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#JulyByWomen project
June 30, 2014 7:29 AM   Subscribe

I'm issuing the July Women's Challenge - can we get 90 extra FPPs by women in one month?

What's the goal?
More posts by women.

Do posts have to be about "women's issues"?
Nope. Great posts on any subject.

Why do this?
Women post to the front page proportionally less often, and I want to see if we can shift that. By my calculations (1, 2), only about 8% (lowballed because women don't identify themselves always on profiles) of FPPs are made by women. This is much lower than the number of self-reported women on Metafilter, and lower than the percentage of women commenting.

Some women have mentioned not posting due to concern about posting on contentious issues, posting as a visible woman on a public site, and not being confident in what will make for a good FPP.

To address some of those concerns, I've started a closed glassboard board just for this month, where women who might be apprehensive about posting can get feedback from other women on their post drafts - MefiMail me for an invite.
posted by viggorlijah to MetaFilter-Related at 7:29 AM (646 comments total) 81 users marked this as a favorite

I've started a closed glassdoor board just for this month

Is this like a forum somewhere?
posted by odinsdream at 7:32 AM on June 30


While I would also like to see more FPPs from women, I ...
posted by box at 7:32 AM on June 30 [16 favorites]


I hope works, not just for the month but ongoing.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:38 AM on June 30 [3 favorites]


GlassDoor.com is a forum where people can complain about their employers anonymously. Glassdoor then offers those employers "reputation management" services to get the nasty posts removed.

Women post to the front page proportionally less often, and I want to see if we can shift that. By my calculations [1], only about 8% (lowballed because women don't identify themselves always on profiles) of FPPs are made by women.
Your goal is noble, but this statistic is not meaningful in any significant way. Your sample is not required to state their gender, and when they do they are not required to state it accurately. As far as we know, there could be men identifying as women or vice-versa.

How will you measure success when posters aren't required to self-identify?

More posts by women is a good idea; it doesn't need invented statistics or an arbitrary unmeasurable finish line to support it.
posted by DWRoelands at 7:44 AM on June 30 [3 favorites]


I suspect the SCOTUS ruling on Hobby Lobby may prompt a few...
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:46 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


glassboard.com maybe?
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 7:48 AM on June 30


I think this is a good idea, and have often felt that the front page was very dude-intensive, but mostly I wanted to comment so that this post about women's FPPs won't be 100% written, commented-on, and favorited by men.

(On preview, hi EC!)
posted by zeptoweasel at 7:50 AM on June 30 [12 favorites]


Time to 'Splain: 4 posts!
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:51 AM on June 30 [23 favorites]


Glassboard! Sorry, typo - can that be fixed in the post? Glassdoor was recommended in the recent Facebook thread as a privacy-sane place for group discussions and is free for a board.
posted by viggorlijah at 7:55 AM on June 30


DWRoelands, as part of the visibility, the FPPs from the project will be tagged #JulyByWomen by participants.

I got the infodumpster stats for FPPs for the past twelve months, then sorted the profiles by male/female/unknown, and that's where I got the average posts by women each month as 8%. Even taking in the unknown section as half male, half female, FPPs over the past twelve months are still way under the 40% plus female membership.
posted by viggorlijah at 7:59 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Do posts have to be about "women's issues"?
Nope. Great posts on any subject.


Um, do they have to be great? I could probably do a rubbish one. HTH
posted by billiebee at 8:00 AM on June 30 [55 favorites]


On second preview, I realized viggorlijah's profile doesn't have a gender listed. I apologize for assuming based on your name!
posted by zeptoweasel at 8:00 AM on June 30


Women of Metafilter, it's time to start carrying your weight!
posted by BurntHombre at 8:00 AM on June 30 [6 favorites]


Fixed the typo, carry on.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:02 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


All for this, but I'm aware a minority of users read metatalk: maybe this could even be side barred if users thought it was a worthy enough project?
posted by Cannon Fodder at 8:02 AM on June 30 [3 favorites]


Damn. I should have waited another month or so before coming out online as genderqueer. ;)

I think this is a great idea, viggorlijah. Thanks for initiating it!
posted by daisyk at 8:09 AM on June 30 [2 favorites]


I just updated my profile. I forget that my name is gender neutral!
posted by viggorlijah at 8:09 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Daisyk, I deliberately left the By Women as self-identified so if you feel that your personal identity includes participating in this, please join in.
posted by viggorlijah at 8:12 AM on June 30 [6 favorites]


Good stuff, viggorlijah.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:21 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Thanks for clarifying, viggorlijah! I will do my best to join in -- I do have a couple of post ideas kicking around that need a bit of time devoted to them.
posted by daisyk at 8:22 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Um, do they have to be great?

It would indeed help if they were good.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:26 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


I don't think they have to be especially great - why raise the bar here.
posted by sweetkid at 8:35 AM on June 30 [26 favorites]


I will try to unlazy-fy myself and make a post in July.
posted by rtha at 8:37 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


It would indeed help if they were good

Well then prepare yourself for the greatest kitten post EVER, my friend.

(Seriously though, great idea.)
posted by billiebee at 8:37 AM on June 30 [8 favorites]


Kitten posts usually go over pretty well, so definitely go for it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:40 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Challenge accepted.
posted by cocoagirl at 8:45 AM on June 30 [5 favorites]


can we get 90 extra FPPs
Does this mean 90 more than 8 percent of July's posts? As in, if there were 1000 posts, the goal is met if 170 of them are tagged #JulyByWomen (80 + 90).

Also, what is the average number of posts by women per month (in your 12 month sample)?
posted by soelo at 9:04 AM on June 30


*checks calendar*
*saves link for tomorrow*
posted by Lexica at 9:17 AM on June 30 [11 favorites]


DWRoelands, as part of the visibility, the FPPs from the project will be tagged #JulyByWomen by participants.

And there are no controls as to who uses the tag. Men can use it as well.

Even taking in the unknown section as half male, half female, FPPs over the past twelve months are still way under the 40% plus female membership.

Where did the 40% number come from? Since users are not required to specify their gender/sex/whatever, this statistic is also pretty useless.

Again, I think the idea is great and I support the idea of encouraging more women to contribute. However, statistics mean things, and it's counter-productive to simply invent numbers based on specious criteria.
posted by DWRoelands at 9:19 AM on June 30


Great idea! I'll post a few :)
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:23 AM on June 30 [2 favorites]


I'm in favour of more great posts, so anything that encourages that and makes MetaFilter a less daunting place to post is fantastic.
posted by arcticseal at 9:36 AM on June 30


Hunh. That posting disparity had not at all occurred to me. Neat idea.

What if instead of tagging the FPPs as #JulyByWomen they get noted in a running MeTa thread? (Could be back-tagged at the end of the month.)
posted by postcommunism at 9:38 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Dabnabbit, I would have been happy to post today's post tomorrow! Oh well. Will keep an eye out for good stuff to post in July.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:40 AM on June 30


DWRoelands, this was discussed in the very long sexism thread recently, nearish the end if you want to skim down. There were two self-reporting polls of mefi members and it looks like about 40-45% of mefi members are women.

The other stats were taken from infodumpster. I looked at the top 100 posters of FPPs in the past twelve month period, and then I sorted gender by their profile page to get reasonable numbers to crunch. (I tried first 50 then first 100 to see if it was just outliers, but after the first 20 people, the proportions stayed basically the same). When they had no gender listed, I looked at their first page of activity to see if they identified publicly as a woman, which added maybe 5% more. It was kinda neat actually to find quite a few people who were not possible to gender identify. I didn't want to go further than that such as googling people because it felt creepy, so the non-identified proportion is higher than it could be.

And sure, some guy is going to post with the tag #JulyByWomen because, well I don't exactly know why people think it's great to be idiotic, but the trade off in being inclusive and open and letting people identify themselves instead of gatekeeping is worth it IMO.

That's why I'm proposing just one month - a short happy project that means more great posts is an experiment, not a movement.
posted by viggorlijah at 9:44 AM on June 30 [30 favorites]


DWRoelands, as part of the visibility, the FPPs from the project will be tagged #JulyByWomen by participants.

And there are no controls as to who uses the tag. Men can use it as well


I think everyone realizes this? If some men decide to be weird and use the tag I don't think this diminishes the project at all, it's just odd behavior on the part of those men.
posted by sweetkid at 9:44 AM on June 30 [18 favorites]


I am happy to throw my posts in this pool, and I'm happy to review drafts of posts too! MefiChat is a good way to get feedback on your posts, btw - we've done this before for new posters.
posted by flex at 9:46 AM on June 30 [13 favorites]


I also support the idea of encouraging more women to contribute, conditional on their ensuring a statistically rigorous approach to said encouragement, their invention of a method for enforcing gender-specific participation, and their strict definition of a specifically attainable goal.

Anything less would be counter-productive to their stated... oh, hm? It's already encouraged a bunch of women to post more during the month of July? Well, I must be talking out of my ass, then.
posted by gilrain at 9:46 AM on June 30 [66 favorites]


Shatter the glass beanplate.
posted by michaelh at 9:49 AM on June 30 [17 favorites]


I'll do my best. Made my first FPP this month after being here since 2005 so that's a start. :)
posted by sockermom at 10:10 AM on June 30 [17 favorites]


It took the longest time for me to make a comment on MeFi without then slamming my laptop lid down and fleeing the internet for 3-4 hours in the social terror of an introvert. I can't imagine making a FPP.

But this is a great idea, viggorlijah, and it's a good way to place some of the energy from the rage of today's SCOTUS ruling...and it's an important idea. It's important enough to draw on some guts to do this. So count another woman in.
posted by barchan at 10:23 AM on June 30 [28 favorites]


I know it's hard but I just want to encourage first time posters (#JulyByWomen and general posters too) by saying that getting a post deleted is NBD and no one's pointing and laughing at you. Once i posted a short video of a cat waiting for a toy train to come around the track and then knocking it down and then immediately thought, "Wait, that was kind of just dumb" once I saw it posted, and it was promptly deleted. Reason given was nicer than "that was kind of just dumb" but really it was. No worries, we will live another day!
posted by sweetkid at 10:26 AM on June 30 [16 favorites]


can I help by flagging manposts for deletion?
posted by mullacc at 10:27 AM on June 30 [9 favorites]


Every time I want to make a post it turns out it's already been posted here a year or two before. Loved this! Previously. Whoa! Previously.

But I'll gladly be in, if I can ever find anything new ever.
posted by Mchelly at 10:29 AM on June 30 [2 favorites]


their strict definition of a specifically attainable goal
Is asking for a clearer goal (or a clearer definition of the goal) seen as a problem?

In my line of work, unclear goals are a big problem and part of my job is to evaluate and clarify goals. You can argue against having a goal at all, but why is clarity a problem if there is a goal? I would guess there would be at least one follow-up post after July is over and it would be nice to show the before and after numbers (raw and percentage).
posted by soelo at 10:38 AM on June 30


I'm looking forward to seeing the posts that result from this. Thank for organizing this.
posted by maxsparber at 10:51 AM on June 30 [2 favorites]


The goal is to get more women to make front-page posts.

You can ask for a more specific definition of that goal, sure, but quibbling over it at length and implying that the existing amount of effort is inadequate is discouraging, disrespectful, and exhaustingly predictable. It's a classic technique used to shut down or derail feminist organization, even when not intended.
posted by gilrain at 10:55 AM on June 30 [43 favorites]


Okay, just making sure that comment was directed at one person and not anyone asking questions.
posted by soelo at 10:57 AM on June 30


What do we want?

More posts by women!

When do we want them?

July!
posted by sweetkid at 10:59 AM on June 30 [60 favorites]


But I'll gladly be in, if I can ever find anything new ever.

I keep a list of things that I think would make good posts in my profile. If you want to grab one, MeMail me.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:21 AM on June 30 [3 favorites]


Can we just get the men to post less?
posted by cjorgensen at 11:23 AM on June 30 [4 favorites]


I rarely post for just that reason, I want the site to be more inclusive of women's voices.



Also in part because I am incredibly lazy and just don't bother.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:26 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


yay more posts, I mean what else am I supposed to do on saturday nights

haha jk

...
posted by threeants at 11:31 AM on June 30 [2 favorites]


no, this should not be about men posting less. that's not my reading of viggorlijah's intention here.
posted by sweetkid at 11:33 AM on June 30 [6 favorites]


That's why I'm proposing just one month - a short happy project that means more great posts is an experiment, not a movement.

As I said, I think it's a great idea. But the truth is that no one knows how many women are here and no one knows what percentage of posts are by women and no one knows what percentage of posters are women. So, why cloud the issue with numbers that are for all intents and purposes unverifiable?

Just let the great idea roll. :)
posted by DWRoelands at 11:35 AM on June 30


I'd be interested in making a FPP but I am so lazy.
posted by jeather at 11:36 AM on June 30 [2 favorites]


I know it's hard but I just want to encourage first time posters (#JulyByWomen and general posters too) by saying that getting a post deleted is NBD and no one's pointing and laughing at you.

Yup I had a post deleted once and I think it might have been because the mod on duty thought I was drunk when I wrote it (not so, just weird) and I survived!

Just don't self-link because that brings down the wrath of mod in gales and torrents.
posted by winna at 11:38 AM on June 30 [4 favorites]


I'll be disappointed if #JulyByWomen doesn't include a post about Miranda July.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:40 AM on June 30 [3 favorites]


Um, do they have to be great?

I'm aware that this early comment may have been meant in a jokey way (and I'm not calling out the poster specifically, honest), but I'm not really crazy about the (all to common) implication that site quality may deteriorate if more women posted FPPs. The general call to action is awesome, and I agree that statistics may be useful but not necessarily the point here. Sometimes direct invitation is all that is needed.
posted by RaRa-SpaceRobot at 11:41 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


I just wanted to agree with sweetkid, and say to any new Mefites who are reading this and thinking nervously of maybe making a post - go for it. Seriously, if it gets deleted, so what? No one will mind, it is the way of things. And if it stays up, leave it, and let it take on a life of its own - the mods will oversee the thread and try to keep it on track, and even if it turns into a bit of a mess, don't panic or worry - this is not your fault, it just sometimes happens.

Seriously, once you have done a couple you will feel more confident. And the range and breadth of FPP subjects is massive, so there is almost endless scope for new FPPs. And don't worry that it isn't a massive post with lots of text and links - these are not requirements: a nicely fleshed out post with good links will go down well, but a slyt can be just as much fun.
posted by marienbad at 11:42 AM on June 30 [5 favorites]


Also, is there any way we can get this message out beyond Mefi, maybe via twitter or wherever? In the light of the Hobby Lobby ruling, I should imagine women in the USA are pretty angry right now, and offering them a place to associate and post stuff (not necessarily related, just whatever they want to post about) might draw people here and enable them to use the anger constructively?
posted by marienbad at 11:46 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Also! If you do make a post and it doesn't rack up 100 comments and/or favorites, please don't feel like you failed. Some of my most favorite posts racked up 8 comments, and some of the FPPs I've posted had even fewer.
posted by julen at 11:49 AM on June 30 [11 favorites]


If enough people favorite this post to get on the popular page, it'll be posted to Twitter automatically and be slightly more visible to folks who don't read MeTa, but if it's possible to get a banner for it like the best post contests, I think that would be great.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 11:52 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Sometimes you just need a push, and this was my push. I'm a woman. I can make FPPs. Nothing bad will happen.
posted by Grlnxtdr at 11:52 AM on June 30 [17 favorites]


That there's evidently a need for a private, off-site place to safely discuss this is a sad comment on the state of MeFi these days. Hopefully it won't be necessary during #August&BeyondByWomen.
posted by FreezBoy at 11:55 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


If you do make a post and it doesn't rack up 100 comments and/or favorites, please don't feel like you failed.

This is truth! Some of the posts I've felt best about making have been pretty quiet in terms of response, and that's fine; the goal wasn't to get up a ruckus, it was to say "hey, here's a thing I found on the web that's pretty cool", and sometimes all that happens is a bunch of new people see that thing and a few people on Metafilter say "hey, that's sort of a cool thing." Success is often a pleasant, understated thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:56 AM on June 30 [44 favorites]


Just chiming in to say that this is an awesome idea and I am excited for the diversity of topics this could bring us.

Also, to those who are hesitant to post - don't feel like you have to do an encyclopedia-style post, a single link is just as worthy. I actually prefer the shorter posts, but that's because I have some goddamned principals.
posted by Think_Long at 12:16 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


I'm very much in.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:21 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Where do you keep your principals? Also, do you have any kind of strategy on capturing them? I find they are a shifty lot.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:21 PM on June 30 [5 favorites]


I like this, I made a personal goal to post the cool things I read more often and not be afraid of the responses!
posted by ellieBOA at 12:23 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


Here's another lesson folks: Never take a phone-call when your edit window is still open.
posted by Think_Long at 12:24 PM on June 30 [13 favorites]


This is truth! Some of the posts I've felt best about making have been pretty quiet in terms of response, and that's fine;

And vice versa -- some of the posts that I've made that I've thought a bit trite and short on content have been some of the best received posts I've made.

As someone pointed out upthread -- you'll never disappoint the crowd here with a cat post -- even if some of us will just FIAMO.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:33 PM on June 30


This sounds awesome! I've lurked for years, been an official member for a couple of years, but I've rarely commented and have never posted, even though I find myself sending links/stories/things to my friends all the time that I would've loved to have shared on Metafilter.

This project emboldened me and I'm going to put together a few things I think would make good posts! Thanks for coming up with this idea.
posted by rockfalls at 12:38 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


Out of curiosity, how many posts does a mefite have to have made in the past year to make it into the top 100 posters by your count?

There are a handful of posters who are incredibly prolific, but bar them I'm not sure if say, making a half dozen FPPs in 12 months would put you in the top 100 or not.
posted by Diablevert at 12:44 PM on June 30


If there are over a certain number of posts tagged #JulyByWomen, then maybe change the FP colour to this lovely rebeccapurple?

Edit: On a daily basis.
posted by marienbad at 12:48 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


This is much lower than the number of self-reported women on Metafilter, and lower than the percentage of women commenting.

Yeah just make sure that you're not presuming maleness when there is no gender specified since that is its own problem. I find that I have a really good idea of the gender of most posters who have either been here a long time or who participate in AskMe at all and the 40% number feels rightish to me. MeFi skews more male but AskMe skews more female. MeTa skews a bit more male, I think, but not my much.

Anyhow, I'm in. If people need someone to run FPPs by, the mod team will do this but feel free to also email me or some other crusty long timer to get some feedback if you want. I'f other women would like to step up and offer themselves as FPP reviewers it might help posting n00bs who would like some sense of whether they're on the right track.

I should post more FPPs. I think a lot of other people should also.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 12:48 PM on June 30 [17 favorites]


I'm sorry, I just can't pass up the opportunity:

"I should post more FPPs."
posted by jessamyn

Yes, you should. Hah, I got to tell Jessamyn what to do! Yes, I am 12 years old, why do you ask?
posted by marienbad at 12:52 PM on June 30 [11 favorites]


I don't post a lot of fpps but I read a shitload of them (I read a lot more than I comment in!), and I have the deleted threads script so I see what gets deleted in context, if you will. Feel free to memail me if you think I can give you helpful feedback.
posted by rtha at 12:55 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


I'm in.
posted by MonkeyToes at 12:59 PM on June 30


This genderweird boyfemme is down. I've already had a ***SECRET AGENDA*** to post more trans* themed FPPs (which actually got me posting way more regularly on other topics as well) and this is as good of a reason as any to drop a few more.
posted by Juliet Banana at 1:02 PM on June 30 [26 favorites]


More posts on the front page can't be a bad thing. I hope this works out!
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:09 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


This feels like putting a pink ribbon on a yogurt lid to me. This feels like MetaFilter Pink.

Make a post, don't make a post, fine by me. Perhaps I'm just lucky, perhaps I'm just insensitive, perhaps I'm just new enough to have come to a post-boyzone MeFi, but I can't recall any time I've felt the least bit intimidated or discouraged by MetaFilter because of my gender, on making a post or comment.

To me, MetaFilter is already for women in July and in August and in September, November, December, this year, next year, the year after. If I find something great to post in July, I'll post it, but I don't see any reason to narrow it down to one month.
posted by maryr at 1:26 PM on June 30 [22 favorites]


maryr articulated how I feel as well. I definitely do appreciate the good intention behind the idea but it makes me feel sort of weird. I hope it encourages more women to post though!
posted by mlle valentine at 1:31 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


viggorlijah, thanks for the work and for the enthusiasm you've put into this. Can't wait to read the FPPs that come out if it!

Something about putting up a FPP seems intimidating (though what exactly, who knows!) but I want to support this idea so much that I think I'm going to have to post one this month (for the first time!). And damn sure I'll be putting #JulyByWomen as a tag. Encouraging and supporting women having the confidence to start and lead conversations is the whole point of this idea, and what better way to show encouragement and support than to put a tag right in the FPP that labels your post as part of a push for more women-authored FPPs?

I actually think it's great if some men want a way to show their support and encouragement, too. They maybe should use a slightly different tag than #JulyByWomen, though? Since those posts *won't* have been authored by a woman, it doesn't really make sense for men to use that same #JulyByWomen tag. I dunno, do you guys think it would be counterproductive for men to label their posts with a related tag to show support for the push, or do you think it would help with momentum and encourage women to join in?
posted by rue72 at 1:35 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


My feeling is that I'm already comfortable posting all the time (as well as commenting and generally foisting my opinions on a general audience). So I agree with maryr on that.

However, it seems like a lot of women who are here aren't as comfortable posting as men are, and I want to hear from them and have them feel encouraged to participate more, if they want to.

I admit to missing the connection to the pink thing, possibly because I don't eat yogurt :)
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:39 PM on June 30 [4 favorites]


Also, my exposure to fundraising / canvassing / politics makes it sort of intuitive to me to have an arbitrary-but-understandable time limit and a goal for people to work towards that makes them feel like they're part of a team. It's pretty standard motivational stuff, and can be used for evil AND for good! I vote that this is for good, so it's all fine by me, even if it's reminiscent in some ways of other stuff that is not so good.
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:41 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


Well, let me just say... I've been on MeFi for over thirteen years now. I definitely felt intimidated to post for a very, very long time here - I posted very rarely and only the most neutral things.

Part of my feeling intimidated was, absolutely, how boyzone it felt on MeFi back then. But it was also the intimidation of putting yourself out there for potential snarking or negativity - putting yourself forth and getting smacked down, or targeted. And in general, women tend not to put themselves forth because we've learned not to draw attention - that attention can have adverse consequences.

I slowly came to participate more on Metafilter because of AskMeFi - it was more tightly moderated, with a high emphasis on answering the question and not fighting with other commenters. It was a safer place to participate - you are not putting yourself forth - you are being helpful; other posters can't snark on you. I do not find it surprising at all that jessamyn says (above) AskMeFi skews more female.

I think many of the more prolific commenters & posters simply don't realize how intimidating putting yourself forth on Metafilter can be; they themselves obviously are not as intimidated, since they are participating regularly! And people think - well, anyone can post; anyone can comment; this is open to every member, no one is held back. But I know for sure there are voices out there, who could be very valuable to hear, bringing us interesting things to read, that we're not hearing right now.

I am all for making those voices feel more comfortable. I am all for making them feel included. I am all for giving them encouragement & a reason to participate, the visibility of a team effort. Not just women, mind you - but yes, I think the more women's voices we hear on MeFi, the better the site becomes. The more women began to speak up years ago, that's how the "boyzone" mentality changed, and I felt that was an unqualified good thing for the community. So I'm happy to support this idea.
posted by flex at 1:45 PM on June 30 [43 favorites]


This feels like putting a pink ribbon on a yogurt lid to me.

Yeah, something has me feeling off on this idea, and maybe it's because it seems like a solution in search of a problem. Could be I had no idea the problem existed, could be that I am not in the marginalized group, so have the wrong bias. My first thought though is, "Why?" Are posts by women, for the sake of having posts by women, a desirable thing?

Why stop there? Why not increase posting by minorities, LGBT folk, and non-Americans, and other-than-English as first language speakers, and religious folk, and Conservatives? I mean, if we are going to try to increase exposure to underrepresented groups wouldn't it make sense to make a push for these as well?

Maybe this is just the first step towards that. Maybe you have to start someplace.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:50 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


I already post too much, so I'll probably post again in July, too many times.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:53 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


Are posts by women, for the sake of having posts by women, a desirable thing?

Yes.

Why stop there?

Why not literally do everything, all the time?
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:54 PM on June 30 [58 favorites]


LGBT folk, and non-Americans, and other-than-English as first language speakers,

Wow, I tick all of those boxes, in addition to being a woman. (Yes, I know cjorgensen was being facetious.)

Maybe I really should use this opportunity to make my first post after being here for nearly 9 years.

Maybe.
posted by ClarissaWAM at 1:58 PM on June 30 [37 favorites]


Every time I want to make a post it turns out it's already been posted here a year or two before. Loved this! Previously. Whoa! Previously.

But I'll gladly be in, if I can ever find anything new ever.

Hah, I'm right there with you. I'm not a woman so this is only like 50% relevant, but the reason I don't post OPs frequently is not because I don't want to but because everything interesting ever seems to have been already posted to the Blue. Sometimes when we're complaining in MeTa about cute animal SLYTs and Look At This Bad Thing That Happeneds I'm thinking to msyelf, BUT THAT'S ALL THAT'S LEFT
posted by threeants at 2:07 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


(Also, the man of twists and turns' list is awesome and generous and I didn't know about it so thanks for sharing. My only sadface about taking one of those topics is that it means one less the man of twists and turns post.)
posted by threeants at 2:10 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Why stop there? Why not increase posting by minorities, LGBT folk, and non-Americans, and other-than-English as first language speakers, and religious folk, and Conservatives? I mean, if we are going to try to increase exposure to underrepresented groups wouldn't it make sense to make a push for these as well?

I'm sure a similar proposal by someone from one of those groups would go over fine.
posted by threeants at 2:12 PM on June 30 [10 favorites]


Are posts by women, for the sake of having posts by women, a desirable thing?

Yes.

Why not increase posting by minorities, LGBT folk, and non-Americans, and other-than-English as first language speakers, and religious folk, and Conservatives?

That is also a good idea.

Maybe you have to start someplace.

Yep, exactly. Having more different voices on this site or in the world in general is a good thing. If you don't want to take my word for it you can read about it. Basically the conventional wisdom used to be that people would self-segregate and so IRL communities that were ethnically diverse would be characterized by bad feeling and mistrust and whatever. Turns out maybe that's not the case. Here's something about gender diversity being good for corporations. Here's a fluffier piece on diversity generally. Here's a thing on biodiversity and why people think that biodiversity's decline has something to do with bee problems. Here's some (slightly self-serving) research about global diversity practices having positive outcomes.

It's fine if you don't personally feel this in your bones. It may actually be unsurprising depending on how closely you align yourself with various positive outcomes that you or others may be looking for. For people who would like to see more women participating on MetaFilter, having a time-delimited supportive "let's do this together" environment to actively encourage that participation is seen as a net good for people and, in my opinion, for the site. It's certainly not harmful for the site. Why people get all WWIC about it is beyond me but it turns out it doesn't matter that much.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 2:13 PM on June 30 [56 favorites]


My only sadface about taking one of those topics is that it means one less the man of twists and turns post.)

I've got about 500 saved items, between my bookmarks and RSS feed saved folders, as well as a dozen-or-so half formed posts. Not to mention I find at least one new thing a day. My only saving graces are 1) doubles and 2) when other people post things.
Take my ideas. Please.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:14 PM on June 30 [4 favorites]


If you're interested in posting stuff to the front page, my advice is to start following a few smaller blogs of niche stuff that you're interested in. If you don't know any, look at the blogrolls of the larger blogs that you like, and start following them. Occasionally they will post a random, small video that you think MeFi will like. Pay attention to the original source of the video: if it's from reddit's front page, if it's from some of the larger design blogs (colossal, designtaxi) or gawker media, it is more likely than not to have been posted already.

So, find your small niche blog, discover something cool on it, then throw it out there. Your post doesn't have to be mind-bendingly amazing, it doesn't have to be on a controversial topic, it doesn't have to be interesting to anyone but to a few of us. It's not going to shatter any favorites records, but it will connect with a few people, and maybe you'll find that those people have similar interests to you and.

well.

reader, I married him.

(not really)
posted by Think_Long at 2:15 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


Why not literally do everything, all the time?

This is a completely serious question, BTW, cjorgenson. If you answer it thoughtfully you should also be able to figure out why someone might not want to do something that--at least from your perspective-- is indistinguishable from many other things they could also be doing.

For example, I could ask anyone who is planning to eat ice cream "Why stop at ice cream? Why not anchovies?" To me, they both fall in the category of "inedible food". However, unless I assume that my preferences and mental groupings are universally held, it's sort of a silly question. Even though they have the same importance and interest to me (none), the act of eating ice cream and the act of eating anchovies are actually quite different. Knowing that someone thinks ice cream is worth time and effort does not actually tell me much about whether it's reasonable for them to not eat anchovies.

So what your question is telling me is that you mentally categorize all of these things as equally X and because they're all equally X to you, you are not admitting that there might be a meaningful distinction between them as far as someone else is concerned. In other words, it is a failure of empathy.

