So, pointing out that Wendy Carlos is trans is instadelete? March 9, 2014 7:06 PM   Subscribe

There remain posts on the thread asking WHY WHY isn't she mentioned. It's not like there isn't a fucking simple reason she isn't mentioned. Why is explaining this simple reason cause for comment deletion?
posted by localroger to Etiquette/Policy at 7:06 PM (60 comments total)

What in the name of Christ are you on about? Like, not even a hyperlink?
posted by kbanas at 7:08 PM on March 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


I emailed you a couple hours ago explaining why your comment was deleted (it screamed derail to turn the whole thread into how one person on the list was a trans woman and that could be problematic to some people) and your follow-up comment asking why it was deleted.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:12 PM on March 9, 2014


For anyone wondering what this is about, it's this thread. I wish you used the contact form instead, but hey it was asked and answered here.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:17 PM on March 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


More to the point opening up the whole "Who is a 'real woman'?" line of discussion in a thread about something else comes across as basically trolling on a site with a long and contentious history of having difficulty discussing trans* issues. If you were trying to do something else with that comment, you did not do a good job at it. Mentioning that she may not have been included because she is trans* would have been fine. Going down the path you went was not fine and we explained this to you via email.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:18 PM on March 9, 2014 [19 favorites]


What does "instadelete" mean? Something is either deleted or it isn't.
posted by John Cohen at 7:43 PM on March 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


The comment I remember made disparaging comments about unnamed feminists, which really had nothing to do with the post, but would have made a great spark for some contentious arguments (that also would have had nothing to do with the post).
posted by grouse at 7:43 PM on March 9, 2014


What does "instadelete" mean? Something is either deleted or it isn't.

"The decision to delete it is made instantly and automatically without considering the intrinsic merit of the comment" would be my best guess at the meaning of that. Seems fairly clear?
posted by Sebmojo at 7:47 PM on March 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


Maybe that's not the reason she wasn't mentioned?
posted by mrbigmuscles at 8:09 PM on March 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


The comment was offensive. I flagged it.
posted by brina at 8:21 PM on March 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


I regret even posting the damn thing. What a disaster.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:09 PM on March 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


BP: I appreciated the article mentioning Delia Darbyshire while simultaneously lamenting the article neglecting Wendy Carlos.

I do wish we could have had a discussion about the missed opportunity for that list to include an early electronic music and transgender pioneer, without resorting to fighty, uninformed crap slinging, but alas, there is more growth to be had here before everyday conversations can be nicely had about something like this.

I cannot state this strongly enough: BP, you did the right thing posting the article, it was our fellows mefites unable to play ball in a decent, intelligent way that caused the problem, not you.
posted by Annika Cicada at 9:36 PM on March 9, 2014 [24 favorites]


Seems to be going okay now.
posted by rtha at 9:37 PM on March 9, 2014


I'll check back in.
posted by Annika Cicada at 9:39 PM on March 9, 2014


Yeah there was nothing wrong with the post at all, BP.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:39 PM on March 9, 2014 [13 favorites]


Maybe leave the tumblr-style "these women are not as worthy as this woman, so fuck you for promoting women in music" pseudo-outrage stuff for tumblr?

"So fuck you"

That's the fighty, uninformed comment I was referring to.
posted by Annika Cicada at 9:47 PM on March 9, 2014


Sorry, I posted too soon before I was done editing, but what I accidentally posted too early shall stand so as not to violate the edit window guidelines.

I think emptythought's response was excellent, which is what I was about to add before my thumb accidentally submitted, so I'm cool not having a big discussion about my comments.

I kinda feel in an awkward position due to premature comment posting, lol.
posted by Annika Cicada at 9:52 PM on March 9, 2014


Hey, we've all suffered premature ejaculation. (Of a comment! Get your mind outta the gutter!) Don't sweat it.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:15 PM on March 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Hey, we've all suffered premature ejaculation. (Of a comment! Get your mind outta the gutter!) Don't sweat it.

