me and (sorry cortex) I was happy it mostly didn't take place on my watch.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:24 PM on September 24, 2013 [30 favorites]


and (sorry cortex) I was happy it mostly didn't take place on my watch

Heh.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:25 PM on September 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


I recommend the stunning, devastating Project Unbreakable.

Here is a collection of some of the men. Pretty heartbreaking to me, even if the victims aren't broken. Brave men and women there.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:40 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Drinky Die objected to my infanticide lullaby, but a) infanticide is not the same thing as child abuse; and b) the line in question is extremely specific about killing a male child because male children are unwanted in this fictional society, which is not the case

Ivan, this isn't true. It's been covered on Metafilter, even.


I'm definitely sure that "boy were we glad we had a girl" is not remotely the same thing as "we murdered our infant boy child."

And I'm still pretty goddamn sure that "we employed moneys and science to have a girl and we were thrilled when it worked" is STILL not the same as "we murdered our infant boy child."

Whereas murdering and abandoning infant girl children is still alive and kicking in more than one part of the world.

What you introduced, TFB, is A problem, and even a big problem, but it is not the SAME problem as the one being lampooned here.
posted by like_a_friend at 3:43 PM on September 24, 2013 [22 favorites]


but there are a lot of boys who were abused by their fathers and mothers who may not appreciate referencing abuse of young men as a tool for humor regardless of the context.

There are a lot of girls who were abused by their fathers and mothers who are confronted and deluged with images of violence against women everywhere in our culture. Used as humor, as advertising, as entertainment.

I'm not saying this makes it right if formerly abused boy read the post at the Toast and was hurt but goddammit, violence against women saturates our society. We can't just avoid one blog post to make it all go away.
posted by Squeak Attack at 3:56 PM on September 24, 2013 [20 favorites]


I really liked the absurdity of a lot of these but a couple of the especially violent ones read pretty sour to me as violence against men by women is not an especially absurd concept to me. I guess your miles may vary but the world, clearly delineated between women who are by definition harmless and men, that many of y'all seem to be assuming as self evident is not the one I've lived in - and it also seems like a pretty twistedly patriarchal concept to me to begin with.
Drinky Die: "Here is a collection of some of the men. Pretty heartbreaking to me, even if the victims aren't broken. Brave men and women there."
Wow, thank you so much for this. Here is mine.
posted by Blasdelb at 4:02 PM on September 24, 2013 [14 favorites]


The point of the jokes is to make fun of the idea that the project of feminism is to oppress men. Real world questions about the victimization of men are really beside the point, because male victims are not the butt of the jokes.

Some folks on my TL are fond of the "kill all men" formulation from time to time, and sure, I'm not a huge fan of it. It's not something I say. But I also really don't think it's related to violent victimization of men. So I get not wanting to read the thread or the link, but I don't think that it's something that needed deleting or whatever.
posted by kavasa at 4:04 PM on September 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


I RTFA'd, and found 1 or 2 mildly amusing, but reading more, they became more and more offensive and not-funny. And not terribly witty or good at making a point, other than Violence! But, I gotta say, introducing dickwolves - bad idea. I was faced with a choice in this thread, between responding with satire, or curling up in a ball in the corner. You have other choices, MeTa, for one, and responding thoughtfully, for another. Sincerity isn't sexy, doesn't get tons of favorites, but I find it the best choice.
posted by theora55 at 4:12 PM on September 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


> The point of the jokes is to make fun of the idea that the project of feminism is to oppress men. Real world questions about the victimization of men are really beside the point, because male victims are not the butt of the jokes.

If real male victims are really hurt by the jokes, does it matter if that wasn't the intent?
posted by eruonna at 4:16 PM on September 24, 2013 [11 favorites]


Every joke is offensive to somebody. Does that mean we stop telling all jokes or feel bad about laughing at them?
Maybe your favorite pet chicken got run over crossing the road, or someone you loved got electrocuted screwing in a light bulb, or killed by an impaired rabbi, priest or atheist on their way home from a bar.
We all understand that real violence happens to real people, including specifically targeted men and boys. These jokes have nothing at all to do with that. They're about an absurd concept of women rising up violently against men...not a real thing that exists.
posted by rocket88 at 4:19 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


So, ubernostrum-

I'm sure you make every effort to call out misogynist humor whenever you encounter it, because this is also an issue which affects young men and boys.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:20 PM on September 24, 2013 [8 favorites]


I'm gonna note at this point ubernostrum closed his account. Asking him for further responses isn't gonna really go anywhere, so maybe just give that stuff a pass.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:21 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure if this is the place for this *specific* comment, but here goes...

Metafilter has a snark problem. See - no matter how nasty the snark gets, it's ok as long as it isn't passionate. If it feels even remotely detached and ironic, it's written off as 'tame snark.'

But it's my experience that as soon as you get passionate on a subject here - the moment you say something emotional - BAM, the mallet of loving correction is borrowed and used.

It's very discouraging to me because IMO, it dismisses a large portion of people with legitimate things to say just because they feel strongly about something and aren't afraid to come out swinging about it. I know some people aren't comfortable with confrontation and a confrontational attitude, but I'm not comfortable with snark - and I don't see the snarky folks being squelched when i'm made uncomfortable.

I feel your position is similar - you're passionate on a subject (the fact that I disagree with your position is completely immaterial). When you personalize something and get worked up, you get squelched and instead of letting it heat up - we're made to coldly lob snarky nastiness. The snarky replies are no less hateful - they're just not as 'hot.' I know that there's a thread above about how 'civil' metafilter is and I see it sometimes, but I don't find snark to be any more or less civil than an angry outburst. It's just quieter.
posted by Fuka at 4:23 PM on September 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


eruonna, from the point of view of metafilter moderation, yes, it matters.

Because a post that went to something like ... a site about how the idea of male victims of intimate partner violence is funny (or whatever) would be rightly deleted.

A post that went to a place that satirized the above idea would be ok (if fraught, I'm sure).

ubernostrum seems to have made the mistake of conflating the two as the same thing and got pretty upset about that.
posted by kavasa at 4:24 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm gonna note at this point ubernostrum closed his account. Asking him for further responses isn't gonna really go anywhere, so maybe just give that stuff a pass.

That's too bad. I think he was off base to make some of the points he did in regards to this thread and maybe fell into a trap some men do of putting the blame for men's issues in the wrong place, but his care for people who have been victims of abuse did seem really genuine to me. Sometimes caring genuinely can lead to as much posting trouble as just being a jerk if you don't know how to channel it. It can be especially hard if you perceive a mocking or dismissive attitude, whether or not it is really there. I hope he comes back down the line.

But, I gotta say, introducing dickwolves - bad idea.

I think that probably was not the best way to go about making the point. There just isn't any need to put rape in the context of MMO game mechanics. It's harder to avoid discussions of rape and violence when you are talking about gender relations. They are unfortunately an unavoidable part of the conversation. However, the idea that the fictional nature of an attacker doesn't necessarily mean victims will not be hurt by a joke referencing something similar to their own experience is a fair point. Avoiding such a reference if possible is a good way to go.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:34 PM on September 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm gonna note at this point ubernostrum closed his account.

And that's a goddamn shame. Seriously. Cf Fuka on the snark issue. It's cheap shots, like sarcasm. Suitable for twelve year olds.

In general, too many comments and commentators have become depressingly predictable. Give me any even moderately contentious post and you know, you just know, without even looking how the comments will come down. Me, I have limited time. I like to be surprised and challenged. Frankly, the only reason I even bothered with the original post was to see if someone, anyone had something non-obvious to say.

Well, one less in future.

Not our finest hour.
posted by IndigoJones at 4:43 PM on September 24, 2013 [11 favorites]


Maybe that particular post just wasn't for you, IndigoJones. This is a huge site, and not everyone will get a sense of satisfaction from every post.
posted by cairdeas at 4:50 PM on September 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


I took a look at that link, and I'm not particularly offended, I just think the idea wasn't all that funny. I give it a meh.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:51 PM on September 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Maybe I'm missing it, but I'm seeing mostly non-snarky engagement with ubernostrum here.

(To be clear, this is not me saying "snark is not a problem." This is me saying I don't think it was snark that made uber feel like he had to button.)
posted by rtha at 4:52 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not either - in this case I'm saying that his emotional responses being squelched might have been. It isn't always the snark - it's that the snark is allowed and the outburst isn't.
posted by Fuka at 4:54 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


How the fuck does that stunt post stand.. I'm definitely still a little addicted to this place, but it is feeling more and more like an abusive relationship.
posted by Chuckles at 4:57 PM on September 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Fuka your complaint is at least novel, but I just don't agree with it. Sincere and passionate outbursts happen all the time, and depending on the context of the thread it's in and how it's phrased, sometimes it gets modded and sometimes it doesn't. Same with snark, although I also think that lazy snark is generally given a dim view by the majority of the mefi population.

And see eruonna, Chuckles' comment just now is the sort of thing that absolutely would get rightly deleted as an FPP, because it takes a serious problem and compares it to a trivial one for snarky/trolly points.
posted by kavasa at 4:59 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


How the fuck does that stunt post stand

It's not in any way that's clear to me a "stunt post" in the sense that that phrase has traditionally been used on the site. This is not to say that there's anything wrong with thinking it's not a good post, but a stunt post is a specific sort of thing that implies intent and bad motivations for posting that needs to be substantiated pretty clearly.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:00 PM on September 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


I was surprised that post wasn't deleted. It was a throwaway single link hitting a subject MetaFilter has longstanding tension with, and you could see from a mile away where the thread would end up. It was obviously going to get contentious; I can't imagine anybody is surprised it ended up in MetaTalk; and from there, maybe it's not strictly a logical step to losing a member, but it's also not a wildly surprising one.

If somebody disables, that's his or her decision and it's made with the same agency that person used to sign up. Still...we can decide what kind of community we want to have, and what kind of conversations we want to have, and those collective decisions will affect individuals' decisions. That post and that thread reflect a collective decision that I think detracted more from the community than it added.
posted by cribcage at 5:01 PM on September 24, 2013 [13 favorites]


his emotional responses being squelched

Look, his emotional response led him to ride an irrelevant hobbyhorse all over the thread and then start a MeTa to ride it again. It's certainly a shame that he couldn't figure out a way to interact more pleasantly with the site, but it's not like the sincerity of the hobbyhorsing and axe-grinding gives them some kind of free pass.
posted by RogerB at 5:03 PM on September 24, 2013 [20 favorites]


Frankly, the only reason I even bothered with the original post was to see if someone, anyone had something non-obvious to say.

I posted about toads!
posted by Greg Nog at 5:04 PM on September 24, 2013 [24 favorites]


This thread is making me like the original Kate Beaton Straw Feminists a lot more, and it's also making me like these nursery rhymes a hell of a lot less.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:06 PM on September 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


emotional response led him to ride an irrelevant hobbyhorse all over the thread

It obviously wasn't irrelevant to him and this is exactly what i'm talking about. What you are doing - referring to him 'riding an irrelevant hobbyhorse' is absolutely just as nasty as calling names. Denigrating, belittling and invalidating him like this is the worst kind of nastiness to me. It's intellectual bullying in my book.
posted by Fuka at 5:07 PM on September 24, 2013 [19 favorites]


it's also making me like these nursery rhymes a hell of a lot less

It reminded me of the shitty old Andrew Dice Clay routines where he changes all the nursery rhymes to be about smacking around women who are sucking his dick so there's not much that could make me like them less, really.
posted by elizardbits at 5:09 PM on September 24, 2013 [13 favorites]


It was a throwaway single link hitting a subject MetaFilter has longstanding tension with, and you could see from a mile away where the thread would end up.

As for presentation, it could have done with a little more context as a buffer. Stunt post was my first reaction.

"This is what we are doing here and why," "Here are some examples of what has led us to this point," instead of just starting with killing all men would have helped. I know, explaining the joke and all, but as I said I was kind of shocked when I first saw the post and the blog.

Also currently listening to Ted Cruz use a Dr. Seuss rhyme to attack Obamacare while reading this thread is messing with my head.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:11 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


It reminded me of the shitty old Andrew Dice Clay routines where he changes all the nursery rhymes to be about smacking around women who are sucking his dick


Oh yea that happened
posted by sweetkid at 5:11 PM on September 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


It reminded me of the shitty old Andrew Dice Clay routines where he changes all the nursery rhymes to be about smacking around women who are sucking his dick

Hickory Dickory Dock
This girl should be treated with respect as an equal.
posted by Justinian at 5:12 PM on September 24, 2013 [18 favorites]


I really feel like I'm living in an alternative universe with some of these reactions. Surely much of the humour is the contrast between the tone of the nursery rhymes and over-serious jargon of gender politics, a little in the style of Rolcats. This is as disrespectful to victims of violence as Rolcats is to victims of the gulags.
posted by Summer at 5:16 PM on September 24, 2013 [14 favorites]


It reminded me of the shitty old Andrew Dice Clay routines where he changes all the nursery rhymes to be about smacking around women who are sucking his dick so there's not much that could make me like them less, really.

I wish the Diceman had done a routine where he hit the familiar punchline, "hey, it's not gonna suck itself," but then he looks down with horror, and he yelps, "oh no...oh no, but it IS SUCKING ITSELF", and then there would be horrible Wet-Vac sounds, as his eyes would roll back in his head, as he would disintegrate into a self-sucking ouroboros of gore. A three-hour "comedy" routine, directed by Matthew Barney. Obligatory viewing for all. It would play before every sporting event, in place of the national anthem.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:18 PM on September 24, 2013 [16 favorites]


It obviously wasn't irrelevant to him

That's the exact definition of a hobbyhorse, yes.
posted by RogerB at 5:22 PM on September 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


hobbyhorse: Something that is not irrelevant to someone.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:27 PM on September 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


hobbyhorse: Something that is always not irrelevant to someone.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:28 PM on September 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Some women are legitimately oppressed by men. I feel legitimately oppressed by men all the damn time. Hell yes I'm going to laugh about it. There is no evidence that men are oppressed by women to the extent that women are still oppressed by men even in this enlightened age. Case dismissed.
posted by bleep at 5:32 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hickory Dickory Dock
This girl should be treated with respect as an equal.


Yeah I was hoping it was going to go someplace like this.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:32 PM on September 24, 2013 [22 favorites]


hobbyhorse: Something that is always not irrelevant to someone.

You're closer, IF. But, you knew that.

My point being, just because it's something he cared about, that doesn't make it a hobbyhorse. Maybe you think he was mistaken/deluded/silly/quixotic/whatever, but that doesn't make it his hobbyhorse. I mean, I can identify people on this site who have obvious political interests - are all their different "political projects" hobbyhorses? Or, are we just calling these interests hobbyhorses when we don't agree with them?
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:34 PM on September 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


RogerB: "That's the exact definition of a hobbyhorse, yes."

Fuka: "Metafilter has a snark problem. See - no matter how nasty the snark gets, it's ok as long as it isn't passionate. If it feels even remotely detached and ironic, it's written off as 'tame snark.'

But it's my experience that as soon as you get passionate on a subject here - the moment you say something emotional - BAM, the mallet of loving correction is borrowed and used.

It's very discouraging to me because IMO, it dismisses a large portion of people with legitimate things to say just because they feel strongly about something and aren't afraid to come out swinging about it. I know some people aren't comfortable with confrontation and a confrontational attitude, but I'm not comfortable with snark - and I don't see the snarky folks being squelched when i'm made uncomfortable.

I feel your position is similar - you're passionate on a subject (the fact that I disagree with your position is completely immaterial). When you personalize something and get worked up, you get squelched and instead of letting it heat up - we're made to coldly lob snarky nastiness. The snarky replies are no less hateful - they're just not as 'hot.' I know that there's a thread above about how 'civil' metafilter is and I see it sometimes, but I don't find snark to be any more or less civil than an angry outburst. It's just quieter.
"
posted by boo_radley at 5:37 PM on September 24, 2013


The gray is not the blue.
posted by kavasa at 5:40 PM on September 24, 2013


Just as general thought on how I look at the word in practice, I think of hobbyhorse more as a description of the behavioral manifestation of a person's interest/belief/issue/project/whatever than as a description or invalidation of the merits of that interest/whatever itself.

Like, people can get hobbyhorsey about stuff that I think it is totally righteous as an issue on the merits, and it being a hobbyhorse thing is more about how they engage on that issue—whether they tend to steer conversations to it, whether they have trouble disengaging when disengaging would otherwise be the better thing for the conversation/situation they're in, whether they have regular trouble actively and deferentially recognizing that their thing is not the only or primary thing going on discursively in a situation—than it is about whether or not the issue is worthy or important.

More often than not when I think someone is doing something that I think of as hobbyhorsing on Mefi, it's about something that I more or less agree with them on; that doesn't make the behavior any more or less problematic if it's directly (and especially recurring) mucking up threads.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:41 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I thought a lot of them were funny, but ... it's not a good sort of funny. And some of them definitely cross the line into "you do realise that happens?" territory:
Mum is so very tired
She badly needs to rest
It is dark and late at night
And I must smother you in your cradle because male children are useless and a burden.

posted by Joe in Australia at 5:42 PM on September 24, 2013


Hobbyhorse seems a overly dismissive if it is being used to describe someone's concern for victims of domestic violence. I think the word is usually used to denigrate a particular opinion or concern.
posted by Area Man at 5:43 PM on September 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


A thought: you calling it a hobbyhorse is absolutely no different to me than him calling you a name. It's nastily dismissive and it undermines his position without actually debating him. It's an ad hominem attack in disguise.
posted by Fuka at 5:46 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


You are not going to get a charitable reading here, I'm afraid, ubernostrum. Many of us choose to just stay out of certain threads on the blue instead. That might work for you.

I'm a woman with two incredible sons who I am very proud of, and I don't go into feminism/sexism threads on the blue any more. There are too many angry people who just want to use those threads to hate on men in general, and it is hurtful to me to see that happening. When I have complained about ugly generalizations about men in threads, or come to the defense of a man commenting in those threads, all the tactics the angry people in those threads claim to hate (tone argument, mansplaining, silencing, fallacies of all kinds) come out, and are used by them against me. I have been accused of concern trolling because, I guess, I am not a man? Because even empathizing with men is bad now? Makes no sense to me.

I tried to teach my sons to respect people, regardless of race, religion or gender. Those threads make a mockery of that endeavor. That it is taken as a given here that men do not deserve the same consideration as women is appalling to me. Wrapping sexism up in buzzwords (like citing the Patriarchy when you make hurtful comments about men, as though that was some Get Out of Jail Free card) to rationalize ugly behavior doesn't make it any less ugly. Doing it while you deny misandry even exists is just--it's absurd. It's Bizarro World.

So I stay out of the blue rather than participate in the feminism/sexism threads.

Which, by the way, come up all the time, almost daily. MartinWisse alone posts several feminist/sexism posts a month. The mods often tell users not to do that, with other pet topics. They suggest you get your own blog. But not in the case of feminist/sexism threads. I do not know why that is.

The mods also mentioned once the possibility of having a higher bar for feminism/sexism threads. Yet the posts come with increasing frequency.

I am even hesitant about commenting on the grey about this stuff now, and I have been a member in good standing here since 2007. I am only doing so now out of frustration, not because I think it will help. I have suggested that we not generalize about men, and even that is seen as a point of contention. I am expected to take it as a given that there are straw feminists (because Kate Beacon made a comic about it once!), but even suggesting there is such a thing as a straw misogynist got me called out by the mods for being nasty recently. Users hold grudges, put other users on lists and stalk them around the site over those threads. That has also happened to me. That's how ugly it gets.

Just stay out of those threads, really.

On preview: so he deleted his account. Way to go, Metafilter.
posted by misha at 5:46 PM on September 24, 2013 [27 favorites]


Yeah, we all know what "hobbyhorse" is supposed to mean, but people (in general, in the English-speaking world) do also trot it out just to generally dismiss someone, in the same way that we might dismiss a complaint as "whiny".

I mean, it would be one thing if ubernostrum had this long posting history of foisting men's issues onto MeFi, but AFAIK he just had the one DV post, and then the nursery rhyme thread triggered something in him today. Maybe you disagree with his POV, and there are plenty of reasons to do so, but the dictionary definition of "hobbyhorse" does not seem to apply here.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:50 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

There are too many angry people who just want to use those threads to hate on men in general
This is fanciful nonsense, and is in fact the kind of attitude that the misandrist lullabies are satirizing.
posted by kavasa at 5:50 PM on September 24, 2013 [42 favorites]


But not in the case of feminist/sexism threads. I do not know why that is.

With respect, you do not know how we do our jobs and if you have a direct question to ask us, please simply ask it.

We delete a lot of threads on feminist/sexist topics. People also post a lot of them. MartinWisse posts a lot about a variety of topics. Some of his posts are about sexism/gender issues.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:51 PM on September 24, 2013 [25 favorites]


MartinWisse alone posts several feminist/sexism posts a month.

A quick scan of MartinWisse's post history doesn't really back up your hyperbolic accusation.
posted by palomar at 5:51 PM on September 24, 2013 [16 favorites]


It doesn't seem to me like Metafilter started this thread on the grey.

I think it's acceptable that we are expected, on Metafilter, to stay out of threads that make us passionately angry. I don't comment about Julian Assange because he pisses me the fuck off, as a feminist and as a human being. My life is actually for the better since I made that rule.
posted by muddgirl at 5:52 PM on September 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


well, there's nothing like an occasional male sacrifice to liven things up, is there?

but maybe that's not fair - i remember a while back that it was women leaving in disgust

perhaps i'm wrong, but i do believe that more people have left over this one area of contention than any other

and that says one thing to me - we're doing it wrong
posted by pyramid termite at 5:52 PM on September 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Users hold grudges, put other users on lists and stalk them around the site over those threads.

Is this meant to be ironic or are you actually doing this without realizing that you randomly called out a user against whom you appear to have a grudge in an unrelated thread in which they have not participated?
posted by elizardbits at 5:53 PM on September 24, 2013 [17 favorites]


The article was weak (Ortberg sometimes hits it out of the park, and sometimes falls flat.) but the comments were so unlike what I have come to expect out of MetaFilter.

Denigrating, belittling and invalidating him like this is the worst kind of nastiness to me. It's intellectual bullying in my book.

This, 100%. For all of the hugs and headpats we give people here for expressing their feelings and opinions and yes, for all the care we take to put trigger warnings on posts in order to protect our members, this place can be downright vicious toward others.
posted by kimberussell at 5:54 PM on September 24, 2013 [10 favorites]


I think it's acceptable that we are expected, on Metafilter, to stay out of threads that make us passionately angry. I don't comment about Julian Assange because he pisses me the fuck off, as a feminist and as a human being. My life is actually for the better since I made that rule.

I appreciate that you do this, but I cannot and will not. I advocate daily for people who otherwise lack the expertise to do so. I can't just 'let it go' and 'be quiet.' notsorry.
posted by Fuka at 5:55 PM on September 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


According to the OED, people often used to call real horses "hobbin" or "hobby", and the name because affectionately attached to ponies and light horses. As a consequence of this, the name transferred to the sort of fake horse used by children or (especially) the ones used in morris-dancing and so forth: a horse's head on a stick, often with a skirt or rigging shaped like the silhouette of a horse.

Now, imagine your uncle with his horse costume. He brings it out at parties and picnics, he is so very droll. Look at him bobbing about! (Oh dear, uncle is riding his hobby-horse again. Better put the sherry away.) And from there it became a way to describe a somewhat-silly set of opinions that are quixotically paraded over. and over. again. It's also a way to put people down by characterising their views as a whimsical facet of their personality, and not as a reasoned position - "Oh, there you go riding your hobby-horse again!"
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:01 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


also, norsemen used to place a horse's head on a fence post, pointed towards a household they were accusing of dishonorable conduct
posted by pyramid termite at 6:03 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


So, what's the better solution: jumping into a thread that makes you passionately angry and being sarcastic and fighty in that thread, and potentially flaming out when things don't go the way you want? Or not participating in that thread, but instead taking the energy you would have wasted there and using it to create a thread about a different aspect of the issue being discussed, or another subject entirely, and possibly opening someone's eyes to a viewpoint they hadn't previously thought of?
posted by palomar at 6:04 PM on September 24, 2013 [11 favorites]


According to the OED, people often used to call real horses "hobbin" or "hobby", and the name because affectionately attached to ponies and light horses.

Fascinating! So, it's like "puppy dog" and "kitty cat", except we've lost the word "hobby"!
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:04 PM on September 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


Joe in Australia: "According to the OED, people often used to call real horses "hobbin" or "hobby""

what does this revelation tell us about holly hobbie
posted by boo_radley at 6:06 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


termite, declaring that you think [factual proposition presented without evidence] is true, and on that basis "metafilter as a whole is doing [some area]" wrong is not a convincing argument.

ubernostrum did not show up in the blue thread with a sincerely declared concern, he showed up to post his own sarcastic rhymes. Rhymes which, by the way, were sort of generally accusing everyone there of being man-hating feminists that turn a blind eye to abuse/rape of men. I.e.: exactly the attitude the original post satirizes.

That didn't go how he wanted it to, so he made this meta, and that didn't go how he wanted either, and he closed his account.

It's further worth remembering that there is a long, long, and continuing history (even here on metafilter!) of people coming into threads about a specific instance of harassment or whatever and minimizing it, accusing someone of handling it poorly, and derailing with "but what about the men!?" sorts of questions. You can look up the recent "teach naked" thread to watch all that happen.

Again, snark on mefi can be problems, I agree, but trying to cast the guy as a wide-eyed innocent bullied by the mean kids until he went home is just not an accurate picture.
posted by kavasa at 6:07 PM on September 24, 2013 [52 favorites]


termite, declaring that you think [factual proposition presented without evidence] is true, and on that basis "metafilter as a whole is doing [some area]" wrong is not a convincing argument.

you're welcome to point out another area of contention that has caused more flameouts and departures
posted by pyramid termite at 6:10 PM on September 24, 2013


I would only need to do that if I wanted to say metafilter is bad at it. On the contrary, I think it's a general-purpose site that generally does pretty well, so I don't need to start making claims of fact without any evidence.

FWIW, it's my suspicion that most flameouts are more individual than anything else.
posted by kavasa at 6:14 PM on September 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Not everyone posts a contentious meta before closing their account, though. You don't have enough data to make that conclusion.
posted by elizardbits at 6:14 PM on September 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yeah, we all know what "hobbyhorse" is supposed to mean, but people (in general, in the English-speaking world) do also trot it out just to generally dismiss someone, in the same way that we might dismiss a complaint as "whiny".

You know what? no, it's not the same.

Hobbyhorsing is a very specific act. It's when someone goes in to a thread about a specific subject and not only tries to make it "all about them", but all about their issue or take on the subject.

And i think we're butting up something important here that really bugs me sometimes, which is essentially almost a geek social fallacy kinda thing. It's that being dismissive is always bad. There's a place and a time for everything, and for every discussion. Someone coming in to a discussion about books determined to talk about tv shows(and trying to bridge it in by talking about books that were made in to tv shows, and trying to justify it as that) is a great hypothetical example of what i mean here.

People should not be obligated to engage someone in the conversation they want to have if it's a derail, or disruptive, or obviously just an attempt at a conversion of the current conversation into one they want to have. That's bullshit. And it gets especially gross when you start drifting in to discussions about say, sexism/gender relations/misogyny/mens rights stuff if you know any of the context of how those discussions usually go.

If you try and work it the "everyone gets a fair shake" way because it's somehow bad to tell people that this isn't the place and they need to shut up, then you end up letting the loudest assholes talk over everyone else or at the very least just completely drive the discussion into being either all about them, or all about what they wanted to discuss. And usually both.

That is crap.

So no, telling someone they're hobbyhorsing isn't at all the same as saying they're being "whiny", it's a very specific pattern of behavior and honestly one undertaken quite often by people who would call others who disagreed with them whiny.

And mostly, people need to get over this assumption that being dismissive is bad 100% of the time always.
posted by emptythought at 6:16 PM on September 24, 2013 [17 favorites]


I would only need to do that if I wanted to say metafilter is bad at it.

or if you wanted to give me an actual rebuttal
posted by pyramid termite at 6:17 PM on September 24, 2013


Thank you for putting that so eloquently, kavasa. I've been avoiding commenting in this thread because I didn't know exactly how to phrase what I thought in a charitable manner and you did a much better job than anything I considered writing.
posted by griphus at 6:20 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Denigrating, belittling and invalidating him like this is the worst kind of nastiness to me.

Do you not see the irony in complaining that emotional rhetoric isn't allowed and then trying to prescribe precisely how speakers can respond to each other?
posted by octobersurprise at 6:21 PM on September 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


And mostly, people need to get over this assumption that being dismissive is bad 100% of the time always.

I said nothing remotely like this.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:21 PM on September 24, 2013


I'ma check in with this statement: there are cases where I am sympathetic toward injustices to specific men, and I am not the least sympathetic toward Men's Rights activism and indeed take small pleasure in ridiculing it.

A very few men are screwed over by the system, by comparison to the vast numbers of women who are harmed. Those men are by and large victims of individual instances of injustice, whereas the women are collateral damage taken in a pervasive, endemic system of misogyny.

The MRA "movement" appears to me to be driven by loons who seem to think the slights that befell themselves as individuals are at all comparable to the millennia of deliberate subjugation of the female species. They are wrong. Their trials and tribulations are as nothing compared to those of women.

Screw'em: the MRA guys just make all men look selfish and stupid. I'd be perfectly happy to never hear from them again.

IMO &c.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:25 PM on September 24, 2013 [21 favorites]


I said nothing remotely like this.

I was addressing more the general attitude being presented against the idea of calling anything a hobbyhorse or anyones behavior as hobbyhorsing i had seen displayed here, not replying to you directly at that point.

But eh, fuck it, i give up.
posted by emptythought at 6:36 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


…People's Rights activism, I can get behind that. If the MRA became PRA, it would be a substantial improvement.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:38 PM on September 24, 2013


I don't have a grudge against MartinWisse. i just know him as a user who post a LOT of posts. He posts about activism and comics and other stuff, too. I like a lot of his posts. I'm sure I have favorited some of them. A good number of his,posts are also about sexism, and I don't comment on those. See reasons above.

I would like to know why we don't have a higher bar for those posts, because about 90% of the time those threads are contentious. I can't really remember 10% that weren't, honestly. People in the threads complain about that all the time, even, how ugly those threads get.

Now, I am all for deleting the ugly comments instead, particularly if that means including the ones from the cool kids with the more popular views, like when they start personally snarking at other users rather than responding to their comments as a whole.

But that's a side issue. With other contentious topics, Mefi has taken a "we don't do that well" stance instead, because the mods recognize that they are getting run ragged just trying to keep the threads on them in line. This results in a higher bar being set for those topics. So it seems logical that is how it would go here with the sexism/feminism posts, too.

I guess my question to the mods would be why that hasn't happened.
posted by misha at 6:38 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I guess my question to the mods would be why that hasn't happened.

And I'm going to reiterate jessamyn's response that this seems to be a you-deciding-you-know-what-we're-doing thing rather than a what-we're-actually-doing thing. We delete a fair number of posts in this territory, like we do a fair number in other areas. Clearly not as many as you'd prefer but, I dunno, pretty much nobody gets exactly what they prefer here; I certainly don't, and I'm one of the folks holding the keys.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:45 PM on September 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Feminism/sexism threads have absolutely caused a lot of flameouts and dramalicious departures, and for awhile it was women doing the departing. Hell, I stomped off in a huff one day (albeit without leaving a MeTa behind) and didn't come back for years. For a long time this place could be hostile to dissenting opinion, and sometimes it still is. MetaFilter is sometimes incredibly bad at talking about gender issues, but it's changed. Now instead of women getting shouted down for pointing out the sexism inherent in, oh, EVERYTHING, it's men getting shouted down for daring to suggest that hey, you know, some things suck for dudes, too.

I tried to get at this a little bit in the original thread, but we don't do this well, at all. But that's okay; we don't have to do it well, we just have to do it. We (at MetaFilter, and in the wider world) have to talk about sexism and feminism, and yeah, we have to talk about MRA stuff too, because it's out there. Call it a backlash against feminism, call it whiny crybaby shit, call it hobbyhorsing if you want, but it's a thing that people actually think and feel, whether or not you or I think it's valid. These guys keep coming in and posting stuff about how some of the things women complain about happen to them, too, and we jump down their throats every time. Have they had plenty of time (eons) to talk about their issues? Sure. Are they jumping into a feminism thread to derail and sidetrack, as some men in power have been doing to women forever? Sometimes. Does it suck? Well, yeah. And does it suck more because so much of the time they seem less than sincere, griping just to gripe, or just out and out assholes? Uh-huh. But that doesn't mean that there isn't the kernel of a problem in there among all the whining that we can bring into the discussion.

I don't like the idea that when we talk about women's issues, we can only talk about women's issues because the mens, they get all the airtime they ever need. I don't like some of the assumptions of bad intention (as justified as they usually turn out to be). I think it is entirely possible that we have gone from making some women uncomfortable to making some men uncomfortable, and maybe there are those of us who are okay with that, or think it's just desserts, or that a little discomfort can be instructive; maybe all those things are true. But I see a lot of people making the claim that the entrenched patriarchy is bad for men as well as women, while not letting the men talk about their (real or perceived) issues with respect to same.

It's why in that thread I tried to carefully engage about why some people might not find the original article all that amusing; I think there's value in exploring people's objections, even if you end up rejecting their reasoning. I think so many of us are worn out on explaining even the simplest of concepts to those who really don't want to hear that we sometimes assume someone is being a jerk and don't give them the benefit of the doubt. I don't know if that's the case here, and none of us do; we all know how hard it is to convey exactly what you mean in writing, and it is much too easy to read pretty much whatever intent you want into another's post. But I do think that we can be hair-trigger about a guy coming into a thread about feminism with a "What about the men?!?" question, when sometimes it's a valid point that would benefit from a good discussion. While his approach maybe wasn't the best, perhaps that's all uber was trying to do today. I don't know, but it's worth all of us checking our own assumptions if it will make discussion on this topic in the future more inclusive.
posted by jennaratrix at 6:46 PM on September 24, 2013 [26 favorites]


What's a frequency of feminist-related topics that would meet with your approval, misha?
posted by octobersurprise at 6:47 PM on September 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


But I see a lot of people making the claim that the entrenched patriarchy is bad for men as well as women, while not letting the men talk about their (real or perceived) issues with respect to same.

When guys say, "I hear you, what you're talking about is real, and it hurts me too," I've never seen that be received with anything but gratitude. It's the guys going, "well, I get hurt too, therefore you're wrong and part of the problem," who get pushback. I also don't think disagreeing with people is the same as not letting them talk. (Which also happens.)
posted by cairdeas at 6:53 PM on September 24, 2013 [48 favorites]


Do you not see the irony in complaining that emotional rhetoric isn't allowed and then trying to prescribe precisely how speakers can respond to each other?

Um... no that is not at all what I'm doing. I'm saying that letting one happen and not letting the other is wrong.

Hobbyhorsing is a very specific act.

I agree, but if you accuse someone of it and they are not - it's name calling.
posted by Fuka at 6:53 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


A very few men are screwed over by the system, by comparison to the vast numbers of women who are harmed.

Well, many men are screwed by the patriarchal system. We should have sympathy for them. They just aren't screwed by feminists or matriarchy. Those things aren't the enemy. You should not lose sympathy until they are going to great lengths to argue otherwise against all logic.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:00 PM on September 24, 2013 [8 favorites]


we have to talk about MRA stuff too, because it's out there

Do we? Many people consider MRAs a hate group, frankly, and I don't see why we have to give them some kind of fair representation in a hypothetical post about women's issues.

Can we talk about issues that men face? Absolutely! Can we talk about why someone might object to the nursery rhyme post? Sure, and in fact that seems to have happened here and in the thread in question. Why do we have to give misogynists a spot at the podium to be considered a reasonable discussion?
posted by jess at 7:09 PM on September 24, 2013 [31 favorites]


Not to mention that the particular thread in question is not particularly contentious. I can think of many examples of threads about supposedly less contentious topics that have been, in fact, much more contentious than the thread that's the subject of this post. Or, for that matter, this thread, too.

jennaratrix, I kind of have the opposite experience as yours. I'm male, been a feminist for a very long time, but as a male feminist I've been interested in the ways that men suffer under the status quo and, in fact, believe that feminism has partly stalled because changes in male gender roles and related stuff haven't kept pace with the changes in women's gender roles and related stuff. So, all things equal, I'm about as friendly to the concerns you're discussing as anyone who's actively been a feminist for decades.

But the reason why I've become increasingly hostile to a hearing of those concerns is because of the incessant intrusive, antagonistic, often misogynistic, feminist-vilifying complaints that show up every goddam place on the Internet where sexism and feminism is discussed, not the least MeFi. Hell, I am pretty certain that in my long history on MetaFilter I've probably been one of those men who put forth a "what about the men?" perspective and was criticized as a result. At this point, if I read a comment I made of that type, I'd want to punch me. I am so sick of it I can't even begin to express it.

And it sucks, too, because, again, like you I think there is a lot of merit in some complaints and generally it's an important thing to discuss but basically ubernostrum — who repeatedly in this thread made arguments that feminism is actively a force for injustice in our society — is the most reasonable and civil example of this ilk. Much more often, it's just vitriolic rhetoric that's drenched in blatant misogyny. And so they completely delegitimize public discussion of these issues, or even the issues themselves.

I guess what your response might be — that you and I and others shouldn't cede the civil space on these topics to these misogynists. But I have two responses to this. First, it's just simply the reality of the situation. They've poisoned the topic. We can't fix that by participating with them in a discussion of the topic. But, second, that's all pretty much beside the point when the context of the conversation is misogyny, violence against women, sexual harassment of women, and the like, which is when these men always fucking decide that it's vitally important that we talk about how badly men are treated. That impulse, the motivation driving the choice to raise that topic in that context, it's not really about how badly men are treated, it's about overriding and diverting discussions about how badly women are treated. And, no, that's not something I'm going to participate in.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:10 PM on September 24, 2013 [33 favorites]


I'm saying that letting one happen and not letting the other is wrong.

Letting one what happen? What I'm hearing is that you object to the dismissal of people who "come out swinging." I don't know why the burden is on me not to dismiss someone who "comes out swinging."
posted by octobersurprise at 7:10 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


it's men getting shouted down for daring to suggest that hey, you know, some things suck for dudes, too.

I am a regular reader/contributor to sexism threads and I don't see what's "daring" about doing this. It usually results in a lot of derailing from the actual topic, which yeah is usually about women and issues facing women. Then someone says "things suck for dudes too" and some people are like, "yes, this we know but that's not what we're talking about like, right now" but most people just sigh because that's what the thread is about now.

Also, what jess said.
posted by sweetkid at 7:17 PM on September 24, 2013 [29 favorites]


I agree, but if you accuse someone of it and they are not - it's name calling.

And who decides this? It's one of those things i've never really seen false accusations of.

It kinda falls in to that same compartment as various *isms and being an asshole. If someone tells you you're doing it, a better reaction than getting all defensive and going "hey no i'm not!"* is probably to sit down and check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Because yea, i would say 99 times out of 100 it gets brought up on here it's relevant.

*and i'm aware that i'm not perfect at this, no one is. no one needs to come in and go "lol pretty ironic comment there bro"
posted by emptythought at 7:23 PM on September 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


we have to talk about MRA stuff too, because it's out there

Lots of things are "out there." One of the dynamics that makes these contentious threads more difficult is having people talk about people who are "out there" to people who are in here. It's a tough thing to do well, and more often it makes the thread worse.
posted by cribcage at 7:29 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am a regular reader/contributor to sexism threads and I don't see what's "daring" about doing this. It usually results in a lot of derailing from the actual topic

When the thread in question is "misandrist nursery rhymes" it seems to me that "patriarchy hurts most men too!" isn't a derail, though.
posted by Justinian at 7:37 PM on September 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


When the thread in question is "masandrist nursery rhymes" it seems to me that "patriarchy hurts most men too!" isn't a derail, though

I agree but the comments aren't usually in the "Patriarchy hurts men, too" vein and it wasn't like that here. From some people sure but not the person who started this MeTa.

Also my comment was in response to a more general comment about sexism threads.
posted by sweetkid at 7:39 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


What makes a good thread post to MetaFilter?

A good post to MetaFilter is something that meets the following criteria: most people haven't seen it before, there is something interesting about the content on the page, and it might warrant discussion from others.

[snip]

A good thread values uniqueness over novelty.


1. Most people haven't seen it - check.
2. Interesting about the content - check.
3. Might warrant discussion from others - check.
4. Uniqueness - check.

What makes a bad post to MetaFilter?

And lastly, don't troll (quick definition: posting purposely inflammatory things for the sole purpose of baiting others to argue the points until blue in the face - basically people do this for kicks, to destroy conversations and communities, for the hell of it).

Follow the golden rule, treat others' opinions with the same respect that you would like to be afforded.


1. Inflamatory - check, but the question is: is it intentionally inflamatory.
2. Blue in the face - ubernostrum quit, I'd say he went blue in the face...
3. intent on getting kicks or destroy conversations and communities - communities no, but I'd rank the topic as hitting the 'for the kicks' and 'destroy conversations' bar pretty high.
4. I think that the opinion of others, especially those who have been in the minority have not been treated with respect, have received well written but flippant answers, I'd argue that in terms of the golden rule - this post fails hardcore.

Lastly,

I wouldn't crack similar jokes about anyone, man or woman.

I feel exactly the same way which is why that thread was not for me and (sorry cortex) I was happy it mostly didn't take place on my watch.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:24 PM on September 24 [12 favorites +] [!]


If you see something - say something. You chose not to. Washing your hands of moderation does not absolve you of complacency and culpability. The thread in question is a shitshow - its funny, but its the sort of post I come to metafilter to avoid - if I want to read a bunch of funny but shitty comments, I can look at SA, Reddit, or even Daily KOS.

Sorry, I don't say 'WAAA this hurts men' - I say 'WAAA this is just shitty stuff to say about anyone.' Is this thread empowering to women - holy shit I hope not, because I've never felt particularly empowered when I've had to listen to some asshat in some other forum online say something offensive about a group that I'm not part of. Honestly, if tearing down someone empowers you - you might want to do a little self introspection.
posted by Nanukthedog at 7:42 PM on September 24, 2013 [8 favorites]


Er... jessamyn did say something. She said she felt the same way about the thread. Something can be a crappy thread without being a deletion worthy thread.
posted by Justinian at 7:43 PM on September 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


I understand how this kind of humor is cathartic for some people... hey, I've got a copy of Hothead Paisan on my shelf. But, well, I think some things you should pass around to your friends on Twitter or something, and not highlight as best of the web on a general-interest site. A lot of people can enjoy it for what it is, but it was pretty much flamebait. It's not hard to see that it wasn't going to go well, and the fight of "why extremely nasty fantasies about men are OK" is not a fight that needed to happen.
posted by zompist at 7:46 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you see something - say something. You chose not to. Washing your hands of moderation does not absolve you of complacency and culpability.

What? I talked to cortex about it as I was going off shift and said it might be a problem but it was newish and I wasn't sure. Very few flags, not a lot of grr comments yet. I didn't wash my hands of anything, I was mostly saying I was happy it wasn't my call to make because I find that sort of stuff upsetting, it's tough for me to separate my personal feelings out of it, and I would have had to drag a bunch of mods in to second guess my decisions because the whole thread made me upset.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:54 PM on September 24, 2013 [17 favorites]


if I want to read a bunch of funny but shitty comments, I can look at SA, Reddit, or even Daily KOS.

Do you realize these are all places where one can be assured any "funny but shitty" comments will be at the expense of women, gays, or pretty much anyone but straight WASP men?

I can't imagine that there would be this kind of uproar if it were any group other than women daring to make jokes about stereotypes of themselves. (Because as we all know, women don't have senses of humor and aren't funny.) Like, they're not even joking about men. They're joking about the way that they are stereotyped by certain men. Can't have that!

There are all kinds of nasty, graphic, vicious and violent sports chants, just to give one example out of many many many. You don't see men coming out of the woodwork to protest how it demeans male victims of violence. But I guess that's different, because it's male speech, and we don't police male speech for "niceness" in anywhere near the same way.

You don't see these same men protesting violent video games, which teenagers play, in which you pretend that you are actually slaughtering other human beings with abandon. Apparently that doesn't demean male victims of violence either. But women joking about absurd portrayals of themselves - absurd portrayals of themselves meant to discredit them - is bad and wrong.
posted by cairdeas at 7:56 PM on September 24, 2013 [80 favorites]


The thing I don't understand is why MRAs are the bete noir du jour. Yes, we get it, MRA's are absurd. They're also a tiny band of shut-in, marginalized nerds who rely on subreddits and comments sections on creepy blogs for organization and communication. I don't think they've ever done anything not laughable, and I guarantee you less than 10% of the population would even know what MRA stands for. But it seems - and has seemed, for awhile - that a solid bit of online feminism is aimed at discrediting them.

Like really? Forget cops, forget abusers, forget rapists, forget the politicians, forget the machinations of global capitalism that ensure women's continued oppression. Forget all that - some guys in fedoras putting up idiotic posters on their college campus are now the enemy?
posted by downing street memo at 7:58 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I thought that the post was pretty fucking hilarious, and the comments on the post were often just as good — once pyramid termite backed up his complaint about quality by going full-on ballad, that was awesome.

The rhymes were great content that I wouldn't have found myself, and aside from a bit of grousing from the usual suspects, the thread went pretty well. (Maybe there were just a TON of deletions, but it doesn't look like it.)

And while any MeTa is more work for the mods (hence negative incentive), this one went pretty well too, all things considered. Dude made his points, didn't like the rebuttal, and left. He can come back any time he wants to; there's a lot more to MeFi than feminism threads. He didn't have a big, 'Fuck you, fuck your hat, die in shit,' flameout.
posted by klangklangston at 7:58 PM on September 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


Like really? Forget cops, forget abusers, forget rapists, forget the politicians, forget the machinations of global capitalism that ensure women's continued oppression. Forget all that - some guys in fedoras putting up idiotic posters on their college campus are now the enemy?

Who said that we forgot or needed to forget all of the above things in order to be concerned about MRAs? Don't forget that there are plenty of politicians and powerful people who ARE MRAs.
posted by cairdeas at 8:00 PM on September 24, 2013 [12 favorites]


The point was that the focus on them seems wildly out of proportion to their actual numbers and impact.

Don't forget that there are plenty of politicians and powerful people who ARE MRAs.

It depends on how you define MRA (if you're using it as a blanket term for any anti-feminist, then fine, but I don't think that's a useful definition), but no politicians or powerful people are posting on /r/MensRights, or going to RooshV's site or whatever.
posted by downing street memo at 8:05 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Like, they're not even joking about men. They're joking about the way that they are stereotyped by certain men.

This is a really excellent point. I felt this way as well, but cairdeas articulates it really well. That's why I didn't see the uproar about the post (and thought the Toast article was funny)
posted by sweetkid at 8:05 PM on September 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


if I want to read a bunch of funny but shitty comments, I can look at SA, Reddit, or even Daily KOS.

Do you realize these are all places where one can be assured any "funny but shitty" comments will be at the expense of women, gays, or pretty much anyone but straight WASP men?

Uhh, SA is far from a safe space and they have severe issues with getting feminism right but you will get moderated into oblivion there for hate speech. They love to mock the MRA type groups though. Love it. Reddit of course has the good subs and the bad subs. Kos I don't visit anymore but I don't expect them to be a major offenders on that either, group moderated stuff can always go bad though.

Not disagreeing with you at all there is like 99% of the Internet out there more hostile to women and minorities but those aren't the prime examples right there.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:06 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


They are writing and saying things on radio and TV that get posted with approval on r/mensrights.
posted by cairdeas at 8:06 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Then someone says "things suck for dudes too" and some people are like, "yes, this we know but that's not what we're talking about like, right now" but most people just sigh because that's what the thread is about now."

Well, and honestly, especially because I'm a guy who has seen a lot of the bullshit foisted on men, I don't need to be told it again. You know who're, like, the best allies against shit foisted on men? Feminist women!
posted by klangklangston at 8:07 PM on September 24, 2013 [17 favorites]


" I don't think they've ever done anything not laughable, and I guarantee you less than 10% of the population would even know what MRA stands for. But it seems - and has seemed, for awhile - that a solid bit of online feminism is aimed at discrediting them. "

Keyword there is "online." Online MRAs are like online climate-change deniers: Able to destroy conversations and well worth taking the piss out of.
posted by klangklangston at 8:09 PM on September 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


Uhh, SA is far from a safe space and they have severe issues with getting feminism right but you will get moderated into oblivion there for hate speech.

I'm quite familiar with those three sites and I'm not talking about needing something to be a "safe space." There is a gigantic grey area of shittiness before you get to overt "hate speech." That grey area is where a multitude of shitty jokes and comments live.

Daily KOS in particular is the worst for so-called liberal men making the most disgusting gendered jokes and comments about Ann Coulter, Michelle Bachmann, Hillary Clinton, or whoever the hated figure of the day is.
posted by cairdeas at 8:09 PM on September 24, 2013 [8 favorites]


Well, I still disagree that the original characterization is an accurate statement in regards to those communities, but I get your perspective on that. The Clinton/Obama campaign years were rough on Kos, I do remember that. Haven't visited much since.

(one can be assured any "funny but shitty" comments will be at the expense of women, gays, or pretty much anyone but straight WASP men?)
posted by Drinky Die at 8:20 PM on September 24, 2013


I remember it too, and it was unbelievably demoralizing.
posted by cairdeas at 8:23 PM on September 24, 2013


Letting one what happen? What I'm hearing is that you object to the dismissal of people who "come out swinging." I don't know why the burden is on me not to dismiss someone who "comes out swinging."

I'll clarify

I mean:

Coming out with a shitty, snarky or dismissive comment is just as bad as:
Coming out swinging (which is also frequently shitty).

Just because it isn't heated doesn't make it less shitty. You're writing off one person's heat in favor of another person's cold.

I'm *not* saying that one is good and one is bad and I am not saying I prefer one to the other (though I have had emotional posts deleted and i've seen lots of similarly shitty snark posts sit unmoderated). They're both bad - but Metafilter has a problem of letting snark in and making heated comments go away. The deleting and effective blacklisting/shaming of emotional people is wrong, just as much as the de facto enabling of snarky, nasty people is.

It does not in any way matter that the emotional behavior is wrong. It is that you still need to let it be said - in the same way that you're letting the snark be let in.

I'm not saying cut the snark out - i'm saying to let the snark in and not let the emotional outbursts in is hypocritical.
posted by Fuka at 8:31 PM on September 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Fuka if you think this is a serious problem with Metafilter then you would probably get the best results talking about it in a MeTa focused on that problem, rather than this MeTa where it's mixed up with other issues.
posted by Proofs and Refutations at 8:36 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, Proofs... I stated that in my original bit here. Honestly - I'm not sure I have the emotional stamina for that.
posted by Fuka at 8:38 PM on September 24, 2013


I remember it too, and it was unbelievably demoralizing.

I never went back. I stopped reading a lot of political sites then.
posted by winna at 8:38 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


After so many years of Bush, it was so shocking to see the vile things that they would spew -- these are our allies? These are the men who should know better? Mainstream men, the sort of men I might meet in real life... this is how they really feel? They had absolutely no self-awareness or shame about any of it.

The way they talked about Hillary - a socially awkward, nerdy, not-conventionally-hawt, intelligent feminist who was willing to compete for power - was, in my mind, a stand-in for how they would talk about me, if I were in her position.

That's what makes the past few years so surprising and wonderful, that I feel like so many liberal men are listening, in large numbers.
posted by cairdeas at 8:43 PM on September 24, 2013 [13 favorites]


Is this thread empowering to women - holy shit I hope not

Did someone claim that? I don't recall anyone claiming that.
posted by Squeak Attack at 9:03 PM on September 24, 2013


"They're joking about the way that they are stereotyped by certain men. Can't have that!"

Right. And there's this:

"It's not hard to see that it wasn't going to go well, and the fight of 'why extremely nasty fantasies about men are OK' is not a fight that needed to happen."

There's nothing about the linked piece or the comments that was "nasty fantasies about men". That's an egregious misreading. People are not actually fantasizing about oppressing men. The only things that come close to this are fantasies about violent responses to men oppressing women (like the catcalling one).

That some people can't see this distinction is actually part of the problem.

And in all the cases where there is actually some anger or hatred against the privileged group, when there is actual violence committed, the response is many orders of magnitude more intense on the part of "won't someone think of X?" (where X is the privileged group being targeted) responders than they ever exhibit on behalf of women or blacks or whomever.

According to Rush Limbaugh, a group of black teenagers who beat up a white teenager is a sign of the coming racial apocalypse where white people will be hunted to extinction. And you see the same unbelievable lack of any sense of proportion or relationship to reality in these claims about misandry. Even when it's actual misandry, it's fucking trivial compared to the misogyny that occurs every day, everywhere.

It's become axiomatic for me that anyone who is preoccupied with discrimination against men or discrimination against whites is someone who is blind to the ubiquity and magnitude of the discrimination against women and people of color. Their opinions are not to be trusted, they're not to be taken seriously, because their relationship with the actual reality of all these things is tenuous, at best. At worse, they live in repugnant little privileged green zone where their hangnails are a tragedy and outside of which genocide is an everyday event and they willfully ignore this.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:04 PM on September 24, 2013 [28 favorites]


I didn't think the link in the original thread was funny, either, but I was really surprised there was a MeTa thread about it. I mean, really? Obviously, I haven't read the whole thing, but I do want to point out that I had to look up "MRA".
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:07 PM on September 24, 2013


At worse, they live in repugnant little privileged green zone where their hangnails are a tragedy and outside of which genocide is an everyday event and they willfully ignore this.

Frowner quotes Adam Smith on this:
A stranger to human nature, who saw the indifference of men about the misery of their inferiors, and the regret and indignation which they feel for the misfortunes and sufferings of those above them, would be apt to imagine, that pain must be more agonizing, and the convulsions of death more terrible to persons of higher rank, than to those of meaner stations.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:11 PM on September 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


reddit.com/r/mensrights
posted by easy, lucky, free at 9:26 PM on September 24, 2013


Been there, done that, the GRAR MRA crap started within quite literally minutes.

I've been around Metafilter in various guises for about ten years now and what you are describing has happened again and again and again. Given the general level of enlightened discourse around here it is surprising that the topic can't be done successfully, but for some reason it can't.