Hope that helps answer your question.
posted by the young rope-rider at 2:15 PM on June 30 [14 favorites]


Are posts by women, for the sake of having posts by women, a desirable thing? ... Why stop there? Why not increase posting by minorities, LGBT folk, and non-Americans, and other-than-English as first language speakers, and religious folk, and Conservatives?

It's kind of a trope that every woman-oriented initiative gets sidelined by people asking "Why women? Why not Other Group?" and indicating that it might be okay for women to ask for something or initiate something for themselves once they've successfully fought for every other possible marginalized group first, and everyone else is happily squared away and totally satisfied. Then, maybe women. Obviously, that's not only unfair but impossible, and I think it's fine for women to say, "hey, we're going to go ahead and do this one woman-related thing, and everyone else, you feel free to do stuff too!"

/not really all that radical
posted by taz (staff) at 2:19 PM on June 30 [92 favorites]


Shall I out myself as one?
posted by infini at 2:21 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


Wait... I can give you a two fer or a three fer if we go with the whole women, minorities, furriners, ESL bit....


/midnighthamburgairesnack
posted by infini at 2:22 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


> Um, do they have to be great?

Clearly not. (It's my post; I'm allowed to say that.)
posted by benito.strauss at 2:27 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


Jesus fucking Christ. Can we not, on today of all days, do the "what's so special about women" thing? Apparently what's so special about us is that in the US our rights are uniquely garbage-y and can be overruled by any asshole who thinks his church says that I'm a slut. If you are an American and that didn't happen to you today, can you kindly shut the fuck up about women and our not-so-very-important issues?

Anyway, I'm clearly a little too grumpy to make any FPPs right now, but I'll try to come up with something in July. I'm more lazy and uninspired than intimidated, but I'm sure I can come up with something.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:31 PM on June 30 [21 favorites]


I think this is a cool idea. Whenever I'd need to get my unit riled up in the Corps, I'd post this message in front of urinals and behind the toilet stall doors.


Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have
striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The
hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.
In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on
other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war
machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of
Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well
equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of
1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats,
in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their
strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home
Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions
of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men.
The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to
Victory!

I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill in
battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!

Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great
and noble undertaking.


SIGNED: Dwight D. Eisenhower



Modern day translation: go fuck some shit up: it'll make the world a better place.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:31 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


The yogurt lids: Yoplait has a campaign where they will donate 10 cents to Susan G. Komen for every yogurt lid you send them. So you have to save and wash the yogurt lids from your lunch and then find an envelope and a stamp and the address (which I don't remember being printed on the lid, but I could be wrong, it's been a while) and mail them a little piece of aluminum while they COULD just donate the damn money anyway. They could even donate it for "every sale" like many other products. It just always felt like an elaborate gesture to me - a stamp costs more than their donation! I should just send Susan G. Komen stamps!

Anyway, they became kind of a symbol of the pink-washing that comes along every October with Breast Cancer Awareness month. I'm not some sort of monster who is against raising money for cancer research, but I question how much more Awareness is going to do for the cause.

If tagging posts will remind more people that women are posters too, good. Wonderful. Honestly, I think this MeTa will do as much as any tag does, but by the time a month passes, this MeTa will be long gone from the front page of MetaTalk, let alone the Blue. The tags may still be on some posts to remind folks that they want to do that this month. If this encourages women who have been hesitant to post to make their first FPP, great! But a hashtag or a status update never cured anyone. I just worry that July will end and nothing will have changed. I'd be happy to be wrong.
posted by maryr at 2:34 PM on June 30


If you do make a post and it doesn't rack up 100 comments and/or favorites, please don't feel like you failed.

This is true x 1000. My personal favorite posts that I've done - spectacular cricket catches, cheese rolling, the Wright Flyer, my cat is a bus, Swedish goat burning, Mark Twain, Voyager 1, and Reactions to Gangnam Style - all got less than 50 comments each...

...but there was a satisfaction in doing these particular posts of an almost Taoist nature (wood, trees, carving), enhanced by some of the comments and the occasional mail from a total stranger. It's difficult to describe this satisfaction from doing a post; the only way is, well, to do a post!

Also (these are just my feelings):

- Ignore # of favorites. Some people use them as bookmarks, some as "likes", some as other markers.
- It utterly does not matter if your first few posts don't go well. I was absolutely terrified when I started posting and I've got rather a long and varied online history. Four of my first seven posts were deleted by the mods, all for valid reasons they fairly explained. I learnt from each one and, hopefully, got a little better over time.
- Doing a post could also be compared to raising a bird. Feed it, nurture it, then one day let it go. At that moment, with comments, you don't know where it's going to fly off to. But it doesn't matter; you did your bit.
- If you know of something online that is cool or interesting or quirky or unusual, the best of the web, then it's in some ways a social duty to share it, bring it to the attention of others. Tell us of this thing! Make us more enlightened people!

Thinking about this. In the library, computing, and IT sectors there is gradually more awareness that having conferences where every speaker is a male (worse: a white, middle-aged male) is a cripplingly bad thing from a diversity of person, opinion, opportunity and information exchange, point of view. Some events now make a better effort of diverse panels. And some men are refusing to speak at events where it's an all-male speaker line-up. My partner is very active in LibTechWomen and several similar initiatives and is educating me in this stuff (of which I've been plain ignorant for a long while).

I'm a man.

So in a similar vein I'm not going to do any posts on MetaFilter during July. That may sound lazy or negative, but it'll make the proportion of posts by women in July a tiny fraction better overall. And mean that potential readers of posts by women won't be distracted by any posts of mine.

I'm also going to make an effort to knock off the humor and derails in commenting, especially early on in a thread, during July.
posted by Wordshore at 2:38 PM on June 30 [9 favorites]


I just worry that July will end and nothing will have changed. I'd be happy to be wrong.

So let's not try at all? Personally i was saddened and surprised to hear that some women are uncomfortable posting here, but it was understandable. Acknowledgement by the community that there is an issue and making an effort to address it is a good thing.
posted by sweetkid at 2:39 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


If you're interested in posting stuff to the front page, my advice is to start following a few smaller blogs of niche stuff that you're interested in.

That's good advice. My best posts have honestly come from books I've been reading where I've been like "Oh I bet I can find some neat online thing about this that would get people interested in this general topic." and the good thing about that approach is that you're never worried someone is going to beat you to it and it's almost never something that people have seen before. A lot of first-time posters also get started with obits and that is totally okay too. There are lots of great people who die every day and good obituary posts are maybe a little less complicated than other random posts and you feel like it's a good thing, to give someone a good send-off.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 2:44 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]

Some of these differences may stem from social norms that will take a while to change — if, for instance, women feel like their primary responsibility is to include everyone, while men feel it’s most important to make sure they themselves are included. But Karpowitz’s research does reveal two things we could do right now to boost women’s participation in group settings: include more women, or make decisions unanimous (but, interestingly, not both).

Karpowitz and Mendelberg write that the groups they assembled resemble a lot of real-world decision-making bodies, including town planning committees and local boards of various kinds. With a few differences (the study subjects didn’t all know each other beforehand), they may also resemble business meetings. If groups like these took Karpowitz and Mendelberg’s findings into account, women might quite literally have more of a voice.
I realize that MetaFilter is not a decision-making body (though MetaTalk often functions as one), but encouraging more women to be more vocal participants in an effort to increase women's participation overall is not some wild harebrained scheme.

And I don't know about the comparison to pinkwashing. The main (well, one of the main) problems with pinkwashing is that it prioritizes "awareness" of cancer (and, more than anything, buying products, many of them cancer-causing) over doing anything to actually study or cure cancer. This effort, in contrast, is encouraging women to post more FPPs in order to further the goal of having more woman-posted FPPs -- that is, it's specifically encouraging the actual behavior it's professing to advocate for.
posted by jaguar at 2:46 PM on June 30 [14 favorites]


I get the pink ribbon thing; I hate it just as much as I hate patronizing pats on the head to make women "feel" included, which tends to be short-term situational rather than long-term behavior. But this isn't about inclusion on that level - it is about behavior; it is about encouraging women to act, and that's a very different thing.

One of the observations I've made (as a woman in a very male dominated field) both from personal experience & watching other women & minorities, is how quickly small actions and leaps of at least trying can build confidence and lead to bigger actions and more trying. And the more leaps you make, the easier it is to take falls. (That's a microcosm of life in general for everyone though, yeah?) So taking the step from commenting to posting might lead to more confidence, more trying, and other behaviors that will benefit women or create strength in other areas of their lives, not just MetaFilter. Or may simply lead to some women having confidence to post after July. The ripple effect beyond July or MetaFilter a woman could experience is why it's worth encouraging.

Diversity is not just about recognizing different voices, but also understanding that there are many ways to encourage those voices: not every way works for everyone.
posted by barchan at 2:48 PM on June 30 [12 favorites]


There are lots of great people who die every day

Good motto for PT Barnum's goth cousin.
posted by Diablevert at 3:02 PM on June 30 [10 favorites]


I have 12 hours of train travel coming up this week. I should be able to come up with something...
posted by Sheydem-tants at 3:12 PM on June 30


But a hashtag or a status update never cured anyone.

My feeling is, nobody is trying to cure cancer with this, and just trying to encourage a more inclusive and balanced population of active posters on the front page of Metafilter is a nice goal that's both pretty achievable and fairly low stakes as a thing to do.

A themed tag and a gentle Metatalk drive isn't going to combat incurable disease, but maybe it'll help some members of this community do one of the things that helps this community be what it is when they've previously not felt totally comfortable with or inclined to give that a go. That seems pretty okay, and like something that isn't really pretending to be a lot more than that in practice, certainly not in the spirit that folks reacting positively in this thread have generally been taking it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:15 PM on June 30 [21 favorites]


I'm just excited about this because I love to hear/read women's voices and I love to read MeFi so an uptick in a combination or juxtaposition of these things sounds totally excellent.

If anyone needs research for their FPP, please let me know! I love obsessively digging into dry academic papers about oddly specific topics, so if you need a bit of supporting documentation to back up your main link, I'd love to be able to lend a hand.
posted by divined by radio at 3:26 PM on June 30 [6 favorites]


Ok, there was one I was thinking of anyway.
Not only will I post to the front page, but I will explicitly state in my profile that I am female, which will be a first in my time here (I do say I am female when posting sometimes, if it's relevant). I've been so irritated lately about all the bullshit going on that I'm ready to abandon the concept that not listing a gender is "safer." Time to stand up.
posted by bobobox at 3:30 PM on June 30 [6 favorites]


Alternate Proposal: No men can post during July unless their post enacts massive social change for people of color and ESL speakers, as well as cure cancer.
posted by Juliet Banana at 3:38 PM on June 30 [53 favorites]


Alternate Proposal: No men can post during July unless their post enacts massive social change for people of color and ESL speakers, as well as cure cancer.

silenced all my life
posted by threeants at 3:42 PM on June 30 [13 favorites]


Damn, I was planning to link an MLP fanfic that would pretty much end racism in America, which would probably help with progress on cancer research, but it's in English. :(
posted by Drinky Die at 3:48 PM on June 30 [4 favorites]


Are posts by women, for the sake of having posts by women, a desirable thing? ... Why stop there? Why not increase posting by minorities, LGBT folk, and non-Americans, and other-than-English as first language speakers, and religious folk, and Conservatives?

Turning your question on its head, is consistently fewer posts by women a desirable thing? If not, then why discourage an effort to increase the number of posts by them?
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:50 PM on June 30 [6 favorites]


Are posts by women, for the sake of having posts by women, a desirable thing?
posted by elizardbits at 3:56 PM on June 30 [52 favorites]


why not birb
posted by elizardbits at 3:58 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


No study has definitively shown that roguelikes do not cure cancer, so...
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:01 PM on June 30 [5 favorites]


goddamn I love @ProBirdRights
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:03 PM on June 30 [8 favorites]


Challenge accepted. Thanks for the challenge - I appreciate it.
posted by Deoridhe at 4:06 PM on June 30 [4 favorites]


When I went to GIS school (a 2/3 male field, at least at the time, and school was 2/3 male), about a week before the end of this 8 week intensive "boot camp" style program I realized that I was the only woman who consistently sat up front. I occasionally did not, if there was no front row seat available, but, when possible, I was typically in the front row. Maybe two or there other women floated around a bit.

All other women filled the entire last row of seats and part of the second to last.

So I am all for finding a way to help women post more FPP's. I have no idea if this initiative is it. But I don't have alternative suggestions. (I am trying to at least read more on the blue and comment more. Historically, I stuck pretty close to AskMe.)
posted by Michele in California at 4:12 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


So last week I was watching The Hobo Code episode of Mad Men, and someone told a story about their grandmother feeding hobos. I remembered that my great-grandmother also had fed hobos. So I was looking her up online, as my other grandmother had done genealogy as a lifelong hobby and I have charts and all kinds of stuff...

I found mention of my grandmother and her mother, the hobo-feeding lady, on some of those obituary sites. And then my grandmother's older sister (15 years older), who had gotten married and had a son. But something happened, they got divorced, I guess and this son went to live with my hobo-feeding great-grandmother and my grandmother, who was still young enough to live at home. So they were raised together like brother and sister, in the 1910's and 1920's.

Then later on, they all got married and had kids, but my Grammie is obviously very close to her nephew, my Mom's first cousin, who was 20 years older than my Mom. We used to go visit them a lot. And then I found this guy's wife's 5-year diary online, scanned in as part of a university's folklore collection, from 1965-1969. She wrote in it everyday, just a few lines, but it's five years!

I remember them! We visited them! They were my Grammie's relatives, but I never really got that he was her nephew, I thought they were cousins. And he was a medium in the Spiritualist church, he went to seances all the time and practiced it at home, healings and all that.

So I read the hell out of her diary, and then I took a bunch of books out of the library about Spiritualism. I had read the Lily Dale book before, as I found out Mae West was a Spiritualist. I just find the whole thing fascinating, and I never would have thought to look up the relatives if I hadn't had the Hobo Code episode from Fanfare going on, and a random comment by a member about hobo-feeding grandmas.

This diary mentions my grandfather, who died when I was 2, and my Grammie, his wife (my Mom's mother), and my Mom and Dad, my Uncle, my Mom's brother, who died age 45 of a heart attack, and all the visits they did with my Grammie after my Bamp died. It's so priceless, and I would never make a post about it, but I am interested in making a post in general about Spiritualism now, as a result of it. So thank you for the encouragement, I will do more reading and research, but this is such a gift, to read about my mother and my Grammie. Thank you, MetaFilter.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:37 PM on June 30 [19 favorites]


No study has definitively shown that roguelikes do not cure cancer, so...

Dude, I personally know three people who didn't go to medical school because of Nethack.
posted by Etrigan at 5:05 PM on June 30 [10 favorites]


cjorgensen: "Can we just get the men to post less?"

I can't really post less but I'll do my best to keep not posting at all.
posted by octothorpe at 5:11 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


How can we tell if the poster is male, female, nonbinary or whatever? I never think about the genitals of the FPP creator. (Except for one member, and I'm not saying who that is.)
posted by Ideefixe at 5:20 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Ideefixe: "How can we tell if the poster is male, female, nonbinary or whatever?"

The idea is that the people who use the tag will be overwhelmingly, though perhaps not universally, people who self-identify as female.
posted by Bugbread at 5:30 PM on June 30


I'm glad I peeked over here and saw this. I've posted FPPs a few times but I don't have that "post it to the blue" reflex when I see cool stuff. I shall try to post cool things when I see them this month, or at least check to see that they've already been posted.
posted by immlass at 5:31 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


This is an awesome idea; all you need is a cool link and bam cool FPP so go for it.

lol at THESIS + ANTITHESIS derailmansplainingshutupshutupshutup = SYNTHESIS though
posted by Sebmojo at 5:39 PM on June 30


maryr: "The yogurt lids: Yoplait has a campaign where they will donate 10 cents to Susan G. Komen for every yogurt lid you send them. So you have to save and wash the yogurt lids from your lunch and then find an envelope and a stamp and the address (which I don't remember being printed on the lid, but I could be wrong, it's been a while) and mail them a little piece of aluminum while they COULD just donate the damn money anyway. They could even donate it for "every sale" like many other products. It just always felt like an elaborate gesture to me - a stamp costs more than their donation! I should just send Susan G. Komen stamps!"

Right, washing, saving, and mailing yogurt lids is a whole lot of fussy personal effort that neither increases the amount of dollars donated for breast cancer research, nor increases awareness of breast cancer prevention in any meaningful way.

But encouraging more women to post FPPs will increase the number of women who post FPPs. Calling attention to FPPs posted by women increases awareness of the number of contributions by women.

I find pinkwashing distasteful.

But your analogy makes no sense to me.
posted by desuetude at 5:41 PM on June 30 [16 favorites]


I don't really feel the yogurt thing is relevant at all. This is about making a concrete change, by, for and in the affected community; it's advocacy that goes beyond awareness, it's trying to address a genuine disparity -one that hurts the quality of the site if you believe that diversity increases quality as I do; it's being driven by people that believe in it and will benefit from it; and no one is making money from it, and it's aimed at changes behaviors and assumptions.

I really don't know how it could be any more different from pink washing.
posted by smoke at 5:47 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


Jinx.
posted by smoke at 5:47 PM on June 30


don't feel like you have to do an encyclopedia-style post, a single link is just as worthy.

This is true. Or even a MLYT post. When I made that Low Flutes post, I kept dicking around with the framing, trying to figure out how much music theory to include, how much background about physics and acoustics, how much this and that, and finally I just said HERE ARE A BUNCH OF YOUTUBE VIDEOS FEATURING LOW FLUTES HEADS UP!! And it was fine.
posted by KathrynT at 5:48 PM on June 30 [4 favorites]


> Why not literally do everything, all the time?

Yeah, I understand this one. I read it all the time when discussing racial issues. People say it when it comes time to defend the term "Redskins." They'll talk about how they are glad we've solved the hard problems like world huger and slavery.

In this case though I wasn't suggesting this. I wasn't saying we should discourage A because there were groups B, C, and D. I was asking if we're going to encourage one group should others be encouraged as well.

> Why people get all WWIC about it is beyond me but it turns out it doesn't matter that much.

I didn't feel like that's what's going on here. It's a metatalk post, so by definition I do feel consulted. An idea is before the group. I gave input. If women's voices are lacking, then by all means, let's do something. If this is seen as an effective counter-measure, then great. It just seems like an arbitrary method of addressing the issue, and doesn't really address the underlying causes of why women post less. It doesn't fix the problem. It's just masks it for a month.

> It's kind of a trope that every woman-oriented initiative gets sidelined by people asking "Why women? Why not Other Group?" and indicating that it might be okay for women to ask for something or initiate something for themselves once they've successfully fought for every other possible marginalized group first, and everyone else is happily squared away and totally satisfied.

Except I am not asking "why women?" I was asking if artificially inflating the number of posts by women, for the sole sake of having more posts by women, is really addressing anything, and are we going to be as receptive when other groups do it?

maryr did a better job articulating why this strikes me as odd. Maybe that's a trope as well.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:02 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


It just seems like an arbitrary method of addressing the issue, and doesn't really address the underlying causes of why women post less. It doesn't fix the problem. It's just masks it for a month.

I think it's good because it avoids the seductive lure of looking for those solutions.

More women should post = WOMEN POST MORE!
posted by Sebmojo at 6:06 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


In this case though I wasn't suggesting this. I wasn't saying we should discourage A because there were groups B, C, and D. I was asking if we're going to encourage one group should others be encouraged as well.

Those two things are really hard to distinguish, especially given how many times "Well what about B, C and D?!?" is used as a silencing tactic.
posted by Etrigan at 6:06 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


And at some level, we encourage everyone why wants to, to post. That is what the site is for. If some people are, after that encouragement, still not posting, it's worth looking into that and trying to see if there are other ways to be encouraging.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 6:09 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


More posts by women are fine by me, but I don't like to know anything about the poster of an FPP. Is there a preference/greasemonkey thing that will hide the tags for me? Then I can be pleased in the aggregate about more FPPs but not recognise individual ones.
posted by squinty at 6:10 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


It just seems like an arbitrary method of addressing the issue, and doesn't really address the underlying causes of why women post less. It doesn't fix the problem. It's just masks it for a month.

I think that to some extent if there are fewer posts by women, a likely suspect would be the barrier to entry that everyone faces: the first one is scary. There have been lots of studies showing that speaking up in general is more challenging for women than men in mixed company (sorry I don't have citations, but societal pressure not to stand out is hard to miss). If this works and more women post FPPs for the first time, hopefully some of them will have a good enough experience or response to carry on past July.

I don't think the goal here is waking up tomorrow to the Metafilter Vagina Monologues - it's just a low pressure way to reach out and hopefully get more of the amazing, funny, insightful voices who are already posting in the comments to help shape the larger conversation. Doing it for other groups in other months would be great.
posted by Mchelly at 6:18 PM on June 30 [14 favorites]


Etrigan: "Those two things are really hard to distinguish, especially given how many times "Well what about B, C and D?!?" is used as a silencing tactic."

It may be hard to do, but try. "This reminds me of a common tactic, so I'm just going to go ahead and assume bad faith" is kinda sucky.

That said, I disagree with cjorgensen.

cjorgensen: "I was asking if we're going to encourage one group should others be encouraged as well."

I'm going to go out on a limb and say "I think people would be fine if other people did similar things in other months, as long as it wasn't a dickish stunt-project (like making August "Straight White Men's Month" or making November "Disabled Gay Circumcised Palestinian Atheist Transman Apple Enthusiast Month")". Also, MeFi is cool with certain groups and not other groups, so in your example the "Conservatives Month" would go down like a lead balloon, but that's not a problem with this project, it's a problem with, for the most part, US politics, the Internet in general, and MeFites.

"it doesn't really address the underlying causes of why women post less. It doesn't fix the problem. It's just masks it for a month."

It doesn't address every cause, but part of the problem is intimidation about making the first post. It will help with that problem, which should get the ball rolling. Maybe from August onwards FPP participation by women will drop compared to July itself, but I doubt it will drop to pre-July levels.
posted by Bugbread at 6:33 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


i would post more except i always have this fear that it's already been done or that i'm not posting according to the rules of the site (had a carefully constructed post deleted because of this recently, makes me even more tentative to do it now.) none of this has anything to do with me being female so much as being still a bit of a n00b.
posted by cristinacristinacristina at 6:45 PM on June 30


cjorgensen: "Are posts by women, for the sake of having posts by women, a desirable thing? Why stop there? Why not increase posting by minorities, LGBT folk, and non-Americans, and other-than-English as first language speakers, and religious folk, and Conservatives?"

I like all these things and I am particularly always fascinated by posts about politics in not-America.

I don't even really want to read more "women's issues" or "feminism" posts per se ... it's just that people on MetaFilter post what they find interesting. We have a wide diversity of people at MetaFilter with a wide variety of interests and expertise. Sometimes, people's interests and expertise tend to cluster in particular areas that they share with other people. When surfing the web, people think, "Oh, this would be cool for MetaFilter!" when they see something about, say, comic books. But maybe when they see something about embroidery that is equally as interesting, they don't think that, because they've never seen that sort of post on MetaFilter before.

By deliberately asking our female members to consciously try to make posts, we can hopefully expand the idea of what sorts of FPPs are interesting and worthy for MetaFilter, and provide a wider range of interesting, weird, engaging stuff for people to read.

I used embroidery as an example because, embroidery stitch dissemination is actually a really important way of tracking migration and trade amongst human populations, but until women started entering academia after WWII, it was basically ignored. Then you have these women who probably grew up sewing and embroidering, can recognize an Algerian Eye stitch, and say, "Hey, has anybody ever noticed that this Algerian Eye appears on Egyptian clothes throughout the period but doesn't appear in Italian embroidery until right about the time we think trade ties strengthened between Rome and Alexandria?" (I just made that up as an example.) And it turned out, people had not really noticed that before, because it simply had not occurred to most of the men doing anthropology that the specific decorative stitches required learned techniques and these could be distinguished by looking at the finished product. They didn't know it was interesting until someone told them it was interesting. They didn't have the eye for it. You can't look for what you don't know to look for.

That is what I hope comes out of this little experiment -- posts about more things that I didn't know were interesting until someone told me they were interesting. I do hope to see more stuff from other women that might be interesting to me as a woman (flex's post on the Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor, now one of my favorite blogs, jumps to mind*). But I also hope it will encourage more people from different cultural and personal backgrounds than mine to post their stuff, too, so I can have my eye drawn to more interesting things that I don't yet know I like.

*This actually reminds me of the most quintessentially boyzone-y thing Wikipedia has ever done, which is have a massive battle over whether Kate Middleton's Wedding Dress met notability guidelines, with a large number of male contributors claiming "The sheer presence of this article is one of the lowest points ever reached by Wikipedia!" and "This is frankly trivial, and surely isn't notable enough to be on wikipedia. Request deletion" while over 100 articles on Linux distributions sat undisturbed, and some articles on topics considered only interesting to women -- including those about women scientists -- are repeatedly nominated for deletion. The more people who can help us define "best of the web," the more interesting MetaFilter is likely to be, and the more likely we are to avoid topic bias that limits us in what we discuss!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:49 PM on June 30 [65 favorites]


Hah, cristina^3 I promise I'm not trying to contradict you, but I was just in the process of writing that I haven't posted largely because it seems like my posts might not be good enough, or I'm not part of the posting club or I don't know the rules...and I'm aware that while I don't think "I can't post, I'm a girl", I do know that having this more reserved attitude is one that women are typically socialized to have; that statistically speaking fewer women feel comfortable barging their voices in to a new environment. So encouragement to barge (thoughtfully) is appreciated.

I think this is a great idea, because I suspect that if I posted once I'd probably post more after that (provided it didn't go horribly), so maybe I'll post something in July now. It'll probably not be able women specifically, but it might be about quilts or something.
posted by heyforfour at 6:54 PM on June 30 [6 favorites]


On non preview: Eyebrows, dammit, now my quilt post has to be really good!
posted by heyforfour at 6:55 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


I was asking if artificially inflating the number of posts by women, for the sole sake of having more posts by women, is really addressing anything, and are we going to be as receptive when other groups do it?

What if instead we framed this as the current front page having an "artificially inflated" percentage of fpps by men, because there are barriers to entry to women - barriers that are not there on purpose, but are there.

It's addressing the issue that fewer women than men make fpps. Is there a reason you think there would be a downside to reversing that trend, and having more women post fpps? Is there some Ultimate Principle you think this would violate, and ought not to? Is the slippery slope *really* so terrible if we get more good posts from a wider variety of people - which your "but what about if other groups do this" seems to suggest is a thing to be cautious of?

Jesus christ. It's a month. Can we maybe see what happens and go from there?
posted by rtha at 7:00 PM on June 30 [27 favorites]


none of this has anything to do with me being female so much as being still a bit of a n00b.

Statistically speaking -- not putting motivations in your brain, but speaking to the aggregate -- the latter is more of an intimidating factor because of the former.
posted by KathrynT at 7:04 PM on June 30 [4 favorites]


**wracks her brain to think of things that haven't already been posted**
posted by emjaybee at 7:05 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Regarding topic bias, I just did a quick search, and there are six posts tagged Jack Vance and only one tagged Tamora Pierce. Five tagged Ursula LeGuin, seventeen tagged Isaac Asimov. Twenty-two for J.K. Rowling, twenty-four for George R.R. Martin.

Not that we shouldn't discuss male authors! Those posts are great! I enjoy them and I get a lot out of them! Just that I think MetaFilter is the poorer for only having had one Tamora Pierce post because SHE IS THE BEST EVER, and it's too bad she attracts less popular attention because she writes SFF for young women ... even though she pops up basically like clockwork within the first ten comments of ANY AskMe that's asking for SFF book recommendations.

Obviously there's not some kind objective tag measure of whether female writers are underrepresented in MeFi discussions, and I just pulled names off the top of my head, but it's sort of interesting to search through tags with possible gendered topic bias in mind.

Also, you all need to go read Tamora Pierce because DUH.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:05 PM on June 30 [9 favorites]


So encouragement to barge (thoughtfully) is appreciated.

i get that... i do speak my mind when i feel the urge, but by not posting i'm just trying to be respectful to the community at large. sometimes i think we ALL could do a little better by speaking a little less. keep things small, but potent. do men just post willy nilly and see what sticks? what are the statistics on male vs. female deleted posts?

i really do think it takes a while before you get all the in jokes of an online community, get hip to the lingo and really understand the type of structure that a well constructed post should have. i appreciate some posts on mefi for that, i can see the type of work that it can take - that they are not just something made on the fly but fairly well researched to provide a broader view of a particular topic. this work... takes work. and to confess... i'm lazy :)
posted by cristinacristinacristina at 7:18 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


This makes me so mad, I quit! Just kidding. I hope this shifts the ratio.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:21 PM on June 30


i really do think it takes a while before you get all the in jokes of an online community, get hip to the lingo and really understand the type of structure that a well constructed post should have.

I am all in favor of LURK MOAR N00B in many cases, but if you've been here for five years, you're probably not a noob any more.
posted by immlass at 7:22 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


Are posts by women, for the sake of having posts by women, a desirable thing? Why stop there? Why not increase posting by minorities, LGBT folk, and non-Americans, and other-than-English as first language speakers, and religious folk, and Conservatives?