Use your hands to type.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:40 AM on March 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


No, I'm not uninformed, Annika. This thing where you blindly accuse people of transphobia is getting a bit old.
posted by effbot at 1:58 AM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Blazecock Pileon I'm also glad you posted it. Apart from Delia Derbyshire the names aren't familiar to me, so it was a really interesting read. I've been lying listening to Eliane Radigue which has been soothing my flu-addled mind, so thank you! I also hadn't heard of Wendy Carlos so I'm glad of the chance to go and check out her work. A short list like that is always going to have omissions, so it's good for people to come into the thread and say "Hey what about X?" but I don't think it needs to be done in an aggressive way. I'm glad it's back on track.
posted by billiebee at 2:04 AM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


For what it's worth, i actually wrote part of and then deleted a comment expanding on this. I hinted at it in my first post but backed off then at an attempt of not derailing or threadshitting since that discussion if just a fuckstorm waiting to happen.

I will say, however, that this issue in this discussion is not new and is not just some hypothetical imagined thing. I have absolutely been around before in other places, in other circles of people having this same "women in early electronic music" discussion where people misgender Wendy, use her previous name, etc and just start on a real assbucket path.

So yea, wondering why as another person said someone who was left off in such a headscratching blatant way as leaving elvis off a rock list wasn't included really made my ears perk up and made me curious as to whether there weren't some weird crappy thoughts going on in the heads of the person or people who put together this list.

Howwwweveerrrr. I can't see a constructive way to have that discussion since the entire basis of it is "Are the people who wrote this, who aren't involved in this discussion, weird bigots or something?". That actually is the kind of tumblr outragebait that was brought up in the thread pointed a different direction. There is no real discussion to be had there besides "How terrible are these people who we're projecting onto a bunch, and how much more enlightened and awesome than them are we?"

Maybe they were just trying to cover cool women that most of us probably hadn't heard of? i mean, suggestions were dropped in the thread and nothing cool like "If you liked that, check this out!" was dropped about the women from the original list. Maybe they actually picked pretty wow TIL choices to expand peoples horizons and such?

I'm going to say something here that i will probably fail at holding myself too or setting any good example, as a big content criticizer and armchair pot-shotter at times, but i think that a lot of threads like this might go better if people just contributed more cool content instead of pooping on stuff. I mean, i kinda did both in my first post by going "Woah, no Wendy Carlos?" but the framing was inflammatory and could have used some work.

"See also/also worth checking out" good, "How dare they not mention blablabla what are their motives i wonder?" Is at best neutral and at most bad unless there's previous backstory to whoever wrote the content ignoring someone or some facet of the issue.

I don't know, just some thoughts. Not potentially my most cohesive unified front of a post.
posted by emptythought at 2:32 AM on March 10, 2014 [11 favorites]


I reread the "leaving Elvis off a rock list" comment a couple of times to check it wasn't sarcasm. There are people who think it's obvious that he would belong on such a list. There are also people who think his presence would be preposterous.
posted by hawthorne at 3:32 AM on March 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


What makes the outrage weird is that the article is, by editorial intent, a list of important women in music. Not the most important, the most significant, the best, the umpthy-est anything.

It's just "Here are some. Because the list is finite I decided to name these! I didn't even tell you which of them I liked the most! Thanks for reading!"

Criminy, you guys.
posted by ardgedee at 4:34 AM on March 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


...and with that, 'outrage' truly had just come to mean pretty much fuckin' anything, I don't know, was it about trans stuff? Yeah, that's probably some outrage.
posted by emmtee at 4:49 AM on March 10, 2014


"I also hadn't heard of Wendy Carlos so I'm glad of the chance to go and check out her work."

billiebee, you've probably already discovered this by now, but Wendy Carlos composed the score for A Clockwork Orange, although Kubrick used only a small portion of what she wrote. However, you'll probably recognize the title theme (a version of Purcell's Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary, also credited to Rachel Elkind-Tourre and performed by Wendy Carlos). At that Grooveshark link you'll find her complete soundtrack (not the official soundtrack, but a separate album she released of what she'd written for the film) and I think that Timesteps is definitely worth listening to.

The opening title of the film is one of the best things ever in the history of the universe (absolutely not hyperbole). Everyone has probably already seen it, but if not, you should. I'm not completely happy with the HD version of the opening that someone has put up on YouTube; later I think I'll snip it out of the film and upload it to YT and post the link here. Assuming that it's kosher, but apparently that other (non-official) video is okay.