I think you'll find continued efforts to address the topic here excessively frustrating. Better to let it go and focus elsewhere.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:03 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


fuka, are you saying that ubernostum wasn't relying near entirely on snark in the original thread? i don't understand this idea that he was passionately and emotionally stating his case and everyone was just snaking at him coldly. seemed to be snark all the way around (and people trying to engage with his concerns and him ignoring them to snark again).
posted by nadawi at 10:05 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


cortex: "I read the frequent deliberate breaks from meter and rhyme as part of the caricature of zealousness overwhelming aesthetics. It not scanning was a major stylistic part of the joke"

They're examples of a sort of paraprosdokian. A garden path joke.

The joke is that humorless feminists are repressed, seethingly homicidal maniacs who would create incredibly badly-written propaganda nursery rhymes.

It is mocking those (our Rush Limbaughs, etc.) who use feminazi and humorless feminist stereotypes to inflame scorn for uppity women -- by envisioning an exaggerated "tables turned" revenge scenario reminiscent of the "feminized man" anti-suffragette postcards, except ironic.

The rhymes are also poking a bit of fun at leftist political satire.
posted by desuetude at 10:16 PM on September 24, 2013 [14 favorites]


Nadawi - at some point i'll explain more fully, but basically i hijacked this because Metafilter has been pissing me off lately with the hypocrisy about snark. This has been simmering for me lately and me jumping in was about me and what's pissing me off about discussions like this one, not necessarily this one.

I'd love to actually have a longer discussion about it - but as above, i don't really have the stamina for that.
posted by Fuka at 10:43 PM on September 24, 2013


"I've been around Metafilter in various guises for about ten years now and what you are describing has happened again and again and again."

Yeah, except that his description was bullshit. In that thread, he was the one that mentioned Men's Rights, in his first (and the post's first) comment. The next mention comes as an aside within a larger context of talking about shelters in general, and is mostly a plea for everyone to work together instead of seeing women's shelters as a threat to men's. After that, he makes some dubious assertions, gets shut down hard by cairdeas, and the overall thread is even on balance sympathetic to the problem that ubernostrum wanted to address. He mistook a bit of snark and a bit of elbows-out criticism (that he absolutely deserved for misrepresenting funding statements) for the thread being GRA MRA crap. (I re-read the first half or so; if it devolved after that, it wasn't in "minutes" in any reasonable sense.) He took less shit than most feminism FPPs, and still was unhappy and brings it up as a grudge even now. His was even a good post — he was the one who ruined his experience by, if I might mangle a metaphor, repeatedly climbing onto his hobbyhorse no matter how many times he got knocked off.

So, yeah, for years people have come to MeTa to disingenuously complain about shit they started not going their way, and you're totally right that the solution is to focus their energy elsewhere, but that's not because of any real flaw in MeFi not kowtowing to the po-faced.
posted by klangklangston at 11:03 PM on September 24, 2013 [12 favorites]


Looking back at that thread, looks like I may have been the early offender on referencing MRA groups. Sorry ubernostrum, if you are still reading, but I care about this issue a lot too and I really feel MRA groups are an impediment to it being taken seriously.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:14 PM on September 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah, except that his description was bullshit.

Point taken in this case, although I firmly believe the thread would have augured in regardless.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:30 PM on September 24, 2013


Nanukthedog: "If you see something - say something. You chose not to. Washing your hands of moderation does not absolve you of complacency and culpability. "

This is pompous. Why not lecture cortex like this since he was on duty for most of it? And then maybe you'd also recognize that, hey, she did give cortex a heads up about it.
posted by boo_radley at 11:32 PM on September 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


(Just to be clear I don't think that thread augured in badly, but I find it very frustrating to read in parts.)
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:32 PM on September 24, 2013


"Why not lecture cortex like this since he was on duty for most of it?"

Uh, because we don't want anything to distract Cortex from LARP Quest, lest it become another Baseball Card Comics. Same reason Lorne Michaels didn't bother Chris Kattan with day-to-day SNL stuff after Kattan got big with Corky Romano.
posted by klangklangston at 11:46 PM on September 24, 2013


Reddit of course has the good subs and the bad subs.

I'll preface this by saying this is one of my hobbyhorses, but reddit has a lot of hate speech, and the "good subs" are incredibly tiny compared to the major ones where tons of awful shit is said 24/7. I seemingly can't go on any of the frontpage subreddits which are the vast majority of traffic on the site to the point that readership and posting wise the rest are comparatively the size of metafilter while the main site has literally millions of posters. And yes, i mean literal straight up hate speech, not the "well that's pretty bad but it's not like kill all XYZ". That kind.

Similarly, SA seems to be getting a free pass with the whole "lol you'll be moderated into oblivion". I've been around on this interbox for quite a while. Not as long as some people on here who've seen attack ships on fire off the shoulder of orion, but long enough to remember when SA didn't cost money. I've also held an account there for quite a while, but i lurked before that. 4chan was a project by goons, they also used to regularly spew all kinds of humor in that vein including making fun of "sperglords" and essentially straight up gb2kitchen type of jokes non stop. And not just in FYAD or whatever, the whole culture was fucked up. The solution seemed to be to just slap a lid on it, but there's still plenty of questionable humor there in the same way that a lot of sites won't let you say the N word but you can say all kinds of "friend of the family" type of shit like the old SA wordfilters. The people who make those jokes are still there, and still say some questionable stuff. They just know not to say it when moms around or how to basically rot13 it so it gets a free pass.

Not disagreeing with you at all there is like 99% of the Internet out there more hostile to women and minorities but those aren't the prime examples right there.

I kinda disagree honestly. I think they're that 99% dressed up in their sunday best and going "See, we're nice! we can do it right!". especially SA, and to a lesser extent reddit.

Imma drop the mic on that one though.
posted by emptythought at 11:59 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've posted essentially those same criticisms of SA and Reddit before, I was trying to respond more generally to the idea those aren't places where you can go to mock WASP men if you want. On SA it is a lot easier to do so without moderator attention than mocking minorities or women. Reddit I can't speak for the whole site because I don't use it very often but if you want a place to go mock WASP men they can provide you some big, busy venues.

Do you realize these are all places where one can be assured any "funny but shitty" comments will be at the expense of women, gays, or pretty much anyone but straight WASP men?


So yeah, agreed they are seriously flawed places. Disagree you can be assured the shitty comments will not be targeted at WASP men.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:22 AM on September 25, 2013


(SA is not the same site it once was, much better than Reddit on these issues without question, some of it is dead and buried....not just buried)
posted by Drinky Die at 12:23 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]



I'll preface this by saying this is one of my hobbyhorses, but reddit has a lot of hate speech, and the "good subs" are incredibly tiny compared to the major ones where tons of awful shit is said 24/7. I seemingly can't go on any of the frontpage subreddits which are the vast majority of traffic on the site to the point that readership and posting wise the rest are comparatively the size of metafilter while the main site has literally millions of posters. And yes, i mean literal straight up hate speech, not the "well that's pretty bad but it's not like kill all XYZ". That kind.


I've unsubscribed from every single default subreddit except for askscience and worldnews. It makes the site a lot more readable. Just switching to /r/games from /r/gaming improved the site about 100 fold for me.
posted by empath at 1:29 AM on September 25, 2013


I second that the thread would have been much more worthy if it had been better contextualized. Every conversation about social justice should be couched in the experiences of the oppressed, and at the very least the thread being discussed should have made very clear what experience was being addressed.

A good rule of thumb is that when you start talking about violence towards people, you consider whether there are people who've been personally affected by such violence and act appropriately to make the world a better place. (you may have heard this before!) It's kind of gut wrenching that so many commenters here apparently don't see that as a problem as long as the patriarchy "favors" the oppressed. Apparently this framing was beneficial enough to female victims of violence that any effect on male victims of violence was justified?

More Meta couching for the Metafilter post, IMHO.
posted by tychotesla at 2:45 AM on September 25, 2013


There's also some prior art of ubernostrum getting all het up (for better or worse) about men's issues, here. My opinion of that thread (here) was roughly the same as what I see happening in this thread: the rhetorical models that accompany feminism (which are good practical things to have) aren't always good tools everywhere you think they should be.

For example talking about the overwhelming number of female victims (or even the overwhelming number of derails and "what about the mens"!) isn't always a good way to address the possibility that male victims may be affected.
posted by tychotesla at 3:44 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm still at a loss to understand how people don't get that the post is about a fantasy, will-never-happen, ideologically driven matriarchy and not about gendered violence, not even ironically.

For this to be irony the matriarchy portrayed in the nursery rhymes would need to be a real and corroding force.

If the favourites in the thread are anything to go by, most people got that.
posted by Summer at 3:51 AM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]

cairdeas: "When guys say, "I hear you, what you're talking about is real, and it hurts me too," I've never seen that be received with anything but gratitude. It's the guys going, "well, I get hurt too, therefore you're wrong and part of the problem," who get pushback. I also don't think disagreeing with people is the same as not letting them talk. (Which also happens.)"
I was surprised to see that you had written this because, as much as I look forward to your contributions in feminism threads, you are the poster I most associate with working to shut down discussions where male voices share how patriarchal systems hurt them, and God help us if they are patriarchal dynamics that cis women participate in in some way.

Its almost as if anytime actual topics related to how patriarchy negatively affects men come up on metafilter, rather than the sterile theoretical concept anyone could parrot for rhetorical flourish, it stands as an existential threat to the maybe comforting yet backwardly gender essentialist notion that patriarchy is something exclusively imposed by cis men on cis women rather than the complex system that it is, both supported by and destructive to all sorts of genders rather than just each 'half' of the world respectively. The conversations that we do have about these kinds of things always get derailed by the same few folks who are more comfortable with the topic remaining not discussed in ways that are astonishingly similar to how conversations about how patriarchy affects women get derailed by the same few folks.
posted by Blasdelb at 3:51 AM on September 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


I'm still at a loss to understand how people don't get that the post is about a fantasy, will-never-happen, ideologically driven matriarchy and not about gendered violence, not even ironically.

(can't even tell if you're joking here, so I'll say it anyway) They probably get that, but intent is different than effect. And even though violence against women is more institutionalized than violence against men, what matters to victims of violence is what happened to them.

I mean, shit, I thought the content was pretty funny. I also liked dead-baby jokes. But I also learned there are people who feel ill for a day after hearing a dead-baby joke, so I don't tell them.
posted by tychotesla at 4:10 AM on September 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


...what matters to victims of violence is what happened to them.

Exactly. thank you.
posted by zarq at 4:21 AM on September 25, 2013


I also liked dead-baby jokes. But I also learned there are people who feel ill for a day after hearing a dead-baby joke, so I don't tell them.

Sure! And that's why you don't have MeFites wandering into random threads to tell such jokes, as would be the equivalent of busting out with one of those in real life.

However, if you are at a party, and you go into a room and put a sign on the door that says WE'RE TELLING INFANTICIDE JOKES IN HERE and close the door, there's a reasonable expectation that people who are made severely uncomfortable for such things will appreciate the warning and just not go in there. The sign itself contains nothing offensive; to be offended someone needs to walk into the room and listen.

So what happened here was that someone who clearly felt that such a room has no place at a party, burst in there yelling PUT 'EM UP! And when that didn't take, they started making up their own jokes that were about specific, real-life horrors to up the ante and prove their point in a way far, far more offensive than any single joke told in there before their entrance.

And when THAT didn't take, they ran into the kitchen where the hosts were hanging out with other guests and DEMANDED that such a room be shut down, and when it wasn't, they left. And that last option could have been easily avoided if they didn't actively choose to walk into that clearly-marked room looking for a fight they couldn't handle.
posted by griphus at 4:40 AM on September 25, 2013 [15 favorites]


what matters to victims of violence is what happened to them

Bring forth the victims of the fantasy matriarchy.

Most of the thread wasn't even about violence. One of the funnier nursery rhymes:

The farmer in the dell
The farmer in the dell
Heigh-ho the derry-o
The farmer in the dell

The farmer takes a wife
Now that DOMA was ruled unconstitutional she can get healthcare through her wife's government job
What, you thought all farmers were men?
Heigh-ho the derry-o
Lesbian separatists forever

posted by Summer at 4:45 AM on September 25, 2013 [10 favorites]


I don't think anyone here is objecting to either poking fun of gendered assumptions in the jobs people have or dell dwelling lesbian seperatist farmers getting healthcare through their wives' government job.
posted by Blasdelb at 4:51 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Bring forth the victims of the fantasy matriarchy.

No no no no. Not victims of fantasy matriarchy. Victims of abuse who might not see the"satire" in the same way that you do.

The lesbian separatist nursery rhyme only muddies things further. We would all be very happy for the farmer to get health insurance through her wife's job. Do you see how that doesn't fit with the jokingly misandrist nursery rhymes, which had been intended to satirize what the MRA would think feminists would want?
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:55 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Do you see how that doesn't fit with the jokingly misandrist nursery rhymes

But it does fit, because straw feminists and earnest identity politics are the butt of the joke, not gendered violence. That's why it works in the thread even though it doesn't even mention men. Notice how no one said 'but that isn't misandrist!'
posted by Summer at 4:58 AM on September 25, 2013 [9 favorites]


Sticherbeast? Of course that one fits in. Because part of the problem is how every lesbian is treated like some kind of butch hardline separatist who wants all children to be born from genetic engineering or something. So if she's a lesbian, she must go the whole hog. (Pardon the farm-based pun.) This is really a thing. That one poem isn't just an amusing bit of 'yay lesbians' in the midst of the rest of it. They assume misandry, they don't always assume violence.
posted by Sequence at 5:01 AM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


The post was literally called "Misandrist Lullabies." There was at least a satirical target at the beginning. The joke was that MRAs think feminists want to kill all men, so here are the rhymes that would come from such a place, and the joke would be both the non sequitur aspect and how disconnected from reality those rhymes would be.

But, there's nothing "misandrist", let alone even straw feminist, about the lesbian farmer rhyme. There's no humorous exaggeration of anyone's viewpoint there. If somebody wants to be a lesbian separatist, then they should go for it. Nor is there anything inherently funny or mockable about farmers who are women. Maybe if the lesbian farmers in the rhyme were poisoning men, or poisoning men's crops, or their produce caused women to catch teh ghey, or something like that.

Humor is subjective, so I guess if it seems smart and funny to you, then we'll have to just plain disagree.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:09 AM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sidenote: a funny version of "what, you didn't think an X could be a Y?" was in the Strangers With Candy episode featuring the anti-racism video. "What's the matter, you didn't think a black man could be a squirrel?"
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:12 AM on September 25, 2013


The humorous exaggeration is that all feminists are lesbian separatists

Also that lesbian separatists is a thing
posted by sweetkid at 5:12 AM on September 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


The humorous exaggeration is that all feminists are lesbian separatists

But even within the universe of the rhyme, nothing suggests that all feminists are lesbian separatists. Just the one doing the rhyming.

Also that lesbian separatists is a thing

They were, and still are, in increasingly tiny amounts. There was a post about extant lesbian separatists maybe three years ago. Either way, if somebody is one of those, then that still doesn't seem funny in and of itself.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:15 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


No what's funny is that misandrists think all feminists are lesbian separatists, or at least that is the exaggeration of anti feminist thought that is happening in the rhyme.
posted by sweetkid at 5:22 AM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Also that lesbian separatists is a thing"

Lesbian separatism is totally a thing, and particularly was back in the 70s, but still exists today around the country in aging collectives with an increasingly dire outlook from a public health perspective as they get older. I don't see anything funny about their very real and continuing struggles, or their very real and continuing solutions to them, or the very real and continuing attempts to erase them from history.
posted by Blasdelb at 5:23 AM on September 25, 2013


The joke is not on lesbian separatists. As always and ever in this thread the joke is on hyperbolic misandrist nightmares about how feminist women think.
posted by sweetkid at 5:26 AM on September 25, 2013 [12 favorites]


The OP I mean not the thread, to clarify.
posted by sweetkid at 5:26 AM on September 25, 2013


that still doesn't seem funny
I don't see anything funny

well then y'all disagree with a bunch of people in the thread and in the original post - that joke was seen as funny by lots of people. maybe it's just a joke that's not for you.

also, it's kinda shitty to go trawling more than a year back in cairdeas history to find something to hang her with. i'm pretty disappointed that you used my thread to do it, Blasdelb (although, it served a nice reminder why i post funny videos near exclusively now).
posted by nadawi at 5:28 AM on September 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


Looking back at that thread, looks like I may have been the early offender on referencing MRA groups. Sorry ubernostrum, if you are still reading, but I care about this issue a lot too and I really feel MRA groups are an impediment to it being taken seriously.

Obviously I cannot speak for ubernostrum, but I don't think you owe him any apology. You were one of the few people to point out that jokes about killing men because their men might be problematic. You were quickly branded as an MRA sympathizer for doing so. I believe it's unlikely that your comments in the thread are part of the difficulties ubernostrom is having with the site culture.
posted by 0 at 5:30 AM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


No what's funny is that misandrists think all feminists are lesbian separatists, or at least that is the exaggeration of anti feminist thought that is happening in the rhyme.

But the mere fact that lesbian separatists exist within the universe of the rhyme is not an exaggeration of anti-feminist thought. I mean, I don't want to get into a discussion of what is or isn't funny purely on a comedic basis, because nobody cares, but as a piece of satire, that rhyme lacks a clear mission and point of view.

well then y'all disagree with a bunch of people in the thread and in the original post - that joke was seen as funny by lots of people. maybe it's just a joke that's not for you.

I'm not talking about comedy, I'm talking about satire - not whether it makes anyone laugh, but what kind of mission and point of view the satirical angle has. People were saying the rhymes were just meant to satirize MRA's perceptions of feminists. That starts getting weird when you bring in rhymes where the fictional narrator of the rhyme isn't acting like an MRA's exaggeration of what feminism is like. We should all be happy that the farmer can now get health insurance through her wife. There's nothing absurd about the lesbian farmer - she might be unusual and anachronistic, in that she's a lesbian separatist, but there's no satirical angle there. Her being a lesbian separatist wasn't even timed as a punchline.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:37 AM on September 25, 2013


Either way, my point isn't about issuing each individual rhyme a letter grade, but rather that you can't always so easily dismiss what you might sincerely think is an unfairly negative read on what you say. "But we're just making fun of MRA's perception of feminists, it's not as if there's some fantasy matriarchy that kills men with scythes" is not an ironclad defense. Some abuse survivors might take your jokes differently than you had intended them, and the stated intention of only sticking to reasonable satirical targets may be undermined by the actual content of some the jokes.

FWIW, I thought the original link was kinda funny at first, but both of the ensuing threads have made me like it less. It also makes me like Kate Beaton's Straw Feminists much more, not only because they were hilarious, but also because they actually stuck to the (satirical) point.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:45 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


other people disagree with you about the effectiveness of that one joke. part of the joke is also that "feminazis" are seen as having no sense of humor, the mistiming is a part of it - that nursery rhyme fits perfectly in that scheme - "happy little nursery rhyme, lalalalala, how dare you think i'm a man?? all lesbians are separatists and i wouldn't even touch a man!" which seems pretty on point to the view that misogynists have of feminists/lesbians/women who choose to not smile when told to.
posted by nadawi at 5:47 AM on September 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


However, if you are at a party, and you go into a room and put a sign on the door that says WE'RE TELLING INFANTICIDE JOKES IN HERE and close the door,

If someone were actually to start a infanticide joke thread, I'd still want just slightly more context from the FPP than was given here.

It's a sign of how great metafilter is that a one or two sentence description of an FPP is often not enough information to know exactly what angle is being discussed. The combination of quality assurance through moderation, and unconventional discussion, makes for a very welcoming place to find topics you ordinarily wouldn't think you'd want to find. It means you can walk into a scarily labeled room and expect to see a little bit of meta-information to start with, to put it another way.

I realize this is very subjective, and to have it one way or another would not be some great moral wrong, but I do know I'd prefer to be on a MetaFilter where you can expect to find context within an FPP about what makes a single link post worth clicking (or not worth clicking) if it's about something that could trigger past violent memories.
posted by tychotesla at 5:47 AM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


misandrist lullabies is a pretty apt description (especially when combined with the title - and yes, i know not everyone looks at titles) for people who are well versed in gender politic thread , which ubernostrum very much is. he didn't accidentally find himself in the thread, he went in looking for a fight. this is a behavior that he's exhibited before when the topic is feminism/mra.
posted by nadawi at 5:56 AM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


he went in looking for a fight.

He used the exact same rhetorical device as everybody else, yet it's fighty when it represents one perspective and glorious when it represents another. It's the double-standards that I find so off-putting.
posted by 0 at 6:03 AM on September 25, 2013 [9 favorites]


I'm reminded of that Happy Days episode where Richie gets a chance to go on a game show and where, in preparation, he meets Quincy the Quill. When Quincy writes the world's smallest dirty poem on a restroom stall at Arnold's, Richie's response is "It doesn't rhyme."
posted by octobersurprise at 6:05 AM on September 25, 2013


Many nursery rhymes/lullabies are violent though. That's part of what works about this piece but also, if someone just cut and pasted "Rock a Bye Baby" versions from Days of Old, I mean, the baby falls out of the tree. That's not a happy ending.
posted by sweetkid at 6:05 AM on September 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


other people disagree with you about the effectiveness of that one joke. part of the joke is also that "feminazis" are seen as having no sense of humor, the mistiming is a part of it - that nursery rhyme fits perfectly in that scheme - "happy little nursery rhyme, lalalalala, how dare you think i'm a man?? all lesbians are separatists and i wouldn't even touch a man!" which seems pretty on point to the view that misogynists have of feminists/lesbians/women who choose to not smile when told to.

The "how dare you think I'm a man" thing was indeed funny as comedy. Although, the same type of joke was done better in Strangers With Candy, because it ran further and further with the idea of being self-righteous about the audience's expectations.

Still, "how dare you think I'm a man" just didn't read as funny satire to me. Most people really would still assume that a farmer is a man, and that's still unfair.

"happy little nursery rhyme, lalalalala, how dare you think i'm a man?? all lesbians are separatists and i wouldn't even touch a man!" which seems pretty on point to the view that misogynists have of feminists/lesbians/women who choose to not smile when told to.

She doesn't say that, though. She just says "lesbian separatists forever". There's no effective satirical target there, because most people would be absolutely fine with a lesbian separatist couple living life as they see fit. There's no Straw Feminist position here, because it's perfectly reasonable to be happy for this person.

She also doesn't seem particularly humorless. She's singing about how DOMA lets her get health insurance!
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:06 AM on September 25, 2013


Many nursery rhymes/lullabies are violent though. That's part of what works about this piece but also, if someone just cut and pasted "Rock a Bye Baby" versions from Days of Old, I mean, the baby falls out of the tree. That's not a happy ending.

Sidenote: my friends have a new baby. The baby was getting passed around. In one friend's arms, the baby began to softly cry. This friend, who is also a parent, showed off his family's trademark way of calming down babies. He rocked the baby somewhat quickly, while singing rhythmically, in a low silly voice, "I like na-ked ba-bies! I like na-ked ba-bies!" It worked like a charm.

The mother was nonplussed.

So, he said, "yeah, you can't really sing that unless you have a baby of your own."

The mother nodded. "Especially if you're not holding a baby. Just walking down the street, singing 'I like na-ked ba-bies.'"

"Right. It requires experience, and it has a specific function."
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:15 AM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


He used the exact same rhetorical device as everybody else...

He absolutely did no such thing. His first comment was noisy snark, and when asked to play along, he replied with some straight-up vile limericks meant to utilize the real suffering of a real human being -- as distinct from the abstractly-aimed nursery rhymes everyone else but him was telling -- to make everyone he disagreed with feel like an asshole.
posted by griphus at 6:15 AM on September 25, 2013 [26 favorites]


He used the exact same rhetorical device as everybody else, yet it's fighty when it represents one perspective and glorious when it represents another.

his first comment was "stay class internet feminists" and then he used the nursery rhyme thing to link to real things where he very much misrepresented what those things were about - not really the same at all. this isn't about dueling perspectives - this is about someone who went in mad and proved himself right. good on him, i suppose. i hope he got what he wanted.
posted by nadawi at 6:15 AM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sticherbeast, ok. we disagree. what else is there to say?
posted by nadawi at 6:16 AM on September 25, 2013


Sorry: to try to make everyone he disagreed with feel like an asshole. His failure to do so is the reason we're having this MeTa in the first place.
posted by griphus at 6:16 AM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sticherbeast, ok. we disagree. what else is there to say?

Not much, but please remember, I'm not talking about comedy, in the sense of whether or not anything is funny. I'm talking about satire, where there is definitionally some sort of target.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:21 AM on September 25, 2013


eruonna: "> The point of the jokes is to make fun of the idea that the project of feminism is to oppress men. Real world questions about the victimization of men are really beside the point, because male victims are not the butt of the jokes.

If real male victims are really hurt by the jokes, does it matter if that wasn't the intent?
"

I'm a male survivor and what hurt me the most was having to read people take a real thing that happened to me, has left its mark on my psyche.... and use it as some sort of "gotcha feminsts see you are being the cruel ones" here in some weird strawmanning attempt (when none of the poems in the OP or the MeFi discussion were actually about it). SOrry, but my actual pain is not for your hypothetical gotchas.
posted by ShawnStruck at 6:23 AM on September 25, 2013 [41 favorites]


Ivan, thank you as always for engaging. I think you and I agree more than we don't; I'm having a hard time expressing myself here without sounding like I'm "picking a side." I get pretty damn annoyed when this happens, too; thread X about bad thing that happened to a woman, man Y comes in and shits all over it, usually starting off with "Yeah, but it happens to us, too!" My first thought is "OMG, shut up, so what if it happens to you? That's not what we're talking about today!" And yeah, some of that nonsense probably should be shut down. BUT. And it's a really big BUT. That is exactly what happened to women, or [insert oppressed group] all the time. "Ignore them or completely shut them down and they'll go away" was SOP for dealing with women who brought up sexist bullshit for years. Now, you and I may argue (in fact, I will argue) that bringing up sexism in seemingly unrelated topics was just and right and needed to be done, and that if we hadn't persevered in it, we wouldn't be having this conversation today. And maybe every single person who has ever come into a feminism thread with a "What about the poor oppressed men?" story has impure motives; but whether or not that's true, that seems to be the default assumption.

There are people who have come right out and said that MRA concerns are bullshit, they're just wrong, and they don't deserve a place in the discussion. That may very well be true; I'm pretty close to holding that opinion myself. But, see, that's exactly the same shit people said about feminism. To be clear, I'm not equating these two points of view; there is such a thing as right and wrong, and some things fall pretty clearly into either category. But shouting "I'm right, and your position is wrong!" isn't a great argument, and sometimes that's what these things end up sounding like.

Believe me, I hear all the objections, and agree with them. There is no thousands of years long, institutionalized system of oppression of men. Men are not being discriminated against as a socially accepted standard. Feminists don't really want to kill all men. Feminists don't really want to eject all men from positions of power and completely take over (well, maybe some do). Even if all of those things were true, women don't have the power to actually do any of them. Most MRA whining seems to be simply petulant pissiness about the fact that the status quo is changing, and that means that the power balance is slowly shifting in favor of more equality, which means that those who have traditionally held all the power and stuff are losing their grip on some of it. Men already have all the rights, so the MRA position is frankly a load of shit (in my personal opinion). However, that doesn't change the fact that this is actually what some people believe, rightly or wrongly. And again, in my personal opinion, assuming the worst motives and intentions and jumping all over anyone who comes into a discussion with a different set of concerns for the express intent of shutting them up because their beliefs are (in your opinion) invalid is poor form, no matter who you do it to and what their opinions are. And it happens a lot. I don't think that is a particularly good thing.

People may disagree; I've seen variations of "some points of view don't deserve a place at the podium," and I can certainly understand that. But it is hostile, and exclusionary, and can come off as snark. Is that what people like ubernostrum, and ThatFuzzyBastard, and 0 are talking about? I don't know, and I tend to think not, but it's possible.

The TL;DR version: Just because you vehemently disagree with a person's position on a topic does not necessarily mean they don't have a place at the discussion of that topic. I know not everyone agrees with this, but that's my .02.

Having said all that - (yeah, I know) - if some of these people have legitimate concerns anything like the ones I've tried to talk about, they aren't presenting them particularly well. I know, I know, that sounds suspiciously like a "tone" argument. But really, starting off your argument for equal time with "stay classy internet feminists" is... not really a productive way to make a reasonable case that you're being unfairly ignored.
posted by jennaratrix at 6:24 AM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sticherbeast, i hear you. we still disagree. i've told you my reading of the satire and you disagree with it so i'm not sure why you felt the need to restate that you aren't talking about the comedy, but whatever.
posted by nadawi at 6:25 AM on September 25, 2013


There's no effective satirical target there, because most people would be absolutely fine with a lesbian separatist couple living life as they see fit.

Unless you mean "most people on metafilter", we must live in different worlds.
posted by inigo2 at 6:40 AM on September 25, 2013 [10 favorites]


it is hostile, and exclusionary, and can come off as snark.

That is a fair representation of my position often in these threads, yes.

to make everyone he disagreed with feel like an asshole.

I disagree that was his primary intent. I also disagree that posting with the objective of making someone you disagree with feel like an asshole is outside the norms of metafilter. My understanding is that was the entire point of the OP. The difficult part is whether one comes off as an asshole themselves in pursuit of the objective.
posted by 0 at 6:40 AM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


How was the OP designed to make anyone feel like an asshole?
posted by Summer at 6:47 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


My understanding is that was the entire point of the OP.

Where did you get this understanding? Did you email Mallory Ortberg and ask?
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 6:48 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I disagree that was his primary intent.

If that wasn't his primary intent, it was presented horribly. Accusing people of implying "that violence against men doesn't truly happen, or isn't endemic" merely because they didn't mention men seems exactly like the kind of thing intended to make people feel like assholes. He made a deductive leap based on nothing and presented it as evidence supporting his point.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:49 AM on September 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


I've seen variations of "some points of view don't deserve a place at the podium," and I can certainly understand that. But it is hostile, and exclusionary, and can come off as snark.

Some points of view don't deserve a place at every podium. The argument isn't over if people can write what they want; they can write anything they want anytime they want—it's a big world! The argument is over where and when they can write what they want.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:50 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


jennaratrix: " There are people who have come right out and said that MRA concerns are bullshit, they're just wrong, and they don't deserve a place in the discussion. That may very well be true; I'm pretty close to holding that opinion myself. But, see, that's exactly the same shit people said about feminism. To be clear, I'm not equating these two points of view; there is such a thing as right and wrong, and some things fall pretty clearly into either category. But shouting "I'm right, and your position is wrong!" isn't a great argument, and sometimes that's what these things end up sounding like."

The problem is, MRA arguments typically veer pretty far into ugly misogynistic territory and the folks who take a stand for MRA on Mefi tend to make hyperbolic arguments that bear no resemblance to reality and are easily debunked with a quick search.

This thread, is just over a year old and can serve as an example. Argument made by the OP: Mefi has gone from being a Boyzone and hostile to women, and has turned into a Girlzone which is hostile to men. The example the OP used is rapidly debunked. The greater argument isn't shouted down, but argued against with examples and relayed personal experiences.

One of the biggest pains in the ass about threads related to harassment (and related topics) on MeFi is the constant need to restate the same points again and again to a new (and sometimes an old) audience. The need to explain that yes, harassment is a serious problem, and yes, many women do in fact live with it daily. And no, men don't experience this to the same degree if at all.

It's completely understandable that people who have spent years pushing back against erroneous, condescending and harmful assumptions and attitudes might become exasperated to have to do so yet again, as if they've never made a lick of progress. Yes, such arguments are made a person at a time. Yes, this is how sea changes happen: incrementally and glacially. But it can be incredibly frustrating and depressing to have to repeat oneself ad infinitum.

Also, I do think there is positive value in pushing back hard against misogyny when it is expressed. Just as we might do with blatant racism. Showing that misogyny is not acceptable here, at all.
posted by zarq at 6:51 AM on September 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


Blasdelb: "I was surprised to see that you had written this because, as much as I look forward to your contributions in feminism threads, you are the poster I most associate with working to shut down discussions where male voices share how patriarchal systems hurt them, and God help us if they are patriarchal dynamics that cis women participate in in some way. "

I agree with you that it is difficult to discuss how patriarchy negatively affects men on mefi. I think that difficulty is compounded by quite a few men who use the issue to grind their anti-women, anti-feminism axes and drown the rest of us out.

I don't think you're being fair to cairdeas here. The Michael Ian Black link in the post in question wasn't framed as a conversation between men. It was an essay directed at women from the outset. She certainly wasn't the only person in that thread who read it that way. I did too and I didn't even participate in the conversation.
posted by zarq at 6:58 AM on September 25, 2013 [9 favorites]


I would have flagged that thread if I'd seen it earlier than I did. I get the joke, but I think it's a bad joke that is incongruent with the value of respecting and valuing women and men as equals. It's a joke that's funny to people on one side of a pitched battle against a nutty, tone-deaf opponent (MRAs) but it has a lot of splash damage, so to speak, on a large part of the population who, though they may have some internalized sexist or patriarchial beliefs, are not the enemy.

I don't think it's concern trolling to say that it's no more funny to joke about men being chopped to bits with a scythe than it is to joke about women being chopped to bits with a scythe -- even if that joke is just a rhetorical device in a greater point that is not really about chopping anybody to bits with a scythe.

The material in the FPP strikes me as very in-jokey. The argument that it's funny is a nuanced argument about a particular context in which this stuff matters a great deal (and I agree: it does matter a great deal.) But in order to get there, to the place where it's funny, we have to go through some really ugly and off-putting imagery along the way. Personally, I don't think the joke is worth the imagery.

Yes, MRAs talk as though we are already living in some kind of terrible feminist dystopia in which men have no rights, and that's a nutty and scary perspective to encounter -- it scares me because it suggests that MRAs are living in a different reality to the one I live in. And yes, that perspective is worthy of mockery. Absolutely. But it's possible to mock that perspective without using this kind of violent imagery which, I think, ends up degrading all sides.
posted by gauche at 6:59 AM on September 25, 2013 [10 favorites]


Where did you get this understanding?

Apparently the nursery rhymes are a send up of MRA worldviews. This has been presented multiple times in both the blue and gray threads. Here is one of earliest:
The barb of the joke is supposed to be that angry MRAs are often claiming that the pendulum has swung, that feminism has gone too far, and that the world hates and reviles men.
How are these MRA people supposed to feel about being the barb of these jokes if not "like an asshole"?

Now, I don't exactly buy entirely into that being the intent of the rhymes because so much focus seems to be on the idea that MRAs actually believe feminists want to kill men, which I don't feel is accurate MRA rhetoric. I think the intent is more blowing off steam. Still MRAs are assholes and therefore this satire of their views is glorious is a fair understanding of arguments I have seen presented IMO.
posted by 0 at 7:03 AM on September 25, 2013


Every joke is offensive to somebody. - rocket88
Jokes can be a way of expressing a point of view that you want to test. When somebody tells a racist joke, and everybody laughs, we all have an idea of the level of comfort everybody has with racism. And if somebody calls it out, the joke-teller says Just kidding. / It's just a joke./ Get a sense of humor. There's a lot of subtext in many jokes, a lot of power, and more than a little toxicity.

I'm confident that you can find some non-offensive jokes in one of the many MeFi & Ask.Me joke threads. Here's a start:
GQs-100-Funniest-Jokes-of-All-Time
Whats-the-funniest-joke-that-doesnt-involve-making-fun-of-anyone
The-worlds-funniest-joke
posted by theora55 at 7:08 AM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


I don't think you're being fair to cairdeas here. The Michael Ian Black link in the post in question wasn't framed as a conversation between men. It was an essay directed at women from the outset. She certainly wasn't the only person in that thread who read it that way. I did too and I didn't even participate in the conversation.

Yea I agree that was weird. Blasdelb didn't even link to a particular comment, just the whole thread as an example of "cairdeas shutting down conversation" which seems really unfair given that she didn't post that, wasn't the only one participating, or wasn't even the first commenter (that would be me).
posted by sweetkid at 7:08 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I tend to (as has been reflected here I'm sure) side with kind speech unless it serves a very specific needed purpose. I.e. as we saw in the thread about polarizing opinions, insults and terse/snarky/sarcastic speech can sway people where calm words don't make a dent.

That is unfortunate and what is further unfortunate is that it motivates people to take a different side simply because of snark-- rather than motivating people to re-examine their presumption by seeking further facts, history, theory and research on the issue.

So it's not the ideal way to make change because it essentially means you're shoving ignorant uneducated people towards a different blindly accepted ignorant opinion. However, if those peoples opinions are generating actually harmful behaviors of disenfranchising and othering specific people or supporting rape culture or supporting systemic walls to need resources for specific people.... even if you can't MAKE people become actually aware and empathetic and cognitively capable of understanding the realities of what actions should follow that empathy-- it's sill better to steer the sheep away from stampeding on the innocent by virtue of being caught up in the ignorant herd, as it were.

What I mean to say is, snark and hurtful speech should only be used as a defensive reaction in tandem with more effective means of awakening people to actual meaningful compassion (which is a much more difficult task). In the meantime of creating a population that is human to all it's members and protects individuals from each other as well as the whole--- people will need to resort to some of these tactics in hope of swaying whatever low empathy sheeple can be swayed by virtue of forceful speech alone. Yes you will cause the oppositional defiant people to oppose you and the sheeple will follow, it's all very complicated and difficult to affect social change unfortunately.

What I mean to say is, personally I don't like violent humor at all, and I can't claim to know it's efficacy in this case-- however, I understand why many would take to it and until many extremely important women's issues start getting more traction I'm sympathetic to the trend of resorting to insultive language or violent humor. Even if it does nothing but relieve the stress of women who deal with outright hatred and rage simply for daring to stand up to social conventions that expect them to take sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, assault, general sexism, and policy that do not reflect the health needs of women who deal with issues of fertility, birth, lactation, and child rearing in ways that are different than what cis men deal with, or provide adequate protections and services and supports in relation to those things.

Stress relief is a good thing. If it helps rebuild those who are injured by the ways they have been treated, I find good in it.

I have mixed feelings about dark humor though, in general. But I do tend to suck the fun out of everything as I have an ascetic streak about anything that could potentially cause harm to anyone anywhere. No fun that could have any harm associated with it! My land will be a bubble land where everything is wrapped in bubble wrap and we all go to bed on time, listen to music softly, eat our veggies, drink in moderation, do not use cars, and use our nice words. And there are plentiful hugs but only for those who would like them.

I agree with gauche in terms of my preferences, even though I feel it's a careful thing to squelch retaliation speech to the kind of filth produced by misogynists who I think SHOULD be addressed. I do not think ignoring them and wishing they would disappear will make it so as nice of a thought as that is. I am however a fan of effective strategy to address such problems which means learning about research on how people react to various forms of empathy training,education, and awareness campaigns is an important part of designing them to reach the intended audience and have the desired impact.
posted by xarnop at 7:10 AM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


You know who're, like, the best allies against shit foisted on men? Feminist women!

We had a long series of jokess about killing men because of their gender. One joke after another where the punchline was, quite literally, "kill all the men." When anyone said "Hey, this is hurtful to me," the reply was "You don't get the joke!" People who respond to your pain with "Aw, you just don't get the joke" are not allies.

Now, if you want to insist that a joke with sufficiently fantasical context cannot possibly be hurtful, and that people who get upset about such jokes are oversensitive, misunderstanding humor, and otherwise worthy of dismissal, well, carry on. That argument has been dismissed here before, but if it gains traction, that would change a number of discussions.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 7:16 AM on September 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


...so much focus seems to be on the idea that MRAs actually believe feminists want to kill men, which I don't feel is accurate MRA rhetoric. I think the intent is more blowing off steam.

I think that the misandrist nursery rhymes are likewise a kind of blowing off steam. That's why they are funny to a lot of the feminists here: because it's stressful and weird to encounter the MRA perspective which seems, to me, fairly unhinged from reality, and if you spend much time engaging with that perspective you probably need to blow off some steam. I totally get that.

But -- on both sides -- how we blow off steam matters. How we talk about people when we're venting, after they are gone, to other people in a safe space, matters, because the words we use, the language we use, affects how we see people, how we respect them even when they are wrong and stressful and weird.
posted by gauche at 7:16 AM on September 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


Yeah I find the agenda of many MRA's, even the self proclaimed "nice" ones to often be terrifying.

Encouraging less persecution of sexual assaults and more doubt about victims claims, encouraging men to have more power to remove even infants from a wife in a divorce without any respect to bonds that can develop after birth and during nursing and lactation in the first few years, ensuring that claims of male violence in divorce cases are taken less seriously and don't impact custody as often...

These things scare the living shit out of me, and more so when calm "nice" people share these are their views. Those people scare the shit out of me much more than the clearly enraged misogynist who claims to value actually abusing women because at least with most people such men damage their own credibility.

On the other side, I DO agree with taking men's claims of abuse more seriously, of acknowledging that male rape happens, even by women, and there might be gender based needs in terms of supporting men who cope with the aftermath of such, that men are often shoved into a damaging view of what their service to society and worth to society should be... these are all things I can get behind and I actually SOUGHT OUT the MRA movement thinking it was something I would support. I have not yet found a community of such men that isn't teeming with misogynistic agendas, though I guess I could believe hypothetically they could be out there. I don't have any strength left to witness any more of that filth to go looking for the "good" mra's that supposedly exist.
posted by xarnop at 7:27 AM on September 25, 2013 [11 favorites]


ubernostrum: “People do seem to be saying that it exists only as a fevered paranoid dream of misogynistic MRAs.”

They are right. Bands of roving feminists castrating men and killing babies only exist in the fevered paranoid dreams of misogynist MRAs. Those things do not exist in the real world.

In the real world, men are raped - sometimes by women, but usually by men. But men are raped. At similar rates to women. That is a thing that happens in the world.

That is why the rape of men was expressly and emphatically not the subject of the humor in that link. And if it had been, the link would have been unfunny and in fact offensive.

So the question we come back to is: why did you bring rape into it?
posted by koeselitz at 7:28 AM on September 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


I think that the misandrist nursery rhymes are likewise a kind of blowing off steam.

To be clear, I meant 'blowing off steam' as the intent of the rhymes. I can see how I was unclear there.
posted by 0 at 7:30 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


TFB, that's because no real shit has been foisted upon men, in general, in the lullaby thread. The shit has been foisted upon MRA types who are being sent up for believing that things have gone too far and it's time to start watching out for feminist revenge.
posted by MoonOrb at 7:33 AM on September 25, 2013


One joke after another where the punchline was, quite literally, "kill all the men."

Except, the punchline isn't 'kill all the men', as has been pointed out before. The punchline is 'these people seriously think we want to kill all the men, can you believe how ridiculous that is?' Nobody finds 'kill all the men' funny, they find 'these MRA types think that feminists are seriously out to destroy them and steal their precious bodily fluids' funny (in kind of a laugh-so-you-don't-cry sort of way).

Nobody wants to actually eat the poor, either.
posted by Sequence at 7:34 AM on September 25, 2013 [17 favorites]


When anyone said "Hey, this is hurtful to me," the reply was "You don't get the joke!" People who respond to your pain with "Aw, you just don't get the joke" are not allies.

Now, if you want to insist that a joke with sufficiently fantasical context cannot possibly be hurtful, and that people who get upset about such jokes are oversensitive, misunderstanding humor, and otherwise worthy of dismissal, well, carry on. That argument has been dismissed here before, but if it gains traction, that would change a number of discussions.


Is this about your dickwolves crusade? Because 1) these are not even remotely similar cases, and 2) you should really be listening to your own advice here.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:34 AM on September 25, 2013 [9 favorites]


How are these MRA people supposed to feel about being the barb of these jokes if not "like an asshole"?

It's important to distinguish between men in general and "these MRA people" here, but having done that, why should I even care if some "MRA person" feels like an asshole? My experience of "these MRA people" goes back to the days of soc.men and I've never encountered a single one who actually identified as an "MRA" who wasn't a raging nutter or was likely to give any reciprocal respect in return. I frankly don't care if some MRA shakes with humiliation while he reads a page of fantastically hyperbolic dumb jokes.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:49 AM on September 25, 2013 [11 favorites]


I think the term 'MRA' is kind of unhelpful when used to mean shitbag sexists in general and not the actual (non-)movement in question. What I mean is, the kind of men who carry the entitled, petulant argumentarian sexism we associate with MRAs are not even remotely unique to or contained within actual self-identifying MRA organisations, and using 'MRA' as a signifier for this kind of man both understates how common they are and hands out an easy escape hatch of 'well, I'm not part of these ridiculous movements!' when someone's outlook is terrible and sexist in itself.
posted by emmtee at 7:55 AM on September 25, 2013 [12 favorites]


The framing of the MeTa was a little off, but I had at least some sympathy for the idea behind it... but seriously the bit with "feminism is not Hitler, and rape crisis workers not caring about men, etc" really just killed any daylight in the whole thing. In a sense I am sad that ubernostrum chose to flame out, that is rarely a good outcome, but I don't really think it was Metafilter doing anything wrong that led to it, i think he painted himself in a corner and there was no getting out of it.
posted by edgeways at 7:59 AM on September 25, 2013 [9 favorites]


> There's no effective satirical target there, because most people would be absolutely fine with a lesbian separatist couple living life as they see fit

> Unless you mean "most people on metafilter", we must live in different worlds.

Even on mefi, we had that thread about lesbian separatist lands and people argued that simply wanting to be separate was bad and wrong and automatically made them a hate group, and that the world would be better if every lesbian had straight friends they could educate. It was a fairly appalling thread.
posted by rtha at 8:02 AM on September 25, 2013 [10 favorites]


Because 1) these are not even remotely similar cases

This feels similar to the first part of the dickwolves thing to me. (That is, the part where the joke was made, not the part with the tee-shirt. See ThatFuzzyBastard's earlier comment for more.) I'd be interested to hear why the two are different.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:08 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


rtha, I'd like to read that post but my search-fu is failing me. Could I trouble you for a link?
posted by zarq at 8:14 AM on September 25, 2013


Here you go.
posted by rtha at 8:17 AM on September 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


sweetkid: "The joke is not on lesbian separatists. As always and ever in this thread the joke is on hyperbolic misandrist nightmares about how feminist women think."

QFT, well said.
posted by desuetude at 8:18 AM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


This feels similar to the first part of the dickwolves thing to me.

I would like to strongly urge people to try to have this conversation without making dickwolves a part of it. People seem to be unable to discuss that topic in anything approaching reasonable ways and we're having a different conversation about a different thing here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:30 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd be interested to hear why the two are different.

it's different because of all the stuff you're not talking about - dickwolves is not just the joke. penny arcade made sure of that. you can't really look at the joke outside of the context of how far they ran with it.
posted by nadawi at 8:31 AM on September 25, 2013


gah. sorry. ships in the night. feel free to delete that if you want.
posted by nadawi at 8:32 AM on September 25, 2013


Maybe that post just wasn't for you

Clearly not, though like a car wreck....

My problem, and I expect ubernostrums, is that the thread has a distinctly "members only" vibe that is off-putting. The sheer number of comments made it stand out; that, and the intensity of hilarity for what seemed at best a Meh sort of conceit.

Some time ago one of the mods (NOT the excellent Jessamyn) chastised a commentator for a chance extremism, and suggested something along the lines of "let the other side behave that way."

That bothered me. Still does. The blue tends blue of course, but I hate to see the occasional reds made to feel unwelcome. They're not all trolls, and you need a bit of grit from time to time, if only to re-examine your own thoughts. Or emotions.

Lord knows I do.
posted by IndigoJones at 8:40 AM on September 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


I have yet to hear a serious and compelling argument against killing every white man.
posted by Eideteker at 8:48 AM on September 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


Because murder is bad, mmmm'kay?
posted by jennaratrix at 8:51 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Perhaps that's because nobody makes arguments, serious, compelling, or otherwise, FOR killing them, so it's not a conversation people are having?
posted by cairdeas at 8:53 AM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


To piggyback on what IndigoJones said:

We run the risk of becoming an echo chamber if we start paternalistically telling people 'that wasn't for you...' or 'you should have avoided that discussion.' As long as we aren't threatening people and can defend our own crappy opinions in a civil manner, we should be discussing qand reading what we want from many other perspectives.

I get that ubernostrum had a near-toxic opinion and was really hoping to grind his axe there, but maybe the better way to have approached it was to say 'dude, this is so not real or true - it's just a really weird, somewhat mediocre attempt to satirize something reasonably obscure. It's an in-joke about an in-joke about an in-joke.'

He probably would've shrugged and gone 'ok.'

And I swear to Elvis Christ i was not taking a cheap shot with the word 'paternalistically.'
posted by Fuka at 8:57 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


In a lot of ways this reminds me of the Louis CK bit about white people being raped forever in the future because of all the crap that's gone down for minorities for hundreds of years etc. It gets passed around constantly as an example of a white guy who gets it. But I hate it.

I hate that joke because 1) rape 2) as a nonwhite person I can appreciate but don't really love the whole "low totem pole" "things are bad for you so bad as a person of color and ESPECIALLY as a woman" because as much as I understand it's meant to be sympathetic, I have this one life and part of why I am interested in social justice causes is I believe it should be as full as it can be and as full as I *want* it to be, and white people being "just imagine if you were not white and a woman, it would be so bad" is just starting on negative footing (also negates the fact that some minority groups have more advantage than others, and the whole class difference, etc).

3) as a nonwhite person I don't have violent rapist hate toward anyone, white or otherwise and also feel like it's this weird "us vs them" thing where someone has to be abusing everyone, if it's not white people it's just going to be everyone else, which plays into some racist fears about nonwhite people getting "all the power."

However. I know the joke is not on me. It's not about me. It's on white people and a way to explain some of the rage that goes against white privilege. And I get that Louis CK is a white person delivering this message to other white people for a specific reason (which doesn't mean if you're not white you can't enjoy it, or you must enjoy it if you're white). I also know Louis CK is not advocating violence against white people with this joke.

I hate the joke. In certain ways, it offends me. However, I get the intent and decide it's not for me.

That's why I feel like I can simultaneously understand why people can be upset about the violence in the OP and feel offended, but still think they're not getting the joke if they think it's about them or killing all the men or whatever.
posted by sweetkid at 8:58 AM on September 25, 2013 [15 favorites]


My problem, and I expect ubernostrums, is that the thread has a distinctly "members only" vibe that is off-putting.

I glanced it yesterday, got the joke pretty quickly, skimmed the rest of the article, skimmed the thread and laughed a couple of times, and then I just kind of stopped because I didn't really have anything to say, and I had lots of other things to do (do you know how much energy a kitten has? Quite a lot as it turns out.)

Anyway, I am not sure what "members only" means in this case. There are a ton of FPPs, maybe even the majority of them, that are interesting to a small group of members. I mean, I skim a lot of threads on topics that are somewhat interesting but about which I have so little understanding that participating would not be useful. I see plenty of FPPs that I skip over entirely because I am not interested enough to click, or I know I will get upset while lacking the time and/or energy to engage. It's not because those posts are somehow closed to me; it's because my time is limited, and I prefer to spend it elsewhere. I would hate to insist that MetaFilter cater to my interests (if only because it sometimes shows me interests I didn't know I had).

Not every thread is for every member. It's OK to skip over threads or even roll your eyes, mutter "this again" and skip over them. I do it with Mad Men and Breaking Bad threads all the time.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:02 AM on September 25, 2013 [12 favorites]


The biggest problem I have with the idea that violence against men is as serious a problem as violence against women is this historical aspect.

In Western cultures we have a cultural expectations and reinforcement of millenia of institutionalized, culturally approved and expected violence, disenfranchisement and other unfair and unjust actions against women.

But as soon as we make progress against those dynamics it seems like there is a dedicated cadre of men who start yelling about how the pendulum has swung and men are now getting the short end of the stick.

It is true that violence in general is unjust and unfair and unnecessary and unfortunate and just wrong. But when we start claiming that men are now under the feminist thumb, we are laboring under the same cultural and institutional expectations that say we should keep women down. Because they're not as good as men, and women's established, demonstrated suffering of these millenia of injustices aren't as important as a few years of some men having an unfair and unjust time of it.

I usually try not to do any comparison of suffering, but I think this one I'm comfortable with. Getting to an egalitarian society, guys, requires us to be humble about our importance and to show the willingness to make compromise and take risks and suffer unfairly, a little, so that we can achieve some sort of balance. That the scales of justice are moving is not a reason for us to predict the end-times for men.

We can take it, right? After all, we've spent millenia claiming we have supreme control of emotions and can suffer any indignity. Doesn't it seem like we should step up and do that so our sisters can get a toehold?
posted by kalessin at 9:02 AM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


rtha: "Here you go."

Thank you. Much appreciated.
posted by zarq at 9:03 AM on September 25, 2013


He probably would've shrugged and gone 'ok.'

first you say that everyone was being too snarky and not valuing passionate discourse, and then when questioned about that you back tracked and said oh, no, it's just a thing that bugs me and this reminds me of that but i don't really want to talk about it. and then you come back to say that if we would have just been nicer (and done the thing that was done repeatedly in the thread) then he wouldn't have gone all aggro and just shrugged it off, like we forced him into it or something? he has to be responsible for his own participation in the thread. your retelling of what happened in there seems pretty off from my seat.
posted by nadawi at 9:05 AM on September 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


The FPP icked me out a little, but I try to remember that people who usually get to hold the long end of the stick sound like assholes if they say it gives them splinters. So I let it go.

I do see what they were going for, though. And I don't so much think ubernostrum's tack against it was well-chosen. gauche and sweetkid's takes were closer to where I was on this.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:05 AM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


I get that ubernostrum had a near-toxic opinion and was really hoping to grind his axe there, but maybe the better way to have approached it was to say 'dude, this is so not real or true - it's just a really weird, somewhat mediocre attempt to satirize something reasonably obscure. It's an in-joke about an in-joke about an in-joke.'

He probably would've shrugged and gone 'ok.'


I don't know; I get where you are coming from, but I have seen this tried in threads, at least by some of the members, and it almost never ends with 'ok.' It usually just emboldens the "dissenter" to try and escalate the derail. On the other hand, maybe I am just smarting from the tone argument MeTa of a week or two back -- there are a lot of people who, for a lot of valid reasons, find the "if only we could be more civil" argument to be profoundly disempowering, because civility almost always favors the status quo.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:06 AM on September 25, 2013 [9 favorites]


he wouldn't have gone all aggro

Nope, i'm saying that after he went all aggro it might have placated him. I know that when someone tells me 'oh it was a joke,' my responses are usually 'oh, ok' or 'i don't believe you.'

It's almost overwhelmingly the first but i'm pretty honest when i don't get something.