I would also be fine with all of these things!

However, I think (and this is a gut feel, not a supported thesis) that probably (male) minorities, (male) LGBT folk, (male) non-Americans, (male) religious folk and (male) conservatives are actually posting FPPs about proportionately to their numbers on MetaFilter. The fact that those numbers are in some cases very low may well be an issue, but it's a different issue.

This, OTOH, is specifically about a disparity between a best guess of the number of women on the site, and the number of FPPs that are started by woman-identified users. And I'd guess that some of that disparity will be occupied by minority ethnic, LBT, religious, non-American, ESL and conservative women, so that rising tide would also lift your boats...
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:23 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


I was asking if artificially inflating the number of posts by women

"artificially"?
posted by kagredon at 7:23 PM on June 30 [8 favorites]


I think that if it is true that Mefi needs more posts by women, this implies there is a meaningful distinction between posts made by women and posts made by men.
posted by dmh at 7:30 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


Versus letting nature take its majestic website-related course, kagredon, as our fathers' fathers' fathers did.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:31 PM on June 30 [20 favorites]


I think that if it is true that Mefi needs more posts by women, this implies there is a meaningful distinction between posts made by women and posts made by men.

Maybe it does. Maybe it implies that there is a meaningful distinction between mefites who are women and mefites who are men, namely, that they are different people.

I think this idea is valuable and exciting because it may encourage individual people to interact with Metafilter in new (to them) ways. Not necessarily that the resulting posts will be radically different to the current crop.
posted by misfish at 7:38 PM on June 30 [4 favorites]


^ and their fathers' fathers' fathers' father's before them!
posted by Sebmojo at 7:38 PM on June 30


do men just post willy nilly and see what sticks?

Some jokes write themselves...

I think that if it is true that Mefi needs more posts by women, this implies there is a meaningful distinction between posts made by women and posts made by men.

A question we'd be able to answer if only we had more posts by women. Now what if there were a proposal to address that?
posted by Dip Flash at 7:41 PM on June 30 [7 favorites]


Swear to Chutlu, if July sees an overflow of posts about art, science, language, media and politics, I'm fucking outta here.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:59 PM on June 30 [12 favorites]


This is a fun idea. I'm in. Expect my post about the glorious feminazi future that awaits us all to go live at midnight.
posted by medusa at 8:01 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


Why not Zoidberg?
posted by ignignokt at 8:03 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


This is a fun idea. I'm in. Expect my post about the glorious feminazi future that awaits us all to go live at midnight.

The Fempire Strikes Back?
posted by Sebmojo at 8:13 PM on June 30 [6 favorites]


I'm in!

I almost never think about posting fpps. I just tend not to think it's something I do. But this month? I'm going to try. and I think I have an idea already...
posted by meese at 8:26 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


> The Fempire Strikes Back?

I heard that in Bea Arthur's voice.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:50 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


Cough, cough, Michele in California, I am very interested in GIS (especially but by no means exclusively its application in public health), but know only a little about it. I would certainly be excited to read a post about GIS from someone knowledgeable, and it would be an extra cherry on top if the voice presenting that information was female, given that male-dominated field, particularly during a special effort to encourage posts on the blue from women. Ahem.

I commit to making a post this month (and to keep trying until it sticks, in the event I don't get it right the first time.) I must not fear, fear is the mind-killer, etc.
posted by gingerest at 8:51 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


I was really uncomfortable with the idea of tagging my posts as being by a woman. I was all "hell no. I don't want anyone knowing I'm participating in a THING and the tag is twee and dumb!!" and then I realized - I didn't want anyone to KNOW know that I'm a woman. I mean, you can put that together easily enough (I think?) from my commenting history. But I've never wanted to self-declare outside of woman-centric threads.

So, I love this project. It has already uncovered some internalized stuff for me. That's awesome. Thank you for doing this. I will stand up and tag.
posted by stoneweaver at 9:29 PM on June 30 [27 favorites]


I just wanted to chime in and say that I think this is a great idea. I am yet to post an FPP and it's almost exactly 8 years since I joined (two more days!), maybe this will be the ticket!
posted by liquorice at 9:38 PM on June 30 [5 favorites]


i've be talking myself out of posting lately - actually talked myself out of two different posts today. i really love this challenge and i'll endeavor to participate. thanks for broaching this.
posted by nadawi at 9:39 PM on June 30 [7 favorites]


I think that if it is true that Mefi needs more posts by women, this implies there is a meaningful distinction between posts made by women and posts made by men.

It's not just about the quality of the posts. It's about whether the women of metafilter feel like they should stand up and make them. Being "out" as a woman on the internet can be scary. Feeling like you're in a very small minority (8%) when you post is hard. It makes you feel like there's a lot of pressure to be spectacular.

Getting a group of people to do something together is fun. We need more posts by women because there are many women too intimidated to make a post. That's not fun. MetaFilter should be fun. Let's invite and encourage and support more women to have fun.
posted by stoneweaver at 9:40 PM on June 30 [18 favorites]


(Also, just to be clear, I don't think the tag is twee and dumb. I was just being all reflexive and reactive about it.)
posted by stoneweaver at 9:42 PM on June 30


I've done the first FPP with the tag #JulyByWomen for a post about Fairbairn, Sykes and Applegate who basically kicked ass and taught people how to kill with their pinky fingers. Plus bonus knives! Snuck a tiny bit of feminism in there too: From Shanghai to John Wayne: Fairbairn and his knives.

Next FPP I'm planning is about embroidery. I'm channeling Arya this month clearly.
posted by viggorlijah at 9:51 PM on June 30 [8 favorites]


I've posted a handful of FPPs, but they're all kind of low-key artsy/sciencey/pop-culture stuff. I avoid posting FPPs on feminist/activist-y/potentially contentious topics, even though a lot of that is pretty interesting to me. Part of that is just that I frequently don't find a lot of that stuff before it shows up on Mefi anyway, but part of it is that I worry a lot about framing, if it'll go badly, if I will get overinvested in the thread, that the link isn't going to be very interesting for most people anyway, etc. There's actually something in that vein that I saw really recently and thought of posting, and then didn't, because I thought the link had some weaknesses, even though it had really powerfully touched me, and I didn't really feel like putting it up and then watching it get nitpicked to death.

I still want to flesh it out more with some meatier stuff (on its own, it's a little bit Pepsi-Blue and thin), but this thread made me reconsider it.
posted by kagredon at 9:55 PM on June 30 [5 favorites]


I'm wondering if there is a male-equivalent of the "Maybe I'm too invested in the topic / Other people will nitpick this to death / I don't want to be one of those gender-activist people" anxiety. Because I'm having a hard time figuring out what that anxiety would encompass, and whether it would be anything close to resembling women's normal everyday anxiety, but I very well may be wrong.
posted by jaguar at 10:12 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


jaguar: "I'm wondering if there is a male-equivalent of the "Maybe I'm too invested in the topic / Other people will nitpick this to death / I don't want to be one of those gender-activist people" anxiety."

You mean like "male-exclusive" or just "do males ever feel that way"? And are those three separate categories or one big category? Because if it's not male-exclusive, and those are three different categories, then, totally, yeah, a lot of times I've started to type up an FPP but changed my mind and hit cancel instead of post because of "Maybe I'm too invested in the topic" and "Other people will nitpick this to death". But there's no way that comes even close to resembling women's normal everyday anxiety.
posted by Bugbread at 10:30 PM on June 30


You mean like "male-exclusive" or just "do males ever feel that way"?

No, I mean male-exclusive. Like, are there huge topics that almost all men on Metafilter are avoiding because they think they'll go badly? I assume sports might fit into that category, but that's not something that, if it went badly, would necessarily turn into a referendum on men's place in the world (though it totally could).
posted by jaguar at 10:39 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


I love this idea, and I'll absolutely participate.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 11:41 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


jaguar: "Like, are there huge topics that almost all men on Metafilter are avoiding because they think they'll go badly?"

I've been thinking about it, and I can't think of one. Which means if there is one, it's got to be pretty minor to not even come to mind after prolonged consideration.
posted by Bugbread at 12:06 AM on July 1


Done. Yes, it's about menstruation. I did that on purpose.
posted by kinetic at 3:28 AM on July 1 [15 favorites]


Interesting timing. Something happened relevant and interesting to Australians and Poms today and my first thought was to approach a male fellow Mefite and ask HIM to make a post with some links I'd email him...because it's scary and even though I'm reasonably confident in the meat world, I'm not here.

Oh god, I'm internally sexist. I thought I was more feminist-evolved than that.
posted by taff at 3:29 AM on July 1 [10 favorites]


I admit that I've been sort of afraid to post anything to the Blue (and, I'll be honest, when I make a comment that's even remotely strongly worded I duck out of the thread for a few hours to hide from potential backlash). Higher standards, tougher crowds, what if I get the information wrong? I'd probably attribute that hesitation to my self-consciousness and my fear of messing things up, which in myself I view as personal non-gendered shortcomings, but I do sometimes wonder how many of my "flaws" would have been overcome if I'd been born or raised as a boy, since they do so often conveniently line up with gender stereotypes.

I made my first ever FPP last week, seven years in, and it wasn't an enormously popular two-hundred-comment thread, but it also didn't get deleted or shat upon. It felt really, really good to finally stick a toe in the water and discover it wasn't freezing or shark-infested. I recommend it to anyone who's nervous about posting, regardless of gender identity.

(I do, conveniently, have another post in the works. It's silly and not necessarily "great" but I think it might be good enough. This is motivation to post it and not let it sit in my drafts folder forever.)
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:06 AM on July 1 [21 favorites]


I was asking if artificially inflating the number of posts by women, for the sole sake of having more posts by women, is really addressing anything, and are we going to be as receptive when other groups do it?

...yes? It's addressing the fact that a big chunk of the community has been reluctant to make their first posts and that the rest of us are deprived of the opportunity to learn about what they find interesting that we wouldn't have otherwise known about. I mean, I skip over at least 90% of the FPPs (there is, surprisingly, only so much time in the day) but a lot of the posts I do enjoy reading are about things I would never have thought I'd find interesting save that someone else thought to present it in a way I wouldn't have expected. More different voices means more new shiny stuff for me. #selfish #thepatriarchyhurtsmentoo
posted by psoas at 5:11 AM on July 1 [7 favorites]


Hell yes, I'm in!
posted by Too-Ticky at 5:15 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


I've been here nearly 7 years and have made 2 FPPs with much trepidation. I think this is a great idea and it is helping give me confidence and encouragement to post more.

I'm working on something now but I could swear I have seen it here before, though Search is not finding it. *scratches head*
posted by pointystick at 5:16 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]


Michele in California, I too would be very interested in a GIS post!
posted by daisyk at 5:22 AM on July 1


If anyone wants to post about Isabelle Eberhardt, I've been thinking about FPPing her for like a year and change but I want to preface it with some excerpts of hers (there are plenty of summaries of her life but she should be introduced by something she's written), but I haven't been arsed to find them online yet. Because I'm super-procrastinaty.

So if you beat me to posting I won't take it personally.

(I know that is all: "oh here is an interesting woman for you women to post about, np" but Eberhardt has this amazingly stoic wanderlust and I may never actually post about her and it kinda fits the month?)
posted by postcommunism at 6:37 AM on July 1


Here's a link to what's all been posted so far: #JulyByWomen. I am so dang excited about this.
posted by divined by radio at 7:29 AM on July 1 [6 favorites]


What if instead we framed this as the current front page having an "artificially inflated" percentage of fpps by men, because there are barriers to entry to women - barriers that are not there on purpose, but are there.

Fair enough. I have to say it hadn't occurred to me that there was insufficient representation by women on the front page. I'm not one of those people who pay much attention to the bylines of the poster or click in to see what gender said poster is. Again, I never stated I was against trying to encourage plurality of voice. I just questioned whether this was the way to do it and if the idea scaled. People have spoken on this and I accept their answers. I also agree with most of them in that it seems like low hanging fruit and let's try it.

It's addressing the issue that fewer women than men make fpps. Is there a reason you think there would be a downside to reversing that trend, and having more women post fpps?

No.

Is there some Ultimate Principle you think this would violate, and ought not to? Is the slippery slope *really* so terrible if we get more good posts from a wider variety of people - which your "but what about if other groups do this" seems to suggest is a thing to be cautious of?

Maybe. Which is why I picked the examples I did. So when corb wants to have Conservatives month are we going to rally around that as a great idea? Or when St. Alia of the Bunnies wants to do Christianity month? Or politics month?

I'm for increasing diversity. For the record I am fine with the above. I know others will not be.

Jesus christ. It's a month. Can we maybe see what happens and go from there?

We can. We can also maybe decide on metrics for success to decide if it was a worthwhile endeavor that should be repeated or expanded. We could maybe do some actual data-wankery to get make more accurate results. We can also discuss it, no?

Also, as an aside, I see the "best posts" months as artificially increasing posts. Some people love those months. Some hate them. I see no downside to examining if manipulating the kinds, quality, subjects, or authors of posts are a positive impact or not, or if doing so has the intended consequence.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:32 AM on July 1


I think there is a big difference in posts by women and posts about _____ (conservatives, politics). Posts by women doesn't mean all the posts have to be about women or feminism, although maybe they will be because that's something women may be more interested in, whereas in say conservative month the topic selection would be limited by that factor.

I don't think its useful to conflate the two as they lead to different things. I think the idea of more posts by women should lead to an increased diversity of topics which will make me at least visit the blue more often.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 7:42 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]


cjorgensen, you really think being a woman is comparable to being a member of a political movement or religion? Think about what you're implying.
posted by gilrain at 7:49 AM on July 1 [25 favorites]


it's weird to conflate a group that makes up half of the population and almost half of the user base with things like conservatives or christians - women are not a fringe group - i would be shocked if almost half of metafilter was made up of strong libertarian conservative christians. for whatever reason when it comes to fpps on metafilter, there's an under representation of women posters. you might have never noticed it because you don't care about that sort of thing, but that's not really an argument against other people wanting to find a way to increase the voices of women on metafilter.
posted by nadawi at 7:54 AM on July 1 [10 favorites]


I disapprove of using #hashtags on MeFi, though I think encouraging good posts by women is a fine idea, and would use the tag, because I'm not an entirely cranky person. My lawn, remove yourself from it.
posted by theora55 at 7:57 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


Also, cjorgensen, are you maybe mistaking this as some sort of specifically liberal agenda? You realize, for instance, that corb and St Alia are welcome to make those hypothetical posts this month, tagged as part of JulyByWomen, right?
posted by gilrain at 8:03 AM on July 1 [8 favorites]


I think some people may be conflating the idea of 'posts by women' and 'posts by women about women's issues' which, if my understanding is correct, is not the case here. I wouldn't really support an effort to make more fpps about explicitly feminist issues because that would violate the "topic that needs to be posted vs. link that you want to share" rule. Mostly, I just think encouraging posts from a broader range of our weird awesome user base will result in more weird awesome posts on the front page. I'm selfish like that.
posted by Think_Long at 8:04 AM on July 1 [4 favorites]


We can also maybe decide on metrics for success to decide if it was a worthwhile endeavor that should be repeated or expanded.

If our goal is more posts by women (about anything, including Christianity or Libertarianism or any of the other ten zillion things women are/believe in/practice/like etc.), then the metric will be were there more posts by women? Yes? Success!

You are making a Problem where there isn't one, and I don't understand why.
posted by rtha at 8:07 AM on July 1 [14 favorites]


it's weird to conflate a group that makes up half of the population and almost half of the user base with things like conservatives or christians - women are not a fringe group

Neither are conservatives or Christians.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:08 AM on July 1 [5 favorites]


[…] you really think being a woman is comparable to being a member of a political movement or religion? Think about what you're implying.

I am not conflating the two. I am only using them as examples of underrepresented populations. People have claimed "echo chamber" or "boy-zone" and have stated (in this thread and in the past) that we should be more welcoming and inclusive to all groups. This can be gender, political, religious, racial, national, or whatnot.

Just as a woman could make a post about anything, so could a Conservative for example. If we're going to say we get inherently different posts by encouraging participation by underrepresented groups, why would these be different?

I am also not saying there's any agenda liberal or not.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:09 AM on July 1


If we're going to say we get inherently different posts by encouraging participation by underrepresented groups, why would these be different?

I don't see why they would be, but you seem to be taking the tack that encouraging posts *by* women means encouraging posts *about* women (by those women), and....no? I mean, if St. Alia wants to make a post about a really great site about defunct minor league baseball teams in NC, then that is a post that is both by a woman and by a Christian.

I don't have The Woman's Point of View, and no post I make is going to be "from" that. But it will be from the point of view of *this* woman, whether it's about kittens or politics. That's what this thing is about.

If you think it's important that other groups - underrepresented or not - on mefi should have a specific meTa that encourages the people in those groups to post more, then make a meTa advocating that. From what I can tell, you're the only person feeling that this might not lead to good things.
posted by rtha at 8:15 AM on July 1 [10 favorites]


Just as a woman could make a post about anything, so could a Conservative for example. If we're going to say we get inherently different posts by encouraging participation by underrepresented groups, why would these be different?

If you actually feel strongly about increasing participation by conservative people or Christians on the site in non-partisan way (i.e. demographic-driven, not FPP-content driven) then go ahead and sprearhead a participation drive.

No, I wouldn't have any problem with that.

I don't know that Christians are even an underrepresented group, though.
posted by desuetude at 8:16 AM on July 1


Just as a woman could make a post about anything, so could a Conservative for example.

That... is indeed how MetaFilter works.
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:17 AM on July 1 [6 favorites]


women are underrepresented in posting topics, but aren't underrepresented (by much) in the user base. that's the difference. if metafilter were 45ish% serbian jugglers, but only 8% of the posts were being made by those who identify as serbian jugglers, i think it would make sense to wonder why serbian jugglers weren't inclined to make posts. furthermore if there had been a long history of socializing serbian jugglers to be quiet, to not speak up, to doubt their contributions, etc, then it would make sense to explicitly encourage serbian jugglers with a fun little challenge giving them a sort of safety net to try their posting chops out with.

the other underrepresented groups that keep being brought up are underrepresented in both numbers and voice, which is a fine issue to try to tackle, but not really analogous to the one we're discussing here.
posted by nadawi at 8:19 AM on July 1 [33 favorites]


I don't see why they would be, but you seem to be taking the tack that encouraging posts *by* women means encouraging posts *about* women (by those women), and....no?

Yeah, no. I don't believe I ever stated that.

From what I can tell, you're the only person feeling that this might not lead to good things.

I didn't say this either. This might lead to the metafilter utopia. This may be the best thing ever. It might also be a feel good campaign that solves nothing. A yogurt lid.

I also stated my questions had been answered:

> And at some level, we encourage everyone why wants to, to post. That is what the site is for. If some people are, after that encouragement, still not posting, it's worth looking into that and trying to see if there are other ways to be encouraging.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:34 AM on July 1


Sure, but what about Chilean mimes?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:36 AM on July 1 [3 favorites]


I don't want to shock you, cjorgensen, but the bus has left the station. You can continue to debate whether or not it will reach the land of milk and honey, but it already reached its goal: it got rolling.

Feel free to accomplish as much for the groups you think are under-represented.
posted by gilrain at 8:41 AM on July 1


Yeah, no. I don't believe I ever stated that.

Okay, cool. I was confused I guess by your (or what seemed to be) analogy to getting more Christians or Conservatives to post - specifically So when corb wants to have Conservatives month are we going to rally around that as a great idea? Or when St. Alia of the Bunnies wants to do Christianity month? Or politics month? - as if they would post *about* those topics. But that's not what you meant, so okay.
posted by rtha at 8:43 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


I didn't say this either. This might lead to the metafilter utopia. This may be the best thing ever. It might also be a feel good campaign that solves nothing. A yogurt lid.

Oh no, anything but that!
posted by kagredon at 8:46 AM on July 1


it got rolling

So far, however, none of JulyByWomen posts have been from first-time posters. (This is still a swell idea.)
posted by 0 at 8:48 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


God, typical women, all you want to post about is knife fighting and morbid anatomy.
posted by Think_Long at 8:50 AM on July 1 [40 favorites]


cjorgensen: "We can. We can also maybe decide on metrics for success to decide if it was a worthwhile endeavor that should be repeated or expanded."

Metric: Are there more FPPs by women? Yes/No.

"We" do not need to decide whether it was a worthwhile endeavor. We can certainly discuss how it affected activity and perceptions as a community.

Who is doing all this endeavoring, though? The only endeavoring is voluntary, by women, who decide to post an FPP. I don't see how this is some sort of burden on the site requiring an official assessment of ROI.
posted by desuetude at 8:50 AM on July 1 [6 favorites]


This may be the best thing ever. It might also be a feel good campaign that solves nothing.

I still have no idea how the yogurt-lid campaign is a reasonable comparison. That's a crazily economically-inefficient and cynical maneuver by a large corporation, this is basically a motivational speech advocating for people to develop their participation in a community. Why should it keep circling back to "success" and "solutions"?
posted by psoas at 8:55 AM on July 1 [7 favorites]


I didn't say this either. This might lead to the metafilter utopia. This may be the best thing ever. It might also be a feel good campaign that solves nothing. A yogurt lid

The yogurt lid bit is irrelevant and kind of offensive to me frankly. We've had several women say that they appreciate this and are considering making FPPs where they may have been nervous about doing this before.

This effort shines a light on a problem that I didn't really know existed either, and makes it clear that women should feel more comfortable making FPPs. In my experience at least, that's not something we were specifically talking about before. So that's great, something is already accomplished, an elaborate structure of metrics is not really needed.
posted by sweetkid at 8:56 AM on July 1 [20 favorites]


Also, MeFi is cool with certain groups and not other groups, so in your example the "Conservatives Month" would go down like a lead balloon

I'm glad this got said.
posted by DWRoelands at 9:04 AM on July 1


I don't see how this is some sort of burden on the site requiring an official assessment of ROI.

No one said it was a burden. Nothing requires an examination of RIO, but why not? If it's a good thing then it should be encouraged further, no?
posted by cjorgensen at 9:05 AM on July 1


So go encourage it further. THIS post is about encouraging women to post in July. That is all. There is nothing stopping you from making OTHER posts encouraging other people to post in July or August or whenever they want. But THIS is not the place for that, this is the place for this.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:11 AM on July 1 [20 favorites]


cjorgensen, whether you mean to or not, you're really coming across as concern trolling here, to me. If that's not what you mean to communicate, then I would suggest taking a moment and figuring out what you DO mean to communicate, because whatever it is, it's not really coming through here.
posted by KathrynT at 9:14 AM on July 1 [33 favorites]


You can continue to debate whether or not it will reach the land of milk and honey, but it already reached its goal: it got rolling.

Great.

> I hope works, not just for the month but ongoing.

> How will you measure success when posters aren't required to self-identify?

> In my line of work, unclear goals are a big problem and part of my job is to evaluate and clarify goals. You can argue against having a goal at all, but why is clarity a problem if there is a goal? I would guess there would be at least one follow-up post after July is over and it would be nice to show the before and after numbers (raw and percentage).

> To me, MetaFilter is already for women in July and in August and in September, November, December, this year, next year, the year after. If I find something great to post in July, I'll post it, but I don't see any reason to narrow it down to one month.

> If this encourages women who have been hesitant to post to make their first FPP, great! But a hashtag or a status update never cured anyone. I just worry that July will end and nothing will have changed. I'd be happy to be wrong.

> So I am all for finding a way to help women post more FPP's. I have no idea if this initiative is it. But I don't have alternative suggestions.

If this initiative addresses or alleviates the underlying problem then great. If that's not what's being attempted then great. If no one wants to try to get more accurate before and after numbers to gage impact then great. If people see those (and myself) who are questioning the methodology or assumptions as being discouraging to posting then my apologies.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:15 AM on July 1


Thanks for your concern. I'm sure we'll all take it under advisement.
posted by rtha at 9:18 AM on July 1 [31 favorites]


I don't really understand what the possible downside is. This isn't a scholarly journal. We are not actually trying to cure cancer here. Why do we need to discuss methodology or measure impact? If all that happens is that we get some extra posts in July, so what? Who has been hurt?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:19 AM on July 1 [8 favorites]


Hey, cjorgensen, if all your questions have been answered, how about you go make a spreadsheet and figure out some metrics for ROI and crunch some numbers yourself since you're the only one who seems to care instead of posting over and over and making this thread all about you? Kind of ironic considering that the silencing of women and worries about being "good enough" are the entire point of this thread.

I'm doing my part as well; I'm going to stop refreshing this derailed thread and go draft a FPP that I probably wouldn't have bothered to without this initiative.
posted by Juliet Banana at 9:19 AM on July 1 [38 favorites]


whether you mean to or not, you're really coming across as concern trolling here, to me.

Yeah, I get this as well, so will bow out.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:21 AM on July 1 [4 favorites]


I'm a first-time poster in the making. I think this is an awesome idea and I'm excited if nervous about it. I've got two ideas I'm thinking about.

But I also have a job and some difficult home life stuff going on this week so no, I have not jumped to post today, the very first day of this. Hang in there. It will happen. We've got a whole month.
posted by Stacey at 9:21 AM on July 1 [8 favorites]


so in your example the "Conservatives Month" would go down like a lead balloon

I'd totally be down for a zarqesque FPP on Michael Oakeshott's body of work.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 9:24 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]


I would, too.

Also I'm all about cost/benefit analysis as much as the next spreadsheet wrangler, but I don't see that there's any costs to this effort. The front page is an inexhaustible resource unless you argue that more posts will somehow negatively impact the site. I suppose an argument could be made that more posts will push posts OFF the front page faster, so we'd have to calculate the average time a post remains on the front page and compare the average time over July, then attempt to assign a value to the total time each post spends on the front page and how that impacts the value of the cumulative posts.

Or we could just have a fun little event to encourage women who might be intimidated to post to do so and not overthink things to death.
posted by winna at 9:40 AM on July 1 [4 favorites]


LADIES LOVE CRUST PUNK BICYCLE TOURING
posted by Juliet Banana at 9:41 AM on July 1 [4 favorites]


Five tagged Ursula LeGuin

For data completeness' sake, there are also six posts (seemingly different than the five by a quick scan) tagged with Ursula K Le Guin.

posted by Celsius1414 at 9:51 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


Do we have to use the # part of #julybywomen for this to count?
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:58 AM on July 1


When I posted I couldn't use # in the tag.
posted by kinetic at 10:06 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


Also, how about this: we're just gonna go ahead and do this and I personally won't bother wasting a lot of time trying to justify it to people who don't really care anyhow.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:18 AM on July 1 [13 favorites]


That's a little too long for a tag though.
posted by elizardbits at 10:23 AM on July 1 [13 favorites]


11 posts already! Go women of Mefi!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:30 AM on July 1 [3 favorites]


How is the tag field of Metafilter's post editor like a clumsy server at Waffle House?

It drops the hash!

#dadjokes
posted by Juliet Banana at 10:31 AM on July 1 [16 favorites]


Man that is just not the first joke that springs to mind which incorporates the word 'hash.'
posted by shakespeherian at 10:34 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


yes but for a dad joke though
posted by sweetkid at 10:36 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]


my dad's dad jokes would probably be more like shakespherian's
posted by kagredon at 10:36 AM on July 1


I'm a dad! All my jokes are inappropriate.

I'm a great dad.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:37 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


How is the tag field like a malfunctioning vending machine in Wales?

It steals your pound!
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:39 AM on July 1 [17 favorites]


Okay, the tag now includes at least one FPP virgin and on a girly topic besides. (For anyone having a hard time finding a topic that hasn't already been covered, fiber arts related keywords seem to be pretty fertile ground. As is the tech stuff in my own little subfield but the risk of accidental self-linking was too high.)
posted by tchemgrrl at 10:41 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]


I'm so going to make a FPP in a week or so. Excited and glad to be encouraged (challenged) to do so (I'm a FPP virgin). I'd also like to encourage (challenge) women to comment on FPPs, especially if, like me, you rarely do. I'm going to make a special effort to comment on posts with the julybywomen tag but don't plan on making that exclusive. Fellow women, you with me?
posted by Pineapplicious at 10:54 AM on July 1 [8 favorites]


How is the tag field like a game of Diplomacy being played by several mefites?

It destroys your octothorpe!

posted by cortex (staff) at 11:09 AM on July 1 [9 favorites]


if metafilter were 45ish% serbian jugglers ...

Oh, how I wanted that to be "Serbian Juggalos."
posted by octobersurprise at 11:10 AM on July 1 [3 favorites]


I am really blanking on a dirty meaning of "hash." Do you have to make the hash browns with taters?
posted by Juliet Banana at 11:29 AM on July 1 [3 favorites]


I would like to contribute somehow to this initiative outside of the obvious "posting an FPP" because duh ...

Can I help someone or work with someone over email on developing a multilink FPP or one on an obscure subject or whatever? I can be sounding board, assistant link digger, typo proofer and feedback giver etc...