On preview: "What makes the outrage weird is that the article is, by editorial intent, a list of important women in music."

Yeah, it's a list of important women in electronic music and thus it's really damn weird that Wendy Carlos isn't on that list. The irritation is entirely justified.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:57 AM on March 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


But that's your list. It's not the author's list. It might not even be my list. The author's list really doesn't communicate to me that these seven were the most important, to the exclusion of other women in electronic music. Since the premise of the original Wombeatz blog series was "A week of women pioneers in electronic music", the cap had to be seven. They had accessible videos and brief bios and were therefore easiest to post about as part of an educational blog. The discussion in the FPP made it clear that there were yet other women who could have / should have been mentioned too.
posted by ardgedee at 5:27 AM on March 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


it's a list of important women in electronic music and thus it's really damn weird that Wendy Carlos isn't on that list.

Yes, and it's perfectly fine to say that in the thread, as Jessamyn pointed out. What isn't fine is to turn the thread into a big fight about how some feminists don't consider Wendy Williams a real woman, especially using over the top "ironic"(?) phrasing like "Well a lot of people would not class Carlos as a Real Woman because she started life as Walter and got all trans," and talking about male privilege, and then in the follow-up comment arguing about the deletion of that comment talking about Williams pre and post surgery identity in a way that is weird and not exactly accurate ("became a woman via trans surgery").

I think localroger was trying to be supportive, but that was a huge derail in about five different ways guaranteed to make just about everyone angry in some way. It's not a problem to talk about Wendy Williams there. It's not a problem to talk about her trans* status. It's a problem to turn it into a big feminists / trans* / male privilege / surgery and identity / transphobia fight instead of a discussion about women in electronic music history, including Wendy Williams. People should add their own favorite performers, and make their own "Best" or "Most Overlooked" or whatever lists and include them so that other folks can enjoy those artists, too.

We don't know why the people who made the original 7-day list chose the ones they chose and left off the ones they left off, and fighting about that is less interesting than talking about great woman making the music, on and off that one list.
posted by taz (staff) at 5:48 AM on March 10, 2014 [13 favorites]


You can't leave Elvis off a rock list. Has the world gone mad?

Don't answer.
posted by Wolof at 5:48 AM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Folks who aren't familiar with her work - Wendy Carlos also did the soundtrack to the original Tron movie.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:02 AM on March 10, 2014


I love Elvis but I'd probably leave him off a list of seven visionary dudes who had a huge impact on rock - not because he didn't, and not because he didn't make rock accessible to a mass white audience, but because at this point you can safely assume your reader probably knows about Elvis Presley, and that spot on the list could go to someone who gets less recognition.

I kind of figured that's what happened with the list of women in electronic music - yeah, Carlos has had a huge influence, but I kind of figure that if someone cares about electronic music at all then they've probably heard of her already.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 6:17 AM on March 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


"What isn't fine is to turn the thread into a big fight about how some feminists don't consider Wendy Williams a real woman..."

Oh, yeah. I totally understand the deletion of localroger's comment. I'm just pushing back on the idea that anyone being upset that Carlos wasn't included on the list is oversensitive or something.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:19 AM on March 10, 2014


I, too, have occasionally had trouble juggling Wendy Carlos, Wendy Williams, and William Carlos Williams.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 6:26 AM on March 10, 2014 [14 favorites]


Yeah, I should have said "Wendy Carlos"! I'm not even sure why it's sometimes printed as Wendy Carlos Williams -- but she's not that other Wendy Williams. Sorry!! :/
posted by taz (staff) at 6:38 AM on March 10, 2014

I, too, have occasionally had trouble juggling Wendy Carlos, Wendy Williams, and William Carlos Williams.
Let's not forget Wendy O. Williams either.
posted by dfan at 6:46 AM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it's a list of important women in electronic music and thus it's really damn weird that Wendy Carlos isn't on that list. The irritation is entirely justified.

There is a difference between "belongs on any authoritative list" and "belongs on every list ever." In the previous discussion of the topic I mentioned Jeanne Loriod. As skilled on the ondes Martenot as Rockmore was on the theremin where's Loriod? Well, she's not on the list because it's obviously supposed to be a quick, short, fun list, not a scholarly exhibit.