Also, Nadawi, i feel like and forgive me if i'm wrong (and correct me) but you're looking for (or seeing) some sort of inconsistency in my viewpoint, like i owe you a certain amount of information i'm not giving (which frankly i'm having trouble understanding). Help me out here.
posted by Fuka at 9:19 AM on September 25, 2013



Not every thread is for every member. It's OK to skip over threads or even roll your eyes, mutter "this again" and skip over them. I do it with Mad Men and Breaking Bad threads all the time.


Yea that's kind of a good example, because I always feel like the site would go better if more members didn't feel like they needed to respond personally to every thread, especially if they care about the issue in some way. Like, for the most part no one is sitting around waiting to see what sweetkid or anyone else has to say about a particular topic. But once you post your opinion, then you become part of the discussion. But reading a thread is not like being a cocktail party where you're quietly following the discussion and then someone turns to you and is like, "eh, what do you think?" and then you have to answer. This is like being at a cocktail party where you can just stare blankly and be like, "wow do I disagree" and go on with your day, which would be weird at a party but fine here.

My only exception to that is Mad Men threads where I wonder what all the "regulars" think of the latest episode. That. is. important.
posted by sweetkid at 9:24 AM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


I know that when someone tells me 'oh it was a joke,' my responses are usually 'oh, ok' or 'i don't believe you.'

I gotta say, that seems to almost never be the case. "Can't you take a joke?" is a response that usually provokes a lot more rage.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 9:24 AM on September 25, 2013


It's not murder so much as pest control.

"Perhaps that's because nobody makes arguments, serious, compelling, or otherwise, FOR killing them, so it's not a conversation people are having?"

ding ding ding ding no srsly have you considered going back to Europe? #thingsthatareOKwhenwhitemensaythem #andhavebeenpartofactualpolicyoratleastpoliticaltalkingpointsagainstblackfolks

(I'm a man, and I'd love a t-shirt that says: "Actual Misandrist")
posted by Eideteker at 9:25 AM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Sorry if this turns into a doublepost

because civility almost always favors the status quo.

This is another whole concept to unpack here. I get where you're coming from and I agree - I just... I guess i feel like where we're drawing the civility line might be wrong. Additionally and forgive me if i'm seeing something that doesn't exist - but i feel like we're mistaking 'loud,' 'rowdy,' or 'aggressive' for 'bad' or 'incivil.' But a nasty quiet rejoinder, a passive-aggressive comment - they seem to be seen as 'more civil,' and i couldn't disagree more if this is the case.
posted by Fuka at 9:26 AM on September 25, 2013


Nope, i'm saying that after he went all aggro it might have placated him.

I mean, no one here is going to get anywhere ascribing motives to a person who can't even verify their relative accuracy but from my perspective, it looked like he escalated the situation every chance he got. Nothing about his participation in that thread or this one implied a desire to learn and listen, only to make demands of others and double-down when they were not met.
posted by griphus at 9:30 AM on September 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


I was kind of disappointed by the thread as well, but I originally didn't bother to voice my complaints because I realized that yes, as a male (even as a male feminist), I understood that the thread wasn't necessarily designed for me in that regard, and more as a forum for women to vent. But at the same time, I was really taken aback by the dialogue and rhetoric going on in that thread and lack of criticisms of such. To best explain why, I'm going to tell the story of how I became a feminist.

So although I'm a cis male, I'm someone who's marginalized and oppressed amongst multiple axises other than gender: I'm both physically and mentally disabled, I'm gay, and I'm asian. So before I became a feminist, I was involved in a great deal of activism and advocacy amongst those axises. One of the things that I noticed that took me by surprise was that in many of the activism forums and events I attended, feminist women featured greatly and often took a major role in acting as an ally for me and other oppressed minorities.

Over time, I began talking with them and decoding their motives for doing so, and I was pleasantly surprised by what I learned from them. Feminism as a concept greatly advanced my work and helped me tie what were otherwise very disparate fields together: I greatly appreciated the concept of intersectionality, and indeed it is one of the concepts that informs my work in particular these days - for instance, in my roles as an accessibility consultant, I endeavor to address accessibility in a way that works for all axises of oppression and not just towards the more privileged groups. Many of the words and concepts were extremely helpful and applicable to all forms of oppression and not just gender, and greatly advanced my thinking amongst that regards too - that drew me into feminism because I realized I could relate my own struggles, even if not perfectly, to those of women and work in solidarity with them. Finally, I realized that indeed men were often impacted by the patriarchy - and indeed, many of my own oppressions were partially due to such - and so I joined the feminist movement partially because I realized I had a personal stake in such. So what originally started as a partnership between marginalized classes of people - you cover my back, I'll cover yours - evolved into a greater depth of understanding and intimacy of our respective issues, and that is why nowadays I identify as a feminist.

So my picture of modern, intersectional feminism has been a very inclusive one. Modern, intersectional feminism has vital ties to social justice in general, and vitally so to function - because if it doesn't, we see that the scope of feminism becomes extremely limited and does not serve to address women in general as so much as middle-class white able-bodied heterosexual cis women. This is exactly the issue we even had recently with the #solidarityisforwhitewomen dialogue. But even beyond that, because the concepts of feminism are so broadly applicable, it can serve as a very potent tool to advance all classes of marginalized people at the same time by banding together and relating to each others' struggles and sharing tools and collaborating.

But that thread was definitely extremely exclusive and not a particularly safe space to talk. I personally was disappointed by the number of casually ableist sentiments thrown out - in particular to the male babies being discarded at birth, which is a concept that ties particularly to disability and is one I'm personally very sensitive to. And I see that someone mentioned there was an issue with queer people being disparaged by some of the jokes being thrown around previously in the thread, and that there were issues revolving around non-white perceptions of violence as well. We do furthermore need to recognize that some men DO operate within the feminist movement for partially selfish reasons because they recognize that the patriarchy does impact men, but there aren't any widespread frameworks out there that let men specifically address their issues from a feminist perspective - the MRA movement is out for obvious reasons - and that the dialogue of "men against women" alienated them too. But even above all -isms, it was a very violent and triggering thread - regardless of who the violence was directed towards or who the violence originated from.

So here's how I come out of the thread: I come out questioning if, after I finish talking with the feminists that I work with about our shared struggles, and after they benefit from me earnestly going ahead in my advocacy and say, bringing up the question of how we can accommodate women with disabilities in our developing university accessibility because women with disabilities are disproportionately targeted by sexual violence, are those same feminists now gossiping about me behind my back and making fun of my disability just because I'm a man? Obviously that's hyperbolic. I'm still going to work with the feminists in my life and assume very good faith and allyship; I'm still going to let feminist principles inform my work on other axises, stand up for women as an ally in fields where they're silenced, and identify as a feminist. But the whole affair has just left a sour taste in my mouth.

What I hope comes out of this dialogue is that we work to become more inclusive. Can we rant, are there times where we're allowed to make in-jokes? Absolutely! But we need to keep in mind who we may be alienating. Feminism is a field that absolutely something that many people of very different backgrounds draw from - and we only benefit from keeping it open and inclusive to whomever wants to participate. There absolutely were problematic aspects of that thread, and I really wish it wouldn't all be brushed off because "we are reading it wrong" or "it's satire" or anything that assumes it was the reader's fault.
posted by Conspire at 9:33 AM on September 25, 2013 [25 favorites]


Nothing about his participation in that thread or this one implied a desire to learn and listen, only to make demands of others

Come on, man. You wrote this. Why do you expect him to play by rules you don't?
posted by 0 at 9:36 AM on September 25, 2013


So for the people who think the nursery rhymes thread shouldn't have been allowed to stand, are you in favour of a general policy of labelling or deleting potentially triggering posts? If so, what would the criteria for a likely or valid trigger be? Do you want MetaFilter to be a safe space in general, or just for abused men, or not at all? I've seen a significant amount of pushback from a number of users to even the suggestion of trigger warnings or limiting triggering content or safe spaces on Mefi over the years, and I'm wondering if this is a wider conversation the people who found this thread upsetting would want to have with those users.
posted by emmtee at 9:39 AM on September 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


Why do you expect him to play by rules you don't?

What rules? I was sincerely asking him to stop posting limericks where the punchline was that a real person suffered and died. It was gross and distasteful and completely off-base.
posted by griphus at 9:39 AM on September 25, 2013 [11 favorites]


Why do you expect him to play by rules you don't?

Given that the general tenor of this MeTa is "If you think that people in a thread are being sexist, ableist or otherwise cruel, you should not object, but be silent," I fear the question mark there can be eliminated.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 9:42 AM on September 25, 2013


Conspire: "So here's how I come out of the thread: I come out questioning if, after I finish talking with the feminists that I work with about our shared struggles, and after they benefit from me earnestly going ahead in my advocacy and say, bringing up the question of how we can accommodate women with disabilities in our developing university accessibility because women with disabilities are disproportionately targeted by sexual violence, are those same feminists now gossiping about me behind my back and making fun of my disability just because I'm a man? Obviously that's hyperbolic. I'm still going to work with the feminists in my life and assume very good faith and allyship; I'm still going to let feminist principles inform my work on other axises, stand up for women as an ally in fields where they're silenced, and identify as a feminist. But the whole affair has just left a sour taste in my mouth. "

So here's my perspective. I'm a disabled white trans woman, and it definitely has been my experience that mainstream -- i.e. non-intersectional -- feminists have targeted me and people like me because I'm trans, and dismissed concerns around ableist policies. And while I can't speak to personal experience because I'm white, there are a lot of really quite popular and famous feminists who as you no doubt know are quite casually (and in some cases virulently) racist.

All that is to say that I'm sensitive to the sort of feminism that dismisses intersectionality, and for the most part I didn't get that vibe from the thread, which is why I threw a few rhymes in myself.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 9:43 AM on September 25, 2013 [10 favorites]


Fuka, you don't owe me anything. i just think you're making a lot of claims and connections that aren't backed up by what is actually is going on because you're annoyed by something to do with metafilter generally.

for instance:
but basically i hijacked this because Metafilter has been pissing me off lately with the hypocrisy about snark. This has been simmering for me lately and me jumping in was about me and what's pissing me off about discussions like this one, not necessarily this one.

this is what is getting my goat. you admit to hijacking the thread, you admit to jumping in to talk about something that's pissing you off for a while - and you make the claim that this is like the ones that piss you off - but i'm not seeing it. because it was never a case of emotional passionate outburst vs cool snark - uberstrom started with snark and then ramped up.

and then you come back and put forth that if we just explained the joke, which again - happened many, many times in both threads - then he would have cooled down - which is provably untrue since people did that and that wasn't the reaction.

i know you say you don't have the stamina to actually make a post about the thing that's pissing you off, but it's not really fair to just shoe horn it into an already difficult conversation.
posted by nadawi at 9:55 AM on September 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


That's fine - i get it - do you want me to stop talking (typing)?
posted by Fuka at 9:58 AM on September 25, 2013


Given that the general tenor of this MeTa is "If you think that people in a thread are being sexist, ableist or otherwise cruel, you should not object, but be silent,"

That's a pretty weird read on the tenor of the Metatalk, mostly. I don't know if you're generalizing having been specifically told to cut the shit with the dickwolves thing to some sort of "people in general are not allowed to say when something bothers them" thing or what, but, no, "hush up if your bothered" is about twenty miles from where we actually are on this stuff in terms of general site expectations.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:59 AM on September 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


rtha: "Here you go."

Ugh, that's a disgusting thread. What the hell is wrong with people?
posted by zarq at 9:59 AM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Fuka, is that really your takeaway from what nadawi just said? C'mon.
posted by cairdeas at 9:59 AM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Talk all you want, but maybe talk about this meTa specifically. If you have different issues you want to discuss, post another meTa.
posted by rtha at 9:59 AM on September 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


Fuka: "That's fine - i get it - do you want me to stop talking (typing)?"

How about simply stay on topic. Because you're bringing up things that are barely relevant simply because they're bugging you.
posted by zarq at 10:00 AM on September 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


There's something I think of as the "Fundamental Discrimination Error".

The point of anti-discrimination policy is to protect disadvantaged groups . The laws and policies aim to protect specific, identifiable groups that are believed to be underprivileged.

However, this is widely misunderstood. It's believed that the point of anti-discrimination policy is to make individuals equal. The point that it's supposed to apply to disadvantaged groups only, is not understood or accepted.

So, we get all the familiar comments:

Why isn't there a White History Month?
Why can't I have a Straight Pride parade?
Why can't we ban misandry?

The answer is always the same. Because white people are not a disadvantaged group. Because straight people are not a disadvantaged group. Because men are not a disadvantaged group.

So, from the point of view of many Mefites, it is entirely logical that posts with jokes about violence towards women should be deleted, but posts with jokes about violence towards men should be tolerated. Women are a disadvantaged group, men are not.

But in this particular case, it's a cold kind of logic. Considered from an individual perspective, there are male individuals who have been physically abused by women. Not as many as women who have been abused by men, but they exist. To someone who has the Fundamental Discrimination Error, it seems hypocritical that there isn't the same sensitivity to these individuals as to individuals in disadvantaged groups. There might be as many men who have been abused by women than there are lesbian separatists or transsexuals: to someone concerned only with individuals, it seems unfair that those individuals get their feelings protected when abused men to not.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 10:02 AM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Ugh, that's a disgusting thread. What the hell is wrong with people?
...
Because you're bringing up things that are barely relevant simply because they're bugging you.

Gah. *excuses self*
posted by 0 at 10:03 AM on September 25, 2013


Fuka, yeah, from my perspective -- if you want to have your conversation, make a new MeTa and have your conversation there. If you don't have the stamina for that, maybe wait until you do rather than continually trying to make people talk about your thing here.
posted by KathrynT at 10:03 AM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Conspire, here's a sincere question for you. Do you think you would have had the same reaction if it had been any other group than women making fun of the ridiculous and untrue stereotypes about themselves?

Like if it had been Jewish people going "Hickory dickory dock. Let's control some banks and eat Christian babies." Would that have struck you as an anti-intersectionality mockery of disabled babies or poor people?
posted by cairdeas at 10:06 AM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Gah. *excuses self*

Lesbian separatism was brought up because of the nursery rhyme, and someone commented that lesbian separatism is no big thing so why the joke, and someone else said it's no big thing here on mefi and I referenced that fpp. Which zarq reacted to with one comment. Not a string of off-topic comments.
posted by rtha at 10:06 AM on September 25, 2013 [9 favorites]


0: " Gah. *excuses self*"

Feel free to point out any actual hypocrisy on my part you might be perceiving, 0. My "what the hell" comment was a rhetorical response and not made to deliberately derail this thread offtopic.
posted by zarq at 10:07 AM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


cairdeas: "Like if it had been Jewish people going "Hickory dickory dock. Let's control some banks and eat Christian babies." Would that have struck you as an anti-intersectionality mockery of disabled babies or poor people?"

Can we please not go there? Please?
posted by zarq at 10:09 AM on September 25, 2013 [11 favorites]


Like if it had been Jewish people

Seriously, this is not a good conversational tactic, Please drop it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:09 AM on September 25, 2013 [16 favorites]


? Okay... I am trying to talk to Conspire about intersectionality that he had a lot to say about. I think the point is that women aren't supposed to do things that are okay for other people to do. Can I ask him, in general, if it would bother him if it were another group, without referencing another group specifically and the stereotypes on them?
posted by cairdeas at 10:11 AM on September 25, 2013


We've just found that making analogies to other minority groups doesn't map well to folks who aren't really experienced with using them to make breakthroughs. Mostly the inconsistencies lend themselves to nitpicky derails.
posted by kalessin at 10:15 AM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


It is hard to talk about intersectionality without talking about the ways that different groups of people are viewed and treated, and intersectionality is about comparing the experiences of groups... I would like to respond to him about intersectionality but I'm honestly not trying to step on a MeFi landmine I didn't know was there.
posted by cairdeas at 10:15 AM on September 25, 2013


Fuka, is that really your takeaway from what nadawi just said? C'mon.

No, it isn't. I'll stay on topic because thats what actually is needed to be said at this point.

Nadawi is not asking this but i'm going to drop it. If Nadawi wants to go into it further, they can message me. I'll respond there, not here.
posted by Fuka at 10:16 AM on September 25, 2013


I think intersectionality presupposes conversants playing in very good faith and sharing a common set of assumptions that does not exist here cairdeas.
posted by kalessin at 10:21 AM on September 25, 2013


The point of anti-discrimination policy is to protect disadvantaged groups . The laws and policies aim to protect specific, identifiable groups that are believed to be underprivileged.

The point that it's supposed to apply to disadvantaged groups only, is not understood or accepted.


No, it isn't. White people are protected by all existing anti-discrimination policies, as are men, as are straight people. Those policies work against categorical harassment of all stripes. The point you are suggesting isn't understood or accepted because it isn't true.

It is hard to talk about intersectionality without talking about the ways that different groups of people are viewed and treated... I would like to respond to him about intersectionality but I'm honestly not trying to step on a MeFi landmine I didn't know was there.

Dropping in unrelated slurs and denigrating stereotypes as counterfactual examples isn't really talking about intersectionality. Generally speaking, counterfactual arguments suffer significantly from not necessarily mapping to lived experience, and those arguments are almost always made by people not in the hypothetically-referenced category, so there can be a perception of using others' pain for shock value. I'm not saying that's what you're doing or did, cairdeas, but I'm not a big fan of "what if X were Y though" as an analogical structure.
posted by Errant at 10:23 AM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Okay, I realize it was a loaded question, but I'm going to answer it from a vantage of good faith. Yes, if it were any other group that was not just making fun of their own stereotypes in a way that was unfortunately even inadvertently hostile to marginalized classes, I would have a similar initial emotional reaction. But recognize that it's because feminism is something I identify with and because it generally has been an ally that I am more vocal in my criticisms, partially because it is a safer place to for me to respond, partially because I don't want to see people like me crowded out of the dialogue, and mostly because intersectional feminism generally does claim good allyship so I feel that it's worth pointing out areas where they might be lacking in. Furthermore, it was done very publicly and prominently with a huge number of users participating, which influenced my choice to say "hey, you might have overlooked how might be problematic." So while there might be other groups who disparage disability or any other axises that I'm disadvantaged on in their in-jokes, how I will ultimately react to that will depend on the situation.
posted by Conspire at 10:23 AM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thanks Conspire, I really appreciate it.

I get very frustrated sometimes because I think, while we probably agree on more of the same things than not in this arena, including on intersectionality... I sometimes feel like people ignore when women are the ones who get the short end of the stick. I see a lot of conversations about intersectionality where people are saying that women are the group who is wrong/ignoring their privilege/need to put their own interests on the back burner more. I think a lot of the time that is an oversimplification of the situation, ignores a lot of the things that send the pendulum back the other way. But I understand what you are saying and I think your reaction is reasonable.
posted by cairdeas at 10:32 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


The biggest problem I have with the idea that violence against men is as serious a problem as violence against women is this historical aspect.
-
We can take it, right? After all, we've spent millenia claiming we have supreme control of emotions and can suffer any indignity


On the group level, yes. On the individual level, it varies. Abuse victims don't have the benefit of a millenia of male delusions of superiority to protect them. Mom or Dad is bigger than them. Boyfriend or Girlfriend is more willing to use violence and maybe bigger too. It's an individual problem, not just a sociological one.

Every male victim deserves to have their issues be taken exactly as seriously as a woman facing the same issues. One way among many MRA thinking goes wrong on this is assuming that will mean a 50/50 split of resources. The problem for men is less pervasive than that. There are a lot of men impacted though, and they can be just as sensitive about it and just as worthy of having their feelings respected when it comes to things like jokes. A lot of them will be too afraid of looking weak to admit it though, so it's worth taking care when you can.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:33 AM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think intersectionality presupposes conversants playing in very good faith and sharing a common set of assumptions that does not exist here cairdeas.
posted by kalessin


For whatever it's worth, just specifically talking about Conspire and myself, I actually do think we share a lot of the same assumptions and I have no doubt about his very good faith. As far as mine, I'm trying to do a better job of showing it if it's not clear.
posted by cairdeas at 10:38 AM on September 25, 2013


Drinky, just to frame my comments, I am a victim of abuse. I am also a very liberally educated feminist, trans person, Asian, social justice activist.

I approach this issue from not only a general perspective but also a personal one. I know that when I'm having a bad day, it's hard for me not to take everything personally. I also know that I have millenia of privilege to leverage (should I choose to exercise it) and women who are being persecuted for being women don't.

I generally tend to land on the side of thinking my graciousness is important to any equation and that if I can afford to swallow my panic, pride or whatever it is that's trying to claw its way into my brain and make me selfish about the conversation that women started, that's the best way for me to go. I have the economic leverage to get therapy when I need it. I don't have to go to a free clinic. I have the economic leverage to take days off if I need sanity days and working mothers don't (or if they take a day off from work they still don't get a day off from everything).

I'm totally on board with individual men, especially traumatized men, having every right to be as insecure and emotional as they need to be. But I also think that where we can we owe it to our sisters to get the fuck out of the way.
posted by kalessin at 10:39 AM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


He used the exact same rhetorical device as everybody else, yet it's fighty when it represents one perspective and glorious when it represents another.

It's almost as if the perspective you are communicating is more important than which rhetorical devices you are using to convey it.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:46 AM on September 25, 2013 [13 favorites]


I'm totally on board with individual men, especially traumatized men, having every right to be as insecure and emotional as they need to be. But I also think that where we can we owe it to our sisters to get the fuck out of the way.

For the most part, yeah. For jokes unnecessarily referencing violence, I think it's a good time for both perspectives to stop and have a brief chat about potential concerns instead of anybody just getting out of the way. Glad Mefi is a place where that chat can usually happen in a productive way, even if good folks do flame out some times.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:46 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


"hush up if your bothered" is about twenty miles from where we actually are on this stuff in terms of general site expectations.

Depending on what "we" you are referring to (site/mods vs site/users), responses along the lines of "don't go into these threads to comment if you know you're going to be bothered" is the functional equivalent to "hush up if you're bothered" in an online community.
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:49 AM on September 25, 2013



That's a pretty weird read on the tenor of the Metatalk, mostly. I don't know if you're generalizing having been specifically told to cut the shit with the dickwolves thing to some sort of "people in general are not allowed to say when something bothers them" thing or what, but, no, "hush up if your bothered" is about twenty miles from where we actually are on this stuff in terms of general site expectations.

That's how I'm interpreting comments like:

"Maybe that particular post just wasn't for you,"

"that joke was seen as funny by lots of people. maybe it's just a joke that's not for you. "

"if you are at a party, and you go into a room and put a sign on the door that says WE'RE TELLING INFANTICIDE JOKES IN HERE and close the door, there's a reasonable expectation that people who are made severely uncomfortable for such things will appreciate the warning and just not go in there."


All of the above seems to be saying "If you find the things said here offensive, you should not object in the thread. You should instead move on to another thread."
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 10:49 AM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


For the most part, yeah. For jokes unnecessarily referencing violence, I think it's a good time for both perspectives to stop and have a brief chat about potential concerns instead of anybody just getting out of the way.

Okay, but I have reservations. Because usually what happens after this kind of conversation is a great deal of caterwauling about men's rights. And for my part, I think we have a great deal of injustice to fix, most of it not affecting men (except for taking away advantages we don't deserve).

We men can get really clingy and sometimes very infantile about that and I don't approve.
posted by kalessin at 10:52 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


TFB, since one of the comments you quoted was mine "Maybe that particular post just wasn't for you," I can tell you exactly what I meant by it. I am the last person who is going to say that if someone finds something offensive, than they shouldn't post.

IndigoJones said he liked to be "surprised and challenged" and that particular post wasn't doing that for him. I was very simply trying to say that it's okay if not every post on Metafilter surprises and challenges IndigoJones, because other people did get enjoyment out of it, and his enjoyment isn't automatically more important than theirs.

That's not to say he should shut up or not participate if he wants to.
posted by cairdeas at 10:54 AM on September 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


and another comment was mine - which isn't germane to your point at all, ThatFuzzyBastard, since i was discussing a specific joke and responding to two people who said it wasn't funny (and that the satire was off point). i wasn't saying shut up, get out, don't participate, or whatever else. i was saying that the specific joke about the farmer was one that was repeated a bunch because other people found it funny and on point.
posted by nadawi at 11:04 AM on September 25, 2013


Okay, but I have reservations. Because usually what happens after this kind of conversation is a great deal of caterwauling about men's rights.

I agree which is why I noted that you are right for the most part, but I still think this was ugly enough that it was worth having a discussion on. I should have posted a Meta myself so that it had a better framing (it was inevitable someone, likely more upset, would post it) but I had already talked to Cortex about my concerns and he had an eye on the thread so I didn't feel it really had to be done at the time.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:07 AM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


All of the above seems to be saying "If you find the things said here offensive, you should not object in the thread. You should instead move on to another thread."

I would very much appreciate it if, in the future, you did not excerpt pieces of my comments and use the lack of context that affords you in order to twist them into evidence for whatever it is you're trying to do here.
posted by griphus at 11:08 AM on September 25, 2013 [11 favorites]


All of the above seems to be saying

You just did a really crappy job of quoting selectively and out of context. I'm trying to make some sort of effort to hear you out but this is basically of a piece with the crappy repeated dickwolf thing in the thread on the blue in terms of feeling more like you picking a fight than you making a serious attempt to have a useful discussion.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:11 AM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


I also feel like there's a big difference between saying "If you find it offensive, just swallow your pain and go away!" and saying "Not everything has to cater to your specific tastes and interests all the time." It's the difference between not liking something for what it DOES do, and not liking something for what it DOESN'T do. Sometimes that's a pretty bright line -- "Ugh, could we please not link to Stomfront" vs. "why are we talking about professional sports when there are starving children in Bangladesh?!" Sometimes, as in this case, it's more subtle. I think a lot of the difference in how the joke was perceived depends on whether you saw it as using gendered violence in an inversion of the traditional format as a way of blowing off steam, or as a Straw Feminists-style self-parody of the way the authors feel they are experienced by a different group of people.

I personally felt it was the latter, and I was pretty irritated by ubernostrum's insistence that instead of talking about that, we should be talking about gendered violence where men are the victims as a result; it felt like the football/starving children thing, and definitely like something that could be its own discussion instead of requiring everyone to stop and address it in the middle of an unrelated thread. But if someone viewed it as the former, that the gendered violence was the crux of the joke, then I can absolutely see why calls to "start your own thread" and "maybe this isn't for you" could be taken as silencing and dismissive. That's all outside the scope of which perception of the joke was accurate, of course, but I think this could be part of why there's some breakdown in communication here.
posted by KathrynT at 11:13 AM on September 25, 2013 [22 favorites]


In the typical Metafilter thread about feminism (unchecked harassment in a certain field or group, or the internet pushback to women sharing stories about negative interactions with men) I feel like we, as a community, expect people's voices to be heard and their triggers to be respected even if they are not shared.

We expect lived experiences to be honored, and empathy for people who live in fundamentally different worlds due to the structure of our society. We ask that people respond in the most generous way possible to others' comments--not the weakest caricature of their stance, but the strongest possible interpretation. Not the conservative talk radio caricature of feminism, for example, but the best (most rigorous, most inclusive) of feminist thought, which we expect people to be acquainted with at a reasonable level.

I don't know that we, as a group, extended the same courtesy and expectations in this case.

These jokes are violent, and it's OK if people don't like violent jokes and say so. The jokes target a specific group, and it's OK to not like that when you are a part of a group. Just because the jokes are satirical doesn't mean those other attributes are non-existent. It's a both/and situation, not an either/or. To argue against his emotional response, as though he were wrong or just plain stupid to not think they were so great, does everyone a disservice.

I also don't think it's fair to respond to someone's seemingly genuine distress at these jokes by talking about MRA caricatures and boogeymen. Feminism itself is a bastion of thinking about the problems men face in our culture, including, for example, the lack of shelters for male victims of domestic violence.

MetaFilter should be a safe space for conversations that aren't prima facie hatemongering or similar. I don't know that we have a safe space for people of privilege to say, "This makes me uncomfortable." And I think we should have that space, particularly in threads about jokes about gendered violence.

I think we can criticize how someone shares their ideas, but if you've ever argued that someone should be allowed to be upset, curt, emotional, and not-perfect when talking about sexual harassment, it is only consistent to extend that same courtesy to others.
posted by jsturgill at 11:13 AM on September 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


If the playing field were truly level and women weren't subject to thousands of years of being kept down by men, I'd be down with the fairness that you're arguing for, jsturgill, but it's not the case the playing field is at all level.

In order for women's concerns about violence to simply be HEARD, we need to make special arrangements. Because the default is to ignore and silence. This is not the case for men's experience, in general, of discussion and conversation.
posted by kalessin at 11:18 AM on September 25, 2013 [9 favorites]


we have been told repeatedly that metafilter isn't and shouldn't be considered a safe space - which might be one reason we prickle when we're asked yet again to screech a thread to a halt so we can discuss the hurt feelings of a man who isn't even trying to engage in the thread, but instead just throwing out firebombs (especially if the user is sort of known for doing that thing on that specific topic).
posted by nadawi at 11:18 AM on September 25, 2013 [26 favorites]


ubernostrum was asked to take it over here if he felt he needed to talk about it, which was the correct response. I'm not sure anyone here disagrees on that?
posted by Drinky Die at 11:21 AM on September 25, 2013


I think we disagree on the severity of the problem. When a group of women and allies talk about group dynamics we often get shut down by one man with a problem with us talking about group dynamics.
posted by kalessin at 11:23 AM on September 25, 2013 [10 favorites]


In order for women's concerns about violence to simply be HEARD, we need to make special arrangements. Because the default is to ignore and silence. This is not the case for men's experience, in general, of discussion and conversation.

Yes! Except certain kinds of men's experiences, some of which are in fact the point of this entire thread.
posted by tychotesla at 11:25 AM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


I think the approach outlined in my comment should not be the special case. I disagree with you if you are suggesting that empathy, consideration, respect, and politeness should be anything other than the default, blanket approach to discussions on MetaFilter.
posted by jsturgill at 11:25 AM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


ll of the above seems to be saying "If you find the things said here offensive, you should not object in the thread. You should instead move on to another thread."

ThatFuzzyBastard, quite honestly, in any thread on MetaFilter that deals with feminism or the subjugated status of women or gender issues in general, you enter into it and shit all over the place. I don't think after the 100th time, your mind will be changed, nor do I think the conversation you attempt to have in these threads benefits anyone.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 11:26 AM on September 25, 2013 [22 favorites]


Just as a side note, I wish we could have a moratorium on the "way to go, Metafilter!" comments when someone disables their account. The fact that someone chose to leave the site is not in itself evidence that other people's behavior was at fault. That behavior needs to be evaluated on its own merits, not on the strength of the emotional reaction it (is assumed to have) elicited.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:26 AM on September 25, 2013 [24 favorites]


Conspire: "I was kind of disappointed by the thread as well, but I originally didn't bother to voice my complaints because I realized that yes, as a male (even as a male feminist), I understood that the thread wasn't necessarily designed for me in that regard, and more as a forum for women to vent."

But the thread wasn't designed as a place for women to vent. You may notice that the women in the thread are not telling their personal stories about wishing they could have just put their hairstick RIGHT THROUGH THE EYEBALL of their condescending boss and then deny his medical insurance claim.

The rhymes are ableist because the source material is ableist. Disabled people aren't the butt of the joke any more than men in general are.

Sequence said it well:

Sequence: "The punchline is 'these people seriously think we want to kill all the men, can you believe how ridiculous that is?' Nobody finds 'kill all the men' funny, they find 'these MRA types think that feminists are seriously out to destroy them and steal their precious bodily fluids' funny (in kind of a laugh-so-you-don't-cry sort of way)."
posted by desuetude at 11:29 AM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yes! Except certain kinds of men's experiences, some of which are in fact the point of this entire thread.

Speaking personally as an abuse survivor and a cis-appearing masculine appearing trans person raised as a man, I'm totally in agreement, except that I don't think that my single personal concern with violence or triggering trumps the idea that women and allies should be able to talk about it and vent about it.

I disagree with you if you are suggesting that empathy, consideration, respect, and politeness should be anything other than the default, blanket approach to discussions on MetaFilter.

I am not suggesting that, but I am suggesting that men should nut up and step out of the conversation if their only response to women talking and venting about their experiences of bias and violent suppression is an epic derail in the flavor of "but what about the men?".
posted by kalessin at 11:30 AM on September 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


kalessin: " In order for women's concerns about violence to simply be HEARD, we need to make special arrangements. Because the default is to ignore and silence. This is not the case for men's experience, in general, of discussion and conversation."

I say this with great respect for you kalessin: I think you're advocating something that you haven't truly thought through.

In other words, folks like me, who find jokes about violence towards men (or women for that matter) disturbing and unfunny because of our personal histories with abuse should simply shut up out of fear that we might be stifling dissent against the status quo? Are you saying that personal opinions which stem from direct experience with abuse are no longer welcome here if they come from men?

Surely not, yes?

I've chosen not to argue the point in this thread about whether the jokes are funny or not, believing that my perspective is biased thanks to personal experience. I doubt I'm seeing it with objective clarity. Additionally, I've made a conscious choice not to speak up except minimally on the topic because I didn't want my opinions (which apply only to me!) to eclipse those from women who have actually been affected by misogyny and MRA assholes.

But what you're advocating here... I can agree with it to a point. But not to the exclusion of all other perspectives.
posted by zarq at 11:31 AM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


There are different ways of objecting to the post. There are empathetic, considerate, respectful, "this is just me talking" ways of objecting to the post. Ubernostrum's way was demonstrably not one of those ways.

I don't think that means "no one is allowed to say they don't like the post." Jessamyn said she didn't like it and no one is yelling at her about it are they?

Are you saying that personal opinions which stem from direct experience with abuse are no longer welcome here if they come from men?


We've had personal opinions from abused men who said they did not agree that the post promoted violence as well.
posted by sweetkid at 11:35 AM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm not attempting to exclude all other perspectives, zarq. I'm saying that if we men as individual sufferers of abuse can afford it, emotionally, mentally, ethically, to step out of the way and let the women talk, we should.

Because there is a huge backlog of debt that each and every one of us men could stand to pay for the incidental privilege that's afforded to us every minute of every day.

I'm not trying to be proscriptive. But I am saying that I feel that we are ethically obligated to make threads not be all about our hurt feelings if that's something we can bring ourselves to do.

When I exercise my privilege, I try to do it in ways that better the experience for everyone. To me, exercising my privilege to speak about my experience of abuse in a context where there are women and allies who are clearly getting something out of a discussion that is problematic to me personally isn't the best way for me to exercise my privilege to speak and to be heard.

I think folks need to blow off steam sometimes, wherever they are. It's why I don't go looking for trouble on socially conservative forums. It's why when I find a thread that could be hurtful to me, I try not to say anything there unless my point transcends my personal experience of discomfort.
posted by kalessin at 11:36 AM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


There are different ways of objecting to the post. There are empathetic, considerate, respectful, "this is just me talking" ways of objecting to the post. Ubernostrum's way was demonstrably not one of those ways.

I'm suggesting that the response to ubernostrum was not empathetic, considerate, or respectful. I'm also suggesting that MetaFilter would be better if it had been.
posted by jsturgill at 11:40 AM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


sweetkid: " We've had personal opinions from abused men who said they did not agree that the post promoted violence as well."

Yes. I'm not really sure what you're getting at. Can you please clarify?

Before you do, let me reiterate and expand upon what I said in my last comment: My negative opinion of the post's jokes is mine. I'm not trying to apply it to anyone else or force anyone to agree with me, nor discount anyone else's point of view by voicing it. But I don't think I'm stifling dissent by doing so.
posted by zarq at 11:42 AM on September 25, 2013


I think there are a couple issues we need to separate here.

1) ubernostrom's participation in the thread did follow standard MRA lines, and bringing up 'men really do get raped', though true, doesn't make sense in the original thread unless you're assuming that the reason men getting raped isn't taken seriously in our culture is because of the influence of feminism. Discussing what's wrong with this assumption would have been a derail in the original thread – none of the "misandrist lullabies" went anywhere close to there.

2) I can understand why some people might have thought some of these lullabies weren't very funny. Child abuse is something a lot of men, and women, have had to deal with. It's not hard understand why some people wouldn't think child abuse was a laughing matter and might not appreciate jokes about it, and some of the lullabies definitely went there.

ubernostrum was not the only person to express some qualms about this kind of humor. I don't think it's fair to mock everyone who had the 'wrong' emotional reaction to the lullabies and attack them as MRA concern trolls.
posted by nangar at 11:44 AM on September 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


The rhymes are ableist because the source material is ableist. Disabled people aren't the butt of the joke any more than men in general are.

Just because the thread was satire doesn't mean the inherent ableism, racism or homophobia also gets inverted in the satire. The satire was meant to invoke the straw-feminist trope and make fun of it, but it also ignores that ableism, racism and homophobia ARE very real issues that mainstream and non-intersectional feminism struggle deeply with. So one of the possible implications that could be read into the satire is that "oh, ableism is something that only straw feminists do, therefore we don't need to consider it in REAL feminism". Or alternatively, "MRAs are worse on ableism than feminists are! Therefore we're ahead and we don't need to have discussions on this!" Just because you invert the trope on one axis of discrimination doesn't mean you do so on all of the other axises.
posted by Conspire at 11:51 AM on September 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


sweetkid: " We've had personal opinions from abused men who said they did not agree that the post promoted violence as well."

Yes. I'm not really sure what you're getting at. Can you please clarify?


Sure. You said: Are you saying that personal opinions which stem from direct experience with abuse are no longer welcome here if they come from men?
posted by sweetkid at 11:53 AM on September 25, 2013


I am not suggesting that, but I am suggesting that men should nut up and step out of the conversation if their only response to women talking and venting about their experiences of bias and violent suppression is an epic derail in the flavor of "but what about the men?".

Dude, I hope you generally phrase it better than "Nut up" though because that has all kinds of bad connotations in a context circling abuse issues.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:56 AM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


In these hallowed halls, it is not only perfectly acceptable for a woman to threaten a man with physical violence if he doesn't pipe down, but such a statement will be met with many favorites and acclaim.
posted by Tanizaki at 11:59 AM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


You are being exceptionally tedious, dude.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:01 PM on September 25, 2013 [39 favorites]


Oh great, Tanizaki is here! Armed and ready to air his grievances from comments made to him months ago!
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 12:03 PM on September 25, 2013 [23 favorites]


"In these hallowed halls, it is not only perfectly acceptable for a woman to threaten a man with physical violence if he doesn't pipe down, but such a statement will be met with many favorites and acclaim."

My christ, by the way these disingenuous overly-literal complaints are posted, I have to seriously wonder if you do not speak English or have some sort of brain injury that prevents you from processing higher-level irony and tone.
posted by klangklangston at 12:04 PM on September 25, 2013 [14 favorites]


I didn't write it to entertain.

P.S. please do not call me "dude"; I'm not a stoner.
posted by Tanizaki at 12:04 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


I am genuinely curious as to why discussions about women's issues are, without fail, treated by a small segment of MeFites as either gross exaggerations of reality or overt and purposeful denials of the notion that any man, anywhere, has ever faced any kind of problem. The existence of women's issues does not automatically preclude or deny the reality of men's issues. When feminists talk amongst ourselves, or have the gall to joke about the stereotypes that many men use against us in order to misrepresent and ultimately dismiss what we believe, we are not doing it to spite you. More to the point of this thread, if you think that the reason we find 'misandrist lullabies' so funny is because we think violence leveled against men is hilarious, you have missed the point so spectacularly that I don't even know how to address it. Really, I don't. I don't think I will ever be able to reach common ground with anyone who insists that they know the motives behind feminism and feminists better than we do, and that we really do think and feel that way, even if we won't admit it openly.

It is not the duty of people in discussions about Michelin-starred restaurants to ensure the discussion is continually recentered on the plight of starving children (because otherwise those selfish foodies must hate starving children). It is not the responsibility of folks in threads about cute pet videos to change the subject to animal species under threat of extinction (because otherwise they are displaying myopic ignorance of the wise and beautiful Golden Toad). And it is not incumbent upon people who take part in discussions about women's issues to ensure that we give equal resources and air time to men's issues every single time, without fail, because otherwise we are misandrists who are empowered by male suffering.

It is beyond infuriating for women to have to constantly defend ourselves from accusations that not only are we constructing our perceived oppression out of whole cloth, but that any discussion of any issue disproportionately affecting women is an axiomatic affront against the male gender unless or until we give equal prominence to how those issues do (or even might) affect men. It is blisteringly dishonest, for example, to point to the very existence of women's shelters as the reason that male abuse victims do not receive better community support, and to treat feminism as though it is little more than a tool used in the continued subjugation of men. I don't expect the eerily selective ignorance of the 'white history month' approach to injustice to change, but damn, it's exhausting.
posted by divined by radio at 12:04 PM on September 25, 2013 [84 favorites]


it is not only perfectly acceptable for a woman to threaten a man with physical violence

It's also a University of Chicago-educated boot in your ass, Tanizaki. Imagine that! Dames! In college! Dude.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:04 PM on September 25, 2013 [13 favorites]


all kinds of bad connotations in a context circling abuse issues

My apologies. I didn't mean to be any more triggering than the conversation already is.
posted by kalessin at 12:05 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]



P.S. please do not call me "dude"; I'm not a stoner.


yes, we get it, you are older/stodgier than many of us.
posted by sweetkid at 12:06 PM on September 25, 2013 [9 favorites]


It's only in conversations such as these that I'm absurdly tempted to speak entirely in "dude".

Dude.
posted by kalessin at 12:06 PM on September 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


Nice one dude.
posted by sweetkid at 12:09 PM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


kalessin: "When I exercise my privilege, I try to do it in ways that better the experience for everyone. To me, exercising my privilege to speak about my experience of abuse in a context where there are women and allies who are clearly getting something out of a discussion that is problematic to me personally isn't the best way for me to exercise my privilege to speak and to be heard.

I think context matters a lot in any given situation. I also find your personal opinions about what abuse survivors should and should not say and whether they should "nut up" unhelpful.

I say this as someone who does my damnedest not to exercise my male privilege inappropriately, and who tries to ask questions regarding feminism and related topics when I don't understand something.

Your personal comfort level notwithstanding, do you understand that telling abuse survivors what they can and cannot find disturbing and speak out publicly about is also an example of you exercising privilege?
posted by zarq at 12:10 PM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


sweetkid: "sweetkid: " We've had personal opinions from abused men who said they did not agree that the post promoted violence as well."

Yes. I'm not really sure what you're getting at. Can you please clarify?

Sure. You said: Are you saying that personal opinions which stem from direct experience with abuse are no longer welcome here if they come from men?
"

Ah. I see. That doesn't really relate to kalessin's comment, does it?
posted by zarq at 12:11 PM on September 25, 2013


cortex may have thought you were a cowboy, your accusation is at the very least incomplete if not wholly unfounded.
posted by elizardbits at 12:12 PM on September 25, 2013 [20 favorites]


kalessin: " My apologies. I didn't mean to be any more triggering than the conversation already is."

Sorry. I didn't preview. Thank you.
posted by zarq at 12:16 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


dude, one time i called my mom "dude" because like i kinda use it as more of a like interjection than like a form of address, and she was mad at me for like a week

i'm still not over the claim upthread that saying bad things that happen to dudes is the fault of the patriarchy is victim blaming. fundamental misunderstanding of shit like, idk, the concept of systems or w/e. an individual man is not The Patriarchy and The Patriarchy as a term indicates the system not the people making it up (and the people "making up" the patriarchy, i.e. the people who support/reinforce it, aren't 100% male, aren't a group containing every man, and - well, aren't really a group? like my individual actions can support and reinforce the patriarchy at times if i'm not careful not to do so, and sometimes even if i am trying my best, and that doesn't mean that when somebody says The Patriarchy they are talking about me

if somebody says The Patriarchy and you take that to mean you yourself as a personal individual then tbh that's kind of on you, you're the one identifying your individual self as a representative of the system
posted by titus n. owl at 12:16 PM on September 25, 2013 [18 favorites]


zarq, already apologized for "nut up", but am happy to do so again. Also please note that I am also an abuse survivor, but I realize that does not mean and never have intended it to mean that I can speak for all survivors or what we all should do. As with your opinions, mine are only my own.

I understand that all communications discourse is an exercise of some kind or another of privilege.

I don't really feel the need to be lectured by you, though, zarq, and that's what it's feeling like right now. I have my opinion on the appropriate ethics of having privilege and my personal understanding on my obligation to pay it forward.

You seem to be proceeding from the notion that it's possible to forfeit privilege. I don't share that understanding about privilege. To me, it's something I didn't ask for that I get anyway, and that my best option to do with it is that as much as possible, pay it forward and use it to try to make a fairer and more egalitarian world.

From my position of both enjoying some privilege and having some privilege exercised to stifle me, I've always understood it as a very fickle thing and a power that's not to be taken lightly.
posted by kalessin at 12:18 PM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Tanizaki, phunniemee's comment to which you linked was pretty clearly referring to a metaphorical foot in a metaphorical ass. To pretend otherwise is, well, putting your metaphorical foot in your metaphorical mouth and making yourself, metaphorically, an ass.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:18 PM on September 25, 2013 [14 favorites]


And I for one wouldn't even have a problem with saying, hey, it's not awesome to even metaphorically threaten to kick each other's asses. But that has nothing to do with this thread, Tanizaki, since nothing like that happened in the OP under discussion.
posted by cairdeas at 12:20 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


And I don't see you objecting when male users do that to each other.
posted by cairdeas at 12:21 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Man, rereading that Lesbian Separatist thread, I miss Forktine a lot. I wish he'd come back.
posted by klangklangston at 12:24 PM on September 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


I give Mr. T the credit of thinking he's yanking everyone's chain just a little.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:34 PM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've seen too many threads where "Mr. T" pulls this crap to give that kind of credit.
posted by palomar at 12:35 PM on September 25, 2013 [11 favorites]


kalessin: "zarq, already apologized for "nut up", but am happy to do so again.

Again, I'm sorry. I didn't preview and missed your apology.

Also please note that I am also an abuse survivor, but I realize that does not mean and never have intended it to mean that I can speak for all survivors or what we all should do. As with your opinions, mine are only my own.

I know you are and assumed you felt that way, which is why I was so surprised to see your comments. You and I are of like minds on many, many topics, and you know that I have a great deal of respect for you. It seriously surprised me to see you saying things I interpreted as you trying to speak for all of us. Which is also why I said, "Surely not?" in my initial reply to you and said I believed you hadn't thought what you were saying through. And then I read your "nut up" comment and got angry and defensive.

I understand that all communications discourse is an exercise of some kind or another of privilege.

*nod*

I don't really feel the need to be lectured by you, though, zarq, and that's what it's feeling like right now. I have my opinion on the appropriate ethics of having privilege and my personal understanding on my obligation to pay it forward.

I agree with you that we, as men, should try and get out of the way when our privilege (conscious or unconscious) might stifle a conversation -- especially on topics related to feminism. But at the same time I am uncomfortable with the idea that areas where a person may lack privilege might be stifled as well.

You seem to be proceeding from the notion that it's possible to forfeit privilege.

No? I believe that it's possible to address an aspect of a conversation from a position where one lacks privilege -- even while wearing an invisible backpack with regard to other aspects. It's possible to speak about abuse/molestation as a male survivor without dismissing other people's experiences, for example.

Privilege exists. But it's possible to both have and not have it in a given situation depending on circumstances. Does this make sense to you? I can clarify my meaning further if you like.

Form my position of both enjoying some privilege and having some privilege exercised to stifle me, I've always understood it as a very fickle thing and a power that's not to be taken lightly."

We agree on this.
posted by zarq at 12:36 PM on September 25, 2013


Dude I knew Mr T. Mr T was a friend of mine. You dude are no Mr T.
posted by sweetkid at 12:37 PM on September 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


YOU STAY AWAY FROM MR T'S BINS
posted by emmtee at 12:42 PM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


"I give Mr. T the credit of thinking he's yanking everyone's chain just a little."

I was all pleased for the chain puns of Mr. T, but then I realized you weren't talking about Laurence Tureaud.

My delight turned to pity, for the fool.
posted by klangklangston at 12:43 PM on September 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


On The A-Team, you could knock Mr. t into a deep hypnotic trance by saying the trigger word "eclipse."

ECLIPSE.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:45 PM on September 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


zarq, I think we substantially agree. I am willing to believe that my poor choice words made you come after over largely semantic issues. I'm only responding now where I think there's some issue or we don't quite agree, and what I'm responding to need not be something you feel required to respond to, just noting my spin.

It's possible to speak about abuse/molestation as a male survivor without dismissing other people's experiences, for example.

It's possible, but most of the folks who are promoting the feminism-quelling solutions in this thread are not doing that. They are instead using their speech about being male and a survivor as a way of quelling other discussion and dissent, which is what I am most emphatically not cool with.

For what it's worth I was surprised to have you of all my MeFi friends come after me over this. I think that you and I agree vastly more than we ever disagree, so I think tension/defensiveness from my poor choice of words is driving this lack of understanding between us more than anything else.

Privilege exists. But it's possible to both have and not have it in a given situation depending on circumstances. Does this make sense to you? I can clarify my meaning further if you like.

I don't think that having a sort of virtual quantum state of privilege doesn't mean that I don't have it. I think that when I become aware that I am enjoying privilege, even if that's not the majority of my experience, that's a sign that I have to be very careful because I'm likely afforded a lot more than I'm aware of and my words and actions are likely to be far more affecting for audience/observers than I have any clue about. So when I become aware of enjoying ANY privilege that's when I start thinking that likely my useful response is to step back and let the conversation flow around me.

This may strike you as overcompensation, but it's how I was raised and it's one of the few things from that upbringing that I really value. It seems more accurately calibrated for me than many of my guiding principles.
posted by kalessin at 12:47 PM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


On The A-Team, you could knock Mr. t into a deep hypnotic trance by saying the trigger word "eclipse."

ECLIPSE.

posted by DirtyOldTown

Now you've done it, DirtyOldTown. That is clearly an attempt to SILENCE Mr. T.
posted by cairdeas at 12:49 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


P.S. please do not call me "dude"; I'm not a stoner.

Then stop bogarting the thread.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:50 PM on September 25, 2013 [26 favorites]


it's about time we started talking about mr. t in this thread because wow is that an example of rampant misandry or what i mean the dude eats balls
posted by titus n. owl at 12:52 PM on September 25, 2013 [17 favorites]


This is frankly the weirdest goddamn team-building exercise I have ever seen.
posted by griphus at 12:52 PM on September 25, 2013 [19 favorites]


Mr. T is an appropriate reference for Tanizaki because that show was from a long ago, stodgier time and Tanizaki is old and stodgy.
posted by sweetkid at 12:54 PM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is frankly the weirdest goddamn team-building exercise I have ever seen.

Try making someone a sandwich!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:54 PM on September 25, 2013


Mr. T was also a character played by an actor
posted by emmtee at 12:54 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


titus n. owl you make me lol so hard.
posted by cairdeas at 12:56 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


You just did a really crappy job of quoting selectively and out of context.

I'm having trouble seeing what context changes. Some people are saying I've misunderstood, and I'm open to hearing that, but it's not exactly quoting out of context.

I'm trying to make some sort of effort to hear you out but this is basically of a piece with the crappy repeated dickwolf thing in the thread on the blue in terms of feeling more like you picking a fight than you making a serious attempt to have a useful discussion.


You know, my thinking on the dickwolves thing was "Hunh, I thought I'd posted that comment. But it's not there, and there's nothing about a deletion. I don't think a mod would delete comments without even noting there've been deletions---that would be equal parts confusing and creepy. I probably just closed the window too soon."

I am indeed trying to have a serious discussion, same as everyone else. Perhaps you don't care for the tone I'm using. But we've already established that tone doesn't matter, so nu.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 1:00 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tanizaki comments: 3
Replies to/about Tanizaki: 28

An excellent ratio.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:01 PM on September 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


Yes but will you or will you not get on no plane
posted by elizardbits at 1:01 PM on September 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


no I think people don't care for the fact that you're quoting selectively and out of context.
posted by sweetkid at 1:01 PM on September 25, 2013


Certainly precious bits we won't get back.
posted by emmtee at 1:02 PM on September 25, 2013


Folks, republishing other people's MeMail is a bannable offense, paraphrase if you must but please try to stick with the program?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:02 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Replies to/about Tanizaki: 28

Is this including the Mr T stuff because that was just fun
posted by sweetkid at 1:02 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, it's typical of any thread having anything to do with feminism or sexism, isn't it? The usual suspects show up, make asses of themselves, and they get what they want -- the conversation ends up being about them.

I, for one, am sick of it, and will dance a little dance of joy when they decide to stop hanging around here.
posted by palomar at 1:02 PM on September 25, 2013 [19 favorites]


TANIZAKI USED BAD FAITH TROLLING! IT'S SUPER EFFECTIVE!
posted by elizardbits at 1:03 PM on September 25, 2013 [12 favorites]


it's not exactly quoting out of context.

you quoted parts of comments and left off what people were responding to. that's the definition of out of context. also, all three of us disagreed with your read on our comments and mine wasn't even related to the thread as a whole, which was obvious from the context of my comment.
posted by nadawi at 1:03 PM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


IT HURT ITSELF IN ITS CONFUSION
posted by emmtee at 1:04 PM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't think a mod would delete comments without even noting there've been deletions

We do it. It gets discussed here in MetaTalk ad nauseum. I'm not sure how you don't know how this aspect of MeFi works. Stop talking about dickwolves.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:05 PM on September 25, 2013 [15 favorites]


I have a friend who used "it puts the lotion in the basket" in her dating profile.
posted by kalessin at 1:06 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm having trouble seeing what context changes. Some people are saying I've misunderstood, and I'm open to hearing that, but it's not exactly quoting out of context.

You got direct replies from a couple of the people you quoted, explaining why your omission of the context of their comments was problematic. If you are having trouble seeing it, that is basically on you; I'd say the takeaway is do not do that anymore if you can't ferret out where you're going wrong.

You know, my thinking on the dickwolves thing was "Hunh, I thought I'd posted that comment. But it's not there, and there's nothing about a deletion. I don't think a mod would delete comments without even noting there've been deletions---that would be equal parts confusing and creepy. I probably just closed the window too soon."

You can be confused and find it creepy, but it's actually pretty bog-standard around here. We do not leave a note for the majority of comments we remove. This has been discussed a ton of times in Metatalk over the years.