I might be a 'magnificent bastard' but I firmly qualify for this tag yet I don't think the spirit of the initiative means for me to post yet another FPP...
posted by infini at 11:34 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


I'd also like to encourage (challenge) women to comment on FPPs, especially if, like me, you rarely do.

I had the same idea! I rarely comment on Mefi, I tend to write half a comment, overthink it, and then delete it. I believe that my socialization as a woman in general contributes to this, for what it's worth. So, I am going to try to comment more.
posted by insectosaurus at 11:51 AM on July 1 [10 favorites]


taff : "Interesting timing. Something happened relevant and interesting to Australians and Poms today and my first thought was to approach a male fellow Mefite and ask HIM to make a post with some links I'd email him...because it's scary and even though I'm reasonably confident in the meat world, I'm not here.

Oh god, I'm internally sexist. I thought I was more feminist-evolved than that.
"

I just had an interesting realization about the post I put up. I've been considering making that post for several days now but was holding off due to apprehension about whether it would prompt yet another tiring "don't say 'mansplain'"/"do you realize you're mansplaining right now?" go-round. When preparing the FPP, I wound up spending much longer contemplating the tags than I did composing the post itself, and decided not to tag it "mansplaining".

An FPP posted by a woman linking to a webcomic written and drawn by two women about the ways in which men often insist on defining the terms of women's discussion including what topics can be discussed and how that discussion is allowed to happen, and I didn't feel like I was up for the possibility of having to deal with yet another round of argument about "you're discussing the wrong thing, and using the wrong words to do it!"

My husband, who as a mutual contact has the ability to add tags to my FPPs, has gone in and (after checking with me) added "mansplaining" and a few other tags. He didn't apparently have any apprehension about whether people would complain about them.

Part of me feels like I ought to apologize to everybody else who has the same, sinking, "are we about to go through yet another round of this discussion?" feeling that I do. But part of me is tired of feeling like Mark Twain's cat around these topics.
posted by Lexica at 11:51 AM on July 1 [17 favorites]


Five of the top six posts on Mefi (as of this writing) are tagged #JulyByWomen! Excellent stuff.
posted by marienbad at 11:59 AM on July 1 [3 favorites]


a post-boyzone MeFi

That's a thing that doesn't exist yet. Unfortunately.

We can. We can also maybe decide on metrics for success to decide if it was a worthwhile endeavor that should be repeated or expanded.

What? Of course it's a worthwhile endeavour. More people posting more interesting stuff is always worthwhile. Encouraging people who otherwise would shy away from posting stuff--as several actual women have said right here in this very thread that they have actually done--is always worthwhile.

Why do women have to meet some kind of metrics for success in order for them to be encouraged to post more and maybe turn the tide a little more against the boyzone?

tl;dr why are you nitpicking and pooping on encouraging more women to participate? Do you not get that's the exact kind of silencing that disencourages women from posting?

Even better tl;dr: ""We" do not need to decide whether it was a worthwhile endeavor. We can certainly discuss how it affected activity and perceptions as a community. "

I identify as male so obviously #JulyByWomen isn't a tag I will use; totally inappropriate. But maybe as a corollary to this amazing idea, more men could post FPPs about women and womens' issues and so forth (combat the boyzone from within!) and tag 'em #JulyForWomen? Is that a thing that would help or hinder this great idea?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:07 PM on July 1 [10 favorites]


I don't think they have to be especially great - why raise the bar here.

Which reminds me of something Nicola Griffith said a few years ago about the lack of visible women writers in science fiction:
The single most important thing we (readers, writers, journalists, critics, publishers, editors, etc.) can do is talk about women writers whenever we talk about men. And if we honestly can't think of women 'good enough' to match those men, then we should wonder aloud (or in print) why that is so.
With projects like this we should neither assume that just because a quota is set quality will drop, nor that the posts resulting from it should be of the highest quality to make the project worthwhile.

Plenty of crap or mediocre posts have been published here many by me and I think that assuming there is this gender difference in front page posters and considering it's for the good of MetaFilter to be as diverse as possible, getting more women to take their first steps and discover posting is a lark, can only be a good thing.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:09 PM on July 1 [4 favorites]


(By more men posting about women and such, I don't mean add to the number of posts, I'm saying maybe men could shift focus for the month, I wasn't clear. Sorry.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:10 PM on July 1


Also thank you Empress for the link to The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor, I must have missed that FPP. I am now going to spend hours looking at rich people in gorgeous clothes and jewels.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:13 PM on July 1


MartinWisse's comment makes me want to add the best FPP advice I ever got, I think it was from Jessamyn the Retired, and I paraphrase:

Just write it and let it go once its published. If you can walk away from it, you have successfully crafted and posted an FPP.

The problem is with feeling attached to it and nursing and nurturing it... I used to do that a lot but now I just chuck it out there to sink, swim or be deleted as a double.
posted by infini at 12:18 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]


Just wanted to say that though the framing of this idea sort of weirded me out (as I commented yesterday) I'm glad that the community is excited about it and things seem to be going well. I know I'm just one small commenter here but I definitely hope none of my fellow female mefites feel dissuaded from making FFPs in July (or any other month) because of anything negative I said.
posted by mlle valentine at 12:19 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


I made a post today, my first one as a non-mod in almost ten years. I hope people like it! I reiterate if someone wants me to look over a post they are contemplating, catch me on email.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 12:22 PM on July 1 [12 favorites]


Ditto, but with man parts.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:22 PM on July 1


"tl;dr why are you nitpicking and pooping on encouraging more women to participate? Do you not get that's the exact kind of silencing that disencourages women from posting?"

There is a certain irony in someone with the username cjorgensen doing this very thing. Also, there are already spaces for Conservatives to speak out - Conservapedia, glenn becks website etc.
posted by marienbad at 12:23 PM on July 1


My only sadface about taking one of those topics is that it means one less the man of twists and turns post.)

That's a good thing; maybe then I can finally catch up to the bugger.

(My arch rival because we joined MeFi on the exact same day and is 55 posts ahead of me. )
posted by MartinWisse at 12:24 PM on July 1 [3 favorites]


You both make great posts, too. I hope that friendly rivalry continues.
posted by heyho at 12:26 PM on July 1 [7 favorites]


[...] and tag 'em #JulyForWomen? Is that a thing that would help or hinder this great idea?

Well, the idea is to get more women to post. So, it's really orthogonal and has nothing to do with it. It's a little bit taking the focus and putting it back on men. I mean, it's cool if y'all want to make posts about women's issues. But this isn't about posting women's issues it's about women making posts. Those are not the same thing. The best thing you can do to help this great idea is make comments on women's posts, favorite them, send pleasant mefi mail. Whatever occurs to you to support the women doing the thing. Make their posts succeed!
posted by stoneweaver at 12:29 PM on July 1 [27 favorites]


Thank you stoneweaver, that was an extremely useful answer :)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:32 PM on July 1 [4 favorites]


I like this idea! I've made a few FPPs but usually when I see something that would make a good Metafilter post, I just wait for someone else to post it. This is good encouragement to do it myself!
posted by aka burlap at 12:35 PM on July 1 [3 favorites]


Grlnxtdr: Sometimes you just need a push, and this was my push. I'm a woman. I can make FPPs. Nothing bad will happen.

ellieBOA: I like this, I made a personal goal to post the cool things I read more often and not be afraid of the responses!

My little mantra is "once shared, the post is no longer yours; let it go."

The idea is that you separate yourself from the feedback, and don't make it about you. Don't feel the need to defend something that is criticized, others will often do that on their own. Learn from issues with framing or whatnot, don't beat yourself up over it. And don't threadsit - walk away from the computer, if you need to.

Posting should be fun, and perhaps cathartic. After a while, you might find yourself wondering "has this been shared on MetaFilter? This is really interesting! I wonder who might have more to add if I post this." If you're too hung up on that first post, break the ice with something small and fun.

And I'll offer myself as a reviewer of posts, should you wish to have someone review your ideas or post. MetaFilter is made more robust by more voices and points of view being shared, both in the comments and as posts.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:37 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]


AWW YEAH, tchemgrrl, good work. And I have one or two textile posts in the pipeline.
posted by clavicle at 12:39 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]


I'll mention this on the podcast next week also which may help amplify signal a bit. Maybe one of the mods could sidebar it?
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 12:44 PM on July 1 [7 favorites]


*crushes on FLT; not yet ready to enspousenate*
posted by infini at 12:52 PM on July 1


And I have one or two textile posts in the pipeline.

Aw yeah. It's gonna be a good month.
posted by Lexica at 12:52 PM on July 1


Come on, no thread shitting.
posted by Think_Long at 12:55 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]


And I'll offer myself as a reviewer of posts, should you wish to have someone review your ideas or post.

If anybody needs any help, I'm available too.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:00 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


I am for it!

And to the folks who are anxious about making FPPs - you know, my philosophy is just post it. Diversity of content on the front page is what makes Metafilter cool. Don't worry too much about some folks not liking it or whatever. Haters gonna hate. If you find something you think is cool or interesting, someone else here will like it too. A lot of my favorite posts here are weird little like three comment threads, often with just a link or two. The best posts to me are usually those posts about a thing I wouldn't find on my own, or hear about from somewhere else on the web. That's why I like this place so much.

I also think that like, we could maybe help encourage people who don't post much to post more by not aways having to drop in just to say you don't like something if you don't like it (hey, I'm guilty too, but I'm trying to be better). If you don't like it, just skip it you know?

Anyway, I'm sort of unemployed this month (not that employment ever stopped me from spending most of my time here but), so I look forward to reading all the posts by women (and especially women who don't post much or haven't posted before).
posted by Lutoslawski at 1:01 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


There is a certain irony in someone with the username cjorgensen doing this very thing.

Do you mean because of Christine Jorgensen? I'm proud to share the name (or even part of it). I understand your observation of irony, but it gives me a bit of vertigo. (The most common invocation of Christine in my history was as a means to make fun of me. Oh, high school, how I don't miss you!)

Also, it wasn't my intention to dissuade women from posting. I said this over and over again, and once it was pointed out my commentary was coming off like concern trolling, I bowed out.

I'd like to continue to do so, but it's difficult when I'm referenced by name.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:04 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


So. Thank you. Last night, I went to bed mulling over the reasons why I've considered myself someone-who-doesn't-make-posts. I wouldn't have done that (or bit the bullet today) without this prompt and this sense of support.

Happy July, everyone.
posted by mixedmetaphors at 1:11 PM on July 1 [9 favorites]


> Ditto, but with man parts

Do you even know what Meta you're posting in?
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:19 PM on July 1 [4 favorites]


insectosaurus: "I rarely comment on Mefi, I tend to write half a comment, overthink it, and then delete it. I believe that my socialization as a woman in general contributes to this, for what it's worth. So, I am going to try to comment more."

Oh man, me too. I am up for commenting more as well as posting in July.
posted by daisyk at 1:20 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


If anybody is looking for a topic for an FPP, maybe you can consider the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign? I would have posted about it already but I am friends with one of the organisers, so it would be against the self-linking guidelines. (Damn my honest leanings.) It's apropos of the idea behind #JulyByWomen, and there's lots of meat to dig into. Cuteness, too!
posted by daisyk at 1:32 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


I just posted about something I had been sure I had found in a Metafilter post, but having searched and searched, it seems that I had misremembered.

I've had some other post ideas that I haven't used because I've been too busy in school—but it's summer, so I've got no excuse now!
posted by ocherdraco at 1:38 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


WeNeedDiverseBooks is a great thing to blog about here.

You know, for me at least this campaign has already been successfull, because this is the liveliest the frontpage has looked in a long while. For a few months there, especially after the news of the financial situation broke, MeFi looked a bit listless and getting some new and interesting people posting does a lot to improve it.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:38 PM on July 1 [11 favorites]


I'd like to continue to do so, but it's difficult when I'm referenced by name.

Well, it's difficult as in "brains are itchy and impulse control can be tricky when temptation presents itself". It's not difficult as in "actually physically difficult to accomplish with the least modicum of focused effort".

You have any number of tools at your disposal to help you walk away from a thread; if you want to cleanly avoid the problem of being drawn back into commenting in a thread you've already belatedly acknowledged you should step away from, make that modicum of effort instead of reengaging for some reason to tell people why you're not not reengaging.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:38 PM on July 1 [10 favorites]


Ask and ye shall receive: Here is my GIS post for those who asked.

I was given the following warning:

The URLs you entered were not found in previous threads. However, other posts have used this tag within the past 3 days: julybywomen (17). You also might want to check the search page for duplicates, just to be sure.
posted by Michele in California at 1:40 PM on July 1 [11 favorites]


Challenge accepted! I think I even have a great topic idea if it hasn't been posted yet.

I don't have a gender in my profile because it's right there in the username that I picked when I was a mere 19 year old internet baby. I am a Woman of Metafilter and I think this is a great idea.
posted by muddgirl at 2:08 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


I feel weird sometimes posting so much about being nontraditionally gendered because my profile photo is so femme (also, so old) but at the moment my Flickr feed has a couple of photos of me in my more common biker dirtbag mode, so for once my profile provides a semi-accurate view of my gender/cuteness.
posted by Juliet Banana at 2:33 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


My crank reaction right now is just that I'm a little annoyed that there's too much good stuff on the front page on a day I don't have a lot of time to fuck around on MeFi. I hope that either this continues (just a deluge of good stuff so miss out equally) or that it gets spaced out a little more.

I do hope this helps get more 1) posts from ladies, and 2) ladies over the hump of worrying about a bunch of pissant grousing over FPPs and worries about deletions.
posted by klangklangston at 2:38 PM on July 1 [5 favorites]


I'm looking at the front page going "Who are all these new posters?" ... ;p
posted by infini at 3:20 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]


I'm a little annoyed that there's too much good stuff on the front page on a day I don't have a lot of time to fuck around on MeFi

Well, I for one intend to use this to get back into the habit of posting regularly, and I imagine I'm not alone.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:41 PM on July 1


cortex: "make that modicum of effort instead of reengaging for some reason to tell people why you're not not reengaging."

Well there's a big difference between allowing yourself to be drawn back in because someone replies to one of your previous comments (even if you leave a thread, your comments remain, and they're going to get discussed. Bowing out means recognizing this) and getting called out not for your comments but your very existence.

I mean, I don't think his comments have contributed anything positive to the thread, and I appreciate the bow-out. But after he bows out, making fun of him for his name, and then chiding him for just saying "I like Christine Jorgensen but people made fun of me by calling me Christine Jorgensen" seems...super super petty. "Now that you're gone we can make fun of you, and if you respond, even in a calm and friendly way, you're the bad guy"
posted by Bugbread at 3:55 PM on July 1 [9 favorites]


But, back on track: Hey, this is a good idea! And it's working! Huzzah!
posted by Bugbread at 3:55 PM on July 1


In case anyone else was also searching through for this, the folks who have offered draft help so far are: flex, jessamyn, rtha, divined by radio, infini, and filthy light thief.
posted by tchemgrrl at 4:12 PM on July 1


Also: martinwisse has offered to help folks with drafting.
posted by Michele in California at 4:17 PM on July 1


Just lovin' all the front page goodies so far. Thinking about this today, I realized that not only is this a great thing for Metafilter, it's also an action that could serve as an example for other community oriented websites. Best of the web, indeed.
posted by barchan at 4:21 PM on July 1


Thank you, Bugbread.

I do apologize for my participation in this thread. Not in the non-apology way people usually write these things. I am sorry—and I do regret—if you were offended (or even slightly annoyed) by anything I've written, but I am also sorry for my contributions that led to any derails or hurt feeling or discouragement. This wasn't my intention. I should have completely disengaged even prior to when I said I was going to. On a reread I was incredibly tone deaf (even after multiple polite suggestions I was being an ass). I do strive to be better. Please accept this as it was intended and if I transgressed in how I expressed my remorse I ask you to give me a "good faith" pass.

I think a lot of what I (and others) brought up is worth discussion. This wasn't the place for it. I feel like the bore that told someone blowing out their birthday candles won't make their wish come true just because they blew out candles.

Constructively suggesting ways to additionally address the underlying problem would have been a more positive step to take than questioning someone trying to do a good thing. To this end I especially apologize to viggorlijah.

I am disengaging. Feel free to respond to anything I said you feel is on topic. Please ignore anything that is a derail (including this apology). If you feel compelled to call me out personally then hit me up in memail.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:21 PM on July 1 [28 favorites]


This is one of the most welcome, practical, and positive initiatives I've ever seen on Metafilter.
posted by Rumple at 4:34 PM on July 1 [4 favorites]


The JulyByWomen tag already has 19 posts in it, including mine. This is only my 6th post (one was deleted) in the nearly 10 years since I signed up. My goal is to post at least one a week, which will double my total post count.
posted by muddgirl at 4:39 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


...aaaand it's 20 posts now. My first post! That was not too scary. Although my partner would like to know why I am sitting here flapping in anxiety at my computer about whether everyone will hate it. SETTLE DOWN, ME.
posted by Stacey at 4:46 PM on July 1 [21 favorites]


That post looks great!

It's only Day 1 and the bar is so high already. I was toying with something a couple of months ago but shelved it because I was afraid it wouldn't be that interesting (despite the fact that I previously had no qualms about posting a video of a kitten meeting a hedgehog...) This project has made me want to dig it out again. So for the people who have offered advice, what is the best way to go about that? To send an email explaining the basic outline or send the actual text, links etc?
posted by billiebee at 5:05 PM on July 1


On any given day, it's very likely that the best way you can contribute to the front page is by not posting to it, because you haven't found anything good. My thanks, as I have occasionally expressed in the past, to those who invisibly and unappreciatedly contribute to quality by refraining from adding quantity just so they can tick off their "post something to MetaFilter" box.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:13 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]


One of the things I've always enjoyed about Metafilter is that the gender of other folks you're talking with isn't known -- it's discoverable, if they've decided to disclose and you're interested -- but it's just not something that is front and center. It feels a little strange to me to focus on gender in this way, no matter how laudable the idea behind it.

But that's just me, and hell, one of my foundational ideas behind MefightClub was to create a safe and supportive environment for non-young-white-male gamers to hang out, so I'm down with the whole mission in general, I hope it's clear.

Ah well. More good posts by people of whatever gender (or race (whatever that means) or sexual orientation, or whatever) is an unalloyed good thing. Huzzah for more diversity of voices!

And it seems that recent and not-so-recent and ongoing Important Discussions about gender issues here means that as a community we're leaning more towards increased awareness of the personal attributes of other members (beyond just the words they use) as a thing to encourage one another to consider.

I don't think there's anything wrong with that, again. Just feels different from the way I normally approach participation here. And it's probably good for me to examine my own possibly reductive preference, in most cases, for not actually being all that curious about the gender or sexual orientation of people I'm talking with online, which I've always felt was a positive tendency that inclined me to interact with people just based on their words, but perhaps may not be quite so much entirely a good thing. Should it matter to me -- or should I approach a post to the blue differently -- if I know it's been posted by a woman? That's an interesting question for me, and one I guess I need to think about some more. In the past, the answer would have been 'no, I don't think so,' but it bears some consideration.

I hope that increased interesting posts by people from every group that doesn't generally post as much is the result of this challenge!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:16 PM on July 1 [7 favorites]


I'm sure all your bazillion posts are great and that women just post stupid crap for no reason. I mean, obviously.
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:17 PM on July 1 [8 favorites]


that was to wolfdog
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:17 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]


Fine, I'll craft a post once a fortnight instead, and catch up to Wolfdog's output of undoubtable 100% pure golden posts in another 10 years or so.
posted by muddgirl at 5:24 PM on July 1 [3 favorites]


stavrosthewonderchicken: "One of the things I've always enjoyed about Metafilter is that the gender of other folks you're talking with isn't known -- it's discoverable, if they've decided to disclose and you're interested -- but it's just not something that is front and center. It feels a little strange to me to focus on gender in this way, no matter how laudable the idea behind it."

Well, keep in mind, women can post without using the tag, so the only time you'll discover the gender of the poster is if they've decided to disclose their gender by using the tag, and you're interested enough to check the tags (I've never actually looked at any tags on posts unless someone has made a comment like "funny tag"). So it's basically the same situation.
posted by Bugbread at 5:38 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]


stavrosthewonderchicken, when I was crunching the numbers to figure out how many women posted FPPs, there were a bunch of times I couldn't figure out someone's gender from their posts and it was DELIGHTFUL. I mean that unironically in the fullest. I am very clearly female from my askme and mefi posts in general - I talk about being female a lot but it was so neat and reassuring in a "gender is part of us but not all of us way" to find that people I liked and read on mefi were just people as well, and that their rich and varied lives online did not have to include gender or be viewed through gender. I was surprised by a couple of people I had mentally coded as women who turned out to be men and vice versa too.

That's one very strong reason why this should only be a July project, which is a blip in the history of the site. Metafilter can and increasingly does work really well with diversity.
posted by viggorlijah at 5:39 PM on July 1 [5 favorites]


I am a woman who probably* won't be posting in July because of this (not that I necessarily would have posted, I don't post all that often).

It was cool when Metafilter wanted my posts because I'm a person who posted interesting things. This encouragement to get me to post because of some accident of biology just seems weird and othering to me.

I hope everyone else has fun.

*I mean, this isn't Hobby Lobby or Chick-fil-A, if I find something super awesome that I feel like sharing and commenting on my boycott-fu won't be all that strong, but I won't be posting because of my vagina (or other identifiers of gender)
posted by sparklemotion at 5:46 PM on July 1 [5 favorites]


sparklemotion: "I am a woman who probably* won't be posting in July because of this"

Just don't use the tag, then. Nobody will know you're a woman unless they go through to your user page, or if they remember you stating your gender some other time. The same as it was in June, and May, and...and...and...
posted by Bugbread at 5:50 PM on July 1 [12 favorites]


I don't see it as an encouragement to post because of an accident of biology, but because of a fact of culture. I definitely feel like I don't post very often because I have nothing interesting to share. But obviously that's not true. I have tons of interesting things to share that other Mefites will be interested in. So why don't I share it? Not because of biology, that's certainly true.

So if you are a person who doesn't feel that way, great. Congratulations.
posted by muddgirl at 5:53 PM on July 1 [15 favorites]


It was cool when Metafilter wanted my posts because I'm a person who posted interesting things. This encouragement to get me to post because of some accident of biology just seems weird and othering to me.

I'm sorry it feels that way to you. It feels exactly the opposite way to a lot of other women, judging by the comments in this thread. I hope that if you run across something post-worthy, you'll post it anyway. As others have pointed out, you are not required to use the tag.
posted by rtha at 6:01 PM on July 1 [12 favorites]


Eh, I am okay with it because I am someone who constantly sits up front and winds up being a lightening rod for controversy and criticism for my failure to be adequately coy. If some of the gals inclined to sit in the back and be timid need a little help and encouragement to step up and sit up front, I welcome the cover that will provide in terms of helping me stick out less like a sore thumb.

That may sound weird coming from someone who had only two FPP's until today but I actually posted an FPP to the blue shortly after arriving and it was promptly deleted. Then I ran into my usual firestorm of unwanted, negative attention elsewhere on the site and made a conscious decision to try to fit in better first before venturing forth again.

I have probably the second highest karma of known openly female members of Hacker News (a much more serious boyzone than MeFi is) and I realized today that the woman in the number one slot was banned some months ago. So that likely means I have the highest karma of any actively participating female member of Hacker News. I have reason to believe my obliviousness -- my sense that it does not matter what my gender is, I can do what I want -- is part of why I raise so many hackles. It took me a long, long time to understand that part of my issue on Hacker News was that I was prominent for a woman, in spite of being nowhere near prominent enough to qualify for the leaderboard, and thus my "ballsy" behavior was making all kinds of waves. (I had to accidentally trip across data suggesting that, in spite of my low karma score, it was quite high for a woman. This is not at all obvious from the way the forum works.)

Having had some really negative experiences for failing to be adequately meek for a woman, I have a great deal more sympathy for why so many women do sit in the back and try to not call attention to themselves. But, if only for selfish reasons, I would like to encourage more women to sit up front so I can relax and be myself a bit more without it being such a constant shitstorm of accusations that I am egomaniacal and crap like that.
posted by Michele in California at 6:03 PM on July 1 [3 favorites]


It does seem weird in the sense that this is seemingly turning a general interest site into one for political or social action, which is not why I personally come to Metafilter.

But it's also weird that people feel that making a post is a hugely overwhelming act and are intimidated to do so. Just make the post and move on.

The platypus is also weird. I have no point other this seems odd, but it's not like anyone is clamoring for roasted testicles or that men only sit at the back of the ooh something shiny
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:12 PM on July 1 [3 favorites]


I have been having a hard time coming up with a well-articulated comment for a while and I'm probably going to make a hash of it again but here goes:

I obviously don't speak for sparklemotion and maryr, but I personally think that their comments in this thread are valuable because they demonstrate that different (female) mefites have different reactions to the idea of #JulyByWomen. I think it's worthwhile to show that not everyone's response is 100% positive, not because there is something wrong or bad about the idea of #JulyByWomen but because mefites aren't a monolithic entity.

I have struggled to come up with a way to make a thoughtful comment indicating that I'm not completely onboard with the idea but not wanting to antagonize other people either. I guess I'm not sure how to politely express disagreement, or where I'm supposed to do it if not in this thread. (I know we had another MetaTalk this week where someone was called out for saying something negative in a thread that was supposed to be congratulatory, and I understood where that was coming from; but I'm not sure if this thread is one with room for negativity or not.) I for one don't read sparklemotion's comment as dismissive, more just like she is stating that she has a different reaction to the idea of #JulyByWomen from the majority, but then I see a comment like muddgirl's second paragraph and understand that people could read it that way.

I really don't want to cause drama for its own sake or call out specific people but I feel like the overall message of this thread is if #JulyforWomen doesn't work for you then you are Doing It Wrong and that frustrates me since the whole idea (insofar as I understand it) is for women to feel more comfortable speaking their minds here, and I'm spending lots of time worrying that I am going to get backlash for doing so. I don't want to derail the whole topic to make it all about me and my feelings, and it's cool if the thread moves on and doesn't respond to me, but I wanted to say this since it's been on my mind. I really am glad that it's working really well for a lot of people; but I am sad that my main takeaway from this thread is guilt that it doesn't work for me.
posted by mlle valentine at 6:14 PM on July 1 [11 favorites]


It does seem weird in the sense that this is seemingly turning a general interest site into one for political or social action

The vast majority of posts made to the JulyforWomen tag seem like general interest topics to me.

but I feel like the overall message of this thread is if #JulyforWomen doesn't work for you then you are Doing It Wrong

I obviously disagree. I think the overall message is that if it doesn't work for you, then ignore it. Don't post to the tag and don't seek out posts made by that tag. Personally, I really dislike the December Best Post contest for a variety of reasons, so every December I ignore it. If it's difficult to ignore, then maybe we can come up with a way to help people ignore it. Maybe a Greasemonkey script to strip out that tag?
posted by muddgirl at 6:20 PM on July 1 [7 favorites]


Well, if it doesn't work for you, don't participate. I'm happy to see that there are so many people who have such an easy time posting FPPs. Fantastic. Awesome. Post away as you normally would. That's said with zero sarcasm. I'm glad that it's easy for you.

But if some women would like the encouragement, why shit on that? I don't get the need to say that it doesn't work for everyone, as if that's proof of some flaw in the project. Especially the guys saying they don't get it. That's okay. No one's trying to fix all gender issues forever. It's okay to not be onboard with this. This isn't some major site policy change. We've had posting contest months that didn't get nearly this level of pushback.

I'm not participating in the FanFare-organized rewatching of horror movies. Not my thing. Doesn't work for me. No interest. So I'm not even reading the threads, much less commenting in them. And I definitely don't feel any guilt about that.
posted by gingerbeer at 6:24 PM on July 1 [9 favorites]


mlle valentine: "I feel like the overall message of this thread is if #JulyforWomen doesn't work for you then you are Doing It Wrong and that frustrates me since the whole idea (insofar as I understand it) is for women to feel more comfortable speaking their minds here, and I'm spending lots of time worrying that I am going to get backlash for doing so. I don't want to derail the whole topic to make it all about me and my feelings, and it's cool if the thread moves on and doesn't respond to me, but I wanted to say this since it's been on my mind. I really am glad that it's working really well for a lot of people; but I am sad that my main takeaway from this thread is guilt that it doesn't work for me."

If it helps: whatever you are doing is right for you and I am okay with that. The tag is not obligatory. Participate if you want, not if you don't; post if you want, not if you don't; identify yourself as female in your profile, not if you don't. Some women are enjoying taking part in this, and others aren't. That is a-100%-okay. This is not an exercise in solidarity, it's an exercise in permission and support.

At least, that's my take on it.
posted by gingerest at 6:24 PM on July 1 [3 favorites]


When I said "I hope everyone else has fun." I was being completely sincere. I didn't comment meaning to discourage people from participating, I just wanted it to be another voice to make it clear that that #notallwomen need or want something like this to feel like we are full members of the community.