I don't blame anyone for feeling annoyed when their favorite person gets left off a list; that's the world of making lists. But it needn't be "weird" or malicious, it might just be carelessness or ignorance or not to the specific point the list was made.

(I'm dubious about even weighing in on this, tbh. But as someone remarked recently, I have metatalk stats to think of.)
posted by octobersurprise at 6:50 AM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


As promised, here's a hi-def YouTube clip of the opening of A Clockwork Orange. I also included close-captioning for Alex's voiceover (spelling corrected against Burgess's text, allowing for Kubrick's changes). And the audio was normalized. Well, also, I replaced that last beat with the version from the soundtrack so as not to include the dialogue (of the homeless guy singing).
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:24 AM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Although it's suddenly available only at 720p and not the 1080p I encoded it at and which was briefly available. If someone could tell me why that happened, I'd appreciate it. The vagaries of YouTube are a mystery to me.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:28 AM on March 10, 2014


Not all encodings appear simultaneously. It might take a while for Google to rip it since it's larger.

Thanks for posting that, I'll check it after work.
posted by ardgedee at 7:37 AM on March 10, 2014


I, too, have occasionally had trouble juggling Wendy Carlos [...] and William Carlos Williams

This is just to say
I have electronicized
the Beethoven
That was on your soundtrack

which
you probably
weren't expecting

Forgive me
it was awesome
so sweet
and horrorshow
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 8:14 AM on March 10, 2014 [23 favorites]


"No, I'm not uninformed, Annika. This thing where you blindly accuse people of transphobia is getting a bit old.
posted by effbot at 1:58 AM on March 10
[1 favorite +] [!]


You wrote a comment using the phrase "fuck you" followed by some pejorative jab at tumblr. That is fighty and uninformed and I didn't accuse anyone of being transphobic in any of my comments related to these topics.

So, I'm outta here again everyone, seriously, this place is full of assholes who need to grow the hell up a little, I re-enabled my account because I really wanted to let BP know that I appreciated the post and that I didn't think he should be the one feeling any regrets. I've done that, so, I guess that about does it then.
posted by Annika Cicada at 8:27 AM on March 10, 2014 [10 favorites]


tumblr: because you can't say "politically correct" anymore
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:33 AM on March 10, 2014 [11 favorites]


It is pretty revealing who decides to jump on the "tumblr faux outrage" accusation bandwagon. You're right that it's a 2010s version of the PC accusation that was a reliable shibboleth (and still is, for those conservative culture warriors still stuck in 1995).
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:25 AM on March 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


"How dare they not mention blablabla what are their motives i wonder?" Is at best neutral

It's actually not at all neutral. I think people may have a hard time orienting around what an actual neutral statement is because they're so surrounded by various internet freakouts. Neutral is "Huh, Wendy Carlos should probably be on this list" or even "Wendy Carlos isn't on this list, I wonder if it's because she's trans*" or "I know that Wendy Carlos was not included on this list because she is trans* because of $ACTUAL_REASONS" but starting out any sentence with "How dare they" is basically turning a discussion of ... something else into "I want to fight about this related topic" I'm not sure how people don't see these sorts of statements as the fight-starters they turn into, but we're happy to help give people feedback if they want it, or just step in occasionally and say "You can't do that here"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:40 AM on March 10, 2014 [13 favorites]


I love Elvis but I'd probably leave him off a list of seven visionary dudes who had a huge impact on rock - not because he didn't, and not because he didn't make rock accessible to a mass white audience, but because at this point you can safely assume your reader probably knows about Elvis Presley, and that spot on the list could go to someone who gets less recognition.

That was partly my thought as well, but I think there’s even more. The title of the piece was "7 Visionary Women Who Paved The Way For Electronic Music". If it was about people who paved the way for Rock music and you had Elvis on the list I would think you either didn’t know much about the subject or had an agenda. If it was a list of "the biggest names in early electronic music" or "the most well known women in electronic music" and/or it had 30 names on it and Carlos wasn’t included that would be cause for a raised eyebrow.