That you did it three time in the thread makes the "huh, I thought I posted something..." thing make very little sense, in any case.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:07 PM on September 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


When I saw T-Zacks favoriting the posts accusing him of bad-faith trolling and wanting to drum up controversy, I made a surprised face. It looked like this: :-|
posted by en forme de poire at 1:12 PM on September 25, 2013 [16 favorites]


> Humor is subjective, so I guess if it seems smart and funny to you, then we'll have to just plain disagree.

This is basically all that needs to be said; this entire thread is a tedious waste of time. Look, I found the joke lullabies hilarious (even though I'm a guy, so I'm the one they're coming to kill!!), but I totally understand people who don't. Humor is subjective. But I don't understand making a huge fuss about it as if actual men were being tortured and killed by actual women. Yes, it's edgy humor, but if it's not for you, why not leave the thread and go find something you like better? I do that all the time; as a codger with truly obscure interests, I am frequently baffled and/or pissed off by MeFi posts, but I can think of a million better things to do with my time than clamber up on Rosinante and go charging into the thread croaking my ancient battle cry and wielding my glaive against all comers.

I don't think anybody has uttered what used to be a ritual chant around here in years, but I'll haul it out of the broom closet and dust it off for this special occasion: it's only a website. Don't take it so all-fired seriously (except, of course, for those of you who are paid to do so).
posted by languagehat at 1:13 PM on September 25, 2013 [10 favorites]


Allow me to rephrase, then, without quoting any memails.

Tanizaki: I had no interest in meeting with you because it became apparent through our conversation that you seem to delight in acting like an unbearable shitfuck even when you have no audience. Whether you do this for your own personal lols or that is how you really are is irrelevant. I would rather pull my own fingernails out (there I go with that violence again! oh me and my insatiable ladyanger) than to drive to Gurnee to spend one microsecond of time in your company.

And also you insinuated that the Girl Scouts are a terrible organization and for that I have zero use for you.
posted by phunniemee at 1:13 PM on September 25, 2013 [20 favorites]


The usual suspects show up, make asses of themselves, and they get what they want -- the conversation ends up being about them.

I assure you, that is not at all what I want. I would love love love for the conversation not to be about me. What I want is for people to not treat other people shittily.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 1:13 PM on September 25, 2013


I would rather pull my own fingernails out (there I go with that violence again! oh me and my insatiable ladyanger) than to drive to Gurnee to spend one microsecond of time in your company.

That's unfair. I also offered Wadsworth.
posted by Tanizaki at 1:14 PM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


TFB - change begins with you.
posted by nadawi at 1:14 PM on September 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


What I want is for people to not treat other people shittily.

And that entails talking about the men's issues in a thread about misandrist lullabies?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 1:15 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tanizaki, phunniemee, you two seriously need to go back to mefimail or maybe more realistically to just ignoring each other, instead of continuing this in here.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:15 PM on September 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


This is incredibly confusing. Shouldn't comments quoting deleted comments also be deleted?
posted by lalex at 1:16 PM on September 25, 2013


Shouldn't comments quoting deleted comments also be deleted?

That's the general plan, yes. With a mess of cross-replying to deleted stuff in here it's possible we missed something.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:17 PM on September 25, 2013


We had to delete the comment thread to save it.
posted by Justinian at 1:17 PM on September 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


You [drinkydie] were one of the few people to point out that jokes about killing men because their men might be problematic. You were quickly branded as an MRA sympathizer for doing so.

The message from which I quote links to a comment I made. I wrote that comment at the same time DD was writing theirs. It therefore can not have been intended to brand DD.

This was explained a few messages after it was posted, and it is disingenuous— really shitty, even — to come into this thread and make that claim.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:17 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Though it was before my time, this thread is making me lament the loss of the beloved image tag.


*Anya eating popcorn gif*
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:19 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


And that entails talking about the men's issues in a thread about misandrist lullabies?

Are you seriously saying that a threat about misandrist lullabies has nothing to do with men's issues? Would you similarly say that a thread about misogyny in nursery rhymes has nothing to do with women's issues, or is this a punching up/down thing?
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 1:19 PM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


That's unfair. I also offered Wadsworth.

I usually am not that bothered by your posts, but this is seriously creepy behavior, and maybe you should leave her alone.
posted by cairdeas at 1:20 PM on September 25, 2013 [15 favorites]


It might be because misandry as a societal institution lasting thousands and thousands of years does not exist, but I know how you like to eschew logic and reason.
posted by elizardbits at 1:21 PM on September 25, 2013 [12 favorites]


Tanizaki, phunniemee, you two seriously need to go back to mefimail or maybe more realistically to just ignoring each other, instead of continuing this in here.

No problem. I have been happily ignoring him ever since that memail exchange. I was sent a memail alerting me to the fact that he was in here dredging up an old comment I made (which I appreciate, since I haven't been following this thread at all), which at first was just hey, let's watch the show. And then I realized that it was something we had actually talked about, and there, in front of me, I had pixels-on-screen proof that he was being intentionally obnoxious, and not just obnoxious as a matter of course.

I'm going to peace out of this thread now. Sorry about quoting the memails in thread thing. I didn't realize it was so forbidden.
posted by phunniemee at 1:21 PM on September 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


ThatFuzzyBastard: "is this a punching up/down thing?"

Punching up, down, strange, charm, bottom, and top.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:21 PM on September 25, 2013 [10 favorites]


Though it was before my time, this thread is making me lament the loss of the beloved image tag.

My male tears gifs folder is, appropriately, weeping softly.
posted by emmtee at 1:22 PM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think one of the continuing miracles of human existence all over the world is that the vast majority of women do not hate men.

I sometimes try to imagine what it would be like to live in a world where a class of people very distinct from my own, yet with whom I had to interact every day, were so much larger and stronger on average than I am , with a very substantial percentage the size of the largest and tallest NFL linemen and many far bigger than that, and ~5-8% (in the US, as I understand) of whom had raped someone just like me because they were just like me, and I had no reliable way to distinguish the rapists from the rest-- and I could count on displays of essentially predatory interest from random members of this class on a daily or weekly basis.

Would I ever feel comfortable just wandering around on the street? No. Would I fear the ones I didn't know well, and have to cope with occasional flashes of fear of the ones I did? Yes. Would I have a baseline hatred of the class as a whole? Very probably.

I believe (but am not certain) I found the rhymes and limericks so funny because they are an irruption of the feelings I think women should have toward men but most often don't, and because they relieve for a moment the enormous tension I experience in the relationship between men and women whenever I really think about it.
posted by jamjam at 1:23 PM on September 25, 2013 [30 favorites]


I assure you, that is not at all what I want. I would love love love for the conversation not to be about me. What I want is for people to not treat other people shittily.

Honestly, ThatFuzzyBastard, you did this earlier in the thread:

Given that the general tenor of this MeTa is "If you think that people in a thread are being sexist, ableist or otherwise cruel, you should not object, but be silent," I fear the question mark there can be eliminated.

I assume the ableist part was you including my criticisms of the inherent ableism of many of the lullabies in your screed about how people were being silenced because I see no one else bringing up ableism, and I'm rather upset that you twisted my argument like that. I brought up the topic of how the lullabies may have been problematic on grounds of disability out of a love for feminism, assumption people were playing on good faith, and as an invitation to introspection and discussion. I don't feel like I was being treated shittily prior to bringing it up, because I felt people were discussing things in good faith if somewhat informed by ignorance. I don't feel like I was being treated shittily after, because I was able to invoke some largely respectful discussion and given an opportunity to discuss my perspective on the issue.

But you twisted that. You turned my cautious attempt out of love to step up and claim a small voice on the issue into evidence that I was being silenced and mistreated by "feminists". And by doing so, you have actively disempowered me. I am very cautious about where I "play the disability card", so to speak. I always do to so invoke dialogue, never to bully people into submission, because I am cautious about the weight it carries. You took that card right out of my hand and invoked it in an accusatory way. And I get to suffer the consequences of altered perception from that action, while you go completely scot-free.

So again, I have asked this of you previously, and I will ask this of you again. Can you please stop trying to speak for me?
posted by Conspire at 1:23 PM on September 25, 2013 [11 favorites]


Are you seriously saying that a threat about misandrist lullabies has nothing to do with men's issues?

Pardon, your Freudian slip is showing.

Does a discussion of dead baby jokes have anything to do with sudden infant death syndrome?
posted by octobersurprise at 1:24 PM on September 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


I dunno guys, the idea that a thread about misandrist lullabies isn't going to involve talking about men's issues and the like seems absurd to me. You've got to be realistic about these things.
posted by Justinian at 1:27 PM on September 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


This was explained a few messages after it was posted, and it is disingenuous— really shitty, even — to come into this thread and make that claim.

I assumed your second comment was directed at me, but not the first. I think in a context where I don't know you had not seen mine that seems like a natural reaction since it seemed to address the perspective I had just posted. It was not accurate to interpret that the way you did in your later comment. I think the lesson here is we should slow down a bit, we did 4 comments one minute apart right in a row.

No hard feelings, as I said before I was not doing a good job communicating at the time.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:29 PM on September 25, 2013


Are you seriously saying that a threat about misandrist lullabies has nothing to do with men's issues? Would you similarly say that a thread about misogyny in nursery rhymes has nothing to do with women's issues, or is this a punching up/down thing?

Let's just say that your track record on this has been particularly appalling, perhaps best exemplified by the SF con harassment thread that you decided was the best time to bring up the "false accusation" canard.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:30 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Would you similarly say that a thread about misogyny in nursery rhymes has nothing to do with women's issues, or is this a punching up/down thing?

Well the one salient difference is that misogyny is a real thing, while misandry isn't, sooooooooooooooooo
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 1:31 PM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Would you similarly say that a thread about misogyny in nursery rhymes has nothing to do with women's issues, or is this a punching up/down thing?

The original thread was not about misandry in nursery rhymes, it was about a collection of misandrist nursery rhymes. And no, it has nothing to do with collective men's issues. As has been stated here repeatedly, it is a joke mostly aimed at a female, feminist audience about a stereotype we are frequently accused of being.

The reaction to that thread certainly brought up some issues about violence and male abuse survivors (zarq's and Drinky Die's comments stood out for me in particular), and I've found the ensuing conversation to be very interesting and I'm glad it's going on, but the post itself is still not about men's issues.
posted by jess at 1:31 PM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


emmtee: "Mr. T was also a character played by an actor"

Nope. BA Baracus was a character played by the actor Mr. T.

I am here to settle any and all A-Team related disputes.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:31 PM on September 25, 2013 [31 favorites]


Holy shit that's true! You really do learn something every day.

Something about Mr. T, specifically.
posted by emmtee at 1:34 PM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am here to settle any and all A-Team related disputes.

Plans coming together: yea or nay?
posted by griphus at 1:35 PM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Incidentally the White House has thus far failed to respond to my suggestion that Obama change his name to B.A. Barackus Obama.

this is a terrible injustice.
posted by elizardbits at 1:35 PM on September 25, 2013 [19 favorites]


But surely Mr T is a character played by the man who calls himself Mr T.
posted by winna at 1:35 PM on September 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


Incidentally the White House has thus far failed to respond to my suggestion that Obama change his name to B.A. Barackus Obama.

this is a terrible injustice.


His mom jeans would make such a proposal ridiculous.
posted by sweetkid at 1:36 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


griphus: "Plans coming together: yea or nay?"

You know I love it when they do.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:36 PM on September 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


Just for fun, I'm gonna remind you that the first line of the post above this in MeTa begins as follows:

"The Web forum MetaFilter, for instance, which is known for a positive commenting flavor...
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:41 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wow, Mr. T has led an interesting life, and I was inspired to learn more about him because of this thread. Thanks, misandry!
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:42 PM on September 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


Love it, griphus.
posted by MoonOrb at 1:42 PM on September 25, 2013


i'm known around town for having blue hair even though sometimes my hair's a different color entirely
posted by titus n. owl at 1:42 PM on September 25, 2013


Incidentally the White House has thus far failed to respond to my suggestion that Obama change his name to B.A. Barackus Obama.

this is a terrible injustice.


Would Biden be Face, Murdock or Hannibal if this happens?
posted by zombieflanders at 1:42 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


there you go DirtyOldTown, positive commenting flavor.
posted by sweetkid at 1:42 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Murdock. Do you even have to ask?
posted by gauche at 1:43 PM on September 25, 2013 [11 favorites]


I like to drink my punch arriba abajo al centro por dentro
posted by J0 at 1:43 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


You apologize to Biden for implying that he might be Face. That's just not something you say about a person.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:45 PM on September 25, 2013 [10 favorites]


I only included it because of the "second in command" thing. I'm on Team Howling Mad Biden.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:46 PM on September 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


I like milk.
posted by Tanizaki at 1:47 PM on September 25, 2013


I love lamp.
posted by sweetkid at 1:48 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


And now, because there just aren't many occasions to post something like this:

Mr T: The Animated Series, Episode 1 - The Mystery of the Golden Medallions

Name is Mr. T. First name "Mister," middle name is that period, last name is "T." Listen and listen good. I'm talking to you. When a new kid moves in on your block, what's your attitude? Do you figure, "What do we need him for?" Well I pity the fool that makes that mistake.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:48 PM on September 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


Jeeze, you guys, how am I going to say something harsh but sincere after that display? I hope you get all the hugs you deserve today.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:50 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


not the hugs this thread needs but the hugs it deserves
posted by elizardbits at 1:51 PM on September 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


I pity the fool that says something harsh at this point.
posted by sweetkid at 1:51 PM on September 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


sandwiches - oh, my god, sandwiches
posted by pyramid termite at 1:51 PM on September 25, 2013


I like milk.

D--> I require a towel.
posted by emmtee at 1:51 PM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


So I was at my dad's new house with him and his wife many years ago, they were there to meet with the company that installed the security system in the house. The van pulled up, and the name of the company was "A-Team Security." I turned to my dad's wife and said "I pity the fool that doesn't use A-Team Security!" She rolled her eyes, and we headed outside just in time to hear my dad say to the guy who got out of the van "I pity the fool that doesn't use A-Team Security!"

Genetics, man. Wait, what were we talking about?
posted by jennaratrix at 1:51 PM on September 25, 2013 [27 favorites]


A dude is a fancy-dressed city folk who went out west on vacation.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:52 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dirty Old Town, I once started work on a Mister T the cartoon FPP that I never finished, so maybe I'll get around to doing that soon if someone else isn't similarly inspired.
posted by MoonOrb at 1:53 PM on September 25, 2013


I'd favorite the shit out of that, MoonOrb.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:53 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Commence the countdown to MoonOrb's Mister T the cartoon FPP. Day one...
posted by jennaratrix at 1:55 PM on September 25, 2013


I cannot even fully relate how much I liked every single one of Stephen J. Cannell's lousy action shows when I was, say, nine years old.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:56 PM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Sexism is okay if it's against men. Racism is okay if it's against white people. Please learn this lesson or I regret to report that you will remain ineligible for your Modern Liberal Superhero Badge.
posted by Decani at 1:59 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Dude!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:59 PM on September 25, 2013 [10 favorites]


le sigh
posted by zombieflanders at 2:01 PM on September 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


I also pity the fool
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:02 PM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


HI DECANI
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 2:02 PM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Like I said, usual suspects. Sigh indeed.
posted by palomar at 2:03 PM on September 25, 2013 [14 favorites]


Sexism is okay if it's against men. Racism is okay if it's against white people. Please learn this lesson or I regret to report that you will remain ineligible for your Modern Liberal Superhero Badge.

Thanks, dude, for the unnecessary flamebait comment.
posted by kalessin at 2:03 PM on September 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


Don't make me call someone else dude today.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:03 PM on September 25, 2013 [40 favorites]


at the age of like 4 i insisted to my mom and dad that i wanted my hair cut like mr t's but they wouldn't let me

i thought it was really mean of them but really i think part of the problem was that as a four year old white kid with hair the color and texture of cornsilk i just could not have pulled it off
posted by titus n. owl at 2:03 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well, at least it isn't raining!
posted by griphus at 2:04 PM on September 25, 2013


leave it leave it leave it

Because Mr T.

Also for palomar.


Like I said, usual suspects. Sigh indeed.

this is correct.
posted by sweetkid at 2:04 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


So, hugs on hold again, then?
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:04 PM on September 25, 2013


my parents not letting me have mr t hair is proof that racism against little white kids who want frohawks is rampant in american society and decani's right
posted by titus n. owl at 2:04 PM on September 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


Murdock gave B.A. a blood transfusion, thereby making B.A. part "fool" - that which he pitied.
posted by Tanizaki at 2:05 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


So, hugs on hold again, then?

The hold music is bananaphone.
posted by emmtee at 2:06 PM on September 25, 2013


There's always hugs in the bananaphone.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:07 PM on September 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


So maybe I should save this for the upcoming FPP, but is there any point in the Mr. T cartoon where we get some sort of flashback that explains how Mr. T ended up as a chaperon for a team of young gymnasts? This seems like a missed opportunity.

(As is not watching the aforementioned "The Mystery of the Golden Medallions" if you aren't.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:08 PM on September 25, 2013


Mr. T is their gymnastics coach and they're on a world tour... solving mysteries!

Fun fact from that cartoon: if "Woody" sounds familiar, it's because he's voiced by Phil LaMarr, aka the voice of Hermes Conrad, Green Lantern John Stewart, and a million others... he also had his head blown off as Marvin in Pulp Fiction.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:12 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's like some people have a bot or something that alerts them when words like feminism or sexism show up on this site and they're all welp, time for me to go make my predictable shitty comment!

And now I'm going back to my company-mandated online sexual harassment training. Which is less appalling in both form and substance than much of this thread!
posted by rtha at 2:12 PM on September 25, 2013 [16 favorites]


We have a 'Mr. T, in my pocket,' and my two year old daughter gets in growling matches with it, and tells people she's calling her grumpy friend. It's weapons grade cute.
posted by Gygesringtone at 2:14 PM on September 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


Mr. T secreted all of that gold right out of his pores using an alchemical sunbathing technique. He'll teach you the secret if you can endure his apprenticeship.
posted by planetesimal at 2:15 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Huh. I read that as "secreted" as in to secret or hide something. To make or keep a secret.
posted by kalessin at 2:17 PM on September 25, 2013


Well, it's really more like profuse suppuration when he gets a good burn going.
posted by planetesimal at 2:20 PM on September 25, 2013


Now I want to see a movie where Clubber Lang, Ivan Drago, and Zombie Apollo Creed join forces against Mecha-Rocky.
posted by griphus at 2:20 PM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Mr. T, in my pocket

YES I USE MINE TO HARASS TELEMARKETERS
posted by elizardbits at 2:21 PM on September 25, 2013


I did not mean to capslock that I am just really excited about harassing telemarketers.
posted by elizardbits at 2:21 PM on September 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


Telemarketers are people too.

People with shitty jobs they should quit, but.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:25 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


In one episode Mr. T stood in a reflector booth that focused the Sun's rays on him like a laser and he made enough golden shields and spears for an entire army.

They all were slaughtered because the invaders tore through their soft solid gold defenses.
posted by planetesimal at 2:26 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


it's the toner scam people though so i am pretty sure it is a-ok
posted by elizardbits at 2:26 PM on September 25, 2013


Mr. T as a time traveling space warrior altering the balance of wars long past.
posted by planetesimal at 2:28 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Re: murders from nih.gov, ...77% of which involved male victims and 23% female victims.

I don't think murder is funny.
posted by vapidave at 2:30 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ad nauseum. That cracked me up.

Metatalk: ad nause
...um
posted by Namlit at 2:30 PM on September 25, 2013


From that same NIH link, "Although women comprise more than half the U.S. population, they committed only 14.7% of the homicides noted during the study interval."
posted by jaguar at 2:35 PM on September 25, 2013 [10 favorites]


"Re: murders from nih.gov, ...77% of which involved male victims and 23% female victims.

I don't think murder is funny.
"

But… you play Quake. Deathmatches are real.
posted by klangklangston at 2:35 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just want to say that I have had a really hard day at work, then I came home and fed my kitten who is very rambunctious. He was wrestling with his stuffed gorilla on the bed, and it was super cute, and then he rolled over and fell onto the floor, and I laughed out loud. Then he jumped up on the bed and tried to Subdue me, but he's only 4.5 pounds, so he nipped me, which kind of hurt.

This thread is sort of like that, is what I'm saying.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:36 PM on September 25, 2013 [16 favorites]


That NIH link is kind of more illuminating with context, but hey, cherry pick as much as you like.
posted by kalessin at 2:38 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure we can accept this anecdote without a photo of the kitten and his gorilla.
posted by elizardbits at 2:44 PM on September 25, 2013 [18 favorites]


But you twisted that. You turned my cautious attempt out of love to step up and claim a small voice on the issue into evidence that I was being silenced and mistreated by "feminists".

Speaking of twisting, I never ever said you were being silenced and mistreated by feminists. Not once. Nothing even slightly like that. Placing quotation marks around something I didn't say is really ugly and deceptive.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 2:46 PM on September 25, 2013


That's also old data. The DOJ reports that from 1980 to 2008, "Males represented 77% of homicide victims and nearly 90% of offenders." So the rate of female offenders has decreased by almost 50% in the last twenty years.
posted by jaguar at 2:46 PM on September 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


jaguar, that's actually proof that women are discriminating against men by withholding violence from them. Reverse sexism!
posted by en forme de poire at 2:51 PM on September 25, 2013 [10 favorites]


Mr. T transcends sexual identity. Have you ever seen his genitalia? Exactly.
posted by planetesimal at 2:53 PM on September 25, 2013


Telemarketers are people too.

That's something like what that one debt collector said when I called them six times in half an hour and said I wasn't going to stop calling until they told me who they were as they were legally obligated to do in their first automated call to me. It turns out very few people actually reverse harass those assholes, I strongly recommend it. (I also legitimately wanted their business name and address to put in my complaint to the FTC, but didn't get it until I called from a different number asking where I could send a cheque).
posted by jacalata at 2:59 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm finding the DOJ report fascinating, in a macabre way. "Of all children under age 5 murdered from 1980 through 2008—63% were killed by a parent—33% were killed by their fathers and 30% were killed by their mothers." It hadn't really occurred to me before that media reporting of women killing their children was skewed to make it seem more common than men killing their children. (I mean, I realized the media coverage was problematic in other ways, but not that one.)
posted by jaguar at 3:02 PM on September 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


Follow the shockingness.
posted by kalessin at 3:08 PM on September 25, 2013


Telemarketers are people too.

I used to believe this, then I read a piece by Heinlein or somebody that pointed out they are essentially thieves. They are taking up your time. Time is money, so they are literally stealing cash out of your wallet. Ok, if you don't buy that they are still stealing your time. Time is precious. Thieves! You are under no obligation to be polite to people who are trying to take things from you.

This is also why you really don't want to sit at a poker table with me.
posted by cjorgensen at 3:13 PM on September 25, 2013


Holy mackerel but shit got weird in here all of a sudden.
posted by jquinby at 3:15 PM on September 25, 2013


So to recap: Quoting people's full sentences is provocative miscontextualization, but maliciously making up quotes will get favorites if its for the right reason. Bringing up men's issues in a thread about misandrist rhymes is a derail, but discussing DOJ crime reports is great (so long as it proves men are worse than women, of course). "Dredging up old comments" is obnoxious, unless it's done for the right reason. It's important for people to listen and learn, unless they are saying something you don't like, in which case drive-by snark is a sure favorites-generator. Basically, no means are wrong, so long as the end is rightous.

All of which makes Metafilter, well, no different from any other community, I suppose.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 3:17 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


ubernostrum,

a person can at the same time

A. be a feminist, and by definition disagree with Men's Rights Activists
B. support the rights of vulnerable men and boys and oppose their abuse
C. oppose use of lab rats in laboratory experiments
D. support the legalization of pot

These are all stances on different subjects. In this case, the joke is related to subject A. The thread says nothing about our opinions on subjects B, C or D.
posted by Tarumba at 3:18 PM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


TFB, I'm not sure how that relates to telemarketers.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 3:18 PM on September 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


TFB, I'm not sure how that relates to Mr. T. Try to stay on topic.
posted by languagehat at 3:22 PM on September 25, 2013 [19 favorites]


TFB, I don't think your recap is accurate.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:25 PM on September 25, 2013 [13 favorites]


TFB, starting your comment with "TFB" is the new "Todd Lokken."
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 3:27 PM on September 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


Telemarketers are people too.

If telemarketers worked for tips, MetaFilter would deem them the salt of the earth.
posted by Tanizaki at 3:28 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Your sass indicates that you have forgotten that Mr. T is watching.
posted by planetesimal at 3:31 PM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


If telemarketers worked on the moon, MetaFilter would deem them the salt of the moon.
posted by emmtee at 3:33 PM on September 25, 2013 [12 favorites]


TFB, don't forget to salt your telemarketer tips before you grill them.
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:34 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


If everything was everything, have you ever really looked at your hand?
posted by en forme de poire at 3:34 PM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


People with shitty jobs they should quit, but.

Ugh. People with shitty jobs usually aren't in the greatest position to quit their shitty jobs.
posted by lalex at 3:35 PM on September 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


If telemarketers worked for tips, MetaFilter would deem them the salt of the earth.

If telemarketers worked for tips, the market would have killed them off long ago. But tipping is a stupid broken system, so it is never applied in a way that would cause actual worthwhile behavioural changes, which is why I don't like it.
posted by jacalata at 3:39 PM on September 25, 2013


I had that shitty job once a long time ago. It was a relief when they broke of contract talks and became a runaway shop.
posted by rtha at 3:40 PM on September 25, 2013


If the discrimination or prejudice isn't backed by and used to maintain the intrinsic benefits afforded to those with power by race or gender is it actually racism or sexist. Racism and sexism are not just individual acts they are cultural systems. No one can be sexist against men in the US. They may be biased individually, but a few lyrics won't change the cultural context.
posted by humanfont at 3:50 PM on September 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


If telemarketers worked for tips, the market would have killed them off long ago.

No, because we'd maintain a system of shaming the non-tippers. Do you know how little they make? They work so hard! If you don't want or can't afford to tip, you shouldn't answer your phone.
posted by Tanizaki at 3:53 PM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


If telemarketers worked on the moon, they could get better jobs with the whaling fleet.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:53 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


The important question is, do the telemarketers live on the moon, or commute?
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 3:55 PM on September 25, 2013


I keep a can of barbecue-flavored whale meat in my office to ward off Paul Watson.
posted by Tanizaki at 3:56 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Moon salt hipster foodies.
posted by planetesimal at 3:57 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Good point. I think the key similarity is that waitstaff are always trying to serve me food in my house against my will. Fortunately I've found that if I serve food back at them they eventually leave me alone, but I've had to get really good at preparing salads very quickly.
posted by en forme de poire at 3:57 PM on September 25, 2013 [15 favorites]


If the discrimination or prejudice isn't backed by and used to maintain the intrinsic benefits afforded to those with power by race or gender is it actually racism or sexist. Racism and sexism are not just individual acts they are cultural systems. No one can be sexist against men in the US. They may be biased individually, but a few lyrics won't change the cultural context.

If everybody agreed on that definition (or on a different one), these conversations would be a lot simpler.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:57 PM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Real men don't need artificial flavoring for their whale bbq.
posted by planetesimal at 3:58 PM on September 25, 2013


Just moon salt.
posted by en forme de poire at 3:59 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


making assertions about what "real men" do or don't do is just reinforcing the patriarchy yo

let a man make his own flavoring choices in the name of equality k
posted by titus n. owl at 3:59 PM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


golden toads - fried or boiled?
posted by pyramid termite at 4:00 PM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Dear AskMe, Paul Watson won't stop trying to serve me food. How can I improve my speed at slinging whale-meat and golden toad salads so that he will go away? Difficulty level: I live on the moon and I am a cat.
posted by en forme de poire at 4:01 PM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Murder is not funny. Ever. Full stop.

I hope you never have a friend murdered.
posted by vapidave at 4:03 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


golden toads - fried or boiled?

I like them rubbed with moon salt, and then cooked on skewers over a charcoal grill.



All I'm saying is that a man who likes his whale meat with all kinds of fancy flavorings might be a little...*makes hand-wavey gesture*
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:04 PM on September 25, 2013


vapidave, yeah, I have.

I don't consider what happened to be remotely comparable to the original thread, but everyone draws their own lines.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:06 PM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


I mean, there's definitely stuff I can't deal with because it makes me think about it, and then I can't stop. But the nursery rhyme stuff didn't swing even vaguely close, for me.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:08 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sure...for you
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:09 PM on September 25, 2013


I'm fabulous.
posted by Tanizaki at 4:13 PM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


When I was wee, I had an A-Team sticker book, back when stickers had glue and not whatever they use on stickers in these decadent times.

And one day, in a fit of A-Team-induced zeal, I licked ALL THE STICKERS so as to complete the book and made myself as sick as a haddock. It is true that if I were not a classless prole I would have had staff to lick the stickers for me, thus averting being laid low by nausea, but thems the breaks.
posted by winna at 4:14 PM on September 25, 2013


"Murder is not funny. Ever. Full stop.

I hope you never have a friend murdered.
"

Sorry, man. Murder can be pretty funny.
posted by klangklangston at 4:15 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ugh. People with shitty jobs usually aren't in the greatest position to quit their shitty jobs.

Oh, for sure. They should quit there jobs like smokers should stop smoking and I should give up beer, that kind of should. The "it would be better for you in some concrete sense if this could happen" should, not the "it's only a fundamental moral failing on your part that causes you not to stop this" should. I've been the guy on that end of that phone, and I didn't quit, they laid us all off.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:16 PM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Or, more to the point, real murder isn't (generally) funny, but fictional murder? Pretty standard comedy ingredient.

The connection? All the misandry murders were pretty clearly fictional.
posted by klangklangston at 4:17 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


No, because we'd maintain a system of shaming the non-tippers. Do you know how little they make? They work so hard! If you don't want or can't afford to tip, you shouldn't answer your phone.

No, you shouldn't answer public phones. Which is a good rule of thumb even today, in the non-telemarketer-tipping universe.
posted by jacalata at 4:17 PM on September 25, 2013


Okay, wow, no. When you decide to use me, my disability, my body and my identity, without my consent as a tool to advance a rhetorical point designed to stifle dialogue and silence, and then I catch you doing so and call you out on it, your ONLY manner of discourse is to firstly, apologize profusely, and secondly, never, ever do it again. Not to claim that because I misinterpreted whatever the formal definition of whatever group you're railing against and used scare quotes, I'm the villain here.

Do you understand this, TFB? Because it is not even difficult.
posted by Conspire at 4:19 PM on September 25, 2013 [14 favorites]


Midsomer Misandry Murders
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:19 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


One thing I've learned from/about the world through MetaFilter is that it's never a safe assumption that you or aspects of your experience are unique. No matter how weird it got.
posted by kalessin at 4:20 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Miss Andry, in the Conservatory, with the Castrating Scythe
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:22 PM on September 25, 2013 [13 favorites]


More like prize steer.
posted by planetesimal at 4:24 PM on September 25, 2013


kalessin: "No matter how weird it got."

Didn't someone once do an analysis of Anonymous? (Divorced 200 times, Married 400x, into tiaras, allergic to squid eyeballs, owns and pets hundreds of hairy spiders annually, etc?)

Also....

*hugs*

I'm sincerely sorry to have blown up and overreacted like that. You didn't deserve it. Apologies. :(
posted by zarq at 4:25 PM on September 25, 2013


HUGS FOR EVERYBODY. From Mr. T, in my pocket.
posted by jennaratrix at 4:34 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh hey, he's happy to see us.
posted by zarq at 4:41 PM on September 25, 2013


Conspire, I'm sorry my comment made you feel used. But you maliciously misquoted me, just after I'd gotten a finger-wag about "context." You lied. You deliberately lied. Putting quotation marks around something a person didn't say is not okay.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 5:09 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


zarq, hugs back. Given the weird day I've enjoyed(?) I'm surprised we didn't clash harder but I'm glad we didn't.
posted by kalessin at 5:10 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


mr t in my pcoket

it me
posted by elizardbits at 5:10 PM on September 25, 2013 [23 favorites]


After watching a video of elizardbits amusing herself to giggles in a darkened room with a talking keychain I only have one question.

ARE YOU ME?
posted by cmyk at 5:13 PM on September 25, 2013


TheWhiteSkull: "Midsomer Misandry Murders"

Misandry Night's Dream

OBERON
Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania.

TITANIA
What, jealous Oberon! Fairies, skip hence:
I have forsworn his bed and company.

OBERON
Tarry, rash wanton: am not I thy lord?

FAIRIES
OH SHIT IT'S ON
posted by jquinby at 5:16 PM on September 25, 2013 [15 favorites]


TFB, do you really think Conspire is quoting you when he puts air quotes around the word "feminists"?
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:16 PM on September 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


"Conspire, I'm sorry my comment made you feel used. But you maliciously misquoted me, just after I'd gotten a finger-wag about "context." You lied. You deliberately lied. Putting quotation marks around something a person didn't say is not okay."

The idea that his use of quotes around "feminists" was more of a "lie" than your obvious misrepresentation and cherry-picking is flat bullshit. Get the fuck over yourself.
posted by klangklangston at 5:18 PM on September 25, 2013 [17 favorites]


And it's especially rich given your willingness to just invent shit earlier on, e.g. "Given that the general tenor of this MeTa is "If you think that people in a thread are being sexist, ableist or otherwise cruel, you should not object, but be silent," I fear the question mark there can be eliminated."

You flat made that up, and now it's a "lie" to use quotation marks like that? The fuck?
posted by klangklangston at 5:20 PM on September 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


I never referred to feminists. That's because I have no beef with feminists. I have a beef with hypocrites, liars, and smug apparatchiks, but not feminists.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 5:27 PM on September 25, 2013


If someone claims to identify as a feminist but consistently and repeatedly argues from a position that reveals men and boys to be their true tribe, the subgroup they obviously feel the most compelled to speak up for and to protect, then maybe they're not really a feminist after all?

But whatever: it's your online entertainment. But weird that you're so much more likely to recognize those 'hypocrisies' and 'lies' on this site when they're aligned with feminist positions.
posted by nobody at 5:31 PM on September 25, 2013 [10 favorites]


"I have a beef with hypocrites, liars, and smug apparatchiks, but not feminists."

Good thing there are no mirrors in your house.
posted by klangklangston at 5:33 PM on September 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


I have a beef with hypocrites, liars, and smug apparatchiks

So lots of self-loathing then I guess
posted by elizardbits at 5:34 PM on September 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


HIGH_FIVE.GIF
posted by klangklangston at 5:34 PM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


What an embarrassing thread - seems like we've gone from being magnificent to just yer basic sad bastards. Fuck me I remember when the cool people were here, I wasn't one of them - but i remember Miguel in all his glory - striding magnificently across these once hallowed pages.

A jazz odyssey of a trainwreck of a post.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:37 PM on September 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


And coincidentally, every feminist who disagrees with your obvious misogyny is a hypocrite, liar, and/or smug apparatchik. Okay, I figured out how this works.

You guys, I broke the code!
posted by Conspire at 5:38 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


If telemarketers worked for tips

I wouldn't tip them.

I'm fabulous

I like high Tanizaki a lot better than grumpy Tanizaki (but I still won't meet you in the Gurnee Mills food court, dude, so don't even ask).
posted by octobersurprise at 5:38 PM on September 25, 2013 [12 favorites]


ArmyOfKittens: "I mean, there's definitely stuff I can't deal with because it makes me think about it, and then I can't stop. But the nursery rhyme stuff didn't swing even vaguely close, for me."

Thanks for your thoughtful answer. It [making light of murder in nursery rhyme form] does swing close for me which is probably a cue that I should avoid similar posts.
posted by vapidave at 5:42 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have a beef with hypocrites, liars, and smug apparatchiks, but not feminists.

looks more like you're having a cow
posted by pyramid termite at 5:49 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


TFB, the way to quote people around here is to copy what they wrote and italicize it. That's the convention. When people use quotation marks, it is much more likely to show that they are interpreting what someone else wrote, not that they are actually quoting them. You may very well take issue with how they've chosen to characterize what you've said, and that sort of thing happens around here all the time--but it's not at all the same thing as lying about what words were actually said.

I sort of think you actually realize that, but I'm laying it out there for you in case it makes things more plain.
posted by MoonOrb at 5:55 PM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Elizardbits has the cutest giggle.
posted by NoraReed at 5:56 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


but i remember Miguel in all his glory - striding magnificently across these once hallowed pages.

i had to get rid of my last monitor because of his footprints
posted by pyramid termite at 5:58 PM on September 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


And one day, in a fit of A-Team-induced zeal, I licked ALL THE STICKERS so as to complete the book and made myself as sick as a haddock.

Now I feel sad for Admiral Haddock, having to hear such things said about his people, making them out to be glue-lickers and worse!
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:07 PM on September 25, 2013


This is just kind of a rolling argument generator isn't it?
posted by edgeways at 6:53 PM on September 25, 2013


NO IT ISN'T
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:55 PM on September 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


I like high Tanizaki a lot better than grumpy Tanizaki (but I still won't meet you in the Gurnee Mills food court, dude, so don't even ask).

How about South of the Border?
posted by Tanizaki at 6:57 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: kind of a rolling argument generator.
posted by sweetkid at 7:05 PM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


did tanizaki just offer to buy everyone in this thread some tacos

i think he did
posted by elizardbits at 7:27 PM on September 25, 2013 [10 favorites]


Eideteker: "
(I'm a man, and I'd love a t-shirt that says: "Actual Misandrist")
"

*whispers* Shia LaBeouf, Shia LaBeouf.
posted by ShawnStruck at 7:30 PM on September 25, 2013


I just ate dinner but I always have room for tacos.
posted by rtha at 7:34 PM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


How about South of the Border?

Oooooooooo. I doubt you mean this one, but I passed South of the Border on I-95 many times as a kid, and my parents would never take me there. It was pretty tragic. I'm not in a position to visit there anymore, but fortunately, there's this documentary, which shows it to be everything I ever dreamed.

What? I didn't dream very big as a kid.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 7:38 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


My parents would never take us there either. Wasn't it a racist old time though?
posted by sweetkid at 7:42 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was on a spring break tour to VA/NC/SC alumni clubs with the glee club when I was in college and someone made a rule that we had to drink every time we passed a billboard advertising South of the Border. You can perhaps imagine what condition we were in when we emerged from the bus in a church parking lot in Charleston.
posted by rtha at 8:10 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


How about South of the Border?

Try Craigslist. Maybe you can meet someone there.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:17 PM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


She totally prayed to Mr. T like he was a god!

...I am not alone.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:18 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I doubt you mean this one, but I passed South of the Border on I-95 many times as a kid

That is exactly the one I meant. I am sad to say I have never been. And yeah, I'd buy the tacos.

(at least one MeFite can attest that I am a good person for a meetup)

Try Craigslist. Maybe you can meet someone there.

I ran into you on a website. I said, "I like milk". What did you say in response? I'll be at the Sombrero Restaurant on the ides of October. Let's share some sopapillas.
posted by Tanizaki at 8:45 PM on September 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


For whatever it's worth, I wrote the comment with the male infanticide lullaby. I'm both male and (congenitally) disabled. That doesn't automatically make it acceptable, as I'm pretty sure I've not been named the official representative of either group. But it means whatever it means, alongside the reactions to it by other men and disabled people. I'm also a feminist, and I've likewise not been designated as official spokeperson, not even for the male feminists. I think this year it's an associate professor at Brown. Or that guy who does the overnight shift at the coop radio station in Vancouver. Or Mr. T. One of those, I missed the meeting.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:49 PM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Is there an actual point to this thread anymore? like, genuine question not snarking. It really seems like a clogged toilet at a transit station at this point.
posted by emptythought at 8:56 PM on September 25, 2013


Personally, I have been more entertained by the bottom of this thread than any clogged toilet I've yet come across.
posted by Corinth at 9:06 PM on September 25, 2013 [10 favorites]


MetaFilter: hypocrites, liars, and smug apparatchiks.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:07 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's so weird to be called an apparatchik, of all things. Ya really think that we are mindlessly obedient, bureaucratic paper-pushers taking direction from some centralized, totalitarian authority? Who??
posted by cairdeas at 9:16 PM on September 25, 2013


I pity the fool that tries to tell a your mom joke around Mr. T.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 9:22 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


In all fairness, clogged toilets are famously difficult to entertain and don't much enjoy internet discussions in general.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:19 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Corinth probably meant "than by any clogged toilet".
posted by nangar at 10:35 PM on September 25, 2013


Out here on the intertubes you'll find that feminist topics tend to flush out the MRA turds, who inevitably clog the communication pipes with their boo-hooing wankery. It's great that we have lots of competent plumbers who are willing to get in the muck to correct the issue, but like all plumbing callouts, it's damn expensive.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:59 PM on September 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


Since he was born, there's never been a clogged toilet within a 30 mile radius of Mr. T.
posted by planetesimal at 11:07 PM on September 25, 2013


Given the person who created the thread is gone, and the thread has devolved to mostly snark, shouldn't we close this?
posted by zabuni at 11:17 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Might be one of those situations where it should be left open as a release valve in case anybody else stumbles onto the original thread and gets annoyed.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:19 PM on September 25, 2013


release valve

I see what you did there.
posted by cairdeas at 11:20 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't, weird, normally I do know what I did there.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:23 PM on September 25, 2013


I think you just confirmed Half Life 3.
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:24 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think it was actually Pipe Dreams 2: Pipe Nightmare.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:44 PM on September 25, 2013


It's so weird to be called an apparatchik, of all things.

That's gotta be a reference to the mods, right?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:03 AM on September 26, 2013


Given the person who created the thread is gone, and the thread has devolved to mostly snark, shouldn't we close this?

I always hated that about MetaTalk threads. It's like Metafilter's way of celebrating after the everyone talking about the original issue/complaint has left. You get to post recipes (less often nowadays), and generally impress each other with bad jokes while burying the original topic in 500 garbage comments.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:11 AM on September 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Almost all of us WERE talking about the original issue/complaint. At great length and with a lot of sincerity.

It's sounds like you're implying all 500 comments of this thread (actually 600+) were "garbage comments" when actually, they were dozens of people taking their own time to do their best to engage with the originator of the complaint.

If that person decides to pack up and leave after all that, then to my mind, then the thread does not still need to be used for whatever that person wanted to do with it. After all, we're not even supposed to address argument to him now.

This was a hard thread. Making jokes after a hard thread - and note that many of the people making jokes with each other were making opposing points - is a way shake hands, bury the hatchet if only temporarily, and begin to build up a bit of rapport and camaraderie again.

Also, the original OP was about jokes, and I think it's appropriate in a full-circle way for this to end with them.
posted by cairdeas at 12:20 AM on September 26, 2013 [9 favorites]


Also, the thread had already well run its course when the jokes started. It's very different to start doing that in the middle of a thread that's still in the heat of an active discussion.
posted by cairdeas at 12:23 AM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


The truth is, Tanizaki provided a beneficial public service with his posts, and his good humored handling of the situation as it moved forward signals an individual who may have a frustrating persona, but has the best interests of the site at heart. I salute you, sir.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:25 AM on September 26, 2013 [7 favorites]


It's like some people have a bot or something that alerts them when words like feminism or sexism show up on this site and they're all welp, time for me to go make my predictable shitty comment!

posted by rtha


And some people predictably get the Bot Signal, appear at the speed of light to say, "That's a predictably shitty comment."
posted by ambient2 at 12:41 AM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Almost all of us WERE talking about the original issue/complaint. At great length and with a lot of sincerity.

I agree. I'm just talking about the last third of this thread, after the "dude" thing about 12 hours ago. 500 comments was hyperbole and an exaggeration. It's probably more like 200.

This was a hard thread. Making jokes after a hard thread - and note that many of the people making jokes with each other were making opposing points - is a way shake hands, bury the hatchet if only temporarily, and begin to build up a bit of rapport and camaraderie again.

To me, it's a mountain of crap that makes picking out the topical comments (from the remaining people who haven't buried the hatchet simultaneously with you) impossible.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:44 AM on September 26, 2013


I was a telemarketer once.

I was not a person then.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 5:16 AM on September 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


And only fools pitied me.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 5:17 AM on September 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


And some people predictably get the Bot Signal, appear at the speed of light to say, "That's a predictably shitty comment."

You realize I was already in this thread, right, and engaged in the conversation, and didn't just show up to tell Decani thanks for his shitty comment?

See you at one or more of the meetups this weekend!
posted by rtha at 5:36 AM on September 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


I think the lesson here is that you should all quit your jibba-jabba.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:39 AM on September 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oooooooooo. I doubt you mean this one, but I passed South of the Border on I-95 many times as a kid, and my parents would never take me there. It was pretty tragic. I'm not in a position to visit there anymore, but fortunately, there's this documentary, which shows it to be everything I ever dreamed.

What? I didn't dream very big as a kid.


For some reason, Dillon, SC, home of South of the Border, is a popular place for eloping teenagers from North Carolina to get married. I've heard that it's because it at least used to be easier to get married in South Carolina, not waiting period or something, I doubt that that's true, but it's the story. I suspect that it's because South Carolina is where North Carolinians go to do sketchy things like buy real fireworks (or, formerly, lottery tickets).

Whatever the explanation, Dillon even has one of those quicky wedding chapel places. I find the idea of scores of poor 17 year old brides spending their wedding nights at South of the Border really more funny than I should.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:45 AM on September 26, 2013


This thread reminds me of something that happened in my senior year of college.

I had the flu. I had been eating hummus and pita for a week. At the tail end of the flu, I suddenly awoke with serious pain in my lower right quadrant.

For several hours, the pain grew stronger and more acute. Quick online research showed this to be a notorious symptom of appendicitis. It was 3am.

I lived about a half-mile away from the nearest ambulatory center. It seemed stupid (and expensive) to get an ambulance or hire a car. So, I walked. Stooped as a question mark, and cursing with exclamation points, I walked to the ambulatory center. I walked and I walked. And then I waited. And after all of that time and exertion, my pain began to subside somewhat.

My examining physician was a young person. She either looked younger than her age, or she was a Doogie Howser.

Either way, after some quick tests, she told me that I did not have appendicitis. I probably just had gas.

She added, "don't feel bad. I did basically the same thing in my last year of medical school. Pain in the lower right quadrant, you were right to check. I've had people show up, thinking they've had heart attacks, but they really just have painful gas. Gas can be very painful, especially if you have internal hemorrhoids."

I felt better walking home. I kept thinking about how young she looked. Not in the sense of finding her attractive or not-attractive. In the more general sense that I was now at an age where I could go to the doctor's for something serious-seeming, but it could just be nothing serious at all, but I should check anyway, and it wouldn't be long before the doctors that I'd being seeing would be my age or younger.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:51 AM on September 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


I had been eating hummus and pita for a week.

Are you Lebanese or SWPL?
posted by Tanizaki at 6:24 AM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Coincidentally, my roommate at the time was Lebanese.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:27 AM on September 26, 2013


Shucked or unshucked chickpeas?
posted by kalessin at 6:34 AM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just use a food mill and you don't have to worry about the skins on the chick peas.
posted by Tanizaki at 7:26 AM on September 26, 2013


I'm still waiting for the kitten vs gorilla video.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 7:34 AM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


> Fuck me I remember when the cool people were here, I wasn't one of them.

His story checks out.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 7:35 AM on September 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


Wait there were cool people on mefi?

Time to go.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 8:03 AM on September 26, 2013


PeterMcDermott: " That's gotta be a reference to the mods, right?"

The Mod Squad and the Apparatchiks would make a hell of a band name.
posted by zarq at 8:06 AM on September 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


There were never cool people on Metafilter. I thought that was the point.
posted by sweetkid at 8:10 AM on September 26, 2013


Metatalk: use a food mill and you don't have to worry about the skins

Sounds like ouch to me.

[Incidentally, I disagree. But shucking chickpeas sucks, that's true.]
posted by Namlit at 8:23 AM on September 26, 2013


The skins won't get forced through the mill, so the mill is shucking them for you. At least, such is my experience.
posted by Tanizaki at 8:25 AM on September 26, 2013


Well, shucks. Hummus advice and gas pain anecdotes is not at all how I expected this thread to end.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:28 AM on September 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Wait, are we talking about actual plates of beans? Sure, it's more of a bowl than a plate, and the beans are smushed--wait, I'm overthinking this...CURSE YOU METATALK!
posted by zombieflanders at 8:43 AM on September 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


Why the fuck would my response "Boo. Hoo. Hoo." to this comment be deleted, and not the nasty comments others left? It's fucking infuriating, this inconsistent, overactive, stupid abuse of mod power.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:04 AM on September 26, 2013


Just make an effort to have your comment be something other than the most stripped-down, contentless non-conversation, man. It's not a stupid abuse of mod power to try and reduce the noise level of a thread, and yours was certainly not the only comment removed from the thread regardless.

Next time put together an actual response or just skip it. It's not that hard, and that was not a comment worth standing up for.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:08 AM on September 26, 2013 [7 favorites]


i got a comment deleted over there too. apparently adding "cyanide to misogyinists" at the end of little poem was over the line. i think that's probably a really hard thread to moderate. i don't really think they're being overactive of abusing their power.
posted by nadawi at 9:08 AM on September 26, 2013


At the point at which a MeFi thread had had multiple mod comments trying to keep it in line and a large angry MeTa thread about it, comments that aren't really on-topic or which are doing the THING that the MeTa thread is complaining about (sorry nadawi) are best brought over to the MeTa thread.

Our job is to keep the conversation flowing more or less smoothly even if specific individuals don't really have that as a goal.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:10 AM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Weaksauce, cortex.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:11 AM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


You have been behaving kind of like an asshole a lot throughout this extended conversation, fff. I say that as someone who is basically on your side ideologically about this stuff. I don't care in the least if you think it's weaksauce, because your judgement about how to comport yourself here has been kind of crappy. "Boo. Hoo. Hoo." is a crap contribution. You're a smart guy, you're capable of doing way better. Do better.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:14 AM on September 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


The reduction of a broader critique of the way "gender issues" (I know, I know) are framed and discussed and moderated and stopped and incited in metafilter's current discursive culture should not be simply reduced to the position of "some male mefites" having one position and everyone else having the other (right) position, which happens a lot when a strawman opponent is constructed with the casual use of "MRA" to mean a type of person, and to reduce a broad range of positions and ideas to a single ideological framework. Among other things, this alienates many potential allies of the broader feminist and gender equality movement and makes very little allowance for cultural or religious diversity as not-necessarily-politicized reasons for people holding views you think need to be changed through critique (and requiring different approaches than "you're wrong, because you're privileged and can't see how the normative is to your benefit, or you do see it and want to keep it through aggressive ideological assertions of abhorrent views," all of which can be communicated in a single instance of thoughtless snark like the "MRA" reductionist smear).

I have (male) never thought of "men's rights" as anything other than the already achieved state of gender equity, nor have I ever seen the gaining of rights by women or LGBT people as any sort of threat to me personally as a straight, white, economically comfortable, abled (sort of) man.

It is however a tool of hegemonic power to sic the powerless on each other in trumped up fights over what are perceived (and fiercely constructed to be perceived) as limited social goods. Always. In every struggle for rights, whether workers' rights, civil rights, indigenous political rights, human rights, or gender rights, they will try to divide and conquer the people by stoking resentment, fear, stereotyping, and derision. And any feminist knows that from deep personal experience as well as from feminist political theory. You are always having to argue against the implication of a zero-sum game. And that has to be bullshit for the struggle to be worth engaging.


I'm not endorsing ubernostrum's criticism of the original FPP, nor do I think it was "offensive" in such a way as to be unsuitable for metafilter. I didn't even find it offensive. I don't think the sensitivities of male survivors of sexual abuse needed to be considered more carefully before allowing or making the post. None of that.

Every movement has its black humor and its need to blow off steam with fantasies of actually holding power and seeking payback for injustice. No justice movement is without this kind of humor or the expression of revenge fantasies. Transgressive inversion is a weapon of the weak across cultures and eras. Understood in that context, meh, who cares.

But it's the casual power fantasies of patriarchy -- very much expressed in associated forms of humor -- that feminism rightly calls out in normative patriarchal gender discourse. It's predictable that that would make the subaltern response of inverting that humor as a weapon of the weak -- completely standard practice in all liberationist movements -- a flashpoint for charges of hypocrisy and bad faith from those who feel threatened by the changing social order (who are generally on the margins of power themselves in other ways).

Boo fucking hoo for them, I know, especially when you are inside a communal space that where (in this case gender) discourse is subject to intense scrutiny, deconstruction, policing, and disciplinary responses, very reminiscent of certain academic settings and very typically American, cosmopolitan, and bourgeois in character.

So MeFi feels to many like a space where it's safe enough to engage in in-group black humor, let's say. Just like it used to be OK to make "I'd hit it" jokes about women as if there were no women reading those jokes. (Not equating those two except as examples of assuming an in-group context.)

And the question is how much you want to keep it (or to some of us, *make* it, through both overt moderation and implicit disciplinary discourse) that kind of space, which is to say a culturally and demographically fairly exclusive space (though not undiverse in other ways) and if so whether signaling in-group discursive dominance through humor in public conversations is a good way to achieve that goal. Probably can't hurt as the outliers who can't let shit go (I've been there, believe me) end up flaming out in a snit after posting ill-conceived rants to MeTa.

But not everyone is an outlier, or is happy to just walk away from what is often an invigorating conversation about gender, language, power, sexuality, and equality on these here pages. The quality stuff puts the snarky in-group stuff in a different light.

One could aspire to more nuanced and dialogic modes of discourse in a community without necessarily intending to make a dismissive "tone argument" critique. Sometimes tone actually can matter to achieving political goals and influence.

You know that thing where some sexist asshole makes a misogynist joke, and then excuses himself to the women in the room with "ah, lighten up honey, I'm only joking?"

That is a weapon of the powerful as well as the weak.
posted by spitbull at 9:21 AM on September 26, 2013 [9 favorites]


I actually tried to take a video of the kitten and the gorilla, but the one is mostly black with white accents and the other is mostly black with brown accents, so the video kind of looks like a dark blot moving around. The cuteness is lost. I will examine further options.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:57 AM on September 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


You have been behaving kind of like an asshole a lot throughout this extended conversation, fff.

Really? Of the 600-odd posts in this thread, I see only three posts from me, not including this derail. Which of these posts is the one that makes me "a lot" of an asshole?

And, hey, thanks for calling me an asshole. That really helps.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:12 AM on September 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think he's referring to some of your comments in the other thread as well.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:22 AM on September 26, 2013


In the blue, I have four comments. I'd love to know which of them make me an asshole. I mean, I must have been really well over the line — I was apparently a lot of an asshole!