Obviously, more good posts is a good thing for Metafilter, but there's nothing about this place that should have made these posts any less likely to appear in June (or August).
posted by sparklemotion at 6:25 PM on July 1


I for one have no objection to reading the posts that people make with the tag, and I definitely don't want a script to strip it out. I would like to discuss how I feel about it as a policy (initiative?). If this isn't the right place, or if there is no right place, then I understand. I really really don't want to shit on other people's parade; sorry if I wasn't clear about that. I'm stepping out now.
posted by mlle valentine at 6:26 PM on July 1


Just one last note: I don't have an easy time posting FPPs at all, so that is not the perspective I'm approaching it from.
posted by mlle valentine at 6:27 PM on July 1


I saw this post, thought "this is an awesome idea," then saw it had over 300 comments and thought "oh damn it caused a shitstorm," then scrolled to the bottom to find that over 20 women have already used a new tag designed to get more women to post to the front page.

If there was a shitstorm somewhere above between those two experiences, please don't tell me yet. Because I'm really enjoying the "awesome idea" part right now.
posted by mediareport at 6:28 PM on July 1 [5 favorites]


(BTW, sparklemotion, I hope you'll reconsider and post if something moves you to post. You really truly don't have to use the tag just because of your biology.)
posted by gingerest at 6:29 PM on July 1


mlle valentine wrote a really thoughtful comment describing her feelings about this venture. I think it's kind of mean to describe her comment as shitting on the experiment.
posted by lalex at 6:33 PM on July 1 [10 favorites]


(To be clear, I haven't read the vast majority of this thread yet, so can't be describing any specific comments in it.)
posted by mediareport at 6:34 PM on July 1


lalex, who described her comment that way?
posted by ocherdraco at 6:35 PM on July 1


ocherdraco: "lalex, who described her comment that way?"

gingerbeer: "But if some women would like the encouragement, why shit on that?"
posted by Bugbread at 6:36 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]



Well, if it doesn't work for you, don't participate. I'm happy to see that there are so many people who have such an easy time posting FPPs. Fantastic. Awesome. Post away as you normally would. That's said with zero sarcasm. I'm glad that it's easy for you.

But if some women would like the encouragement, why shit on that? I don't get the need to say that it doesn't work for everyone, as if that's proof of some flaw in the project. Especially the guys saying they don't get it. That's okay. No one's trying to fix all gender issues forever. It's okay to not be onboard with this. This isn't some major site policy change. We've had posting contest months that didn't get nearly this level of pushback.


Agreed. I'm a woman who feels comfortable making FPPs, even about controversial topics, and commenting on whatever I want. Actually, I feel better about it here than in real life, where totally liberal otherwise totally cool men I know (and some women) respond to any complaint about sexism or harassment or etc with some sort of "but the men must bay at the women and pound their chests because something something animals on the savannah, I am astounded you would question biology in this way" and here there's less of that and much more informed responses.

I was totally surprised and bummed that other women didn't feel that way, and think this is an awesome way to encourage more participation for women. Not to solve all problems, not to end sexism forever, not to make Metafilter an "issues" site, not to force all women to use the tag.

I thought viggorlijah did an excellent job of making this feel relaxed, fun, and inclusive so don't get the pushback at all. This isn't something I needed in order to feel comfortable posting, but I'm really happy it's here and I support it because I'm part of the community and don't want anyone to feel like they're only allowed to read along silently for any reason.
posted by sweetkid at 6:37 PM on July 1 [4 favorites]


One huge personal upside of this us that I'm definitely reading more fpps (as in, clicking through to the more inside as well as clicking through the links) AND leaving a comment like "loved this, thanks!"

I know that I do a thing where I don't leave "loved this, thanks!" on enough posts, and that's stupid, because of the fpps I've made, I have a special place for the ones that mostly get comments like that. I will get me into the habit of actually saying "loved this, thanks!" when I read a post that gives me that feeling and stop assuming their authors will psychically discern my mental high-five.
posted by rtha at 6:42 PM on July 1 [14 favorites]


You are all uniformly awesome, and this is a fantastic idea whose time has come. That is all.
posted by Mooski at 6:43 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]


"lalex, who described her comment that way?"

That is the way I read this comment, which asks mlle valentine why she is shitting on this project, and why she doesn't just stay silent if she disagrees with this particular MeTa.

I happen to like and appreciate this project, but if we're talking about letting women's voices be heard then I think it's kind of crappy to shut down mlle valentine like this. Isn't her voice worthy of being taken seriously?
posted by lalex at 6:46 PM on July 1 [9 favorites]


I prefer a MeFi where everyone doesn't agree (because every person is unique and will bring a unique perspective to the table, IMO) so I think that respectful disagreement is fine - actually, it's necessary and useful - because it can't be a dialogue if everyone is saying the same thing, and there's really not much to learn in that instance, either.

You explain why it doesn't work for you, and I'll explain why it works for me. We'll both get a better sense of where each other is coming from, and anyone reading will get some understanding of the different perspectives and use our comments to get a better sense of how they feel about it. At some point later on I'll be the one explaining why it doesn't work for me, and I would hope not to get piled-on or yelled at or dismissed out-of-hand because I'm not totally on board everyone else's parade (and this has happened to me plenty of times, and it sucks, so I try super-hard not to do it to anyone else).

I have already seen members I know are women make FPPs today without using the tag. Great! I have also seen a flood of interesting posts by women using the tag, some of whom have expressed it's their first time posting, or that they rarely post and were compelled to do so by this team effort. Also great! And I love seeing people enthusiastic with their feedback because they know it encourages new voices to speak up.

Not every idea will work for every person. That's okay by me. I also feel I understand wanting to be perceived & valued as simply as a person and/or simply on the merit of my contributions. That's valid - all too valid.

I end up coming down on the side of supporting this idea because it acknowledges some societal imbalances & standards that likely affect hearing more voices & more diverse voices - I think it is a benefit to the community if we find ways to support & encourage those voices in participating. But I think the voices that thoughtfully disagree are valuable as well - I am glad to see them share their thoughts, and I acknowledge & understand the effort it takes to swim against the perceived tide in order to express their serious, honest opinions.
posted by flex at 6:48 PM on July 1 [16 favorites]


I just wanted it to be another voice to make it clear that that #notallwomen need or want something like this to feel like we are full members of the community.

I guess my confusion comes from the idea that anyone would claim that all women need or want something like this to feel like full members of the community? Did someone imply that?

Personally, I've always felt like a full member of the community*, even though I only had 4 posts in 10 years. I don't think posting is the only way that people contribute to the community. But it's certainly one huge way to contribute and if there are women (like me) that want to contribute but feel unsure or blocked for some reason, vocal encouragement seems like a net-positive way to increase participation in that particular way, and thereby improve Metafilter by increasing the number of people sharing web content they are interested in.

*Well, OK, there used to be a pretty strong anti-noob bias before we $5 noobs became the rule rather than the exception, but that was a long time ago.
posted by muddgirl at 6:53 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]


As someone who was encouraged to post by this initiative, I have no problem at all with the more recent posts, and don't feel at all as if anyone's shitting on the project or being crappy about it or anything. I'm interested in these viewpoints and have some points of agreement with them even if my overall take is quite different. This thread seems like a totally reasonable space to have this discussion.
posted by Stacey at 6:54 PM on July 1 [5 favorites]


I saw this post last night right before bed, thought it was a good idea, then promptly forgot about it until my lunch break today when I checked Metafilter and it took a moment to realize why the front page looked so fresh and interesting. Many thanks to viggorlijah, all the posters today and all the posters to come. This is truly awesome.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 6:54 PM on July 1 [5 favorites]


Actually, I 100% get sparklemotion's feelings on this even though I like the idea now. That was me– a while ago. I would hate hate hate being reminded that woman is "other" even in intentionally positive situations. But, after this spring of the war on women, I want to do battle from the other side, and that means identifying as woman. If the Supreme Court is going to treat me as other, I'm going to own it and push back. (yeah, ok, still hate that half the population is other but what else can I do?! there's nothing left but to own it!)
posted by bobobox at 7:09 PM on July 1 [8 favorites]


This bit of the conversation is really interesting and valuable to me, because 99% of the time I am the one who gets uncomfortable with getting lumped in due to an accident of biology, as sparkle motion put it (as it was I almost almost didn't use the tag.)

For me, what worked in this case was the combination of stats and really specific encouragement to non-posters that got me to participate. Like, I can't figure out why most deletions happen but I also thought they led to banning which is apparently totally wrong! So that kept me feeling like there were community guidelines I was missing, and was happy to lurk. I can't usually be shut up, but without the info in this thread I probably never would have posted on the blue, and it's been really fun to share that energy with a bunch of other folks who don't post much. For me personally, "JulyForFirstTimers" would have just been just as effective, and may also have increased the number of female posters. I really hope that no one is feeling pushed out because a bunch of people saw this post and said "Hey, now that you mention it...."
posted by tchemgrrl at 7:14 PM on July 1 [5 favorites]


If it's difficult to ignore, then maybe we can come up with a way to help people ignore it. Maybe a Greasemonkey script to strip out that tag?

"My Mefi is a space to filter the front page to those posts you find most interesting. You can get started by visiting your My MeFi preferences and choosing your favorite MetaFilter tags."

It also has a function to mark tags for exclusion, after which posts with the excluded tags will not appear.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:16 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]


the man of twists and turns, I don't think the idea is to hide the posts themselves, but the tags. To see the posts as normal posts, and not as part of the initiative.
posted by Bugbread at 7:19 PM on July 1


Some people hew much more closely than I do to the thing about how on the internet no one knows you're a whatever - for me, I feel pretty meh about declarations of disinterest or deliberate ignorance of other peoples' genders/races/orientations/etc. because in my experience, usually when someone tells me they "don't see" race/gender/etc. that means they conveniently erase my race/gender/etc. (usually when it's most convenient for them, of course). Those things - the race, the gender, the etc. - are things that people usually don't want me to forget about when they matter to them, so my pushback is to never, ever let it be put in the background on someone else's terms. I get to choose when they are or are not irrelevant, and no one else.

Which is to say, if anyone is feeling squicky about this project and wants to make a post and not use the tag, don't use the damn tag, and it's totally fine to also not say that you are a woman who is making a post in July and not using the tag. Just post. This is totally opt-in.
posted by rtha at 7:23 PM on July 1 [13 favorites]


rtha: "it's totally fine to also not say that you are a woman who is making a post in July and not using the tag."

Wait, do you mean "it's totally fine to not say that you are not using the tag (but it's also totally fine to say that you're not using the tag)" or do you mean "it's totally fine to not say that you are not using the tag. It is not totally fine to say that you are not using the tag."?

Like, when you say "fine not to" do you mean "either way's cool" or is it just a circuitous way of saying "don't do the other thing"?
posted by Bugbread at 7:32 PM on July 1


If it's difficult to ignore, then maybe we can come up with a way to help people ignore it. Maybe a Greasemonkey script to strip out that tag?

If you use the mobile interface you don't see tags.
posted by gingerest at 7:34 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


Like, when you say "fine not to" do you mean "either way's cool" or is it just a circuitous way of saying "don't do the other thing"?

I mean, if you don't want to use the tag, don't, and also don't feel like you have to announce that you are not using the tag (even though you could!). Possibly it wouldn't occur to anyone to do that. But sometimes people go into posts about something that doesn't interest them just to declare the subject doesn't interest them, so it's not out of the realm of possibilities.
posted by rtha at 7:40 PM on July 1 [3 favorites]


I feel pretty meh about declarations of disinterest or deliberate ignorance of other peoples' genders/races/orientations/etc. because in my experience, usually when someone tells me they "don't see" race/gender/etc. that means they conveniently erase my race/gender/etc. (usually when it's most convenient for them, of course). Those things - the race, the gender, the etc. - are things that people usually don't want me to forget about when they matter to them, so my pushback is to never, ever let it be put in the background on someone else's terms. I get to choose when they are or are not irrelevant, and no one else.

I'm not sure if you're responding in any way directly to my comments upthread, but this is an interesting (and, I'll admit, a little difficult-to-understand, at least until I think about it some more) point of view. I guess the perspective I am accustomed to is one in which I have trouble getting my head around the value of foregrounding things like race and gender in online discussions which aren't explicitly about race or gender (for example). It seems to me like it might be a practice or standpoint that might increase an atmosphere of divisiveness and acrimony rather than the opposite. It probably comes out of my long-ago utopian internet-dog dreaming, the last shreds of which I still unconsciously cling to, I think. Which is a failing, if that's what it is, on my part alone, of course.

I also understand that as a middle-class middle-aged white straight male, it's probably disappointingly predictable that that's the way I'm accustomed to thinking about it. Of course I don't see as much upside in keeping my gender/race/orientation up front, because I'm part of the (well-intentioned, but that's not really worth much) majority in most places online. So yeah, I guess I personally need to mull over my assumptions some more.

I'm talking about myself here, which I always do, and I know some people dislike in discussions of this kind, but: that's the only thing I really know about, and even then not as well as I might, so. Anyway, I appreciate the gentle pushback.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:40 PM on July 1 [11 favorites]


Am I the only one who basically never ever looks at tags anyway?
posted by Think_Long at 7:40 PM on July 1 [9 favorites]


It would be deeply grody if there were any pushback on women who posted in July and chose not to use the tag #julybywomen. Because it is essentially about visibility.

Like the offers to draft support for FPPs - sure, I sort of know I can run a potential FPP past the mods to get feedback, and some members have offered previously. But that feels like a Giant Obstacle when you have no experience with the mods or those other members, and women online often have a lot of negative experience that dissuades them from participating. Now, seeing other women speak up and a visible list of FPPs on different subjects and a thread with lots of people chiming in - that's a big and welcoming path with reassurances by other women that they will not get the usual online blowback.

I would like to add that I ran the first draft of this past the mods and LobsterMitten in particular helped rework it into a much happier post. My first instinct was a more hedging post that pre-emptively argued because I was expecting negative blowback. When they suggested trying a more upbeat approach, because I have had some communication with the mods over other issues and liked how they handled difficult stuff, I took a deep breath and said okay.

So thanks to them and to everyone participating because there have been thoughtful and considered discussions. I hope mlle valentine's questions are considered because she raises some really good points.
posted by viggorlijah at 7:42 PM on July 1 [7 favorites]


I don't look at tabs very often at all. I think encouragement to post is a good thing. I don't think the tab is going to change the mods minds about whether the post is a good match for Metafilter. I very much identify with what bobobox said about the 'othering' thing and also about standing up and letting your voice be heard. If I see something worth posting I will.
posted by h00py at 7:42 PM on July 1


stavrosthewonderchicken, I think the idea here is to encourage women to feel more comfortable with posting here – hopefully with some carry-over beyond July – not that you need to pay more attention to people's gender as a reader.
posted by nangar at 7:52 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


stavros - not a response, exactly, no, though your comment did send my brain off on a musing sort of tumble that informed that comment, so thank you! I didn't (and don't) intend to indict you or what you said at all - it was a springboard.

I guess the perspective I am accustomed to is one in which I have trouble getting my head around the value of foregrounding things like race and gender in online discussions which aren't explicitly about race or gender (for example).

I totally understand this...and that lack of foregrounding something I've rarely had room to really experience. This of course will not be true for every woman or person of color or non-heterosexual person (it feels weird to have to be that explicit but there you are). In my experience, pretty much everyone has a "generic person" template they default to when they don't have exact cues or knowledge of that person's race/gender/etc., and that default will pretty much always match whatever your race/gender/etc. characteristics are especially if yours are of the unmarked (i.e. male, and in North America, white) categories. That "default" gets projected onto me if my gender etc. are unclear, and the assumptions that come from that are often so wrong. So very wrong.

I hope this clarifies things. If not, I'm more than happy to chat with you via memail.
posted by rtha at 7:57 PM on July 1 [5 favorites]


All good!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:07 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


Sweet!
posted by rtha at 8:10 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]


I guess the perspective I am accustomed to is one in which I have trouble getting my head around the value of foregrounding things like race and gender in online discussions which aren't explicitly about race or gender (for example).

It might feel to you like race and gender aren't being foreground in discussion because your race and gender are considered normative within those discussions/the world. Those same discussions and that same world might feel like they have a very strong subtext and often explicit text concerning your race and gender if your race and/or gender are considered non-normative within them.

As a data point, even if I "can" forget other people's gender or race or other attribute in discussion, I rarely/never feel like I can forget mine. That might not be a universal problem, but it doesn't seem like it's that uncommon either.

I second rtha's "meh" feeling toward "I'm colorblind" type statements. Erasing aspects of identity that have a huge impact on my life isn't really doing anything to deconstruct what's normative within a discussion or a culture or the world -- to me, it feels more like it's reinforcing it. I doubt that that's what anyone means to do (in fact, probably the opposite), but that's why those kinds of statements rub me, personally, a bit the wrong way.

Systemic oppression is tough because becoming more aware of it is painful because it's so easy to see how much it warps things or how pervasive it is and it's so hard to know how to respond to it in a way that's constructive and not complicit but allows you to live in the actual world as it is and with at least some level of contentment. So that's where any internal pushback I feel about this project comes from -- by a teeny tiny notch, it raises my awareness of systemic oppression that shapes even the behavior of many women (including me) and leaves women effectively silenced, and even that teeny tiny notch of greater awareness hurts. But guess what -- I can do something manageable and concrete to change my behavior (ie, I can post a FPP) to decrease the effects of systemic oppression by that teeny tiny notch. And yeah, it's not curing cancer, but it's rare for even a small problem to have such an elegant and easy solution and I love that viggorlijah thought of it.

It's completely OK with me if some people who felt their pain increase with increased awareness/explicit discussion about women being vastly underrepresented in terms of starting conversations on-site via posting FPPs and how that might be a consequence of cultural misogyny and feminine "ideals," are pissed and/or feel singled-out and other-ed, and don't think that the increase in pain can be outweighed by the initiative. Or if they have another reason for it leaving a bad taste in their mouth. *shrug* Everybody's got a different perspective. But I *would* like to understand that perspective better? Aside from the idea of this other-ing women (which I think I do understand (?) -- thanks for the eloquent comments explaining that, especially sparklemotion and mlle valentine), I'm not really understanding where the distaste is coming from? And I preface that question the way I do because I really am not trying to attack or say you're wrong before understanding your viewpoint(s), I honestly am wondering if people who feel this way could explain their distaste more?
posted by rue72 at 8:12 PM on July 1 [7 favorites]


As a data point, even if I "can" forget other people's gender or race or other attribute in discussion, I rarely/never feel like I can forget mine. That might not be a universal problem, but it doesn't seem like it's that uncommon either.

I agree wholeheartedly with this.

And also I just made my first FPP, thanks to this thread -- so thank you, viggorlijah! You gave me the push I needed.
posted by Ragini at 8:22 PM on July 1 [11 favorites]


As a data point, even if I "can" forget other people's gender or race or other attribute in discussion, I rarely/never feel like I can forget mine. That might not be a universal problem, but it doesn't seem like it's that uncommon either.

I think I do get that -- as a member of a whole nexus of privileged (however we want to define 'privileged') groups, it's trivially easy for me to pretend that it's not important and that we're all dogs-on-the-internet, but it's nothing like the same experience for people who belong to less privileged groups when they're constantly fighting upstream against societal pressure and unspoken assumptions (even if those exclusionary norms are thankfully eroding these days, to some extent).

This kind of thing is why I've been at MeFi all these years and continue to spend so much time here, to honest: there are an enormous number of ideas and issues over the years that through listening to people here (and occasionally fighting with them a bit) I've been able to gain a way more nuanced understanding of. So for my part at least, I do very much appreciate the discussion.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:29 PM on July 1 [11 favorites]


I like this feeling of being pleasantly overwhelmed by so many FPPs. I hope people who have been motivated to post more or post for the first time will continue to contribute. It makes this place better for everyone.
posted by MoonOrb at 8:37 PM on July 1


MoonOrb: "I like this feeling of being pleasantly overwhelmed by so many FPPs."

Yeah, I'm starting to get worried about pacing. I hope JulyByWomen doesn't become FirstWeekOfJulyByWomen. I mean, that's still a big improvement over status quo, but I feel like a whole month of posts would result in more interesting discussions.
posted by Bugbread at 8:44 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


I like this feeling of being pleasantly overwhelmed by so many FPPs. I hope people who have been motivated to post more or post for the first time will continue to contribute. It makes this place better for everyone.

Yeah, if this makes people, even people who don't identify as women, make posts they might not have because they were nervous about how they'd be received, then I'm happy about that.
posted by sweetkid at 8:49 PM on July 1


(Also, am I the only one who keeps seeing "#JulyByWomen project" up in the tab of their browser and unconsciously reading "July" as homophonous with "Julie"?)
posted by Bugbread at 8:49 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]


stavrosthewonderchicken, thanks for saying that.

Also, every time I see your username I remember the Giant Metal Chicken thread and it makes me chuckle. Or cluck. Cluckle?
posted by futz at 9:39 PM on July 1


I hope JulyByWomen doesn't become FirstWeekOfJulyByWomen. I mean, that's still a big improvement over status quo, but I feel like a whole month of posts would result in more interesting discussions.

FFS, it is July 1. It's a little early to pre-doom the project, isn't it?
posted by Lexica at 10:02 PM on July 1 [6 favorites]


It is July 2nd where I am. We are DOOMED.
posted by futz at 10:26 PM on July 1


Blah, sorry. I was going to wait longer to make a post, but I'd been mulling over what I wanted to do since I read this thread and then I started sourcing links from all over the web and cultivating the post AND THEN I wanted to preview in MeFi what it would like like and just like that (four hours later) it was ready to be posted.

I was conscious of the number of posts already made and I already feel bad for posting it so soon (I actually have to stop myself from typing "i'm sorry" here - for what??).

SO much anxiety for first post evah and also sweaty armpits. Good times! (Ps. I hope you like my post and now I will refrain from having verbal diarrhea via keyboard.)
posted by liquorice at 10:27 PM on July 1 [4 favorites]


Lexica: " It's a little early to pre-doom the project, isn't it?"

Yeah, that's why I'm not dooming it, just worrying. But, you know, early is when you worry about pacing. You don't get worried about a marathon runner's pacing during the last kilometer, you worry during the first kilometer.

(And, yeah, July 2 where I am, too)

liquorice: "I already feel bad for posting it so soon"

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make anyone feel bad for posting early. Me worrying ≠ me saying anyone is bad for posting right away.
posted by Bugbread at 10:30 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]


Oh no, not you, I hadn't even checked in on the most recent comments in this thread when I posted it. I was just feeling bad because I saw that there were many very good posts already on the front page and didn't want to push them further down.

Also, yes, god, it's just dawning on me that it's still July 1 in America. Well, it's a really good start out the gate, regardless.
posted by liquorice at 10:33 PM on July 1


OK, I see now that this is not about posts by women, but about women posting. Great party.
posted by dmh at 10:35 PM on July 1


Don't worry, Bugbread, I'm already procrastinating, so there's one post or possibly more that will come ... later. In July for sure, though.
posted by gingerest at 10:44 PM on July 1 [3 favorites]


But it's also weird that people feel that making a post is a hugely overwhelming act and are intimidated to do so. Just make the post and move on.

It boggles my mind periodically that people are in denial that this place goes so far as to have a rep on the Internet as intimidating.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 11:45 PM on July 1 [4 favorites]


Am I the only one who basically never ever looks at tags anyway?
posted by Think_Long at 10:40 PM on July 1 [4 favorites +] [!]


Nope, you're not alone there. I never look at tags. I just try to take it all in.
posted by disclaimer at 11:54 PM on July 1


save alive nothing that breatheth: "It boggles my mind periodically that people are in denial that this place goes so far as to have a rep on the Internet as intimidating."

Wait, really? I'm not surprised that it has that reputation among MeFites, but you're saying even non-Mefites have that image? I'm not in denial, I'd just never heard that before and am really surprised.
posted by Bugbread at 11:55 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]


"Some people hew much more closely than I do to the thing about how on the internet no one knows you're a whatever - for me, I feel pretty meh about declarations of disinterest or deliberate ignorance of other peoples' genders/races/orientations/etc. because in my experience, usually when someone tells me they "don't see" race/gender/etc. that means they conveniently erase my race/gender/etc. (usually when it's most convenient for them, of course). Those things - the race, the gender, the etc. - are things that people usually don't want me to forget about when they matter to them, so my pushback is to never, ever let it be put in the background on someone else's terms. I get to choose when they are or are not irrelevant, and no one else."

For me, in the ideal it ends up being a lot like geography. You can't control where you're born, people in different places have different priorities and cultures, and you can distinguish both subgroups and individuals within locations as different from the overall group. I don't expect someone from Indianapolis to have the same opinion on ethanol as someone from downstate Indiana, but I might expect both of them to give a closer view than someone from New York.

We all also know that there are a few cranks and assholes from any given place — New York's again a great example, in that there are significant minority of New Yorkers who can make any topic about New York, but in a way knowing that they're from there is better than not. Think about pizza opinions: I trust New Yorkers a lot more on what makes a decent slice than on what makes a great deep dish, but there are still going to be New Yorkers who order Papa John's despite it being demonstrably worse than every other pie outside of middle school and prison cafeterias.

I don't want to turn an analogy into a taffy pull, and there are some pretty obvious flaws in this, but I think it gets close to the 'matters except when it doesn't' notion that I try to bring to race and gender.
posted by klangklangston at 12:02 AM on July 2


I'm not surprised that it has that reputation among MeFites, but you're saying even non-Mefites have that image?

Yep. Can't say as I've discussed it at length specifically, but when it's been mentioned in passing...
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 12:47 AM on July 2


Mods: on the MetaFilter homepage sideblog, could there be an entry please for this? Containing a link to the tag search, and a link to this MetaTalk for explanation. Thank you.
posted by Wordshore at 1:26 AM on July 2 [2 favorites]


Hey, I added it before I saw your request, Wordshore (Best Of and sideblog), but I didn't include a link to the hashtag. I'm not 100% sure about that... I think it's cool and handy to have the hashtag, but I hesitate to do a mod-thing that seems like "hey, look at these posts in isolation from the whole slate of great front page posts." Willing to be persuaded, but I kind of feel like the point is that great posts by women should be a normal, typical and integrated thing, and this project is trying to promote that.
posted by taz (staff) at 1:38 AM on July 2 [3 favorites]


Taz; thank you for the addition. Would it be persuasive to note that, to see the sideblog entry a reader would already be on the home page so they'd have all of the great front page posts on the same screen, in front of them, in a more prominent position and text size? A link to the hashtag merely acts as an optional filter for all of the posts they can already see, browse, read?

This project is also by its nature and name a temporary (July) and not a permanent feature, so in less than a month now new posts with this tag would stop. In addition, the entry on the sideblog would eventually be moved down as newer entries were included, so that's more temporary-ness (sorry, on only first coffee of the day here) and not a permanent thing.

To use the Mario Kart analogy (sweary), this would merely be a temporary (but useful) speed booster for the authors of these posts, and not a banana skin thrown down to hinder posts not carrying it. Overall, I do not believe that having a link to the hashtag would significantly reduce the readership of posts not carrying it.
posted by Wordshore at 2:00 AM on July 2


I think taz's reasoning makes sense. Doing a search for the tag is quick way to get a count of how many posts there've been with the tag so far, but filtering by it makes less sense.
posted by nangar at 2:19 AM on July 2


I can't get my partner over here because of the intimidating rep MeFi has on other sites where he spends time. Partly, he says he'd be afraid to post anything without getting yelled at for being unintentionally racist or sexist or something. I confess at that point in the conversation I tend to get smug about My Site being the one where the community does take responsibility for calling that stuff out. So I am part of the problem. But I'm not where he got the impression in the first place; I am forever telling him about cool conversations here.
posted by Stacey at 3:14 AM on July 2 [1 favorite]


Yeah, today I was confused by how much stuff there was on the front page. It was like a cornucopia! And then I came here and remembered this is happening. So, in conclusion, yay!
posted by threeants at 5:49 AM on July 2 [3 favorites]


Am I the only one who basically never ever looks at tags anyway?

I also never look at tags (and as mentioned, they don't show up at all when I am using my phone). So I don't know how much was due to this initiative, but yesterday's batch of FPPs was great, probably the best single day of interesting links that I've seen in ages.

I'm loving this experiment and I hope it leads to a continued increase in people feeling comfortable posting a wide variety of captivating material.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:15 AM on July 2 [5 favorites]


But it's also weird that people feel that making a post is a hugely overwhelming act and are intimidated to do so. Just make the post and move on.

I'm pretty phobic about making front page posts. I've made a handful but I usually have to close Mefi and not look at it again for a day once I've made it because I can't handle reading the comments. I always feel like I'm having a term paper graded in front of me.
posted by octothorpe at 6:19 AM on July 2 [8 favorites]


Dip Flash: I'm loving this experiment and I hope it leads to a continued increase in people feeling comfortable posting a wide variety of captivating material.

Yeah, I agree. I especially like that, unlike the Best Post Contest, this experiment seems to encourage a greater number of -- for lack of a better term -- casual posts. The omnipost stuff is great for some people, but personally I prefer a well-chosen single link, especially from MeFites who might not have spoken up before.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:39 AM on July 2 [14 favorites]


A link to the hashtag merely acts as an optional filter for all of the posts they can already see, browse, read?

A link to the hashtag (which is actually just a tag here on MeFi) also forwards the idea that using tags to sort posts and using theme-y tags here the way people do on Twitter is a thing we do here. Which may be a position that you want to forward, I don't know, but I sort of like the nice freedom from "me too"-ish content which I think that sort of "focus on the tag" stuff requires.

