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.
posted by ubernostrum to Etiquette/Policy at 2:15 PM (1202 comments total)
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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.