I'm serious. I want to see this assholery, so that I can learn something.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:37 AM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


And the question is how much you want to keep it (or to some of us, *make* it, through both overt moderation and implicit disciplinary discourse) that kind of space, which is to say a culturally and demographically fairly exclusive space (though not undiverse in other ways) and if so whether signaling in-group discursive dominance through humor in public conversations is a good way to achieve that goal.

[...]

You know that thing where some sexist asshole makes a misogynist joke, and then excuses himself to the women in the room with "ah, lighten up honey, I'm only joking?"

That is a weapon of the powerful as well as the weak.


My thesis is that "lighten up" carries force as imperative in proportion to the social power of the speaker. A person of higher status telling a person below them to "lighten up" is, consciously or otherwise, deploying the full weight of soft power structures to regulate the behavior of that lower status individual. The same cannot be said when the direction of the imperative is inverted. The person of higher status is always free to disregard the instruction or command of the person of lower status without social penalty.

I'm being fairly circumspect here because there are lots of factors that play into overall status, and those states themselves shift according to environment and mode. Power's a hell of a drug. I think it's quite possible that people who place themselves in an out-group relative to feminism have a lower social status here on MetaFilter. This is certainly not true in the broader world, but it's probably true here. But MetaFilter by its nature connects explicitly to the external environment, while simultaneously reifying the context of whatever is being linked. So messages between subalterns on the Internet can seem like principality punching downward here, I get how it might feel like that sometimes.

The broader context hasn't been overwhelmed entirely, though, and it's important to remember that people bring their external experience of status to this place and leave with it largely unchanged. A person who makes "I'd hit it" jokes in both places is still going to experience largely the same amount of social approbation in most of their contexts. Here, they're going to catch some shit, assuming their comment isn't deleted so fast that no one notices. So, ok, here, that person is probably not considered highly, and repeated patterns of similarly discouraged behavior will see them reduced in status here.

So I guess my question to you is: to what degree do you expect people to act as though here is all that matters? MetaFilter isn't some enclave, insulated from the broader community. Its entire purpose is to highlight elements of that broader community. The context of those elements is frequently well-established. People carry their experience from that context into this community, and are not separate from that context while participating here. There may well be people who feel more empowered here than elsewhere, but that doesn't make them powerful. There may well be people who find themselves outside the norms of this group, but that doesn't make them Others. Power cannot assume the posture of the disenfranchised to displace scrutiny.

The humor of the link was not the humor of an in-group in a public conversation; it was either the humor of an out-group in a public conversation, or it was the humor of an in-group in a more limited conversation. I tend to think it was the first one, but I can see how people read it as the second and have some issues with that. What it definitely, definitely isn't, though, is a public in-group punching downward publicly. The notion that it might be that is in fact what is being satirized, which is sufficiently recursive to amuse me far more than most of those nursery rhymes did.
posted by Errant at 10:38 AM on September 26, 2013 [10 favorites]


five fresh fish, I'm sorry if I misunderstood who you were referencing in the comment I linked to. Please trust that it was not intentional. I did not pick up on the explanation you mention.
posted by 0 at 10:39 AM on September 26, 2013


"In the blue, I have four comments. I'd love to know which of them make me an asshole. I mean, I must have been really well over the line — I was apparently a lot of an asshole!

I'm serious. I want to see this assholery, so that I can learn something.


Well, there's this one.
posted by klangklangston at 10:48 AM on September 26, 2013


Did you just link to the one you quoted on purpose? It's assholes within assholes from here on out folks.
posted by Big_B at 10:51 AM on September 26, 2013


0: No problem. It was a busy thread at that point.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:54 AM on September 26, 2013


Errant, thanks for a really thoughtful reply. I agree on the central thesis, since power is situational on one level, structural on another, and they don't always align except in totalitarian contexts.

Where I disagree is the argument that people leave here unchanged (especially if they *stay* here), and my point is exactly the opposite of Metafilter Equals the World. I think many discourse problems here stem from exactly that decontextualizing assumption, actually. It's a power move.

I know I haven't been unchanged by debates about gender (among other things) in this community, although in some ways my views (which are unpopularly evolutionist despite not being meant at all to rationalize patriarchy or naturalize "male dominance" as a brute fact) have shifted slightly toward frustration and bemusement with the young folks on my lawn, as geezer lefties tend to get (I'm really more focused on social class struggles and indigenous rights in my activism, a privilege of course of being a straight white male that liberatory struggles focused on gender are not as personal for me. But they aren't *not* personal either, in a hundred ways, and I try to live consciously and be an ally where I'm helpful).
posted by spitbull at 10:55 AM on September 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


(Actually, situational and structural power align in hypothetical purely egalitarian contexts either, but the feminist anthropologists will remind you that such a context doesn't exist anywhere because gender is the primary form of difference and otherness. I should add that as a social anthropologist, my "evolutionist" views are in tension with a deep appreciation for the power of culture to alter, sublimate, and reimagine human social relations of all sorts, else we'd still be back on the infamous savannah.)
posted by spitbull at 11:00 AM on September 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


In the blue, I have four comments. I'd love to know which of them make me an asshole. I mean, I must have been really well over the line — I was apparently a lot of an asshole!

Is this a discussion you really want to have in public, rather than in a series of private emails with the mods?
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:18 AM on September 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Late to the party, but dropping in to note that I went to the link from the original post and Noped out after just a few of the poems. I'm not even a man (and definitely not a MRA person) but it still offended me pretty badly and I agree with ubernostrum that I don't like seeing something like that linked from here. We don't tolerate ironic racism here, so why should we allow ironic misandry?
posted by Jacqueline at 11:19 AM on September 26, 2013 [7 favorites]


this is not intended as a flippant one-line "gotcha", just as a non-flippant one-line "think about it"

the main difference i see between ironic racism and ironic misandry
is that non-ironic racism actually exists irl on a huge scale
posted by titus n. owl at 11:29 AM on September 26, 2013 [18 favorites]


i mean whether that makes it OKAY is still DEFINITELY UP FOR DEBATE AND YOUR PERSONAL OPINIONS. i am just saying
posted by titus n. owl at 11:29 AM on September 26, 2013


so why should we allow ironic misandry

See: the comments in the sandwich thread about the guy's looks.
posted by inigo2 at 11:33 AM on September 26, 2013


I'm serious. I want to see this assholery

I'm kinda hearing this in a Tom Cruise-y "SHOW ME THE MONEY" way right now.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:46 AM on September 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


the main difference i see between ironic racism and ironic misandry
is that non-ironic racism actually exists irl on a huge scale


And titus n.owl puts in the pin in the map. Like so many cases of false equivalency, it's that struggle between the real and omnipresent and the imaginary and/or rare that we always seem to get to. Also, the relative power in the situation. Yeesh.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:05 PM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I know I haven't been unchanged by debates about gender (among other things) in this community, although in some ways my views (which are unpopularly evolutionist despite not being meant at all to rationalize patriarchy or naturalize "male dominance" as a brute fact) have shifted slightly toward frustration and bemusement with the young folks on my lawn, as geezer lefties tend to get

Thank you for saying this so eloquently. This is true for me as well. One of the most positive, community-building aspects of this site, for me, is that I have been exposed to, and learn so much from, members whose experience and background are so different from mine.

I had never heard the word "cis" before. I know that's hard for some to believe, and might be seen as my choosing not to engage with the trans* community. And I did not like being called "cis", and THAT could be seen as my feeling threatened by or antagonistic to trans* activism. In fact, a few Mefites assumed just that.

But I've been a huge proponent for LGBQ issues, and honestly just was unfamiliar with trans* activism efforts. There are people who WANT to be allies who do not live in bastions of liberal and cultural diversity. In fact, I think that is pretty common.

And what was great--as in educational and beneficial for me, personally--was that some of our members were incredibly patient and kind and, rather than making assumptions, explained some stuff to me. Hey, you guys--they pitied the fool!

Seriously. They got that just because I wasn't crazy about being called cis (which is honestly more of a semantic issue than anything else), that didn't mean I was the enemy. There was room in their tent for folks like me, too. Which is awesome.

That changed me for the better, and now the trans* community has in me a more informed ally. Win win.

I know some here see me as a closet sexist or something, too, because I DO worry about the men. I have to, I'm a mother of sons. You want people like me raising self-assured boys who respect the rights of women. We should be allies.

But I don't see any room for people like me in the Metafilter feminism tent, and that, more than anything, frustrates me about Metafilter now. I have faught against sexism in my own life, given money to NARAL and NOW, and believe in equal rights for everyone, which is what I thought feminism was supposed to be about. I could be a great ally to you--but because I don't believe punching up, down or anywhere is the way to go about making positive change, I am not welcome.

What's worse is that I actually have a more negative view of the feminist movement these days as a result of what I have witnessed and experienced on Metafilter. I used to take it as a given that those straw feminists who were contemptuous of men were hyperbolic caricatures. These days, I am not nearly so sure of that.
posted by misha at 12:05 PM on September 26, 2013 [10 favorites]


You know what, I need to amend that. You had been acting like an asshole a little, which is still an annoying amount (e.g. there are better ways to engage in this kind of conversation than calling people, even people with crappy persecution complexes, idiots in passing, or doing lazy I guess you're one of them type posturing, or dropping Boo Hoo Hoo crap into a thread) but less than I'd normally comment on.

And then you upped the ante by complaining in a shitty, over-the-top way about the deletion of a crap comment that you should know better than to even make, and that got on my fucking nerves. And "that got on my nerves" is not a great explanation for coming back at someone, and I'll cop to that because I try really hard not to do that and feel better when I succeed at it because I ask other people to do the same thing all the time. I wish I'd found a more measured way of responding. I've been doing a lot of being measured the last couple days and then I went and slipped.

But if we're talking about it: it got on my nerves because it was a shitty complaint when you were on the wrong side of the basic Make An Effort thing we expect from people around here, after having been sort of aggressive in your framing of some previous comments in these threads, and you're not new to this so there's no newbieish misunderstanding of that point available as an explanation.

So, I don't think you are an asshole. I didn't call you an asshole. I thought those things you did, particularly but not solely those last couple, were assholish, and its as much the fact that you do not seem to be an asshole on the whole that makes that kind of behavior frustrating. Anything short of this and I'd have been in quiet-eyerolling territory and wouldn't have said anything, but come on already with that nonsense.

I appreciate that the "I didn't say you were X, I said your behavior was X" distinction doesn't automatically remove the sting, so, again, I should have found some more politic way of expressing that. But if I just plain thought you were an asshole I wouldn't have bothered to try and express frustration at you not doing the better job that I know you can do of interacting here.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:07 PM on September 26, 2013 [8 favorites]


nd I did not like being called "cis", and THAT could be seen as my feeling threatened by or antagonistic to trans* activism. In fact, a few Mefites assumed just that.

And then a lot of us just don't care about your personal preferences regarding language and use cis because it's the right word for the job.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:22 PM on September 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


I would love to not have to have an argument about the word cis here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:23 PM on September 26, 2013 [14 favorites]


Cis-alpine Gaul for the Gauls!
posted by Justinian at 12:31 PM on September 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Cis-alpine Gaul for the Gauls!
posted by Justinian at 3:31 PM on September 26


I have suspected for a while that you were not that Justinian, and this proves it. Theodora would never have stood for that sort of defeatist attitude.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:39 PM on September 26, 2013 [14 favorites]


Bunny Ultramod: And then a lot of us just don't care about your personal preferences regarding language ...

You completely ignored the part where she said that was her initial reaction, and she got over it, and you decided to launch an attack anyway. Speaking of asshole comments.

Your assholishness is especially ironic in the light of this bit from misha's comment:

And what was great--as in educational and beneficial for me, personally--was that some of our members were incredibly patient and kind and, rather than making assumptions, explained some stuff to me. Hey, you guys--they pitied the fool!
posted by nangar at 12:53 PM on September 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


I was only chanting the slogan ironically, GenjiandProust. Hipster Justinian.
posted by Justinian at 12:59 PM on September 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Where I disagree is the argument that people leave here unchanged (especially if they *stay* here),

I shouldn't have said "experience of status", that was a misstatement of my position and I apologize. Their experience and understanding of status and power may well change, and hopefully will! But the status that people bring here is pretty much the status they'll leave with; MetaFilter isn't going to smash the kyriarchy and isn't trying to. That's more what I meant, that even if someone is relatively empowered here, if they are disenfranchised in their life, they will speak from that position, and their relative power here does not usurp or even really alter their relative power there.

and my point is exactly the opposite of Metafilter Equals the World.

Well, ok, fair enough, but then I'm kind of struggling with your point. It seems like you're saying that the in-group in question (which I think are feminists on MetaFilter?) are sufficiently empowered to affirm status, and that their discursive dominance is directed outward, using the informal controls of alienation and humiliation, thereby reinforcing the in-group at the expense of the out-group. Is that close to what you mean, basically the high school coterie model?
posted by Errant at 1:00 PM on September 26, 2013


nangar: "Your assholishness is especially ironic in the light of this bit from misha's comment:"

I'm going to be unpopular here, but that's exactly the kind of sentiment that I see aimed at trans people every day, in response to those of us who are at the end of our collective tether:

"Some of you were incredibly patient and kind and, rather than make assumptions, explained some stuff to me, and now I'm a better ally. Win win."

It says, intentionally or not, we must be unfailing educators or we might not get an ally out of it in the end.* Win win.**

* the many many times we have been educators and been met with derision or violence are not part of this equation

** also trans people have infinite energy, we're perpetual motion machines


So I'm not endorsing B-U's comment as, necessarily, assholish.

I have nothing against Misha, here; I don't remember the thread(s), if I was part of it, or basically anything before about eight minutes ago. Talking only about the statement, not the person.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:06 PM on September 26, 2013 [17 favorites]


Talking only about the statement, not the person.

I think this is a really important thing to think about generally when reading and responding to comments. It's a good attitude to take.
posted by sweetkid at 1:09 PM on September 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


What's worse is that I actually have a more negative view of the feminist movement these days as a result of what I have witnessed and experienced on Metafilter. I used to take it as a given that those straw feminists who were contemptuous of men were hyperbolic caricatures. These days, I am not nearly so sure of that.


Also, I didn't call myself a feminist until a few years ago, when someone called me out on it in a contentious MeFi/MeTa thread I won't name so we don't Go There.

I suppose I had thought of feminists as this other class of "correct"-word-using, strident people I wasn't aligned with - I honestly am not even sure. But that person calling me out on not using the word "feminist" for myself when I clearly valued women's rights and human rights, that was the right thing to do.

I don't think anyone on this site is contemptuous of men. In other words, I cannot disagree with the above comment hard enough. For me.
posted by sweetkid at 1:13 PM on September 26, 2013 [8 favorites]


I wouldn't call it the "high school coterie" model, I'd call it the way power works when liberation struggles come into conflict with established ideological authority.

I see your point about status not changing, sorry I misunderstood it. But even then I think there's more to it than that. Status changes are not unheard of in real life, and especially when there are young people involved in the conversation you can anticipate they will move into positions of greater social power over time. The userbase here is exceptionally well educated in the aggregate. It is important, I think, to remember that words have influence, and that one never ever knows whom one might reach or influence with one's words, or what changes they might precipitate in someone's thinking.

I don't like "punching up/punching down" metaphors because I am not a fan of the "symbolic violence" concept. I think punching people is a bad way to make change.
posted by spitbull at 1:21 PM on September 26, 2013


What's worse is that I actually have a more negative view of the feminist movement these days as a result of what I have witnessed and experienced on Metafilter. I used to take it as a given that those straw feminists who were contemptuous of men were hyperbolic caricatures. These days, I am not nearly so sure of that.

I know I've seen similar statements like this posted, maybe even by you, and they always make me sad. I am glad that you are a member of this place. The truth is, I don't think I've ever read anything on Metafilter that actually said "I, a feminist, hate men, because feminism." Instead, I think that Metafilter has changed me and my words for the better (not just here, but in discussions in real life.) I have nothing against men; I work with them, I have many guy friends, I'm marrying one. I don't usually lay that all out while commenting in threads about Ye Patriarchy and Howe It Hath Faiyled Us because, to be honest, I think almost every single user on this site has a working relationship to some degree or another with men, despite many of us having had bad and sexist experiences. Where do you see open contempt or comments along those lines?
posted by jetlagaddict at 1:22 PM on September 26, 2013 [8 favorites]


Also, by "in group," I didn't just mean "metafilter feminists" (among whom I would count myself). I meant "the metafilter community," which is a complex abstraction. But I think this site sends plenty of powerful signals (up to and including deletion of content on a categorical basis) about who is welcome here and who isn't, what level of discourse is required here and what won't do, and what subjects and approaches to such subjects are acceptable.

That's well and good. In many ways those things define "community" as an abstraction and in practice. And communities change over time. Change can be good. Change can be disruptive Change can also be alienating and imposed more or less aggressively. Change has its discontents.

I also think many perspectives on this subject, not only ubernostrum's, are rooted in very personal experiences of trauma, conflict, and self-formation. Gender conflict touches the core of most peoples' identity and sense of self, and that's why it's so important that we seek equality (and respectful language as well). It's very hard to see it from another's perspective, even compared to most ideological debates. A lot of the work of feminism involves (and yes, repeatedly, until you're blue in the face) re-explaining the perspective of the oppressed to the privileged. It never fucking stops, and I get that that is frustrating.

But neither does any effort to maintain community and expand the universe of discourse in inclusive ways that respect differences of all kinds.

I get that the score is patriarchy 96,000, feminism 14, after a couple of hundred years of really hard effort. And the score with respect to LGBTQ rights is even worse. I am totally down with telling jokes about killing the oppressor class to blow off stress, and with expressing exasperation at once again having to explain privilege or why people should be called what they want to be called.

A luta continua.
posted by spitbull at 1:33 PM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cortex: And what got on my nerves is that a more shitty comment using the phrase "unbearably stupid" and the same moot "I didn't say you were X, I said your comment was X" excuse for abuse was allowed to stand. Seeing that message stand, after I had pulled back from what I had been writing in response to the weeping MRA twit, feels like a big Fuck You. It was and is frustrating and even infuriating. It is, IMO, moderation done wrong.

And that's enough of this whinge and derail.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:38 PM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


"But I don't see any room for people like me in the Metafilter feminism tent, and that, more than anything, frustrates me about Metafilter now. I have fought against sexism in my own life, given money to NARAL and NOW, and believe in equal rights for everyone, which is what I thought feminism was supposed to be about. I could be a great ally to you--but because I don't believe punching up, down or anywhere is the way to go about making positive change, I am not welcome."

It seems a little weird to ascribe such a narrow view of feminism, even within MeFi. There are plenty of disagreements here, within the MeFi feminist cohort, about tactics and theory and how personal experience intersects with all of that.

Especially since that seems to mean that, for you, all feminism must conform to where you are, what tones you prefer and what rhetoric you favor.

And, frankly, you were wrong about "cis." That you've now changed your mind is a testament to the kindness and patience of some folks here, but the locus of the error was with you, not in people who rebutted your objections.

What's worse is that I actually have a more negative view of the feminist movement these days as a result of what I have witnessed and experienced on Metafilter. I used to take it as a given that those straw feminists who were contemptuous of men were hyperbolic caricatures. These days, I am not nearly so sure of that.

I can't think of a single MeFi feminist who is contemptuous of men qua men. I can think of plenty who are contemptuous of rhetoric employed by men, or rhetoric that buttresses male privilege. I suppose it's possible that I've missed the contributions of some Valerie Solanas sockpuppet, but I doubt it.

More than anything, I associate your comments with an older generation that is vaguely piqued because things have changed since they were comfortable.
posted by klangklangston at 1:45 PM on September 26, 2013 [21 favorites]


I wouldn't call it the "high school coterie" model, I'd call it the way power works when liberation struggles come into conflict with established ideological authority.

Fair enough. I'm not quite seeing it, but I just started a new medication and my brain is melting, so I'm probably not putting the pieces together very well. I'll come back to this later, if you don't mind.

As regards your points on status change and boundaries, yes to all of that. I meant a much narrower version than your reading, which is just to say that the conversation on MetaFilter doesn't shift a person's status in the "real world", but of course many things will influence what someone says when they do speak or change positions, and these conversations are hopefully some of them.
posted by Errant at 1:47 PM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


"I don't like "punching up/punching down" metaphors because I am not a fan of the "symbolic violence" concept. I think punching people is a bad way to make change."

Well, yeah, if you're a hotdog guy. For anyone else, the spectrum of ridicule to physical force has often been an effective way to change the status quo.
posted by klangklangston at 1:53 PM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I could be a great ally to you

Well look. I've been there. The #whitefeminist hashtag on Twitter can get my hackles up because my first impulse is to be all, "Um, hello, I am not like that and I WANT TO HELP YOU" but that is actually a hurtful reaction. If I want my feminism to be intersectional, then I need to take the time to understand trans* issues, and what cis means. I need to let women of color have their space to take the piss out of white feminists. I need to let my fellow feminists be angry and cranky and make dark jokes, even if that isn't my own personal style.

The onus is not on these folks to make me feel better, or explain terminology. Demanding that a marginalized group (even if you are a member of that group) cater to you and the specific issues you care about so you can be an AWESOME ALLY doesn't help anyone.
posted by jess at 1:57 PM on September 26, 2013 [38 favorites]


what jess said AGAIN. As a nonwhite straight cis woman trans* issues were some of the first things I came across where I had to check myself and yeah, my privilege, and realize that trans* people didn't need to be in a constant state of educating me the "right" way, even though I "wanted to help," because they need to go ahead and live their lives just like everyone else.

I think everyone who has privilege in some area or another feels that pang of "but I'm trying to help" and you have to sort of contort yourself to change your worldview. But that's what it is.
posted by sweetkid at 2:07 PM on September 26, 2013 [13 favorites]


Also, just about everyone has privilege in some area or another.
posted by sweetkid at 2:13 PM on September 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


If I want my feminism to be intersectional, then I need to take the time to understand trans* issues, and what cis means. I need to let women of color have their space to take the piss out of white feminists. I need to let my fellow feminists be angry and cranky and make dark jokes, even if that isn't my own personal style.

Quoted for absolute truth.

As a white straight cis woman, I was dealt a pretty good hand in privilege poker. One of the biggest lessons I've learned over the past couple of years, here at MetaFilter and in other places, is that there are about a million different ways to be a feminist. My experience with feminism is going to be very different from a nonwhite feminist's experience, a queer feminist's experience, a trans* feminist's experience, a male feminist's experience. My experience does not override theirs as somehow more correct or more valid.

Actually, one of the things that helped drive that point home for me quite recently was the whole Miley Cyrus/cultural appropriation thing. I read a blog post by a black feminist scholar about the ways in which black women's bodies and sexuality are treated as publicly accessible commodities, and it opened my eyes to an experience I wasn't wholly aware of before. Did parts of that post make me feel a little bad? Maybe. Whose problem is that? Mine. With privilege comes responsibility, you know?
posted by palomar at 2:19 PM on September 26, 2013 [23 favorites]


trans* people didn't need to be in a constant state of educating me the "right" way

That's right, they don't... and that's why it's very nice and appreciated it if they find the time/energy to explain stuff anyway, and okay if they don't.

There's still a lot I don't get yet, and some of the hardest stuff, I may never understand*; still, I have learned a lot here. Thanks to those who had the time/energy to explain, and even be nice about it. Especially because it's not your task or duty, we appreciate it.

*Gender. I don't grok it. I don't think anyone can actually explain that to me.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:29 PM on September 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


I can think of plenty who are contemptuous of rhetoric employed by men, or rhetoric that buttresses male privilege.

I think the conflation of these two happens repeatedly.

There are legitimate differences of opinion within feminist theory and practice. Despite a fairly broad swath of feminist opinions (most especially on the question of what exactly is "natural" about various aspects of gender and sexuality, in my view our debate here is often lacking really vigorous representation of more biological and anthropological and cross-cultural concerns that inflect the fields of feminist discourse in which I participate) being par for the course on this site, a certain current strain of social justice progressive rhetoric and a certain essentialist and somewhat naively western/modern/bourgeois view of gender and sexuality variation as a broadly human phenomenon, and scientifically muddled prescriptivist view of language do emerge as dominant here in my opinion.

There is a feminist perspective that takes account of what I consider fairly settled scientific understandings of human evolution and relatively settled accounts of how culture operates to inflect that evolutionary history. However, voicing it here (and in many other humanist/cosmopolitan/third wave feminist contexts I've encountered) is often (and I really don't want to be specific because this is not a callout but a point about mistaking metafilter for the world) read as unreflexively appealing to a biologically essentialist account that naturalizes patriarchy, as if you can't be a feminist and also believe that humans are still primates who happen to have developed language and culture and complex social organization and divisions of labor and modes of subsistence and genomics and space travel and social justice movements over a very short 100,000 years or so.

I've known a few feminist primatologists and human biologists, and learned a lot about gender and sexuality from some of their work. And there are several mefites who know a lot about this subject and chime in on science threads when the subject comes up. But such topics are rarely addressed in gender debates here. And when they are, it's been my experience that they are often poorly received as yet more MRA bullshit. My hypothesis is that a legitimate critique of pure constructionist accounts of gender and sexuality, much in vogue among academic feminists for a few decades now, is a legitimate response to the ironic way such accounts reinscribe culturally specific forms of gendered behavior and discourse as human essences that are not at all attested in the evolutionary (or ethnographic) records. But such a critique -- which again I think has great value for feminist political praxis, which too often cedes the ground of the "natural" to the other side(s) -- is discouraged when it is lumped together with "MRA" discourse.

PS:
the spectrum of ridicule to physical force

Didn't say otherwise in terms of the reality of struggle, which of course often proceeds By Any Means Necessary. My view, utopian though it may be, is that power obtained or maintained with violence perpetuates injustice differently than does ideological hegemony (which of course often depends on control of the means of violence, but fails when they are used abusively, which is most of how they are used as means of social control, witness the disgusting results of America's hypocritical "wars" on drugs or terrorism).

Ridicule is not violence. Silencing is (usually) not even violence. Violence is violence. And when the primary means of liberation struggle are violent means, you've already lost the struggle. You just want to trade one unjust order for another one in which you're on top.

The debate about the legitimacy of force and violence in liberation struggles is of course more complicated, but I don't want to derail further into that topic, which I think is only a background issue for a debate about language and inclusiveness in a web community. There is, suffice it to say, a cycle of violence, and a history of violence as the basis of patriarchy and sexual and gender inequality. It is human, in fact it is probably primate-ish, to want revenge, to want the oppressor to taste the bitterness of his own methods, to meet force with equivalent force and upend the power structure. And sometimes violence is necessary to interrupt violence, although in my view those circumstances occur more rarely than they are invoked. But telling jokes is not punching people, and I have a particular obsession about pointing that out when discourse that doesn't *incite* violence directly (or excuse it retrospectively) is called "violent" in its own right. Violence can be discursive, of course. But it's never just discursive, pace Foucault. That's a different point.


And with that, I'll wrap up with apologies for prolixity. Errant, hope you feel better.
posted by spitbull at 2:31 PM on September 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


I feel like the actual point I was trying to make is being missed here. I will try again (BunnyUltramod, if you are tired of explaining yourself, please consider you are not the only one).

TL;DR version:
Making assumptions is bad for everyone. "You are either with us or against us" thinking ignores the complexity of human experience.

The Golden Rule is a pretty good idea, yo.
posted by misha at 2:39 PM on September 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


"You are either with us or against us" thinking ignores the complexity of human experience.

Okay. When you say things like there's no room for you in the MeFi feminist tent, I feel like that's you saying that you're against us. Or we're against you.
posted by palomar at 2:44 PM on September 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


I feel like I've been considered in the feminist tent pretty much, or I tend to follow the "approved thinking" or whatever detractors may say, and I've still had contentious arguments with other feminists, or other anti racists, or whatever, on Metafilter. People are different and have different views on different things. That doesn't chuck me out of the tent, nor anyone else, though it does show that there isn't an "approved" Metafilter view on things.
posted by sweetkid at 2:47 PM on September 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


"You are either with us or against us" thinking ignores the complexity of human experience.

Good thing I've seen like, no one laying down any unilateral ultimatums against people in this thread.

The following isn't directed at you, but this remark did bring up something for me that's been on my mind a lot lately:

As evidenced in another of Decani's tiresome template drive-bys (and how does he keep getting away with that anyway?), it seems that generally, in day to day life, objections to "jokes" that make light of actual oppression are handwaved away under the guise of being able to take a joke. Strange how when the oppressed make jokes of their own, employing sometimes dark humor, it's then that suddenly being sensitive to the feelings of others is paramount, and how we really ought to bend over backwards to be more accommodating to the privileged, and you know it's really alienating to the people who might otherwise listen to you if you were just more considerate.

I'm tired of it. I am in no position to complain if someone wants to make jokes that poke fun of any position of privilege I hold, because the joke is aimed at the system supporting the privilege. This is catharsis, and it is a tiny drop in the bucket of how we all change the system for the better. I think contextualizing where this humor is coming from and what it's aimed at is a lot more important than making sure the oppressed don't ever hurt the feelings of the privileged, when the criticism within the joke is aimed at an injustice.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:54 PM on September 26, 2013 [38 favorites]


and how does he keep getting away with that anyway?

well it's Metatalk. That comment though seemed like it was made by DecaniBot. So obvious.
posted by sweetkid at 2:57 PM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've still had contentious arguments with other feminists, or other anti racists, or whatever, on Metafilter.

Have your contributions been called anything remotely like weeping MRA twit?

Perhaps your experience of metafilter is different than misha's has been and you should let her express her experience without implying she's got it wrong just because you haven't felt the way she is describing. (Metafilter gender threads taught me that.)
posted by 0 at 3:02 PM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


That comment though seemed like it was made by DecaniBot.

That actually explains things; I think someone forgot to set it for daylight savings.
posted by griphus at 3:07 PM on September 26, 2013


Even the violence in GTA is funny, precisely because every time an NPC ragdolls over a car hood, it makes you sharply aware of how artificial this seemingly real world is.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by en forme de poire at 3:48 PM on September 26, 2013 [13 favorites]


I could explain the difference, I guess, but there's just no point.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 3:58 PM on September 26, 2013


But telling jokes is not punching people, and I have a particular obsession about pointing that out when discourse that doesn't *incite* violence directly (or excuse it retrospectively) is called "violent" in its own right.

No memail or I probably would have replied there, but that point is why I (in context of the larger discussion this MeTa focuses on) referenced the spectrum from ridicule to punching. I will say that there are definitely shades within that point (the one about the difference between inciting violence and violent rhetoric) and that many of them depend on the context. I have no problem when, say, people object to the videogame use of "rape" to mean "pwn" as violent and misogynistic, but that's because I think there's a significant difference in both effect and context from women writing rhymes where "kill all men" is the punchline.

posted by klangklangston at 3:59 PM on September 26, 2013


Ah, what the hell... Taking pleasure in killing fictional creations in general is different from taking pleasure in killing representatives of a group. That's why the general killing of people in GTA is good fun, but the "Kill All Haitians" mission is not.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 4:00 PM on September 26, 2013


So... context matters, is what you're saying.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:01 PM on September 26, 2013 [7 favorites]


You're right, there was no point to that "explanation".
posted by elizardbits at 4:03 PM on September 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


Can we keep the argument in here at least instead of bringing it out to the blue?
posted by ODiV at 4:07 PM on September 26, 2013


Taking pleasure in killing fictional creations in general is different from taking pleasure in killing representatives of a group.

And you are unwilling or unable to acknowledge that the nursery rhymes are fictional constructs, in which fictional characters are killed, to the delight and joy of many readers. Why is the prostitute you kill in a video game - a visual character whom you can see and interact with - exempt from being a representative of a group, but the "men" in the nursery rhymes can only be treated as real, living people?
posted by rtha at 4:19 PM on September 26, 2013 [30 favorites]


spitbull, do you have blogs, articles, or books you'd recommend for the scientific/evolutionary feminist theory you're talking about? I'm interested in learning more.
posted by jaguar at 4:50 PM on September 26, 2013


Because men aren't routinely killed just for being men as part of systemic oppression against them.

how are we still having to answer these fucking questions I don't even
posted by NoraReed at 4:51 PM on September 26, 2013 [10 favorites]


The killing of prostitutes in GTA is indeed pretty queasy-making. But at least GTA never ordered the player to "Kill all the women"; a player could spend the game killing all women, or all men, or only white people, or not kill non-mission-NPCs at all. When GTA actually built a mission around "Kill the Haitians", it was so bothersome that the developer decided to remove it.

Regarding the rhymes, well: On the one hand, you're saying the men of the nursery rhymes are fictional constructs, with no connection to actual men, so their death is delightful. But elsewhere, you seem to agree (and correct me if this is not the case) with the argument that it's funny to tell nursery rhymes about killing men because in the real world, men have privilege, and the men in the nursery rhymes stand for those privileged men.

A character in a fiction becomes a representative of a group if the creator of the fiction says they are. If a book says "This woman had to die because she had betrayed our comrades," we understand that the author does not hate the female gender (though if every woman in the book ends up "having to die," we may get suspicious). If a book says "This woman had to die because women should die," that's fucked up, even if the author insists that it's ironic, dude, can't you take a joke?

AmryOfKittens: "Context" is not a get-out-of-moral-reciprocity-free card. The best moral rule that anyone has come up with is "Do not do unto others what is hateful to you." (it's a Rabbinic thing that Jesus, as usual, vulgarized). Once you declare "This thing I do unto others would be hateful to me, but it's okay to do to them because they're _________ [privileged, savages, kulaks, insane, etc]", you've joined on the dark side.

elizardbits, you stay classy. Your contributions to the discussion continue to be useful documents.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 4:52 PM on September 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


ThatFuzzyBastard: "AmryOfKittens: "Context" is not a get-out-of-moral-reciprocity-free card. The best moral rule that anyone has come up with is "Do not do unto others what is hateful to you." (it's a Rabbinic thing that Jesus, as usual, vulgarized). Once you declare "This thing I do unto others would be hateful to me, but it's okay to do to them because they're _________ [privileged, savages, kulaks, insane, etc]", you've joined on the dark side."

I'm still not clear on how this makes the violence in GTA somehow less bad -- despite a) being graphically depicted and b) under the direct control of the player -- compared to the violence in a bunch of repurposed nursery rhymes.

Wow it's hard to type accurately when you're laughing.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:59 PM on September 26, 2013 [10 favorites]


"Regarding the rhymes, well: On the one hand, you're saying the men of the nursery rhymes are fictional constructs, with no connection to actual men, so their death is delightful. But elsewhere, you seem to agree (and correct me if this is not the case) with the argument that it's funny to tell nursery rhymes about killing men because in the real world, men have privilege, and the men in the nursery rhymes stand for those privileged men."

No, as has been explained multiple times, the joke is that feminists don't really believe these things; they are things that men who complain about misandry think that feminists believe. The men in the nursery rhymes do not stand for privileged men; they are rhetorical devices that stand for hyperbolic paranoia on the part of men who complain about misandry.

"A character in a fiction becomes a representative of a group if the creator of the fiction says they are. If a book says "This woman had to die because she had betrayed our comrades," we understand that the author does not hate the female gender (though if every woman in the book ends up "having to die," we may get suspicious). If a book says "This woman had to die because women should die," that's fucked up, even if the author insists that it's ironic, dude, can't you take a joke?"

If the book says, "This woman had to die because all women should die," in the voice of a misogynist, it can, in fact, be an ironic joke that does not mean that women should die.

This is basic stuff taught in most college lit classes. Have you never availed yourself of one?
posted by klangklangston at 4:59 PM on September 26, 2013 [10 favorites]


elizardbits is a classy lady (I know because I read her tumblr) so if you were being sarcastic there I will fite u irl

(irl because the only fighting I am good at is in soul calibur II and GameCube doesn't internet)
posted by NoraReed at 5:01 PM on September 26, 2013 [7 favorites]


Do you have a PS3 or Xbox 360 because Soulcalibur II HD Online is coming out and I am going to need people to play with.
posted by griphus at 5:03 PM on September 26, 2013


I really didn't think we'd get to the point of the meta where we're arguing about whether nursery rhyme characters are fictional. This is a surprise to me!
posted by Greg Nog at 5:04 PM on September 26, 2013 [23 favorites]


Yeah but were the curds and whey real and are they still there because I'm hungry
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 5:05 PM on September 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't really know about blogs. But one place to start is at Stanford's online enyclopedia of philosophy, where there is an entry on "feminist philosophy of biology."

The work of U Calgary primatologist Linda Fedigan may be of interest (especially her 2000 book "Primate Encounters: Models of Science, Gender, and Society."

Patricia Gowaty and Anne Fausto-Sterling are big names.

And of course you'll want to make sure you've read your Haraway, Fox-Keller, Foucault, and Latour.
posted by spitbull at 5:12 PM on September 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


that might be worth hooking up my PS3 again even if there's no Link. I'm pretty cheap though and largely pogo stick everyone with Yoshimitsu and crotch-attack with Sophitia, is that ok?
posted by NoraReed at 5:12 PM on September 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Next week we should do a FPP with "kill whitey" nursery rhymes. It's "punching up", and ironic because people aren't killing white people for being white. Some of you could burn off some steam if you need to.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 5:15 PM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm in, but being white myself it might be a bit gauche?
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 5:17 PM on September 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


I really didn't think we'd get to the point of the meta where we're arguing about whether nursery rhyme characters are fictional. This is a surprise to me!

Is this where I get to ask who would win in a fight, Superman, the Hulk, or Little Jack Horner?
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:19 PM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm white and have gotten a lot of privilege because of that. If people who didn't receive that feel like writing rhymes about killing white people, who am I to stop them? There are some issues with co-opting the anger of POC if those of us who are white join in without being careful and considerate, of course.
posted by NoraReed at 5:20 PM on September 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


Jack Sprat could eat no fat.
His wife could eat no lean.
One day I seduced Jack into a homosexual lifestyle,
Because after my tenth one I get a free toaster.
posted by en forme de poire at 5:28 PM on September 26, 2013 [19 favorites]


I hope there's some rhymes by the Brothers Mugabe!
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 5:29 PM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes, let's go there.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:34 PM on September 26, 2013 [15 favorites]


I really didn't think we'd get to the point of the meta where we're arguing about whether nursery rhyme characters are fictional.

the irony of that is a lot of nursery rhyme characters weren't fictional at all
posted by pyramid termite at 5:35 PM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Next week we should do a FPP with "kill whitey" nursery rhymes. It's "punching up", and ironic because people aren't killing white people for being white. Some of you could burn off some steam if you need to."

If by next week you mean 30 years ago.
posted by klangklangston at 5:38 PM on September 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


I thought for sure that was going to be the Garrett Morris skit.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:44 PM on September 26, 2013


Or Eddie Murphy's "Prose and Cons" bit, perhaps?
posted by spitbull at 5:48 PM on September 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Kill my landlord! C-i-l-l my landlord!
posted by octobersurprise at 5:51 PM on September 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


Though the landlord might not have been white. Was he white?

It doesn't matter. The question is moot.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:53 PM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


The landlord was definitely white.
posted by spitbull at 5:56 PM on September 26, 2013


I've still had contentious arguments with other feminists, or other anti racists, or whatever, on Metafilter.

Have your contributions been called anything remotely like weeping MRA twit?

Perhaps your experience of metafilter is different than misha's has been and you should let her express her experience without implying she's got it wrong just because you haven't felt the way she is describing. (Metafilter gender threads taught me that.)
posted by 0 at 6:02 PM on September 26 [1 favorite +] [!]


My comment wasn't addressed to misha. Or anyone else. But I don't think you're learning anything from gender threads and wonder what you're doing in them.
posted by sweetkid at 5:57 PM on September 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


there's this quote i read the other day but i can't find it now so i'll probably butcher it, but it basically goes like this. it's not the responsibility of the oppressed to make room in their community for allies, it's the allies responsibility to make room in the majority for the oppressed. that's what being an ally is.
posted by nadawi at 6:02 PM on September 26, 2013 [25 favorites]


"Next week we should do a FPP with "kill whitey" nursery rhymes. It's "punching up", and ironic because people aren't killing white people for being white. Some of you could burn off some steam if you need to."

If by next week you mean 30 years ago.
posted by klangklangston at 8:38 PM on September 26 [3 favorites −] [!]


I'd never seen that. It's fantastic.

Again, for the unaware Eddie Murphy was not advocating genocide in that clip.
posted by sweetkid at 6:08 PM on September 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh wow, I never connected that Murphy was playing the same character ("Tyrone Green") in both of those sketches.
posted by spitbull at 6:15 PM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Kill my landlord! C-i-l-l my landlord!"

As soon as we advocate murder against someone just for being a landlord, we've joined the dark side.
posted by klangklangston at 6:19 PM on September 26, 2013


So you mean Jerry Falwell was right about punk rock???
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:20 PM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


The dark side or the workers' revolution, man?
posted by spitbull at 6:22 PM on September 26, 2013


I Have a friend who writes for the Toast (not Mallory). I just saw her and didn't tell her a bunch of people on the Internet were taking the lullabies article seriously as an attack on men. She would have thought I was making shit up.
posted by sweetkid at 6:31 PM on September 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


Whenever a sentence starts, "So you mean Jerry Falwell was right…?" you can just say, "No," right there. About anything.

(Though I do admit I sometimes confuse him with the also-wrong Pat Robertson.)
posted by klangklangston at 6:32 PM on September 26, 2013


sweetkid: "I just saw her and didn't tell her a bunch of people on the Internet were taking the lullabies article seriously as an attack on men. She would have thought I was making shit up."

Perfect. Our plans remain undiscovered!

First we come at them by turning their precious nursery rhymes against them. Then, it's renamed breakfast cereals: Misandry Flakes; Shredded Men; Pop Studs. Finally, in a devastating strike, we will take out a full-page ad in a national newspaper calling all men JERKS.

LET THE MATRIARCHY BEGIN
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:37 PM on September 26, 2013 [27 favorites]


I thought we agreed at the potluck dinner not to talk about the newspaper thing.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:42 PM on September 26, 2013 [14 favorites]


I like that idea, nadawi. It's rather more articulate than mine, which is generally a rant about how anyone who's driven away by marginalized groups not being nice enough to them and bending over backwards to make Privileged People feel welcome, followed by an all-caps WE'VE LOST A POWERFUL ALLY (TM), which is like the new Nice Guys (tm) or something.

it's possible SRS is making me unfit for mainstream society
I regret nothing
posted by NoraReed at 6:43 PM on September 26, 2013 [8 favorites]


First we come at them by turning their precious nursery rhymes against them. Then, it's renamed breakfast cereals: Misandry Flakes; Shredded Men; Pop Studs. Finally, in a devastating strike, we will take out a full-page ad in a national newspaper calling all men JERKS.

This comment is fantastic.

I mean whoops yes this is our plan.
posted by sweetkid at 6:44 PM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


She would have thought I was making shit up.

Maybe so, but she would have known it would rile certain people up. Like I said in the thread, I think that's the whole point of it being posted here.

I'm not getting the sense that anyone here thinks the article is evidence of a real plot against men. Maybe in certain forums there are men who would think so (or claim to). Here, I'm seeing people who are offended for different reasons.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 6:44 PM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Guh. I wish there was a free, legal version of Killing Us Softly 4 online. It'd make a great FPP.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:51 PM on September 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Like I said in the thread, I think that's the whole point of it being posted here.

Disagree. I was pretty surprised by the MeTa.
posted by sweetkid at 6:52 PM on September 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


Mr. T as the time traveling false demigod destiny usurper and the spider that lives in the blackhole behind the center of the galaxy that has to extrude wormholes to rectify his misdeeds.
posted by planetesimal at 6:56 PM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I thought Grant Morrison was doing Wonder Woman next?
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:57 PM on September 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


If I want my feminism to be intersectional, then I need to take the time to understand trans* issues, and what cis means. I need to let women of color have their space to take the piss out of white feminists. I need to let my fellow feminists be angry and cranky and make dark jokes, even if that isn't my own personal style.

Okay. Is there any way at all that this includes taking the time and effort to understand men's issues, too? Because the default seems to be to deny that they even exist. When people say misandry is not and never has been a thing, so it is fine to lampoon it like in the nursery rhymes thread, it just sounds like rationalizing to me. It's the same arguments made when these things come up in sexist jokes about women.

Now, you can say, yes, but we are just joking, and they actually mean it! But when your actions are the same, why should I believe you and not them?

I am a woman and know what sexism is like firsthand (and believe me it used to be a lot worse than it is today). Yet I can still feel compassion for men who are victims. I may believe sexism against women is more ingrained or egregious than sexism against men, but I am not going to assume men are lying when they say it is a problem for them, too. Not blaming the victims should apply to those with Y chromosomes as well.

I also don't see these kinds of threads as being women's issues threads. I feel suggesting that men are not welcome in a thread about Misandrist Nursery Rhymes is frankly a little absurd. If you think sexism is ever perpetrated by men or endured by men, than why shouldn't they be able to speak up, too? Why do the feminists in Metafilter have to approve what they say in order for it not to be a derail?

Why do I have to deny men their experiences and emotions to get along with other feminists here? Why can't we care about sexism, or sexual violence, or abuse, whenever it occurs? Concern about a Thing does not preclude being concerned about another Thing. That's another Mefi mantra I see tossed around a lot (but only when it is convenient to the argument).

More than anything, I associate your comments with an older generation that is vaguely piqued because things have changed since they were comfortable.


Fair enough, I tend to associate your comments with a younger generation that is vaguely piqued because life is so hard and they thought they had it all figured out.

(Though your perspective is also surprising to me because I feel like mostly the world is getting better these days. We have legalized gay marriage and gays serving openly in the military; birth control, Pap smears and mammograms are covered by insurance companies; an African American President is serving his second term in office, and I may even live to see a woman President. I am more comfortable with the world now than when I was growing up and couldn't even get birth control from a doctor--at 19!-- because I was not yet married).

As far as punching up goes, I like the concept much more after having gone through that link. It addresses the intersectionality we've all been discussing as it pertains to religious beliefs, but it could just as easily be applied to sexism, feminism and gender threads here on Mefi.
posted by misha at 6:59 PM on September 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


wait are people actually saying men shouldn't be involved in this thread? i honestly missed that and have never ever felt like other people are telling me to get out just cuz im a dude, or am i only half a dude and therefore i dont count or something

also what's with all this "you metafilter feminists deny that men's issues exist" when like multiple metafilter feminists are explicitly saying men's issues exist in this thread
posted by titus n. owl at 7:10 PM on September 26, 2013 [21 favorites]


Feminism as a philosophy that fights against patriarchy or kyriarchy does fight against the systems that oppress men, though. MRAs, who are the people screaming about "misandry", are universally angry because they perceive privilege as a zero sum game and women getting rights takes away theirs. Feminazi stole my ice cream, etc.

The chucklefucks that are crying about misandry and shit willfully ignore and regularly participate in these systems of oppression, calling people who disagree with them "manginas" and then turning around and complaining about men not winning more custody battles-- something that happens because women are expected by society to be fit only as caretakers and homemakers under patriarchy.

There's a difference between denying an individual's experience when it's obviously linked to a trend that a whole other people in the marginalized group can confirm and questioning claims of oppression under a system that doesn't exist. Men's Rights Activists and their ilk are to sociology what creationism is to biology and "misandry" is a dog-whistle for those people to gather like-minded misogynists together the way that "state's rights" is a dog-whistle for racists to meet and gather with other racists.
posted by NoraReed at 7:10 PM on September 26, 2013 [23 favorites]


ok i didnt mean that half a dude thing to come off as though i were accusing you or anyone of thinking that, it was a flippant remark i made aimed at myself and on second thought i'd remove it but that's an unauthorized use of the edit window
posted by titus n. owl at 7:11 PM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


be so, but she would have known it would rile certain people up

I've read all the Mefi gender threads and I was still 'really?' at the response. It took me longest time to really get the outrage.

Then I remembered I'm a woman and I know how laughable the idea of violent misandry is. Some men don't know that. They think the hatred has a basis in reality and they react viscerally to the idea of being hated for being part of a group when that sort of thing never usually happens to them.

The idea that any of this is about real victims of abuse is laughable. It's privilege panic.
posted by Summer at 7:21 PM on September 26, 2013 [15 favorites]


would have known it would rile certain people up. Like I said in the thread, I think that's the whole point of it being posted here.

that's a pretty hefty charge. do you have any evidence of that? i see nothing in the op's posting history that suggests he posts things to cause offense.
posted by nadawi at 7:23 PM on September 26, 2013


It's not even about any actual people. It's making fun of a set of attitudes MRA type people have about feminists, and it's a play on the weirdly violent nature of the original nursery rhymes. It's poking fun at ideas, not people.
posted by sweetkid at 7:24 PM on September 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


I have actually not interacted with a single feminist, online or off, who thinks that the patriarchy makes things peachy-keen for all men. Almost all feminists agree that the patriarchy hurts men as well as women.

I do object when more-trivial complaints that affect men ("Everyone thinks I'm a rapist!") get more attention then less-trivial complaints that affect women ("I have a higher statistical chance of being raped!").
posted by jaguar at 7:27 PM on September 26, 2013 [16 favorites]


i do think that individual survivors were triggered by the thread, i see no reason to doubt that. but, i don't think the thread should have been deleted because of it. sometimes as survivors we have to manage our own triggers.
posted by nadawi at 7:28 PM on September 26, 2013 [7 favorites]


It's not even about any actual people. It's making fun of a set of attitudes MRA type people have about feminists

You know, it might have been better if it had used the linking technique from the Obamacare poem thing. So when you get to the dead baby punchline you can link to the MRA idiots saying feminists want to murder their sons.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:31 PM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well that was part of the problem with übernostrums rhymes. He made them about actual people. It wasn't cool.
posted by sweetkid at 7:33 PM on September 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


Jetlagaddict, I really appreciate your reading and responding to what I said in the spirit in which it was intended. Thank you.

Where do you see open contempt or comments along those lines?

Yes, I do see comments like that.

Here's the problem. I could go through comments in this and other threads and point them out. After reading this thread, honestly, do you feel that my doing that would have a positive result? Because I feel that even if I was careful not to attach specific comments to the members who made them (which I think would be the best way, because I am really not into combing through people's commenting history, for obvious reasons), I would be accused of attacking those members. I would become the subject of the responses, as I have to some extent here already, rather than those comments.

However, if I do not bring out specific examples, that will be seen as me just making unfounded accusations.

If you feel there is any way at all I could answer you which would not backfire, I would be happy to, but I just don't see it.

(I mean, I sincerely thanked the members here who took the time to help me better understand trans* issues and got called out for being ignorant about trans* issues! Which was, yeah, my point. I was. But I was also still supportive of their goals. Now I am just better placed to advocate for them.)
posted by misha at 7:34 PM on September 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Summer: "Then I remembered I'm a woman and I know how laughable the idea of violent misandry is. Some men don't know that. They think the hatred has a basis in reality and they react viscerally to the idea of being hated for being part of a group when that sort of thing never usually happens to them. "

A little while ago I tried to figure out how many times I've been touched without my permission in an intimate area by a stranger over the last couple of years (usually bus and train gropings). It's happened enough times that I couldn't count them. Always by men who are bigger than me and almost always by men who are between me and the exit. They know what they're doing. They know I won't make a fuss. They know this because when women do make a fuss, they get put on their own little trial by everyone else in the carriage or on the bus and they have to prove they're not making it up, and if they're not, that they didn't somehow deserve it, and they go home more humiliated than if they'd just kept quiet. They know this because we know this.

The sick thing is that when I get groped I feel almost relieved because I used to have a penis down there and things would have gone south fucking quick if I still had it.

I think the main flaw of the original thread was that it, and the resulting discussion, took as read that that is the water in which all participants were swimming. That everyone in the thread had that instinctive knowledge. But it's hardly the first FPP to assume a 101-level education in its subject.

misha: "Not blaming the victims should apply to those with Y chromosomes as well."

Many people with Y chromosomes are women. I mention this because hobby horses were discussed several years ago in this thread, and cissexist language is kind of a hobby horse of mine: if I had my way I would have ridden a war pony across this website, bellowing (inclusive) war cries, streaked with the blood of cissexists, because I think the environment that cissexist language creates is incredibly damaging to trans people, especially the young and the yet-to-transition.

However, because Metafilter is not a safe space, I keep my cissexist language policing to trans-related threads only. I could park my pony on the tracks of practically any thread and wait for someone to be casually cissexist, but I don't, because it would be enormously disruptive and I would be told firmly to stop by, oh, say, Cortex. My hobby horse is not suitable for all races.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 7:40 PM on September 26, 2013 [25 favorites]


Well that was part of the problem with übernostrums rhymes. He made them about actual people. It wasn't cool.

Well, there were multiple problems there.

As for calling out specific MRA voices, I think certain words are worthy of public callout, especially when these are prominent voices in what claims to be a movement fighting a good fight.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:40 PM on September 26, 2013


Also, he had the worst sense of meter and scansion.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:46 PM on September 26, 2013


I do object when more-trivial complaints that affect men ("Everyone thinks I'm a rapist!") get more attention then less-trivial complaints that affect women ("I have a higher statistical chance of being raped!").

Or to bring it more in line with the thread in question, "As a woman, there's a 21% chance that my killer will be a man" vs. "As a man, there's a 9% chance my killer will be a woman."
posted by jaguar at 8:02 PM on September 26, 2013


So I am totally a man and I feel like a welcome participant on MetaFilter/MetaTalk/wherever. In fact most of the people here arguing that these lullabies are not actually man-killing-promoting are warm and humorous people that I like very much.

I also thought those lullabies were pretty damn funny, and my (also male roommate) laughed at them so hard that he signed up for a MetaFilter account over them. I have forbidden him from making that thread his First Time, though.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:04 PM on September 26, 2013 [16 favorites]


"Okay. Is there any way at all that this includes taking the time and effort to understand men's issues, too? Because the default seems to be to deny that they even exist. When people say misandry is not and never has been a thing, so it is fine to lampoon it like in the nursery rhymes thread, it just sounds like rationalizing to me. It's the same arguments made when these things come up in sexist jokes about women."

That paragraph from misha has a lot to do with my response to that quote that nadawi offered:

"...it's not the responsibility of the oppressed to make room in their community for allies, it's the allies responsibility to make room in the majority for the oppressed. that's what being an ally is."