That said, I like using the tag to see what people have posted, and have used it there myself, I just don't know if highlighting it in a mod-ly way sends the exact right message. Thanks for posting that taz, and keeping the BestOf blog alive generally.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 7:14 AM on July 2 [2 favorites]


(Updated my profile.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:43 AM on July 2


I'm making my way through this massive thread, but just wanted to chime in that making a post is HUGELY intimidating here, and I rarely make an effort to do so but HOORAY! for this initiative because it's prompting me to finish a couple of posts I had been working on but set aside for who knows what reasons.

I rarely read comments on my posts because it can be so awful to read someone rip it apart or thread shit right off the bat, especially if you've been working on it for days (although I think that only happened once, when I was still reading comments to my posts).

Also, I appreciate the man of twists and turns' offer and this is a great list for anyone looking for ideas for posts (memail first as per request).
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:03 AM on July 2 [3 favorites]


The front page is more diverse and interesting than it's been in a while: success! I hope the people who for whatever reason have been feeling weird or ambivalent about the idea will get over their first reaction and enjoy the results. Well done, viggorlijah (and everyone who followed through)!
posted by languagehat at 8:04 AM on July 2 [22 favorites]


Yeah, I agree. I especially like that, unlike the Best Post Contest, this experiment seems to encourage a greater number of -- for lack of a better term -- casual posts. The omnipost stuff is great for some people, but personally I prefer a well-chosen single link, especially from MeFites who might not have spoken up before.

Hoo boy, I second that emotion. While I appreciate the level of effort many folks clearly put in, for me personally Best Post Contest season is mostly kind of like "METAFILTER IS TOO OVERWHELMING TO READ RIGHT NOW" time.
posted by threeants at 8:24 AM on July 2 [4 favorites]


The huge awesome link-heavy best posts are also kind of simultaneously the worst posts because if you (i) don't have time right then and there to go through the entire thing and instead favourite it to read at a later date, by the time you (i) get around to it half the links are dead or redirect to a useless homepage.
posted by elizardbits at 8:35 AM on July 2 [6 favorites]


Love this idea, thanks! I plan to participate. It's obviously needed when even such an innocuous idea gets pushback, because: women.
posted by agregoli at 9:02 AM on July 2 [4 favorites]


The huge awesome link-heavy best posts are also kind of simultaneously the worst posts because if you (i) don't have time right then and there to go through the entire thing and instead favourite it to read at a later date, by the time you (i) get around to it half the links are dead or redirect to a useless homepage.

Or, people read all the summaries of the many links and maybe click through to the first one and then think they have enough info to go ahead and post on the topic.
posted by sweetkid at 9:22 AM on July 2 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that's pretty much it in my opinion.
posted by Think_Long at 9:26 AM on July 2


I absolutely recommend signing up for the glassboard #julybywomen collaboration site, as viggorlijah suggested in her initial post. There aren't many of us there so far and the more minds, the merrier.

But also, I just stuck a list in my profile of some topics I'm letting percolate for posts, later this month or someday down the road. If any of them strike a nerve and anyone wants to collaborate on a post or send me a link to include or a great framing idea or something, please do. I'd also happily hand over any of these ideas to someone else who wants to run with them. Except maybe the first one, which I am both weirdly attached to, and think might be too fluffy even for a site that likes a good fluffy post, so I think I need to sit on that idea for a few days in case it's just sleep deprivation and Supreme Court induced rage making me think I could do something with it.
posted by Stacey at 9:27 AM on July 2 [1 favorite]


I'm very much looking forward to the one about Vladimir Propp's structural analysis of Russian folklore, whoever gets around to doing it!
posted by languagehat at 9:35 AM on July 2 [1 favorite]


Or, people read all the summaries of the many links and maybe click through to the first one and then think they have enough info to go ahead and post on the topic.

what, I can't believe you would state so simply and baldly that "people read all the", there is so much more nuance to the topic than your sentence that I haven't read yet, reading is something I have a lot of feelings about, just playing devil's advocate here, this is the death of the american left, metafilter is an echo chamber
posted by threeants at 10:51 AM on July 2 [10 favorites]


"But after he bows out, [after someone] making fun of him for his name,"

This is not true, I did not make fun of him for his name, I said it was ironic, which it is. You do know what irony is right? And if you know who Chris Jorgensen was then surely you don't think I would come onto mefi and mock someone for having that username? If that's the case then either you must have an exceptionally low opinion of me or think I am extremely stupid.

Also, #JulyByWomen be rockin' the FP!
posted by marienbad at 10:52 AM on July 2


Just wanted to add that multiple FPPs by the same poster over July (& beyond) are very welcome! No reason to stop at one, ladies!
posted by travelwithcats at 10:58 AM on July 2 [2 favorites]


This is not true, I did not make fun of him for his name, I said it was ironic, which it is.

That's an invisibly thin line, and it is not unreasonable for people to think that you were over it.
posted by Etrigan at 11:06 AM on July 2


It would be kind of great if this thread were not dominated by man feelings and the serious discussion of same.
posted by running order squabble fest at 11:14 AM on July 2 [12 favorites]


any further discussions of man feelings should kindly be taken to PetMe. those can be arranged there
posted by threeants at 11:17 AM on July 2 [3 favorites]


at the human petting zoo

because that's where you do a man feeling

just wanted to explain this joke in case it didn't SEEM funny at first
posted by threeants at 11:19 AM on July 2 [3 favorites]


it's a play on words with "feeling" btw
posted by threeants at 11:20 AM on July 2 [5 favorites]


Just in case anyone is keeping a running total: I arrived here in 2001 and to date have made 3 FPPs. I feel encouraged by this idea, I don't feel like I'm being patronised or belittled, but nor do I feel like I'm on a different side to the women who don't feel as comfortable with it. Room for us all.

Right now I have fewer ideas than a thing that you might use for comparison purposes that has really few ideas (see?) but I'll do my best to be back before the end of July.
posted by calico at 11:33 AM on July 2 [4 favorites]


Here in Chicago we take our man feelings to SteamWorks.
posted by Juliet Banana at 11:39 AM on July 2 [3 favorites]


joseph conrad is fully awesome: I appreciate the man of twists and turns' offer and this is a great list for anyone looking for ideas for posts (memail first as per request).

See also the dusty corner of the MetaFilter Wiki, Drafts and collaborations, including the fascinating Garman sisters, with a lot of research put into the topic by ocherdraco.

And I'll dig through my awkward lists of ideas and dump them on my profile page, similar to twisty turns' profile page.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:42 AM on July 2


"I'm making my way through this massive thread, but just wanted to chime in that making a post is HUGELY intimidating here, and I rarely make an effort to do so but HOORAY! for this initiative because it's prompting me to finish a couple of posts I had been working on but set aside for who knows what reasons.

I rarely read comments on my posts because it can be so awful to read someone rip it apart or thread shit right off the bat, especially if you've been working on it for days (although I think that only happened once, when I was still reading comments to my posts).
"

My advice for that, honestly, is to just make more posts. Some people will hate some proportion of whatever you put up, but fuck 'em. It really does get less intimidating with each additional post, because what's the worst that happens? People get annoyed on a website and the FPP gets deleted.

If it helps, get high first.

(What am I saying, it always helps.)
posted by klangklangston at 12:16 PM on July 2 [4 favorites]


Oh, I forgot about those, flt! I should look into those things again.
posted by ocherdraco at 12:23 PM on July 2


What klangklangston just said.
posted by infini at 12:35 PM on July 2


Heh. I was about to post that my three attempts at an FPP were only moderately successful. Then I looked at my posting history.
I wrote eleven posts since 2010 and all of them went just fine as far as I can see - some had one critical comment, which is nothing in metafilter terms. And yet in my head it turned into "all my posts got a lukewarm response" and that one criticism per thread colored my entire perception.
I don't know if that's a woman thing or a me thing but, clearly, I have issues. Dumb ones. I want to post again!
posted by Omnomnom at 12:35 PM on July 2 [4 favorites]


I don't know if that's a woman thing or a me thing but, clearly, I have issues

Negative impressions stand out, I have noticed the same thing when I read some old threads.

I had a boss who said "One 'oops' wipes out ten 'attaboys.'"
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:40 PM on July 2 [7 favorites]


From where I'm standing, this initiative so far looks really terrific for the general community's health and vibrancy! Even aside from the extremely valuable gender aspect, which I don't want to minimize, it's actually an ingenious way to rally widespread site activity. I'm sure if someone posted a MeTa that was like "um...everyone post more just in general! for reasons!" it probably would have been pretty much useless, but mobilizing a demographic that's (necessarily) smaller than the totality of users, yet huge and diverse, seems like it's really boosted overall energy around the site. (Speaking as someone who's underemployed and notices the daily flow of content waaaay more than I'd care to admit.) There's just this amazing diversity and wealth of topics on the front page-- and not any sort of specific Lady Things diversity, just a number of interesting posts that somehow feel intangibly fresh. The good juju both reminded me to finally donate to MeFi and inspired me to start putting together an FPP myself. So just...hooray all around? I have to admit I didn't realize before this that women members holding back on the Blue was a thing, but seeing all the unfamiliar names and awesome posts over there makes me realize it clearly is on some level. Props to viggorlijah for going forward with an idea that she surely knew wouldn't meet with universal acclaim.
posted by threeants at 12:46 PM on July 2 [12 favorites]


also I am self-administering 50 hypocrisy lashes for complaining earlier in this thread about megaposts because I'm totally sort of doing that. YOLO GUYS
posted by threeants at 12:55 PM on July 2 [4 favorites]


RE the whole "oh, god, I feel so criticized" aspect of posting an FPP:

I am having a pretty crappy morning and I have a fairly bad headache and TODAY, with a headache, the comments on my GIS FPP feel so much more personal and critical and attacky. Yesterday, I was in a much better space for sincerely thanking people for their expertise and then explaining the intentionally "thin" post and why I framed it the way I did without getting all het up about people not all writing odes to my wonderfulness with every breathe. (Which is just not a realistic expectation and I hope people can see that as kind of tongue in cheek poking fun at the Big Feels we can sometimes all have about such things.)

I really very sincerely appreciate the comments by people in the thread who are GIS professionals. Yes, some of them come across as snarky in the way they are framed. I am resisting temptation to "rebut" any perceived criticism today, while I feel so very crappy. A lot of the replies have been super nice. And I am very clear that if I felt less shitty, it would be a lot easier for me interpret the snarkier sounding comments a bit differently.

And I am trying to put this into words here in hopes it helps others (female or not) -- that, assuming someone is not actually calling you names or something like that, we have some power to try to interpret seemingly critical remarks as good faith efforts to communicate and to take that into account in how we reply to them so it turns it into a more positive experience for both sides. (But, again, I am just not in a good space for that at the moment so part of that is just trying to reply when you aren't overly distracted, miserable, whatever.)

Here was my reply yesterday to someone very knowledgeable who said at the outset "Not to be a jerk but...," So he knew it might come across as ugly and he was telling me up front that was not his desire. I sometimes do that same kind of thing and I find it really frustrating when people then react like I am The Devil or something. Like, um, I did my best here to say, hey, yeah, this may not be framed well but I am trying to communicate in good faith and, gee, I got shit on. So I generally try to not crap on other people who are telling me up front they aren't intending to be mean but they have something to say that might sound critical. (yes, yes -- when people know I do that, it then sometimes becomes a convenient excuse for actually hateful people to Share their invective with me and then assholishly expect me to Understand and blah blah blah. People are gonna people. But life generally goes better if I don't assume the worst about everyone I interact with just because some people are assholes.)

In all fairness to the professionals who felt the post was thin, fluff, a puff piece, etc: I completed my certificate in GIS many years ago and never managed to get a job in the field, so I am sure y'all have much, much more current and deep knowledge than I have and I would have never thought to do a post on GIS had I had not been asked by not one but two people. And maybe later today or another day I will find a way to comment about some of that within the FPP and make it say the kinds of things I want it to say in terms of why I think I have something of value to contribute on the topic in spite of my own thin GIS background, how much I appreciate their contributions, etc. But that isn't something I can pull off right this minute.

Sometimes, when I try to reach out to someone disagreeing with me or sounding critical and I try to read it in good faith and build bridges, I do get just crapped on for it. Sometimes, the "criticism" was really just an excuse to attack me personally by someone who, for some reason or other, just does not like me personally and feels okay with crapping on me over it. And when I try to read those comments in good faith and reply as if it was not intended as an attack, the next reply makes it very clear that, no, they just hate me and whatever not nice thing they said was just a means to deliver a smidgeon of venom and attempts to reach out just up the ante and make them feel more compelled to be openly assholish. And, yeah, that feels icky when it happens. But it also makes it pretty clear to me that it's them, not me. However, a fairly high percentage of the time, if I read a comment in good faith and try to understand why they are framing it the way they are framing it and not just look at how it feels negative to me, the way I frame my reply can make it a more positive experience for all parties -- not just me, not just me and them but also other people reading and participating in the discussion.

So that's how I try to come at it. On a good day, at least. I can't always pull it off but when I can, I know that's the way to go.

I would like to drone on. I can think of a few other things I feel are related. I suspect that's the headache talking and this is overly long already. So, stopping here.
posted by Michele in California at 1:08 PM on July 2 [2 favorites]


I found something interesting in the news today and instead of assuming someone else would post it here I went ahead and posted it myself. Thanks for the encouragement.

On another note, FPPs are not about the author. No self linking may extend philosophically to "don't post about stuff you're too close to."
posted by sockermom at 1:33 PM on July 2 [4 favorites]


This is a great idea. I will try to muster the courage to participate. I've always had a problem distinguishing "things that are cool and therefore post-worthy" from that which falls in the "read this now because it is so important!" category. There are a lot of ways to get feedback and now there is a really good reason to go for it before August. The last barrier is laziness.
posted by CtrlAltD at 1:45 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]


> I wrote eleven posts since 2010 and all of them went just fine as far as I can see

Jeez, those were all fine posts, and I still remember two of them vividly (the Nixon photos and the telegraph abbreviations). Keep posting!
posted by languagehat at 1:55 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]


For people (of every gender) who don't get why this is a good initiative, I have the following to offer:

Women are socialised differently than men. If you've ever tried to organise a conference, you'll have ample evidence of how as a group, women are reluctant to put themselves forward, but much more willing to work cooperatively. Thus, it is hard to get women to submit proposals for a general call for speakers, but more women are willing if you invite them individually and almost always willing to be on a panel. While I personally don't have to cross these cultural hurdles as a speaker (I'll speak at anything), my experience as an organiser has changed how I organise and recruit in order to get good gender ratios in my speakers.

I see MeFi in a very similar way. The blue is a wide-open call for submissions, but it is likely a percentage of women are not going to put themselves forward. The #JulyByWomen initiative is both an explicit invitation and closer to a group activity like a panel. I think it's going to be really useful in helping some members who have never posted on the Blue to do so, and I look forward to reading my way through the month.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:06 PM on July 2 [26 favorites]


It is not just that women are socialized different than men. That is true. But it is also that women get perceived differently than men when they do the exact same things as men.

When I sat up front in GIS school, I initially had no awareness that was weird behavior. Even with realizing that the majority of the female students chose to sit as far back as possible, I still did not think too much about my tendency to sit up front. I feel I do it for reasons like: I have crappy eyesight and I am just trying to make sure I see the black board. But other women have crappy eyesight and still do not sit up front.

I did not realize how very socially problematic this was and that personal choices like where I sat in group setting were likely part of why I was such a lightening rod for controversy until I worked at a Fortune 500 company and, one day, the highest ranking woman in the department commented aloud (to me and others in earshot basically) about "Look at MiC, sitting all up front" or something like that. She was not in the front row. She only sat in the front row at meetings when it was required of her due to her high rank. So this very powerful woman found it literally remarkable that I would be so bold as to sit in the front row. Like that was some kind scandal.

I think this shit is really unbelievably stupid. I honestly do not think where I sit should be interpreted as some kind of aggressive act, apparently flying in the face of social convention or something. But I have found that things go better if I make a concerted effort to behave in a ore coy fashion. I find that annoying as hell. I think some dimension of that absolutely is a form of sexism.

So that's part of why I am willing to support this initiative: Because without an initiative of some sort to actively invite women to post, it is too much risk to take on for a lot of individuals who happen to be female. The social push back for taking initiative as an individual can be shockingly ugly for women. This initiative dramatically lowers individual risk, making that first post a great deal easier. And I suspect getting past that first post will make it a great deal more likely that future posts will happen by those individuals.
posted by Michele in California at 2:45 PM on July 2 [2 favorites]


marienbad: "This is not true, I did not make fun of him for his name, I said it was ironic, which it is. You do know what irony is right?"

If you mean "dramatic irony" or other literary forms of irony, then "maybe". If you mean irony as used when talking about regular life, not in literary contexts? Honestly, no. I thought I knew what ironic meant, before that Alanis Morissette song came out. Then I heard it, and thought, "You know what, some of those are ironic, but some of them aren't". And then I saw a constant flow of this on the net:

"There are no examples of irony in that song. Irony would be, for example, B."
"What? B's not ironic. C is ironic."
"No, idiots. B and C are not examples of irony. Irony would be D."
"You guys all need to go back to school. None of that is irony. E is irony."
...infinity

From which I've concluded that irony is something everyone assumes they understand, but which no two people actually agree on the definition of.

I'm not sure exactly what it is, but I know it involves opposites, so if person A is awesome, and person B has the same name, and you say "It's ironic you have that name", I assume it involves some degree of "...because you're the opposite of awesome".
posted by Bugbread at 3:47 PM on July 2


Also, yeah, I'm not really sure why that dead topic is being brought up again. I like the drama-free groove the thread has achieved.
posted by Bugbread at 3:53 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]


The URLs you entered were not found in previous threads. However, other posts have used these tags within the past 3 days: julybywomen (35), astronomy (1). You also might want to check the search page for duplicates, just to be sure.

So, I think that puts us at 36.
posted by Michele in California at 3:55 PM on July 2


I like the drama-free groove the thread has achieved.

Yeah, it's pretty hard to keep on telling the ladies they're doing it wrong when they're really just not. And calm explanation can be a bitch to nitpick. Good job, everyone!
posted by heyho at 4:25 PM on July 2 [3 favorites]


Just noticed this, haven't read the thread yet--was planning to post a SECOND FPP at some point in my life, and this seems like a good time! I'll work on it.
posted by wintersweet at 4:54 PM on July 2 [6 favorites]


I also posted my second-ever FPP today, and I definitely wouldn't have done it if it wasn't for this initiative--I've never felt like I had very much to contribute, FPP-wise, but am glad to have an excuse to just sort of go for it! (And obviously I'm glad people actually commented on it, so thanks, Sailor Moon fans!)
posted by leesh at 5:34 PM on July 2 [8 favorites]


Doing my part. It's a mega-post, by my standards.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:59 PM on July 2 [3 favorites]


From a first-time poster:
Inarajan’s mother entered, her mouth tightened with disapproval. Inarajan’s mother did not understand her. It was as though they were from two different worlds: Inarajan was just a small coastal village, and her mother was an invasive species of brown tree snake from the Phillippines.
I hope this carries on past the official "challenge". We're getting a lot of neat contributions here from people who didn't post much before.

And maybe there's still hope for the digital Propp fairytale generator.
posted by nangar at 6:16 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]


Front page has been pretty great today.
posted by postcommunism at 6:19 PM on July 2


I am trying SO HARD to find another good fairytale generator. Striking out so far but I shall not falter in my dedication to the hunt.
posted by Stacey at 6:21 PM on July 2


I just posted my second ever FPP. My first was an obit post in the middle of the night, so some could arguably say that this is my first real post. Thank you for the encouragement, viggolijah, because I would see things that I thought would make a good post, but not post because I didn't think anyone else would be interested. That's not a female thing, but a lifetime of being told that my interests are weird.
posted by Ruki at 6:44 PM on July 2 [4 favorites]


Propp's pretty fun anyway. Maybe you should just do it.
posted by nangar at 6:44 PM on July 2


I'm now reading this now which pretty much can't NOT be an FPP unless it's already been one.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 6:47 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]


Freshly posted: Talking Folklore in the Digital Age. Now with bonus fartlore!

I noted that there were already 40 (!) posts tagged as julybywomen.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:52 PM on July 2 [2 favorites]


I'm now reading this now which pretty much can't NOT be an FPP unless it's already been one.

I bet that book just reads like a conversation between griphus and robocop is bleeding.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:14 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]


You guys, I hardly ever post FPPs but we are moving across the country RIGHT NOW and so far over the last two days I've had amazing and thought-provoking things to read through all of Illinois and Missouri....and tomorrow we're tackling Kansas and Colorado, so if you're wavering on posting, there's at least one eager reader surrounded by cornfields who CANNOT WAIT for your interesting articles and commentaries! I can't even tell which ones are part of this, because mobile, but there's so much there that's good and great.

Ps seriously these would be great even if it weren't for all the pastoral scenery, hooray for all cool FPPs
posted by jetlagaddict at 7:19 PM on July 2 [5 favorites]


As a data point, even if I "can" forget other people's gender or race or other attribute in discussion, I rarely/never feel like I can forget mine. That might not be a universal problem, but it doesn't seem like it's that uncommon either.
As stavros has already noted, this is an easy thing to overlook if you do take an approach that includes no interest in the gender of people here - being in much the same demographic as stavros, it's easy for me to think this way, but I need to remember that it's not so easy for everyone. Thanks for the reminder.
posted by dg at 8:02 PM on July 2


I agree that a link to the tag would be sensible. Speaking for myself, I wouldn't be clicking on that tag to use it to filter the front page, per se, I'd be clicking on it to check out the results. It seems weird to me to highlight the campaign in the sidebar, then make us go to the extra step of doing a search for the tag to see what kind of posts it's brought us.

I suppose you could do it the other way -- link to what the page would look like without all the #JulyByWomen posts, but that comes off much more overtly political and negative in my mind.
posted by desuetude at 10:02 PM on July 2 [2 favorites]


I just posted an FPP with this tag: number 48, I believe. It's just an article I found on Twitter and thought was cool, and without this thread and discussion, it probably wouldn't have occurred to me to post it.
posted by daisyk at 1:52 AM on July 3 [2 favorites]


I am interested to hear from female Mefites who, encouraged by this initiative and thread, have made their first ever FPP (using the JulyByWomen tag). How did it go? How did you find it? Were you able to separate post/person and leave it to have a life of its own? Were you surprised at the responses? Were there any responses that made you say "wow, I never knew about that and now I do!"

As infini said up-thread: "I'm looking at the front page going "Who are all these new posters?" ... ;p" - its so refreshing!
posted by marienbad at 4:54 AM on July 3 [2 favorites]


"I wouldn't be clicking on that tag to use it to filter the front page, per se, I'd be clicking on it to check out the results."

Yes, exactly.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:08 AM on July 3


Mine went pretty well! Possibly because I decided to spend a while longer pondering over how to frame a couple of my more serious topic ideas, and just do something fun to get over the initial hump of "oh god first post what if I literally die."

I was happily surprised by how many people favorited it and responded to it. I did see a couple of comments I'd have liked to reply to further, but decided it was better to sit back and let the thread breathe because lots of other people had interesting stuff to say about it. Which, again, was probably easier because I made a lighter post - I imagine that gets harder when it's about something super-close to one's heart.

Overall, A+, would and likely will post something again.

Although it was pointed out to me that someone has tweeted my post to its subject, and now I'm all worried that he'll see it and won't like it and I'll have made Rick Sebak sad, which I'm pretty sure gets you kicked out of Pittsburgh. Here's hoping he likes the nice things everyone had to say about him.
posted by Stacey at 5:18 AM on July 3 [9 favorites]


Achievement unlocked: Entire front page posted in 23 hours. Not only are there no duplicate names on the front page, even a theoretical poster who threw up a new FPP every 24 hours would have been forced off. Great work, great showcase of what Metafilter has to offer.
posted by ormondsacker at 6:56 AM on July 3 [8 favorites]


I just made my first FPP, although it will probably get deleted and/or just suck, but at least I tried...
posted by Librarypt at 6:57 AM on July 3 [1 favorite]


There are now 50 posts tagged with #JulyByWomen! Fantastic turnout and tons of great content.

Thanks so much, viggorlijah, for introducing this challenge. I know it's only July 3, but with numbers like that, I feel pretty comfortable calling your initiative a smashing success -- concern trolls be damned.
posted by divined by radio at 7:07 AM on July 3 [5 favorites]


divined by radio, i demand to see spreadsheets and calculations!!!
posted by Juliet Banana at 7:36 AM on July 3 [3 favorites]


Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus and say I'm impressed with the turnout and with the general level of interestingness. Thanks to viggorlijah for setting this in motion, and to everyone who posted for getting it off to a flying start!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 7:37 AM on July 3 [5 favorites]


Yeah, feels like the site's been a lot more diverse and interesting. Thank you.
posted by ambient2 at 7:50 AM on July 3 [3 favorites]


Woohoo! Ain't it grand? viggorlijah, you are one smart instigator.

Though very new I wasn't feeling particularly shy of posting FPPs but my first, a couple of weeks ago, didn't go quite as smoothly as I'd expected. I lost some of my enthusiasm and replaced it with procrastination. Sure I was gonna post again ... but not right now. JulyByWomen blew my hesitation out the window, plus I re-read my first attempt and drew some lessons from it, and now FPP 2 is humming along a treat.

Big thanks.
posted by valetta at 7:53 AM on July 3 [10 favorites]


And for people who still may feel like they're not ready to post but like the idea, go leave a comment in someone else's post if you've read it and appreciate it. Helping the posting experience go smoothly is a process with a lot of different parts to it.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:00 AM on July 3 [21 favorites]


Given how successful this had already been, it would be cool if we could have more events like this. I don't like the idea of "theme" months (ie, I wouldn't want something like "Recipes In May" or "History December"), but I really like events that encourage new voices to post cool things.
posted by meese at 10:35 AM on July 3 [3 favorites]


I wouldn't mind seeing the occasional "Frist Psot Month" dedicated towards helping users who have never posted feel comfortable making that first FPP.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:45 AM on July 3 [21 favorites]


For that month, when a user makes a first post to the Blue you could have a little banner or infobox above the comment field saying something like "This is $USER's first post to MetaFilter. Please keep that in mind when commenting."
posted by Rock Steady at 11:07 AM on July 3 [3 favorites]


I would also like anyone hesitant about an aspect of their post to contact the mods-- I remember being both terrified of posting something stupid and of emailing them, but it was totally fine! I know it's easy to psych yourself out for a lot of us, but don't be afraid to reach out to the offered help from the community.
posted by jetlagaddict at 11:11 AM on July 3 [1 favorite]


For that month, when a user makes a first post to the Blue you could have a little banner or infobox above the comment field saying something like "This is $USER's first post to MetaFilter. Please keep that in mind when commenting."

Is that a joke? i think this is sort of weird and coddling. I support JulyByWomen but I don't think anyone should change the tone of their comments because someone's using the tag or is a first time commenter, and I don't think any first time commenter should get a coddling "yay for you" approach to their post.
posted by sweetkid at 11:18 AM on July 3 [9 favorites]


I like Rock Steady's sentiment but I actually also agree with sweetkid. I don't know what a good answer would be. On the one hand, I am all for trying to help folks get past that first post, but, on the other hand, I am also all for not having it become a process that isn't really real/normal and thus doesn't really teach you what you need to know to do it well.

That kind of thing is why stuff like Affirmative Action is controversial and problematic: Special initiatives which coddle certain groups and don't hold them to the same standard as everyone else actually helps hold them back by preventing them from getting the kind of feedback necessary to meet the standard.

So I would like this to not become that. I am planning on writing kind of a "tutorial" talking about making posts and I hope that has some value in helping folks get over the hump without it being something that treats them all Special (in a "Special is the new word for Retard" kind of way).
posted by Michele in California at 11:30 AM on July 3


Just to make it very clear, this is not going to turn into a discussion of or reaction to the concept of affirmative action, however provoked people may feel on the subject.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 11:47 AM on July 3 [14 favorites]


Silenced in all the threads!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:53 AM on July 3 [1 favorite]


restless_nomad, that made me snort in a very undignified manner.
posted by jaguar at 11:55 AM on July 3


Is that a joke? i think this is sort of weird and coddling.

I don't know, I'm told I am sometimes really patronizing. Shouldn't I have the chance to show off my skills?
posted by Think_Long at 11:57 AM on July 3 [1 favorite]


Juliet Banana: "This genderweird boyfemme is down. I've already had a ***SECRET AGENDA*** to post more trans* themed FPPs (which actually got me posting way more regularly on other topics as well) and this is as good of a reason as any to drop a few more."

You don't need a secret agenda, because I will read ANYTHING YOU WRITE. Just saying.
posted by scrump at 12:29 PM on July 3 [4 favorites]


divined by radio: "There are now 50 posts tagged with #JulyByWomen! Fantastic turnout and tons of great content."