Carlos was mainstream electronic music, and like Elvis, really didn’t fit on this list, in my opinion. Of the 7 artists in the original article I have tracks by 5 of them in my iTunes, but have never really listened to much Carlos because it just wasn’t interesting to me.

Not liking an artists work is not necessarily a political statement.
posted by bongo_x at 10:13 AM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Let's not forget Wendy O. Williams either.

Of course not. Nor, to bring it full circle, Walt Williams.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 10:25 AM on March 10, 2014


I'm sorry Annika Cicada left.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 10:36 AM on March 10, 2014 [32 favorites]


Me, too.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:46 AM on March 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


Same. I hope it's clear that my comment wasn't directed at AC's invokation of tumblr, but at that of the comment that got deleted. AC was all right.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:52 AM on March 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


BP: I read your post before the poop started flying, its not an area I am generally interested in but I found this to be an interesting read and well worth my time.
posted by biffa at 11:50 AM on March 10, 2014


Yeah, I figured WCW wasn't on the list because she's the most famous, but (and thus we know that?) she's just not *that* interesting or innovative. She's best known for deedly-deedly electronicized versions of classical work, rather than real technical or musical innovation of the sort practiced by the other women on the list.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 12:56 PM on March 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think arguments about the merits of Wendy Carlos's contributions to electronic music are probably better suited for the original thread. As I understand it this thread is about why a specific pair of comments in that thread about Carlos's sexuality were deleted, not about whether Carlos's music is underrated or overrated in general.
posted by en forme de poire at 2:59 PM on March 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


I, too, have occasionally had trouble juggling Wendy Carlos, Wendy Williams, and William Carlos Williams.

so much depends
upon
a red chain
saw
glazed with gas
oline
beside the exploding
televisions.

Also, I hope Annika Cicada comes back....
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:36 PM on March 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


This article needs more Laurie Spiegel and more Bebe Baron!

I agree, Wendy Carlos too, so there's another on the way!


That's the author of the linked article AFAICT. Seems pretty cut and dried that WCW was not excluded for being trans.
posted by mrbigmuscles at 6:39 PM on March 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


I think the problem everybody is overlooking is that it was a list of seven. Seven is a silly number for lists. If you're beyond five, you may as well just go to ten and be done with it unless you really have to reach for some reason (and you wouldn't have to here; Laurie Spiegel, Wendy Carlos, and for a personal opinion Catherine Christer Hennix). This would've resolved the problem nicely.
posted by solarion at 12:09 AM on March 11, 2014


I think the problem everybody is overlooking is that it was a list of seven.

Except for the discussion upthread where people talked about how it was originally a "A post a day for a week" thing that got made into a list, which pretty much forces seven as the number of entries....
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:33 AM on March 11, 2014


There are lots of lists of seven. Seven seas, seven sages, seven dwarfs. Seven pillars of wisdom. Seven Deadly Sins, Seven Wonders of the World. Seven Sisters. Seven Keys of the Internet. The Seven Sacraments. Seven Continents. Seven Stars. Seven Seals. Seven Samurai (the Magnificent Seven).

The world's not all decimal.
posted by Segundus at 6:14 AM on March 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


There are lots of lists of seven. Seven seas, seven sages, seven dwarfs...

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immoawsasd dfod;s difdrs
xc89ds lsodk asdfd ccveodls sacds'

Seven monkeys.
posted by Pudhoho at 7:58 PM on March 11, 2014


When I first saw the word 'instadelete' I read it as 'instadtlete' and spent a surprisingly long time trying to construe it as some German word meaning something like 'untownsfolklike'.
posted by Segundus at 5:41 AM on March 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


Interestingly, the ACO opening I uploaded to YT got taken down for infringing — which I thought was weird because there's several versions of it on YT, including one with almost two-million views, which is why I figured the copyright holder was okay with it.

Turns out, though, that the infringement claim is from Carlos's LLC for the music, and that they are notoriously aggressive for this.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:22 AM on March 17, 2014


Happy news! Ms. Carlos is recognized, as are several other worthies named in the original thread, in part 2, posted in the original thread by its author, new MeFite championupnorth! (Welcome!)
posted by gingerest at 9:39 PM on March 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


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