I think there's a lot that's questionable about the idea that the proper role of an ally is to act on behalf of the oppressed. That's why I make the distinction I make between opposing injustice, which everyone/anyone can and should do, and acting as an advocate for others, which not everyone/anyone should do, because that involves difficult issues of agency which are especially important in this context. I think that advocacy for the oppressed by the non-oppressed should be done only in close cooperation with or supervision by the oppressed. And that designating oneself an advocate (as that definition of ally implies) without invitation or involvement of the oppressed is presumptuous, insulting, and often counter-productive.

Which is to say, as a male feminist who is, as I wrote above, concerned about the issues that men face in our society, I find misha's comments about this at best irritating and at worst, infuriating.

Even if men were truly an oppressed class, her eagerness to appoint herself a protector of male interests is presumptuous. But men aren't an oppressed class. It's certainly true that we suffer under the patriarchy and in various contexts we can find ourselves being treated unfairly. That's true of everyone. What's salient here is the answer to a simple question: does a man, all else being equal, have a greater, equal, or lesser influence in having his voice heard and his concerns addressed than other people? And the answer is that it's not "equal" or "lesser", it's "greater".

Men don't not face structural impediments to having their concerns taken seriously and addressed, they have inherent advantages. Even in an environment like MetaFilter where some people wrongly imagine that there's a bias against men, the fact is that men come into this community armed with all of the advantages we've accrued in our culture generally and those advantages play out here, even when it's not as friendly an environment as usual.

So not only is it objectionable when men hijack a discussion of feminism, as they always do, with all of their concerns and fears and resentments and suspicions, but there's something really off when a woman appoints herself an advocate for men in an earnest desire to see their concerns addressed.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:14 PM on September 26, 2013 [12 favorites]


That's why I make the distinction I make between opposing injustice, which everyone/anyone can and should do, and acting as an advocate for others, which not everyone/anyone should do, because that involves difficult issues of agency which are especially important in this context. I think that advocacy for the oppressed by the non-oppressed should be done only in close cooperation with or supervision by the oppressed

Yeah, my sons are good with it, thanks.
posted by misha at 8:48 PM on September 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


I've been thinking of the idea that an oppressed group has the duty to educate other people as to their issues today.

What I'm thinking is that the oppressed minority does, because that education is how change happens, and the oppressed minority has a duty to advocate for itself. If the group wishes to survive and thrive, it has to advocate for its own survival and interests.

What I think I'm seeing from this logic is a category error. While the group has the responsibility, no individual of that group always shares that responsibility. That is simply too much to ask from any person in that group. To provide an example not being used in this thread and so hopefully a bit neutral, homosexuals have a responsibility to look out for laws, cultural trends, and norms which harm homosexuals as a group and the best way to do this is by educating non-homosexuals as to the harm that's being caused, but no individual homosexual has to educate or advocate at any particular point. Some things can only be done as a society or a sub-culture.

I, for instance, cannot solve the problems of homelessness and poverty, but as a society we can, and people in favor of that need to educate and advocate to the rest of society. But no individual can do that all the time, because, well, we're limited beings.

I think this is the intuition people have when they say that you "need to educate your potential allies". They realize that's the way to win. They also realize it can't always be the person they're talking to. Or at least I hope they do.
posted by bswinburn at 9:08 PM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


if I had my way I would have ridden a war pony across this website, bellowing (inclusive) war cries, streaked with the blood of cissexists,

Can this be a movie? This should be a movie.
posted by rtha at 9:09 PM on September 26, 2013 [8 favorites]


They also realize it can't always be the person they're talking to. Or at least I hope they do.

i've seen this not be true more than enough times. i've definitely both witnessed and experienced the use of "you need to educate your potential allies" addressed to an individual as a thing that individual has a moral requirement to do individually right now
posted by titus n. owl at 9:27 PM on September 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is there any way at all that this includes taking the time and effort to understand men's issues, too?

.. you know this is almost verbatim "what about the men", right?

Actually I think you'd be surprised how much I know about men's issues simply from learning about the Patriarchy and intersectionality. I've read about the flawed standards used to determine if a man has been raped. I've looked at statistics relating to child custody and domestic violence. I've read about the atrociously high rate of death or incarceration in some areas for young nonwhite men.

You have no reason to assume that I don't understand some of the issues that men face, even though it isn't germane to being a feminist / feminist ally. And I could be wrong, but I bet many other self-proclaimed feminists on Metafilter would say the same thing.
posted by jess at 9:39 PM on September 26, 2013 [24 favorites]


I feel, as one example, the Trayvon Martin thread was full of male and female feminists talking about how what happened to Trayvon was an atrocity, and about the specific kinds of persecution faced by young black men. Several feminist women, in particular, talked about the ways that as women, they don't face those particular kinds of persecution.

I didn't see a single person going, "Who cares, he was a guy and guys don't have issues and never get oppressed, we need to get back to talking about things that happen to women."
posted by cairdeas at 9:48 PM on September 26, 2013 [31 favorites]


You have no reason to assume that I don't understand some of the issues that men face, even though it isn't germane to being a feminist / feminist ally.

Actually, I think understanding how the patriarchy fucks us all, IS germane to being a feminist.

I didn't see a single person going, "Who cares, he was a guy and guys don't have issues and never get oppressed, we need to get back to talking about things that happen to women."

Exactly.

Just today, there was an article in the paper here (Melbourne, Australia) about White Ribbon Day - a male-led campaign about violence against women. Apparently, an ad for White Ribbon Day had several complaints from men complaining it was "sexist" - because it didn't give equal time to discussing violence against men.

A male-led campaign about violence against women - and there's still men complaining it doesn't give any thought to violence against men.

Because women's issues are always co-opted by the "what about men" crowd. Unbelievable.
posted by crossoverman at 10:17 PM on September 26, 2013 [18 favorites]


nadawi: "i do think that individual survivors were triggered by the thread, i see no reason to doubt that.

Two or three of us who self-identify as abuse or assault survivors and found the original post/thread disturbing have said so outright in this thread. My takeaway from this meta thread is that we've been intermittently mocked for it or accused of commenting in bad faith, lumped in with MRA assholes and/or told our feelings are invalid. Not exactly helpful.

...but, i don't think the thread should have been deleted because of it...."

Just so we're all clear on this, I don't believe any of us said we thought it should have been deleted. The closest anyone of us came was Drinky Die, who said he thought it was "a bad post." And he explained why at length. A couple of us including me have been quite clear that our personal feelings apply to us and no one else.

sometimes as survivors we have to manage our own triggers.

Yes, we do. And our level of participation.
posted by zarq at 10:34 PM on September 26, 2013


I firmly believe in trigger warnings, though I know the general MeFi approach is that they're not required. Zarq, would you have felt better if the thread had trigger warnings?
posted by jaguar at 10:51 PM on September 26, 2013


misha: "I could be a great ally to you--but because I don't believe punching up, down or anywhere is the way to go about making positive change, I am not welcome.

What's worse is that I actually have a more negative view of the feminist movement these days as a result of what I have witnessed and experienced on Metafilter. I used to take it as a given that those straw feminists who were contemptuous of men were hyperbolic caricatures. These days, I am not nearly so sure of that.
"


cf, "You’ve Lost Your Temper So I Don’t Have To Listen To You Anymore":
"... it’s very simple – just hold them as representative of their entire group!... Maybe you can even say “well, I was about to say I was willing to listen to you, but then you got insulting so now I don’t have to!” Don’t worry about silly things like their feelings – c’mon, they’re grownups, aren’t they! The only thing that matters is defending your discrimination as completely fair and to avoid examining your prejudiced arguments in ways that may challenge them. You could even drop this little bomb: “You are damaging your cause by being angry, real understanding can only happen if all sides are respectful and patient”."
posted by ShawnStruck at 11:38 PM on September 26, 2013 [13 favorites]


jaguar: "Zarq, would you have felt better if the thread had trigger warnings?"

I don't know. It would be easy to simply say "yes," but that wouldn't be entirely honest. I might see the warning and click anyway because my personal threshold varies.

Personally, I like trigger warnings because I tend to think of them as polite and considerate. And I use them on posts whenever I think one might be needed by including a "some people may find this content disturbing" disclaimer -- without using the word "trigger" because the word itself tends to spark tedious debates in MeTa.

But while I appreciate seeing them, I don't like asking for them on posts that aren't mine. And I don't think they should be required around here. Heaven knows I've posted a bunch of triggery stuff myself over the years. Including at least two posts that were deleted for being beyond the community's acceptability threshold. So it would feel hypocritical. Also I don't think it's appropriate for me to ask for special snowflake status and wouldn't presume to ask for others. If something bothers me in a link or post thread, I close the page and move on. The comments on the original post bugged me so I stopped reading. Have skipped entire, lengthy posts about rape, molestation or child abuse because I was having a bad day. It happens.
posted by zarq at 11:41 PM on September 26, 2013


[I'm not weeping. The weeping was in reference to a sense of angry despair experienced by many oppressed women. I merely suggested that if the instinct to laugh instead of crying was predicated on a resort to mock-violence, it would be more humane to cry. I don't think violent imagery is healthy, no matter how good it feels or whom it's aimed at.

That belief is not limited to this set of nursery rhymes. Subtler, cleverer, ultimately more sophisticated satire that does not stoop to the puerile depiction of violence--I'm totally on board. But lazily making light of murder or assault and battery is debasing to its authors and the cause of human rights. The reprehensible excesses of the MRA are deserving of the best efforts of feminist satire. I'd love to see it--I'm not weeping and I'm not a MRActivist. I may be a twit. I've been called worse, though never by a piscatory chorus. That was novel. Fresh, even. Dry your tears, effy.]
posted by perhapsolutely at 11:52 PM on September 26, 2013


Ooh, almost forgot--

MetaFilter: I'm serious. I want to see this assholery, so that I can learn something.
posted by perhapsolutely at 12:06 AM on September 27, 2013


Shawnstruck, I like the Derailing for Dummies page, too. I have it in my bookmarks and it has really opened my eyes. Mostly because I see the tactics being used just as often by the people who cite them. Here's one for you, for example.

dfd: Who Wins Gold in the Oppression Olympics?
Following on from this, if you are a member of another marginalized group, you can also exploit it to indicate to the marginalized person how absolutely disdainful you are of their concerns and issues by making out that yours are far more important and imperative.You can even suggest that your issues are more valuable than theirs, implying a hierarchy of oppression in which you always win.

posted by misha at 12:18 AM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


I, um... I don't see where I been trying to claim I am more or less oppressed than someone talk about their own marginalization though?
posted by ShawnStruck at 12:23 AM on September 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


The reprehensible excesses of the MRA are deserving of the best efforts of feminist satire. I'd love to see it--I'm not weeping and I'm not a MRActivist.

Manboobz, /r/againstmensrights and /r/thebluepill are all places to start, though you'll have to wade through the content to find satire and wade more to find satire that fits your apparently rigorous standards for satire.

However, since this was much more a parody than a satire, both of the often gruesome nature of actual nursery rhymes, which everyone who's getting their smallclothes* all in a tither over this seems to be missing, and of the things MRA-types say about feminists. That's why Kate Beaton's straw feminists was linked early on and why it was relevant.

I think it's telling that there was a lot more tithering of smallclothes over violence in the thread that involves feminists and women complaining about ridiculous misandry assertions in a way that involved generally non-graphic descriptions of violence and not in, say, the GTA threads. There's some actual discussion of video game violence-- which I suppose is easier because there's a lot of both academic and popular research on video game violence and a lot less on parody nursery rhyme violence. But you get something that actually contains depictions of violence, often sexualized and racialized violence, and it's possible to have a side discussion of it in the main thread. Have something containing non-graphic, non-interactive violence that happens to be about men and making fun of the opinions of a group of men and it's so terrible it sparks an 800 post MeTa. I mean, seriously, dudes, ladies, and those who identify as neither "dude" or "lady"**, can't you see why that itself is an issue? Everything you do from a "women's perspective" or a "feminist perspective" is going to be policed more rigorously than things done from a "general perspective" or a "dudebro perspective". This is just an example.

*I considered "breeches in a bunch" and "panties in a twist" over this one, but it's not really a gendered thing, so I went with an item of clothing no one actually wears anymore. Apologies if this is offensive to any reinactors and/or cosplayers of 18th century gentlemen and any time-travelling 18th century gentlemen in period clothing reading this thread.

**perhaps because of the stoner-y connotations of "dude", the classist connotations of "lady", or because of a lack of identification with the gendered categories provided because of feeling bigender, agender, or a different gender identity altogether.

posted by NoraReed at 12:43 AM on September 27, 2013 [13 favorites]


Note to time-travelling 18th century gentlemen: Did you seriously figure out how to use the internet and end up navigating to the Grey and reading 700+ comments before you changed your clothes? Jeans, man. They're comfy. We make elastic-waist pants, now, too, and though it is generally considered uncouth to wear them in public, they are quite comfortable for lounging around the house and reading gigantic metafilter threads.
posted by NoraReed at 12:45 AM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thank you, NoraReed. I have to wonder, if anyone is concerned about how feminism is persecuting their sons with its blog posts of nursery rhyme parodies, if those same people let their sons play GTA or other violent video games. I wonder how concerned they are about the brutal porn featuring real-life women from the 3rd world that their sons are almost certainly watching, if they're past the age of puberty and heterosexual. I wonder how much violent media featuring the killing of men and women, for entertainment, they let their sons watch.

I'm super stunned by the absence of the 1st Amendment free speech brigade here.
posted by cairdeas at 12:54 AM on September 27, 2013 [11 favorites]


It's natural for you to enjoy pretending to kill people, darling, and it's natural for you to enjoy the depiction of fake violence, and perhaps even to be aroused by the depiction of real violence. Perish the thought, though, that anyone should even joke about you being the target of any of that, even as a parody!
posted by cairdeas at 1:00 AM on September 27, 2013 [8 favorites]


Parodic, satiric, comic, tragic, cinematic, recreational, pornographic, fictional-and-retributive or genuine-and-unprovoked--all violence is indefensible, insofar as it devalues respect for human life. Violence is inevitable enough in life without self-identifying human rights advocates expending keystrokes to justify flippant depictions of it, irrespective of the cause it purports to be in service of.
posted by perhapsolutely at 1:39 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Speaking as someone who wasn't thrilled about the original thread (except for the Tale of the Snark contribution which brightened my week)...

misha: Is there any way at all that this includes taking the time and effort to understand men's issues, too? Because the default seems to be to deny that they even exist.

Systemic misandry (institutionally embedded hatred of and contempt for men, just for being men) does not exist. Violence and hatred and and contempt and abuse inflicted by individuals upon individual men and boys does exist. (Inflicted on them solely because they are male? I wouldn't contradict any survivor who said so.) Sexist jokes about women are a problem because they both reinforce systemic misogyny, and can also trigger individual women. It IS a viable argument that the misandrist nursery rhyme thread is a problem because it can and definitely has triggered individual male abuse etc survivors. It is not viable to argue that that this thread reinforces systemic misandry, given that systemic misandry does not actually exist. Is it arguable that the thread reinforces ways in which patriarchal systems genuinely fuck over men and boys collectively? Given that patriarchal fucking over of men and boys exists, sure, it might be possible. I'd consider that argument if somebody wants to make it.

I am a woman and know what sexism is like firsthand (and believe me it used to be a lot worse than it is today). Yet I can still feel compassion for men who are victims. . . .

As others have observed, many feminist Mefites who are women have, in various threads, demonstrated compassion for men who are victims of abuse, sexual violence, sexism, and other injustices.

If you think sexism is ever perpetrated by men or endured by men, than why shouldn't they be able to speak up, too?

Sexism, abuse etc suffered by men absolutely needs more discussion and speaking up. Part of the issue here is the large number of times that the speaking up seems to be located exclusively in thread topics focused on venting about rape, harassment, or in the current thread, Feminazi stereotypes. What factors inhibit more men from creating their own spaces or threads within which to speak about abuse, sexism, patriarchal injustices etc, suffered by men and boys? There have been some over the years here, but they are few and far between. Is it just too low a priority to initiate? But once a thread exists that's about abuse, sexism, patriarchal injustice suffered by women, then that's superficially similar enough to trigger vociferous speaking up about the men and boys who are STILL not being talked about?
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 1:42 AM on September 27, 2013 [22 favorites]


I favorited your comment, cairdeas, because it was satisfying to read given that I, too, am mightily annoyed just as you are — but, really, that rhetorical tactic is a Bad Thing. The accusation of hypocrisy via a hypothetical person, or the assumption that an actual person fits that description without any evidence of it ... well, that's not good. Your barb was aimed at misha, though you don't name her, but we have no knowledge at all of what she allows her boys with regard to games or whatever, nor do we know what they do.

Even so, this isn't the first time that misha has acted exactly like an anti-feminist ... I just don't understand how someone can think of themselves or present themselves as a feminist when 90% of the time they're attacking feminists and defending men.

And NoraReed's fundamental point is exactly on-target and sound: there's a huge asymmetry between how the contingent of mefites in question respond to real or virtual or rhetorical violence against men and the same against women. It goes beyond absurdity into something worse that anything in that thread is perceived by anyone, at all, as being harmful to men, given that elsewhere here at MeFi and online and the offline world there are countless examples of things that are so much comparatively worse that go without comment or protest.

This seriously makes me angry. Very angry. I've written this before as well as saying it to people I know, and I always feel like there's a huge disconnect between what I say and how real it is to me, and how I suspect other people view it: but it's an ongoing (or regularly repeating) existential crisis for me that this is a world in which a significant portion of women are in everything but name slaves as property of their fathers and husbands, unable to own property of their own, not allowed to move freely or be educated equally to me, regularly beaten and raped by their husbands or other men with no recourse in the law, and yet this is considered just to be business-as-usual when, in contrast, apartheid was something that had college students regularly demonstrating. The slavery of women is not a matter of great import in this world. I find that I stumble over this reality on a regular basis, a few times a month, specifically or generally as I recognize yet again just how far from equality or even basic human dignity many of the world's women live. Someday there will be people who will have difficulty getting their head around the idea that one half of the population was afraid to walk alone at night and, in fact, lived much of their lives in fear of sexual assault ... and most people thought this was normal. Or that it was their fault.

The idea that someone would believe that anyone, anywhere, needs to speak up for the poor men who are suffering from feminist words and actions makes my physically ill. Nauseated and angry. It's how I feel when I hear southerners complain about how they're being oppressed when people complain about their display of the confederate flag. It's beyond repugnant.

And I see on preview:

"Parodic, satiric, comic, tragic, cinematic, recreational, pornographic, fictional-and-retributive or genuine-and-unprovoked--all violence is indefensible, insofar as it devalues respect for human life. Violence is inevitable enough in life without self-identifying human rights advocates expending keystrokes to justify flippant depictions of it, irrespective of the cause it purports to be in service of."

You know what else is indefensible? Comparing actual violence to satirical violence in service of an argument for silencing human rights activists who are actively opposing that actual violence. There should be a name for this species of noxious piety, where false equivalences are disingenuously utilized to defend the powerful.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:56 AM on September 27, 2013 [12 favorites]


I just want to say I'm not aiming anything at Misha or presuming what she does with her sons. I'm not talking about any one specific person. And even though I wrote about sons/boys, really, it's what I would like to ask anyone who thought these rhymes were oh-so-harmful. How much violent media do you consume and why is that so very different?
posted by cairdeas at 2:00 AM on September 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


I am just trying to get people to think about how, when it's male expression, and things enjoyed by a largely male audience, you would be very very hard pressed to find men protesting them based on how they triggered male victims or contributed to the persecution of men. Women who protest them are written off as Tipper Gores who want to enforce a nanny state on everyone and kill free speech.
posted by cairdeas at 2:02 AM on September 27, 2013 [8 favorites]


I do not equate real violence with fictional violence. Both can be reprehensible without equally offending human dignity. And it doesn't matter what your credentials are or how much good you pretend to be trying to effect, if you're trivializing violence through so called comedic violent imagery, you're not serving humankind. Defending violence is worse than defending violent imagery. It's still astonishing, and perhaps, sadly, telling, to see what should be righteous indignation resort to such a deplorable and hypocritical tactic.
posted by perhapsolutely at 2:19 AM on September 27, 2013


there's something really off when a woman appoints herself an advocate for men in an earnest desire to see their concerns addressed.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich


Truly a fine example of irony.
posted by spitbull at 2:24 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


First of all, I don't advocate on behalf of women; and, second of all, what I was complaining about in that quote was a member of an oppressed class acting as a defender of the oppressing class, which is not, you'll note, the same thing as what a male feminist does.

So, no, it's not a "fine example of irony".

And I will underscore this: if I see something that I think is sexist, I make a conscious and deliberate effort not to frame my objection to it on the basis of defending women, especially women who are actually present. Because it's not my place to do so. I will object to it on its own terms, not from a standpoint of speaking for someone else.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:05 AM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


You routinely assume a posture where you speak in a lecturing tone to the males present on behalf of feminism, Ivan. Or so it reads to me.

So to me, it is a fine example of irony when you condemn a woman for speaking on behalf of (as I read Misha) her own sons as male beings and, in essence, it's another mansplaining effort to make a dissenting woman be quiet or conform to The One True Feminism. It doesn't really matter which way the power is distributed in the abstract. That was a nasty putdown of Misha and typical of the intolerance that too often passes for righteousness around here.
posted by spitbull at 3:36 AM on September 27, 2013 [8 favorites]


it's another mansplaining effort to make a dissenting woman be quiet

And now the world has turned upside down.
posted by Summer at 5:03 AM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


I merely suggested that if the instinct to laugh instead of crying was predicated on a resort to mock-violence, it would be more humane to cry.

Huh. So I'm doing my emotional response incorrectly. Rather than laugh, I should cry more. Because I don't cry enough about violence visited upon real people - I must also cry at literary violence visited upon a metaphor.

No, thank you.
posted by rtha at 5:23 AM on September 27, 2013 [16 favorites]


It's natural for you to enjoy pretending to kill people, darling, and it's natural for you to enjoy the depiction of fake violence, and perhaps even to be aroused by the depiction of real violence. Perish the thought, though, that anyone should even joke about you being the target of any of that, even as a parody!

One more time, slowly: When a fiction permits the player to commit violence against a person, that's fictional violence. When a fiction orders you to enjoy violence against a person because of their group status, that's a fictional hate crime. They are as different from each other as an arson and a cross-burning.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 5:28 AM on September 27, 2013


I'm sorry, where is this fiction that is ordering you to do something?

Of course, you deeply, deeply regret the fictional people you choose to kill in video games, yes? The video game does not require you ever to kill all the soldiers or whatever the enemy is in order to win - it simply allows it! And you choose to kill, which is so much better!
posted by rtha at 5:35 AM on September 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


what I was complaining about in that quote was a member of an oppressed class acting as a defender of the oppressing class, which is not, you'll note, the same thing as what a male feminist does.

I think she is acting at least in part as a defender of the interests of her children, and that should not be so confusing to anybody. It's also not as simple as oppressor and oppressed since men are oppressing themselves too through holding up the patriarchal system. The privileges come with all kinds of drawbacks that leave a lot of men worse off than they otherwise would be. It's distinct from something like white privilege where there really aren't any drawbacks to being born white in America. I appreciate women being willing to confront those problems in addition to their own when they can and I appreciate Misha making an effort there even though I do think she has more negative a view of feminists than they deserve. I can't really judge how she perceives the threads she has been involved in though.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:38 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


that's a fictional hate crime

We're through the looking glass here, people.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:54 AM on September 27, 2013 [19 favorites]


I don't like it here I want to go back
posted by elizardbits at 6:11 AM on September 27, 2013 [18 favorites]


One more time, slowly: When a fiction permits the player to commit violence against a person, that's fictional violence. When a fiction orders you to enjoy violence against a person because of their group status, that's a fictional hate crime.

GTA has no male hookers.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:14 AM on September 27, 2013 [19 favorites]


By these standards, Civilization is the most hateful game ever conceived. It has repeatedly. instructed me to bring death to nearly every ethnic group you can name. The individual deaths in GTA are trivial in light of the genocides encouraged by Civ.
posted by griphus at 6:15 AM on September 27, 2013 [15 favorites]


I mean, Civilization does teach you that Gandhi is an awful violent man who cannot be trusted.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:16 AM on September 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


I always think of Civilization as a pacifist game because every time I've gone to war, it has ruined me. The only path to success is being on a nice quiet island by yourself researching instead of starting shit.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:18 AM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


I love how apparently these nursery rhymes are the height of evil because they somehow order you to enjoy violence, but GTA is okay because killing hookers isn't mandatory, it's just a fun side project you can take on if that's something you enjoy.

I'm hoping that's the stupidest thing I hear today, I really do.
posted by palomar at 6:19 AM on September 27, 2013 [30 favorites]


You have to have enough of a standing army that you don't get invaded. Sometimes conquering is super worth it though.

I can't stomach anything but cartoon violence but I play the crap out of Crusader Kings and Civ. I also write misandric lullabys and write satiric letters about why we should oppress straight people and read a lot of books what people die in, so I guess I'm a maniac.
posted by NoraReed at 6:23 AM on September 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


Destroy All Humans taught me that human being as a category is worth violently exterminating.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:23 AM on September 27, 2013 [8 favorites]


i always love to read about or watch the pacifist playthroughs of games.
posted by nadawi at 6:24 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


The only path to success is being on a nice quiet island by yourself researching instead of starting shit.

I prefer cultural victories, but the implication there is that your fictional culture destroyed the fictional culture of the other societies, bringing a sort of metaphorical violence upon the fictional-fictional characters of these societies, who are being replaced by the fictional-fictional characters of yours. I believe that is clearly hyper-fictional meta-genocide which is a Mega Hate Crime.

Although you may very well be taking over their cultures by syncresis, but that's cultural appropriation so, still, very, very hateful game. Sid Meier should be ashamed of himself and Take-Two Interactive (who publish both GTA and Civ) needs to be at the top of the SPLC hate group list.
posted by griphus at 6:27 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


A Machine For Pigs is literally the most egalitarian game I have ever played. We could all learn a lot from its example.
posted by emmtee at 6:28 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


For those you playing at home, please do not include me among the group who think the nursery rhyme violence is somehow more problematic than video game violence (if that's what is being argued).
posted by 0 at 6:29 AM on September 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


ThatFuzzyBastard: "When a fiction orders you to enjoy violence against a person because of their group status, that's a fictional hate crime."

Pedestrians are a group.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:29 AM on September 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also, is this why a lot of people don't like hate crime legislation? Because they don't know what a hate crime is?
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:30 AM on September 27, 2013 [18 favorites]


The only path to success is being on a nice quiet island by yourself researching instead of starting shit.

Or you can carefully cultivate relationships with nearby civilizations and design your research program as complementary while one-by-one picking off their cities once large enough and stealing their secrets until you conquer them fully and race to the stars, laughing all the way.*

*totally a legit, normal approach, right? Right...?
posted by jetlagaddict at 6:30 AM on September 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


You know, by this measure Pac-Man is just a depiction of hate crime and compulsive overeating.
posted by emmtee at 6:31 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


As a pedestrian, I'm deeply offended.

Or I would be, if this whole thing weren't so over the top ridiculous.
posted by palomar at 6:31 AM on September 27, 2013


if you're trivializing violence through so called comedic violent imagery, you're not serving humankind.

In the immortal words of Bugs Bunny, "Of course you know, this means war!"
posted by octobersurprise at 6:32 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


0: "For those you playing at home, please do not include me among the group who think the nursery rhyme violence is somehow more problematic than video game violence (if that's what is being argued)."

scribbles note in margin, changes NRV=VGV to NRV=!VGV, flags down Hot Nut guy
posted by jquinby at 6:32 AM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


I rather like hate crimes legislation, m'self. It makes sense as an aggravating circumstance in sentencing.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 6:42 AM on September 27, 2013


One more time, slowly: When a fiction permits the player to commit violence against a person, that's fictional violence. When a fiction orders you to enjoy violence against a person because of their group status, that's a fictional hate crime. They are as different from each other as an arson and a cross-burning.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard


TFB, no matter how slowly I read that, it still looks like a flimsy, contorted reach of a justification to me.

Do you genuinely not realize the staggering amount of "fiction that orders you to enjoy violence against a person because of their group status," that I do not see being protested by any of the fervent anti-violence crusaders here? Do you not realize that there's so much of it, it's like we're being blasted with a firehose?

We could even limit it to super-specific kinds of violence because of group status. Say, fiction in which it's a plot point that women aren't legally allowed to wear clothes. Time for us to write passionate screeds protesting the hate crimes of Star Trek! Say, fiction in which women are compelled to undergo forced marriage and marital rape, and end up liking it! Well, I look forward to your spirited protest about the evil of Game of Thrones which I know is never going to happen.
posted by cairdeas at 6:42 AM on September 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also ugh the literary enthusiast in me needs to pick this nit:

When a fiction orders you to enjoy violence against a person because of their group status, that's a fictional hate crime.

One more time, slowly: Misandrist lullabies does not order you to enjoy violence against men because of their man status. It invites you to appreciate the absurdity and out-of-placeness of traditional lullabies being interrupted with rhythmless, purposeless hatred against men. That absurdity exists on multiple levels at once:

— The lack of rhyme scheme or meter is itself funny, as argued at the very start of this thread;

— The pointlessness of the hatred is also funny, except for when the hatred is a result of pointing out something's exist about the man in the lullaby, in which case it's humorous because of the social criticism (either way it's funny!);

— The systematic hate towards men is funny because, well, men don't get systematically hated. Some people harbor individual hatreds towards men, like once this girl I kept hitting on kept telling me that men are uniformly pigs and I thought that was a little overgeneralizing, but there is no cultural or systemic institution that encourages us to regularly appreciate violence against men.

(Possibly with the exception of war games that assume men are the default gender for soldiers and that we should expect men to both want go to war and be okay with dying/killing other men in war, but can we all agree that that sort of violence against men is waaaay beyond the purview of these lullabies? That is another topic for another day.)

— The belief that a particular dedicated hate group – the extremist MRA movement – has that feminists are, in fact, man-hating and violent and planning on ridding the world of men foreverandeveramen. The poems essentially say, "Yup, that's us!" With a heavy dose of absurdist irony, because nope, that's not them!

One, two, three, FOUR layers of humor! Ah, ah, ah! And that is why so many people find these funny. That is also why, for multiple reasons, these poems are not actually promoting violence towards men in any way, except I guess for completely thick toiletbums on the Internet who are incapable of understanding context yet who argue incessantly that Grand Theft Auto is completely blameless for hating on specific groups but that a bunch of feminists writing funny poems is going to fuck everything over for men forever. And I'm speaking hypothetically there, because there's no way somebody could possibly be that oblivious but still find it his duty to condescend to everybody else who is explaining to him, patiently and bemusedly, that he is wrong.

(Explaining to women that you'll go over your argument "one more time, slowly" is why the phrase "mansplain" exists, bro. Just thought I'd add that to my critique.)
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:43 AM on September 27, 2013 [34 favorites]


I order my enraged birds to kill all the pigs, that's for sure. And should come as no surprise to anyone here.
posted by rtha at 6:51 AM on September 27, 2013 [13 favorites]


Whatever it is, I'm against it
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:55 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Down with pigs! Down also with birds, who knock down the things on top of the pigs and so must go down with them.
posted by NoraReed at 6:59 AM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


See, you violent women and your jokes DO lead to hate crimes against men, this is all the bad influence of that Assata Shakur, rightfully at the top of America's most wanted terrorist list.
posted by cairdeas at 7:03 AM on September 27, 2013


Thank God for baking soda.
posted by Tanizaki at 7:16 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just think of the chafing without it.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:21 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


fiction in which it's a plot point that women aren't legally allowed to wear clothes. Time for us to write passionate screeds protesting the hate crimes of Star Trek!

It may be my most shameful confession on this board that my Star Trek knowledge is limited to the first remake movie, and seeing the one with the whales when I was a kid. Was there an episode where women weren't allowed to wear clothes?

Say, fiction in which women are compelled to undergo forced marriage and marital rape, and end up liking it! Well, I look forward to your spirited protest about the evil of Game of Thrones which I know is never going to happen.

GoT is mighty creepy in that regard. I've only seen Season 1 (can't be arsed to read those doorstop books), but so far, I'm pretty unsure if Denny's is actually getting to like her kidnapper husband, or using him as a way to gather an army. Either way, I don't see the author expecting us to find her marital rape funny or sweet, that's for sure.

Rory: So, we're back to dickwolves, then. The joke is absurd, so anyone who says they're bothered by it should be mocked and dismissed.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 7:23 AM on September 27, 2013


So, we're back to dickwolves, then

No, you're back to dickwolves. God, you're obsessed with dickwolves.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:25 AM on September 27, 2013 [23 favorites]


Was there an episode where women weren't allowed to wear clothes?

Ferengi society and culture was highly misogynistic and patriarchal. As such, laws and cultural norms reflected and had deeply institutionalized such misogyny and discrimination.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:25 AM on September 27, 2013


She's nude in the rape scenes on TV, but I'm sure we're not supposed to find it erotic, they just have her get her tits out for the realism of it.
posted by cairdeas at 7:26 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


seriously, how many times do the mods have to tell you to stop bringing up dickwolves? maybe if they prefaced it with one more time, slowly you'd be sure to hear it.
posted by nadawi at 7:26 AM on September 27, 2013 [10 favorites]


The joke is absurd, so anyone who says they're bothered by it should be mocked and dismissed.


And this, right here, is why I do not believe that you are acting in good faith when you claim that you are a feminist, or that you are not actively trolling here.
posted by palomar at 7:27 AM on September 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


As per DS9, Ferengi women are not allowed to wear clothes.
posted by griphus at 7:27 AM on September 27, 2013


Damn beaten to the punch. Ishka is one of my favorite DS9 characters, meanwhile.
posted by griphus at 7:29 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Re: ThatFuzzyBastard- AAAAAAAUUUGGHGGHHHHHH
posted by NoraReed at 7:30 AM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


One more time, slowly: When a fiction permits the player to commit violence against a person, that's fictional violence. When a fiction orders you to enjoy violence against a person because of their group status, that's a fictional hate crime. They are as different from each other as an arson and a cross-burning.

At this point I'm wondering if you're deliberately or accidentally obtuse, as it seems you keep ignoring the many people who have spelled out for you the fact that the "fictional violence" in the nursery rhymes is a parody of the fevered imaginings of a small group of folks about a fictional fear; it is not a fictional "haw haw let's get teh menz" venting. Which is what makes that "one more time, slowly" even more condescending than it usually is.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:33 AM on September 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


I dont' think one could construct a strawman well enough to do what ThatFuzzyBastard is doing. In the span of, what, 24 hours, he claimed that there is a serious moral problem with violent nursery rhymes, then, in another thread, goes on about how the violence GTA5--one of the most realistic violent video games of all time--is not problematic at all.

You LITERALLY could not make up a more contradictory position regarding fictional depictions of violence.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 7:36 AM on September 27, 2013 [27 favorites]


Rory: So, we're back to dickwolves, then. The joke is absurd, so anyone who says they're bothered by it should be mocked and dismissed.

In dickwolves, the suggested violence against women is incidental to the real joke, which was, "video game objectives have nothing to do with morality". People complained rape is a real actual thing that happens to far too many women, and that using it for a throwaway reference that way trivializes the problem.

In these lullabies, the suggested violence against men is crucial to the real joke, which is, "feminist objectors have nothing to do with reality". People were okay with this because systematic violence against men is not an actual thing, and because the joke was using the idea of systematic violence against men to make a commentary which was the actual joke, and because rather than trivializing the problem, the joke pointed out that the problem does not exist in the way MRAs claim it does.

You are an exceedingly irritating person arguing an exceedingly idiotic thing. Go away.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:45 AM on September 27, 2013 [11 favorites]


ThatFuzzyBastard, we could not have been clearer about dropping the dickwolves thing. Do not bring it up again, you have personally completely exhausted your window for even broaching the subject at all on the site at this point, which is not an easy thing to accomplish on mefi.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:50 AM on September 27, 2013 [17 favorites]


Metafilter: not advocating genocide in that clip.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:54 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


It always makes me sad and a little uncomfortable when the subject becomes Misha's feminist credentials. Maybe it's because MeFi has become a safer place for Feminists on the internet than most other places, but I strongly believe that her differences from the Feminist mainstream on MeFi are magnified by that relative safety of MeFi and that magnification contributes to the ways people perceive her and she perceives people. Because you do agree on some things I believe are basic feminism (to shorthand it: equality, safety, fairness, opportunity, etc), your disagreements are thrown into higher contrast and take a larger role in the interaction.

There is a lot of frustration here on both sides. I can see it, but there is also a lot of talking past each other, pre-set expectations and filters, and unintended button-pushing. Maybe it's because I fall somewhere on the Feminist spectrum between you folks, or maybe it is because I haven't been involved in the wrangling over tone/priority/focus/rhetoric, but standing back it sometimes baffles me that the two sides seem so far apart. I think the differences you have are overshadowing the points of agreement to an extent that it seems like a non-actual massive gulf of difference, but that's my perspective from over here on the sidelines (so I could very well be wrong)

I usually try to stay out of it, but the unfortunate coincidence/placement above of Cairdeas' imagined parent letting their children play GTA but not read nursery rhymes really upset me. I did initially read it as another mean-spirited swipe at Misha until Cairdeas clarified it wasn't her intention, but it had already got me thinking about what could be done to fix the situation*. (I really would like to fix it, because I like it when people of various feminist perspectives can have fruitful discussions that don't boil down to "you are doing feminism wrong!", mostly for selfish reasons - I think I become a better feminist when exposed to a variety of perspectives.)

*I know there's nothing I can do, really. I can suggest that we not try to look at our fellow feminists as the enemy or that we not try to fix our fellow feminists or we focus less on what we think other people think. I can suggest that we agree to disagree and move on. I can suggest we focus on the places of agreement. Since the only person I can change is me, I'm going to try to not make assumptions like the one I made above -- that it was a mean-spirited swipe,
posted by julen at 8:02 AM on September 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


It always makes me sad and a little uncomfortable when the subject becomes Misha's feminist credentials.

FWIW, the problem for me has nothing to do with who is and isn't the "right" kind of feminist, and more to do with some of the strawmen that have been brought up. And I say that fully acknowledging that I could just be running on fumes from little sleep and am confusing criticisms directed at people in this thread with criticisms directed at feminist discussions in general.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:09 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Roddenberry's weirdo hippie believes ruined the Ferengi. At the beginning of ST:TNG, the Ferengi were a formidable enemy to place the Klingons of TOS, taking on Federation starships and defeating a Enterprise away team lead by Riker. But then, Roddenberry got stupid and made Ferengi goofy cowards who had a religion about money.

Roddenberry being the right kind of person also gets Star Trek a free pass for being one of the most racist tv shows.
posted by Tanizaki at 8:11 AM on September 27, 2013


Cairdeas' imagined parent letting their children play GTA but not read nursery rhymes really upset me.

That bit upset me a lot too. The idea of somebody meeting my teenage son and them thinking he almost certainly enjoys brutal degrading porn by default is squicky in a way that's a pretty rare feeling for me even after reading hundreds of these threads.
posted by 0 at 8:13 AM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


julen, i see where you're coming from, i really do. but i think it's important to note that this round started because of misha putting herself in a postion of misha vs metafilter feminists. we didn't just out of the blue start telling her she wasn't feminist enough or something, we were responding to what she said - which was in part that she has a more negative view of feminism because of metafilter and that metafilter is filled with what she formerly assumed were straw feminists who hate men. that's going to spurn a reaction, which i think she knows.
posted by nadawi at 8:14 AM on September 27, 2013 [16 favorites]


Roddenberry being the right kind of person also gets Star Trek a free pass for being one of the most racist tv shows.

But Worf!

(Also, I am sincerely interested to know what right kind of person Roddenberry is. All I know about him is I think he had his ashes launched into space, right? That alone does make him the right kind of person, but I'm curious to learn more.)
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:16 AM on September 27, 2013


do you think there aren't critiques of star trek for the racism and sexism? i suggest that maybe you haven't looked very hard for it.
posted by nadawi at 8:18 AM on September 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


I would like to officially voice my concern that Tanizaki is a Maquis infiltrator here to sow the seeds of discord.
posted by griphus at 8:21 AM on September 27, 2013 [10 favorites]


That bit upset me a lot too. The idea of somebody meeting my teenage son and them thinking he almost certainly enjoys brutal degrading porn by default is squicky in a way that's a pretty rare feeling for me even after reading hundreds of these threads

What can I say? I'm genuinely sorry to have personally squicked you out, 0. But I was in college not that long ago, and it made me really disturbed and distraught to see exactly what was out there, and exactly how many of the guys surrounding me were enjoying it whole-heartedly without a second thought. It bothers me that whenever anyone brings up the topic as something we should think about and do something about, you get absolutely hammered down. And so it really bothers me to have these rhymes treated as tantamount to hate crime, when something like THAT is so pervasive (it's a multi-billion dollar industry, and the knowledge that those billions of dollars are coming from men all around me really freaks me out) but you're not supposed to bring it up.
posted by cairdeas at 8:22 AM on September 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


I think he's a false flag run by the Obsidian Order, and being used to discredit the Maquis' more legitimate concerns.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:24 AM on September 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Ok, that's all well and good, but maybe don't bring it up in relation to someone's kid?
posted by agregoli at 8:25 AM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't need to bring it up in relation to any specific person's specific kid, but I also think that people in older generations are kind of willfully blind to exactly what many of their sons are looking at and doing, and I don't think it's right to not talk about that in a discussion about being entertained by "hate crime".
posted by cairdeas at 8:27 AM on September 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


if one of the rallying cries against the thread is for the children then there might be people who respond with what sorts of entertainment the children are actually engaging with in large amounts and wonder why we don't see the concerned parties fighting quite so hard in those threads or on those topics.
posted by nadawi at 8:30 AM on September 27, 2013 [8 favorites]


(I really would like to fix it, because I like it when people of various feminist perspectives can have fruitful discussions that don't boil down to "you are doing feminism wrong!", mostly for selfish reasons - I think I become a better feminist when exposed to a variety of perspectives.)

I would really like this as well, but it's hard when people come in and, as nadawi says, set things up as them vs Metafilter feminists (misha's not the only one, but she's got a prolonged and loud case) and then that takes up all the air. It's not the first time I've seen a gender issues thread or MeTa derailed or at least massively sidebarred into one person vs (the rest of or all of) Metafilter feminism, and it's always disheartening.

I personally have resolved to ignore those subthreads and not interact with "me vs the world" derails/sidebars. This isn't just misha: I got personally called out in one of those recently in some other gender issues thread, maybe the Christina Hoff Sommers "what about the men???" article that somebody posted recently. One responder (I think a man this time) had a spate of aggressively getting in people's faces because they were being bad people and even, I think, bad feminists by not taking the article, which was a puff piece I've seen Sommers write a half-dozen times before over the years in various forms, seriously.

It's annoying to get personally name-checked like that or get accused of being in some secret cabal that's making people hate feminism or whatever, but I can't help how other people react. I can just avoid getting into pissing contests on the blue and grey. Life is too short to drink bad beer.
posted by immlass at 8:33 AM on September 27, 2013 [10 favorites]


...and it made me really disturbed and distraught to see exactly what was out there, and exactly how many of the guys surrounding me were enjoying it whole-heartedly without a second thought.

I feel like there may be a certain amount of mind-reading going on here. In high school and college, my friends and I all played and enjoyed very violent video games (hell, still play and enjoy), and anyone stumbling across us playing them may very well think "here are a bunch of malcontents getting off on violence." Except we weren't, and we were fully able, even during our tender teenage years, to simultaneously enjoy digital violence, and be able to discuss how it is problematic. And I still keep in touch with many friends from those days, and not a single person has become a violent offender.

Now, obviously you can say "well that was you and your friends" but I don't think anyone benefits from assumptions about media others enjoy based on passing observation alone.
posted by griphus at 8:38 AM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


The long arm of the Dominion includes Metafilter? There really is no escape in the Alpha Quadrant!
posted by jetlagaddict at 8:39 AM on September 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Mallory Ortberg seems to really like the ironic violent imagery to make a point thing.

“You crossed a moral event horizon recently that I didn’t think you would ever cross, despite all evidence to the contrary,” she sobbed like some kind of fucking pussy. Her makeup was all smeared, like a total bitch.

He put out his cigarette on her face. “Ow,” she cried. “Jesus,” he said, rolling his eyes manfully and driving the embers into the soft flesh in the crook of her elbows. “Show some fucking self-control.”

posted by Drinky Die at 8:40 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


But Worf!

Worf is actually one of the leading examples of this. If someone's a good fighter, he says something like, "You are cunning. You must have Klingon blood." Say, you are good at math. You must have Korean blood.

And every mixed child has to be portrayed as torn between two worlds, like I should expect my kids to be torn between their Japanese half and their American half. Race and culture have 100% overlap in Star Trek.

I would like to officially voice my concern that Tanizaki is a Maquis infiltrator here to sow the seeds of discord.

Hey, I tried to calm things down by providing hummus tips and offering to treat everyone to tacos. But some people just really like to be aggrieved like its their favorite hobby.

My favorite hobbies are learning languages and playing the ukulele.
posted by Tanizaki at 8:42 AM on September 27, 2013


Mine is tailoring.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:45 AM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


The ukulele is so 2008. The hot new twee musical instrument is the block flute.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:47 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


My favorite hobby is sowing seeds of discord. SHIT I MEANT KNITTING.
posted by palomar at 8:50 AM on September 27, 2013 [18 favorites]


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing: "The ukulele is so 2008. The hot new twee musical instrument is the block flute."

Pfft. I'm betting big on the timpani taking over in 2014.

sits back, admires vast collection of discount kettle drums
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 8:50 AM on September 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


My favorite hobbies are learning languages and playing the ukulele.

Considering how much time you spend on a hobby you seem to severely dislike, you must be a polyglot virtuoso by now.
posted by griphus at 8:50 AM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


My point is Metafilter asks that we don't direct our comments at other users on the site. There are ways to make your point without making it so directly personal.
posted by agregoli at 8:51 AM on September 27, 2013


I've seen a gender issues thread or MeTa derailed

Comments like this have come up a few times here and I really wonder: is this thread a "gender issues thread"? I mean, yes it is, but it's a not a thread where a "feminist" started a discussion and a bunch of "non-feminists" barged in with their issues. It sort of seems like a space where "non-feminists" should feel free to engage without having to worry that they are derailing a "feminist" discussion. I do get the point that allies should just shut up and listen when an oppressed group is speaking, but this thread doesn't seem like one of those occasions. (Quotes marks because I absolutely do not want to even begin to try to define what is and isn't a feminist comment/thread.)
posted by 0 at 8:51 AM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


my favorite hobby is doing research so i can do world-building for fictional projects i'll never get around to writing after i've built the world; i consider getting mad on the internet to be more of a sideline personally

star trek is weird because like one on hand you've got the goal of showing peaceful integration and roddenberry pushing for interracial kisses and screen time for minorities and stuff and on the other hand you've got your planet-of-hats species-essentialism and massive doses of space racism that just goes unquestioned
posted by titus n. owl at 8:54 AM on September 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


That bit upset me a lot too. The idea of somebody meeting my teenage son and them thinking he almost certainly enjoys brutal degrading porn by default is squicky in a way that's a pretty rare feeling for me even after reading hundreds of these threads.

Yeah, just chipping in to say that cairdeas's line about how much children who play GTA probably like brutal 3rd world rape porn struck me as kind of... problematic. There is a lot of porn featuring actors who enjoy having consensual sex with each other, and a lot of amateur stuff as well, which is both more commonplace and a hell of a lot less offputting.

I mean, I enjoy (and agree with) a lot of critiques of both the porn and video game industries, but there is definitely a point past which some of the arguments here become weirdly personally tailored towards MeFites and that's crappy. I know that at least one prominent former MeFite has left the site specifically because of that kind of argument (and coming from the same person too). I disagree both with Misha's argument and with the not-perfectly-ingenuous way that I feel she argued it, but some of the responses to her felt over-the-line and not super good-faith-y.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:56 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


you've got your planet-of-hats species-essentialism and massive doses of space racism that just goes unquestioned...

I think that's exactly why DS9 was so brilliant. The Maquis had a really, really good point, and the show went to lengths to make it clear that the Federation's interest in clamping down on them had less to do with their methods than their philosophy. On top of that, there was (from my recollection) only one straight-up White Guy on the show, and even he was Irish. And there was undisguised hostility between the Bajorians and their liberators.
posted by griphus at 8:58 AM on September 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


"And every mixed child has to be portrayed as torn between two worlds, like I should expect my kids to be torn between their Japanese half and their American half. Race and culture have 100% overlap in Star Trek."

Unless they're offworld humans, where there's frequently two distinct cultures at war that need Picard's mediation.

Though Worf's kid seems pretty well-adjusted.

But yeah, the hella racist default for Star Trek is one of the show's biggest flaws (also playing into that is that it seems like every planet they visit has, at most, the population of, like, Akron, OH., basically for narrative convenience).
posted by klangklangston at 8:59 AM on September 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


I know we've all moved on to Star Trek and ukuleles, but I would like to bring up Eddie Murphy's "Kill the White People" sketch once more briefly just to point out the rich, loamy irony in the fact that the only good version of this on YouTube was posted by some anti-Obama crank trying to offer it up as proof that black people really do want to commit genocide against white people.
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:05 AM on September 27, 2013 [13 favorites]


On re-reading my comment from last night, I see that I managed to edit out "WOMEN venting about WOMEN'S experience of rape, harassment, and in this case, Feminazi stereotypes" which is more accurate. Apologies for last night's version, which implies that rape, harassment etc are exclusively suffered by women. Women and girls suffer it in vastly disproportionate numbers; and I meant, but failed, to write about that without rhetorically erasing the boys and men who suffer that shit too.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 9:15 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I also have an accordion and a banjo. I had never thought to play the banjo, but it just showed up on my doorstep one day.
posted by Tanizaki at 9:16 AM on September 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Hey, I play the banjo, too. It's an open-back. Because I'm old school like that.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:19 AM on September 27, 2013


Oh man, now I just really, really wish there was a Voyager episode that takes place entirely in Federation space and revolves around a group of individuals convinced that the disappearance of the U.S.S. Voyager was a Federation plot to "scout" the Delta Quadrant without official approval. They'd be derided as paranoid, and told that their activism is an insult to the lives of the men and women lost aboard the Voyager, and eventually the "Voyager Truth" movement would collapse in on itself as competing theories as to why the Federation wants to scout the Delta Quadrant (and also why they didn't bother to pin it on, say, the Maquis or the Dominion or the Cardassians.) The viewer would come away convinced that the disappearance of the ship was exactly what it appeared to be and that the Truthers were just driven to their position by anger at the Federation and their own grief.

And then, at the very end of the third act, two shadowed Federation officers with admiralty rank would meet in a corridor and have a quick exchange:

"Have there been any more transmissions from Project V?"
"Yes. Our sources indicate that they've harnessed the power of the Borg, conducted successful combat operations with Species 8472, and acquired technology from the 29th century."
"Good. Then it all goes according to plan."

And then there's just a cut to the Voyager, where Neelix is stirring some soup while staring into the distance and the camera follows his eyeline into outer space as ominous music plays and the credits roll.
posted by griphus at 9:19 AM on September 27, 2013 [10 favorites]


Orange Is The New Black is so much better if one views it as Janeway's holonovel.
posted by Tanizaki at 9:21 AM on September 27, 2013 [12 favorites]


Oh god, griphus. I've recently become sucked into the horrible swirling vortex that is writing Voyager fanfic and now I need to see that written, too.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 9:24 AM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


I have more Mr. T material, if it'll help us all get along better.

I mean, we've barely mentioned Clubber Lang, y'all.

Won't you let Mr. T bring us all together?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:25 AM on September 27, 2013


You are more than welcome to write it, AoK. God knows I'm not going to.
posted by griphus at 9:25 AM on September 27, 2013


Hurrah! Backstory!
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 9:26 AM on September 27, 2013


it just showed up on my doorstep one day.

I sure do hope you liked it!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:26 AM on September 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


Put Mr. T on the Voyager and now we're talking.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:26 AM on September 27, 2013


Oh god, griphus. I've recently become sucked into the horrible swirling vortex that is writing Voyager fanfic

wherewherewhere you must memail me immediately where
posted by rtha at 9:32 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I mean, yes it is, but it's a not a thread where a "feminist" started a discussion and a bunch of "non-feminists" barged in with their issues.

This is also MeTa, where talking about site issues is expected, and it's harder to derail (except with recipes). But "derailing" is not entirely the right word; I'm getting at "me vs the world" discussions more in terms of their capacity to drown out/shut down other discussions. We used to see this a lot in Apple threads, which are now better, presumably thanks to a lot of mod work, so thank you mods! "Me vs the world" fights happen a lot in feminism/gender threads because it's stuff that people take really personally, but IMO it's just a manifestation of a larger problem compounded by the particulars of the topic.
posted by immlass at 9:34 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


rtha: "wherewherewhere you must memail me immediately where"

CHECK YOUR MEFIMAIL
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 9:37 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was gonna say "look on the internet, c'mon already" but I guess your mefimail is okay too.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:38 AM on September 27, 2013


Put Mr. T on the Voyager and now we're talking.

Shut up, fool. Mr. T ain't gettin' on no spaceship.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:41 AM on September 27, 2013 [8 favorites]


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing: "Put Mr. T on the Voyager and now we're talking."

"I already told you Chakotay...I ain't gettin' on no transporter."
"Well...will you stand next to me while I go then? I get sort of...nervous"
"mmmmm.....fine."
"ENERGIZE-TWO TO BEAM DOWN"
"CHAKOTAY! I'MA KILL YOOOOooooooouuuuu"

(cut to planet's surface)

"uuuuuuUUUOOOOO! I'MA TEAR SOME ARMS OFF RIGHT NOW"
posted by jquinby at 9:41 AM on September 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


"it just showed up on my doorstep one day."