I think we need to hold a formal funeral for Boyzone, with a headstone and everything. Maybe light something on fire.
posted by scrump at 12:33 PM on July 3 [1 favorite]



I think we need to hold a formal funeral for Boyzone, with a headstone and everything. Maybe light something on fire

let's not go crazy
posted by sweetkid at 12:45 PM on July 3


sweetkid: "let's not go crazy"

I reject your assertion! Let's go crazy! Let's get wild! LET'S ALL BE PRINCE THAT WOULD BE AWESOME
posted by scrump at 12:46 PM on July 3 [16 favorites]


Is that a joke? i think this is sort of weird and coddling. I support JulyByWomen but I don't think anyone should change the tone of their comments because someone's using the tag or is a first time commenter, and I don't think any first time commenter should get a coddling "yay for you" approach to their post.

I think that if it were tied to, say, a #NovemberForNoobs tag, it could work well. People who really didn't want it could leave it off. Folks have talked in Meta over the years about either feeling intimidated of making that first post, or feeling discouraged from doing more from a first time that went badly (PHRASING). I think, if nothing else, having one more thing to make people think before going for reflexive snark on a post with less-than-perfect framing is rarely a bad idea.
posted by kagredon at 12:54 PM on July 3 [1 favorite]


Yeah, a lot of people make first posts that are obits and I've always thought this was because they were a slightly easier sort of post to make. That it was frowned-upon to just crap in people's obit threads so even if your post was just "okay" it would still get some decent commentary and people would like it, even if they were sad that someone died. So while I think "First post, be gentle" wouldn't be something done at a site level I think ways to indicate even just at a private MeTa-thread-only level that people were a little trepidatious can be helpful. And that's one of the things that this thread has done. We not only have people making posts (yay!) but we have a supportive group of people who are reading and enjoying those posts who are, even at some small level, committed to people having a good posting experience here. Sometimes you just need to tip the balance. The snark is going to be there but if you can outweigh it with "Oh hey neat" comments (as I think happened in my post, emptythought's a good person but he comes across as a grouchy scold sometimes) then on balance the threads work. It's surprising sometimes how subtle the shift can be before you get a whole different vibe from it.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 1:01 PM on July 3 [1 favorite]


scrump: You don't need a secret agenda

What about a secret secret agenda? Because I just realized the other day that 2 out of my 15 FPPs mention dumpster diving. I'm going to subconciously influence all you nerds into crust punk freeganism.
posted by Juliet Banana at 1:38 PM on July 3


Juliet Banana: "What about a secret secret agenda? Because I just realized the other day that 2 out of my 15 FPPs mention dumpster diving. I'm going to subconciously influence all you nerds into crust punk freeganism."

Ah, but you aren't taking into account my secret secret secret agenda, which is to expose your secret secret agenda. So, you see, we're back to your secret agenda. IT'S JULIET BANANAS ALL THE WAY DOWN, PEOPLE.
posted by scrump at 3:07 PM on July 3 [3 favorites]


But look! This bunch of Juliet Bananas is only slightly past ripe, they'll be perfect for banana bread. CAN YOU BELIEVE THE THINGS PEOPLE JUST THROW AWAY
posted by kagredon at 3:24 PM on July 3 [4 favorites]


I am planning on writing kind of a "tutorial" talking about making posts and I hope that has some value in helping folks get over the hump without it being something that treats them all Special [...]

That pretty much already exists on the Wiki. Having a single user write a "tutorial," which would naturally reflect their own standards, would be kind of weird and obtrusive and just doesn't make any kind of sense to me. Just put some language in your profile page about "These Are The Things I Like In A Post" and direct people to it's really important to you that people know your idea of what makes a good post.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:26 PM on July 3 [6 favorites]


I just noticed this bit "can we get 90 extra FPPs by women in one month?"

There are 59 posts so far, looks like we can do it in less than one week!
posted by travelwithcats at 3:39 PM on July 3 [1 favorite]


Okay, so let's say 180!
posted by box at 5:12 PM on July 3


Here is what I wrote for my "tutorial": Frist Psot. It isn't about style or content. It is mostly about process and includes screenshots of the form and shows what parts of the final product correlate to what parts of the form because that is something I personally find hard to parse.

I have included a link to the Wiki page about what makes a good post. This is not in competition with that. It's a different thing and an additional free resource if anyone is interested.
posted by Michele in California at 5:14 PM on July 3 [3 favorites]


I feel like the rising tide lifted all boats with this one - really interesting FPP topics, with and without the tag. Also I used the rising tide metaphor because NYC is deluged with storms ATM
posted by sweetkid at 6:07 PM on July 3 [8 favorites]


at first i was excited about this but now there are too many posts that are interesting that I Want to read, and I can't read them all because I don't have enough time. Can't have my cake and eat it too, i guess.
posted by rebent at 8:17 PM on July 3 [2 favorites]


(by which i mean, holy shit please keep this up forever!)
posted by rebent at 8:19 PM on July 3 [1 favorite]


Favorite and move on, rebent. You can come back and read if/when the posting gets thin again.
posted by gingerest at 8:21 PM on July 3 [1 favorite]


I don't check the grey too often, and hardly ever notice any tags, but I came here yesterday because I'd noticed a flurry of fresh content and was wondering if there was a best post thing happening or something. This was a way cooler surprise, and a fantastic idea. WTG Metafilter, again.
posted by hypersloth at 8:23 PM on July 3 [9 favorites]


Unforeseen problem: I've bumped into the "Sorry, you've hit your favorites limit for the day" for the first time in I can't remember how long.

Please note: this is NOT "so stop making such awesome posts and comments", okay?

(my life is so hard)
posted by Lexica at 9:26 PM on July 3 [11 favorites]


From the Front Page Sidebar:
"JulyByWomen Project: Viggorlijah posts a Metatalk inviting women to participate in a July experiment to increase front page posts by women."
Are you watching, Facebook? This is how you conduct an experiment with your userbase.

Also, great work on the FPPs everyone, your participation in this valuable experiment (heh) is fantastic.
posted by marienbad at 1:51 AM on July 4 [2 favorites]


Catching up with mefi over the holiday and I must say, viggorlijah, this was a great idea that has really made for some terrific posts and great reading. Kudos to you for the great idea and to all the women of mefi for rising to the challenge!
posted by madamjujujive at 4:24 AM on July 4 [4 favorites]


I can't get my partner over here because of the intimidating rep MeFi has on other sites where he spends time. Partly, he says he'd be afraid to post anything without getting yelled at for being unintentionally racist or sexist or something. I confess at that point in the conversation I tend to get smug about My Site being the one where the community does take responsibility for calling that stuff out. So I am part of the problem. But I'm not where he got the impression in the first place...

By 'intimidating' do you mean Tumblrifically nutty
posted by Fists O'Fury at 5:49 AM on July 4


Think about what impelled you to take this particular dump in this particular thread, Fists.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:51 AM on July 4 [9 favorites]


Fists O'Fury, please go ahead and make your own Metatalk post if you need to do that about how nutty it is that women are making posts or whatever your point is, and don't pursue that in this thread any further.
posted by taz (staff) at 6:00 AM on July 4 [22 favorites]


there are too many posts that are interesting that I Want to read

Filed in the "happy problems" bin.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:20 AM on July 4 [1 favorite]


Yes, I always called these "tasty problems," like, "I don't know what to eat first, the ice cream or the potato chips!"
posted by sockermom at 8:30 AM on July 4 [1 favorite]


It's not my first FPP, but I'm using the tag to support the project. If anyone is interested in sex or soccer, come join us while we watch the match (FRA - GER starts in 20 min, BRA - COL is on at 4 pm EST).
posted by travelwithcats at 8:40 AM on July 4 [2 favorites]


Pro tip: You can scoop the ice cream with the potato chips.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:50 AM on July 4 [4 favorites]


For folks who're curious about the numbers so far, here's my count (some of it by hand, so minor errors would not be a surprise):
  Record high non-deleted FPPs (07/14/1999-06/27/2014): 89 on Sep 13 2001
  Record high non-deleted FPPs (01/01/2010-06/27/2014): 56 on Dec 22 2011
  Record high non-deleted FPPs (01/01/2014-06/27/2014): 43 on Jan 16 2014

  Average non-deleted FPPs per day (01/01/2014-06/27/2014): 25.8

  Number of non-deleted FPPs tagged JulyByWomen (07/01/2014 in EDT): 23
  Number of non-deleted FPPs tagged JulyByWomen (07/02/2014 in EDT): 20
  Number of non-deleted FPPs tagged JulyByWomen (07/03/2014 in EDT): 22

  Number of non-deleted FPPs (07/01/2014 in EDT): 40
  Number of non-deleted FPPs (07/02/2014 in EDT): 47
  Number of non-deleted FPPs (07/03/2014 in EDT): 50
That's two record highs set for the year, and setting a ~5 year record is easily within reach. Also, even without making strong assumptions about gender identification or participation in the event, my feeling is that these numbers suggest the front page over the past three days has only been what it should be, ideally, all the time.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 9:20 AM on July 4 [7 favorites]


(Which is to say, it's a spectacular success. :)
posted by Monsieur Caution at 9:31 AM on July 4 [2 favorites]


NOT ALL MEN posting FPPs
posted by scrump at 2:18 PM on July 4 [7 favorites]


Oh this is brilliant. Thanks everyone for posting the FPPs!
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:50 PM on July 4 [1 favorite]


I thought Metafilter had an unusual number posts for a weekend. Great, great experiment, and some really interesting FPPs. I will contemplate my addition.
posted by Measured Out my Life in Coffeespoons at 5:12 PM on July 4 [1 favorite]


Just made my contribution to the blue. Hope it's a good one!
posted by Hermione Granger at 9:09 PM on July 4 [5 favorites]


Okay, okay, I'll try to come up with something...albeit probably not this weekend 'cause of busy. I don't end up posting much either, usually for the same "oh crap, I tried searching for it before posting but apparently it got posted 3 years ago anyway" sort of stuff everyone else mentions.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:34 PM on July 4 [1 favorite]


You know who I feel sorry for in all of this? That Mathowie guy. Imagine how many more of those "Your Post:..." emails he has had to write type up! Spare a thought for his poor fingers!!
posted by marienbad at 1:07 AM on July 5 [12 favorites]


I know! I just got one! That poor Mathowie guy.
posted by valetta at 1:52 AM on July 5 [4 favorites]


Oh, FFS, people. mathowie doesn't type every one of those.

It's whichever mod is on duty. Duh.
posted by Etrigan at 9:40 AM on July 5 [4 favorites]


So, it looks like with women posting more, posting has roughly doubled. That's quite the statement.

Someone get Mathowie's fingers some ice.
posted by Michele in California at 9:41 AM on July 5


I think the drive has been quite a success and been healthy for the site. I'm sure I wasn't the only one getting tired of the narrow range of topics on the front page. Hopefully some posting habits are being formed this month that will carry on for awhile.
posted by michaelh at 11:02 AM on July 5 [12 favorites]


I just claimed the tag, outing myself formally. Not like I've hidden it but never emphasized it either.
posted by infini at 12:15 PM on July 5 [2 favorites]


There's been some amazing posts since this initiative started. Just want to say thank you all!
posted by arcticseal at 2:13 PM on July 5 [6 favorites]


Mission accomplished, in less than a week! This is to say that there already are 90 posts with the tag. Great work, everyone!
posted by travelwithcats at 1:31 AM on July 6 [5 favorites]


Time to wrap it up, women, take your posts and go back to the kitchen! (not)

I am oddly pleased that the first post was about knife-fighting and the 90th post is about Justin Bieber.

Thank you to everyone for making metafilter awesomer and wheee to a fantastic July full of great posts. As of just now, there were 200 FPPs in July and 90 of them had the #julybywomen tag so there is a ratio of at least 45% women making FPPs.... slightly higher than our 8% before!
posted by viggorlijah at 1:43 AM on July 6 [9 favorites]


My comment was not an invitation to stop posting. I'm looking forward to the next 270+ posts this month tagged JuylByWomen.
posted by travelwithcats at 2:09 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


first post was about knife-fighting and the 90th post is about Justin Bieber.

That's pretty much the full span of human history right there.
posted by arcticseal at 7:54 AM on July 6 [3 favorites]


Now for the post about knife-fighting against Justin Bieber.
posted by GrammarMoses at 8:21 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Dear everyone with cold feet regarding your first (or not quite first) post, I offer my services as a sounding board or co-author. I would offer to ghost write your post so you could really and truly separate yourself from your icebreaking effort, but I think that would also take away from the experience (and might generally be frowned upon). I know there are others who are also willing to help in this fashion.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:31 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


I have $5 for the first woman who posts an FPP from the kitchen while also pregnant and barefoot. Additional bonus if you are making a stereotypical June Cleaver dish like a casserole or such.

All must occur at the same time for an entry to be eligible. $10 if you're pregnant with twins.
posted by scrump at 8:50 AM on July 6


I don't think we're yet to the point where we can be ironically sexist here for the LOLs.
posted by MoonOrb at 8:54 AM on July 6 [17 favorites]


How much for just barefoot, scrump?
posted by gingerbeer at 8:56 AM on July 6


Lawdy, it's not that scary. Find a link, flesh it out, write a title, think of some tags and post the fucker. If it gets deleted, try again. If it doesn't and people are arseholes ask them to stick to the subject. If it's acclaimed, lay back and bask in the glory.

I'm barefoot but not pregnant. I'm not quite menopausal yet so if I could manage to get a fuck I could possibly qualify, scrump. I cooked roast beef last night which was slathered in mustard, wrapped in bacon, seasoned with rosemary and oregano and cooked in a shiraz bath. It turned out okay. Hopefully I can say the same thing about my children who were cooked in my womb, separately, many years ago.
posted by h00py at 9:18 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


gingerbeer: "How much for just barefoot, scrump?"

$20, same as in...WAITAMINUTE
posted by scrump at 9:39 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


MoonOrb: "I don't think we're yet to the point where we can be ironically sexist here for the LOLs."

Good thing I'm being neither, then!
posted by scrump at 9:40 AM on July 6


h00py: "Find a link, flesh it out, write a title, think of some tags and post the fucker."

This is really pretty excellent advice for MetaFilter in general, I'd say.
posted by scrump at 9:42 AM on July 6


I guess the joke is on me then? Because it reads like you're either making an ironically sexist joke or you're trolling and I sort of hoped it would be the former.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:43 AM on July 6 [3 favorites]


Well, my tendentious MetaFilter bullshit threshold has just been reached and exceeded in just a few short comments, so I'm out for a bit. I've been here since 2005, and, in that time, this is the very first I've been accused of trolling. So GOOD JOB THERE.

See y'all in a while, when I stop wanting to light shit on fire.
posted by scrump at 9:51 AM on July 6


Well, that escalated quickly.

Back on topic: congrats on an awesome first week, everyone!
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 10:00 AM on July 6 [5 favorites]


Good thing I'm being neither, then!

That sound you heard just before you buttoned was the entire point of this thread and half of MeTa over the last few weeks sailing way, way over your head.
posted by Etrigan at 10:06 AM on July 6 [6 favorites]


In a discussion that has included topics of sexism, misogyny, the ways women are silenced, and the ways men often dominate both discussion and the terms of discussion, making a comment that alluded to a sexist stereotype and then getting upset and flouncing when it's pointed out that the intent wasn't clear is painfully ironic. Especially when it happens five comments after the "project target achieved, yay everybody!" comment.

I think we need Lewis's Corollary: The comments in a discussion of feminism will tend to reproduce and reinforce greater societal patterns unless all parties involved work to avoid it.
posted by Lexica at 10:07 AM on July 6 [3 favorites]


FWIW, I took scrump's comment as a light-hearted poke at traditional sexist views and responded in kind. So there's more than a few ways to read his comment.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:45 AM on July 6 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I didn't find it offensive. Not funny, but not in a THAT'S NOT FUNNY! way.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:47 AM on July 6


I took scrump's comment as a light-hearted poke at traditional sexist views

Yes, which is why MoonOrb characterized it as ironic sexism. Ironic sexism or hipster sexism is:
a form of self-aware sexism that is deemed acceptable given that perpetrators are conscious of the inherent sexism and objectification of women in whatever action or statement is being carried out by them.
posted by muddgirl at 10:57 AM on July 6 [5 favorites]


It wasn't a "Stop posting and get back in the kitchen" comment, though, ironic or not. It was a "It would be even funnier if you continued subverting stereotypes" comment.

Regardless, "Hey, sorry that came out that way, should have phrased it differently or not said it at all" would have been a more reasonable response.
posted by jaguar at 11:12 AM on July 6


Joking about paying women to do something while fulfilling a patriarchal fantasy of ideal woman-hood is encouraging us to continue to subvert stereotypes?
posted by muddgirl at 11:23 AM on July 6 [3 favorites]


Joking about paying women to do something while fulfilling a patriarchal fantasy of ideal woman-hood is encouraging us to continue to subvert stereotypes?

My reading was more along the lines of "It's great that women are speaking up more and not settling for being talked over. It'd be even greater if women in positions that are 'stereotypically oppressed' spoke up, too, and I'm encouraging them to do so!"

It would have have been much better for scrump just to say that, of course, and like I said, apologizing for how it came across would have been the better response. And I suspect we're all putting a hell of a lot more effort into parsing it than he did into writing it, which is the obvious problems with clumsy jokes, and I'm not trying in any way to say it wasn't a clumsy joke.
posted by jaguar at 11:30 AM on July 6


Damn my hormones, I'm too old now to make $10
posted by infini at 11:47 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


The joke sucked.

I'm really enjoying reading everyone's contributions - when I have the time. I'll have a bunch of links to read in August, I think...
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:54 AM on July 6


Damn my hormones, I'm too male to make $10.
posted by marienbad at 11:54 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Here's a fun fact that shouldn't be taken to diminish other FPPs that reached niche audiences happily: all 13 of July's FPPs currently showing on the popular page are tagged JulyByWomen.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 11:57 AM on July 6 [10 favorites]


Metafilter unearths hidden talent. Hands over the rest of the year to women.
posted by infini at 12:06 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


The joke sucked and was inappropriate.

I'm loving the #JulyByWomen posts and am delighted that it's happening! By coincidence I made my first FPP in a decade at the end of June -- and I actually texted a (male) mefite for encouragement before doing so. I was surprised to realize I had done that when this thread started and women were talking about being gun-shy to post to the front page.
posted by palegirl at 12:07 PM on July 6


I just wanted to say that everyone involved in this project is awesome and should feel awesome. Thanks for all the great posts!
posted by heisenberg at 4:48 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


I am pregnant and can be barefoot and scrump's $5 shall be MINE as soon as I come across something worth posting. Pics will be provided.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:47 PM on July 6 [7 favorites]


I got five on that. You know, for prenatal vitamins or a diaper service or whatever.
posted by box at 7:05 PM on July 6


I like a flameout that only takes three comments to unfold and resolve, I'm a busy person and I don't have all day
posted by threeants at 12:30 AM on July 7 [8 favorites]


Wait. Are we paying people to have their posts not deleted? Can people post about an incident of police brutality without getting deleted? Man or woman, I don't care. $5 via paypal if you can make that swish of a full-court shot.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:18 AM on July 7


No, we aren't doing that. Please don't hijack this thread to talk about an entirely unrelated topic.
posted by taz (staff) at 3:28 AM on July 7 [13 favorites]


"I just wanted to say that everyone involved in this project is awesome and should feel awesome. Thanks for all the great posts!"
posted by heisenberg

Haven't you got some Crystal Meth to sell? (I am not caught up with the final season yet so if your reply contains any spoilers for after season 4 don't do it!!)

Also, stands and applauds viggorlijah for this, I don't think anyone foresaw this amazingness happening so quickly!! Applauds all who have taken part, and also, I applaud anyone who has commented in a JulyByWomen post who normally doesn't really post much for whatever reasons - it can be hard to speak up on here sometimes, so well done everyone.
posted by marienbad at 4:07 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


OK, this totally inspired me to do my second FPP ever, maybe even today.
posted by trillian at 8:30 AM on July 7 [5 favorites]


Seen while previewing:

The URLs you entered were not found in previous threads. However, other posts have used these tags within the past 3 days: JulyByWomen (42)
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:52 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


HEY SCRUMP, I WANT MY $5
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:55 PM on July 7 [38 favorites]


I just wanted to pop in and say how stoked I am on how well this has gone. At first I was unsure if 90 posts was a realistic number to get non-posters to post. I always found it was hard to "force" myself to make a MeFi post and instead I have to wait until something interesting that hasn't been posted yet crosses my path, but that's currently only about once a month. So I wasn't sure the collected women following this thread would find enough ideas for posts that hadn't been done before to make up the 3 posts per day for a month. I was more than happy to see it tick over 110 posts today, less than a week into it, which is extraordinary and exceeds all initial goals.

Additionally, when we recorded the podcast today, I realized I'd already picked a bunch of posts in the first week as my favorites over the last month as a result of the JulyByWomen push. There are so many amazing posts that it's like a Best Post Contest month, just so much amazing stuff to see.

Great work, viggorlijah and everyone else posting this month, it's been a total hit!
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:55 PM on July 7 [36 favorites]


And fuck, I thought of an idea, did research, and it's already been covered in 2009. My post would be better, but covers about half of the same material and would get the same kind of comments, so.... DAMMIT, NEVER MIND. *grumble*
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:41 PM on July 7


Find a new angle or narrow in on something? I have one I'm planning on African hipster fashion trends that has been partially covered, but there's a specific designer who has interesting recent things to say and a newer subgroup that wasn't covered in the past fpp, so I'm going to find some more on just this one person and do the post about his work and local context.
posted by viggorlijah at 11:57 PM on July 7 [7 favorites]


You could look for new material / developments (use search tools to adjust time frame for example) and just add that to your original link(s). You know how we have previously, previouslier and previousliest? That's for situations like that. Plus: It was posted in 2009, so it's not like we've discussed that topic just three days ago. And there certainly have been changes to the user base between 2009 and 2014, hence it will be completely new for some people.
posted by travelwithcats at 4:17 AM on July 8 [4 favorites]


Even direct doubles without significant new content are not always deleted, as in the case of the recent reposting of the Phish video. But as mentioned, adding a new take on something that has been covered once, years ago, is normally more than ok.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:27 AM on July 8


I just wanted to say thanks for getting this underway, viggorlijah and everybody. Just did some counting and realized I have posted more in the past week than I did in the preceding year and a half -- plus I have more post ideas lined up. So I really appreciate the friendly nudge.
posted by GrammarMoses at 6:33 AM on July 8 [7 favorites]


Whoops, make that *three* years and a half. (!)
posted by GrammarMoses at 6:48 AM on July 8 [2 favorites]


You could look for new material / developments (use search tools to adjust time frame for example) and just add that to your original link(s). You know how we have previously, previouslier and previousliest? That's for situations like that. Plus: It was posted in 2009, so it's not like we've discussed that topic just three days ago. And there certainly have been changes to the user base between 2009 and 2014, hence it will be completely new for some people.

There were no new developments in the subject matter whatsoever, other than I had just heard about it. Can't justify it, if I were a mod I would delete it myself.

Okay, I finally found something nobody had done quite yet....though it's uh...an interesting choice for woman-pimping post month.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:32 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


Juggalettes are women too, jenfullmoon.
posted by almostmanda at 6:22 AM on July 9 [8 favorites]


I'm a woman and a radical feminist and a juggalette and I think that post is AWESOME. Thanks, jenfullmoon!
posted by divined by radio at 6:49 AM on July 9 [6 favorites]


I think its confirmation bias, but I feel a slight uptick in complainy-ness in various threads using tone arguments, quibbling about language, etc. That it feels slight to me is encouraging.
posted by agregoli at 7:58 AM on July 9


I think its confirmation bias, but I feel a slight uptick in complainy-ness in various threads using tone arguments, quibbling about language, etc. That it feels slight to me is encouraging.

My ex saw himself as very idealistic, pro women's rights etc while expecting me to have dinner on the table, put him first and live like Wilma Flintstone, basically. Over the course of many years, I gradually improved my de facto "rights" in the marriage by agreeing with his stated high ideals, taking action in line with that, and then not saying one fucking word while he grumped around the house for the next six to eight weeks, uncomfortable and unhappy with losing another smidgeon of privilege and control over his property (me).

If people are grumpy but not openly assholishly fighty, this is likely being handled extremely well. Change is stressful. It takes people time to get used to it.
posted by Michele in California at 9:31 AM on July 9


Yeah, the number of posts that I find super interesting has increased exponentially and I can't read them all in a timely way. So keep up the good work everyone! It's nice to have some interesting stuff on backlog to read when things are a little slower in my world.
posted by triggerfinger at 10:26 AM on July 9 [7 favorites]


OH MY GOD OH MY GOD I POSTED!!! And Elizardbits refused to read my link! (I say with pride.)
posted by Omnomnom at 1:12 PM on July 9 [11 favorites]


I have to say, the research I did for this post this has not changed my suggested ads etc. to the better.
posted by Omnomnom at 1:13 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]


Bear with it.
posted by maryr at 2:16 PM on July 9 [6 favorites]


OH MY GOD OH MY GOD I POSTED!!!

That thread is pretty awesome. And I haven't even read the link yet (and might be with elizardbits, not sure I want to).
posted by sweetkid at 2:20 PM on July 9 [3 favorites]


This is thrilling! I'm not a first-time poster, but I'm so glad I stumbled across something worth sharing for JulyByWomen to bring us up to 157 on day 10.

It's interesting to see the related tags trending on the results page. I don't usually go hunting for FPP material, but I feel inspired to track down some STEM topics to contribute. I usually start my internet-ing from MeFi, so anyone care to share content-rich STEM resources that I could bookmark and poke through? I will also see if I can figure out what this glassboard discussion thing is.

Thank you, viggorlijah!
posted by juliplease at 7:52 AM on July 10 [2 favorites]


but I feel inspired to track down some STEM topics to contribute

Here's an AskMe that I made (and am the primary contributor to) that has some STEM-type magazines in it.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:01 AM on July 10 [2 favorites]


oh, juliplease, if you figure out the glassboard thing, drop me a memail, pretty please. I have been sort of intending to look into that. ugh.
posted by Michele in California at 9:24 AM on July 10


I kept the glassboard invite for memail because I didn't want it to be troll-accessible so people felt fine putting drafts and half-finished pieces in it, without worrying about public hassling. If you memail me, I can send you the link pretty fast.
posted by viggorlijah at 9:44 AM on July 10


I just wanted to say that I just posted a cool link I saw today that it normally wouldn't have occurred to me to post, and I did it because of this project.
posted by immlass at 9:48 AM on July 10 [7 favorites]


Holy Moly that bear link and thread are hilarious.
posted by marienbad at 9:58 AM on July 10


memail me

Memail sent.

(I have super serious eyesight problems and sometimes details like that are just lost on me.)
posted by Michele in California at 10:15 AM on July 10


Okay, I'm (finally) in.
posted by Mchelly at 6:40 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Well, there it is, my second post after a gap of years! And it wasn't at all what I intended to post about, but the initial video was a big hit with my recent houseguests and I kept thinking about it. Who knows, maybe later I'll actually get to one of the ones that I was vaguely planning! In a few years.
posted by wintersweet at 10:58 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


I post very rarely but did one, and on the grounds that I need to develop a thicker skin about them, posted a link and then let it go. No visit back to comment with my thoughts, explain anything, etc. It didn't get much traction and someone called the link clickbait but I have not gotten my fee-fees bent out of shape and all in all it was a win for me.
posted by PussKillian at 3:49 PM on July 11 [9 favorites]


That was a good post. My last one got five (5!) comments but it seemed like the people who liked it liked it and I was happy to get it out there.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 4:40 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Hah! I finally made the post that I've been wanting to make (or see be made by someone else) for YEARS. It didn't get as much love as I'd sort of hoped, but I'm stoked about the fact that it had a semi-MeFi's own reveal in the comments.
posted by gueneverey at 7:28 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


My last one got five (5!) comments but it seemed like the people who liked it liked it

I'm never sure what to make of it when a post draws a bunch of favorites but few comments.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:43 AM on July 12


Finally got around to doing mine. I was going to do it a couple of months ago but thought no one else might find it interesting. This project made me realise that that's the kind of second guessing that maybe men don't experience as much? So I thought to hell with it, get it up!

this is purely to support the project and not at all another attempt to procrastinate over my dissertation honestly
posted by billiebee at 6:21 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]


I'm never sure what to make of it when a post draws a bunch of favorites but few comments.


"I have no comment to add to this, but I'm interested by the content and wish to show my appreciation to the OP/keep it in my recent activity and see if something comes up that I am able to add to", generally, when I do it.
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:23 AM on July 12 [7 favorites]


> I'm never sure what to make of it when a post draws a bunch of favorites but few comments

"Metafilter is a better place for you having posted this, and I look forward to coming back some time to see how it turned out."
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:47 AM on July 12 [10 favorites]


> I'm never sure what to make of it when a post draws a bunch of favorites but few comments.