I think some dude with a fedora has a crush on you.
posted by klangklangston at 9:42 AM on September 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


A mostly-lurker friend of mine is legitimately looking into buying a banjo for his wife right now and I had a very hard time navigating the question of whether or not to suggest he Ask Metafilter for the more detailed brand/model advice I was unable to personally supply.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:44 AM on September 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


I have a banjo, but I am really really bad at playing it. The first time my ladyfriend saw it, she was like "Oh! You play the banjo?" and I was like "NO I DON'T I DON'T PLAY IT AT ALL NEVER ASK ME TO PLAY IT"
posted by Greg Nog at 9:48 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I generally think SF with races of aliens can be not so much 'racist' as 'speciesist', which I'm frankly a lot more OK with. But then I remembered The Phantom Menace and its broad racial characters of alien races, and I don't know Star Trek beyond a handful of films, synopses, and one rather awesome web-comic, so when it comes to the Stars, racism might be in play.
posted by gadge emeritus at 9:56 AM on September 27, 2013


while i acknowledge the potential differences between racism and speciesism i feel that there is a rather untasty contrast between positing a future where we're supposedly beyond racism and yet it's still acceptable and apparently true to paint with a broad brush on some other level. all ferengi are short big-eared moneygrubbers whose every facet of life and philosophy revolves around greed, for example. some species get better treatment than others and some series (and some episodes) handle it better than others, to be fair. it's a problem withtons of scifi wherein there's a vast variance of personality between humans and then other species are all interchangeable; it's tokenism and imo displacing it to imaginary races still contributes to normalizing a practice that already exists irl

(...one of the "i will never do anything with this" worldbuilding projects i've got going is space-based and i'm trying really hard to make sure my aliens are individuals and their cultures have variations)
posted by titus n. owl at 10:06 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can somebody please tell pb that my mefimail is now full of borgs? They won't let me use the contact form.
posted by rtha at 10:20 AM on September 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


Metafilter: hummus advice and gas pain anecdotes
posted by Hairy Lobster at 10:28 AM on September 27, 2013


I generally think SF with races of aliens can be not so much 'racist' as 'speciesist', which I'm frankly a lot more OK with.

In Star Trek, the humanoid races seem to have no problem mating and producing fertile offspring. While the biological definition of "species" is a fuzzy one, "can mate and produce fertile offspring" is one of the textbook methods of determining if two organisms are the same species.
posted by Tanizaki at 10:33 AM on September 27, 2013


Seriously, people? I thought after we started talking about Mr. T and hummus we were done with this thread. And now, 264 comments later, wer'e not?
posted by kalessin at 10:37 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have to wonder, if anyone is concerned about how feminism is persecuting their sons with its blog posts of nursery rhyme parodies, if those same people let their sons play GTA or other violent video games.

Hey, cairdeas, I feel like your comment sets up a false dichotomy. I also don't think I, or anyone else in the thread so far, is saying anything like what you imply there.

It's natural for you to enjoy pretending to kill people, darling, and it's natural for you to enjoy the depiction of fake violence, and perhaps even to be aroused by the depiction of real violence. Perish the thought, though, that anyone should even joke about you being the target of any of that, even as a parody!

That's the kind of comment I feel comes across as a bad faith attempt to engage. I see you left a follow-up that you didn't mean me, despite me being the one talking about sons in this thread, but it kinda pisses me off, honestly, that the mods didn't call you out for that comment. Sarcastic or ironic sexism is something they always says is not okay.

Since you brought it up, though, and compared the nursery rhyme thread to GTA V, let me say this.

I think that gaming offers an outlet for venting stress. I think these nursery rhymes are likely intended to do the same thing. I don't have a problem with that, though I definitely feel context was needed and missing from the nursery rhyme post..

I know gamers who are very gentle people and loving parents in real life who would, in a game, riddle a child with bullets if that's what they had to do to win. Now, that's not my thing. But they have the right to do that.

I would be disturbed with them if they were deliberately seeking out only the children in the game, honestly, specifically to gun down, and then continuing to riddle their dead bodies with bullets. And I would be appalled and furious if they then went out IRL and demeaned or ridiculed children.

If my kids, then, were playing GTA V, I would be fine with it, as long as they did not seek out women to prey on in the game and then go around mocking or demeaning women IRL. For instance, if a woman in a forum like this wanted to talk about the problematic issue of violence against women, and their response was that she was a crybaby or a feminazi. If anything like that happened, HELL YES, I would be all over them about it, without hesitation. Full stop.

Looking at the nursery rhyme thread, here is specifically what bothered me. We have people who explain why they feel this is not problematic, like koeselitz, for example, who I always feel does a great job engaging in feminist threads.

If anyone does not want to engage civilly or explain, they have no compunction to do so, agreed. But if they choose not to, I don't think choosing to ridicule, demean or attack other users instead is okay, and in fact it is specifically against the site rules to do so.

Comment mocking another member for member's concern. Comments stating that violence against women is actually a Thing That Happens (true) in juxtaposition with violence against men, which never happens (not only untrue, but offensively ridiculing and denying the experiences of other members).

That stuff carries over into this thread, implying that anyone having a problem with the nursery rhyme thread is misogynist or analogous with MRA types.

That is what bothers me, the tactics of specific metafilter feminists, who ridicule other members rather than their arguments. The majority of the time, when they do, the other members being ridiculed are men.

Which is why I feel it is important for women to point these dirty tactics out on the site, because I feel that if men do it, they are going to get WAAhHHH WHAT ABOUT THE MENZ lobbed at them.

It's also why I take issue with Ivan saying I am against feminists 90% of the time. Not only is it demonstrably untrue and a complete mischaracterization of my position, the irony is staggering. What I am against is dishonest tactics and personal attacks on users as a means of intimidation. Especially when those same people are quick to yell "derail!" And link to Feminism 101 articles if anyone tries to turn the tables on them.
posted by misha at 10:39 AM on September 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


Comments stating

Just FYI, both those links go to the thread in general, not any particular comments - the other two work fine.
posted by rtha at 10:48 AM on September 27, 2013


I want to note that though zarq and I worked out our clash over my remarks about what I see is men survivors' ethical obligations to prevent our reactions to potentially triggering (for us) conversations from quashing women's real talk, the tone of our disagreement was pretty pitched when it was ongoing.

And I realize that was from a triggering event. But I think it's hard to discern the tone of a triggered abuse survivor, sometimes, from a fervent men's rights activist. I think one good reason that a fervent men's rights activist's rhetoric works is that it works on the same sorts of emotionally pitched wavelengths that speak on many similar levels to the root emotions that get disturbed and tweaked by a triggering emotional reaction.

Note: This is not an examination of zarq's reaction to me and my poor choice of words, but an introspection into my own historically triggered reactions. I wouldn't be surprised if we shared a similar experience but I don't expect that we do and I am endeavoring not to speak for zarq or about zarq.
posted by kalessin at 10:51 AM on September 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


> Seriously, people? I thought after we started talking about Mr. T and hummus we were done with this thread. And now, 264 comments later, wer'e not?

I have contacted Mr. T and he should be here momentarily to put an end to all this jibber-jabber.
posted by languagehat at 11:03 AM on September 27, 2013 [9 favorites]


Can somebody please tell pb that my mefimail is now full of borgs?

Someone clearly wanted to imagine you writing Borg fan fiction while sitting under a tree....
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:05 AM on September 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


That is what bothers me, the tactics of specific metafilter feminists, who ridicule other members rather than their arguments. The majority of the time, when they do, the other members being ridiculed are men.

Which is why I feel it is important for women to point these dirty tactics out on the site, because I feel that if men do it, they are going to get WAAhHHH WHAT ABOUT THE MENZ lobbed at them.


Except, a lot of the time, the people at whom these comments are aimed are commenters with a long history of derailing threads with exactly this sort of "argument." Discussion has not work, debating has not worked, argument has not worked -- these have just wasted time and energy. Mockery isn't the moral high ground, but at least you might get a laugh along with the headaches.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:13 AM on September 27, 2013 [11 favorites]


I try (and often fail) not to mock. I do occasionally tell folks I'm having a problem with exactly what is bothering me. Usually that kind of address goes unacknowledged.
posted by kalessin at 11:18 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


the people at whom these comments are aimed are commenters with a long history of derailing threads with exactly this sort of "argument."

Also, without reference to any specific thread, mocking the tactic is not mocking the person. Though, as cortex noted upthread, calling out assholish behavior often makes the person whose behavior was called out feel like they were called an asshole. Jay Smooth is right that behavior vs person is an important distinction to make, but it doesn't always help in terms of a thread continuing to run smoothly.
posted by immlass at 11:20 AM on September 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


The problem with Star Trek and other shows' portrayal of humanoid aliens that are variously essentially distinct psychologically and behaviorally from biology is that this is what most people believe race is. And that is a false belief. That this is all necessarily fictional, makes it certain that this is either a self-aware projection of the writer's beliefs about race or an unwitting manifestation of them and those of the culture in which it is embedded. This is demonstrated by the examples of clearly racial tropes, as we see with the notorious example of the Ferengi.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:24 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


The name Ferengi is a really transparent play on an Arabic slur for Europeans. I'm sure this has to have been written up in the fan literature somewhere. (The proper modern Arabic term for "European" is urubi, but the bad old word dating back to the crusades is firanji, frequently shmooshed phonetically into something like frenji.) I've always assumed that the Ferengi were intended to be a cartoon version of Europeans as perceived by others.

Of course, The Next Generation series did this before the ratcheting up of anti-Arab rhetoric in the US made this kind of thing too hot to handle. I have no idea what they've done with this since then.
posted by nangar at 11:26 AM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


kalessin -- absolutely, mocking is rarely a productive tactic in the end, and I feel kind of soiled when I do it, but I think the urge is often rooted in the frustration of this, again?!, and I find it hard to judge aggravated feminists too harshly. They have a lot of aggravation.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:28 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


rtha, I am sorry about my linking screw-up. I'm trying to do this on my iPad with the new IOS 7, and I am still getting used to some of the changes.

The comments were this one and this one.

Somewhat related anecdote: My Dad was a company guy who worked for Exxon in one capacity or another for 25 years. In the late 70s or possibly early 80s, Dad was driving a tanker truck when he stopped at a truck stop. While there, he was approached by a woman who was hitchhiking and asked him for a ride.

Always a stickler for the rules, my father remembered wishing he could help, but explained to her that it was against company policy for anyone to ride in the cab with him. She seemed bemused by this. Later, it occurred to him that she might have been a prostitute offering sex for a ride but at the time it never even occurred to him. Not one for subtlety, my Dad.

The hitchhiker was Aileen Wuornos.
posted by misha at 11:29 AM on September 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


I have contacted Mr. T and he should be here momentarily to put an end to all this jibber-jabber.

I should rather than he be here presently.
posted by Tanizaki at 11:36 AM on September 27, 2013


Somewhat related anecdote

Ok that anecdote is really crazy but it is not even somewhat related.
posted by sweetkid at 11:45 AM on September 27, 2013 [17 favorites]


Comments stating that violence against women is actually a Thing That Happens (true) in juxtaposition with violence against men, which never happens (not only untrue, but offensively ridiculing and denying the experiences of other members).

Assuming the links you posted above are accurate, only one of those possibly comes close to your claim. KathrynT's comment, in particular, is about the prevalence of jokes about violence towards women and the pervasiveness of actual violence against women. Nowhere does it state that violence against men never happens. If that's a misunderstanding, OK, but if that's a deliberate twisting of words to build up strawman Metafilter feminists, that's messed up.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:58 AM on September 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Now I kind of want to write Tinker, Garak, Soldier, Spy fanfic.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:05 PM on September 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


I have a character based very, very explicitly off Garak in my D&D campaign (he's just a simple toymaker) and my god, considering everyone in the game has seen DS9 all the way through, it took them a while to catch on.

And yet my ingenious build-up to him and another character revealing themselves to be analogues of Q and M from the James Bond mythos they figured out in about thirty seconds.
posted by griphus at 12:09 PM on September 27, 2013


Baa, baa, bah!

The Guns of Navarone!

I've been wanting to post this the whole damn thread
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:12 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think that cairdeas' comments were completely fine. Dudes just start to start to backpeddle when porn and video games get any hint of criticism. Then it is TOO FAR. One of many reasons I think that serious discussion of feminism is not interesting to me here.

I have a son, BTW.
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:17 PM on September 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


Somewhat related anecdote

Yeah, help me out here. I don't get it. Is this related to hummus or Mr. T?
posted by octobersurprise at 12:17 PM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am so dreadfully tempted to drop a Mr. T story here.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 12:18 PM on September 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


"The comments were this one and this one."

Here's what you wrote:

"Comments stating that violence against women is actually a Thing That Happens (true) in juxtaposition with violence against men, which never happens (not only untrue, but offensively ridiculing and denying the experiences of other members)."

...which is referring to this "offensively ridiculing and denying of the experiences of other members" comment that I wrote:

"It's not a double-standard because there are no men who are being murdered by women because they're men, while there are thousands of women murdered every week by men for being women. There is absolutely no comparison and anyone who doesn't see this is deluded."

Note that I didn't deny "violence against men", as you so dishonestly paraphrased me; I denied that men were being killed by women for being men. I've bolded the important words in case you missed them again.

Furthermore, both mine and KathrynT's comments were posted before anyone had mentioned their own experience as a male survivor of violence and were not in any respect in response to such a claim. Mine was in response to this comment by Drinky Die, who did not include in his comment any personal attestation and who, in this thread, wrote that he was fine with my response; and in response to this comment by ThatFuzzyBastard, who also was not attesting to his own victimhood but doing that thing that he does in all these threads.

KathrynT's response was to the initial comment by jennaratrix which also was not a personal attestation, unsurprising given that she's female, and who as it happens I shortly afterwards posted a comment praising her for the thoughtful way she was engaging and that, given her approach, her concerns shouldn't be dismissed out-of-hand. And KathrynT in her response just says what others had said: that context matters and that men do not suffer from violence at the hands of women as women do at the hands of men.

So, given that clarification and citation, let's return to how you characterized mine and KathrynT's comments, to which you specifically linked: "[T]hat violence against women is actually a Thing That Happens (true) in juxtaposition with violence against men, which never happens (not only untrue, but offensively ridiculing and denying the experiences of other members)."

Now, that looks to me in this light like a bad-faith mischaracterization that appropriates the later triggering and pain of male victims who appeared further along in that thread and this one, supposedly on their behalf, but clearly as a rhetorical gambit by which you could burnish the shine of righteousness as you make your own defense while you dishonestly vilify others. Because we're a cabal of hateful, close-minded feminists who have made you question your allegiance to feminism, as you explicitly wrote earlier.

I'd like to call attention again to jennaratrix and her comments in that thread and this one. Note that while I'm one of the villains in your story, I responded to her in that thread and this thread much more favorably than many others did. Her concerns are pretty much precisely the same as yours. But she's not attempting to speak for men, she's not cloaking herself in righteous indignation at the awful feminists, she takes pains to find different ways to discursively approach her concerns about men in ways that don't invalidate or minimize or divert feminist concerns about violence against women, and, crucially, she doesn't mischaracterize the statements and positions of her interlocutors. And, in general, there've been numerous people, including numerous men, who've attested to how they have seen male concerns about our lives in the patriarchy taken very seriously and sympathetically by MeFi feminists in appropriate contexts.

So maybe this isn't so much about how those concerns aren't given a hearing and how MeFi feminists are hostile to men, but more about how MeFi is hostile to a certain kind of behavior in sexism/feminism related threads by a core group of men and a few women who, wouldn't you know it?, make it all about them and minimize and divert. Maybe you're interpreting the pushback you've felt very wrongly.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:29 PM on September 27, 2013 [11 favorites]


" she was like "Oh! You play the banjo?" and I was like "NO I DON'T I DON'T PLAY IT AT ALL NEVER ASK ME TO PLAY IT""

"It's just an ironic lifestyle accouterment!"
posted by klangklangston at 12:35 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


The banjo is perhaps the least ironic instrument on earth, but, for, perhaps, the sousaphone.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:42 PM on September 27, 2013


The banjo is perhaps the least ironic instrument on earth

How so?
posted by sweetkid at 12:45 PM on September 27, 2013


I mean, Civilization does teach you that Gandhi is an awful violent man who cannot be trusted.

GANDHI WAS MORE VIOLENT THAN HITLER </zizek>
posted by en forme de poire at 12:46 PM on September 27, 2013


Ghandi's got nothing on Pravin Lal. Fucker could turn on a sixpence.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:53 PM on September 27, 2013


"The banjo is perhaps the least ironic instrument on earth, but, for, perhaps, the sousaphone."

I think the sousaphone is too close to the tuba to completely avoid ironic affectation.

A more defensible example is the french horn. It's just quite elaborate and odd enough to avoid something like the possible double, eat-its-own-tail irony of the staid, common piano; but it's serious, boring, and common enough to avoid direct ironizing.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:55 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


zizek { 
    text-decoration: blink, tug at shirt;
    background: hegelian, lacanian, marxist; 
    background-repeat: constantly;
    overflow-style: publish another book; 
}
posted by RogerB at 12:57 PM on September 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


IF: what about Genghis Barbie?
posted by en forme de poire at 12:57 PM on September 27, 2013


Ivan, (and please, correct me if I'm wrong) it seems to me that you are suggesting that your comment cannot be taken as ridiculing the experiences of members because they had not yet spoken of their experiences. If you don't realize that there are probably men that have been abused by women reading your comments (however small a minority compared to the inverse) I can see where Misha is coming from. Its may not be direct ridicule, but it certainly poisons the well. I certainly was afraid to speak up till now. I say this as a cis, white, but non-traditionally masculine male that was abused by both women and men throughout my childhood.

(as and aside, you really seem to be going all "rules lawyer" on Misha here and picking apart her comments to a really intense degree, its a little disturbing)
posted by Hutch at 1:02 PM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


french horn players are the best kissers in the band - more embouchure control than even the flute.
posted by nadawi at 1:03 PM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Now you're making me sad that I never went to band camp.
posted by Conspire at 1:04 PM on September 27, 2013


when my husband hears me tell my band stories his response is always the same, "so that's where all the debauchery was!!" he's always pretty disappointed in himself for not realizing that's how nerds got laid in school.
posted by nadawi at 1:06 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


only one of those possibly comes close to your claim.

Here is Ivan's quote:
It's not a double-standard because there are no men who are being murdered by women because they're men, while there are thousands of women murdered every week by men for being women. There is absolutely no comparison and anyone who doesn't see this is deluded.
This really does a lot more than "possibly come close" to stating that violence against women is actually a Thing That Happens in juxtaposition with violence against men, which never happens. It states it quite outright, even italicizing no men and thousands of women murdered every week.

It's also pretty wildly hyperbolic, though I reckon Ivan has given himself some wiggle room by speaking, presumably, on a global scale and by throwing in because they're men/for being women parts.

Look at it this way, U.S. DOJ has published the stat (linked earlier) that 21% of homicide victims since 1980 have been females killed by male offenders and 9% of victims have been males killed by female offenders. (~68% male victim/male offender, ~2% female victim/male offender.) The United States has had a bit less than 15,000 murder victims a year in recent years, so let's round up to 15k victims a year.

That's 288.5 overall murder victims in the U.S. per week (288.5 too many btw). Of those, 60.6 are women killed by men and 26 are men killed by women (nearly all the rest are men killing men). This ratio is less than 2.5 to 1, which is not really in the neighborhood of the 1000s to 0 ratio Ivan puts forth. It would take 33 countries with a homicide rate equivalent to the U.S. to get 2000 women murdered by men every week. In that same scenario 858 men would have been murdered by women.

I understand that KathrynT's quote speaks of "violence" rather than homicide and specifically of women's experience of violence rather than men's. But note that those are not the only two quotes misha could have chosen. There has been a strong current of "misandry is not real" across both threads. Some comments have been specific in referring to misandry not being real on a systemic, broad society level as opposed to misogyny being real on that same level. Those comments I agree with. Other comments have not been so careful and seem to imply that women are simply incapable of lashing out violently against men. Those comments I do not agree with.

On preview, I see that Ivan is indeed using the because they're men/for being women clauses to justify his wild ratio. In which case, I gotta ask how he knows the motive of all these cases.
posted by 0 at 1:07 PM on September 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


Ivan Fyodorovich: "So maybe this isn't so much about how those concerns aren't given a hearing and how MeFi feminists are hostile to men, but more about how MeFi is hostile to a certain kind of behavior in sexism/feminism related threads by a core group of men and a few women who, wouldn't you know it?, make it all about them and minimize and divert. Maybe you're interpreting the pushback you've felt very wrongly."

As someone who spoke up in this thread, I've felt similar pushback to what misha is describing. I have also not behaved here in the way that you are describing for "a core group of men."

You don't speak for me, Ivan.
posted by zarq at 1:08 PM on September 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


0, I assume he is speaking to global infanticide there since his comment was the one referencing killing a baby in the cradle.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:12 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hmm, fair enough.
posted by 0 at 1:38 PM on September 27, 2013


"You don't speak for me, Ivan."

And I have in no way done so. I re-read your comment several times, failing to parse it in such a way that I can understand why you'd think I was. Anyway, as it happens, I didn't have you in mind when I wrote that. Your objection is a separate issue, I think.

"0, I assume he is speaking to global infanticide there since his comment was the one referencing killing a baby in the cradle."

Not so much, as that half of my comment was quoting and responding to TFB, who in turn was responding to someone else.

But I find the line of argument by 0 to be ludicrous. Offensively so. There is not a social phenomenon of women motivated primarily by misandry murdering men, while there very much is a social phenomenon of men motivated primarily by misogyny murdering women. That we would even be seriously having this discussion is nauseating.

When I wrote that comment, I balked at the absolutism and stopped and considered qualifying it with some nod toward the isolated case here and there of misandrist murder, but decided that doing so would be absurd given how many orders of magnitude more common is misogynist murder — I was pre-emptively expecting that absurd objection but decided that accommodating it would amount to an endorsement of it. The misandrist murder of men by women is practically nonexistent and discussing it is implicitly, or explicitly, usually an attempt to assert an equivalence that doesn't exist.

"If you don't realize that there are probably men that have been abused by women reading your comments..."

Of course I realize this, I worked with male survivors of abuse by female relatives in rape crisis and I know male survivors. And I know a fair bit about male survivors of spousal abuse and, like the incidence of female-against-male rape, is something I talk about publicly and in fact have done so here on several occasions. But the only things I have mentioned both in that thread and this one, have been misandrist murder of men by women, and misandrist male infanticide, neither of which is comparable to the physical or sexual abuse of male children or adults by women. My denial of misandrist murder is not and should not be read as a denial of the child abuse of boys by women or violence committed against adult men by women, within the family or elsewhere.

"...as and aside, you really seem to be going all 'rules lawyer' on Misha here and picking apart her comments to a really intense degree, its a little disturbing..."

She linked directly to my comment and (mis)characterized it in a very provocative way. That upsets me.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:40 PM on September 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


Other comments have not been so careful and seem to imply that women are simply incapable of lashing out violently against men. Those comments I do not agree with.

These comments--if they even exist as per your understanding, which I have my doubts about--are so minuscule in terms of contributions to this site as to be irrelevant to the conversation. They certainly don't rise to the level that some folks constantly portray them as. In fact, I'd wager much, much more digital ink has been spilled complaining about this essentially non-existent "trend" then there have been actual occurrences. And that doesn't even get into the thousands of threads about men, or groups of men, or male-centered activities that have been discussed on this website over the last decade and a half that haven't even touched on gender, let alone been overtaken by misandrists run amok as would be suggested by phrases like "I used to take it as a given that those straw feminists who were contemptuous of men were hyperbolic caricatures...I am not nearly so sure of that" or "[w]hy do I have to deny men their experiences and emotions to get along with other feminists here?"

I mean, c'mon: if your opinion of feminism and the efforts of hundreds of millions of feminists as a whole is lessened because of an infinitesimal percentage of comments in a relatively small number of threads by a small fraction of a percent of feminists who are a fraction of the total users on a site that is one tiny corner of the internet that doesn't represent the entirety of feminism...well, do you see how messed up that sounds? Compare to misogynists and anti-feminists for whom their preferred societal and legal solutions existed for thousands of years across the globe, are in large part still intact, and can honestly be said to inhabit large portions of the population and even majorities or pluralities of elected officials in supposedly progressive nations.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:44 PM on September 27, 2013 [12 favorites]


> It's also pretty wildly hyperbolic, though I reckon Ivan has given himself some wiggle room by speaking, presumably, on a global scale and by throwing in because they're men/for being women parts.

Those "because they're men/for being women" parts are his point.
posted by desuetude at 1:46 PM on September 27, 2013 [9 favorites]


Perhaps the jokes are "funny" because misandry does not typically lead to violence towards men, while simultaneously being triggering or upsetting to people for trivializing violence towards men which, while not typically misandrist in nature, is a real thing!

So like, maybe there are two or more different conversations going on here, and ceaselessly focusing on misandry and its real effects in the real world (slash lack thereof) is somewhat misdirected.

I think the word has become silly at this point. Misandry misandry misandry.

Misandry.

The word and the concept didn't really seem to play much of a part of ubernostrom's concerns, which if I recall (it's been a while) were basically that the jokes offended/triggered him (see my first paragraph), coupled with long-standing feminist critiques of the patriarchy and its effect on men (such as lack of support services for male victims of domestic violence, rape, etc.).

I do not really have any problem with the post, and can snigger at tasteless jokes with the best of 'em, but I do think critics of it weren't treated well by people who regularly call to be treated well themselves.
posted by jsturgill at 2:02 PM on September 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Wait, you took my comment as implying that no woman ever has ever hurt a man? What I said, which I will state again and stand by, is that gendered violence against men by women simply does not exist on an endemic, institutional scale, the way gendered violence against women by men does. And for what it's worth, I also have a son.
posted by KathrynT at 2:08 PM on September 27, 2013 [20 favorites]


Those "because they're men/for being women" parts are his point.

Yeah, I think the level of misreading here is going beyond good-faith misunderstanding and into deliberate bad-faith derailing by now. And anyhow, if the handful of repetitive quarrel-pickers here really don't understand the crucial difference between an act of gendered violence and the gender of the victim of an act of violence, I don't think it's this MeTa's job to educate them any further.

"Misandrist" "violence against men" is not a real thing (=widespread social phenomenon, pace Valerie Solanas) not because men are never victims of violence, duh, but because the phrase would refer to violence against men qua men — a point which ought to be so blazingly obvious by now (and has been explained so many times in this thread alone) that anyone who still misses it is probably trying very, very hard to do so. That is, they're in wilful denial of the existence of gendered violence, not genuine confusion about it.
posted by RogerB at 2:14 PM on September 27, 2013 [13 favorites]


Of course I realize this, I worked with male survivors of abuse by female relatives in rape crisis and I know male survivors. And I know a fair bit about male survivors of spousal abuse and, like the incidence of female-against-male rape, is something I talk about publicly and in fact have done so here on several occasions. But the only things I have mentioned both in that thread and this one, have been misandrist murder of men by women, and misandrist male infanticide, neither of which is comparable to the physical or sexual abuse of male children or adults by women. My denial of misandrist murder is not and should not be read as a denial of the child abuse of boys by women or violence committed against adult men by women, within the family or elsewhere.


Sorry for any confusion, (I'm not the most eloquent) but I was addressing your Furthermore, both mine and KathrynT's comments were posted before anyone had mentioned their own experience as a male survivor of violence and were not in any respect in response to such a claim. sentence. In light of what you write above, I'm not sure why you saw the need to add it.

I do agree with you that proper parsing of your words does not constitute a denial of abuse of men by women in general. It's pretty easy to misinterpret when you're upset.
posted by Hutch at 2:29 PM on September 27, 2013


Okay, I've been vocal about intersectionality in this thread, so I'm going to say - honestly, if you keep on using the word misandry, you're kind of being not just a jerk to women who suffer from misogyny, but any person who suffers from systems of oppression be it racism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, or so forth. Misogyny falls into the same categories as those words; misandry does not, and it's kind of tiring how people keep trying to wedge it in to that category.

I get the "different words mean different things to different people" and "that's not how I'm using that word!" arguments, yes. But the issue is that the word misandry tries to co-opt levels of prejudice and discrimination that men as a class, in isolation from any other group status they may have, just simply don't suffer from. People have explained this a billion times over before.

So it belittles and erases the very real suffering and discrimination that people actually suffer from. And it threatens to trivialize a group of words that oppressed people actually really need to describe what's happening to them and need in order to organize to work against these systems of oppression. Every time you use the word, you're actively disempowering not only women, but all marginalized classes of people. Words have power.

So "mistreatment" is okay. "Prejudice", kind of borderline because it's a pretty big umbrella term and the prejudices launched against men are kind of small beans compared to those launched against actual real marginalized minorities, but okay, whatever. Misandry? No.

If there's ever some event in this world that ends up making it such that ALL men in our culture have a hard time ever getting a job again just for being men and having to walk around with pepper spray because women will viciously assault them just for being men and I dunno, ultimately leading to genocide against men, okay, sure, we can totally totally call that misandry. But women saying bad things about men on the internet? Not. Really.
posted by Conspire at 2:35 PM on September 27, 2013 [9 favorites]


Conspire, the original post itself introduced the word into the discussion, and I doubt the word or concept had anything to do with ubernostrom's response. Others critical of the post are, I think, just picking the term up and running with it rather than holding onto it as a central tenet in their ideology.

Male-on-male violence is gendered and sexist and can be a fraught subject for some people. This is a pretty widely accepted concept, but it is a perspective that I think some people here, in their attempts to push back about the post, are having a hard time putting into words that other people can hear.

One person is concerned with violence done to men by women because the men are men; they call it misandry, and say it doesn't exist in a meaningful form. The other person is talking about violence done to men mostly by other men because the men are men and raised in a society that promotes that kind of interaction. This is just another kind of gendered violence, and maybe they could be more clear that they're talking about something different.

Both perspectives are true and good perspectives, but I think the latter point has more light to shed on a discussion about how some MetaFilter users had a strong negative reaction to a post consisting of a long stream of jokes with male-targeted violence as the punch line.
posted by jsturgill at 2:51 PM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


The sexism that we men experience when we experience violence from other men is not emotionally, economically or systematically loaded in the same way or with the same multi-millenial institutional policies, cultural imperatives and laws that still keep women at a disadvantage as a class minority.

I say this as a man educated in women's studies and cultural history.

It's true that we men experience violence and abuse from other men as a form of the institutionalization of the patriarchy/kyriarchy, but we don't inclusively also experience the other systematic disenfranchisement, loss of economic value/power, prejudice, harmful assumptions and mischaracterizations, loss of personal choice, rights, dignity, reproductive control and other disadvantages endemic to the experience that women as a class can do in our societies.

Nor does our experience include the same kind or intensity of other disadvantages. In an intersectionality perspective, the sort of sum of all disadvantages that I experience as a man, even as an effeminate transman and survivor of physical, sexual, emotional abuse and of bullying from other men is not as intense, not as great a load, as that experienced by many women (or women as a minority class).

Women are, as a class (if not as individuals), subject to an overall set of social and cultural biases (especially but not exclusively in western, first world countries) that is historic and institutionalized. This adds up to an experience as a class that in general can exceed the suffering in general experienced by men like me.

Very early in our recorded history we have documented historic records of patriarchal/kyriarchal institutions (e.g. from the Catholic Church, governmental institutions, civic organizations, country and common laws, medical policy, scientific policy/procedure) that are biased to find against women or to women's disadvantage.

While this sort of record does exist for men, the frequency of records of institutional decisions/laws/policies that work against men's interests is very much less frequent than for women.

This is what I alluded to when I was talking about how men who can afford to should, I think, step out of the way and let conversation about cultural biases against women proceed without challenge. We have enjoyed (and still enjoy and will continue to enjoy) a great deal of institutionalized advantage. Even if we as individuals have suffered, when we can still afford as individuals to either promote egalitarianism or at least get out of the way while others who can do the work toward egalitarianism do that work, I think we should.
posted by kalessin at 3:40 PM on September 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


This is what I alluded to when I was talking about how men who can afford to should, I think, step out of the way and let conversation about cultural biases against women proceed without challenge. We have enjoyed (and still enjoy and will continue to enjoy) a great deal of institutionalized advantage. Even if we as individuals have suffered, when we can still afford as individuals to either promote egalitarianism or at least get out of the way while others who can do the work toward egalitarianism do that work, I think we should.

Well, yes. But we're not talking about any of that, or at least, none of that was the impetus of this conversation. The origin of all this was someone having a strong negative reaction to jokes that use violence directed towards men as the punchline.

I don't recall many comments disputing the existence of systemic gendered violence directed towards women, the array of disadvantages women face, etc. etc. I also don't recall the thread being some sort of bastion of high-level feminist discourse that, for various reasons, should not be redirected or diluted by any other concerns or perspectives.

I think there should be space for someone to have that kind of reaction to those kinds of jokes. And if the first expression of their reaction is fighty, sarcastic, or otherwise unhelpful, focusing on unrelated points of general agreement doesn't fix anything. Demonstrating courtesy, kindness, empathy, and modeling constructive responses to criticism might, though.
posted by jsturgill at 3:53 PM on September 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think there should be space for someone to have that kind of reaction to those kinds of jokes.

There is room for this kind of reaction to jokes.

But there's not room to make a conversation that is making meaningful progress into feminism and women's experiences into a conversation all about men's feelings.

I think that moving beyond our personal experiences as men who suffered abuse and survived it and turning the whole conversation into one all about us is in incredibly poor taste and I'll continue to say so. It's a common derailing/trolling/rhetorical technique that makes us men survivors end up looking for all the world like men's rights activists.

And I think we do it a lot in Metafilter. And I think it's shameful. This thread/OP as posted read very distinctly like that kind of derail.
posted by kalessin at 3:57 PM on September 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


So this thread was "a conversation that is making meaningful progress into feminism and women's experiences?"

I don't think that's an accurate assessment of the baseline level of dialog of that thread. Everything substantive, in fact, was in response to pushback to the jokes. I fail to see how this discussion was a distraction from the main, and very important, conversation when it was pretty much the only conversation of substance beyond "LOL" and "here's one I made up myself."
posted by jsturgill at 4:04 PM on September 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think we're at a fundamental difference of opinion here. To me, artistic endeavor is something every sentient/sapient person who can articulate themselves in whatever the medium is (in this case, English jokes/verse). In that context in the thread I saw some folks using the form in ways that were useful to them and the conversation toward meaningful progress in women's experiences.

I get that you didn't share that valuation. That's fine. I still think you get what my objection is. I get yours, but I feel like I'm matching you in my care for the validity of your argument (as you are in care for the validity of mine).
posted by kalessin at 4:08 PM on September 27, 2013


I think we're at a fundamental difference of opinion here. To me, artistic endeavor is something every sentient/sapient person who can articulate themselves in whatever the medium is (in this case, English jokes/verse). In that context in the thread I saw some folks using the form in ways that were useful to them and the conversation toward meaningful progress in women's experiences.

I get that you didn't share that valuation. That's fine. I still think you get what my objection is. I get yours, but I feel like I'm matching you in my care for the validity of your argument (as you are in care for the validity of mine).


A little off there. I love the thread, think it's hilarious, and think some of the verses are brilliant. But it was not a conversation, as you termed it. Perhaps an improvised group performance would be a more accurate description. Only the pushback generated actual conversation.

Whatever the thread was, conversation or not, it was not a special, protected place that should be free of criticism or differing perspectives. Particularly if you want to think about it as art. Art and criticism go hand-in-hand, don't they?
posted by jsturgill at 4:29 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I still see the pushback as a derail that is sort of shamelessly self-interested and directed by/toward men who are survivors at the expense of women who are also survivors. So to me it still reads as sexist and chauvinist.
posted by kalessin at 4:32 PM on September 27, 2013


Isn't any time someone talks about their feelings self-interested in that respect? It seems an odd criticism.
posted by Justinian at 4:36 PM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


No, the difference is that one is a systematic push by several individuals to quash conversation by turning the direction into all-about-them versus the simple individual testimony. I have done both and so have you. We both know the difference, Justinian.
posted by kalessin at 4:41 PM on September 27, 2013


Some people may have been doing that but I don't think everyone was. OF course the people not doing that tend not to post Metas and so forth.
posted by Justinian at 4:58 PM on September 27, 2013


I still see the pushback as a derail that is sort of shamelessly self-interested and directed by/toward men who are survivors at the expense of women who are also survivors. So to me it still reads as sexist and chauvinist.

So there's one major point of departure between us. Substantive, pointed, and/or otherwise on-point comments about the jokes:

Here, here*, here, here, here, here*, here, here, here, here*, here, here*, here*, here, here, here, here...

* denotes a compelling pro-humor (or at least not anti) comment that would not have existed without pushback

It's not a fact that this context makes it non-offensive and 100% non-bad to joke about murder. Absurd to pretend it is, and it's interesting to have a discussion about it with people who respond in different ways.

I don't know how much of the thread was deleted by mods, but really, most of the conversation was pretty respectful on all sides, and a lot of it interesting. The ratio in this Meta thread wasn't so great, I don't think.
posted by jsturgill at 5:05 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


This thread got pretty shitty with several attempts by a group of the usual suspects apparently trying to make the thread all about them. I am also not aware of how actively the thread on the blue was moderated/deleted.

It is against the all-about-men derails I have been speaking about in this thread, including the post that started this thread.

Again, I think it's fine for individuals to post testimony and dissent and I think it's fine for there to be a conversation. What I dislike is when the usual suspects use a variety of rhetorical gambits to derail the conversation and end it solely focused on them.

I'm proud of the feminists and the egalitarians who came to this thread and returned to this thread to even it up and allow the conversation to continue and flourish despite silencing rhetoric attempted by the usual suspects here.
posted by kalessin at 5:39 PM on September 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


It is against the all-about-men derails I have been speaking about in this thread, including the post that started this thread.

i'm not sure i'm seeing how a post can be a derail - a derail of what? - the post itself?

it's one thing to say that a certain kind of comment or concern shouldn't be seen in a certain kind of thread - but this sounds more like you're saying it shouldn't ever happen anywhere at all, not even in a post dedicated to it
posted by pyramid termite at 6:11 PM on September 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


I don't know how much of the thread was deleted by mods

I think we deleted 10-ish comments out of a nearly 300 comment thread. So... 3-4%?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:22 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


A mostly-lurker friend of mine is legitimately looking into buying a banjo for his wife right now and I had a very hard time navigating the question of whether or not to suggest he Ask Metafilter for the more detailed brand/model advice I was unable to personally supply.

I bought this in 2005, and it still sounds great.

Also, I like the banjo for being an open G of five strings, and making even the most rudimentary playing sound nice.

posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:13 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


A mostly-lurker friend of mine is legitimately looking into buying a banjo for his wife right now

Does she already play banjo? If not, the beginner kit everyone seems to have around here, and the one I bought my wife who did not already play, is the Deering Goodtime. $649 MSRP for the starter package, less than $500 street or from elderly.com. The Gold Tone CC-OT is also popular, and slightly less expensive.
posted by hades at 9:20 PM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Of course elderly.com is where you go to buy a banjo. A little on the nose, don't you think, reality?
posted by Corinth at 9:33 PM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


A little on the nose, don't you think, reality?

The name of the shop is Elderly Instruments. The instruments they sell are elderly. I understand they tolerate customers of all ages.

posted by Wolof at 9:44 PM on September 27, 2013


I really like my Goodtime -- thanks, hades! -- but if you're looking to buy one online, it's worth considering Zepp Country Music. I haven't bought anything from Zepp myself, but it has a good reputation. They've got an intriguing package deal in which they'll soup up the Goodtime with some fancy components. Donald Zepp himself is an excellent player and his videos helped me out a lot.
posted by sculpin at 11:04 PM on September 27, 2013


I think at this point I'm leaving Metafilter to the SJWs that now run it.

It's been a decent five years, thanks for everything.
posted by disclaimer at 2:11 AM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I also haven't contributed to this thread - and I'm staying!
posted by crossoverman at 4:17 AM on September 28, 2013 [14 favorites]


St. John's Wood School of English runs MetaFilter now?
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:33 AM on September 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Single Jewish Women?
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:44 AM on September 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


The instruments they sell are elderly.

they sell new stuff, too - it's worth a visit if you're ever in lansing
posted by pyramid termite at 4:44 AM on September 28, 2013


I think the sousaphone is too close to the tuba to completely avoid ironic affectation.

A man goes to a bar, has too much to drink and forgets his wallet there.

He goes back the next day to retrieve it and the bartender says, "how did you remember it was this bar?"

The man says, "I remembered your bright red front door and your gold toilet."

The bartender says, "I have no gold toilet but you're the man who pooped in my tuba!"
posted by Tanizaki at 5:11 AM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am not sure I have ever seen a thread that cycled between discussion, jokes, angry denunciation, more jokes, and back so often as this one. I am not sure what, if anything, that means.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:29 AM on September 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Having recently found out that Michael Dorn was in CHiPs, I would like to see him return to do a couple of updated episodes, but in Worf-character, riding high on his 'hog' along side Erik Estrada, disposing of speeding drivers and meth dealers with his righteous bat'leth.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 5:29 AM on September 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Of course, I thought we might end on high fives in the tome argument MeTa, too, so perhaps I am delusional.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:30 AM on September 28, 2013


Tome arguments are the longest arguments.
posted by taz (staff) at 5:36 AM on September 28, 2013 [18 favorites]


Tone arguments.

Although these are getting close to being sanity-blasting eldritch tome arguments. "And through Strange Eons, even the most blatant and persistent derails may die."
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:42 AM on September 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


0, Ivan't point seems to be that joking about violence against a group of people based on their group is okay if (1) members of that group do not regularly suffer violence (2) from the specific actors described in the joke (3) because of their group status.

If any of those three are not present, you can explain at great length that they are misinterpreting the joke, or otherwise not getting it. That, at least, seems to be the principle at work. It's alternately possible that this is a post hoc justification, but that would be rather sad to contemplate.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 6:20 AM on September 28, 2013


Quick someone engage with TFB on this subject again.

Wait no takers?
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:59 AM on September 28, 2013 [18 favorites]


A fun thing to do around Halloween is constructing a straw Feminazi. People think it's a lot of work, but all you really need are a pair of Birkenstocks, a brown shirt, some red felt (for the armband), some old workpants, some twine, and some straw or hay. The rest is just decoration, and the kids really love it!

Here's one I prepared earlier...
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:43 AM on September 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Having recently found out that Michael Dorn was in CHiPs

WHAT
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:45 AM on September 28, 2013 [9 favorites]


does anyone know how to housetrain di ...

uh, never mind
posted by pyramid termite at 7:47 AM on September 28, 2013


dinosaurs - yes, that's what i meant to type - dinosaurs
posted by pyramid termite at 7:51 AM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Having recently found out that Michael Dorn was in CHiPs

Hey, here he is!
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:07 AM on September 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


this sounds more like you're saying it shouldn't ever happen anywhere at all, not even in a post dedicated to it

Two problems:
1) I didn't say that. In fact I said the opposite of that.
2) this kind of straw feminist rhetoric is part of what I am criticizing and veers again toward protests that make it all about hurt men's feelings being more important than women's.
posted by kalessin at 8:22 AM on September 28, 2013


When we get to 1,000 comments, Mr. T will show up if we all close our eyes and wish hard enough.
posted by languagehat at 8:27 AM on September 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


And where you saw only one set of footprints, that is when Mr. T carried you.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:33 AM on September 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


And when you see no sets of footprints, that's where Howling Mad Murdock knocked Mr. T unconscious and put you both in a single-prop airplane.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:37 AM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


languagehat: "When we get to 1,000 comments, Mr. T will show up if we all close our eyes and wish hard enough."

Be careful. I did that once and now I can't get him to stop showing up.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 8:37 AM on September 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


That seems foolish. I pity you.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:43 AM on September 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


Dudes. Why are we whispering?
posted by kalessin at 8:44 AM on September 28, 2013


I pity the fool! I pity the fool that sees no footprints!
posted by palomar at 8:47 AM on September 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


urbanwhaleshark: "Having recently found out that Michael Dorn was in CHiPs, I would like to see him return to do a couple of updated episodes, but in Worf-character, riding high on his 'hog' along side Erik Estrada, disposing of speeding drivers and meth dealers with his righteous bat'leth."

"PULL OVER AND MEET YOUR DEATH LIKE A WARRIOR."
posted by zarq at 8:47 AM on September 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Bunny Ultramod: " Hey, here he is!"

Too. Much. Hair.
Not. Enough. Forehead.
posted by zarq at 8:48 AM on September 28, 2013


We can get there if we just repeat the same things over and over again often enough.

Tome argument. Tome argument. Tome argument.

MRA. MRA. MRA.

Misandry. Misandry. Misandry.

Tome argument. Tome argument. Tome argument.

Asking users to repeat really long comments they made earlier with additional explanations is also helpful.
posted by nangar at 8:54 AM on September 28, 2013


it's actually called a tone argument, nangar (as in tone of voice) - tome argument was a typo in one comment and a joke in two others
posted by titus n. owl at 8:57 AM on September 28, 2013


Besides which, "tome argument" is just the politically correct term for what we used to call a "bible fight".
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:07 AM on September 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


titus n. owl, it was also a joke in mine. But thank you so much for pointing that out. That was very helpful of you.

Only 5 more to go.
posted by nangar at 9:10 AM on September 28, 2013


can you explain the joke you were making? i don't get it :(
posted by titus n. owl at 9:16 AM on September 28, 2013


I thought the typo was funny. You know, 'cause it's been a really long thread and people have been arguing a lot in it.
posted by nangar at 9:24 AM on September 28, 2013


You weirdo progressives and your Tony! Toni! Toné! arguments. They don't feel good.
posted by planetesimal at 9:37 AM on September 28, 2013 [11 favorites]


Order your new TOMY (R) ARGU-BOT (TM) today! A non-stop, chattering, bump 'n go argument!
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 9:43 AM on September 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I suppose we could have a Tones on Tail argument...
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:54 AM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


...but someone would end up making an Ash of themselves.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:55 AM on September 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I suppose we could have a Tones on Tail argument...

Okay...Go!
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:02 AM on September 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


1003 – We did it!

Did anybody see Mr T? I missed it :(
posted by nangar at 10:04 AM on September 28, 2013


If you had real faith you would always see Him.
posted by planetesimal at 10:06 AM on September 28, 2013


Mr. T was here the whole time, you guys. In the smile of every baby. In the laughter of every child.
posted by palomar at 10:10 AM on September 28, 2013 [11 favorites]


But they said there would be sandwiches.
posted by planetesimal at 10:13 AM on September 28, 2013


He hangs from the crossbar of every ascii &84, every ascii &116, tough as nails, nails through wrists, pitying the fool for your sins.
posted by nobody at 10:25 AM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Blessed be the fools, for they shall be pitied.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:26 AM on September 28, 2013 [13 favorites]


"PiTd."
posted by nobody at 10:34 AM on September 28, 2013


But they said there would be sandwiches.

Nobody made me one!

sudo ...

command not found

OK. I'll go make one myself.
posted by nangar at 10:36 AM on September 28, 2013


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing: "Blessed be the fools, for they shall be pitied."

Amen.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 10:36 AM on September 28, 2013


Only when Mr. T does it he eats your soul instead of saves it, and he absorbs your knowledge, since he's an embodiment of Angra Mainyu.
posted by planetesimal at 10:38 AM on September 28, 2013


I think languagehat mistranslated the stele. It's 300 sandwiches, not 1000 comments.
posted by griphus at 11:17 AM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


(Also, if the summoning actually works, one of us has to be his bride and not it.)
posted by griphus at 11:20 AM on September 28, 2013


"You weirdo progressives and your Tony! Toni! Toné! arguments. "

Until today, I thought that Poison was Tony! Toni! Toné!'s only good song.

But it's actually Bell Biv Devoe.
posted by klangklangston at 12:53 PM on September 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


YOU LEAVE BELL BIV DEVOE OUT OF THIS
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:58 PM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


BBD had several marketable tracks on their debut, then quickly turned shite. TTT was able to pump out melodic mediocrity for several years. I hope that clears it all up.
posted by planetesimal at 12:59 PM on September 28, 2013


Bell Biv Devoe's "Do Me", at the height of its popularity, always gave me a chuckle, because all I could think about when I heard it was New Edition.

No thanks. If we're going there, I'll take Jodeci any day. You're having his baby, and it means so much to him!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:06 PM on September 28, 2013


Sorry about that- I was in the New Jack wars of the late '80s...it still isn't easy for many of us.

Sometimes, at night, I can still hear "I Wanna Sex You Up" echoing in the distance...


It's going to be OK man...hold it together...back to life...back to reality...
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:16 PM on September 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


And now I'm earwormed with Kevin McDonald saying "What's number one in the charts?"
posted by Lexica at 2:22 PM on September 28, 2013


i know i'm late, but i think we need higher standards for gender related fpps, similar to i/p posts. this original fpp and the recent one about the girlfriend-zone are good examples of weak posts. you may think it's important, but the single-link, snarky opinion piece is not best of the web. these threads generate more heat than light.

i mean, imagine some post like the original fpp here, but instead of men, it's about palestinians killing israelies. the same power dynamic applies. would anyone doubt that the post would be instantly deleted?
posted by cupcake1337 at 3:58 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Or the Usual Suspects could stop shitting in the gender-related threads. That would also solve the problem.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:20 PM on September 29, 2013 [11 favorites]


the usual suspects could stop shitting on the i/p threads too, but that wasn't the solution the mods went with. "the people i disagree with should just stop talking" isn't really a solution.
posted by cupcake1337 at 5:24 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


The primary defense of this thread was that the authors' intent was not literal, but meant as irony or, perhaps, hyperbole. There are few if any people actually making these arguments, and those people are not taken seriously. That being said, the moderators generally seem to crack down on people saying silly and offensive things because they don't think anyone would take them seriously, or "that's what that sort of person would say!" I ought to know; I've been the recipient of a few warnings like that myself.

I'm sensitive to the "punching up/punching down" argument, and it's undeniable that actual violence and actual hate-speech against women is comparable to what would be the hypothetical violence being advocated in those rhymes for comedic effect. If hypothetical violence upsets me, then the real violence should affect me so much more. And you know, it does. But many of these rhymes were unfunny and mean-spirited for the same reason "dead baby" jokes are unfunny and mean-spirited: they use the shock-value of contempt for human life expressed within an incongruous vehicle.

I'm not saying "O, the moderators are inconsistent!" They are, but there are sufficient differences between this case and others to justify a different approach. What I'm saying is that jokes about justifiable brutality ask us to entertain the idea that brutality is justifiable; and that coarsens, demeans, and diminishes us all.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:24 PM on September 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


"i know i'm late, but i think we need higher standards for gender related fpps, similar to i/p posts."

Of course you do. But you're wrong. And since you barely post any FPPs and spend more time whining in MeTa, and are also one of the folks who consistently fuck any gender or sexism thread with inane complaints, you're pretty much the exact wrong person to advocate any deletion here.
posted by klangklangston at 6:39 PM on September 29, 2013 [15 favorites]


tell us how you really feel
posted by cupcake1337 at 7:28 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


He's angry that you appear in and ruin the threads that interest him, so it's like you win!
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:31 PM on September 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you think klang won't, you're wrong. Though he'd do it in fewer words than Ivan. So would I, for that matter, but I'm about to sit down to a game of Cards Against Humanity. Really.
posted by rtha at 7:33 PM on September 29, 2013


I'd rather be spared any more of his pointless, over aggressive foul mouth tirades someone earned by posting an opinion he disagrees with, honestly.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:44 PM on September 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


eh, my point is, his opinion may be that i "fuck any gender or sexism thread with inane complaints" but that's only his opinion, and not a Universal Truth that Is. to take the i/p example, people sometimes post comments about it that i think are wrong, but i'll acknowledge that it's a difference of opinion.

so his point is that he dissagrees with me so .. i'm not qualified to give my input about the site, i guess.

the other argument is that since i don't make many FPPs i also don't have standing to criticize standards, but i don't see how that follows. i read quite a bit here, but of course you guys can't see that. regardless, i paid my $5 like everyone else.
posted by cupcake1337 at 7:46 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


The "I know I'm late" bit sort of assumes we were all waiting for you to weigh in. We were not.

That goes for everyone really but especially for "usual suspect" people who gripe about gender threads but never add meaningful or thoughtful commentary to those threads.
posted by sweetkid at 7:55 PM on September 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


ah, i didn't mean it that way. i read the thread a few days ago, but i was not able to post at the time, and in the meantime the comments seemed to have gone to to the silly, and i was too late for the more serious conversation.
posted by cupcake1337 at 7:58 PM on September 29, 2013


Ugh, is this still happening? Don't we all have hats to argue about?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:00 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


The phrase is used all over the site when people come late to a conversation that has died down. If you disagree with the point, say so, it's what we're here for. I, for one, disagree with the idea that the bar is set in the wrong place for feminism posts.

If you need to hunt for random characteristics like hidden meanings in phrase choice or insufficient level of FPP posting it's possible you are looking too hard for an issue.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:01 PM on September 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


ah, i didn't mean it that way. i read the thread a few days ago, but i was not able to post at the time, and in the meantime the comments seemed to have gone to to the silly, and i was too late for the more serious conversation.

That makes sense.
posted by sweetkid at 8:05 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


what i mean by higher bar is:

- fewer single-link, opinion/anecdote pieces
- not snarky/sarcastic
- present multiple, not-straw-man viewpoints
- multiple media type (for lack of a better term): text, sound, pictures, video
- links that are not already on other poplar blogs

ok, not exhaustive, but that's a start
posted by cupcake1337 at 8:13 PM on September 29, 2013


"the people i disagree with should just stop talking" isn't really a solution.
posted by cupcake1337


Yet, shock of shocks, that seems to be what you yourself are suggesting for people YOU disagree with, or at the very least that the people you disagree with should have much higher of a bar to posting what they want to post.

you may think it's important, but the single-link, snarky opinion piece is not best of the web.

We've been told countless times that Metafilter is not aiming for "the best of the web," and nobody is sure why people think it is.

We've also been told countless times that what makes a good FPP is:

You think other people would find it cool/interesting;
Most people haven't seen it;
You think it would make for interesting discussion.

The post under discussion in this thread met all of those.

If you don't like FPPs that involve gender or feminism, you're free to participate or skip them. I can't think of any legitimate reason why you would want to limit their presence on the site so strictly. Just because certain people act shitty on certain topics, does not mean the topics are the problem, nor does it mean those topics should be restricted unless they are sure to include give equal time to the viewpoints of the people acting shitty when they construct the post.
posted by cairdeas at 8:27 PM on September 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


Haha, it's also funny that the 5 criteria you listed, that you think future gender/feminism posts should be forced to meet, are only a start, and not the exhaustive list of restrictive criteria you think they should have to meet.

Just curious, how many criteria do your judge your own comments by before posting them, to ensure quality and good fit for Metafilter? It must be well upwards of 5, right, so as not to be hypocritical?

So much for "be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send."
posted by cairdeas at 8:32 PM on September 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


What he's is arguing for is in general a standard that has been applied to other subjects. The bar isn't higher on I/P posts because it isn't a very interesting topic, with all kinds of interesting facets people don't know about, that can lead to incredibly interesting discussion. It can do all of that. The issue is more that the conversations bring with all that a load of work for the moderators because it also leads to people making very passionate arguments with good points on both sides that often get out of hand. So maybe they ask for higher quality from the post for the work to be worth the extra effort.