In the case of gueneverey's post, to take an example, I favorited it because it was obviously a well-done labor of love, but since I'm not a metal fan I didn't have anything useful to say.
posted by languagehat at 7:06 AM on July 12 [5 favorites]


Turning favorites off can help if you are someone who is prone to thinking of a favorite count as approval/rejection of your post. It helped me at least. Regarding comments, I noticed that posts I did that I thought were the least interesting, but happened to touch on provocative or controversial issues resulted in lots of comments while posts I thought were more interesting to me but not controversial gathered very few. As a data point, when I favorite an FPP it means I want to look at it again in the future.
posted by MoonOrb at 7:09 AM on July 12 [4 favorites]


You know, I just went and looked at some FPPs I did, and I still can see the favorite count. So, while turning off favorites may not hide the count from view, maybe by turning them off it helped me notice them less or become less attached to them? That was just sort of an interesting discovery for me.

Also for people who are worried about how their FPPs are being received I would say that the julybywomen FPPs have been awesome.
posted by MoonOrb at 7:35 AM on July 12


I'm never sure what to make of it when a post draws a bunch of favorites but few comments.

Here is an ordered list of my best posts, in my own opinion.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:25 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]


Neither of my posts generated many comments, but I'm happy with them, so it's OK.
That said, for example, in gueneverey's case -- I favorited it but I haven't had time to sit down and watch all the videos yet. I will, but who knows when that'll be! (And it gave me an idea for a post.) That's pretty typical for me when it comes to FPPs with a lot to listen to or watch. I'm frequently in the wrong physical or mental place for doing that, so I often put it off till later even though I appreciate the post.
posted by wintersweet at 10:19 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]


I'm never sure what to make of it when a post draws a bunch of favorites but few comments.

Generally speaking, high favorite counts with low comments = better quality post than high comment count with low favorite count. High comments with few favs usually equals controversial/fighty/emotional/chain jerking. I have a long history of attracting that kind of attention and I hate it. I have worked hard at trying to learn how to not do that. So I measure quality in part by the kind of reaction it gets, not the amount of superficial activity it generates, if that makes sense. (Because I have a lot of experience with being controversial and it not accomplishing much of anything. So sturm and drang of that sort does not impress me.)

However, I like talking with people and I wind up feeling like I didn't do a great job of making the piece a conversation starter if there are too few comments compared to favorites.

In my post The Mother of Dark Matter, there were very few comments, especially compared to the number of favorites. One person who knows a lot about dark matter has told me they opted to not comment because it seemed like the post wanted to be about something else. I view that as a learning experience. I feel it went over well but I just didn't do a good job of giving people a place to start a conversation. And I wish I had framed it in a way that was more inviting of conversation about both women's issues and science. I would have been happy to hear good comments on either topic.

Stuff I have posted since has generated decent conversation without being all controversy and sturm and drang. So presumably I learned something there.
posted by Michele in California at 10:53 AM on July 12


This project actually got me to post my first sturm and drang thread; I've posted about a lot of transgender topics before, but I usually focus on pop culture and artists and not stuff that people get really upset about.

Anyway, it's weird and I have no idea how everyone does it all the time, especially when it's something that's close to your heart / affects you personally. I guess it's different when it's some political event that has nothing to do with your everyday life.

The mods are doing an amazing job and I'm sorry to make more work for y'all, I know you're stretched thin. Remind me to send y'all a cookie basket.
posted by Juliet Banana at 1:37 PM on July 12 [9 favorites]


Love this idea! Fantastic project.

Huge congrats to everyone who has posted!
posted by zarq at 2:28 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


Great idea...I wish I could post more, but it is a wonderful undertaking...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 7:05 AM on July 15


Here's a link to a great Meta with rich links to FPP source material: Putting the "Meta" in "Metafilter". the man of twists and turns asked "How do you find things to post?" and got some great links back.

Have been trying to figure out ways I can support this initiative other than just cheering people on, so I'm going to hold off posting anything new to the front page until August 1. This way I won't inadvertently put up something someone else was working on. Also, if anyone would like FPP help, advice or assistance, please feel free to memail me. Am normally really, really bad about checking and responding to memail, but will set an alarm each day to make sure I do.

I'm so happy to see this be such a great success. :)
posted by zarq at 7:59 AM on July 15 [2 favorites]


So I just did my first-ever (mini) megapost, in honor of zarq. And he noticed before I decided whether or not to call it out here. Win-win.
posted by Mchelly at 7:11 AM on July 16 [1 favorite]


This has been a really great project, and I'm so glad it came at a time when my day job has died down a bit. There's been so much good reading.

I'm never sure what to make of it when a post draws a bunch of favorites but few comments.

I'm someone who uses favorites as bookmarks, so I generally bookmark things I want to save for a while, read/watch at home, etc. I thought this post was fantastic, but I need time to dig through it before I'd have anything to say.
posted by gladly at 7:28 AM on July 16


Awwww! Mchelly, you did a fantastic job! What a great post!
posted by zarq at 10:19 AM on July 16 [1 favorite]


I'm issuing the July Women's Challenge - can we get 90 extra FPPs by women in one month?

I don't normally look at tags at all, but when I clicked on it earlier it said that there were 245 posts tagged JulyByWomen. That's amazing! This month has had the best and most interesting (and most diverse in terms of subject matter) FPPs I have ever seen, so from my perspective this could end today and still be considered an unambiguous success.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:20 AM on July 17 [8 favorites]


Dip Flash: I don't normally look at tags at all, but when I clicked on it earlier it said that there were 245 posts tagged JulyByWomen.

Holy wow. Great job indeed. I don't know if it has been said in this thread yet, but back when MetaFilter was first going through the really tough period where the community made a concerted effort to make sure MeFi was not a "boyzone" and was a place where women felt comfortable, there were a number of users asking why. Why we had to go through so much turmoil when things seemed to be going just fine? This is why right here. These voices -- voices most of us didn't know were even part of our little chorus -- might not be here if we hadn't begun that process when we did (a process that is certainly not over, nor will it ever be, I suspect). I really hope that a lot of the people that have been emboldened by this challenge to make their first post (or their first post in a while) will continue to post such great stuff moving forward.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:54 AM on July 17 [7 favorites]


245 posts in 17 days works out to 14.4 PBW/day, predicting 447 posts total in july.

there have been 665 posts in july so far (based on the 50 posts per page assumption) meaning PBW is currently making up 36% of FPPs.
posted by rebent at 9:55 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


So it seems like it has tapered off a bit from the high numbers of the first few days but did the early predictions of the first weekend being all there would be have not come to pass.

I have to wonder how much of that tapering off is happenstance and how much is a perception of social pressure. I happen to have just been busy doing other things, so there was no element of trying to lie low and deflect attention. But I have long experience with the fact that being too "prominent"/visible gets a lot of grar and pushback. So had I not been coincidentally busy, I wonder if I would have intentionally slowed down on posting to try to avoid excess negative attention. And I wonder how many women are making choices to not be too visible, either consciously or as a subconscious reaction, and how much it is just that the initial excitement died down and after their first post or two that some folks indicated had been on the backburner a while, they just didn't readily have more ideas.

I imagine it is a question that cannot be answered but it is something I have been wondering about.
posted by Michele in California at 10:02 AM on July 17


I'm still just lazy.
posted by rtha at 10:11 AM on July 17


Fortunately, gingerbeer has been making up for my laziness.
posted by rtha at 10:12 AM on July 17


I don't normally look at tags at all, but when I clicked on it earlier it said that there were 245 posts tagged JulyByWomen. That's amazing!

Wow. Holy cow! That's seriously AWESOME!

This month has had the best and most interesting (and most diverse in terms of subject matter) FPPs I have ever seen, so from my perspective this could end today and still be considered an unambiguous success.

Agreed.
posted by zarq at 10:20 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


there have been 665 posts in july so far (based on the 50 posts per page assumption) meaning PBW is currently making up 36% of FPPs.

The actual total is quite a bit higher, as there are some regular women posters who are choosing not to use the tag (full disclosure: I wasn't sure if I should or not add the tag myself since most of what stops me from posting is being irremediably boring, so I didn't think the challenge applied to me - I ended up embracing it since in the end I liked the idea of my peanut being counted) (and also because Jessamyn used it) (yes I am that level of insecure).
posted by Mchelly at 10:29 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


Well if the count matters, I'd better go tag today's... tbh I forget, sorry!
posted by infini at 10:35 AM on July 17


since most of what stops me from posting is being irremediably boring

Pfffft. That's never stopped me. Or probably most of the rest of us.
posted by zarq at 10:48 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


Not that you're in any way boring, Mchelly. You're definitely not.

But even if you were, that doesn't have to be an obstacle to posting.
posted by zarq at 10:50 AM on July 17 [4 favorites]


aw zarq. that comment gave me feels for some reason (and I'm not even Mchelly).
posted by sweetkid at 10:51 AM on July 17 [3 favorites]


It's true! :)
posted by zarq at 10:59 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


sweetkid! stop stealing feels ;p
posted by infini at 11:06 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


*hugs everybody*
posted by zarq at 11:09 AM on July 17 [3 favorites]


*steals hugs*
posted by sweetkid at 11:12 AM on July 17 [4 favorites]


*You put that back where you found it, young lady!*
posted by hugbucket at 11:27 AM on July 17 [6 favorites]


Throws a few more hugs in. Hopes that means there is enough to go around.
posted by Michele in California at 11:35 AM on July 17


More hugs from me! Many more! Everyone needs a hug.
posted by GrammarMoses at 12:15 PM on July 17 [1 favorite]


To anyone who has posted under the JulyByWomen tag and had their FPP deleted, I just want to reiterate that this is no big deal, that you shouldn't take it personally, and you should just get back out there and craft another one. Seriously, everyone has had an FPP deleted, it really is no big deal, and no reflection on either the post or poster (well, unless their a spammer). So if this has happened to you, you are in good company - some of the most prodigious posters of quality FPPs have had a deletion or two!

Also nice to see such variety on the FP, it really has opened Mefi up.
posted by marienbad at 1:36 AM on July 18 [8 favorites]


marienbad: "So if this has happened to you, you are in good company - some of the most prodigious posters of quality FPPs have had a deletion or two!"

*raises hand*

21 deleted posts.

Seconding that it's no big deal.
posted by zarq at 8:47 AM on July 18 [4 favorites]


And for the record... here are the MeFites with the most posts to the Blue:

homunculus: 22 deletions
mathowie: 75 deletions
artw: 40 deletions
filthy light thief: 3 deletions (Obviously he's shamelessly bribing us all with superlative posts.)
posted by zarq at 9:19 AM on July 18 [2 favorites]


God, when will somebody do something about that dangerous rogue mathowie?
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:22 AM on July 18 [11 favorites]


Back in the 80's United Technologies Corporation ran an ad in the Wall Street Journal with the following text:
You’ve failed
many times,
although you
may not remember.

You fell down
the first time
you tried to walk.

You almost drowned
the first time
you tried to
swim, didn’t you?

Did you hit
the ball the
first time you
swung the bat?

Heavy hitters,
the ones who
hit the most
home runs,
also strike out
a lot.

R. H. Macy failed
seven times
before his store
in New York
caught on.

English Novelist
John Creasey got
753 rejection slips
before he published
564 books.

Babe Ruth
struck out
1,330 times,
but he also hit
714 home runs.

Don’t worry
about failure.

Worry about
the chances
you miss
when you
don’t even try.
posted by zarq at 9:31 AM on July 18 [5 favorites]


holy crap I had that ad on my door when I was in high school - I've thought about it from time to time to try to find the source but couldn't ever think of an exact phrase to google.
posted by Mchelly at 10:10 AM on July 18 [2 favorites]


There were three in total. I remember the second one but not the third:
This Will Make You Feel Better.

If you sometimes
get discouraged,
consider this fellow:
He dropped out
of grade school.
Ran a country store.
Went broke.
Took 15 years
to pay off his bills.
Took a wife.
Unhappy marriage.
Ran for House.
Lost twice.
Ran for Senate.
Lost twice.
Delivered speech
that became a classic.
Audience indifferent.
Attacked daily
by the press
and despised
by half the country.
Despite all this,
imagine
how many people
all over the world
have been inspired
by this awkward,
rumpled,
brooding man
who signed his name
simply,
A. Lincoln.

posted by zarq at 10:29 AM on July 18 [1 favorite]


I have a question and it's not particularly well thought out but I'm seriously wondering:
On this thread and I assume on glassboard there is this thing going on that seems really female to me; person says they posted something or would like to, and signals in some way that she is nervous about it and would like reassurance. Other people offer reassurance. General bonding and squeeing and affirming of worth ensues.

I feel ambivalent about this as a woman. It seems like it is a thing women do even in those cases where they are completely competent and know it. I've seen women in different settings pretend to be more nervous than they are, I guess to partake in the bonding?
It's something men don't do, right?
I mean, don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed squeeing in here and I thank the people who said nice things about me. It's amazing that people whose names I know and respect actually remember my posts even though I post rarely. Made me grin happily! And it felt like a home emotionally not just intellectually.
I guess I just worry that this makes us seem weak in a job setting, academic or otherwise competitive setting. Is this something good or bad?
posted by Omnomnom at 2:28 PM on July 18 [3 favorites]


Omnomnom, I'm familiar with that behavior, it is definitely marked female. I think it's partly social armor against the catch-22 of female assertiveness, that the same action that gets labelled "bold" and "decisive" in men gets labelled "domineering" and "aggressive" in women. By voicing that nervousness and need for reassurance, a woman can lessen these negative associations with her action while hopefully not compromising the positive ones too badly. I hear you on the worries of weakness, but I think it's so common because women have learned firsthand that they HAVE to weaken their approach (comparatively) in order not to be smacked down.
posted by KathrynT at 3:16 PM on July 18 [6 favorites]


I've noticed it, too. It used to bother me, for a lot of the same reasons. And then I realized that I was actually weaker for not participating in it. I was actually so nervous that I felt like I couldn't voice any amount of nerves or I would get completely overwhelmed by them and get sucked down. Once I gained some confidence, I started saying "I need reassurance and props" in all those coded ways. And it was fantastic. People told me they believe in me and that I can do things. And it made me MORE capable and able to do things.

It's not something that I generally do in mixed-spaces, but I have found it to be excellent. Screw worries about work and seeming weak. Give me emotional strength, bonding and shared confidence. This thing we do where we build each other up? We need to do it. We need to not concern troll other women about it.

Sure, partly it's about weakening our approach when men could smack us down. But it's also about signaling to other women "Hey, I'm gonna want you to back me up on this thing I'm about to do. You in?" And other women saying "I am IN. I will back you up and take out the wolves at your heals. You're not going in alone."
posted by stoneweaver at 3:26 PM on July 18 [15 favorites]


Also, I, as a man (and oldest brother) who grew up being assertive and interrupting and generally throwing my intellectual weight around, have learned by observing women interact that it can be far more productive to listen and share and give support when possible. I don't think of this as weak, feminine behavior that women should discard but as strong, human behavior that men have taught themselves out of in order to dominate effectively and should teach themselves back into so we can all get through this mess together. So there's that.
posted by languagehat at 5:18 PM on July 18 [16 favorites]


Agreeing with languagehat. Interdependence is a good, healthy thing. (And most non-White non-Western cultures do a hell of a lot more of it than White Western cultures do.)

I tend to think the whole fetishization of "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" fierce-independence thing is often a way of hiding one's dependence on others, in a way that erases all the behind-the-scenes work done by (for example) one's wife, one's parents, one's government, etc. Interdependence is often coded as feminine in US culture, but that doesn't make it a bad or anti-feminist thing.
posted by jaguar at 5:55 PM on July 18 [6 favorites]


Also, men may be getting support, but off-screen as it was. I spend a fair amount of emotional time praising and encouraging people towards positive goals, both as part of work and home. I think it's pretty common for women to be expected to observe and calibrate other people's emotions, not men. So most men with significant women in their lives are likely to already have someone monitoring and encouraging them when they're nervous, while women are less likely to have that directed back at them. It's a sweeping generalisation (most men pee standing!) but it's very true in my life, and I've heard this from other women. So that guy who looks confident may be relying on a lot of emotional boosting that went one way, while a woman has to explicitly request it.
posted by viggorlijah at 7:33 PM on July 18 [13 favorites]


We are three weeks into the project and over 270 FPPs - an average of 90 per week!
posted by travelwithcats at 6:14 PM on July 19 [5 favorites]


That was a good question, Omnomnom. I have a lot of ambivalence about this too, and am encouraged (and enlightened) by the great answers it received.
posted by torticat at 10:37 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


It's called "getting up the nerve to post because of the risk of female shitstorm hitting."
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:53 AM on July 22 [1 favorite]


Omnomnom, maybe thinking of it more as a support group would help? Like AA? No one needs the AA, you just stop drinking, right? No, it is much better to have people in a similar situation to yourself who can empathise and offer support and encouragement (and yes, I realise this is a very bad analogy). So maybe think of it like that, like minded people supporting one another in a difficult and nerve-wracking endeavour.
posted by marienbad at 3:51 AM on July 23


Out of more than 300 #JulybyWomen posts, only two have sparked negative MetaTalk discussions:

* I Don't Care if You Like It
* Web culture's revolutionary celebration of powerful female leaders (This one was raised in metatalk by the OP.)

A third post created by a lady Mefite was brought to MetaTalk but was not tagged JulybyWomen: And now it's Florida \o/

We've had 60 posts deleted to date this month, which seems about average.

This is a pretty decent track record, no? Mefite women have created a large percentage of posts on the Blue this month, and many of you are either first-time or infrequent posters. Yet no more than usual have been deleted and MetaTalk has been business as usual -- we haven't seen a similar uptick in difficult threads.

Don't psyche yourself out of making posts, folks. Nearly every thread that's posted works out just fine.
posted by zarq at 6:50 AM on July 23 [3 favorites]


We've had 60 posts deleted to date this month, which seems about average.

I'm doing my part!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:14 AM on July 23 [5 favorites]


I came across the whole JulyByWomen thing as a result of the mention in the Kacy Catanzaro FPP, and just searched for it wondering what it was. I was travelling when this MeTa post was made and missed it at the time.

I realize this is tremendously lazy on my part, but is there a post somewhere in here that someone can link me to that explains the basics of what we're supposed to be doing here? The thread is 600 some odd posts long, and I'm not sure where the key info lives.

Here's what I'm mainly wondering about:

I gather that JulyByWomen is a tag that people are using on their posts to mark them as by women, but I'm not clear if there's more to it than that. Should I mark the posts I made in July that way just because I'm a woman and I made them? Or was there more of a project aspect of it, and only posts that were specifically designed to be part of this effort should be marked that way?

I've made 2 posts this month, which is more than I do in most months, but it wasn't because I was specifically trying to, I just happened to run across two things this month that I liked enough to post. They're both somewhat women's interest-y -- one is about knitting, and the other is about Drop Dead Gorgeous, a film that passes the Bechdel Test with more clearance over the bar than any other film I've ever seen.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:30 AM on July 23 [2 favorites]


Its pretty do-what-you-want. I marked all my posts this month that way. You can if you want to. There's not much more to it than that. Posts don't have to be about "female" topics in any way. Mine were about: an art project, the US GAO, and photos of highways from the 1800's.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 7:33 AM on July 23


you can use the julybywomen tag if you identify as a woman and you want to. The topic doesn't have to be about "women's issues" or "women's interests."

I know there are 600 comments or whatever but the actual OP on this thread does explain the effort.
posted by sweetkid at 7:34 AM on July 23


I know there are 600 comments or whatever but the actual OP on this thread does explain the effort.

The actual OP talks about a glassboard thingy and extra posts and doesn't talk about the tag, so it was clear that things had evolved somewhat from the original post and I wasn't sure if the tag was only for posts that came out of the glassboard thingy or was somehow meant to indicate posts that would not have been made if it weren't for this project. I wasn't sure if my after-the-fact participation in the tag was appropriate.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:43 AM on July 23


Along with the lovely Jessamyn above I tagged my two posts with julybywomen because I'm a woman, but my posts were about The Umbilical Brothers and Cashew Apples (cashew *apples*, not cashew *fruit*, what was I thinking?) which is pretty all purpose, don't you think?

Solidarity, sisters and brothers. May we all post with confidence forever!
posted by h00py at 7:44 AM on July 23 [2 favorites]


I wasn't sure if my after-the-fact participation in the tag was appropriate.

it is, it totally is. It's a very relaxed effort, which is one of the things I really like about it.
posted by sweetkid at 7:51 AM on July 23


>I'm not clear if there's more to it than that.

Nope! OP's goal was 90 extra posts by women, the tag in the post title was a decent way to track it, the tag's above 300 (!) posts now, and meanwhile 600 comments of mostly-drama-free squeeing and and questions and compliments ensued. Women don't *need* to tag (that's a thread that happened along the way that seems relevant to your question).
posted by tchemgrrl at 7:58 AM on July 23 [1 favorite]


I would freakin LOVE the option to have a little "jbw" green badge next to my user name (like Jessamyn has - you can see it upthread).

I'm proud of my participation and would like the option to have it next to my name. Also, I've (voluntarily of course) put a lot of time and effort into my participation, as I don't want to "let the team down."

I think it would be great if we just keep it going strong throughout the month of July, even though we've met the original stated goal.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:45 AM on July 23


"I think it would be great if we just keep it going strong throughout the month of July, even though we've met the original stated goal."

Yes, absolutely. Agreed. Used that tag just yesterday myself.
posted by travelwithcats at 8:48 AM on July 23 [1 favorite]


Having written the post that spawned one of those two MetaTalk threads, I should note that it was not the terrifying experience to have my post spawn a MeTa thread that I'd have thought it would be. Probably helps that it was not a super-awful MeTa, but anyway, it was not a big deal. Did make me realize that I could perhaps have avoided it with better framing, since the issue raised was one I had specifically considered highlighting in the post itself, and so perhaps I'll be a little more thoughtful about that in the future.

But really, the world did not end, it was fine, I'm delighted to have participated in this project and will likely post again someday when my job stops beating me about the head with deadlines that are preventing me from collecting shiny links as I'd like to.
posted by Stacey at 8:50 AM on July 23 [10 favorites]


There is another jbw FPP that prompted a MeTa: Bloggers review the It-bag of the moment: the Michael Kors Selma handbag (FYI: very popular FPP that was initially deleted and successfully reworked) -> MeFites, What Purse Do You Carry?
posted by travelwithcats at 8:58 AM on July 23 [2 favorites]


Yep, saw that. I thought it was strange to start a MeTa at first, because I thought it would bleed my FPP of comments. Why start a new one?

But then I saw that it was of a slightly different nature, and that people wanted to talk in both threads, and I guess I also realized it was kind of a kick to have your FPP spur a MetaTalk thread. Hooray!
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:00 AM on July 23


[Also Eyebrows McGee made several really excellent comments in the FPP about purses (as did many others), which I appreciated. A LOT.]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:02 AM on July 23


I've had several FPPs spark MetaTalks. I didn't get MeMails or anything (except supportive ones).

I mean this respectfully: what are people afraid of re site participation/posts ending up in MetaTalk? That people will think badly of them based on a username associated with a comment/post they don't like? Or fight with them in some unrelated thread? Or online stalking/threats? Not to invalidate any of those concerns because they all seem valid, but I'm curious.
posted by sweetkid at 9:18 AM on July 23


I mean this respectfully: what are people afraid of re site participation/posts ending up in MetaTalk? That people will think badly of them based on a username associated with a comment/post they don't like? Or fight with them in some unrelated thread? Or online stalking/threats? Not to invalidate any of those concerns because they all seem valid, but I'm curious.

In the past, posts and comments of mine have sparked difficult MetaTalk threads and I've found the results unpleasant. Personal attacks and difficult memails. Mod interactions that were decidedly negative. Pileons. People making the worst possible assumptions about my motives. Etc. Hasn't happened every time, but enough to change my posting habits.
posted by zarq at 9:30 AM on July 23 [5 favorites]


There's a lot of (very funny) mockery and take-downs in MetaTalk, as I'm sure you're aware.

While it's fun to read, it might not be so fun to be the subject of such ridicule.

(Personally I like the surreal humor the best in MetaTalk.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:03 AM on July 23 [1 favorite]


Completely unscientifically backed impression of the last three weeks: the site has been producing a ton more stellar content, often with fascinating subject matter outside its norms. Well done, all, and well played, viggorlijah. Thank you.
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:56 AM on July 23 [6 favorites]


"I would freakin LOVE the option to have a little "jbw" green badge next to my user name (like Jessamyn has - you can see it upthread)."

I didn't mean this to be presumptuous, fyi.

(Would still love it, though.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:20 AM on July 23


joseph conrad is fully awesome: "I think it would be great if we just keep it going strong throughout the month of July, even though we've met the original stated goal."

I'm still procrastinating. I fully plan to get around to posting some stuff sometime soon. Don't mess with my creative flow, dude.
posted by gingerest at 6:21 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


Oh dammit. I had a really good link to share but wilful posted a nearly identical one two years ago. I tried to find a way that it wasn't a double, but such is life...
posted by harriet vane at 8:32 PM on July 23


As someone, who posts FPPS betwen 0 and 4 times a year, typically, I took this month as incentive to try and post more often. It's been interesting, like suddenly discovering that there's a muscle you never stretch under normal circumstances, but now it's suddenly in intensive demand.

I've been keeping a list of all the FPP topics I didn't post this month (because there were previous posts on the subject that I wouldn't differ too much from, or I couldn't find a strong single link to base a post around/provide an initial hook, because a lamely witty title isn't enough for "interesting" content that isn't actually that interesting, or because they require too much backstory for a decent FPP). It's been a really interesting process, if only to see in which topical grooves my mind tends to fall.
posted by julen at 12:08 AM on July 24 [4 favorites]


julen, I've been taking exactly the same approach, and I think you've described the experience beautifully.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:22 AM on July 24


Just wanted to ask those who had a Meta made about their post, how they felt when they came to Meta and there it was, at the top of the page? I once had an FPP deleted and someone posted a "bad deletion" Meta. I was so surprised to see it on Meta, that someone had done this. I wasn't upset or annoyed, I was cool with them doing it, it was just a bit surprising. It made me feel more of a Mefite tbh!

Admittedly the reasons for the Metas for the JBW posts are slightly different, but I wondered how you felt.

Also : wanted: 90 posts, achieved: 300 posts - OK, I am calling out the ladies of Metafilter for their over-achieving awesomeness.
posted by marienbad at 8:59 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


Just wanted to ask those who had a Meta made about their post, how they felt when they came to Meta and there it was, at the top of the page?

Are you asking this of JBW posters only?
posted by zarq at 9:02 AM on July 24


marienbad, I had a moment of feeling panicky (as I always do when attention is drawn to me or something I've done in any setting - it's not MeFi specific), read enough to figure out that the issue was about the topic and not something personally awful or offensive I'd done in framing the post, and felt slightly better. I decided to back away from MeFi for a couple of hours and come back to see how the discussion was going later. When I did, I found the discussion had gone about as well as I could have hoped, felt much better about the whole thing, and decided there was nothing I could add that would be necessary or useful to that discussion as others had said what I would have said only better. So I wandered off and got on with my day and that was that. I did peek back at it a few times just to make sure it hadn't gotten suddenly super-fighty, or spawned a recipe I wanted to try, or anything.

Several days later, I feel totally fine about it, slightly amused if anything, and perhaps mildly relieved that I've already Had A Post Sent To The Principal's Office, so I have nothing further to fear from making future FPPs.
posted by Stacey at 9:11 AM on July 24 [5 favorites]


zarq: I was, but lets throw it open - now you mention it, I think it would be interesting to hear how others felt.
posted by marienbad at 11:46 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


Anyone still looking for FPP ideas? I just saw on my local news (but cannot seem to find the story at that website):

- Congresswomen Jackie Speier and women demonstrated on the state's capitol today about the Equal Rights Amendment, saying that if ERA had passed in 1972, the Hobby Lobby thing would've never happened (I'm sloppily paraphrasing here because I am EXCITE.)

- Jackie Speier's website. A March 27 press release about the ERA.

- Facebook has more than one ERA page, but this appears to be the most popular one.

- I cannot find much on the web - my GoogleFu is failing me!

My FPP queue is filled through the end of the month - someone want to take this one?

(*crosses fingers hopes the ERA gathers momentum and passes this time*)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 5:39 PM on July 24 [2 favorites]


[Found the video: Equal Rights Amendment - KTVU (SLYT).]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 5:39 PM on July 24


this thread is long so sorry if i skimmed over a mention of this already - but i just realized when posting my thread that tags are counted differently based on capitalization - so JulyByWomen isn't the same as julybywomen. is this by design? whenever we're looking at a final count for the month, we should totally make sure to count both.
posted by nadawi at 7:27 PM on July 24


Are you sure? I thought it didn't matter.

I prefer the lowercaps myself.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:39 PM on July 24


umm weird, i swear i came up with a different number when i was previewing. ignore me, i'm apparently losing my mind.
posted by nadawi at 7:43 PM on July 24


julybywomen: 326

JulyByWomen: 326 (goes to lowercase automatically on the tag search result.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:44 PM on July 24


(326... wow. Such post, so awesome.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:45 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]


I finally got up the nerve to make my first post because of this Metatalk. Thanks for all of the encouraging words and the hard work that so many of you have put into making Metafilter a more welcoming place over the years.

I did get a laugh when I got the confirmation Mefi Mail from Matt. It said that I could opt out of getting the confirmations if I was tired of them. Umm, once every 13 years?
posted by colt45 at 11:36 PM on July 24


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