I think feminism/gender topics differ on that because the arguments are often less balanced between which side is morally and intellectually correct. We don't need the ten millionth discussion of various MRA talking points and derailing tactics, it's a boring old routine full of the same old errors in approaching the subject. Moderate a lot of that out and you have some great, interesting threads. You can't really always be that surgical with something like I/P where right and wrong is hazy at best.

The moderators are really the only folks who can judge if a topic is producing a disproportionate amount of work that is hurting their ability to moderate the site, any topic should be freely posted unless they feel the need to dial it back. Restricting subject matter is not the ideal. They have already said they delete gender related posts when necessary, they should dial it up or down according to their needs and users should feel free to agree or disagree with the quality of individual posts.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:43 PM on September 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


The moderators are really the only folks who can judge if a topic is producing a disproportionate amount of work that is hurting their ability to moderate the site, any topic should be freely posted unless they feel the need to dial it back.

Indeed. I wonder, for the members who believe that when a certain topic creates disproportionate work for the mods, it should be dialed back -- if those members' own comments and way of interaction with the site were creating more work for the mods, they would also believe that their own comments should be dialed back for the same reason.
posted by cairdeas at 8:47 PM on September 29, 2013


I think anyone who comments on this site and makes a good faith effort to be a part of making it a good community should listen very well to advice the mods give them because it is generally very good, and even if it isn't this isn't a democracy. :P
posted by Drinky Die at 8:50 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


these threads generate more heat than light.

I also wasn't aware FPPs were supposed to "generate light" for people, I thought they were supposed to be cool and interesting. I thought these jokes were funny and I enjoyed them. I'm sorry you didn't, cupcake1337. You'll notice nobody persecuted you or told you to shut up for saying so, in the thread under discussion. There are plenty of threads about jokes here that I find boring or unfunny. Maybe the reason that doesn't bother me is that I don't expect that every single thread should please me or entertain me or "generate light" for me, personally.
posted by cairdeas at 8:51 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think there should be higher standards for comments in feminism threads by the Usual Suspects, since they usually generate more shit than light and generally take over every thread with their entitlement to make it All About Them. This includes, but is not limited to, TFB and cupcake.
posted by NoraReed at 8:55 PM on September 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


I also wasn't aware FPPs were supposed to "generate light" for people, I thought they were supposed to be cool and interesting.

"More heat than light" is a standard mods have offered at times as one aspect of their judgement calls. I believe it's another way to say something like "a bad signal to noise ratio." It probably is a fair description of some posts on gender issues, but not most in my view.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:58 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just curious, how many criteria do your judge your own comments by before posting them, to ensure quality and good fit for Metafilter?

comments are different from FPPs
posted by cupcake1337 at 9:23 PM on September 29, 2013


hahaha okay buddy. this isn't even worth responding to.
posted by cairdeas at 9:29 PM on September 29, 2013


This is not to cupcake1337 but I have just been thinking about "raising the bar" on gender threads and I would like to say something about it.

There are things that feminists (in general as a group) might find cool, interesting, or discussion-worthy.

And there are things that say, people interested in third-world economics might find cool, interesting, or discussion-worthy.

The reason why the first set of threads might go off the rails more than the second is largely that there are many people who just want to shut feminist conversations down, while there aren't quite so many people who just want to shut economics conversations down.

And there is a set of people who still feel a lot of ownership towards the internet as a whole, that the internet is their zone, meant for them and people like them. And if a certain kind of conversation doesn't please, interest, or entertain them, then it's not enough for them to not participate in it -- nobody should participate in it. If they don't want to hear certain things being said, it's not enough for them to exit the thread - nobody should hear those things being said. Nobody should have the opportunity to say them.

The set of people who feel this kind of ownership and entitlement about the internet overlaps heavily with the set of people who are displeased by feminist conversations.

I think it's really wonderful that, as a young woman, I can post about the things that interest me here, things that I find cool, and things that I want to share with people because they struck or moved me in some way.

I think it's wonderful that I'm not limited to only the things that would interest, say, 45 year old male libertarian techies or 15 year old boys. Not that there's anything wrong with that, and that's not to say I'd never have mutual interests with someone who met those descriptions.

But I just think it's fantastic, that what interests me is just as valid as what interests them, here. That's absolutely not true in many places online.

If it swung back the other way, that we needed to have a higher bar for the posts that don't interest The Usual Suspects -- as a result of The Usual Suspects willfully and deliberately causing trouble in those threads constantly -- it seems that all that would do is make the entire site more friendly to The Usual Suspects and people like them, and less friendly to other kinds of people.
posted by cairdeas at 10:43 PM on September 29, 2013 [18 favorites]


Cairdeas, I realize you are an impassioned commenter, like a lot of us on the site, myself included, but you really seem like you are angry right now and your language is pretty hostile. I don't know what's going on, but I wonder if maybe you just don't realize how you are coming across?

'The Usual Suspects' name-calling stuff, for instance, is just poisoning the well. If you (or NoraReed, or Ivan or klangklangston) feel specific users are trolling, take it up with the mods.

Otherwise, can we stop taking cheap shots and swearing at people whose opinions we disagree with, and stick to addressing the actual opinions instead?

Personally, I feel the bar on gender/sexism/feminism threads should be the same as we have for most topics, which means no outrage-filter blog posts and no LOLMENZ fodder.
posted by misha at 11:00 PM on September 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, there are plenty of kinds of threads where it could go the other way, where people who are interested in discussions about gender could aggressively jump in and create a bad-faith shitstorm in the thread. The reason that is pretty rare, and doesn't happen every last time in threads about, say, professional sports, video games, pop music, mainstream comedy, the financial industry, the tech industry, John Lennon, comic books -- all topics where you could rant about gender every single time if you wanted to make that your hobbyhorse -- is that there's not that same sense of entitlement to make every last thread all about what you think and completely sabotage any conversation that you don't want to see people have.

It would be absolutely absurd, if people interested in gender DID create a bad-faith shitstorm every time one of those topics came up, to create a "higher bar" on those topics in response.
posted by cairdeas at 11:07 PM on September 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


you really seem like you are angry right now and your language is pretty hostile. I don't know what's going on, but I wonder if maybe you just don't realize how you are coming across?

This makes me feel very, very weary.

I don't like throwing around the "tone argument" accusation, and I don't think you're doing it right now, Misha. But it irks me to be critiqued for "seeming" angry. I could write anything and anyone could say that it "seemed" angry.

If you think I'm being hostile to anyone, let's talk specifics.

I will say, about the specific thing you mentioned, "The Usual Suspects," that was my attempt to not make it personal about anyone in particular. I could have said, "Users X, Y, and Z who always troll these threads." I don't think it's namecalling to, not even call them a troll, and not even mention them by name, but refer to them as a group who always seems to take over these threads and say the same things as always.
posted by cairdeas at 11:13 PM on September 29, 2013 [12 favorites]


Fair enough. It was the 'hahaha okay buddy' stuff that triggered my comment, but I hear you on the feeling weary. I'm sure my tone isn't always perfect, either.
posted by misha at 11:41 PM on September 29, 2013


I think the problem often isn't that The Usual Suspects are trolling in the way we think of trolling as-- they're less trying to provoke a reaction and more trying to make the thread (about women) about them (men). I don't know why they do it-- maybe they want MetaFilter to be more like the rest of culture, where that's how dialogs go as a matter of course. Maybe they've learned that's the closest to trolling that they can get on this site. But it's aggravating.

I'll note that this also frequently seems to happen in other SJ threads, and the way it's allowed-- frowned upon with regular small text mod comments telling The Usual Suspects to knock it off-- is disappointing as hell, though my disappointment is usually more in the community than the mods. Trans* threads and race threads seem to end up being clusterfucks as often as not because of this, but I'm not in those groups so I can really only speak to a general observed trend and not what kind of discussion that shuts down.

The fact that people won't shut up and listen instead of making every thread a WHATABOUTTHEMENZfest means that it's rare that threads on these subjects end up going beyond 101 level and actually become places where you can learn something. This is something I see in meatspace and online alike and MeFi is one of the places that has the ability to transcend that. The Usual Suspects and their derailment techniques do a great job of keeping the gender discourse here down at a level that's usually somewhat between reddit and kotaku, and that's depressing as shit, because you can look in, say, the harassment threads and see great tellings of personal stories, these positive outpourings of well-told anecdotes and discussion that survive even with attempts at derailment.

And it's like, imagine how great these could be if these dudes didn't feel entitled to make these threads about them.
posted by NoraReed at 12:25 AM on September 30, 2013 [9 favorites]


"I'd rather be spared any more of his pointless, over aggressive foul mouth tirades someone earned by posting an opinion he disagrees with, honestly."

Sorry, man, I was at Carcass.
posted by klangklangston at 12:40 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think SJ stands for "social justice" and that SJW stands for "social justice warrior".I was reduced to using Google to hazard this guess and I'm still not really sure. Did I get it right?
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:17 AM on September 30, 2013


Fair enough. It was the 'hahaha okay buddy' stuff that triggered my comment, but I hear you on the feeling weary. I'm sure my tone isn't always perfect, either.
posted by misha


Oh, I thought you were talking about a different comment. Yeah, I was frustrated there. It's frustrating when someone is requesting a completely different standard for other people's participation than their own, when they try to shut other people's conversations down and then offer barring those topics as a solution to the problem of their own behavior, and when they try to restrict what other people can say at the very same time that they imply they are the ones being targeted to stop talking just because of their opinions... and all they have to say at the end of that boils down to "My participation shouldn't be held to the same standard because it's just different, it just is." It mostly makes me frustrated at myself, like ugh, I allowed myself to be drawn in again. But I wasn't feeling hostile at all.
posted by cairdeas at 1:40 AM on September 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


SJ stands for social justice and as far as I've been able to tell from its usage SJW is a term angry neckbeards on reddit and 4chan use for people who use Tumblr.
posted by NoraReed at 2:12 AM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


SJ totally stands for Statens Järnvägar, the Swedish state railway company.

you can flag this as a derail


posted by Namlit at 4:54 AM on September 30, 2013


Men's bodies are naturally hairy. We celebrate their fruitfulness and the never-ending variety of our skin.

Male necks are beautiful - we should cherish them. "Neck" isn't a dirty word; when used as a verb it is an act of love. I sometimes look at mine in a mirror and trace its outlines. I name each part: the nape. The scruff. The throat. I feel the shy, hidden anatomy: the larynx with its prominence, the hyoid bone, the cricoid cartilage. All richly, verdantly, lushly covered with hair. Down with the matriarchy and the female gaze.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:59 AM on September 30, 2013


I love my sweetie's beard, including the part that grows on his neck. I've never seen it angry either.
posted by Too-Ticky at 5:02 AM on September 30, 2013


I've never seen it angry either.

Does it read tumblr?
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:31 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nope. That probably helps a lot.
posted by Too-Ticky at 5:38 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


*reads Joe in Australia's comment, rolls eyes*
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:38 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Your "dark and sympathetic eyes, deeply set into intelligent sockets?"
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:41 AM on September 30, 2013


hey're less trying to provoke a reaction and more trying to make the thread (about women) about them (men). I don't know why they do it-- maybe they want MetaFilter to be more like the rest of culture, where that's how dialogs go as a matter of course.

It's generally because these threads are about men. A post about achievements of great women, a post about the progress of women in the ________, a post about how a group of women did ________, none of that would provoke "What about the menz" (and doesn't, as you can see). But a post about "kill all menz" will indeed get that reaction, no matter how often you say "No, we were saying 'kill all men' as part of an ironic joke."

In a recent threat about improving educational outcomes for boys, a whole lot of women were posting about their worry that this was a trojan horse for neglecting women---would you call that a derail?
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 5:51 AM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Argh, sorry guys, I know this is a non-sequitur, but this seems to be really pricking me so I need to just say it plainly.

Nobody should be able to get a topic they dislike restricted by trolling it enough and causing enough fights and problems in it.

There, that's the bottom line. I apologize if anyone is offended that I said people (cupcake1337 and others) are trolling but at least I waited until he did a gigantic amount of blatant trolling over a long time before I ever said anything about it.
posted by cairdeas at 5:52 AM on September 30, 2013 [8 favorites]


But I find the line of argument by 0 to be ludicrous. Offensively so. There is not a social phenomenon of women motivated primarily by misandry murdering men, while there very much is a social phenomenon of men motivated primarily by misogyny murdering women. That we would even be seriously having this discussion is nauseating.

When I wrote that comment, I balked at the absolutism and stopped and considered qualifying it with some nod toward the isolated case here and there of misandrist murder, but decided that doing so would be absurd given how many orders of magnitude more common is misogynist murder — I was pre-emptively expecting that absurd objection but decided that accommodating it would amount to an endorsement of it. The misandrist murder of men by women is practically nonexistent and discussing it is implicitly, or explicitly, usually an attempt to assert an equivalence that doesn't exist.


Ivan, you are being offended and nauseated by a simple disagreement. If you are speaking about adults murdering adults, it is simply wrong to frame it as an issue affecting women more than men. 60 women will be killed by men this week in the U.S. 25 men will be killed by women. I do not believe the idea that you know know anything about the primary motivation of these crimes. Certainly not enough to accept your declaration that none of the female killers are motivated by bitterness against men at all while simultaneously a significant portion of the male killers are motivated by bitterness against women. The reasons for murder are just way more complicated than that. What are the two-thirds of men who kill other men motivated by in that case?

Men have standing to complain about jokes about murdering men because murder primarily affects men. Saying they don't have standing because women are killed in the thousands every week because of misogyny* and none of much larger number of male homicide victims count in this calculation is what's absurd. Saying anybody who disagrees with your absurd statement is being absurd themselves is doubly so. This is a simple disagreement between us on this point. There is no legitimate reason for you characterize my argument as offensive or disingenuous or ludicrous.

* You really should stuck with the infanticide angle. You might have come close to reality there. (Except the MRA-hate is significantly less relevant to that discussion.)

posted by 0 at 6:17 AM on September 30, 2013


It's generally because these threads are about men. A post about achievements of great women, a post about the progress of women in the ________, a post about how a group of women did ________, none of that would provoke "What about the menz" (and doesn't, as you can see).

Every single sexual harassment post we've had in at least the last several months (and a good number of the rape posts as well) puts lie to this statement. Which, incidentally, is quite rich when it comes from the guy who kicked off the "What about the menz" derail in the convention harassment thread.

In a recent threat about improving educational outcomes for boys, a whole lot of women were posting about their worry that this was a trojan horse for neglecting women---would you call that a derail?

If I hadn't RTFA and had an axe to grind, yes.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:22 AM on September 30, 2013 [10 favorites]


It's generally because these threads are about men.

Huh. In my experience, the threads have been actually about women's expressed experiences with men, which is a different thing. And, a point that has been stated over and over in threads where a group of men insist that no, it is really about them. Which is an enormous part of the problem.

One useful tactic might be that, when people are saying "no, it is not about you, you are peripheral to this discussion," you take them at their word and listen to their experiences. The constant cries of "let's talk about the male PoV here" is a tactic, conscious or not, to silence women and to put men front and center again.

Heck, this may be the problem with gender-related threads -- this mistaken belief that the conversation is fundamentally about men rather than women. Hmmm. That actually makes a lot of things clear. I suppose the last few days were worth it.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:22 AM on September 30, 2013 [10 favorites]


Yeah, a bunch of poems that lampoon how MRAs characterize feminism is totally about men! How could we not have seen that before???

Seriously, you guys sound like parodies of concern trolls. If you hate this style of discussion so much, just go join reddit. WHATABOUTTHEMENZ is what that site is for.
posted by NoraReed at 6:40 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Indeed, castration drones are all about the ladies.
posted by 0 at 7:16 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Every single sexual harassment post we've had in at least the last several months (and a good number of the rape posts as well) puts lie to this statement

Okay, let's take a look at posts tagged "sexism". Of those first fifty posts, I have commented in six of them. In one, this was my comment. Here's my comment in another. You may find those six threads more memorable than the other forty-four, but it's still al long ways from "every".

One useful tactic might be that, when people are saying "no, it is not about you, you are peripheral to this discussion," you take them at their word and listen to their experiences.

When people are repeatedly saying "Kill all the menz! That's hilarious!" I do not believe them when they say "It's not about men." Imagine substituting any other group for men in that sentence, and ask yourself if you would believe it was "ironic _____ism."
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 7:22 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


It would indeed be bad if anyone were saying Kill all the Menz, it's hilarious. But no one has said that.

Also some people were playing GTA 5 at a party over the weekend and I couldn't take it for more than a few minutes at a time. The sexism and violence toward women is absolutely horrendous.

To not be bothered by that (which is popular on a scale many, many times more than Mallory Ortberg, the Toast, or feminists on Metafilter) is...I don't know.
posted by sweetkid at 7:26 AM on September 30, 2013 [7 favorites]


*replaces "men" with "straight people"*

No, I'm pretty sure that's still fine.
posted by NoraReed at 7:28 AM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


In my experience, the threads have been actually about women's expressed experiences with men, which is a different thing.

A while back, there was a thread about Gypsy/Roma culture. A number of people, myself included, posted anecdotes about the terrible encounters we had with Gypsy people while in Europe. Etrigan showed up, and showered us with white-hot fury. The mods asked him to restate it, and he did, but he still made clear that he was enraged at the racism on display.

And he was right. Yes, we were all talking about our personal experiences. But we were all using our personal experiences with people as a way of saying really negative things about those people as a group. It may not have been racism---few of us were participating in any institutional anti-Roma discrimination---but it was prejudice, and it sucked, and we were rightly called on it.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 7:51 AM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Okay, let's take a look at posts tagged "sexism". Of those first fifty posts, I have commented in six of them.

Despite what you may think, this isn't all about you. It's about everybody who pulls this shit.

In one, this was my comment. Here's my comment in another. You may find those six threads more memorable than the other forty-four, but it's still al long ways from "every".

Not at all. A cursory glance over the first bunch of posts easily comes up with concerns about the men. Here's a comment worrying about male body image in the second post (the first being the thread discussed by the OP). Here's a comment from the next post, with the good news that the commenter realized he may have been a little too quick to judge it. And so on and so forth. Even the Twitter rape threat thread you linked to has one of those weirdly dismissive comments. Except for maybe one or two posts about educational films from 60 years ago, there's just a litany of "contrary to all the available evidence maybe this isn't sexist so don't judge the dude(s)" or "accusations of sexism are modern Victorian hysteria" or "why must men be judged as potential rapists by single women" and so forth.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:52 AM on September 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


"Imagine substituting any other group for men in that sentence, and ask yourself if you would believe it was 'ironic _____ism.'"

I think it's interesting how there were no small number of men participating in that thread. I could read those lullabyes and comment and never once did I feel threatened as a man.

On Preview: I see TFB attempting to make the argument, yet again.

There is a difference between being Roma and being male. (!) I mean, seriously.

Somehow you seem incapable of recognizing that to be threatened, there needs to be some sort of credible threat. Men kill women for being women all the time. Roma are discriminated against for being Roma all the time. Men being discriminated against, being rounded up by the police? No. There is no real implicit threat in those lullabyes.

I recognize that some men do feel a threat. I find that curious, but sadly explicable. Merely treating "male" as a class, which is to say, making "male" the marked group instead of the usual unmarked group, is threatening. It's not really that anyone thinks there's a physical threat in those lullabyes, it's that they treat men as a class, and do so in a hostile manner. That's all by itself threatening.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:00 AM on September 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


OP links and FPPs can be about anything. If the resulting threads on gender topics are all about the men every time, that says something about the community here (and to use cairdeas' phrasing, The Usual Suspects and their ability to make it all about them).
posted by immlass at 8:05 AM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


In that analogy, it seems more apt to compare the Roma to women. Both groups have been historically maligned and mistreated, and laws have been passed in various communities/countries restricting their rights.
posted by palomar at 8:06 AM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Imagine substituting any other group for men in that sentence, and ask yourself if you would believe it was "ironic _____ism."

Again with the false equivalence. The problem with "substitute any other group" is that, of all other groups, maybe only "straight," "white," "abled," and "wealthy" would have the level of privilege to be anything like a match. So swapping "men" for "women" doesn't work, as people have explained over and over on this site.

Also, if it's the thread I am thinking of ("Gypsy is a racial slur"), I wouldn't characterize Etrigan as showing up with "white-hot fury," but there have been a few Roma threads in the last year, so maybe I missed that one. On the other hand, people getting called out for racism and sexism often perceive a stronger attack that was launched.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:11 AM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, less significantly, I am pretty sure I was the first one to use "the Usual Suspects" in (this portion of) this thread -- for more or less the reasons cairdeas suggested -- there are a fairly large number of people included, and I did not feel like calling people out, comprehensively, by name. So, if someone is going to get called out for it, it should probably be me. Although, it's a reasonable phrase (for the reasons outlined).
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:15 AM on September 30, 2013


It's not really that anyone thinks there's a physical threat in those lullabyes, it's that they treat men as a class,

A basic definition of good faith is assuming that people mean what they say about their own experiences and motives. If you can't do that, no discussion is possible, because you will simply make up an interlocutor with whom you find easier to argue.

The problem with "substitute any other group" is that, of all other groups, maybe only "straight," "white," "abled," and "wealthy" would have the level of privilege to be anything like a match.

And so we return to where we were in the beginning. One side says "Don't treat other people in a way you wouldn't want to be treated," and the other says "You people don't deserve to be treated the way others should be treated." At that point, it's simply a philosophical difference.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 9:29 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


The distinction between "different groups have very different collective experiences, historical and contemporary, that make swapping one for the other arbitrarily an unsound approach to argument" and "you people don't deserve to be treated well" is not a subtle one and has been pointed out a whole bunch.

If that's a distinction you're unwilling or unable to make, that's pretty much your issue to deal with. But asserting that it is not there does not make it not there, and doing it repeatedly is really tiresome.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:35 AM on September 30, 2013 [15 favorites]


Good faith is a "fool me once" thing. We're not required to assume good faith after you've repeatedly demonstrated yourself to be derailing every thread about women with the same arguments.
posted by NoraReed at 9:38 AM on September 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


A basic definition of good faith is assuming that people mean what they say about their own experiences and motives.

I've found that these situations can get bogged down because we have a group that is speaking about their personal-to-them experiences and then we have some people who are speaking in generalities without adding any personal information and they don't seem to understand how these two approaches are dissimilar enough to lead to problems.

The difference between "I feel threatened" and "This might be threatening to some people" is a big one. Your lectures on how you want people to treat you with good faith are wearing thin after you fail repeatedly to be able to grasp basic aspects of how to be a better community member by not making these threads about you.

I don't think people are doubting what you've said about yourself, I think they are having a hard time juxtaposing what you've claimed are your personal beliefs and your insistence that you are a good faith interlocutor with your repeated inability to not turn (some) threads about gender issues into "take on all comers" arguments with you. It's a problem, it's a site problem, and we'd like to see you making more of an effort to disengage when you see it happening.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:42 AM on September 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


I also want to state again that making analogies between groups in the "imagine substituting one group for another in this statement" way is by and large not a profitable one for the analogy-crafter nor for the audience.

The number of nitpicky derails any analogy like that opens the discussion up to is not worth whatever perceived progress is made by successfully carrying out the analogy.

Intersectionality, however, if a possible approach, works by trying to compare the total load of bias with respect to social justice that individuals carry through our culture and may be more helpful, depending on the folks participating in the discussion.

I think it is still valid to say that I, as a generally effeminate transman, intersex person, half-Asian, socialist anarchist and queer person have a greater load of biases operating against me than a white dude who got offended by a lullaby I may have written.
posted by kalessin at 9:44 AM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Also, like GenjiandProust, I thought I used "The Usual Suspects" first in this thread, for the same reasons.
posted by kalessin at 9:48 AM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


And so we return to where we were in the beginning. One side says "Don't treat other people in a way you wouldn't want to be treated," and the other says "You people don't deserve to be treated the way others should be treated." At that point, it's simply a philosophical difference.

Well, no. You return to where you were in the beginning -- pretending that your position has not been thoroughly refuted in many threads. "False Equivalence" is a thing that exists -- if you really can't accept that history has happened and that different groups of people have had vastly different experiences, and what is true for one group is not necessarily true for another, then this goes a long way toward explaining why we end up going over the same tired ground all the time.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:49 AM on September 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


Also, like GenjiandProust, I thought I used "The Usual Suspects" first in this thread, for the same reasons.

Maybe cairdeas, you, and I can band together as "The Usual Suspectors." Imagine the meet-up!
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:51 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe cairdeas, you, and I can band together as "The Usual Suspectors." Imagine the meet-up!

Invite klang, for lo, he was the very first to use it in the thread entire.
posted by kalessin at 9:53 AM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


The Suspicious 4?

The Suspecting Brigade?
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:55 AM on September 30, 2013


Don't fight, kids, I hate all of your Usual Suspect comments equally.
posted by 0 at 9:57 AM on September 30, 2013


Gang of Four?
posted by kalessin at 9:58 AM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


One side says "Don't treat other people in a way you wouldn't want to be treated," and the other says "You people don't deserve to be treated the way others should be treated." At that point, it's simply a philosophical difference.

You do understand that these poems are jokes tho, right? And that the punchline is not, "wouldn't it be funny if men were rounded up and shot, they totally have it coming" but "boy, people sure have some crazy ideas about what feminism means!"

The joke might not be to your taste, which is of course fine. But nobody in that thread is actually treating men (or straight people, or cis people, or whatever) as if they're worthy of extermination, which is why the statement I quoted above seems so bizarre to me.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:22 AM on September 30, 2013 [13 favorites]


You do understand that these poems are jokes tho, right? And that the punchline is not, "wouldn't it be funny if men were rounded up and shot, they totally have it coming" but "boy, people sure have some crazy ideas about what feminism means!"

This has been explained about every 4-8 comments since the beginning of this thread. I admire your "stick-to-it" optimism, but I expect that those who will not read (or recognize, if that is it) will pass by your comment as well....
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:27 AM on September 30, 2013


boy, people sure have some crazy ideas about what feminism means!

Yeah, some people actually real-life think feminists want to make men watch while they roast and eat their HOT BARBEQUED DUDE OYSTERS. Wait, no, nobody thinks that except for SJWs that want an excuse to post castration fantasies and have other SJWs tell them how awesome they are.
posted by 0 at 10:46 AM on September 30, 2013


The distinction between "different groups have very different collective experiences, historical and contemporary, that make swapping one for the other arbitrarily an unsound approach to argument" and "you people don't deserve to be treated well" is not a subtle one and has been pointed out a whole bunch.

Joking about "kill the ______" is not treating the _____ well. Even if you say it's all in good fun, and not aimed at the ______ really.

You do understand that these poems are jokes tho, right? And that the punchline is not, "wouldn't it be funny if men were rounded up and shot, they totally have it coming" but "boy, people sure have some crazy ideas about what feminism means!"

I get that, but I think that it's generally accepted that ironic ______ism is still _______ism. Declaring "When I said 'Kill all _______', I was just making a joke at the people who think that people like me want to kill all _______" would not be accepted in any other context.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 10:50 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


who think that people like me want to kill all

Are you a men's rights activist? Are you a PUA dude? Do you think that feminism is really promoting the emasculation (metaphorical and literal) of men?

If not, then the jokes are not about you. The trait you share with people the joke is aimed at is your sex/gender. That's it.

But then, you're the one who sucked all the air out of the room in one of the recent sexism-at-cons threads by insisting that the threat and consequences of false accusations made at a con are so awful that no harassment policy could be instituted unless and until false accusations could be prevented entirely....maybe by requiring three reliable witnesses to any report of harassment. So maybe I see why you are identifying so strongly with the "people like [me]", and why so many other men in the nursery rhyme fpp and this meTa don't feel targeted by the jokes just because they're dudes.
posted by rtha at 10:58 AM on September 30, 2013 [17 favorites]


There is a difference, to me, in presenting a male perspective as also worthy of empathy and making a thread all about men. The deliberate association of the two here as if they were equivalent is, in my opinion, a bad faith attempt at engagement. I have yet to see ANYONE advocating for empathy for men too say that women are just wrong, or something is not a problem for women, as has been suggested here.

That this kind of bad faith misrepresentation does not get called out often enough is frustrating to me. No one, NO ONE has said, "Hey, the site should give equal time to sexists and misogyny!" or implied that causing fights in threads to keep sexism threads from showing up on the blue would be a good thing. Those are the real strawmen in this thread.

Suggesting that sexism threads should simply be judged by the same criteria as other threads with contentious topics already are is not worthy of the scorn and backlash it is getting in this thread.

NoraReed has called out other users by name (TFM and cupcake) for trolling sexism threads, and that didn't get deleted. She has used offensive terms like neckbeards and suggested users go to Reddit--yet she is the one complaining the threads are being taken over by these users.

I think I will add her to my list of the Usual Suspects, which I have just decided to start, since apparently putting people on lists is a Thing We Do now.

My Usual Suspects list will include those who accuse others of secretly trying to do X horrible thing when what they themselves are actually doing is much worse than the supposed problem. Case in point:

The fact that people won't shut up and listen instead of making every thread a WHATABOUTTHEMENZfest means that it's rare that threads on these subjects end up going beyond 101 level and actually become places where you can learn something.

I disagree that this happens, I personally learn a lot by reading threads, and even though I am not a man and don't comment on threads in the blue, you telling anyone to shut up and listen instead of allowing them to join in offends me.

Telling people to shut up or leave the site and go to Reddit instead is not something any of the people you are arguing with has suggested that you do, though supposedly they are taking over threads entirely and making them into "WHATABOUTTHEMENZfest"s.

That is called a silencing tactic by the helpful Feminism 101 Derailing for Dummies link, in case you are interested.

They have also not resorted to belittling your concerns by infantilizing them and restating them in LOLCAT text.

So why are they doing it wrong while you are not? You go on the list.

Ivan, I am putting you on my list for Unless You Can Prove Your Experience is Widespread I Won't Believe It.

Why, why, why do not any of you who are so SURE you are right all the time look at what you are actually doing and what your list of Usual Suspects are actually doing with any real introspection? I don't see any of you making a conscious effort to change your ways of engaging with the site and the members you disagree with. Can you not even consider whether you are being judgmental or hypocritical just because YOU don't like what THEY have to say? Or even because you don't like what you ASSUME they have to say?

Don't worry, though. Unlike the members who started this Usual Suspects list, I have a short memory and a forgiving nature, so I will be happy to take anyone off MY list who stops resorting to those tactics against other members. It's completely up to you.The ball is in your court now.
posted by misha at 11:02 AM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Joking about "kill the ______" is not treating the _____ well. Even if you say it's all in good fun, and not aimed at the ______ really.

Which is a fine opinion to have insofar as having an opinion of a Mad Lib is a thing worth doing, but you are again completely removing something from context because it flatters your argument to avoid any of that context that actually pertains pretty heavily to the actual post.

I pretty heavily endorse a notional general "try to be good to people" philosophy as far as that goes but there are huge gaping canyons between that as a generalization and the assertion that a specific thing in a specific context is, by failing to meet your standards for filling in underlined regions sufficiently symetrically in an imagined null context, proof of some fundamental and unjust bias at play. A lot of shit just really is specific to its context. A lot of times different groups have different experiences.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:15 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think the problem often isn't that The Usual Suspects are trolling in the way we think of trolling as-- they're less trying to provoke a reaction and more trying to make the thread (about women) about them (men).

My issue with this, in reference to harassment and "why can't I get my coffee in peace" threads, is that those threads are generally about a dynamic between men and women. Talking about that dynamic necessarily requires talking about men and their interests and problems which partially give rise to the dynamic.

Anyway, I feel I'm doing something of a public service because whenever I point this out someone can post a snarky comeback and get lots of favorites and who doesn't like favorites?
posted by bswinburn at 11:15 AM on September 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


Why, why, why do not any of you who are so SURE you are right all the time look at what you are actually doing and what your list of Usual Suspects are actually doing with any real introspection? I don't see any of you making a conscious effort to change your ways of engaging with the site and the members you disagree with. Can you not even consider whether you are being judgmental or hypocritical just because YOU don't like what THEY have to say? Or even because you don't like what you ASSUME they have to say?



Why are you not offering the same standard of behavior that you're demanding of others? You're mad about people "making lists", so... you're ranting and raving about how you're making your own list. Seems like you're being just as judgemental and hypocritical as the people you're angry with.
posted by palomar at 11:18 AM on September 30, 2013 [7 favorites]


Telling people to shut up or leave the site and go to Reddit instead is not something any of the people you are arguing with has suggested that you do

They'd have to be pretty damn stupid to suggest going to reddit for a less sexist and more welcoming atmosphere, give them a little credit here. The equivalent 'go somewhere else' suggestion is 'metafilter is not/does not need to be/should not be a safe space' (not specifically said in this thread), which means 'the type of conversation you are looking for is not going to happen here, look for it somewhere else'.

NoraReed has called out other users by name (TFM and cupcake) for trolling sexism threads, and that didn't get deleted
Can you explain why you think that should have been deleted? I am not aware of any particular prohibition on criticising individual members by name, and if there were, why did you just do it yourself?
posted by jacalata at 11:18 AM on September 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


silencing tactic

misha, your 101 is showing. In Feminism 301 or Feminism 501 we learn that one of the reasons that a silencing tactic is effective is that it is but a module of a larger cultural imperative that has evolved to do more than simply silence the words, but the thought, the impulse, the right, the breath, the life of women.
posted by kalessin at 11:28 AM on September 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


I get that, but I think that it's generally accepted that ironic ______ism is still _______ism.

I think part of the issue is that this is a rule of thumb and not some kind of universal law. Just because a lot of people use irony as a get-out-of-jail-free card whenever they say something transgressive doesn't mean that every use of irony is a smokescreen for someone's real thoughts or values.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:30 AM on September 30, 2013


So in the case of ironic racism being actual racism, for example, sometimes it's actually just ironic...except when it's not. Simple enough.

I read somewhere in the site guidelines that we don't do ironic any-isms, in order to avoid just this sort of clustermuck. Maybe that was just an ironic guideline though. Some ironic isms are more equal than others obviously.
posted by perhapsolutely at 11:48 AM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wait, no, nobody thinks that except for SJWs that want an excuse to post castration fantasies and have other SJWs tell them how awesome they are.

There is plenty of rhetoric out there about how men have become feminized and forced into giving up their biologically-granted maleness by the advances of feminism. This is one of the ideas that these poems send up.

The idea that I'm harboring secret castration fantasies is pretty funny tho, especially since I'm into dudes. Going around castrating men would be sort of an "own goal" there IMO.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:48 AM on September 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


I read somewhere in the site guidelines that we don't do ironic any-isms, in order to avoid just this sort of clustermuck. Maybe that was just an ironic guideline though. Some ironic isms are more equal than others obviously.

I'd be happy to talk about where and how that's actually come up, but I'm not going to dig into that if you're being this glib and dismissive about it. Feel free to try and start more of an actual conversation about it if an actual conversation is what you're looking to have.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:54 AM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yes, sometimes ironic racism is actually ironic. For example, Dave Chapelle has a sketch about a black member of the KKK. That sketch uses racism ironically. It turns out that sometimes you actually have to think about the specific thing you're talking about in order to evaluate it.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:57 AM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yes, sometimes ironic racism is actually ironic. For example, Dave Chapelle has a sketch about a black member of the KKK.

Absolutely. And there is a big difference between Chappelle being ironically racist and, say, a white comic doing the same thing. (Although Chapelle has apparently recently toned this down saying that the wrong people were laughing too often, so even sincere ironic racism may be feeding the beast instead of slaying it.)

At any rate, men opining on whether feminism has gone to far is... well.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:03 PM on September 30, 2013


Maybe that was just an ironic guideline though.

We don't have ironic guidelines, period. If you need help understanding something we've said, just ask us.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:08 PM on September 30, 2013


Maybe cairdeas, you, and I can band together as "The Usual Suspectors." Imagine the meet-up!

Invite klang, for lo, he was the very first to use it in the thread entire.
posted by kalessin


Hah, The Usual Suspectors makes me think of like that group of people in my town who believe chemtrails are a government plot to control our minds on a mass scale with psychoactive drugs.

That being said, I am totally up for this meetup.
posted by cairdeas at 12:10 PM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


And there is a big difference between Chappelle being ironically racist and, say, a white comic doing the same thing.

Not only that, but at least in the KKK sketch (I haven't seen much of Chappelle's comedy), the butt of the joke is a clueless black person, and it's a person who hates other black people.

I have a feeling it wouldn't have such a warm and wonderful reception from large segments of his audience if he was doing sketches about ironic racism with a clueless white character or a character who hated white people.
posted by cairdeas at 12:20 PM on September 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


believe chemtrails are a government plot to control our minds on a mass scale with psychoactive drugs

That's why I mentioned the Gang of Four. :)
posted by kalessin at 12:25 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


It just seemed like a pretty cut-and-dried guideline--a sort of 'we don't do that here'. Maybe including a list of the groups exempted from the prohibition would make it seem less hypocritical--well, less surprising anyway. I realize that pretending to loathe one's own race/gender/what-have-you is less of an issue. It's the inter-gender/-racial/-etc instances that might benefit from some clarification. Is the punching-up/-down distinction really the basis of site policy on this?
posted by perhapsolutely at 12:27 PM on September 30, 2013


Maybe including a list of the groups exempted from the prohibition would make it seem less hypocritical

Again, seriously, either you are being pointlessly sarcastic for some reason or you have some kind of really, truly profound misapprehension of what's been discussed about this stuff previously and when and how the e.g. Ironic Racism thing has come up previously such that we've had to talk about it.

I am not trying to be a jerk to you here but this does not feel like you asking an actual reasonable question, it feels like you picking a fight while pretending to be asking a question.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:30 PM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Is the punching-up/-down distinction really the basis of site policy on this?

Yes, there is no such thing as ironic racism/sexism about whites/men because the there is no such thing as regular racism/sexism towards whites/men since there must be institutional power for the -ism to exist. This not everybody's definition of racism/sexism, but it is the functional definition on this site (and one I happen to agree with despite me being one the bad guys).
posted by 0 at 12:41 PM on September 30, 2013


Maybe including a list of the groups exempted from the prohibition would make it seem less hypocritical

This is actually a nice twist on the ol' "I have a list ..." Instead of "I have a list ..." it's "You have a list ... and why won't you show it to me and prove I'm not on it you big hypocritical meanie, you."

The idea that I'm harboring secret castration fantasies is pretty funny tho, especially since I'm into dudes.

Maybe you want to keep all those balls for yourself. I know your sort.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:44 PM on September 30, 2013


cortex, perhaps you could be a little more understanding of perhapsolutely being a bit upset (if indeed he is upset). He was treated like crap for daring to share his opinion on the blue. Maybe you forgot that part? (Apologies, perhapsolutely, if I've misgendered you.)
posted by 0 at 12:45 PM on September 30, 2013


It just seemed like a pretty cut-and-dried guideline--a sort of 'we don't do that here'. Maybe including a list of the groups exempted from the prohibition would make it seem less hypocritical--well, less surprising anyway.
posted by perhapsolutely

If there is such a list of "groups you can make ironically sexist jokes about under certain circumstances," women are in fact on it, in case you were worried they were not.

Here's an overt example: http://www.metafilter.com/130011/Vaccines-How-Do-They-Work#5089649

Also, the jokes in the nursery rhyme thread were ironically sexist jokes about women.
posted by cairdeas at 12:50 PM on September 30, 2013


The Usual Suspectors sounds like a ska band.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:50 PM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Or a series of novels about kid detectives.
posted by cairdeas at 12:51 PM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think I will add her to my list of the Usual Suspects, which I have just decided to start, since apparently putting people on lists is a Thing We Do now.

You were the first person in this thread to bring up "putting users on lists". This is a thing that you yourself introduced to this thread, it did not exist in this thread until you brought it up as a thing that was supposedly happening frequently on metafilter. You then randomly called out a user who has not only not participated in this thread but did not participate in the original thread on the blue, for reasons which are still unclear to me.
posted by elizardbits at 12:52 PM on September 30, 2013 [7 favorites]


Seriously the last person to bring up putting people on lists and stalking them around the site as a legitimate thing that factually happens on metafilter was a very difficult now-banned member of the site with whom I am not really sure you want to align your views.
posted by elizardbits at 12:54 PM on September 30, 2013


I apologize. I'm genuinely nonplussed. I might have misunderstood and it's only ironic racism the guideline referred to. I understood it to at least imply any ironic espousal of sexist/racist/etc positions. My preconceptions about the interpretation of the principle are not easy to reconcile with the de facto enforcement of same or lack thereof (as I see it). Please disregard my incredulous sarcasm--I am honestly curious what the principle behind the policy is. I'm not being deliberately obtuse. It simply strikes me as a blatant contradiction, but I readily admit I might be laboring under a major misapprehension of the actual guideline or it's purpose or...I don't sincerely know what to ask even. Authoritative help in understanding this situation is much needed and appreciated. I'm happy to accept mod pronouncement, I'm just confused about where the lines actually go, I guess.
posted by perhapsolutely at 12:54 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


You are straight up gas-lighting, elizardbits.
posted by 0 at 12:58 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


You are straight up wrong.
posted by elizardbits at 1:04 PM on September 30, 2013 [8 favorites]


You don't want to be on anyone's list of people who make lists.
posted by perhapsolutely at 1:05 PM on September 30, 2013


Actually, O, that makes a lot of sense, consistency-wise. My casual definitions of racism/sexism/etc are rather broad compared to those, and I guess I should have considered the possibility that definition of terms was at the root of the misunderstanding. Hmmm.
posted by perhapsolutely at 1:17 PM on September 30, 2013


Please disregard my incredulous sarcasm--I am honestly curious what the principle behind the policy is.

Okay, so, the ready example of the kind of ironic-racism/sexism thing that we found ourselves having to say something about a few times is something like this:

1. There's a post on the front page about something that has an angle of systemic or personal racism to it.
2. People are bothered by that crappy situation, which makes sense.
3. Someone decides to make a rhetorical point about the crappiness of the situation by adopting the imagined voice of a racist. That is, instead of saying e.g. "this thing is crappy and here's why" they go the route of saying some racist-thing-they-don't-actually-believe to showcase the kind of crappy thing they don't like by ironic example.
4. People get pretty skeezed out by the racism show, ironical or not. Thread gets derailed over people talking about what a shitty thing to fake-say that was, etc.

It's not too hard to understand how (3) happens or why someone who is actually a decent person might choose to mock something they disagree with by dressing up as it to provide an embarrassing example or whatever, but it tends to be pretty problematic for a few different reasons (not everybody gets the riff such as it is, the riff is not always done well, it's not always timed super well, it's not always even germane to the topic, it's often pretty button-pushing regardless of intent, etc) and so it tends to derail threads or make them uglier/messier as a result.

And it's happened enough times that we ended up having to say "cut it out" to a few different people, leave a few notes in threads, and at this point just refer to it directly as the "ironic racism" or "ironic sexism" thing when we see it cropping up in that same problematic suddenly-derailing-a-thread-with-an-ill-considered-mock-quote way.

That shorthand is not a policy saying that it's impermissible on Metafilter to use irony to talk about racism, or sexism, or Xism. It's shorthand for "this specific recurring thing needs to not recur".

So, there's not a list; as a guideline, to the extent that this is one, I'd put it as "don't lazily make up imagined quotes by groups you dislike just to make the point that you dislike them", which has mostly been an actual issue on the site with discussions of sexism, racism, and American politics. We've tried to address it as it's actually manifested as this one specific narrow issue on the site, not to tackle fundamentally the broad question of the use of irony or satire in social dialectics or whatever.

If the comparison is to the misandrist lullabies post and why it's okay, I'd say there's a huge difference between sideswiping a thread with a OH YEAH LOOK AT ME I WANT TO KILL ALL X BECAUSE THAT'S HOW Y-PEOPLE LIKE ME ROLL BECAUSE WE'RE SO FUCKIN' MONSTROUS fake-o X-ist comment and making a post about something that's, as an interesting-thing-on-the-web-in-the-poster's-opinion capacity, using satire or irony as a rhetorical device.

That's not to say that something that's the subject of a post and does that can't be problematic in its own right, but it's very much not the same issue of an on-site dynamic as the thing we've had to actually leave notes about and talk about in Metatalk re: users tossing ironic sexism/racism grenades into threads. So the positing of some crazy self-contradiction in site policy doesn't really make any sense here, hence me balking at the smarmy gotcha stuff.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:18 PM on September 30, 2013 [9 favorites]


As someday it may happen that a victim must be found
I've got a little list-- I've got a little list
Of society's offenders who might best be under ground
And who never would be missed-- who never would be missed
There's the testes-hungry feminists in comfortable shoes
And men who think that they're oppressed by SJWs
Those who, when reading online threads, deliberately mis-read
And those who can't show evidence, and only special plead
And MRAs and PUAs, I think you get the gist
They'd none of them be missed-- they'd none of them be missed

posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:18 PM on September 30, 2013 [11 favorites]


kalessin: "And I realize that was from a triggering event. But I think it's hard to discern the tone of a triggered abuse survivor, sometimes, from a fervent men's rights activist. I think one good reason that a fervent men's rights activist's rhetoric works is that it works on the same sorts of emotionally pitched wavelengths that speak on many similar levels to the root emotions that get disturbed and tweaked by a triggering emotional reaction.

Possibly. I think you might be correct about the superficial response. But...

MRA's generally seem to operate under an assumption that they are being treated unfairly by women, feminism and other aspects of the civil rights movement as it pertains to women. We often see complaints about double standards being held for women versus men, for example. Reactions are typically quite defensive and yes, emotional as well, but I'm not sure they are on the same plane of existence as triggering events, which are usually met with a different range of both physical and emotional reactions. They can include physical and emotional stress, fear, anger, distrust, depression among others.

The tone may be similar but the actual reactions / cause and affect / response time frames are quite different.
posted by zarq at 1:21 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


You are straight up gas-lighting, elizardbits.

misha brought up putting people on lists at 5:46 PM on September 24.

The first occurrence of "the usual suspects" (the idea that there are folks who are well-known for shitting in gender-related threads, not the appearance of those folks themselves) in this post wasn't until a couple hours later.

I'm not seeing how elizardbits pointing this out is gaslighting. misha brought it up. She brought it up as something other people do to her, admittedly. But elizardbits isn't lying about what happened.
posted by hades at 1:21 PM on September 30, 2013 [7 favorites]


TheWhiteSkull, we can't do karaoke if we don't know what the melody is.
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:30 PM on September 30, 2013


Please disregard my incredulous sarcasm

That suddenly put me in mind of this thread.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:32 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


octobersurprise that thread is making me giggle at work and work is srs bizness srsly.
posted by sweetkid at 1:37 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I get it. Gracias, Cortex. Sorry to burden you with composing a long-form breakdown like that. It's a derailing issue--when the actual subject of the FPP is ironic racism/sexism/etc then it's not a derail. That's actually really sensible.

It occurs to me that posts like the FPP, which clearly touched a nerve or two, have the added benefit of producing the 'let 100 flowers bloom' effect--sort of a cathartic way of getting all the ironic sexism energy (that's been building up unexpressed in other threads) off one's chest. A less graphically bloody version of this might be a valuable regular feature. Minus the cultural revolutionary backlash, obv.
posted by perhapsolutely at 1:41 PM on September 30, 2013


TheWhiteSkull, we can't do karaoke if we don't know what the melody is.

Let me help you.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:43 PM on September 30, 2013


But elizardbits isn't lying about what happened.

She is being less than forthright by saying that those two hours mean therefore the Usual Suspects shit is not something that happens here. Do you really think the 6 people who used the phrase in this thread only did so because of misha's comment? Do you really think her mention of lists is not based on something that actually happened in the past?

Using twisted factual assertions to tell a woman that her impression of her experience is wrong is pretty much classic gas-lighting.
posted by 0 at 1:50 PM on September 30, 2013


Do you really think her mention of lists is not based on something that actually happened in the past?

Are people making lists of other users rather than just, like, remembering what individuals have said before?
posted by Greg Nog at 1:54 PM on September 30, 2013 [10 favorites]


sort of a cathartic way of getting all the ironic sexism energy (that's been building up unexpressed in other threads) off one's chest

A) Ironic sex energy doesn't spring from one's chesticles and B) you're thinking of orgones.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:54 PM on September 30, 2013


Do you really think the 6 people who used the phrase in this thread only did so because of misha's comment? Do you really think her mention of lists is not based on something that actually happened in the past?

As one of those people who used the phrase "the usual suspects" in this thread, I can tell you this much: I used the phrase because saying "the usual suspects" is a hell of a lot shorter than "the same people who show up in threads on sexism, feminism, trans* issues, and many other sensitive issues and shit all over everything, create straw men, accuse other members of not acting in good faith while not acting in good faith themselves, and turning the conversation from the subject we were actually discussing to whatever they want to discuss, because if they can't be the center of attention and ruin something for people that they disagree with, they're just not happy."

And while I don't keep an actual list of the people that do this, it's not like it's hard to recognize them, since they do this over and over and over and over.
posted by palomar at 2:00 PM on September 30, 2013 [18 favorites]


She is being less than forthright by saying that those two hours mean therefore the Usual Suspects shit is not something that happens here.

Maybe you and I have a different understanding of what "the usual suspects" means. It sounds like you think there is is a list, either maintained centrally or individually, probably written down, of users who the Cabal has determined to be Enemies. It sounds like that's what misha thinks, too, when she says she's going to start a list.

I don't have to start a list of usual suspects, because I remember things. That's how persistent pseudonyms work. You write something, I read it, and then later when you write something else, maybe I remember that other thing you said. There is no list, in the sense that I could sit down and write out a list of people who I trust to fuck up a conversation about gender issues. But when I see the toxic smog descend and I look at the bottom to see who posted it, I am rarely surprised, because it's almost always someone I remember doing that exact same thing before, probably multiple times. One of the usual suspects, if you will.

Am I curating a list and sharing it with other members? Do I have a little black book where I keep notes about people? Am I complaining about the behavior of users who haven't participated in this thread, like misha did about MartinWisse in the very same comment where she complained that "users hold grudges, put other users on lists and stalk them around the site over those threads"? No. That's not what I mean by "the usual suspects", and without claiming to speak for anyone else, I bet that's not what anyone else meant by it.

On preview, what Greg Nog and palomar said.
posted by hades at 2:02 PM on September 30, 2013 [17 favorites]


Yeah, I don't keep a fucking list. It's self-evident that certain folks tend to use certain tired rhetorical methods to achieve or try to achieve tired rhetorical ends.

It's not a list except insofar as I could potentially write a Markov Chainer to harvest from an array variable and I think it would sometimes churn out remarkably evocative imitations.

I like to think that I would be more proof against that sort of thing than the folks I think of when I see/use the phrase The Usual Suspects, but who knows? I've certainly been the partal subject of a Markov Chainer dump grab and have seen evocative kalessin-similar phrases spout out, so who knows?
posted by kalessin at 2:10 PM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


As one of those people who used the phrase "the usual suspects" in this thread, I can tell you this much:

As another one who used it, yeah, pretty much. I don't have an written-down list of "usual suspects." There are two or three I could name off the top of my head, if pressed, and I suppose I could write down a list if I had to, because, as noted by several others, I don't have to, since the behavior is blatant and unstopping. It's a collective noun which is useful because everyone knows the sort of user I am referring to, and I don't have to call out a particular person/people at that moment, because that is not the point. It is a behavior that is the problem. If you don't like being referred to as "A Usual Suspect," you always have the option of not shitting in the threads where The Usual Suspects shit.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:29 PM on September 30, 2013 [9 favorites]


> My issue with this, in reference to harassment and "why can't I get my coffee in peace" threads, is that those threads are generally about a dynamic between men and women. Talking about that dynamic necessarily requires talking about men and their interests and problems which partially give rise to the dynamic.

Anyway, I feel I'm doing something of a public service because whenever I point this out someone can post a snarky comeback and get lots of favorites and who doesn't like favorites?


How is it public service when you're the one getting served?

But one-liners aside:

While it's true that men may have reasons for failing to treat women with the respect they deserve, those reasons don't excuse the failure. Those interests and problems which give rise to the dynamic matter only insofar as understanding them will make change easier. Too often, though, the complaint is that a more feminist way of life will make things more difficult for us men, and therefore things should stay much as they are. This ignores that the things which feminism makes more difficult for us should never have been easy in the first place.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:50 PM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Do you really think her mention of lists is not based on something that actually happened in the past?

I was referring to the actual assertion that misha made, which was that people make lists and stalk people all over the site specifically to harass them. This is, and I'm sorry to have not been scrupulously clear about this point in the followup comment, a thing that wolfdreams01 asserted in his final MeTa, the culmination of which was his banning.

That is specifically and precisely why misha's original comment gave me significant pause, because whatever disagreements we may have put aside, I do not think of her as someone who has agreed with or approved of the increasingly odd accusations wd01 made in his memorable tenure here at mefi.

So to answer your question, no, I do not think actual "hit lists" of users, created by other users to target them in a widespread variety of threads, is a thing that has actually happened in the past, outside of some weird paranoid rantings from a banned user.
posted by elizardbits at 2:59 PM on September 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


Sort of the opposite to making a list, what I've done with users whose comments I find particularly problematic is that I've installed the Mondo Meta userscript and I have it set so that any time it finds some of these folks' names in a comment footer, it blacks out the comment. Black on black, so if I want to read it I have to highlight it. It's like putting a spoiler tag on the folks I can stand the least. And the extra effort to do so often prevents me from even looking. And if I do, it reminds me not to engage or be really careful of when I do.

So I guess Mondo Meta keeps the list for me and slaps my wrist when I'm about to think about engaging.
posted by kalessin at 3:02 PM on September 30, 2013


Granted, it's been awhile and I don't exactly take notes on what happens here, but it's my recollection of Wolfdreams01's MeTa that he complained people were following his activity to pick fights with him and a couple people promptly admitted that yeah, that's exactly what they were doing (and then apologized).
posted by cribcage at 3:52 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah just to add my voice to the chorus, if anyone is actually putting people's names on lists and then systematically stalking and harassing them, then that is something the moderators should know about and put a stop to ASAP. I don't think anyone on the site would defend that type of behavior. That is hugely different, though, from simply noticing that Users $X-Z tend to repeatedly voice opinions you do not share in threads about $W, and I think we should be very careful not to conflate these two things.
posted by en forme de poire at 3:53 PM on September 30, 2013


My only Metafilter list, like a real actual written down list, is of people I think are really cool or interesting. It's my contact list.

Ab